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


1. It is disquieting about this, too, which is declared in your writing 3, as regards your vehement desire and embarrassment (rûzdîh) for a new law, and your wish and longing. for the establishment of the law of the apostles 4; as also that which you have done about the gathering of the details of statements from the three teachings 5, and about

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causing the rapid bringing of the new law. 2. And on account of your embarrassment and wrong-doing (vadag) they would give up the Frasnâteê ('washing upwards 1) and Upasnâteê ('washing downwards'), to bring the fifteen times which are without ordinance (barâ âînakŏ), that are after it 2, back to the fifteen which are a portion of the ordinance (âînakŏ vâî).

3. As to the three times, each of which times one runs a mile (hâsar) even until he obtains a purifier 3, since peradventure thy mile (parasang), too, might become more, all the good work is written purposely (ag-karîhâ) of three miles and more 4. 4. And that, too, which the high-priests have so appointed, when he has striven in that manner for three persons 5, or that sin and retribution of his is apportioned unto them and brought to the balance (sangag-âînîdŏ), is because that commission and retribution of sin might now, peradventure, be

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allotted unto the priest 1; for if he were impure (palistŏ) there would be no one whatever who would properly perform the purification as it is necessary.

5. Then it has become indispensable for you to perform the purification, for that operation--so suitable for the discreet where 'he who has been by the dead 2,' so that he has become polluted, and even 'the stars and moon and sun shine upon his life discontentedly'--is just as fit for the exalted when there is great 'propitiation of fire, water, earth, cattle, righteous males, and righteous women' thereby. 6. So great is its value that where there is no purification of the body it is not possible to purify the life and soul; and when there is a man in a realm who is able to perform it, that man is not justifiable except when he shall perform it.

7. Finally, when that pre-eminent operation is being accomplished, over which there is in revelation and the perfect information due to revelation that supreme 3 control which you are so disputing in the religion--which even through your trifling (khûrdakŏ) in the name of authority is becoming a struggle (patkâr-yehevûn)--then, though it may not be possible for you to perform it yourself, it should thereupon be the duty of some one of your disciples to perform it in your sight, so that you may be aware of the rite, even apart from the great resources in that most learned (âztûm) acquaintance

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with revelation which is associated with you 1. 8. Also from that which is repeatedly written by you with understanding of the rite, as regards all three teachings 2, it is manifest those rites are mentioned even as those which are more maintained, and are not those which are unnecessary to perform. 9. You are a something therein that tends to preserve 3 a little of what it is not possible for thee to attain fully in any mode; when thou shalt obtain the operations of the voice 4, and the water and bull's urine, as well as the three men 5, or thou shalt give a man 6 to wash therein, the intellect of those controlling is then, indeed, not preservative therein.

10. It is proper also for you to consecrate the water and bull's urine by that ritual which is in all three teachings, to prepare your own ritualistic liquid and other things which are approved among you with mutual assistance, and to appoint a purifier who has performed fully acceptably and been wanted. 11. Then, to give out properly to the country that the purification, is according to my order, I always

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perform it more acceptably than that of other purifiers. 12. For the water and bull's urine are all consecrated by me, and the three hundred pebbles (sang 1) are cast into them (aûbas) by me, just as it is directed; the operation is also directed by me in the three days 2 when it is performed, and all the customary parts are washed three times by me 3; the ablution seats (makŏ) are also arranged by me anew for every single person, and the use of washed seats is not ordered by me therein 4; every rite of the washing by the purifier is also so performed by me as all three teachings have mentioned as perfection. 13. You become the best of the district, as regards the minutiae (bârîkîdôân) of the purification that is within your duty, so long as they excite the sight 5, but which are curtailed (kazd) by you in the way of washing disclosed to me 6, while, when it should be performed by you in this manner, your performance would be equally constantly extolled and your writing praised.

14. When, then, you write of it that they should always perform it just as now, the falsity therein is

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grievous (yagar), and I know none worse; for this washing and professional purification which one is to keep in operation--as is declared by revelation, the teaching of high-priests, and those of the primitive faith who are esteemable 1--you withdraw (madam dârêdŏ) from the midst of us. 15. That which you understand yourself is that unto Aûharmazd the confederate good creatures are as it were defiled and in the eyes of the good and wise they are as it were propitiatory towards the mischievous Vâê 2. 16. And your words about it are just as they say concerning a beggar 3, where a garment is given to him, thus: 'Wash the dirt (âlûg) on him thoroughly clean;' and that garment they shall take is put upon the fire and burnt; and he spoke thus: 'My dirt was a comfort.'


336:3 The decree mentioned in Chap. II, 1.

336:4 That is, the new law which the future apostles, Hûshêdar, Hûshêdar-mâh, and Sôshâns (see Dd. II, 10) are expected to bring, so as to restore the religion in preparation for the resurrection.

336:5 Those of Mêdyôk-mâh, Afarg, and Sôshâns (see Ep. I, v, 1, 6).

337:1 These terms are quoted from Vend. VIII, 276, 279 (see App. V), and are thus explained in Pahlavi in Chap. IV, 2.

337:2 Referring, apparently, to the second mention' of the fifteen washings, in Pahl. Vend. VIII, 281, which does not occur in the Avesta text ('the ordinance'), but refers to its previous occurrence in § 279 of the Avesta. But, perhaps, the author means that they would confound the final washing appointed in Vend. VIII, 299 with the preliminary washing appointed in the previous § 279.

337:3 See Vend. VIII, 280, 287, 295 (compare App. V and Ep. I, ii, 6, note).

337:4 After the polluted person has thrice run a mile, he is to run further (see Vend. VIII, 294) to some inhabited spot; from which directions the author concludes that any excess of distance is immaterial. K35 and BK have 'four miles and more,' but this seems to be a copyist's blunder.

337:5 To purify him, and, if they refuse, they each take a share of his sin (see Vend. VIII, 280-293),

338:1 Who is to purify him finally with the Bareshnûm ceremony.

338:2 Referring to Vend. IX, 161-1 63, quoted at length in Ep. I, iv, 3.

338:3 Reading mahîstô, but it can also be read Mazdayastô, 'Mazda-worshipping.'

339:1 That is, even when not performing the ceremony himself, his presence would be desirable, for the sake of securing due attention to all the details, with which his superior knowledge must make him better acquainted than his subordinates.

339:2 See § 1.

339:3 Reading bûkhtanŏ; the MSS. divide the word, so as to convert it into barâ tanû,' without a body.' The meaning is that by his presence he is, at all events, able to secure some efficiency in the ceremony, when he is compelled to intrust its performance to subordinates who are not fully competent.

339:4 In the prayers and exorcisms.

339:5 See § 4.

339:6 That is, one thoroughly qualified (the priest mentioned in § 4) who requires no special supervision.

340:1 See Ep. I, vii, 16.

340:2 The 'three washings' mentioned in Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, o (see App. IV); referring probably to those after the third, sixth, and ninth nights (see Vend. IX, 136, 140, 144), that is, on the fourth, seventh, and tenth days of the Bareshnûm ceremony. Most of this clause is omitted in J.

340:3 As said to have been directed by Mêdyôk-mâh (see Chap. 71, 6, Ep. I, vi, 7), though the extant Pahlavi Vendidâd (IX, 132, j) attributes the order to Afarg.

340:4 Compare Ep. I, ix, 7, Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, o, s.

340:5 J has 'so long as they advance the purification as much as possible by a resemblance so approved,'

340:6 In the heretical decree under consideration.

341:1 That is, by the Avesta and Zand.

341:2 Reading anâkŏ Vâê; he is the demon that carries off the soul (see Dd. XXX, 4). Even the best creatures are imperfect in the eyes of Aûharmazd and the righteous.

341:3 Reading niyâzkar, instead of the niyâzar, of the MSS.

Next: Chapter IV