Sacred Texts  Zoroastrianism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Pahlavi Texts, Part V: Marvels of Zoroastrianism (SBE47), E.W. West, tr. [1897], at

p. 94


1. About the marvellousness which is manifested and is openly specified after the collapsing of the sovereignty of Irân and the country of Irân; also the end of the millennium of Zaratûst and the arrival of Aûshêdar the descendant of Zaratûs1.

2. There is this marvellousness, really overthrowing the blessedness of the knowledge of former government, revealed by the Avesta about the ninth and tenth centuries, that which is an indicator of circumstances (aêdûnŏîh) now visible, such as the dispersion of the sovereignty of Irân from the country of Irân, the disturbance of just law and custom, the predominance of those with dishevelled hair 2, and the haughty profession of ecclesiastics 3. Also the collection and even connection of all their four systems of belief (vâvarî-hastanŏ) 4 together

p. 95

for the upper rank; the coming of one working with the sacred beings to the inferior, the transient, and the captive of the period; and the dispersion and downfall of dependent and public men in their time.

4. The disappearance of a disposition for wisdom from the foreigners in the countries of Irân, which is an indication of shame at the truth of the religion, and at the praise, peace, liberality, and other goodness whose provision has lodgement in a disposition for wisdom. 5. Also the abundance of the decisions of apostasy, the falsehood, deceit, slander, quarrelsomeness, fraudulence, ingratitude, discord, stinginess, and other vileness whose real connection is a disposition to devour, neglecting heedfulness for the archangels of fire, water, and worldly existence 1. 6. The oppressiveness of infidelity and idol-worship, the scarcity of freedom, the extreme predominance of avarice in the individuals (tanŏ) of mankind, the plenitude of different opinions about witchcraft, and the much inclination of many for paralyzing the religion of the sacred beings.

7. The annihilation of the sovereignty of mankind one over the other, the desolation of localities and settlements by severe actual distress, and the evil foreign potentates who are, one after the other, scattering the valiant; the destruction among cattle and the defilement of the spirit of enjoyment, owing to the lodgement of lamentation and weeping in the countries of Irân, the clamour of the demon-worshipper in the country, and the unobtainable stature, non-existent strength, blighted destiny, and short

p. 96

life of mankind. 8. Also the abundance of ordinances (âyinŏ) 1 of various descriptions, the approval of the apostate among tyrants and the non-approval of the Zoti 2 who is well-disposed and wise, the coming of the Zoti to want, and all the other adversity, disruption, and running astray which are over-powering even in districts and localities of the countries of Irân.

9. The maintenance of no ritual (apandîh) of the religion of the sacred beings; the weakness, suffering, and evil habits of those of the good religion; the lamentation and recantation (khûstûkîh) of the upholders of the religion; and the wickedness and extermination of good works in most of the countries of Irân. to. Also much other misery in these two centuries is recounted in the Avesta, which passed away with them and is also now so visible therein, and manifestly occurs in them.

11. This, too, is a statement (nisang-1) as to them, which revelation mentions thus: 'That is the age mingled with iron (that is, from every side they perceive it is of iron) in which they bring forth into life him who is a sturdy praying apostate. 12. This is their sturdiness, that their approval is unobservant of both doctrines (âînakŏ); and this is their praying, that whenever it is possible for them they shall cause misery to others; also when an old man publicly advances into a crowd (galakŏ) of youths, owing to the evil times in which that man who is learned is born, they are unfriendly to him (that is, they are no friends of the high-priests of the priestly assembly). 13. They are freely speaking (that is,

p. 97

they utter phrases smoothly), they are wicked and are fully maliciously talking, so that they shall make the statements of priests and high-priests useless; they also tear asunder the spiritual lordship and priestly authority, and shall bring the ruler and priestly authority into evil behaviour as vicious, but they bring together those who are singular. 14. Anything they say is always mischief (agîh), and that district which had a judge they cast into the smiting precinct, into hell; it is misery without any intermission they shall inflict therein, till they attain unto damnation (darvandîh) through the recitation they persevere in, both he who is the evil progeny disseminated by the apostate and he who is the villainous wolf full of disaster and full of depravity.'

15. 'Here below they fight, the friend with him who is a friend, they also defraud (zîvênd) him of his own work (that is, whenever it is possible for them, they shall seize upon his property), and they give it to him from whom they obtain prosperity in return; if not, they seek him who is acting as a confederate (nishîn-gûn), and they make that other one defraud the poor man (so that they shall seize upon his property); they also cheat him when he shall make complaint. 16. I shall not again produce such for thee, no friend here for him who is a friend, no brother for him who is a brother, no son for him who is a father, nor yet a father for him who is a son; admonished, but not convinced, they become the abode of the will of the place, so that they subsist in every single place where it is necessary for them to be, in each that is necessary for them they march on together, and on the way they reflect upon the path of blessedness and the

p. 98

manifold learning they utter owing to knowledge of me 1.'

17. 'These three, our increase, learning, and reward, we fully understand through the ascendancy of him who is ignoble, and through the downfall of him who is noble and superior to him of little thorough instruction who, in every thing, will be at the foot of the tyrant. 18. Thinking of a priest one becomes spiritual, thinking of a tyrant one becomes a Kavîg 2; a demon in disposition is an incipient demon, a Kavîg in disposition is himself attracted towards a youth.'

19. Then, when character and wisdom recede from the countries of Irân (that is, they depart), so that destitution and also winter, produced by demons who are worshipping the demon, rush together from the vicinity of disaster (vôighn) on to the countries of Irân, where even rain becomes scanty and pestilence is secretly advancing and deceiving, so that deaths become numerous; thus even he of perverted wisdom, who is wicked, and the apostate also, who is unrighteous, rush together in companionship. 20. As what one says they all exclaim thus: 'Consume and destroy, O ruler! for it is to be consumed and destroyed by thee; destroy even the fire, consume even as food those who are the protection of the association enforcing religious obedience, and those leading on the poor man of the righteous dispensation by their guidance.' 21. So that they shall make him thoroughly detached and smite him;

p. 99

likewise wisdom is the wealth they bring him, and it is when property is being carried off by them, that the wisdom conveyed by them arises.

22. 'And in that age, O righteous one of the Spîtâmas! the coming of my desire is not purely for thee, nor is a thorough belief of the departure of life, so that the bringing and conducting of a speaker of promises (mitragôv) is not necessary; those of the perfect apostate injure this discourse of thine, the Avesta and Zand, so that they shall make it thoroughly weak; and those of the perfect apostate harass their own souls, for love of the wealth which he produced.'

23. And about the ninth and tenth centuries this also it says, that, 'as that age proceeds, this is what occurs, O Zaratûst of the Spîtâmas! when many apostates utter the righteousness of priestly instruction and authority, which is wickedness towards me, they cause begging for water, they wither vegetation, and they put down all excellence which is due to the manifestation of righteousness.'

24. Again Zaratûst enquired of him thus: 'What do they so produce by that, O Aûharmazd! when they cause begging for water, they wither vegetation, and they put down all excellence due to the manifestation of righteousness?' 25. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'They so produce those things among them, O Zaratûst! when they mention a greater reward for bantlings and relations than that of their own souls (that is, they talk more concerning their allowance, where it is that for their own). 26. Moreover, they give to the Kîgs and Karaps, for some repute with the shepherd people of the husbandman, and with the swift-horsed people of the warrior, as

p. 100

though they would provide us 1 here below with a large share of meat, that they would make our privilege, just as we 1 here supply him with meat whom we render greatly precious. 27. The property of even a wicked man here below, O Zaratûst! in the average opinion among the disorganized (anârâstânŏ) is a dignified provision (that is, we form a strong opinion, the approval of which is more to be asserted as being the opinion of a poor righteous man, about a worthy righteous man whose manifest righteousness is a homage (franâmisnŏ) to duty and good works).'

28. Again he enquired of him thus: 'Is there so perfect a manifestation here below, in the age of the worldly existence of the religion of the Mazda-worshippers (that is, is there a lodgement of the religion of the Mazda-worshippers in any one)?' 29. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'It is so, among those men of mine 2, O Zaratûst! for here below there are priests who are eloquent, and they, too, are men voluble and requisite in the embodied existence, all-beneficent and producing the destruction of harm and the wizard; the people of the wicked tyrant say also regarding them, that, excepting thee, O Zaratûst! they rightly practise righteousness more largely, more powerfully, and more volubly. 30. Blind are those of the fiend, who are consulting with thee and are unaware of the tyrant; and observant are also those of the fiend who consult with them and think of their intelligence, and oppose the imbecile (anâkâsîh-aûmônd) apostate who is near them, so that

p. 101

they say 1 this, namely: "As to this which thou tellest us, it is evidently not so as thou sayest," of which they speak thus: "This duty of thy man is not mine (that is, it is not necessary for me to perform) nor thine (that is, it is not necessary even for thee to perform), because it is not this which is righteousness (that is, not a good work)." 31. For this one is produced for these words and thoughts of thine, of whom thou, too, art aware, he who is whatever is here below of Aûshêdar 2 of thoughtful controversy, O Zaratûst of the Spîtâmas! for he brings into notice, through the intermingling of his own soul, him who is righteous, or has not become so.'

32. This, too, he says, namely: 'Of those, O Zaratûst of the Spîtâmas! who come in the ninth and tenth centuries, I tell thee that they are of the fiend of Greed (Âzî); it is in her womb that they are to be fashioned, they who assist those who would be vicious, through pre-eminence in leader-ship, or through excellence in subserviency.'

33. And this, too, it says about them: 'Those men are much to be destroyed;' so it is said by Aûharmazd that 'these who are righteous, who carry away a corpse in this world, distress their fire, according to every high-priest 3, and even long-flowing water; their bodies, which are really cesspools 4 of a terrible character, become very assisting for the tormentors whose corpses are grievously wicked. 34. Concerning them I tell thee, O Zaratûst

p. 102

of the Spîtâmas! that, in the ninth and tenth centuries, there come those who are the brood of the fiend and the wound-producer (reshgâr) 1 of the evil spirit; even one of them is more to be destroyed than ten demon-worshippers 2; they also produce extermination for these who are mine, for these of my religion, whom they, call a provision for destruction (that is, when it is possible to live in our way, and ours are wicked, they diminish in superiority). 35. Even the iniquity that they shall commit in leadership and subserviency, the sin which is smiting thee, they call a trifle (khalakŏ), O pure one of the Spîtâmas! and the smiter, they say, is he whom these of thy religion of Mazda-worshippers smite. 36. Besides thee, O Zaratûst! they distress those duties, too, which are to be acquired by thy people (lagânŏ); they think scornfully of this ceremonial of thine, scornfully of thy worship, O Zaratûst! and they think scornfully of both the two blessed utterances 3, the Avesta and Zand, which were proclaimed to thee by me who am the most propitious of spirits. 37. They foster villainous outrage, and they say the best work for mankind is immoderate fighting whose joyfulness is due to actions that are villainous; those, too, that they exterminate are the existences due to the spirits, they exterminate their own souls, they exterminate the embodied existences of the world; and they produce lamentation for the soul, and even the religion, as regards what is the mode of controlling orthodox people together with the iniquitous of the same period.'

38. And this, too, it says, that Zaratûst enquired

p. 103

of Aûharmazd thus: 'So what shall we prescribe for those who are not capable, through being poor (that is, they have no means), nor have they troops, nor a protector over them, and they have many persecutors?' 39. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'The strong-minded 1 man, through understanding, is a token of the development of those who, not being in the army, are capable; their persecutors also are many, and the passing over of authority is owing to the iniquitous of the same period.'

40. This, too, it says, that Zaratûst enquired thus: 'Is he, O Aûharmazd! who is a Kai or a Karap, or he who is a most evil ruler in authority, mingled again with the good?' 41. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'Even he 2.'

42. Zaratûst also enquired thus: 'Is he, too, O Aûharmazd! who is one of those of the good sovereignty, mingled again with the good; or these, such as the Kaîsar and Khâkân 3?' 43. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'Even that former, O Zaratûst!'

44. About the same iniquitous 4 this, too, he says, namely: ‘When they are aware and understand about the sayings (galimakŏ) due to righteousness, they are pleased, so that a bribe seems better to them than duty and good works; they love the darkness rather than light, the existence they love

p. 104

is the worst existence rather than the best existence, and they promote difficulty. 45. Concerning them, too, I tell thee that they are more to be destroyed than the leaping (shaspŏ) serpent which is like a wolf or a lion, and they ever advance in malice and persecution from that time till when that man arrives who is Kitrô-mêhônŏ 1 the righteous, with the victorious club. 46. He has marched with fifty triplets of men 2 who are disciples, powerful and tall, looking after duties and ordinances, wide-shouldered, stout-armed, and very hairy (kabed-milîh), so that their appearance is rough and of a black colour 3, wherefore the demon and the iniquity proceeding from him fear them. 47. He also smites the evil spirit, together with his creatures; and those three manifest branches, that worship the fiend with simultaneous worship, are really these who march for eminent service on horses, even the Turkish demons with dishevelled hair; the Arab, and also Shedâspô 4 the ecclesiastical Arûman.

p. 105

48. 'And he has then to attract men, contented and discontented, mostly through the incentive of duty; he who is not contented (that is, not agreeing with what he says) contentedly pays respect to him, O Zaratûst! (so that he brings him into the religion). 49. Likewise, through that club, he makes one press in the same manner; so that one is distressed by his hand to hold others in contempt, through the valiant arm and through the youthful bodily organs. 50. And he attaches power and triumph to his religion of Aûharmazd, and through that power and triumph they become ever respected thenceforth, when those arrive who are the sons of Zaratûst, who shall pro-duce the renovation in an existence undecaying and immortal, hungerless and thirstless, the long-continued perpetuity including all.'

51. And about the separation (burînakŏ) of the ten centuries in the one millennium of Zaratûst, and the tidings of Aûshêdar 1, son of Zaratûst, it says also this, namely: 'When that century fully elapses which is the first of the religion of the Mazda-worshippers, from the time when Zaratûst came forward to his conference, what is the separation of this first century?' 52. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'The sun conceals itself' 53. 'What is the separation after the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, or tenth century?' 54. And Aûharmazd spoke thus: 'The sun conceals itself.'

55. Then, when thirty winters of the tenth century are unelapsed (that is, thirty winters are remaining) a maiden, who is Shemig-abû 2, walks up

p. 106

to the water; she that is the mother of that famous Aûshêdar, and her former lineage is from Vohû-rôkô-î Frahânyân 1 in the family of Îsadvâstar, the son of Zaratûst that is brought forth by Arang. 56. Then she sits in that water and drinks it, and she kindles in a high degree those germs which were the third of the last that the righteous Zaratûst was dropping forth originally, and they introduce that son whose name is the Developer of Righteousness 2. 57. Though she is fifteen years old, the girl (kanîg) has not before that associated with men 3; nor afterwards, when she becomes pregnant, has she done so before the time when she gives birth.

58. When that man becomes thirty years old, the sun stands still in the zenith (bâlistŏ) of the sky for the duration of ten days and ten nights, and it arrives again at that place where it was first appointed by allotment, where it occupies one finger-breadth out of the four finger-breadths, and it shines over all the regions which are seven. 59. So, too, O Zaratûst! of them themselves, their declaration is thus, that they know that the separation of the millennium, which this religion has heard about by listening, is thus; and of those who do not even then know, that it is something which is different.

60. Then, when that man becomes thirty years old, he confers with the archangels, the good rulers and good providers; on the morrow, in the daylight of the day, it is moreover manifest, when the embodied existence is thus undistressed—without

p. 107

a Kaî and without a Karap (that is, not deaf and blind to the affairs of the sacred beings), and is to be appropriated (that is, has not made its own self apart from the affairs of the sacred beings), and is produced full of life—that it has become extending (vâlân), and remains again great in various places in Aîrân-vêg where the good Dâîti 1 is.

61. These are the characteristics as regards the two centuries which are the ninth and tenth; the accuracy of what was to come has continued and this has happened, and both are declared as regards the accuracy which is stated on evidence as to what will happen.


94:1 The contents of Chaps. VII-XI have some connection with the following summary in Dk. VIII, xiv, 11, 12:—'And about the nature of the advancement of the people of the period, the separation of centuries and millenniums, and the signs, wonders, and perplexity which are manifested in the world at the end of each millennium in the world. Also as to the birth and arrival of Aûshêdar, son of Zaratûst, at the end of the first millennium, and a report of him and his time, and of the many destroyers of the organizers of the period between Zaratûst's millennium and the coming of Aûshêdar.'

94:2 This meaning for vigârdŏ-vars is chiefly based upon the use of vigârd in AV. XXXIV, 5, for a woman's hair being 'combed.' These invaders of Irân from the east, at the end of the first millennium of the religion, are mentioned in Byt. II, 22, 24, 28; III, 1, 6, 13. They are called 'Turkish demons' in § 47.

94:3 The Byzantine Christians.

94:4 Zoroastrianism, Muhammadanism, Christianity, and either Judaism or Idolatry.

95:1 Ashavahistô, Khûrdad, and Spendarmad.

96:1 Or it may be hênô, 'squadrons.'

96:2 The chief officiating priest in religious ceremonies.

98:1 So far, this statement (§§ 11-16) seems to be ascribed to Aûharmazd; but what follows (§§ 17, 18, 20) appears to represent the sentiments of some Irânians of those later times.

98:2 See Chap. II, 9 n.

100:1 The archangels.

100:2 Reading minam, instead of madam which is unintelligible here.

101:1 To the apostate.

101:2 See §§ 55-60 and Chap. I, 42 n. Here spelt Aûkhshêdar.

101:3 Reading dastûr, instead of vastûr.

101:4 Pahl. mayâ-vakhdûn = Pers. âb-gîr.

102:1 Or it may be riyâgâr, 'hypocrite.'

102:2 Or 'idolators.'

102:3 Pahl. vâfrîgânîh = Av. urvâtâ.

103:1 Assuming that tôshtŏ-mînisnŏ is a miswriting of toshînŏ-minisnŏ.

103:2 That is, after expiating his misdeeds by his allotted punishment. The last thirteen Pahlavi words of §§ 42, 43 are also added here by mistake in the MS.

103:3 The Byzantine emperor and the sovereign Khân of the invaders from the east.

103:4 Mentioned in §§ 37, 39.

104:1 So spelt here, but in Dk. IX, xli, 6, it is Kitrag-mêhônŏ, and other slight variations occur in the best MSS. of Bd. XX, 7, 31; XXIX, 5; Byt. III, 25, 26; Dd. XC, 3; but they can all be traced to an, original Kitrô-mêhan = Av. Kithrô-maêthanem, 'of the racial home,' a title applied both to the river and the immortal sacerdotal ruler of Kangdez. The latter is supposed to be Pêshyôtanŏ, a son of king Vistâsp, who is expected to restore religious rites in Irân and throughout the world.

104:2 With 150 disciples, as stated in Byt. III, 27, 29, 42. Here it is written levatâ 50 3-gabrâân.

104:3 Byt. III, 27, 29, 42, states that they wear black marten fur.

104:4 In Byt. III, 3, 5, 8, 21, this name is written Shêdâspîh which can also be read Shêdâsfas, and is probably a corrupt pronunciation of the name of some Byzantine emperor or general (such as Theodosius) who had signally defeated the Persians some time in the fifth to seventh century, in which period Zaratûst's millennium probably ended.

105:1 See Chap. I, 42.

105:2 'Having a renowned father,' the Zvâris of Av. Srûtad-fedhri. Yt. XIII, 141.

106:1 See Yt. XIII, 97.

106:2 The Pahlavi interpretation of Aûshêdar which is an imperfect transcript of the Av. Ukhshyad-ereta of Yt. XIII, 128.

106:3 Pahl. 'levatâ gabrâânŏ barâ vepayîdŏ.'

107:1 See Chap. III, 51, 54; Bd. XX, 13. It is the name of a river.

Next: Chapter IX