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Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. [1882], at


1. As to that which is written in that epistle, that in the teaching of Sôshâns he thus states, that 'of both the purifiers necessary he is suitable by whom the ritual is performed 3,' they have been similarly very unanimous that when one is incapable (atû) 4 it is the other that is suitable, who is written of in connection with him; and that, moreover, because the statement of Afarg is in a teaching of his 5, and, on

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that account, that declaration of his seemed to be from him, which is as though it were decided by him. 2. Then, when one reaches the eulogistic (afrâsînâkŏ) reply of his re-explainer, owing to his just will it is itself well perceived that Afarg comes into account as one of the high-priests; and that which is the special teaching of Sôshâns has mentioned that they have been very unanimous that when there is one he would be suitable 1.

3. That evidence, too, which many high-priests, and especially one teaching, are alike diffusing, is stated also in the teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh, that when he who is washing 2 understands the profession, then one purifier is plenty for him. 4. When it is abundantly declared, in particular by two teachings, that when there is one he is suitable, it is then not to be rendered quite inoperative through the solitary statement of Afarg; for Afarg only said, as it appeared so to him himself, that 'two purifiers are requisite 3.' 5. The customs of another high-priest are not declared to exist with like evidence; and this is set aside (spêgîdŏ) even by him himself, that another custom is not suitable to exist, because his own view is mentioned as it appeared to him.

6. Those of the primitive faith have been fully 4 of the custom that other one selected, as to this, where it is the performance of the Vîkaya ('exorcism') 5; because its explanation is this, that an

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opinion upon which the priests (magavôgânŏ) are without dispute is that which he says is the custom of a priest, and the business of the two priests, of whose other custom he speaks as much, is a performance by those two witnesses indicating the same as the priest.

7. This, too, is evident, that, by confession of Afarg, when there is only one purifier he is to be considered as being suitable 1; and an attainment to more evidence is that which is written by you, that Mêdyôk-mâh has said that every customary part (pîsakŏ) is to be washed three times 2, and now the purifiers do it once. 8. That teaching remains in the same manner as written by him, but the three-fold washing of Mêdyôk-mâh is not a washing to be striven for, but one to be well considered, of which he spoke; and this, too, is not said by him, that when one shall not wash three times it is not proper 3. 9. Afarg said that when one shall 4 wash once it is proper, and about this once the opinion of Mêdyôk-mâh is the after statement, and the opinion of Afarg is the prior statement; and since in the life of man the first thing to be considered is about purity, not the indispensability of washing, and, further, the

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pollution diminishes, about which it speaks in the religious cleansing, during so many times washing as is declared, then the consideration of it is a consideration about the one time which is the first computation 1. 10. That which mentions more than once washing is a contradiction of the prior deponent, not a declaration; and the consideration of that operation, so long as it is declared, is about the statement of him who has mentioned once washing with the opinion of a prior deponent 2, owing to the same reasons. 11 . But if it be even that much washing which is the merit of the operation, then the statement of Afarg about these times 3 is manifestly very preservative, and that of Mêdyôk-mâh is a necessity for declaration.


301:3 Quoted from Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, where it may be read either as an opinion of Afarg (as mentioned in our text), or as a statement of the Pahlavi translator, who would, therefore, appear to have been Sôshâns. A complete translation of the Pahlavi version of Vend. IX, 1-145 and the commentaries relating to the Bareshnûm ceremony, which are frequently alluded to in these epistles, will be found in App. IV.

301:4 Perhaps 'impotent,' as the Rivâyats (M10, fol. 103 a) provide that a purifier shall be neither aged nor youthful, not less than thirty years of age.

301:5 See note 3, above; from this it appears that Afarg was the earlier commentator.

302:1 See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, but the earlier part of the section refers to statements no longer extant.

302:2 That is, the person undergoing the purification.

302:3 See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, Ep. II, ii, 7.

302:4 J inserts 'of the same opinion.'

302:5 That is, they have considered one purifier sufficient for reciting p. 303 the passages from the Avesta (see Vend. VIII, 49-62, IX, 118) which are supposed to drive away the fiend (comp. Ep. II, ii, 7).

303:1 See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b.

303:2 See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132,i, where, however, the statement as to three times washing is attributed to Afarg, who is the prior authority quoted (as mentioned in § 9), and that as to once washing is attributed to Mêdyôk-mâh, who is the after authority.

303:3 Reading lâ khalelûnêdŏ-ae lâ shayedŏ instead of lâ khalelûnêdŏ a-lâ shâyedŏ.

303:4 Reading aê instead of va a. This statement is attributed to Mêdyôk-mâh in Pahl. Vend. (see note 2, above).

Next: Chapter VII