Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. This, too, this aged one (aûzvârdŏ 1) orders, that, as to the polluted of the countries of Irân, when they do not obtain another washer, their way is then through thoroughly washing themselves 2. 2. For you who are understanding the rite and capable of washing, and are the most forward and intelligent of the religious, so long as your previous washing is a way of no assistance, there is this tediously-worded epistle; moreover, all their sin you assign for your own affliction 3, whose after-course is thus for their Pankadasa fifteenfold') washing', at the time they shall abandon, as distasteful, that sin which is a new development by way of Upasnâteê ('washing downwards') 4; and the sinfulness is his who established that law for them.
3. And yours are truly creatures of a fetid pool (gand-âvŏ), who, as regards my motive, always speak about it just as they spoke thus to a priest 5: 'Why has the savoury meat-offering not become forgotten by thee, while the firewood and incense, because it is not possible to eat them up, are quite
forgotten?' 4. Also, as a similitude of your affairs, they are saying that it is as though the stipend of guardianship were always to be demanded just in accordance with omissions of duty (avâg mânîdîhâ) 1. 5. So that even while the trifle of trifles which exists as an interval from the title of leadership unto that of high-priestship--in which, except a title that is no joy of the strictly religious, there is nothing whatever--is, that way, to prepare a source of dispute as to the work which you do for the guardianship, it should, therefore, be a sufficiency (khvâr-bâr), where your own supreme work is purification itself; and to do either what is taught, or is advantageous, would be withdrawing from the country a demand which has caused disturbance (balûbâkînîdŏ); to subdue it thou shouldst always so decide the daily allowances 2.
6. And, to-day, I have, on that account, written everything sternly, because that which another person arranges and speaks so opposed to me in evil appearance--which is little fit to be prepared--when I write seasonably, and with friendly and brotherly exaltation, you direct and persevere more expressly in preparing, so that portion upon portion is thus brought forth. 7. In good old age 3 the great law of after-restoration is a harsh remedy, and, on that
supposition, where a rule is shown to descend from their three teachings 1, and is itself regarded as true, and the wisdom of the period as impotent (anôzôharîkŏ), you yourself fully imagine (hû-minêdŏ) 2 that further restoration is not an important 3 and foremost thing. 8. Those of different faiths of various kinds have many usages and perplexing kinds of doubt, even about the accomplishment and explanation of the statements of the high-priests 4, for on this subject, about old age (gûnânîh), and even about sprinkling and about yourself accomplishing the religious rites, you are wisely for a preservation of the equally wise experience of the profession; and as to the heterodox, that writing which realised that even now memory is opposing you is itself evil-wishing 5, and you know it is your own arrangement.
9. This, too, they 6 say that, if it be on that account that the purifiers shall not always so perform the purification by all three teachings, or every rite which is proper according to one teaching, it will be necessary that the purifiers shall abandon purification. 10. Then about old age, the performance of the ceremonial 7, and the many times of this which
are mentioned as though this were proper, it is stated as regards how it is proper that, when on account of those of the good religion they always proceed just as is mentioned in the Zand teaching of the Avesta 1, it will then be necessary that they shall abandon the religion. 11. And many other sayings of things like unto these are scattered about (zerkhûnî-aîtŏ), and are named near Âtûrŏ-pâd 2 as hints from you; for this reason they are reckoned (khaprag-aîtŏ) in the thoughts of men.
12. And this much is written by me in distressing haste I consider it complete, and may peace and every happiness perpetually become hospitably attainable and accomplishable for you thereby, through the severe anguish and discomfort, and the eternal distress and despondency of the healer of affliction, Mânûskîhar, son of Yûdân-Yim, director of the profession of priests of Pârs and Kirmân 3.
13. Written in propitiation, praise, and benediction of the creator Aûharmazd and the archangels, all the angels of the spiritual and the angels of the worldly existences, and every guardian spirit of the righteous. 14. Homage to the exalted pontiff (radŏ) sent from the creator Aûharmazd, the most heavenly of the heavenly, Zaratûst the Spîtamân. 15. The
most prayerful and gainful of things is righteousness; great and good and perfect is Zaratûst; and one only is the way of righteousness, all the others are no ways 1.
354:1 From this it appears clearly that Mânûskîhar was an aged man when these epistles were written, though not too old to travel. The previous allusion to old age, however, in Chap. I, 9, may not have referred to himself.
354:2 As provided in Vend. VIII, 299 (see App. V).
354:3 omits alag, 'affliction;' and in K35 it is doubtful whether it be struck out, or not.
354:4 See Chap. III, 2 for both these terms.
354:5 Implying that the laity were inclined to attribute his own strict enforcement of ceremonies, requiring the employment of the priest hoot, to interested motives.
355:1 That is, the laity attributed his brother's laxity, on the other hand, to sheer neglect of duty, and had, therefore, begun to consider his supervision hardly worth paying for.
355:2 Meaning that by adherence to long-established custom, as regards both priestly work and priestly allowances, the laity would be better satisfied and more easily managed.
355:3 Reading hû-kahôbanîh; J has merely kahôbanîh, 'old age, antiquity.' He appears to be referring rather to the antiquity of the Avesta law, than to his own old age.
356:1 See Chap. III, 1, Ep. I, v, 1, 6.
356:2 J has khavîtûnêd, 'you know.' He deprecates all further investigation into the meaning of the scriptures, which had already been explained by three old commentators, as he doubted the religious wisdom of the age in which he lived.
356:3 The continuation of the text in J ends at this point.
356:4 The commentators.
356:5 That is, the decree of Zâd-sparam, though itself objectionable, was opposed to the heterodox who wished for further innovations.
356:6 The heterodox.
356:7 Referring perhaps to the performance of the Vendidâd service p. 357(which includes the Yasna ceremonial) as directed in Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, o (see App. IV).
357:1 It is possible also to read 'in the teaching of the Avesta and Zand;' but this would ignore the fact that the 'teaching' is the Zand itself.
357:2 The same rival as is mentioned in Chap. V, 14.
357:3 According to Dd. XLV, g the farmâdâr or 'director' of the profession of priests of Pârs was the pêsûpâî or 'leader' of the religion.
358:1 Compare Dd. XCIV, 14, Ep. III, 23.