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


1. The fourteenth subject is this, that, when the nails are pared according to custom (ba-‘hilâl) 1, it is necessary that they put the parings into a paper. 2. And it is further necessary to take the Srôsh-bâz 2 inwardly, and to utter three Yathâ-ahû-vairyôs 3. 3. And for the speaking of this—to say with each Yathâ-ahû-vairyô 4—the Avesta is this:—Paiti tê, meregha Ashô-zusta! imau srvau vaêdhayêmi, imau srvau âwaêdhayêmi; imause tê srvau, meregha Ashô-zusta! hyâre arstayaska, karetayaska, thanvareka, ishavaska erezifyô-parena, asnaka fradakhshanya paiti daêvô-Mâzainyãn 5; ashâ vohû mananghâ yâ sruyê pare magaonô 6. 4. Afterwards, one completes the Bâz in the manner that it was taken inwardly.

5. At those two Yathâ-ahû-vairyôs, with which one completes the Bâz, at each one, he makes lines (‘hatthâ) in a little dust in the midst of the nail-parings.

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[paragraph continues] 6. And, if he does not know this Bâz 1, on uttering the Srôsh-bâz and those three Yathâ-ahûvairyôs he is to furrow three lines, with the nail-cutter 2, around the nail-parings, and then he is to complete the Bâz with those Yathâ-ahû-vairyôs, and to put the dust, with the end of the nail-cutter, into the midst of the nail-parings, and carry them to a desert spot. 7. It is necessary that he should carry a hole down through four finger-breadths of earth, and, having placed the nail-parings in that spot, he puts the soil overhead.

8. For Hôrmazd, the good and propitious, has created a bird which they call Ashô-zus3, and they call it the bird of Bahman 4. 9. They also call it the owl, and it eats nails.

10. It is altogether necessary that they do not leave them unbroken, for they would come into use as weapons (silâ‘h) of wizards 5. 11. And they have also said that, if they fall in the midst of food, there is danger of pulmonary consumption.


275:1 B29 has 'when the nails and a toothpick (‘hilâl) are pared;' and the Gugarâti translator takes ‘hilâl in the same sense.

275:2 A particular form of prayer.

275:3 See Mkh. XXVII, 70 n.

275:4 B29 omits these eleven words.

275:5 Vend. XVII, 26-28:—'Unto thee, O bird Ashô-zusta! do I announce these nails, do I introduce these nails' (or, according to the Pahlavi, 'do I make known these nails, these nails do I make thee known to'); 'may these nails be such for thee, O bird Ashô-zusta! as spears and knives, bows, falcon-feathered arrows, and sling-stones against the demon Mâzainyas.'

275:6 Vas. XXXIII, 7b:—'Through the righteous good thought, by which I am heard before the mighty one.'

276:1 The formula quoted in § 3.

276:2 B29 omits these four words.

276:3 See Bd. XIX, 19, 20.

276:4 The archangel Vohûman (see Bd. I, 23, 26 n). His bird is the cock according to Sls. X, 9.

276:5 See Sls. XII, 6.

Next: Chapter XV