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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: 'In what place stands Kangdez? 3. Where is the enclosure formed by Yim constructed 8? 4. In what

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place lies 1 the body of Sâhm? 5. Where is the abode of Srôsh? 6. In what place stands the three-legged ass? 7. Where is the Hôm grown, the preparer of the dead, with which they restore the dead and produce the future existence? 8. In which place is 2 Gôpaîtôshah? 9. With what work is the Kar fish intrusted? 10. Where has the griffon bird a nest (âsîyân) 3? 11. In what place sits Kînâmrôs, and what is his work?'

12. The spirit of wisdom answered (13) thus: 'Kangdez 4 is intrusted with the. eastern quarter, near to Satavâyês 5, (14) on the frontier of Aîrân-vêgô 6.

15. 'The enclosure formed by Yim 7 is constructed in Aîrân-vêgô, below the earth 8. 16. And every species and seed of all the creatures and creations of Aûharmazd, the lord, whatever is better and more select of man and beast of burden, of cattle and flying creatures is brought thither 9. 17. And every forty years one child is born from one woman and one man 10 who are of that place; (18) their life,

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too, is three hundred years 1, (19) and their pain and disturbance are little 2.

20. 'The body of Sâhm 3 is in the plain of Pêsândas 4, near to Mount Dimâvand 5. 21. And on that plain, except corn and the eatable things they sow and reap and live upon, there is not so much as a single other tree 6, or shrub, or plant; (22) and its golden colour is mostly wormwood 7. 23. And the angels and archangels have appointed 99,999 guardian spirits of the righteous as a protection for the body of Sâhm 8, (24) so that the demons and fiends may not injure it.

25. 'The abode of Srôsh 9 is mostly in Arzah 10, and afterwards also in Savah and the whole world.

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26. 'The three-legged ass 1 sits 2 amid the sea Varkash 3; (27) and as to water of every kind that rains on dead matter, the menstrual discharge, and other bodily refuse 4, when it arrives at the three-legged ass, he makes every kind clean and purified, with watchfulness.

28. 'The Hôm 5, which is the preparer of the dead, is grown in the sea Varkash, in that which is the deepest place; (29) and 99,999 guardian spirits of the righteous are appointed as its protection 6. 30. The Kar fish 7, too, ever circles around it, and always keeps the frog and other noxious creatures away from it.

31. 'Gôpaîtôshah 8 is in Aîrân-vêgô, within the region of Khvanîras 9. 32. From foot to mid-body he is an ox, and from mid-body to the top he is a man. 33. And at all times he sits on the sea-shore, (34) and always performs the ceremonial of the sacred beings, and pours holy-water into the sea. 35. On account of which 10, through the pouring of that holy-water, innumerable noxious creatures in

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the sea will die. 36. Because, if he does not specially perform that celebration of the ceremonial, and does not pour that holy-water into the sea—where those innumerable noxious creatures shall utterly perish 1—then, whenever the rain shall rain, the noxious creatures have to rain just like rain.

37. 'The nest of the griffon bird 2 is on the tree. opposed to harm, the many-seeded 3. 38. Whenever he rises aloft a thousand twigs will shoot out from that tree, (39) and when he alights he breaks off the thousand twigs and bites the seed from them. 40. And the bird Kînâmrôs 4 alights likewise in that vicinity; (41) and his work is this, that he collects those seeds which are bitten from the tree of many seeds, which is opposed to harm, and he scatters (pargandêd) them there where Tîstar 5 seizes the water; (42) so that, while Tîstar shall seize the water, together with those seeds of all kinds, he shall rain them on the world with the rain 6.'


108:8 L19 omits 'constructed.'

109:1 L19 has 'remains.'

109:2 L19 has 'remains.'

109:3 L19 has 'a resting-place.'

109:4 See Chap. XXVII, 58, 62.

109:5 Av. Satavaêsa, the western leader of the stars and special opponent of the planet Anâhîd (Venus), which may, perhaps, he identified with. Antares (see Bd. II, 7, V, I), though Geiger (Ost. Kul. p. 313) thinks Vega more probable. It also protects the southern seas, and its name is applied to the gulf of ’Umân in that direction (see Bd. XIII, 9-13, Zs. VI, 16,.18). But its connection with the east, as implied in our text, requires explanation, and throws some doubt upon the reading.

109:6 See Chap. XLIV, 17-23.

109:7 See Chap. XXVII, 27-31.

109:8 So stated in Bd. XXXII, 5, and probably meaning that its position could no longer be discovered on earth. Bd. XXIX, 14 states that it is in the middle of Pârs, below Mount Yimakân.

109:9 See Vend. II, 106-113.

109:10 Perhaps we should understand 'from each woman and each p. 110 man,' that is, a couple of children from each couple, which would agree with Vend. II, 134.

110:1 Pahl. Vend. II, 136 has 150 years.

110:2 The characteristics mentioned in §§ 17-19 are ascribed to the whole of Aîrân-vêgô in Chap. XLIV, 25, 27, 32.

110:3 See Chap. XXVII, 49.

110:4 L19 has Pust Gustâspã, 'the ridge of Vistâsp,' which appears, from Bd. XII, 18, 34, XVII, 8, to have been somewhere in the central desert of Persia. In Bd. XXIX, 7-9, 11 we are told that Sam lies asleep in the plain of Pêsyânsaî (evidently the Pêsândas of our text) in Kâvulistân, till he is waked hereafter to slay Dahâk, who escapes from Mount Dimâvand. This legend may have led to the perplexing juxtaposition of Pêsândas and Dimâvand in our text, and the perplexity occasioned by this may have led Nêr. to substitute Pûst-î Vistâspân for the former name, as being nearer Dimâvand.

110:5 The highest peak of the modern Albûrz, in which Dahâk is said to be confined (see Bd. XII, 31).

110:6 Reading hânŏ drû-aê; L19 has han mûrd, 'another myrtle-bush.'

110:7 With yellow blossoms.

110:8 As stated in Fravardin Yt. 61.

110:9 See Chap. II, 115.

110:10 The western region, as Savah is the eastern one (see Chap. XVI, 10).

111:1 A prodigious monster of benevolent character, described in Bd. XIX, 1-12; possibly some local divinity.

111:2 L19 has 'stands,' as is also slated in Yas. XLI, 28.

111:3 See Chap. XLIV, 15.

111:4 L19 adds 'and pollution.'

111:5 The white Hôm or Gôkarn, the tree of immortality (see Bd. XVIII, 1, XXVIII 4). It is 'the preparer of the dead,' because the elixir of immortality is expected to be prepared from it at the, resurrection (see Bd. XXX, 25).

111:6 Those who watch over the sea Vouru-kasha (see Fravardin Yt. 59)

111:7 Ten such fish, of enormous size and intense watchfulness, are said to be employed to protect the Gôkarn from a lizard or frog sent by Aharman to injure it (see Bd. XVIII, 2-6).

111:8 See Chap. XLIV, 35 n.

111:9 See Chap. XXVII, 40.

111:10 L19 Omits these four words.

112:1 L19 has 'and those innumerable noxious creatures do not utterly perish.'

112:2 The Sênô-mûrûv (Av. saênô mereghô) or Simurgh, a mythic flying creature said to suckle its young and to be of three natures like the bat (see Bd. XIV, 11, 24, XIX, 18).

112:3 L19 has 'of all seeds.' This tree, from which all wild plants are supposed to spring, is said to grow in the sea near the Gôkarn tree, and also in Aîrân-vêgô (see Bd. IX, 5, 6, XVIII, 9, XXVII, 2, XXIX, 5).

112:4 The chief of mythic birds next to the Sênô-mûrûv; he is said to defend Irân from invasion by occasionally picking up foreign districts like grains of corn (see Bd. XIX, 15, XXIV, 29).

112:5 The angel who personifies the star Tîstar (Sirius, see Chap. XLIX, 5, 6), after a conflict with the demons of drought and thunder (see Bd. VII, 1-13), pours down rain from the cloud, in which he had brought the water from the sea.

112:6 Originally, the archangel Amerodad (see Chap. II, 34) is said p. 113 to have mingled the plants with the rain (see Bd. IX, 2); but afterwards this was done by the mythic bird (see Bd. XXVII, 3). This legend was evidently intended to account for the rapid appearance of wild plants after rain in dry climates, where all traces of vegetation often disappear during the summer droughts.

Next: Chapter LXIII