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Pahlavi Texts, Part I (SBE05), E.W. West, tr. [1880], at

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1. On the rush of the destroyer at the creatures it is said, in revelation, that the evil spirit, when he saw the impotence of himself and the confederate 1 (hâm-dast) demons, owing to the righteous man 2, became confounded, and seemed in confusion three thousand years. 2. During that confusion the archfiends 3 of the demons severally shouted thus: 'Rise up, thou father of us! for we will cause a conflict in the world, the distress and injury from which will become those of Aûharmazd and the archangels.'

3. Severally they twice recounted their own evil deeds, and it pleased him not; and that wicked evil spirit, through fear of the righteous man, was not able to lift up his head until the wicked Gêh 4 came, at the completion of the three thousand years. 4. And she shouted to the evil spirit thus: 'Rise up, thou father of us! for I will cause that conflict in the world wherefrom the distress and injury of Aûharmazd and the archangels will arise.' 5. And she twice recounted severally her own evil deeds, and it pleased him not; and that wicked evil spirit

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rose not from that confusion, through fear of the righteous man.

6. And, again, the wicked Gêh shouted thus: 'Rise up, thou father of us! for in that conflict I will shed thus much vexation 1 on the righteous man and the labouring ox that, through my deeds, life will not be wanted, and I will destroy their living souls (nismô) 2; I will vex the water, I will vex the plants, I will vex the fire of Aûharmazd, I will make the whole creation of Aûharmazd vexed.' 7. And she so recounted those evil deeds a second time, that the evil spirit was delighted and started up from that confusion; and he kissed Gêh upon the head, and the pollution which they call menstruation became apparent in Gêh.

8. He shouted to Gêh thus: 'What is thy wish? so that I may give it thee.' And Gêh shouted to the evil spirit thus: 'A man is the wish, so give it to me.'

9. The form of the evil spirit was a log-like lizard's (vazak) body, and he appeared a young man of fifteen years to Gêh, and that brought the thoughts of Gêh to him 3.

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10. Afterwards, the evil spirit, with the confederate demons, went towards the luminaries, and he saw the sky; and he led them up, fraught with malicious intentions. 11. He stood upon one-third 1 of the inside of the sky, and he sprang, like a snake, out of the sky down to the earth.

12. In the month Fravardîn and the day Aûharmazd 2 he rushed in at noon, and thereby the sky was as shattered and frightened by him, as a sheep by a wolf. 13. He came on to the water which was arranged 3 below the earth, and then the middle of this earth was pierced and entered by him. 14. Afterwards, he came to the vegetation, then to the ox, then to Gâyômard, and then he came to fire 4; so, just like a fly, he rushed out upon the whole creation; and he made the world quite as injured and dark 5 at midday as though it were in dark night. 15. And noxious creatures. were diffused by him over the earth, biting and venomous, such as the snake, scorpion, frog (kalvâk), and lizard (vazak),—so that not so much as the point of a needle remained free from noxious creatures. 16. And blight 6 was diffused by him over the

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vegetation, and it withered away immediately. 17. And avarice, want, pain, hunger, disease, lust, and lethargy were diffused by him abroad upon the ox and Gâyômard.

18. Before his coming to the ox, Aûharmazd ground up the healing fruit 1, which some call 'bînâk,' small in water openly before its eyes, so that its damage and discomfort from the calamity (zanisn) might be less; and when it became at the same time lean and ill, as its breath went forth and it passed away, the ox also spoke thus: 'The cattle are to be created, and their work, labour, and care are to be appointed.'

19. And before his coming to Gâyômard, Aûharmazd brought forth a sweat upon Gâyômard, so long as he might recite a prayer (vâg) of one stanza (vikast); moreover, Aûharmazd formed that sweat into the youthful body of a man of fifteen years, radiant and tall. 20. When Gâyômard issued from the sweat he saw the world dark as night, and the earth as though not a needle's point remained free from noxious creatures; the celestial sphere was in revolution, and the sun and moon remained in motion: and the world's struggle, owing to the clamour of the Mâzînâkân demons 2, was with the constellations.

21. And the evil spirit thought that the creatures of Aûharmazd were all rendered useless except

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[paragraph continues] Gâyômard; and Astô-vîdâd 1 with a thousand demons, causers of death, were let forth by him on Gâyômard, 22. But his appointed time had not come, and he (Astô-vîdâd) obtained no means of noosing (âvizîdanŏ) him; as it is said that, when the opposition of the evil spirit came, the period of the life and rule of Gâyômard was appointed for thirty years. 23. After the coming of the adversary he lived thirty years, and Gâyômard spoke thus: 'Although the destroyer has come, mankind will be all of my race; and this one thing is good, when they perform duty and good works.'

24. And, afterwards, he (the evil spirit) came to fire, and he mingled smoke and darkness with it. 25. The planets, with many demons, dashed against the celestial sphere, and they mixed the constellations; and the whole creation was as disfigured as though fire disfigured every place and smoke arose over it. 26. And ninety days and nights the heavenly angels were contending in the world with the confederate demons of the evil spirit, and hurled them confounded to hell; and the rampart of the sky was formed so that the adversary should not be able to mingle with it.

27. Hell is in the middle of the earth; there where the evil spirit pierced the earth 2 and rushed in upon it, as all the possessions of the world were

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changing into duality, and persecution, contention, and mingling of high and low became manifest.


15:1 The Pâzand MSS. have garôist, for the Huz. hêmnunast, 'trusted.' Windischmann and Justi have 'all.'

15:2 Probably Gâyômard.

15:3 The word kamârakân is literally 'those with an evil pate,' and is derived from Av. kameredha, 'the head of an evil being,' also applied to 'the evil summit' of Mount Arezûra (Vend. XIX, 140, 142), which is supposed to be at the gate of hell (see Chap. XII, 8). That the chief demons or arch-fiends are meant, appears, more clearly in Chap. XXVIII, 12, 44, where the word is kamârîkân.

15:4 The personification of the impurity of menstruation.

16:1 The word vêsh or vîsh may stand either for bêsh, 'distress, vexation,' as here assumed, or for vish, 'poison,' as translated by Windischmann and Justi in accordance with the Paz. MSS.

16:2 That this is the Huzvâris of rûbân, 'soul,' appears from Chap. XV, 3-5, where both words are used indifferently; but it is not given in the Huz.-Pâz. Glossary. It is evidently equivalent to Chald. nismâ, and ought probably to have the traditional pronunciation nisman, an abbreviation of nismman.

16:3 This seems to be the literal meaning of the sentence, and is confirmed by Chap. XXVIII, 1, but Windischmann and Justi understand that the evil spirit formed a youth for Gêh out of a toad's body. The incident in the text may be compared with Milton's idea of Satan and Sin in Paradise Lost, Book II, 745-765.

17:1 Perhaps referring to the proportion of the sky which is overspread by the darkness of night. The whole sentence is rather obscure.

17:2 The vernal equinox (see Chap. XXV, 7).

17:3 Literally, 'and it was arranged.'

17:4 For the details of these visitations, see Chaps. VI-X.

17:5 Reading khûst tôm; but it may be hangîdtûm, 'most turbid, opaque.'

17:6 The word makhâ, 'blow, stroke,' is a Huzvâris logogram not found in the glossaries; M6 has dâr, 'wood,' but this may be a misreading, due to the original, from which M6 was copied, being difficult to read.

18:1 The word mîvang is an unusual form of mîvak, 'fruit.' It is probably to be traced to an Av. mivangh, which might mean 'fatness,' as Windischmann suggests.

18:2 The Mâzainya daêva of the Avesta, and Mâzendarân demons, or idolators, of Persian legends.

19:1 The demon of death, Astô-vîdhôtu in the Avesta (Vend. IV, 137, V, 25, 31), who is supposed 'to cast a halter around the necks of the dead to drag them to hell, but if their good works have exceeded their sins they throw off the noose and go to heaven' (Haug's Essays, 2nd ed. p. 321). This name is misread Asti-vihâd by Pâzand writers.

19:2 See § 13.

Next: Chapter IV