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


1. The fifty-eighth subject is this, that it is ever necessary that those of the good religion should make an effort that they may celebrate a ceremony for their living souls. 2. For the soul, for which they have celebrated a ceremony 3, just as much good work as it then becomes each year, it is twice as much good work the second year. 3. So that, in this manner, the merit of the ceremony for the living soul is increasing just so much every year, while the man is living. 4. And, after that, this also occurs, that, if at the time when that person becomes an immortal soul there be no one at hand—Srôsh 4 being the angel when the ceremony for the living soul is celebrated—Srôsh, the righteous, receives the soul by

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himself, and is keeping watch over it during the three days 1, and does not forsake it, so that no danger or harm happens to it. 5. And the fourth night he is a helper, with the angel Rashn 2 at the Kinvad bridge, while they make up its account and reckoning, and it goes to its own place.

6. And this ceremony for the living soul is appointed for the reason that, just in the manner that, when an infant becomes separated from the mother, a midwife (qâbilat) is necessary for it, so that they may keep watch over it, and just in the manner that she takes up the infant 3 from the ground—and, at the time when it is born, it is ever necessary that there be a woman present (‘hâʓ̣irat), or they may perform work for the infant at a time fit for the demon—in this same manner, when the soul is becoming separated from the body it is like an infant (tifl), and does not know any way to its place. 7. When they celebrate a ceremony for the living soul, and have propitiated the righteous Srôsh, the righteous Srôsh becomes like the midwife, so that he receives that soul by himself, and keeps watch that it is out of the hands of Aharman and the demons. 8. When they do not celebrate a ceremony for the soul when living, but, after that 4, the priests perform it before Srôsh, it is like that which occurs when a woman brings forth a child 5, and after that they set her before the midwife. 9. And it happens that while some one is coming in, who takes up that child and wraps it up, it has perished.

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10. Therefore, as she does the needful which they should do earlier by the hand of some one, in this same manner it makes it incumbent on every one to celebrate a ceremony for his own living soul, so that it may be free (îman) from these misfortunes. 11. And 1 that, if his decease occurs in any place where there may be no one who will celebrate a ceremony for his soul, since a ceremony for the living soul is celebrated, there are no arrears for him, and he is free. 12. And, in many things, it is that ceremony for the living soul which is expedient, especially in these times when the priests have remained few in number; and, when it is celebrated by one's own hands, it is a great duty.


318:3 B29 has 'for every time that they have celebrated a ceremony for the living soul.'

318:4 See Mkh. II, 115 n.

319:1 While it is supposed to stay near the body.

319:2 B29 adds 'and the angel Mihir.' See Mkh. II, 118, 119.

319:3 Lp, B29 have merely 'and she takes it up.'

319:4 Lp adds 'it is necessary that.'

319:5 Lp adds 'they make no enquiry (talab) about it before her.

320:1 B29 adds 'this also happens.'

Next: Chapter LIX