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


1. About the righteousness of his desires it is thus declared, that when he became fifteen years old, the sons of Pôrûshaspô demanded a portion from their father, and their portions are allotted out by him. 2. Among the clothes there was a girdle, the width of which was four finger-breadths; and of the four 2 portions around and the girdle, which it was possible to bring forth, Zaratûst selected the latter and tied it on himself. 3. This was owing to the precepts (parvânakân) of Vohûmanô who came into his reason at birth; as to whatever is not the custom his mind was now quite closed, and in that which is the custom it was impetuously exercised by him.

4. About his compassionate disposition and the streams of the Arag province 3, this also is declared,

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that there was a river, and from them the body of a naked woman floated, for the reason that, on account of the strength and swiftness of the river, a woman, except when she was quite naked while she was in it, was not able to pass; and an old person, such as he who is of seventy years and is called in revelation a Hânô 1, for want of power (apâdîyâvandîh râî), was not able to go back through it by his own strength. 5. Zaratûst came on to the bank of the water, and of women and old people seven persons had come, and are passed on by him, in the manner of a bridge 2; it was an emblem of the spiritual performers 3 of bridging work, that is, of those providing a passage to heaven.

6. About his liberal disposition it is declared, that the fodder of Pôrûshaspô, which was stored for the beasts of burden, was not only for the beasts of Pôrûshaspô in a scarcity, but also for distribution among the beasts of others, which, owing to their hunger on account of the scarcity, then constantly ate off the tails of each other; and it was given to them plentifully.

7. About his abandoning worldly desire, and his laying hold of righteousness of way, this, too, is declared, that when he became twenty years old, without the consent (bên akâmakîh) of his father and mother, he wandered forth and departed from

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their house, and openly enquired thus: 'Who is most desirous of righteousness and most nourishing the poor?' 8. And they spoke thus: 'He who is the youngest (kêhistô) son of Aûrvaîtŏ-dih 1 the Tûr, who every day gives an iron caldron (gâmak), which is the height of a horse, full of bread and milk and other food, unto the poor.' 9. Zaratûst went on to that place, and with his co-operation, for the nourishment of the poor, some of the chief men performed duty by carrying forth food for the poor.

to. About his compassion, not only upon mankind, but also his other creatures, this, too, is declared, that a bitch was seen by him, which had given birth to five 2 puppies, and it was three days then that she had not obtained food 3. 11. Whomever she saw, she then advanced her mouth towards him, and became as it were prostrated; Zaratûst provided a remedy, by swiftly bringing up bread for her, but when he was bringing it she had expired.

12. About his own desire for the good quality 4 of a wife, on account also of the will of his parents, and his not mingling his own seed before a suitable obtainment, this, too, is declared, that when his father sought a wife for him, Zaratûst argued with the bride (nêshâ) thus: 'Show me thy face, so that I may find out (barkhâm) its kind of appearance, and this, too, whether its appearance be undesirable, or shall not be gratifying;' and the bride turned away her face from him. 13. And Zaratûst spoke thus:

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[paragraph continues] 'Whoever takes away a sight from me, does not practise respect for me.'

14. About his having accepted progress even from the iniquitous, that listened sinfully desirous, who accepted so much advantageousness as was manifest, this, too, is declared, that he came into an assembly who were well known in the place for much knowledge, and he enquired of them thus: 'What is most favourable for the soul?' 15. And they spoke thus: 'To nourish the poor, to give fodder to cattle, to bring firewood to the fire, to pour Hôm juice into water, and 1 to worship many demons with words, with the words which are called revelation (dênô).' 16. Then Zaratûst nourished the poor, foddered the cattle, brought firewood to the fire, and squeezed Hôm into water, but never are any demons whatever worshipped with words by Zaratûst.


151:2 The MSS. have 'three,' but there were five sons (Chap. XV, 5), and the numbers are written in ciphers which are very easily corrupted.

151:3 Pahl. 'Aragistân ôdhâvŏ (T dhâ)' = 'odhâ-î Arangîstânŏ' of, P. Vd. I, 77 (Sp.); compare Av. 'upa aodhaêshu Rang,hayau,' of Vd. I, 19; Yt. XII, 18. In the Irânian Bd. XX, 8 we are told that 'the Arang river is that of which it is said that it comes out from Albûrz in the land of Sûrak, which they call also Sham (Shim); and it passes on through the land of Êgiptôs, which they call also Misr, and there they call it the swift river Êgipitôis.' It is p. 152 one of the two mythical rivers which were supposed to bound the Irânian world, and seems to represent the Aras as a northern and the Nile as a western boundary. Arang often becomes Arag in Pahlavi, just as sang becomes sag.

152:1 Av. hanô in Vd. III, 19, 20 &c.

152:2 Probably holding each other's hands.

152:3 The sacred beings who assist the righteous souls to pass over the Kinvad bridge.

153:1 See Dk. VII, iv, 7 n.

153:2 T has 'seven,' but this difference may have arisen from an erroneous mode of writing the ciphers in T.

153:3 T has 'a bone for food.'

153:4 T has 'good child-bearing.'

Next: Chapter XXI