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


1. The twenty-first subject is this, that, when they eat bread, it is necessary that one should recite

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the Ithâ-âd-yazamaidê 1 and three Ashem-vohûs 2, especially (ba-‘hâʓʓatam) in the benediction-ceremonies (âfrîngân).

2. For it is declared in the good religion of the Mazda-worshippers, that, when they wish to celebrate the sacred feast (myazd) and benediction-ceremonies, it is necessary that all persons who are seated at the feast should take up the inward prayer. 3. For each man an angel is stationed, on the right-hand side, and two angels for the priests. 4. But when they eat chatteringly, or relate the news (‘hadîTH) 3, the angels depart from them, and a demon seizes on the place of each angel 4.

5. And in former times the custom (’hâdat) of the people would have been in this manner, that, if any one should have come to the door in the middle of the feast, that person whose Âfrîngân-precinct it might have been, or whoever should have gone to the expense of that Âfrîngân, would have had words with that intruding person 5, and would have also spoken thus: 'As thou hast brought my feast to harm, give me back whatever has been the cost 6.'

6. And in one place in revelation it is declared

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that from eating chatteringly itself is the sin, for 1 every one who is chattering during the eating of bread is just like him who is smiting and harassing the angels of the spiritual existences.

7. Therefore, if there be any one who is not able to consecrate a sacred cake 2, it is necessary to eat bread with the inward prayer of Hôrmazd, that is, the archangels. 8. And, if he does not altogether know it, he recites the Ithâ-âd-yazamaidê 3 and three Ashem-vohûs, and eats up the bread. 9. Afterwards he makes his mouth clean, and, four Ashem-vohûs and two Yathâ-ahû-vairyôs being spoken out 4, he is then to utter words.

10. For, every time that this custom (qâ’hidat) is carried on in a place, through the first Ashem-vohû so much good work has arisen that it has propitiated the sacred being, the good and propitious; through the second Ashem-vohû so much good work has arisen that it has reverenced and 5 propitiated Srôsh, the righteous 6; through the third Ashem-vohû so much good work has arisen that it has reverenced and 5 propitiated Khurdâd and Ameredâd 7, the archangels; and through the fourth Ashem-vohû so much good work has arisen that whatever the creator Hôrmazd has created becomes reverenced and propitiated. 11. And with each mouthful (luqmah) that is eaten, while the inward prayer subsists, they

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proclaim a blessing for Khurdâd and Ameredâd, the archangels. 12. But, if it be eaten without the inward prayer, as demons are in that place 1, they say, 'Thou mightest have eaten the poison of a serpent.' 13. Therefore, take notice as to which is the better of these two.


283:1 Vas. V, 1, 2, of which these are the first three words. This, with the three Ashem-vohûs, constitutes the inward prayer, or grace, before eating (see Dd. LXXIX, 1 n).

283:2 See Chap. VII, 1 n.

283:3 By which they commit the sin of breaking the protective spell of the inward prayer.

283:4 Lp, B29 have 'a demon is (B29 stands) in place of the angel.'

283:5 B29 has 'would have spoken to that person who had uttered words, would have taken something away from him.' Lp merely adds 'would have taken something' to the words in the text.

283:6 B29 has only, 'As it is my feast, give it back.' The interruption having destroyed the merit of the ceremony.

284:1 B29 has 'from eating chatteringly is so much sin that.'

284:2 See Mkh. XVI, 17 n.

284:3 See § 1 n.

284:4 These formulas begin the grace after eating, and, being uttered aloud, break the spell of the inward prayer now no longer necessary; after them the eaters are at liberty to speak.

284:5 B29 omits these two words.

284:6 See Mkh. II, 115 n.

284:7 See Horvadad and Amerôdad (Mkh. II, 34).

285:1 See § 4.

Next: Chapter XXII