Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. Again, about the delusion of Mânî, one out of the thousands and myriads is written; (2) for I am not unrestrained (anatang) as to writing more fully of the delusion, twaddle, and deceit of Mânî and the Mânîchaeans, (3) and much trouble and long-continued daily work is necessary for me therein.
4. Now you Mazda-worshippers of Zaratûst should know that the original statement of Mânî was about the unlimitedness of the original evolutions, (5) the intermediate one about their mingling, (6) and the final one about the distinction of light from dark, (7) that which is much more like unto want of distinction 1.
8. Again, he states this, that the worldly existence is a bodily formation of rudiments of Aharman; (9) the bodily formation being a production of Aharman. 10. And a repetition of that statement is this, that the sky is from the skin, (11) the earth from the flesh, (12) the mountains from the
bones, (13) and the trees from the hair of the demon Kunî 1. 14. The rain is the seed of the Mâzendarâns 2 who are bound on the celestial sphere. 15. Mankind are two-legged demons, and animals four-legged. 16. And Kunî is the commander of the army of Aharman, (17) who, to be liberated by 3 his nails from the divinity Aûharmazd in the first conflict, swallowed the light; (18) and, in the second conflict, the demon Kunî was captured by them, together with many demons. 19. And it is in binding the demon Kunî on the celestial sphere he is killed, (20) and these magnificent creatures are preserved from him and formed.
21. And the sun and moon are arranged in supremacy in the outer sky; (22) so that, as regards that light which the demons swallowed, they filter and excite 4 it, little by little, through the exciting and filtering of the sun and moon. 23. Then Aharman knew, through foresight, that they would rapidly filter and release this light through the exciting of the sun and moon. 24. And, for the purpose of not rapidly releasing the light from the darkness, he prepared this lesser world which, like mankind, cattle, and the other living creatures, is a wholly-copied similitude of the greater world
with the other bodily creations 1. 25. He confined life and light in the body, and made them prisoners; (26) so that, while that light which is excited by the sun and moon is again exhausted through the cohabitation and birth of living creatures, (27) their release would become more tardy.
28. And the rain was the seed of the Mâzendarâns (29) for the reason that when the Mâzendarâns are bound on the celestial sphere 2, (30) whose light is swallowed by them, (31) and, in order to pass it from them through a new regulation, discrimination, and retention of the light of Time 3, the twelve glorious ones 4 show the daughters of Time to the household-attending male Mâzendarâns, (32) so that while the lust of those Mâzendarâns, from seeing them, is well suited to them, (33) and seed is discharged from them, (34) the light which is within the seed is poured on to the earth. 35. Trees, shrubs, and grain have grown therefrom, (36) and the light which is within the Mâzendarâns is discharged in the seed. 37. That which is within the earth is discharged from the earth as the cause of the trees.
38. Again, about the difference of nature of life and body, this is stated, that the life is confined and imprisoned within the body. 39. And as the producer and maintainer of the bodily formations of all material existences is Aharman, (40) for the same reason it is not expedient to occasion birth and to propagate lineage(41) because it is co-operating
with Aharman in the maintenance of mankind and cattle, and in causing the exhaustion of the life and light within their bodiesnor yet to cultivate trees and grain.
42. Again, inconsistently, they also say this, (43) that the destroyer of the creatures is always Aharman; (44) and, for the same reason, it is not expedient to kill any creature whatever, (45) because it (killing) is the work of Aharman.
46. Again, they say this, that, as the world is maintained by Aharman, and in the end the sacred being is triumphant (47) through the departure of lives from bodies, (48) this worldly existence is dissipated in the end, (49) and is not arranged anew; (50) nor does there occur a restoration of the dead and a future existence.
51. Again, they say this, that those two original evolutions are perpetually remaining, and existed as contiguously as sun and shadow, (52) and no demarcation 1 and open space existed between them.
53. Now I speak first about the impossibility of the occurrence of any existing thing that is unlimited, (54) except only those which I call unlimited, that is, empty space and time. 55. Those, indeed, which are for existence within themthat is beings and things in locality and timeare seen to be limited.
56. This, too, I say, that, if unity and duality be spoken of about them, it is owing to this, because unity, except through the perpetual encompassing of something, does not then exist therein. 57. For the one is this, namely, not two; (58) and the two
are these, namely, the original one and the one that is the difference of this one from the other (59) which is not called two. 60. When the one is not understood, except through the whole compassing of unity, (61) and duality cannot occur, except through the separation of unit from unit, (62) the one is that one in the unity, and is steadfast in unity. 63. One and two are in the pedigree (tôkhmak) of quantity and numerousness; (64) and quantity, numerousness, aggregation, and separation, which, as I have said, cannot occur without limitation, (65) are clear even to medium understandings.
66. Again, I say this, the unlimited is that which is not compassed by the understanding. 67. When it is not possible to compass by any understanding, it is inevitable that it was not possible to compass in the understanding of the sacred being. 68. It is itself the peculiarity of the sacred being, and even that of the gloomy original evolution is not wholly compassed within the understanding. 69. To speak of him whose own peculiarity is not compassed within his own understanding as all-good and all-seeing is strange 1, (70) because it describes a whole aggregate, (71) and an aggregate is called a whole on account of encompassment on all sides. 72. But what is encompassed on all sides is inevitably limitedness. 73. Is it fitting to account that as a sacred being when aware, from all its own encompassment, that it is limited? 74. And if unlimited it is unaware of it. 75. The first knowledge of a sage is owing to his well-arranging 2 comprehension of his own peculiarity,
nature, and quantity; (76) and to speak of him who was unaware of all his own peculiarity, nature, and quantity, and yet wise about another nature and quantity, is strange 1.
77. This, too, I say, that as the unlimited, on account of non-encompassment, is not compassed by the understanding, (78) that implies this, that all its peculiarity may be wise, or there may be some that is ignorant; all may be light, or there may be some that is dark; all may be alive, or there may be some that is dead; and one is unaware of it.
79. Again, I say this, that the light and the life which I obtain here are an allotment that exists owing to the selfsame Time 2, or they are not. 80. If they be an allotment that exists owing to a peculiarity of Time, that implies that men should well recognise this, that anything owing to whose allotment it is possible to ordain them must be provided with allotments. 81. As to what is provided with allotments, except when united it is then not possible even for it, (82) and as to what is united, except through the uniter by whom that united thing is united it does not then determine it. 83. And when the allotment made is seen to be limited, the origin from which the allotment is in like manner made is doubtless a limited existence. 84. As regards that, since they say that all allotment of a result is a giver of evidence as to its origin, (85) that implies, when I obtain an allotment made and limited, that an origin even of that, except when made and united
from allotments and limited, is then not possible to exist.
86. This, too, I say, that the unlimited is not bestowed, (87) because an allotment is bestowed from an aggregate, (88) and aggregation is an evidence as to limitation, (89) as I have shown above 1. 90. So that as to the existence and nature of the origin, except by the likeness and similitude of the result, I do not then attain to them. 91. Whatever is obtained in the result (92) is certain to exist in like manner in the origin. 93. That implies likewise from this explanation, when the formation and limitation are obtainable in the result, that the origin also, from which the result arises, is without doubt as to limitation.
94. Again, I say this, that the unlimited is that which has an undisturbed position and an unbounded 2 individuality, (95) and there is no other position or resting-place for it disturbed apart from it. 96. That implies, when two original evolutions are said to be unlimited and of unbounded (asâmân) individuality, that the skies and earths, the rudimentary bodily formations, growths, and lives, the luminaries, divinities, and archangels, and the many congregations (hambarisnân) whose different names are owing to the difference of each one of those two from the other, cannot be limited. 97. What produced all those within them, and where is it, (98) when the two original evolutions have been eternally in an undisturbed position? 99.
[paragraph continues] Unless that individuality of theirs, which is unlimited, be made limited, how is it possible for a place to exist for all these things that are and were and will be made? 100. If a nature that is always unlimited can become limited, that certainly implies that it could even become nothing; (101) and that which they say about the unchangeableness of a nature is strange 1.
102. This, too, you should understand, that the unlimited becomes that which has disturbed it, which was not appointed by it at first; (103) nothing different from it can exist separate from it. 104. Apart from the boundary of unlimitedness it is not understood, (105) or, stupidly, one does not know that thing, that is, of what it is he always speaks and contends and bandies words about, and thereby deludes those with a trifle of the trifles of knowledge into some way and whither. 106. If he uncritically 2 says even this of it, that its individuality is unlimited, and its knowledge also, being unlimited, knows through unlimited knowledge that it is unlimited, (107) that is a strange thing which is twofold strange 3. 108. One is this, that of knowledge, except about things acquired by knowledge and compassed within knowledge, (109) nothing whatever is understood until complete, except that which is wholly compassed within knowledge and acquired, (110) which knowledge of anything arises through entire understanding of the thing. 111. And entire
understanding of anything arises through entire compass of the thing within knowledge 1.
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243:1 Except the belief in the two original existences (whose main characteristics are, respectively, light and darkness) the account of Mânî's doctrines, given in the Fihrist of Muhammad bin Ishâq (see Flügel's Mânî seine Lehre and seine Schriften), appears to contain none of the details mentioned in this chapter.
244:1 So read by Nêr. in Pâz. and Kûnî in Sans. But there is little doubt that he is the demon Kunda or Kundi of Vend. XI, 28, 36, XIX, 138, whose Pahlavi name is Kûnd in Pahl. Vend. XIX, 138, and Kûndak in Bd. XXVIII, 42, in which latter he is said to be 'the steed of wizards.' Kûndak is written like Kûnîk in Pahl., and this latter becomes Kunî in Pâz.
244:2 Who are called demons (see Mkh. XXVII, 20, 40).
244:3 Sans. has 'having scratched it with.'
244:4 Assuming that Pâz. âharâminend stands for Pahl. a-ârâmînend, 'they do not leave at rest.'
245:1 The spiritual world and its inhabitants.
245:2 As stated in § 14.
245:3 Personified as Zurvân.
245:4 The signs of the zodiac, the celestial leaders appointed by Aûharmazd (see Mkh. VIII, 18).
246:1 Reading nisânîh; Nêr. has Pâz. nisâmî (for nisîmî), Sans. âsanatvam, 'resting-place.'
247:1 See Chap. XV, 39 n.
247:2 Assuming that Pâz. vas hvazîrasni stands for Pahl. agas. p. 248 hû-âzîrisn; the latter word can scarcely have been hû-âzîrisnîh, 'good arrangement.'
248:1 See Chap. XV, 39 n.
248:2 See §31.
249:1 See § 64.
249:2 Assuming that Pâz. avamãn stands for Pahl. avîmand, as it is translated by Sans. amaryâda; otherwise it might be agûmân, 'undoubted.'
250:1 See Chap. XV, 39 n.
250:2 The first part of this word is a blank in JE, as if copied from an original that was illegible here. JJ has ahvaraidihâ.
250:3 See Chap. XV, 39 n.
251:1 The most complete MSS., yet discovered, break off at this point, without concluding the subject. It is quite uncertain how much of the work is lost, but, supposing that all existing MSS. are descended from AK, supposing that that MS. was originally complete, and supposing that it was divided into two equal portions (the latter of which is now lost) in consequence of some division of family property, we might then conclude, if all these assumptions were correct, that very little of the work is missing, because the portion of AK still extant extends no further than Chap. XI, 145 which is very little beyond the middle of the extant text.