Sacred Texts  Zoroastrianism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


1. The forty-fourth question is that which you ask thus: Of priesthood (aêrpatîh) or discipleship (hâvistîh) which is the priest's duty (aêrpatîh), and which the disciple's; which is that which it is necessary to have in priesthood, and which in discipleship?

p. 152

2. The reply is this, that the priesthood and discipleship are connected together; the priests teach the scriptures 1, and the disciples learn the knowledge of the religion, that is, the Avesta and Zand 2. 3. The priest; have been disciples; through the teaching of his own priest they make the aroused existence 3 of even a disciple become a priest, and in one body with the learner are the priesthood and discipleship. 4. Through that which he has learned as a disciple from the priest he is wiser, and owing to the priesthood in his own person he teaches the disciple who is a learner; the desire which is his craving for learning is also owing to that in his own priest, when he was a disciple unto his own priest.

5. And the disciple and priest are even such as is said thus: 'The director (farmâdâr) of the profession of priests (âsravŏân) of Pârs 4, and chieftain over the faithful and the officiating priests (magôpatân) of Pârs, is the leader of the religion; and his disciple (ashakardŏ) is a disciple in a selected foremost position among the priests of the religion, set up (madam âgast) over those acquainted with the commentary (zand-âkâsânŏ).' 6. The

p. 153

more infallible (asaktar) of these is the powerful skill of the priest (aêrpatŏ) put forth through the ritual and Visparad 1, and his skill in the commentary (zand); the skill of disciples in the Avesta is, further, fully understood, and sin recognised as oppressive, through the formulas (nîrang) of the sacred ceremony, ablution and non-ablution, purity and pollution.

7. And both professions are the indispensable preservers of great decisions as to that which the priestly disposition has taught, done, and considered about the perpetual existence of every being, the complete goodness and final success of the non-existent evil and entire good of the sacred beings, the annihilation of the demons 2, and the complete understanding of the friends of the sacred beings.


152:1 The word mâdigân means a treatise upon almost any subject, but it is specially applied to the Nasks or books of the complete ancient literature of the Mazda-worshippers, which are now nearly all lost. It should be noted that 'teaching' and 'learning' are expressed by the same word in Pahlavi.

152:2 The Avesta is the religious literature in its original language, erroneously called Zend by Europeans, and the Zand is the Pahlavi translation of the same literature, with the Pahlavi commentary (see Bd. Introd. p. x).

152:3 Reading ham-vîkhtŏ yehevûnîh and taking ham-vîkhtŏ as equivalent to Pers. angîkht.

152:4 This was the post held by the author himself (see Chap. XCIV, 13).

153:1 The term yastô, 'ritual,' means any form of prayer with ceremony, and appears to include the Yasna or chief ceremonial ritual. The Visparad (here written Vispôrêdŏ) is a particular form of ceremonial prayer, the various sections of which are interspersed among those of the Yasna and Vendidâd in the full liturgy of the Mazda-worshippers; it is called Visparad, 'all chiefs,' because it commences with an invocation of all the spiritual chiefs of the universe.

153:2 K35 has khasânŏ, which might stand for khasânŏ, 'reptiles,' but is more probably a slight alteration of sêdânŏ,' demons,' which would correspond to the more modern form, sedâânŏ, in M14.

Next: Chapter XLVI