Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. The sage asked the spirit of wisdom (2) thus: 'Wherefore is it when oxen and sheep, birds, flying creatures, and fish are, each one, properly learned in that which is their own knowledge, (3) and men, so long as 'they bring no instruction unto them, and they do not perform much toil and trouble (angînŏ) 1 about it, are not able to obtain and know the learning of the human race?'
4. The spirit of wisdom answered (5) thus: 'Men have been so wise, in the original creation, that, as to the good works and crime which were performed by them, the recompense of the good works and the punishment of the crime were then seen by them with their own eyes, (6) and no crime whatever proceeded from men. 7. But, afterwards, Aharman, the wicked, concealed the recompense of good works and the punishment of sin. 8. And on this account, moreover, it is said in revelation (9) that: "[These] 2 four [things are worse and more grievous] than every evil which the accursed evil one, the wicked, committed upon the creatures of Aûharmazd, (To) [that is, when the reward of good works and] punishment [of sin], the thoughts of men, and the consequence of actions were quite concealed [by him] 3."
11. 'And, for the same reason, he made many devotions and improper creeds current in the world. 12. And, on account of men's not knowing of duty and good works, every one believes that most, and considers it as good, which his teaching in devotion has included. 13. And that devotion, in particular, is more powerful 1, with which sovereignty exists. 14. But that one is the lordship and sovereignty of Vistâsp 2, the king of kings, (15) by whom, on account of knowing it unquestionably and certainly (aêvarîhâ), the perfect and true religion, which is in the word of the creator Aûharmazd, was received from the unique Zaratûst, the Spîtamân 3, (16) who has manifested clearly, explicitly, and unquestionably the treasure of the worldly and spiritual existences, of every kind, from the good religion of the Mazda-worshippers. 17. There is then 4 no other creed, through which it is possible for one to obtain and know the treasure of the worldly and spiritual existences so explicitly and clearly, (18) but, on account of much controversy 5, they are so cut up (âgîstakŏ)
and entangled, that the statements of their beginning are much unlike to the middle, and the middle to the end.'
39:1 Nêr. has read khvazînak, and taken it as equivalent to Pers. khazînah, 'treasury,' in the sense of 'expenditure;' but this is very doubtful.
39:2 The words in brackets, in §§ 9, 10, are taken from the Pâzand version, as the passage containing them has been omitted by mistake in K43.
39:3 The Pandnâmah of Buzurg-Mihir states 'this, too, is declared, that the evil spirit committed even this very grievous thing upon p. 40the creatures of Aûharmazd, when the reward of good works and punishment of sin were quite concealed by him, in the thoughts of men, as the consequence of actions.'
40:1 Nêr. has 'purer,' by connecting padîyâvandtar with pâdîyâv, 'ablution;' but this is hardly possible, whereas the former word can be readily traced to Av. paiti + yâ + vant, with the meaning 'resistant, stubborn, strong;' compare Pers. payâb, 'power.'
40:2 Av. Vîstâspa, Pers. Gustâsp, the fifth king of the Kayân dynasty, who adopted the religion of Zarâtust in the thirtieth year of his reign, and is said to have reigned 120 years (see Bd. XXXIV, 7).
40:3 See Chap. I, 10 n.
40:4 Instead of 'then for one,' Nêr. has 'otherwise,' as in Chap. IX, 6.
40:5 Reading vigûftakîh. Nor. has 'by much contemplation,' p. 41having read vênaftakîh. Both words are very uncommon, and it is doubtful which of them is the more appropriate to the context.