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


1. I have also examined that writing 2 in detail, and it is very unprepared for the remarks of the learned and those acquainted with the religion, for the sentences concocted have to be divided, and the slender demonstration is disconnected (aparvandîdŏ); so I consider that it is not sent to be seen, as regards which such a course would, indeed, be a cause of terror to purifiers. 2. It is so written that, while on account of that same terror they are very much alarmed, and are thorough in maintaining the duty of the continuance of care for water and bull's urine 3, and of the formula of the operation, they shall more fully perform it as a duty provided for high-priests; even from that I am more fully of opinion that your like judgment and own concession have produced this explanation.

3. When I saw in the decree, such as that which you have written, that each time one comes unto a purifier who washes in such manner as is declared

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in revelation--which is evident, indeed, from his existence when he is a religious purifier, and also from your priestly lordship's knowledge of the rite; indeed, there is no use of that same decree unless the scripture of revelation, likewise, be so--he is to do it with very strict observation, now, since, owing to the reception of terror by the purifiers, that preparation is evidently to produce, as regards their own disposition and movements, much harm and irregularity, and perplexed thoughts among the people, the discredit of the decreer is generated therefrom, and it would have been more reasonable to consider the terror and doubt of the purifiers in another way.

4. That which is so explained by you as though it would remain accomplished and would be in notice--and this is written by you like as it were from a teaching of some description--is not proper; because, thus, every rite in the performance of the desired operation, even by one single teaching, is suitable, which, like the preparation for the statements of lying litigants, is very like, but not correct. 5. For when there are some who have furthered Mêdyôk-mâh 1 better than the teaching of Afarg 1, it is well when every single rite in the teaching is right; and as to his rite it is not very clear that deliverance 2 is promoted by maintaining it. 6. Even on that occasion when Mêdyôk-mâh has mentioned threefold washing, and Afarg once washing 3, Mêdyôk-mâh is the after deponent and Afarg the prior

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deponent 1; and, on that account, the statement is to be made as long as Mêdyôk-mâh is preserved, but as regards the opinion of the words of Afarg it is to be maintained in a state of preservation.

7. As to that which Afarg has said 2, that 'two purifiers are requisite,' Mêdyôk-mâh has also said that one is plenty; and, since the teaching of Sôshâns 3 is similar evidence to his, as to that which is said by him, they have thus been more unanimous that when there is one it would be proper; and as several high-priests have announced just the same evidence, and Afarg himself and other priests have been of the same opinion where it is the performance of the beginning of the Vîkaya ('exorcism') 4, Mêdyôk-mâh is preserved. 8. Not on this account, that Afarg is more preservative 5 through once washing, is the operation to be performed according to the teaching of Afarg, but the once washing from Afarg who is the prior deponent, and the one purifier from Mêdyôk-mâh who is the most corroborated are to be accepted and to be conducted.

9. And even the computers of the stars would make the position of the stars which exists when that of the sun and moon is from the direction (min zîk) of Satvâharân 6, that of Saturn from the direction

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of Avênak, and that of Mars from the direction of Padramgôs, a position which sends much good, and is said to be capable of undoubtedly (anârangak) bringing on maturity of strength. 10. That this is to be seen as an occurrence (gastŏ) is a conjunction (nazdakŏ) which is not possible 1, because, if the conjunction of Satvâharân be exact, yet, since Saturn and Mars are not at their conjunctions (min nazdak), its effect is not a good configuration (khûp tanû); if the conjunction of Avênak be exact, yet, since the sun, moon 2, and Mars are not at their conjunctions, its effect is not good; and if the conjunction of Padramgôs be exact, yet, since the sun, moon, and Saturn are not 3 at their conjunctions, the effect is

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not good; on account of 1 which, in any conjunction which is not exact, they believe it possible for a firm mind also to accomplish this auspicious labour (sukh-varzisnŏ), but they say the just and wise should make the decision 2. 11. So that this one is a very good position, because that which is truly issuing (râst-tag) through the conjunction of Satvâharân, is from that mighty Satvâharân 3, and that of Satvâharân being better through the conjunction of Padramgôs, that is done 4.

12. You should understand that of the same kind is the similitude of the three teachings, of which you have written, with this similitude which I have portrayed 5 and ordered to form and scheme, so that you may look at it more clearly, from a proper regard for your own deliverance 6, for the sharp

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intellectuality of the re-explainers of what is not well-considered in connection with its purpose (âhankŏ), and for the accumulation of opinions that is steadfast in the law of the ancients and orders you to heed it. 13. For, owing to the miraculousness and pre-eminence of that 1, he who thinks to restore the good ideas of the ancients does not himself understand the knowledge in that wisdom of the ancients, and does not keep his own presumption (mînîh) lowly and teachable; much, too, which is through his own learning is declared to be out of it (the law), and how he orders us to understand it is by his own opinion 2.


331:2 The decree of Zâd-sparam. a copy of which had been sent to him by the people of Sîrkân (see Ep. I, iv, 7).

331:3 The two liquids used in the purifying ceremony of the Bareshnûm (see App. IV).

332:1 See Ep. I, v, 1.

332:2 From pollution.

332:3 In Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, j (see App. IV), where the threefold washing is connected with the name of Afarg, and the once washing with that of Mêdyôk-mâh; but Ep. I, vi, 7--9 agrees with the statement here.

333:1 The words pasîmal, 'after deponent,' and pêsmâl, 'prior deponent,' are here written alike (see Ep. I, vi, 10, note).

333:2 In Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b (see App. IV and compare Ep. I, vi, 1-4).

333:3 See Ep. I, v, 1.

333:4 See Ep. I, vi, 6.

333:5 From pollution (see § 6).

333:6 The high-priest of the Parsis in Bombay is of opinion that the names of the three 'directions' mentioned in this section are the Pahlavi forms of the names of three of the lunar mansions, whose p. 334 Pâzand appellations are given in Bd. II, 3; and he identifies Satvâharân with Kahtsar, Avênak with Avdem, and Padramgôs with Padêvar. The reading of all these names is, however, very uncertain. Satvâharân is written Satâharân three times out of the five occurrences of the name, and the first syllable might easily be read Gaht = Kaht, so as to correspond with the Pâzand; on the other hand, the reading Sat corresponds with Sata-bhishag or Sata-târakâ, the Sanskrit name of the 25th lunar mansion, Kahtsar. As Pâz. Avdem seems to be merely Pahl. afdûm, 'last,' I prefer identifying Avênak (which can also be read Avêrak) with the ninth lunar mansion, Avra (Avrak in Bd. VII, 1, Avrak in Zs. VI, 1), the Sans. Âsleshâ. Padramgôs is also written Padramgôs twice out of the three occurrences of the name; its identification with Padêvar makes it the first lunar mansion, the Sans. Asvinî. The aspect of the heavens, therefore, which is here mentioned as very auspicious, has the sun and new moon in the latter part of Aquarius, Saturn in the first part of Aries, and Mars in the latter part of Cancer, that is, twice as far from Saturn as the latter is from the sun and moon.

334:1 That is, it very rarely happens; as rarely as the exact agreement of three different commentators, whom these three conjunctions are intended to represent.

334:2 Reading mitrô mâh, instead of Mêdyôk-mâh.

334:3 The MSS. omit lâ, 'not,' by mistake.

335:1 Reading râî, as in J, instead of the lâ, 'not,' of K35 and BK.

335:2 That is, the circumstances are too unpropitious for any one to come to a decision without consulting those who are better qualified to judge, as is also the case when commentators disagree.

335:3 Reading min zak rabâ Satvâharân, but this is doubtful, because K35 has min rabâ âharân with zak Sat written above min rabâ; BK has min zak Satŏ (or dâdŏ) rabâ âharân (or khârân), which is merely reading the same characters in a different order; while J omits most of the doubtful phrase, having merely min zak-î, which, with the alteration of râst-tag into râsttar, changes the meaning into the following:--'because that which is through the conjunction of Satvâharân is more correct than that of Satvâharân, and that which is through the conjunction of Padramgos, that is done.'

335:4 Or 'that remains the effect.'

335:5 Reading nîsânînîdŏ; K35 and BK omit the first letter so as to convert the word into dîhânînîdŏ, which might mean 'presented.'

335:6 From pollution. There is some temptation to use the word 'salvation' for bûgisn, but this would introduce ideas that were, no doubt, foreign to the author's mind.

336:1 The ancient law, as contained in the difficult language of the Avesta.

336:2 That is, commentators are apt to attribute to the scriptures many opinions which really originate in themselves.

Next: Chapter III