Sacred Texts  Zoroastrianism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 264

Chapter XCIII.

1. As to the ninety-second question and reply, that which you ask is thus: From what place should Tîstar 1 seize the water? How does it pass into a cloud, and how does he make the cloud move on? How does it rain upon the world? How can he carry on a struggle with demons, and with which demon can he carry it on? How does this always happen with the. hail and snow, whenever hail and snow occur? And who can force away that hail and snow?

2. The reply is this, that the high-priests have thus said, that Tîstar seizes a place which is called 'abysmal' (vârûnak) 2, that is the last place of filtration in the ocean, and there are no removal of any kind and causing rain from any other place. 3. And the cause of its (the rain's) establishment is spiritually active, more particularly, however, through two kinds of material agency: one is that which is the role (mang) in the atmosphere of the earth, whereby it is drawn up in atoms similarly to smoke, and in larger masses, well-soaring from the rivers; and one is that which blows with the power of the well-operating wind, and the blowing of the great united breath (ham-vâê) and strength of the community (kandîgânŏîh)

p. 265

of spirits 1, from the fully perfect distillation (pûr-hû-zûhîgîh) of the mighty ocean to the upper regions, and thereby the clouds are blown.

4. Afterwards, it (the rain) speeds in the cloud, through the great strength of the mighty wind, to where there is a necessity for it, to divert it from where there is no necessity; and so long as there is a necessity for it it (the cloud) discharges. 5. And when there is a necessity and it causes rain, and the necessity is for no more acquisitions of water, and the advantage is the effect of water upon the place, and it distributes it to the existing rivers for the use of the sea, and it causes rain again, it thereby produces even new water, new flowing, new coming of healing to plants, new growth, new golden colouring to lands; new purification to animals, new procreation, new proper breathings for other creatures, new dawn, and new things of that description. 6. The thriving of the world makes the advantage and perfection of the good creation increase; and, apart from a great craving for the effect of the glory of the spirits in the operations of cultivation and the performance of spiritual mysteries, it is said labours are aided even for one gloriously destined.

7. And Tîstar in seizing the water should seize upon the great strength of the wind of whirlwinds (gardînâkân), which is figuratively (mînisnîk) the dragging and blowing that follow the whirling; and the purified water is expanded and carried up aloft to the higher regions of the atmosphere, just as that

p. 266

which is seen where it reaches up with the heaviness and weight of earth, and then is discerned in the plain 1 accompanied by the dragging of the whirling wind which would carry it afar to settle like that which is owing to dust; it (the atmosphere) is called Andarvâê ('the intermediate air'), and the wind is a whirlwind. 8. As the water is lighter, and owing to the more strongly dragging wind on the ocean than that which exists on the plain, so, also, the water from the ocean is much more in proportion, and transportable farther up than the dust 2 from the plain. 9. And as in the midst of a plain a medium whirlwind of wind is expanded into the wide plain by a medium dragging of the wind, and plenty of much buffeting is the violence of the dragging of winds, a whirlwind of wind which is seen very lofty and large is unknown; so, also, one is ignorant of what is spreading among the movements of the sea. 10. The water of that full and abundant flowing--which is through the power and glory of the heavenly angels and Tîstar's control of the work--is blown up, both by the well-characterised water-drawing power, and also by the force of various kinds, the dragging, and upward blowing of the winds, into the atmosphere; and thence it rains the complete rain, as they have recounted from observation and much full evidence.

11. The demon who resists the doings of Tîstar--and the glorious Tîstar, meeting him, properly drives back such improper resistance of his--is

p. 267

a demon of the name of Apâôsh 1, which is interpreted as 'the destruction of water' (âp-aôsh). 12. He contends, moreover, with the uppermost and lowermost water; and desirous of its destruction that demon contends at three periods: first, for the non-existence of rain; secondly, for converting it into a cause of damage to a place; and thirdly, at. the place of producing it with advantage; and the struggling is like a tree (vanô) which is set moving.

13. The seizers of the feminine 2 pure water are a benefit for the existences of the whole world; and the formation of rain, and the triumph and ascendancy of Tîstar over the demon, through that seizing (falânîh) of water, are due to the creator who strengthens him 3, the archangels who have him assisted 4, the religious who reverence him, and the worldly beings who glorify him. 14. Very properly do the archangels propitiate him, and mankind promote the strength and power, which are engaged about the business, by glorifying and invoking the good spirit who increases them in consequence of glorifying and worship, and through which

p. 268

arises that advantageousness 1 of his--which owing to that benefit is the benefit of every one else--for this advantageous business.

15. And Tîstar shall gradually (padmanîkîhâ) seize upon the water to distribute it liberally, assiduously a similitude of that which a learned ruler said, in extolling a wise high-priest, that, 'just as the wind draws the up-flying water from rivers and springs and from seas; Tîstar, through his own liberality, bestows the prepared apportionments of the whole production for the advantage of the creatures by the will of the sacred beings, and makes it rain. 16. And through that which he shall purposely seize to distribute suitably he distributes the water purified, he moistens the pleasant existences of animals and plants and spares 2 the polluted, he provides for the thirsty 3, he causes harm to the dye-like bloody one, and he makes the world thrive. 17. When that wide-spread liberality of his, the production of rain, is from the pure, healing water which he shall thus seize gradually and with just apportionment, and when through that acquiring of water-seizings the rivers, springs, and other existences (shavandagânŏ) are well-expanding, and even the diminution which is owing to the wasting (aîrîkhtagîh) of rivers and springs does not occur thereby, it is thus, too, the lordly, by a law (dâdŏ) moderate and varied--if the regulation (gûn) is to reach away from the region--are as much contributing, as

p. 269

[paragraph continues]star is by causing rain for the region and the good, to the aggrandizement of the many grades 1 and the replenishment of the region and creatures 2.'


264:1 The angel who is supposed to produce rain, being a personification of the star Tîstar or Sirius. His production of rain and conflict with the demons of drought and thunder are detailed in Bd. VII, 1-13.

264:2 Assuming that the word is meant as a translation of Av. vairya, a term which is applied to the depths or depressed basins of the ocean in Yas. LXIV, 17, 18, Âbân Yt. 101, Zamyâd Yt. 51.

265:1 Altering mînisnŏ, 'thought,' into 'spirits' by inserting an extra medial stroke, as in M14 and J.

266:1 Referring to the frequent small whirlwinds, sweeping up the dust, which accompany every complete change of wind in dry climates.

266:2 K35 omits the first two letters of afrâ, 'dust,' by mistake.

267:1 Av. Apaosha, the demon of drought, who, in the form of a black horse, is said in the Tîstar Yast to fight with Tîstar in the ocean. Here his name is written Apâhôsh, but see Bd. VII, 8-12.

267:2 Reading mâdagîk. According to Bd. XVI, 6 the sky, metal, wind, and fire are always male, while water, earth, plants, and fish are always female, and all other creations are of both sexes. Water and earth are also personified as female angels.

267:3 In his first encounter with Apâôsh, Tîstar is vanquished, and attributes his defeat to his not being invoked by name in the ceremonies, whereupon Aûharmazd invokes him by name so as to give him enormous strength, when he returns to the conflict and conquers the demon (see Tîstar Yt. 20-28, Bd. VII, 8-10).

267:4 Reading aîyyârinênd, as in M14 and J; in K35 it is written like âyênd rîvênd, 'they come and liberate.'

268:1 Reading sûdakîh instead, of î yûdakîh, 'which is unity.' M14 has nadûkîh, 'benefit'

268:2 Or 'forgives' (bakhshêdŏ).

268:3 M14 and J have 'he causes the thirsty to drink.'

269:1 Or 'to the great aggrandizement of the grades.'

269:2 Reading dâm, as in M14 and J, instead of gadman, 'glory.' The chapter appears to break off here, without any reference to the queries about hail and snow; but it is uncertain if any portion of the work be here omitted (owing to loss of folios in some older MS.) because the author does not always reply to all clauses of the questions, as may be noticed in Chap. XXXVII. One reason, however, for supposing that some of the text is here lost is the allusion, in Chaps. XVII, 20, XVIII, 2, to a chapter no longer extant in Dd.

Next: Chapter XCIV