Sacred Texts  Zoroastrianism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


1. Of unseasonable chatter 2 that of children of five years of age has no root; and from five years till seven years, when one is under the tuition of his

p. 291

father and innocent 1, it has no root in him, and when sinful it has root in the father 2. 2. And from eight years till they are man and woman of fifteen years, if even one is innocent during the performance of the ritual (yastô), but is able to say its Ithâ and Ashem-vohû 3, and does not say them, it is the root of unseasonable chatter for him 4; and when he is able to perform his ritual by heart (narm), and says only the Ithâ and Ashem-vohû, some have said that such is as when his ritual is not performed and there is no offering (yastôfrîd), and some have said that it is not unseasonable chatter.

3. Unseasonable chatter may occur at every ceremonial (yazisnŏ); for him who has performed the ritual it is a Tanâpûhar sin 5; for him who has not performed the ritual it is less, some have said three Srôshô-karanâms 6. 4. The measure of unseasonable chatter is a Tanâpûhar sin; this is where every ceremony, or every morsel, or every drop of urine is not completed 7. 5. Of the unseasonable chatter of

p. 292

him who has not performed the ritual Afarg 1 said this degree is slighter; Mêdôk-mâh 1 said both are alike, and he spoke further of this, since for him who has not performed the ritual, and does not attend to 2 saying its Ithâ and Ashem-vohû, it is more severe than for him who has performed the ritual, and does not attend to consecrating its sacred cake (drôn). 6. Mêdôk-mâh said that it (the ceremonial) 3 does not become Gêtô-kharîd 4; Afarg said that it amounts to an offering (yastôfrîd5 for every one, except for that person who knows the ritual by heart, and through sinfulness will not perform it; and it becomes his at the time when, during his life and by his command, it is recited with this intention, namely: 'I wish to do it, my faith (astôbânîh) is in the religion 6.'

7. The deaf and dumb when it is not possible for him to say an Ashem does not commit unseasonable chatter 7; and when it is possible for him to say an Ashem he shall three times say of it, 'Ashem, ashem, ashem;' and if it be possible for him to say

p. 293

[paragraph continues] 'ithâ' and 'ashem-vohû' it is well, and when it is only possible for him to say 'ithâ' it matters not 1.


290:2 See Chap. IV, 9.

291:1 That is, intending no harm, as contrasted with sinful or wilful chatter in defiance of instruction.

291:2 Because the father is supposed to be responsible, in the next world, for the sins of the child, even as he will profit by its good works (see, Chaps. X, 22, XII, 15).

291:3 See Chap. III, 35.

291:4 Inattention to prayers evinced by improper silence is thus put upon the same footing as inattention evinced by improper talking. This portion of the sentence is omitted in K20.

291:5 See Chap. I, 1, 2. It is a greater sin in the officiating priests than in the other persons present at the ceremony.

291:6 Probably a Farmân sin (see Chap. IV, 14, note).

291:7 Referring to the three principal occasions when a prayer (vâg), is taken inwardly and retained until the completion of the action; during which time it is unlawful to say anything but the prescribed prayers (see Chap. III, 6, note).

292:1 See Chap. I, 3.

292:2 Literally, 'believe or trust to.'

292:3 During which unseasonable chatter occurs.

292:4 Generally written Gêtî-kharîd (see Bund. XXX, 28); but, perhaps, we should here read yastôfrîd, 'offering,' though gêtôk-kharîd occurs in Chap. XII, 30.

292:5 The MSS. have merely stôfrîd, which differs from the foregoing gêtô-kharîd only in one Pahlavi letter, so we should probably read the same word in both cases, but which of them it ought to be is uncertain.

292:6 Meaning, apparently, that he can obtain the benefit of any past ceremony, forfeited by wilful negligence, by repentance and a repetition of the ceremony during his lifetime.

292:7 By omitting to say it (see § 2). This clause of the sentence is omitted in K20.

293:1 That is, any one barely able to speak must repeat so much of the indispensable prayers as he is able to pronounce, otherwise he will commit sin.

Next: Chapter VI