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


1. Again, about the existence of a competing and different original evolution 2, there are these (2) that are manifest from the good and evil which are in the world, (3) and the particulars of its good maker which are self-limited. 4. Such as darkness and light, (5) erudition and ignorance, (6) perfume and stench, (7) life and death, (8) sickness and health, (9) order (dâd) and disorder, (10) distress and freedom from care (âzâdîh), (11) and other co-existing 3 factors whose certain existence is visible in every district and land, and every age. 12. So that no district or land whatever is discovered, nor yet any age has existed or shall exist, (13) wherein these good and bad terms and particulars have not existed or do not exist. 14. And it is not possible to say, as to any place or age, that good and evil are changeable in themselves by their own nature.

15. So, moreover, of the other co-existences whose difference is not through different duty, through different species, or through different quality—(16) as the difference of those of a like nature among one another, such as male and female, (17) of the varieties

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of scents and flavours, and of the sun and moon and stars, whose difference is not through different nature, but through different duty, through different qualification, and through different construction, which are such as are attainable for various duties—(18) the good and evil, light and dark, and other different natures are then their distinction not through different duty, but through different nature, (19) the incompatible quality and the injuriousness which are manifest in them, one towards the other. 20. Therefore, when good is there 1, the non-existence of evil is unquestionable; (21) when light has come, darkness is removed. 22. Even so of the other co-existences 2 whose incompatibility and injuriousness together are owing to the cause of difference of nature, (23) because, in the worldly existence, there is a manifestation of the competing nature and injuriousness of the things, one towards the other.

24. The worldly existence is the fruit of the spiritual, and the spiritual is its root, (25) because fruit is obtained through a root. 26. In like manner the giver of the evidence arisen among the intelligent is clear. 27. Of the worldly existence being the fruit, and the spiritual being the root, the evidence is this, (28) when the progress (madanŏ) of every visible and tangible thing from imperceptibility to perceptibility is explicitly manifest. 29. Because the arising of mankind and other creatures,

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who are visible and tangible, from a spiritual existence which is invisible and intangible is known, (30) as much as the mirrored length and breadth of the body being an emanation of itself. 31. And the perceptibility of the body of man and other creatures was imperceptible and invisible in the semen which is derived from their fathers; (32) the semen itself, too, came into perceptibility, visibility, and tangibility in the skin 1 of the fathers.

33. It is now possible to know inevitably 2 that this worldly existence, which is visible and tangible, is produced and has arisen from a spiritual existence which is invisible and intangible. 34. In like manner the lapsing (yehevûntanŏ) from visibility and tangibility into invisibility and intangibility 3, which are themselves a spiritual state, is unquestionable.

35. When these are seen by us, in the worldly existence, the competing nature, formation, and injuriousness of one towards the other, even as to the property of the spiritual existence, (36) which is the root of the worldly one; (37) and, in like manner, there is no doubt of the existence of its fruit of worldly possessions; (38) this is that which is manifest as regards a competing nature. 39. Then 4 its purpose and cause were indicated by me above 5, which are the sagaciously working of the creator, (40) who created the creature which is an indicator of the existence of an opponent.

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41. For it is known that work due to workers is of two kinds, designed or qualified. 42. That which is designed is of three kinds. 43. Two are due to the wise and sagacious; (44) either through seeking for their own working of advantage and benefit, (45) or through removing and keeping away the harm and evil which are from without. 46. And one is due to the ignorant and unwise, (47) done defectively and without a purpose. 48. From the wise and sagacious, work ought 1 not to arise without a purpose and without a cause.

49. As the sagacious creator, who is all-knowing, perfectly capable, and fully complete in his own self, has sought that which is not a necessity for any advantage and aggrandizement of his from without 2, (50) it is, therefore, necessary to understand that the purpose and causes of his works are of that one kind 3, (51) to remove and keep away the harm which is due to his opponent and the injurer who may arise from without, which is itself the purpose and cause of the creation of the creatures. 52. Also this, that that sagacious creator is good-willed, (53) and his will is all goodness. 54. The creatures were also created by him predominantly of his own will. 55. And the completely-stirring desire of him who is good-willed and sagacious is to subdue 4 evil and make it extinct, (56) for while evil is not subdued the

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will of him who is good-willed is not fulfilled. 57. And this, that the goodness of that sagacious creator is manifest from creativeness, cherishing, and protection, and from commanding and teaching the means of putting away the path of evil and causing forbearance from crime; (58) also from the qualities and powers of the body in pain and sickness from without.

59. And, as a cause of the body, (60) to remove and keep away the opponent who comes to the body, and to be the maintenance, the cause of maturity, and the cause of growth of animals and sprouting plants 1, through the power of maintaining and cherishing their qualities, there is a co-operator who is scripturally called the Fravash 2. 61. And through those four powers that are accumulative, which are the powers of attracting, seizing, digesting, and extracting—(62) and which, owing to the creator's sagacity of every kind, are co-operators with proportionate power for keeping away the pain and sickness of various kinds which are owing to the opponent, who is working defectively and desirous of evil—(63) and through others that are of like strength and auxiliary, the good will of the creator is manifest.

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64. Of this, too, that this one is no creator of the pain and death which are dissipaters of the body, who is good-willed and a maintainer and cherisher of the body, (65) the evidence is even from this, when the sagacious creator is not a sufferer from sorrow (apakhshadâr) and performing penitence, (66) and is no dissipater and disabler of his own achievements 1, (67) because he is sagacious and all-knowing.

68. As to this other and the sorrow and penitence of the kind which is owing to his own work, it is fitting to speak about him as of deficient knowledge, incomplete wisdom, and inconclusive understanding. 69. As work does not arise from the wise and sagacious without a purpose and without a cause 2, (70) in like manner work from the unwise and ignorant and those of inconclusive understanding is all defective, without a purpose, and without a cause 3. 71. And that sagacious one is a contriver, working sagaciously and methodically, for keeping away that defective work and inconclusive understanding from his own creatures.

72. He who is working defectively produced distorted 4 and entangled scriptures among the creatures; (73) because this is known, that it is not possible so to keep away and cramp 5 him who is a moving and living nature in a boundless void, and

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to become without risk of injury 1. 74. But, though he does not become entangled, fenced in, and captive, (75) he is spreading anguish into the entanglement and captivity, and it is a means of grievous punishment. 76. Only while a complete wiping away of the anguish due to him, and complete information as to his own ignorant activity do not arise, he has meditated 2 with lying falsehood on that which is connected therewith. 77. And the complete capability of the almighty creator is the wiping away of the anguish.

78. Owing to the complete wiping away of anguish, through the almightiness of the sagacious creator, he casts him back impotent into the boundless void. 79. And the good creatures thereby become fearless, immortal, and undistressed (80) through the completely methodical sagacity and discernment of means of that omniscient creator of good beings.

81. From observation of possessions the difference of things is manifest. 82. And the difference is of two kinds, as mentioned above 3. 83. One is difference of operation, and the other is difference of nature. 84. Difference of operation is owing to mutual assistance and united strength 4, (85) and difference of nature is owing to want of an adapter

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and to opposition. 86. And not in a single place is a permanence of possessions manifest.

87. If one of anything shall exist and one does not exist, its name shall exist, (88) for the sake of recognising things, one from the other, and preserving the name. 89. The bad, by separation from the good existence, is originally evolved in such a manner that the one is really no cause of the other. 90. Because each one is existent (aît-hômand) through its own self, (91) owing to the perpetual injury and antagonism which are manifestly theirs, one towards the other.

92. If any one shall say that, as the competing formations of the competitors are numerous—(93) such as good and evil, dark and light, perfume and stench, life and death, sickness and health, pleasure and vexation—(94) there ought to be many other such original evolutions, many in number and of many species; (95) then they may give this reply 1, (96) that, even when there are many names and many species of competitors, still then all are within the compass 2 of two names. 97. And these two names are their including-source, which are good and evil. 98. Their different names and different species are tokens of these two sources.

99. There is nothing whatever that is not in the compass of these two names. 100. There has not been and will not be anything which is not good or evil, or a mixture of both. 101. On which account

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it is explicitly manifest that the original evolutions are two, and not more; (102) and also this, that it is not possible for good to arise from evil, and evil from good.

103. From this, too, it is possible to understand 1, (104) that it is not possible for complete evil to arise from that thing which is filled with goodness. 105. If it be possible, then it is not full; (106) because any one thing, when said to be full, is no place for anything else; (107) and when there is no place for anything else, other things are not improved by it.

108. If the sacred being be perfect in goodness and wisdom, the folly and evil of any one are known not to arise from him. 109. If it be possible for them to arise from him, then he is not perfect. 110. If he be not perfect, it is not proper to glorify him for the sacredness of complete goodness. 111. If good and evil have crept on from the sacred being, he is imperfect in goodness. 112. If he be imperfect in goodness, he is imperfect in good information. 113. Ifhe be imperfect in good information, so also he is imperfect in wisdom, understanding, knowledge, intellect, and other appliances of sagacity. 114. If he be imperfect in wisdom, understanding, intellect, and knowledge, he is imperfect in health. 115. If he be imperfect in health, he is apt to become sick. 116. If he be apt to become sick, he is imperfect in life.

117. If any one shall speak thus: 'I always see that from one nature, such as that of mankind, alike good and alike evil have always crept on, through actions owing to them,' (118) that is for this reason,

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because mankind are not perfect even in one thing. 119. And on account of imperfection in goodness, evil has crept on from them; (120) and also on account of imperfection, even in health, they become sick. 121. For the same reason they die, (122) because the cause of death is the struggling of two competing propensities within one nature. 123. There where two competing propensities exist within one nature, the occurrence of sickness and death is known.

124. If any one shall say that there are good and evil actions which, until they are done, do not exist, (125) then they may give this reply 1, (126) that the occurrence of an action apart from doing is as impossible as any propensity apart from a nature; and, as to the nature, (127) its 2 continuance and arrangement are then known thereby not to occur through its own self. 128. For when a man indulges in wrath, Vohûman 3 is far from there; (129) and when Vohûman holds the position, wrath is not there. 130. When a man tells a lie, truth is far from there 4; (131) and when he speaks true, falsehood has no position there, and that man is called truthful. 132. So also when sickness has come, health is not there; (133) and when health has come, sickness has gone.

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[paragraph continues] 134. Just as a substance which is not moving can exist, (135) but movement, except in a substance, cannot exist.

136. About this chapter, too, collected as a summary, (137) do you reverently 1 and discreetly observe and instruct thereon.


152:2 See Chap. IV, 73 n.

152:3 And, therefore, competing, as their natures are different.

153:1 Sans. has 'so that where (yatra) good is,' which has induced JE to insert Pâz. edar for Sans. yatra, so as to make the author say 'when good is here (in this world), the non-existence of evil there (in the other world) is unquestionable.' A noteworthy instance of punctilious blundering, on the part of a revising copyist, making an author say more than he means.

153:2 Mentioned in §§ 5-11; those in § 4 having been just referred to.

154:1 That Nêr. thus read pôst is shown by his Sanskrit translation of the word, but the original word was probably pôst, 'the back.'

154:2 See Chap. V, 12-14 for the technical meaning of this word.

154:3 As in the case of death and decay.

154:4 Reading adinasam, 'then its by me,' which is the Pahlavi form indicated by the Pâz. ainâum of Nêr. (see Mkh. IX, 6 n).

154:5 Chap. VII, 4, 5, 19-21.

155:1 Reading sazêd, as in JE, because, although AK, PB3, MH19 have Pâz. sahed, 'seems,' Nêr. uses Sans. saknoti.

155:2 And, therefore, cannot have been actuated by the design mentioned in § 44.

155:3 Mentioned in § 45.

155:4 Reading khvâftanŏ, instead of Pâz. anâftan, which is almost identical in writing; and making a similar correction in § 56.

156:1 Pâz. rôdamãnã, which Nêr translates by the Sanskrit for 'trees and grains;' and the occurrence of the latter word has induced some reviser of AK to alter the following words zôr-i dârâ, 'power of maintaining,' into zôridâêã, 'grains,' which alteration has been adopted by MH19 and PB3, but the latter has also zôr-i dârâ inserted in the margin, while JE has both readings in the text which thus means 'through the power of maintaining and cherishing the quality of grains.'

156:2 The guardian spirit or spiritual representative of each object created by Aûharmazd, which acts for that object in the spiritual world (see Mkh. XLIX, 23).

157:1 Sans. has 'creatures.'

157:2 See § 48.

157:3 See §§ 46, 47.

157:4 Assuming that Pâz. farzînmand (Sans. gumphita) stands for Pahl. parkîn-hômand.

157:5 Pâz. awefsûidan (Sans. saṅkokayitum); but it may be noted that the Pahlavi equivalent of this word might be easily read apasagagînîdanŏ, 'to disorganize.'

158:1 From him, the evil spirit, who is said to have left his native abyss and come on towards the light, through the void which intervened (see Bd. I, 3-5,9).

158:2 So in Pâz.-Sans.; but 'he meditates' is more probable, and would be written in the same manner in Pahlavi.

158:3 Perhaps referring to the 'two series of things' mentioned in Chap. VI, 13-15, but the connection is not very clear.

158:4 Because co-operation in complicated work tends towards division of labour.

159:1 Sans. has 'others give a reply;' but the Pâz. anyê, 'others,' is certainly a misreading of Pahl. adîn aê, 'then this,' or adînas, 'then to him,' in which latter case the phrase would be 'then they may give a reply to him.' The proper Pâzand for 'other' is aware or han.

159:2 See Chap. IV, 22 n.

160:1 MH19 has 'to maintain.'

161:1 See § 95 n.

161:2 Reading adînasas, 'then its thereby' (with a double pronominal suffix), which is the original Pahlavi indicated by Pâz. ainâs (see Mkh. IX, 6 n).

161:3 The archangel 'good thought,' who is said to hold the position and vanquish 'evil thought,' while the angel Srôsh does the same as regards 'wrath' (see Dînkard, quoted in Dd. XCIV, 1 n; also Bd. XXX, 29).

161:4 Sans. adds 'and that man is called false,' which JE also inserts in Pâzand in the margin, but all other manuscripts omit.

162:1 Assuming that Pâz. dâramaihâ (Sans. sûkshmatayâ) is a misreading of Pahl. garâmîkîhâ. It would more easily be a misreading of sharmakîhâ, 'modestly,' but this term seems rather less likely to be applied by the author to his readers.

Next: Chapter IX