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Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. [1885], at


1. The sage asked the spirit of wisdom (2) thus: 'Which sin is the more heinous?'

3. The spirit of wisdom answered (4) thus: 'Of the sin which people commit, unnatural intercourse is the more heinous. 5. The second is he who has suffered or performed intercourse with men. 6. The third, who slays a righteous man. 7. The fourth, who breaks off a next-of-kin marriage 1. 8. The fifth, who destroys the arrangement of an adopted son (satôr) 2. 9. The sixth, who smites the fire of Varahrâm 3. 10. The seventh, who kills a water-beaver 4. 11. The eighth, who worships an idol.

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[paragraph continues] 12. The ninth, who believes and wishes to worship in every religion. 13. The tenth, who consumes anything which is received into his custody, and becomes an embezzler. 14. The eleventh is he who, through sinfulness, provides support for wickedness 1. 15. The twelfth, who does no work, but eats unthankfully and unlawfully. 16. The thirteenth, who commits heresy (zandîkîh) 2. 17. The fourteenth, who commits witchcraft. 18. The fifteenth, who commits apostasy (aharmôkîh) 3. 19. The sixteenth, who commits 4 demon-worship. 20. The seventeenth, who commits theft, or abetting (avâgîdîh) of thieves. 21. The eighteenth, who commits promise-breaking 5. 22. The nineteenth, who commits maliciousness. 23. The twentieth, who commits oppression to make the things of others his own. 24. The twenty-first, who distresses

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a righteous man. 25. The twenty-second, who commits slander. 26. The twenty-third, who commits arrogance. 27. The twenty-fourth, who goes to a professional courtezan 1. 28. The twenty-fifth, who commits ingratitude. 29. The twenty-sixth, who speaks false and untrue 2. 30. The twenty-seventh, who causes discontent as to the affairs of those who are departed 3. 31. The twenty-eighth, whose pleasure is from viciousness and harassing the good. 32. The twenty-ninth, who considers sin as to be urged on, and a good work as a day's delay 4. 33. And the thirtieth, who becomes grieved by that happiness which is provided by him for any one.'


71:1 See Chap. IV, 4 n.

71:2 If a man has not appointed an adopted son during his lifetime, and leaves property producing an income of eighty-four rûpîs or more, but no privileged wife, or child, or domesticated brother, fit for the duty of guardianship, then an adopted son must be appointed by his nearest relations after his death (see Dd. LVI-LX).

71:3 The sacred fire, named after the angel Varahrâm or Vâhrâm (see Chap. II, 115).

71:4 The baprakŏ-î âvîk is the Av. bawris upâpô, with whose skins Ardvîsûra, the angel of water, is said to be clothed (Âbân Yt. 129). It is said to have been 'created in opposition to the demon which is it the water' (see Bd. XIX, 29). Whether it is the same as the Av. udra upâpa, 'water-otter,' is not quite certain; but killing the latter was considered (for some reason not clearly ascertained) a very heinous sin, for which the proper atonement is fully detailed in Vend. XIV.

72:1 L19 has 'falsehood.'

72:2 The term zandîk, according to Mas’aûdî (chap. xxiv), was first applied to the Manicheans, and afterwards to all others who followed the commentary (zand) in preference to the Avesta; finally, however, the Arabs applied the term to the Persians, probably with its acquired meaning of 'heretic' or 'infidel.' A different explanation of the term is given in Pahl. Yas. LX, 11, where it is stated that 'Zand is the apostle of the wizards, and through Zand it is possible to perform witchcraft.' The Sanskrit version here adds, 'that is, he thinks well of Aharman and the demons;' and in PA10 it continues thus: 'the atheist's religion, the wicked way that there is no creator, there is no heaven, there is no hell, there is no resurrection, and so on; such is the meaning.'

72:3 From Av. ashemaogha, 'disturbing righteousness.' Nêr. adds in Sanskrit, 'that is, having thoroughly known the meaning of the Avesta, he becomes deceived.'

72:4 As the verb in § 23 can apply, in Pahlavi, to any number of preceding sections, it is omitted by K43 in § 19-22. The verb is also omitted by K43 in § 25 for a similar reason.

72:5 Or 'breach of contract.'

73:1 Such appears to be the meaning of zanŏ-î kârân. L19 has zan-î kasân, 'the wives of others.'

73:2 Or 'irreverent,' according as we read arâstô or anâstŏ.

73:3 L19 has 'secluded and departed,' similar to Chap. XXXVII, 23.

73:4 It is doubtful whether sîpang, 'a halting-place,' or sîpôg, 'setting aside,' should be read; but the meaning is practically the same.

Next: Chapter XXXVII