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

p. 233


1. As to the seventy-eighth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: What is the decision about water with the word Ithâ 1 and him who shall drink it? 2. When a man has performed his ritual and does not take the prayer (vâgŏ) inwardly, but drinks water with the word Ithâ, what is the decision about this efficacy 2 of which he takes up one half and abandons one half, how is it necessary, or not, to consider it, and what is the sin of it? 3. As to him who performs half, or less than half, of the efficacy, and drinks water with the word Ithâ, what is the retribution for this sin when he shall commit it occasionally, and what is good in order that this sin, when he shall commit it, may depart from its source?

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4. As to him who has performed his Nâbar 1 ritual, and drinks water with the word Ithâ, not muttering (andâkŏ) the inward prayer (vâgŏ), and performs a ceremony (yastô), though he does not order a ceremony of Gêtô-kharîd 2 for himself, is the decision then about him anything better, or not; and does the good work of this ceremony of Gêtô-kharîd become just the same as that of the Nâbar ceremony, or not? 5. As to him who orders a ceremony of Gêtô-kharîd for 3 himself, what is then his good work, and what is the value 4 of his worthiness when he does not himself perform because he orders that they should perform for him? 6. And as to him who has not performed his ceremony, and is fifteen years old, what is then the decision about him?

7. The reply is this:--When a man who has chanted the Gâthas ('hymns') 5 drinks water with the word Ithâ, if, moreover, being preservable from suffering 6, he be not a righteous one overwhelmed by impotence, it is thus said that, when in order to consecrate the sacred cake (drônô) 7 it is not possible

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to take the prayer inwardly, and there are no presentations of it for the tasting of the virtuous with inward prayer 1 or for the sake of relieving the sickness of a righteous person, which has come severely, when it is possible for him to say 'Ithâ' and one 'Ashem-vohû 2,' or it is possible for him to say 'Ashem,' he is to recite that which it is possible for him to speak, and he is to drink or eat 3 the water, or food, or medicine which is discreetly his, and may be the custom of his body and life 4.

8. But the sinfulness of him who has drunk water with the word Ithâ, not owing to suffering, is much the most sinful, except this efficacy of which you have written that, having taken up 5 one half, they shall abandon one half; for, when in eating the efficacy is possessed in that manner, it is then a chattering meal which is a very grievous sin 6. 9. Every single drop (pashan) 7 which in that manner comes to the

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mouth as a new taste is a sin of three stîrs 1, and every single thing which is spoken like that word 2 is a sin of three stîrs, which is mentioned as the minimum.

10. The retribution is that way well perfected when, in renunciation of that sin which attacks, a proper efficacy is prepared and becomes a vestige (vûnakŏ) of the sin of the performer. 11. Whoever is not able to arrange it in this manner is to entreat the prayers of three men with a donation of wealth, and is to solemnize his Nônâbar ceremony 3, or he is to consecrate a sacred cake every day in the ceremonial place, to eat food lawfully, and to order the proper maintenance of the efficacy. 12. The assistance of performing the proper rituals through ordering the Nâbar ceremony, and the helping existence of discharging the burden of the trouble of a populous household seem to me suitable for the atonement of such-like sin, through the will of the sacred beings.


233:1 The first word of Yas. V, 1, 2 which forms the first portion (after the invocation) of the inward prayer, or grace, to be muttered before eating or drinking. This first portion may be translated as follows: 'Here then we praise Ahura-mazda, who gave (or created) both cattle and righteousness, he gave both water and good plants, he gave both the luminaries and the earth, and everything good.' This is followed by three Ashem-vohûs, each meaning as follows: 'Righteousness is the best good, a blessing it is; a blessing be to that which is righteousness to the angel of perfect rectitude.' After muttering these formulas, or 'taking' them inwardly as a protective spell, the mutterer can eat or drink, and after washing his mouth he 'speaks out' the spell or vâg by reciting certain other formulas aloud. This chapter refers to those who mutilate the vâg by muttering only its first word or words, which matter is also treated in Sls. V.

233:2 Supposing that this word, which may be twice read mâânâê and four times mâânâê, represents the Ar. ma’hni, but this is by no means certain.

234:1 The initiatory ceremony of a young priest, written nâîbar or nâgbar in this chapter, and sometimes nônâbar (Pahl. navak nâîbar).

234:2 This ceremony, which means 'the world-purchased,' and by which, according to the Sad-dar Bundahis, 'heaven is purchased in the world, and one's own place brought to hand in heaven,' lasts three days, and is performed by two priests; the first day's ceremonies are those of the Nônâbar, those of the second are of the angel Srôsh, and those of the third are of the Sîrôzah, or angels of the thirty days of the month (see Bd. XXX, 28 n).

234:3 Reading râî instead of lâ, 'not'

234:4 Reading varkâ, instead of va neked, 'female,' which is much like it in Pahl. letters.

234:5 And is, therefore, an initiated. priest.

234:6 M14 has 'from impotent suffering.'

234:7 See Chap. XXX, I.

235:1 Reading vâgŏ atôfdâdagân-î nadûgânŏ, which M14 has altered to mean 'and if in his state of hunger and thirst.'

235:2 Merely the first words of the two formulas which constitute the inward prayer, or vâg (see § i n).

235:3 M14 has only 'he is to eat.'

235:4 M14 has 'and is authorisedly to preserve his own body.'

235:5 Reading frâg, as in M14 and § 2, instead of pavan, 'in;' though the reading 'in taking up' is quite possible.

235:6 The sin of drâyân-gûyisnîh, 'eagerness for chattering,' which arises from talking while eating, praying, or at any other time when a prayer (vâg) has been taken inwardly and is not yet spoken out. The sin arises from breaking the spell of the inward prayer (see Sts. V).

235:7 Comp. Av. parshuya and Pers. pashang, bashang. This word has been misread yazisn, 'ceremony,' in Sls. V, 3, 4, which ought to stand as follows:--'It is unseasonable chatter for every single drop; for him who has performed the ritual it is a Tanâpûhar sin; for him who has not performed the ritual it is less, p. 136 some have said three Srôshô-karanâms. The measure of unseasonable chatter is a Tanâpûhar sin; this is where every single drop, or every single morsel, or every single taste is not completed.'

236:1 The stîr is evidently taken here as equivalent to the Srôshô-karanâm of Sls. V, 3 (see the last note). A sin of three Srôshô-karanâms, 'lashes with a scourge,' is called a Farmân, and is usually the least degree of sin of which notice is taken; its amount is variously estimated (see Sls. IV, 14, X, 24, XI, 2, XVI, 1, 5), but the value given here, in the text, is very likely correct, and is equivalent to about 4 1/5 rûpîs, either in weight or amount (see Chap. LII, r n).

236:2 The word Ithâ. M14 has 'every single time it is spoken in tasting with an efficacy like that word,' but the meaning of this is not clear.

236:3 See § 4.

Next: Chapter LXXX