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Pahlavi Texts, Part II (SBE18), E.W. West, tr. [1882], at


1. The second is that which you ask thus: For what purpose is a righteous man created for the world, and in what manner is it necessary for him to exist in the world?

2. The reply is this, that the creator created the creatures for progress, which is his wish; and

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it is necessary for us to promote whatever is his wish, so that we may obtain whatever is our wish. 3. And, since that persistent creator is powerful, whatever is our wish, and so far as we remain very faithful, such is as it were deserving of his wish, which is for our obtainment of whatever is our wish 1.

4. The miracle of these creatures was fully achieved (âvôrîdŏ) not unequally, and the gain (gûâftâkŏ) also from the achievement of the same miracle is manifest; that is, achieving, and knowing 2 that his achievement is with design (kîm) and his desire is goodness, when the designed achievement, which is his creature, and also the goodness, which is his wish, are certain, and like-wise, owing to the perfect ability which is due to the creator, the wish is achieved, it is manifest. 5. And, afterwards, it is decided by wisdom that he has achieved it, and the creatures, as perfected for the complete progress which is his wish, lapse into evil; and since when evil exists good becomes the subjugation of evil--for when evil is not complete, and after it is expressly said that his creatures are created for his own will, the progress due to subjugations of evil is on account of the good completed--it is similarly testified, in accordance with the will aforesaid, that it 3 is achieved.

6. The creatures are for the performance of what is desirable for the creator, and the performance of what is desirable for the creator is necessary

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for two purposes, which are the practice of worship and contention. 7. As the worship is that of the persistent creator, who is a friend to his own creatures, and the contention is that with the fiend--the contender who is an enemy to the creation of the creator--that great worship is a pledge, most intimate to one's self, of the utmost contention also, and a pledge for the prosperity owing to the friend subjugating by a look which is a contender with the enemy, the great endeavour. of the acquirers of reliance upon any mortals whatever 1. 8. For when the persistent one accomplished that most perfect and wholly miraculous creation of the lord, and his unwavering look--which was upon the coming on of the wandering evil spirit, the erratic, unobservant spirit--was unmingled with the sight of an eye 2, he made a spirit of observant temperament, which was the necessary soul, the virtuous lord of the body moving into the world. 9. And the animating life, the preserving guardian spirit, the acquiring intellect, the protecting understanding, the deciding wisdom, the demeanour which is itself a physician, the impelling strength, the eye for what is seen, the ear for what is heard, the nose for what is smelt, the mouth for recognising flavour, the body for approaching the assembly (pidrâm) of the righteous, the heart for

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thinking, the tongue for speaking, the hand for working, the foot for walking, these which make life comfortable, these which are developments in creating, these which are to join the body, these which are to be considered perfected, are urged on by him continuously, and the means of industry of the original body are arranged advisedly. 10. And by proper regulation, and the recompense of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, he announced and adorned conspicuous, patient, and virtuous conduct; and that procurer of the indispensable did not forget to keep men in his own true service and proper bounds, the supreme sovereignty of the creator.

11. And man became a pure glorifier and pure praiser of that all-good friend, through the progress which is his wish. 12. Because pure friendship is. owing to sure meditation on every virtue, and from its existence no harm whatever arose pure glorifying is owing to glorifying every goodness, and from its existence no vileness whatever arose; and pure praising is owing to all prosperity, and from its existence no distress whatever arose. 13. And pronouncing the benedictions he is steadfast in the same pure friendship, just glorifying, and expressive praising, which are performed even as though Vohûman were kept lodging in the thoughts, Srôsh in the words, and Ard in the actions 1. 14. That, moreover, which is owing to the lodgment of Vohûman in the thoughts is virtuously

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rushing unto true propitiation from the heart, and keeping selfishness away from the desires; the lodgment of Srôsh in the words is owing to him who is intelligent being a true speaker, and him who is unintelligent being a listener to what is true and to the high-priests; and the lodgment of Ard in the actions is declared to be owing to promoting that which is known as goodness, and abstaining from that which one does not know. 15. And these three benefits 1 which have been recited are sent down (farôstakŏ) in two ways that the ancients have mentioned, which are that deliberately taken and that they should deliberately leave 2, whose means are wisdom and proper exertion.

16. And his (man's) high-priest is he whose instigation is to keep him truly in accordance with the revelation (dine)) of the sacred beings, and is the origin of his pure meditation which is truly through. goodness like Vohûman's. 17. As the religious of the ancients have religiously said, that of him who keeps the goodness of Vohûman lodging in the thoughts the true way is then that of the good spirit. 18. The Mazda-worshipper understands the will of the creator in the true way, and grows and acquires by performing what is desirable for the creator, which obtains the benefit of the renovation.

19. A more concise reply is this, that a righteous man is the creature by whom is accepted that occupation which is provided for him, and is fully

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watchful in the world as to his not being deceived by the rapacious fiend. 20. And as a determiner, by wisdom, of the will of the creator--one who is himself a propitiator and understander, and a promoter of the understanding of goodness--and of whatever pertains to him (the creator), he is a giver of heed thereto; and it is necessary for him to be thus, so that such greatness and goodness may also be his more securely in the spiritual existence.


15:1 Mentioned in §§ 7, 8.

15:2 M14 and J have 'such rulers' own praise is above the sun with swift horses, the primeval luminaries, and all good creatures; for that, too, which may be seen when the light of the sun is owing to the removal of darkness, and the removal is the advance of illumination of the world, is the display of days and nights.'

16:1 Reading kâmakŏ instead of the dâmakŏ of the MSS., which was, no doubt, originally gâmakŏ.

16:2 M14 has 'knowing perfectly.'

16:3 The subjugation of evil apparently.

17:1 Referring probably to the strong influence of a steady eye upon all living creatures.

17:2 This appears to be the meaning of agûmêgisnŏ-î val vênâftâkŏ dîdag; which phrase is followed by the conjunction 'and,' so that the original text means that when the creator had done as in §§ 8, 9, he proceeded to act as in § 10. This conjunction, for the sake of clearness, is here transferred to the beginning of § 10.

18:1 These three angels are personifications of the Avesta terms vohû-manô, 'good thought,' sraosha, 'listening, obedience,' and areta, 'righteous.' The coming of Vohûman ('the good spirit' of § 17) and of Srôsh is mentioned in the Gâthas (Yas. XLIII, 16, c d).

19:1 The lodgments of the three angels.

19:2 Meaning, probably, the deliberate adoption of good conduct and relinquishment of evil (compare Chap. VII, 7).

Next: Chapter IV