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


1. As to the thirty-ninth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: What kind of goodness and want of goodness can there be in the sacred thread-girdle and shirt; and what are the sin of running about uncovered, of prayer offered and prayer not offered, and the purpose of cleansing (mîsn)?

2. The reply is this, that it (the shirt) 1 is needful to be perfectly pure white and single, which one fold is because Vohûman also is thus the one creature who was first 2, and afterwards from him the garment which is innermost and concealed is called in revelation 3.

3. Proper girdling is double 4, which two folds are because he also who is in the course of the twofold religious wisdom is intelligent, and the duties due to the sacred beings are themselves in two divisions

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which are called the instinctive and that heard by the ears 1.

4. After a man is in the girding they shall tie on, the symptoms of any sins of the belted body are free from sin which is condemned (vigîrînîdŏ); and when he walks uncovered, or naked, or with a two-fold garment, there is then no root of the sin of running about uncovered 2 in him. 5. Moreover, on hymns being chanted during a meal an inward prayer is not also necessary 3.

6. The purpose 4 of a cleansing (mîsn-aê) is this, that the suitableness of men for eating is due to worship of the sacred beings and glorification of the sacred beings. 7. And as to their necessary recommendation (sipârîh) 5 of any food for eating, the

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glorifying of the sacred beings, and the true usages about recounting it, it is commanded, before eating, when the mouth is not soiled with food, that the mouth (dahân) should proceed with the utterance of the pure glorification 1. 8. Being thereupon suitably seated, and having properly eaten the food, one is to make the mouth clean with a tooth-pick and water; and after eating, before all words, the praise of the sacred beings is glorified by the mouth cleansed by washing. 9. And between the glorifying before eating and the after glorification one is not 2 to speak other words, and when during a meal a word is spoken by the mouth, that kind of glorification which it is the custom to utter before and after eating is offered by its own organ (andâm) 3.

To. And every single organ has one function, but two special functions are. connected with the mouth, which are speaking and eating; and because they are together they are mutually opposed, for speaking connects that which is an inward possession with outside teachings (kâshîhâ), and through eating, the outside food comes for the inward further vitality of life. 11. As the ancients have said, where one operation is appointed unto two operators, it is more

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expressly so that during eating two operations may not both at once (ayag-ik-gûn) be produced, by speaking and by eating.

12. To keep those two operations distinct, one from the other, the custom of uttering the praise of sacred beings and the glorification of sacred beings when the mouth remains in the act of eating, until the mouth becomes clean from food, is decreed as inconsistent with goodness (aham-vêhîh). 13. And that which remains from the outpouring (rîkh) at the time of a cleansing is called 'a cleansing (nîsn-aê).'

14. One means for the retention of knowledge is through not having that retention of knowledge exhausted, but when one thus speaks during that cleansing the words are really originating with the mouth, for he does not retain them; and whenever (maman) he does not speak anything whatever with the tongue, that religious glorification which it is the custom to utter before and after eating is then offered by him from his own limited resources (sâmânŏ-î vîmônd), and it will be offered from his own limited resources.


133:1 The sacred shirt, constantly worn by Parsis of both sexes (young children excepted), is a very loose tunic of white muslin, with very short loose sleeves covering part of the upper arm (see Sls. IV, 4-8).

133:2 The archangel Vohûman (see Chap. III, 13) is said to have been the first creation of the creator (see Bd. I, 23).

133:3 The garment of Vohûman (see Chap. XXXIX, 19).

133:4 That is, it is passed twice round the waist before it is tied the first time, but then it is passed a third time round the waist (see Chap. XXXIX, I).

134:1 The twofold wisdom of the Avesta comprises the two intellects, the âsnô khratus, 'the durable or instinctive wisdom,', and the gaoshô-srûtô khratus, 'the ear-heard or acquired wisdom,' which are the terms used here.

134:2 The sin of vishâd-dûbârisnîh, which would have been incurred in any of these cases if no girdle had been worn, is a venial sin of one Farmân for each of the three first steps, but becomes a Tanâpûhar sin (equivalent to 75 or 400 Farmâns) at the fourth step (see Sls. IV, 8-10).

134:3 This is mentioned as a further illustration of a greater religious duty superseding a lesser one. When the Gâthas, or hymns, are being chanted, the reciter is already under the protection of the inward prayer (vâg) with which all acts of worship must commence; it is, therefore, unnecessary to take another prayer inwardly before eating. Inward prayer is a short formula which is said to be 'taken' and 'retained' inwardly, as a protective spell, by muttering its commencement before certain necessary acts, and after the completion of the act the remainder of the formula is 'spoken out' aloud, and the spell is dissipated, before the person can converse (see Sls. III, 6).

134:4 The MSS. have pêm, 'milk,' instead of kîm, 'purpose,' but see § 1; the Pahl. letters p and k are often much alike.

134:5 M14 has sipâsîh, 'praise;' but this and several other emendations p. 135 in the same MS. are probably nothing but unsuccessful attempts to render an obscure text intelligible, without taking the trouble to understand it.

135:1 This glorification (stâyisnŏ) must refer to the inward prayer of § 5, which commences by praising Aûharmazd (see Chap. LXXIX, 2, note).

135:2 Reading lâ, 'not,' instead of râî, 'on account of.' M14 has altered the passage.

135:3 That is, when the spell of the inward prayer is broken by speaking before the proper time (see § 5, note), the spell must be renewed before proceeding with the meal.

Next: Chapter XLI