Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
THE controversy between Mânûskîhar and his brother, Zâd-sparam, of. which the Epistles of Mânûskîhar are the only portion extant, turned chiefly upon the meaning to be attached to Vend. VIII, 271-299 1, and whether the mode of purification therein detailed was a sufficient substitute, or merely a preparation, for the Bareshnûm ceremony. The following is a translation of the Pahlavi version of this passage 2:--
Pahl. Vend. VIII, 271. 'O creator! how are those men purified, O righteous Aûharmazd! who shall stand by a corpse, in a distant place, upon a wild spot 3?'
272. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'They are purified, O righteous Zaratûst!'
273. 'But when so? [that is, how will such a one become clean?]'
274. 'If a corpse-eating dog, or a corpse-eating bird, has attacked that corpse, (275) the man shall then purify over his own body with bull's urine, (276) thirty times by washing forwards [with the bull's urine], and thirty times by washing over 4, [and
his hand shall rub over it.] 277. Of the topmost part of him is the washing over, [that is, the washing of his head is that regarding which there is a mention through this study-causing (hûshkar) exclamation.] 1
278. 'If a corpse-eating dog, or a corpse-eating bird, has not attacked that corpse, (279) he shall purify fifteen times by washing forwards, and fifteen times by washing backwards, [and his hand shall rub over it:]
280. 'He shall run the first mile (hâsar) 2. 281: He shall then run forwards, [when the Pankadasa ("fifteen times") shall be performed by him.] 282. And when he shall thus stop opposite any one whomsoever of the material existence 3, he shall be prepared with a loud issue of words, (283) thus 4: "I have thus stood close by the body of him who is dead; I am no wisher for it by thought, I am no wisher for it by word, I am no wisher for it by deed, [that is, it is not possible for me to be as though washed.] 284. It demands purification for me, [that is, wash me thoroughly!]" 285. When he runs, the first he shall reach, (286) if they do not grant him purification, share one-third of that deed of his, [that is, of all that sin, not possible for him to bear, except when they shall perform his purification, one part in three is theirs at its origin.]
287. 'He runs the second mile [while he runs for
it]. 288. He runs, and a second time he reaches people. 289. If they do not grant him purification, (290) they share a half 1 of that deed of his, [that is, of all that sin, not possible for him to bear, except when they shall perform his purification, as it were a half is even for them at its origin.]
291. 'He shall run the third mile [while he runs for it]. 292. When he runs, the third he shall reach, (293) if they do not grant him purification, share all 2 that deed of his, [that is, all that sin which it is not possible for him to bear, except when they shall perform his purification, is ever theirs at its origin.]
294. 'He shall then run forwards 3. 295. He shall thus stop opposite some people of the next house, village, tribe, or district, and he shall be prepared with a loud issue of words, (296) thus: "I have thus stood close by the body of him who is dead; (297) I am no wisher for it by thought, I am no wisher for it by word, I am no wisher for it by deed, [that is, it is not possible to bear without washing.] 298. It demands purification for me, [that is, wash me thoroughly!]" 299. If they do not grant him purification, he shall then purify over his own body with bull's urine, and also with water; thus he shall be thoroughly purified over 4.'
[a. He shall go three miles; it is not allowable to walk back to his district, until he has fully striven
with three persons, and all that sin, not possible for him to bear, except when they shall perform his purification, is theirs at its origin.
b. When thus thoroughly washed by himself, his duty even then is the work frakairi frakerenaod, vâstrê verezyôid ('he should accomplish with perseverance, he should cultivate in the pastures 1); there are some who would say thus: 'He is always for the performance of work, and abstinence from the ceremonies of others is for him 2.]
455:1 See Sacred Books of the East, vol. iv, pp. 116-118.
455:2 Subject to the same observations as those detailed in p.431 n.
455:3 Reading pavan vaskar, but the MSS., by omitting a stroke, have pavan sikar,' on the chase.'
455:4 So here, but 'washing backwards' in § 279; and in Ep. II, iv, a we find 'upwards' and 'downwards,' instead of forwards' and 'backwards.' The Pahlavi translators were evidently doubtful whether the Av. upasnâteê (see Ep. II, iii, 2) meant 'washing over, backwards, or downwards.'
456:1 Implying that the Pahlavi translators had found the use of Av. aghrya for 'head' rather perplexing.
456:2 The hâsar was 'a thousand steps of the two feet' (see Bd. XXVI, s, note), and was, therefore, about an English mile.
456:3 That is, any human being.
456:4 See Ep. I, ii, 10.
457:1 That is, half of the two-thirds remaining with him, or one-third of the whole original trespass.
457:2 That is, all the remaining one-third of the original trespass.
457:3 See Ep. II, iii, 3.
457:4 What follows is a commentary, by the Pahlavi translators, on the whole passage.
458:1 'Quoted from Vend. XIX, 140, where the words 'sheep's food and food for oxen' are added.
458:2 A person so purified by himself, after vainly seeking a proper purifier, is, therefore, only fit for the ordinary labours of life, and must avoid all religious celebrations till properly purified by the Bareshnûm ceremony. This was the opinion of Mânûskîhar, but it is based upon a Pahlavi commentary, and not upon the Avesta text, which is not clear upon this point.