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1. It is said in revelation that Aêshm 4 rushed into the presence of Aharman 5, and exclaimed thus: 'I will not go into the world, because Aûharmazd, the lord, has produced three things in the world, to which it is not possible for me to do anything whatever.'

2. Aharman exclaimed thus: 'Say which are those three things.'

3. Aêshm exclaimed thus: 'The season-festival

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[paragraph continues] (gâsânbâr) 1, the sacred feast (myazd), and next-of-kin marriage (khvêtûk-das).'

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4. Aharman exclaimed thus: 'Enter into the season-festival! if one of those present shall steal a single thing the season-festival is violated, and the affair is in accordance with 1 thy wish; enter into the sacred feast 2! if only one of those present shall chatter the sacred feast is violated, and the affair is in accordance with thy wish; but avoid next-of-kin marriage 3! because I do not know a remedy for it; for whoever has gone four times near to it will not become parted from the possession of Aûharmazd and the archangels 4.'


387:3 Both this chapter and the next are also found in K20, the first being placed before the first part of Sls., and the second before the second part. Chap. XVIII also occurs in Dastûr Jâmâspji's MS. of the Bundahis, just after Chap. XXXIV of that text (see Introduction, p. xxx), and a Pâzand version of it occupies the same position in L7 and L22, and is translated by Justi as the last chapter of the Bundahis, in his German translation of that work (see Introduction, p. xxvi).

387:4 The demon of wrath (see Bund. XXVIII, 15-17).

387:5 See Bund. I, 3. Aêshm, as the chief agent of the evil spirit in his machinations against mankind, rushes into his master's presence in hell to complain of the difficulties he encounters.

388:1 See Bund. XXV, 1, 3, 6. The six Gâhanbârs or season-festivals are held, respectively, on the 45th, 105th, 180th, 210th, 290th, and 365th days of the Parsi year. An explanation of the cause of the inequality of these intervals has been proposed by Mr. Khurshedji Rustamji Cama, which is well worthy of attention, and appears to have been first published in 1867 in Nos. 7 and 8 of his Zartosti Abhyas. His view is that the mediæval Zoroastrians, beginning their year at the vernal equinox (Bund. XXV, 6, 13, 21), recognised originally only two seasons, a summer of seven months and a winter of five (Bund. XXV, 7), and they held a festival, not only at the end of each season, that is, on the 210th and 365th days of their year, but also in the middle of each season, that is, on the 105th and 290th days of their year. That these two latter were mid-season festivals is proved by their Avesta names, Maidhyô-shema and Maidhyâirya, beginning with the word maidhya, 'middle.' Later on, the Zoroastrians divided their year into four equal seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter (Bund. XXV, 20), and without interfering with their old festivals, they would, no doubt, have wished to celebrate the end and middle of each of their new seasons. The ends of these four seasons occur on the 90th, 180th, 270th, and 365th days of the year, and their midpoints are the 45th, 135th, 225th, and 320th days; but the Zoroastrians already held a festival on the 365th day, and celebrated midsummer and midwinter (the 135th and 320th days of their new calendar) on the 105th and 290th days of their year, and they would consider the 90th, 225th, and 270th days too close to their old festivals of the 105th, 210th, and 290th days to allow of the former being held as new festivals; so that they would have only the midspring festival, on the 45th day, and that of the end of summer, on the 180th day, to add to their old festivals. It may be objected that the end of summer was already celebrated on the 210th day, and, for this reason, it is more probable that the festivals were intended to celebrate the beginnings and mid-points of the seasons, rather than their ends and mid-points. According to this view, the six season-festivals were intended, respectively, to celebrate midspring, midsummer, the beginning of autumn, the beginning of winter, midwinter, and the beginning of spring. That they were also intended to commemorate, respectively, the p. 389 creations of the sky, water, earth, vegetation, animals, and man, is a belief of later times, derived probably from a foreign source.

389:1 Reading pavan, 'with,' instead of barâ, 'beyond,' as in the next clause of the sentence (see p. 176, note 5).

389:2 By the sacred feast is meant the consecration of sacred cakes, with meat-offerings and the recital of the Âfrîngâns or blessings (see Chaps. III, 32, Xl, 4).

389:3 By next-of-kin marriage Parsis nowadays understand the marriage of first cousins, which they consider a specially righteous act; and the passages in Pahlavi texts, which appear to approve of marriages between brother and sister, father and daughter, and mother and son, they explain as referring to the practices of heretics (see Dastûr Pêshôtan's English translation of the Dînkard, p. 96, note). How far this explanation may be correct has not been ascertained, for the passages in question are rather obscure, and have not been thoroughly examined. But it is quite conceivable that the Parsi priesthood, about the time of the Muhammadan conquest (when the practice of next-of-kin marriage was most extolled), were anxious to prevent marriages with strangers, in order to hinder conversions to the foreign faith; and that they may, therefore, have extended the range of marriage among near relations beyond the limits now approved by their descendants.

389:4 The object of this chapter is evidently to extol the religious merit of next-of-kin marriage. A Persian version of the passage, contained in M5, fols. 54, 55, adds the following details: 'Therefore it is necessary to understand, that the chief next-of-kin marriage is that of a sister's daughter and brother's son; a medium p. 390 next-of-kin marriage is that of a brother's son and a younger (dîgar) brother's daughter, or of a sister's son and a younger sister's daughter; and inferior to a medium next-of-kin marriage is that of a sister's son and a younger brother's daughter. It is necessary to know that any person who contracts a next-of-kin marriage, if his soul be fit for hell, will arrive among the ever-stationary (see Chap. VI, 2), if it is one of the ever-stationary it will arrive at heaven. Another particular is to he added; if any one, in departing settles and strives for the next-of-kin marriage betrothal (paîvand) of a next brother it is a good work of a thousand Tanâpûhars; if any one strives to break off a next-of-kin marriage betrothal he is worthy of death.'

Next: Chapter XIX