Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. Again, about the inconsistency of their assertions there are several statements from the Dînkard 2
manuscript, (2) as to that which they say, that the sacred being is around everything, but nothing is within him; (3) and within everything, but nothing is around him. 4. That he is above everything, but nothing is below him; (5) and below everything, but nothing is above him. 6. That he sits upon a throne, but is possessing no resting-place; (7) and is inside heaven, but is possessing no whereabouts. 8. That he does not exist in any place, and yet he does exist there. 9. That he exists everywhere, and yet his place does not exist. 10. Also that everything of his becomes fit for his own by his own will, (11) his original evolution being both malice and good; (12) and he is eternally unforgiving and compassionate, (13) preparing distress and not distressing. 14. Likewise that he has commanded him who is incapable of performing or neglecting the divine command, (15) and he has created him who is innocent for hell, not the distresser. 16. That he is aware of the hellish existence of mankind, owing to wickedness, and his will is for it; (17) and he is good-willed, or it has become not his will. 18. That he has produced a remedy, and is not himself distressing; (19) or no remedy, but want of remedy, is produced by him, and yet he is not possessing an opponent. 20. That he is wanting experience, and yet omniscient; (21) neglecting commands, and yet
they are themselves his will; (22) and he who neglects, and provides a restricted evolution 1, is yet a good sovereign. 23. Also that his commands are all continuous, (24) and yet the setting aside of his commands is obtainable. 25. And that there is some of his will which is not continuous, (26) and neglect of his will is not an injurer of the will. 27. Likewise that he has commanded that which is not his will, (28) and the command which is not inconsistent with his will and also the command which is inconsistent with his will are both proper. 29. Also that his good will is not a discontinuous will, (30) and as to his evil will, which makes evil things, that is judicious. 31. And many other inconsistencies which are in the assertions of various sects.
32. If it be not possible for an orderly (padmânîk) religion to exist, without rescue from these inconsistent assertions of many kinds, (33) they then 2 say this of it, that to the supposers of two original evolutions 3 the work of the sacred being is weak and unresisting; (34) and they say it is not as it were adapted to the grandeur of the sacred being.
35. Upon this subject, too, there are some matters, which I shall clearly state, that should be dictated and known. 36. That is, does he 4 make divine things weaker and more unresisting, (37) where it is he who says that the sacred being's own achievements,
which were created by him, have all lapsed into being intolerant of command and deaf to admonition, (38) till even the most tender-bodied creatures struggle against his will? 39. And so they have slain or impaled those many prophets (vakhshvarân) and apostles (pêtkhambarân) of his, who are appointed by him; (40) and there are some who have acted scornfully, contemptibly, and irreverently. 41. This, too, is where he has not only not protected his own dominion from the vile creatures which were created by him himself, but he has himself afflicted his own dominion also; (42) and he himself destroys his own productions without a reason, (43) and himself renders his own creations useless. 44. Through his own culpability he himself destroys his own innocent servants. 45. He himself makes his own peculiar friends weak, needy, sinful, and deluded. 46. And his wrath, inflicted upon a single innocent servant, which is like Aharman's 1, makes his own innumerable creatures unobservant and deluded. 47. For a sin that is limited, which is owing to his own actions, he puts the innocent to unlimited punishment 2. 48. The door of forgiveness is finally shut up, (49) and he is not satiated with the pain, distress, and misery of his own creatures, (50) but maintains them perpetually in action and excitement. 51. And yet he is not able to insist upon the commands which he
gives in the beginning, middle, or end. 52. Or is it he 1 who says that that one is the sacred being who is perpetually a ruler, all-knowing and almighty; (53) whose dominion and knowledge and power are perpetual and for unlimited time? 54. Owing to him, too, is the happiness of any goodness; (55) his actions also are for a purpose, his commands are advantageous, (56) he is compassionate and forgiving as regards his own servants, (57) and is an abundant bestower of recompense, too, on that servant who is a carrier off of victory. 58. As to him who is a sinner, who, on account of his own sinfulness, becomes captive in the hands of the enemy 2, he is forgiving upon atonement for the sinfulness and cleansing from iniquity and pollution. 59. In the end he is no leaver of any good creature captive in the hands of enemies 3, (60) and is heir protector, maintainer, and cherisher, in body and life, amid their contest and struggle with enemies. 61. He is a complete defender of his own empire from opponents of a different nature, (62) and his champions and troops become victorious in the struggle and contest. 63. And in the end he is a bringer of victory to his own creatures, as regards every iniquity.
64. When it is observed as to light, knowledge, sight, life, health, and other divine creations, that they are fully resistant and prevailing over darkness,
ignorance, blindness, death, sickness, and other demoniacal peculiarities(65) because this is known, that light is the putting aside of all darkness, (66) knowledge is victorious over ignorance, (67) and life is powerful 1 and increasing over death, (68) for, owing to the powerfulness and increase of life, the incalculable progress of the creatures arises from two persons, (69) and multitudes are confident about it; (70) so also sight and health are manifestly as much victorious and powerful over blindness and sickness (71) such being observed, it is also expedient to observe this, that is, what does the opposing fiend want, and about what do the troops of the sacred being struggle?
72. That opponent wants this that he speaks of thus: 'I will make this earth and sky and the creatures which are luminaries 2 extinct, (73) or I will bring them into my possession, and will pervert them from their own nature 3, (74) so that the sacred being shall not be able to occasion the resurrection and the renovation of the universe, and to restore his own creatures.'
75. The troops of the sacred being struggle about this, that the opponent shall not attain to his will through his desire. 76. Observe this, too, that the troops of Aûharmazd have been valiant in struggling and successful in will ever since the original creation.
77. From this it is manifest, when it happens that this earth and sky are formed, (78) that it would be possible for him to make all creatures and creations extinct; but he is incapable of making even one of the most tender-bodied creatures of the sacred being
extinct. 79. Because, if even, by reason of death, the body be separated from life, it is not extinction and change of nature from its own self, but decay 1 of peculiarities and a necessity of going from place to place, from duty to duty 2. 80. Then each one of the qualities of one's body and life is to subsist again, in its own nature, for other duties, as is revealed. 81. And the existence of these creatures and creation, fully continuously and perpetually active, is advantageously manifest during a suitable period.
82. Thus far is considered complete upon this subject.
202:2 See Chap. IV, 407. As the inconsistent statements which p. 203 follow in the text are not to be found in the portion of the Dînkard known to be extant, they were probably contained in the first two books of that work, which have not yet been discovered. Chap. 132 of the third book (130 in Dastûr Peshotan's translation, pp. 176-178) is the nearest approach to our text in style, but not in matter. It is 'about him who is in all and over all, over and not lower than anything nor through anything, that is, even owing to management he is over all, and all is manageable by him.'
204:1 Reading bandak-gastîh instead of Pâz. bandayastî; compare Chap. IV, 73 n.
204:2 Reading adînas, 'then of it,' for Pâz. ainâ, as in Chap. IV, 81.
204:3 That is, those who hold the orthodox Mazda-worshipper's opinion, that the producer of evil is independent of the producer of good, so long as the former continues to exist.
204:4 The believer in a single original evolution without any independent producer of evil. Connect §§ 36, 37 with §§ 52, 53.
205:1 Aharman being supposed to be the producer of the demon of wrath, who is one of his most powerful auxiliaries.
205:2 Sans. has 'he puts another unlimited punishment upon the innocent;' Nêr. having read hanŏ, 'another,' instead of avŏ, 'to,' which two words are written alike in Pahlavi. As the author's interpretation of his opponent's argument assumes that everything, including sin, is produced by the sacred being, he naturally concludes that the sinners themselves are innocent.
206:1 The believer in two original evolutions, good and evil; the producer of the latter being independent of the producer of the former for a limited period of existence. This producer of evil is not clearly described here, but is mentioned in §§ 58-61, 72 as an enemy and opponent. §§ 52, 53 are to be read in connection with §§ 36-38.
206:2 The spiritual enemy, Aharman.
206:3 Compare Chap. IV, 100.
207:1 Assuming that Pâz. avazmand stands for Pahl. aog-hômand.
207:2 Sans. has 'of the luminaries.'
207:3 Compare Bd. I, 14.
208:1 Assuming that Pâz. nyârasni is a misreading of Pahl. nihârisnŏ.
208:2 Compare Chap. IV, 87.