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


1. The deaf and dumb and helpless (armêst) 2, though of unblemished conduct and proper disposition, is incapable of doing good works, and from the time when he is born till the time when he shall die, all the duty and good works which they may perform in the world become his property (nafsman) as much as his even by whom they are performed; some say that it is thus: as much as they belong to Zaratûs3. 2. Though he does not do the good works not really originating with (ahambûnik) him, and does not commit the sin not really originating with him, it is better than though he were able to do the good works not really originating with him, and should not do them; but should commit the sin not really originating with him; when, afterwards, he passes away, and then also comes to his account as to sin and good works, when the good works not really originating with him are more he is in heaven (vahist), when the sin

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not really originating with him is more he is in hell 1, and when both are equal he is among the ever-stationary (hamîstakân) 1. 3. When the good works are three Srôshô-karanâms 2 more than the sins he is in heaven (vahist), when the good works are one Tanâpûhar more he attains to the best existence (pâhlûm ahvân) 3, when his ceremony (yast) is

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performed 1. 4. Sôshyans 2 said that to come into that best existence it is not necessary to perform the ceremony, for when his good works are one 3 Tanâpûhar more than the sin he attains to the best existence, and no account is taken of performing his ceremony; because in the heavenly existence (garôdmânîkîh) it is not necessary to perform a ceremony, for an excess of good works must attain Garôdmân 4. 5. As Sôshyans said, in heaven (vahist) he who is below is elevated to him who is above; and it says thus: 'Happy indeed art thou, O man! who art in any way near unto that imperishable existence 5.'

6. Kûshtanŏ-bûgêd 6 said that an infidel (akdînô) 7, when his good works are one Tanâpûhar more than his sin, is saved from hell.

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7. of a pure law (dâd) are we of the good religion, and we are of the primitive faith; of a mixed law are those of the Sînîk congregation 1; of a vile

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law are the Zandîk 1, the Christian (Tarsâk), the Jew (Yahûd), and others of this sort (sanŏ) 2.


293:2 That is, any one compelled to remain stationary or secluded, owing to bodily or mental infirmity (see Chap. II, 98); an idiot, or insane person, is probably meant here.

293:3 This comment seems to imply that its writer was translating from an Avesta text, and here met with a word which some persons thought contained a reference to Zaratûst, but which he first translated so as to suit the context; perhaps Av. zarazdâiti may be suggested.

294:1 That is, he is treated, with regard to the actions merely imputed to him, precisely as all others are with regard to their own actions. With reference to the hamîstakân, Ardâ-Vîrâf states (AV. VI, 2, 5-12) that on his journey to the other world he 'saw the souls of several people who remain in the same position,' and he was informed that 'they call this the place of the Hamîstakân ("those ever-stationary"), and these souls remain in this place till the future existence; and they are the souls of those people whose good works and sin were equal. Speak out to the worldlings thus: "Consider not the easier good works with avarice and vexation! for every one whose good works are three Srôshô-karanâms more than his sin is for heaven, they whose sin is more are for hell, they in whom both are equal remain among these Hamîstakân till the future existence." And their punishment is cold or heat from the changing of the atmosphere; and they have no other adversity.'

294:2 Probably equivalent to a Farmân sin (see Chaps, I, 1, 2, IV, 14, note).

294:3 This appears to be another name for Garôdmân, 'the abode of song,' which is the highest heaven, or dwelling of Aûharmazd. The lower heaven is here called Vahist, which is a general term for heaven in general. AV. VII-XXVII, 27, and Mkh. VII, 9-12, 20, 21 describe four grades in heaven and four in hell, besides the intermediate neutral position of the Hamîstakân (AV. VI, Mkh. VII, 18, 19). The four grades of heaven, proceeding upwards, are Hûmat for good thoughts in the station of the stars, Hûkht for good words in the station of the moon, Hûvarst for good deeds in the station of the sun, and Garôdmân where Aûharmazd dwells (Vend. XIX, 12 1). And the four grades of hell, proceeding downwards, are Dûs-hûmat for evil thoughts, Dûs-hûkht for evil words, Dûs-hûvarst for evil deeds, and the darkest hell (Vend. XIX, 147) where the evil spirit dwells. The pâhlûm ahvân of p. 295 the text is merely the Pahlavi form of Av. vahistem ahûm (Vend. VII, 133, XVIII, 69, XIX, 120, Yas. IX, 64), whence the term vahist (Pers. bahist) is also derived.

295:1 That is, when his surviving relatives have performed the proper religious ceremonies after his death.

295:2 See Chap. I, 3.

295:3 Reading aê, 'one,' and supposing that this Pâz. form has been substituted for an original Huz. khadûk, 'one.' This supposition being necessary to account for the aê preceding its noun, instead of following it; and without it we ought to read 'three' instead of 'one,' which seems, however, hardly reconcilable with the context (but compare Pahl. Vend. VII, 136). This, is an instance of the ambiguity occasioned by aê, 'one,' and the cipher 3 being often written alike in Pahlavi, as already noticed in p. 289, note 3. The word might also be taken as the conditional verbal form aê, 'shall be,' but in that case it is likewise misplaced.

295:4 See note on pâhlûm ahvân in § 3.

295:5 A somewhat similar exclamation to that in Vend. VII, 136.

295:6 See Chap. I, 4, note.

295:7 That is, one of another religion; not an apostate, nor an atheist.

296:1 It is not easy to identify this Sînîk vaskardîh, but Professor J. Darmesteter suggests that the term may have been applied to the Manicheans settled in eastern Turkistân and western China, whence they may have been called Sînîk (the country of the Sênî, Av. Sâini, being identified with Kînîstân or China in Bund. XV, 29, because TSîn is the Arabic name of the latter). This is confirmed, to some extent, by a passage in the Dînkard (see Dastûr Pêshôtan's edition of the Pahlavi text, p. 27), where three foreign religions are mentioned, that of the Jews from Arûm, that of the Messiah from the west, and that of Mânih from Turkistân. Darmesteter further points out the following passages in Barbier de Meynard's French translation of Mas’aûdî, which show that the Manicheans had considerable influence in eastern Turkistân as late as A.D. 944:—

(Meynard, I, 268): '. . . the Turks, the Khuzlug, and the Taghazghaz, who occupy the town of Kûsân, situated between Khurâsân and China, and who are now (A.D. 944) the most valiant, most powerful, and best governed of all the Turkish races and tribes. Their kings bear the title of îrkhân ("sub-khân?"), and they alone, among all these nations, profess the religion of Mânî.'

Again, after stating that the Chinese were at first Samanians (Buddhists), it is added (Meynard, II, 258): 'Their kingdom is contiguous to that of the Taghazghaz, who, as we have said above, are Manicheans, and proclaim the simultaneous existence of the two principles of light and darkness. These people were living in simplicity, and in a faith like that of the Turkish races, when there turned up among them a demon of the dualist sect, who showed them, in tempting language, two opposing principles in everything that exists in the world, such as life and death, health and sickness, riches and poverty, light and darkness, union and separation, connection and severance, rising and setting, existence and non-existence, night and day, &c. Then, he spoke to them of the various ailments which afflict rational beings, animals, children, idiots, and madmen; and he added that God could not be responsible for this evil, which was in distressing contradiction to the excellence which distinguishes his works, and that he was p. 297 above any such imputation. By these quibbles, and others like them, he carried away their minds, and made them adopt his errors.

The tenets of the Manicheans ought, no doubt, to have been considered by the Zoroastrians as a mixture of truth and error, just as those of the Sînîk congregation are represented to be in our text; but such tenets being an heretical offshoot of Zoroastrianism, it argues unusual liberality in the priests if they preferred Manicheans to Christians, that is, heretics to infidels.

K20 has altered sînîk vaskardîh into nisînîk (or vîdînîk) sikaftîh, which appears to be an attempt to bring the words within the limits of the writer's knowledge, without paying much attention to their collective meaning.

297:1 A sect which (according to its name) probably adhered to a certain heretical interpretation (zand) in preference to the orthodox Avesta and Zand. Nêryôsang, in his Sanskrit version of Mkh. XXXVI, 16, explains a Zandîk as one who 'thinks well of Aharman and the demons.'

297:2 Unless this paragraph be a continuation of the quotation from Kûshtanŏ-bûgêd's commentary, which seems unlikely, its contents have an important bearing upon the age of the Shâyast lâ-shâyast. As it does not mention Muhammadanism by name it could hardly have been written after the fall of the Sasanian dynasty, when that new faith had become much more important, in Persia, than those of the Christians and Jews.

Next: Chapter VII