Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. And as to that which is written 1, that 'the teachings of Mêdyôk-mâh, Afarg, and Sôshâns 2 have all three come and remained, and, on that account, whoever has washed just as they always wash therein is certain that he is worthy.' 2. Also, 'should it have been as it were proper to them, would Mêdyôk-mâh have said that "not even the purifier is single?"' 3. And the rest as written an that subject, which, on account of its acute observation, has seemed to be from their statements; they, however, have not decided it so by the teaching which is in their names, as was indicated by me before 3.
4. But I do not so understand that 'if those should have been all the particulars of the peculiarity of all three teachings, would the teachings of Mêdyôk-mâh and Sôshâns have said, concerning any one who should have so washed that the purifier was single, that it is suitable, because the high-priests have been thus very unanimous that when
there is one he is unsuitable 1? 5. And when it should be to them as it were proper that, apart from the hands, the other 2 customary parts (pîsakŏ) should be washed once by them, would Afarg have said it is proper 3, because washing them three times is not mentioned in the Avesta? 6. And when it would have been as it were proper that the three hundred pebbles (sang) should not be cast into the water and bull's urine, would Afarg's teaching have said that it is proper 4, because there is not a single use for a pebble (sagîkakŏ)? 7. And when it would be as it were proper that he who is washed at the ablution seats (mak) at which any one has been washed during the length of a year, is not injured thereby--only they shall take them away and they are again deposited 5--would Mêdyôk-mâh's teaching have said that it is proper, because, when the stones (sagŏ) are again deposited by one, it is to effect the cleansing (vistarisnŏ) of some one,
and when a shower of rain occurs thereon so that the whole place shall be thoroughly wetted, inside and outside, it is proper? 8. And if some one says that this is the case of a rite by a teaching of authority, and the rule is by a teaching of private authority, is not the whole rite by any teaching proper, that consists in this washing which is thoroughly preserved as they keep it in practice 1?'
9. The reply is even this, that every rite (nîrông) is to be performed in such manner as that which is said to be most preservative, and most connected with the declaration of revelation and the testimony of the high-priests concerning it. 10. And not for the reason that Mêdyôk-mâh's teaching is more preservative 2 as to one rite, and after that some-thing of Afarg is more preservative, is the operation to be performed by the statement of Mêdyôk-mâh; but whatever is the more preservative of Mêdyôk-mâh's is collected from Mêdyôk-mâh, all the more preservative of Afarg from Afarg, and that which is the more preservative of any other high-priest from that which has the most preservative approval of the high-priest. 11. That which those high-priests have said, which they decide by just authority, is the commandment of the learned of the realm, which has lawfully arisen over the provinces (shôhârânŏ); but even that statement opposing it which is much testified and manifestly more of a deliverance, or which is declared as an exposition
of the teaching of high-priests of the religion in a dissimilar case, they shall then 1 wholly accept, and they are to perform the operation authorisedly and preservatively thereby.
12. This, too, I so consider, that even if each separate teaching should be as it were proper, it would then not be determined by them as to the impropriety of the purifying cup, for Mêdyôk-mâh has stated, only as it was apparent to him, that every single customary part is to be washed for three times 2, and has not specifically determined that when all shall be so once it is not proper. 13. By the special teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh and the washing which is in the law that says--concerning those interpreting revelation--that whoever becomes quite polluted shall thoroughly wash by that law, so that his being washed is to be considered as being washed, it (the rite) is not performed by me if, also, that other high-priest has said, that every one who becomes quite polluted, and washes not by the law of the primitive faith, is not to be considered as washed. 14. Then, too, in the special teaching of Mêdyôk-mâh it is not said, of that washing which is washed by the law of those of a portion of the religion (pârak-dînôân), that it is note proper.
15. He who washes by the law of those of the primitive faith, which many high-priests maintain as excellent, because it is suitable, and imagines that regarding the threefold washing it should be said that it is not proper, even he--when he also
has become of the same opinion as to this, that the statements of the high-priests are on an equality, and the most evidence of the high-priests is the right course--would have attained to confidence about this, that in a doubtful matter there should be a high-priest 1, and also that of which Afarg and Sôshâns have alike understood a similar thing is proper.
312:1 In the epistle to which he is replying.
312:2 See Chap. V, 1.
312:3 See Chap. VI, 2-4.
313:1 The writer says he does not understand this argument of his correspondents, because it differs from the view he takes in Chap. VI, 2, but it must be confessed that the meaning of the passage in dispute (Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b) is not very clear, as the word ashâyed, 'he is unsuitable,' can also. be read ae shâyed, 'he would be suitable,' both there and in our text.
313:2 K35 has one line blank here, but this was probably owing to the state of the paper, or some inadvertence of the copyist; as it is evident that none of the text is omitted.
313:3 Compare Chap. VI, 9-I1.
313:4 Compare Chap. VII, 16-18.
313:5 This shows that the places for ablution during the Bareshnûm ceremony were, a thousand years ago, the same as now, namely, stones deposited on the ground, not holes dug in the ground, as directed in Vend. IX, 13, 14, 16. They are, in fact, the stones or hard material directed to be deposited at the holes in Vend. IX, 29, 30, but they go by the old name for the holes (magh).
314:1 This string of arguments appears to be quoted from the epistle to which the writer is replying, but as they are separated from their context it is difficult to understand the exact line of argument. or to be sure that they are translated correctly.
314:2 From pollution or sin.
315:1 That is, when the dissimilar case arises, or when it is manifestly more efficient.
315:2 See Chap. VI, 7.
316:1 To consult about the matters in doubt.