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Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. [1885], at


1. And as to that which is asked (2) thus: 'When I always see that all things ever arise from the celestial sphere and stars, (3) and who created this sphere, then it is like that which those of the Vîrôd 3 religion say, that he created good and evil. 4. If Aharman

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created anything, how did he become able to create the effect of these marvellous things, (5) and why is it when they are stars by which assistance of virtue is always bestowed? 6. If Aûharmazd and Aharman created in conference, then that way it is manifest that Aûharmazd is an accomplice and confederate, with Aharman, in the harm and evil which ever arise from the celestial sphere.' 7. The answer is this, (8) that the celestial sphere is the place of the divinities (baghân), who are the distributers of happiness, from which they always justly bestow their distribution of every happiness. 9. And the forms of the seven planets (star) are witches who rush below them, despoilers who are antagonistic distributers, (10) whose scriptural name is Gadûg 1.

11. Through the creator Aûharmazd was the arrangement of these creatures and creation, methodically and sagaciously, and for the sake of the continuance of the renovation of the universe. 12. As the evil spirit was entangled in the sky, that fiend, with evil astuteness and with lying falsehood, encompassed 2 and mingled with the light, together with the fiends of crimes of many kinds, who are those of a gloomy race, thinking thus: 'I will make these creatures and creation of Aûharmazd extinct, or I must make them for my own.'

13. Those luminaries, the highest of those of the

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good being, became aware, by means of omniscience, of the blemishing operation and the lies and falsehoods of the fiend, (14) and of this too, that is, of what extent was this power of his, by which this blemishing operation and work of ruin creep on 1, (15) so that, henceforth, there exists no power whatever for its restoration, which is free from the complete daubing of restraint, pain, and entanglement that is inside the sky.

16. It is they 2 who are sagaciously mingled by him (the good being) with the substance of the luminaries, because that fiend encompassed and was entangled with his luminaries, therefore all his powers and resources are for the purpose of not allowing the fiends of crimes of many kinds their own performance of what is desirable for them each separately; (17) such as the fiendish venom of the noxious creatures which the four elements (zahakân), pertaining to Aûharmazd, [keep enveloped 3. 18. For if this fiendish venom of the noxious creatures] does not remain entangled [with the four elements of the bodily formations pertaining to Aûharmazd]—which are water, fire, earth, and air—it is just as though they came to the sky and spiritual existence. 19.

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[paragraph continues] And if they attained to spirituality and a disembodied existence, it would not be possible for those creatures of Aûharmazd to avoid and escape from that demoniacal venom of theirs. 20. It would be in the grasp (grôhê) 1 and mingled with the breath (vâd) of mankind and the other creatures, and their restoration, support, increase, and growth would not be possible.

21. So they 2 also keep those planets enveloped in light, because the fiendish venom of the noxious creatures is in the substance of those luminaries. 22. On account of that, too, the existence of somewhat of advantage is manifest from the serpent species, which are dissolving venom from the multitudes of other wild animals and noxious creatures 3. 23. So also from the planets; on account of the commingling of the inferior splendour of those luminaries, benefit is manifested by them.

24. A similitude of these planets and the benefit which they always bestow (25) is such as the brigands (gadûgân) 4 and highwaymen who interrupt the path of traders in a caravan. 26. They abstract important things from many, (27) and do not grant and give them to the diligent and worthy, but to sinners, idlers, courtezans, paramours, and the unworthy.

28. Observe this, too, that this performance of good works which astrologers compute and state from those planets is for this reason, (29) when they have not preferred the method of the divinities

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[paragraph continues] (baghân) who are distributing welfare, and that, also, of the five constellations pertaining to Aûharmazd—which are the great one 1 that is supreme and measurable 2, Haptôiring 3, created by Mazda 4, and the stars Vanand 5, Satavês 6, andstar 7—as regards the brigands (gadûgân) 8 and distributers of evil. 30. And those are the five planets that rush below them in the shape of stars, and they keep them enveloped in light, which are Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. 31. Since the supreme constellation, the great one of the north-opposing 9 (32) Haptôiring, is opposing Saturn, (33) Haptôiring, created by Mazda, is opposing Jupiter, (34) Vanand, the smiter of noxious creatures, is opposing Mars, (35) the star Satavês is opposing Venus, (36) and the star Tîstar is opposing the planetary Mercury 10, (37) the welfare, which they say is from those brigands (gadûgân), is from those five constellations pertaining

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to Aûharmazd, (38) as they obtain the triumph of much power and little injury.

39. And for the sake of not leaving these five planets to their own wills, they are bound by the creator, Aûharmazd, each one by two threads (gîk) to the sun (Mihir) and moon. 40. And their forward motion and backward motion are owing to the same cause. 41. There are some whose length of thread is longer, such as Saturn and Jupiter, (42) and there are some of which it is shorter, such as Mercury and Venus. 43. Every time when they go to the end of the threads, they draw them back from behind, (44) and they do not allow them to proceed by their own wills, (45) so that they may not injure the creatures.

4.6. And those two fiends that are greatly powerful, who are opponents of the planetary sun and moon, move below the splendour of those two luminaries 1. 47. Another—even that which is called the brigand (gadûg) of the stars, as regards the welfare that exists 2—is likewise confined below the splendour of the sun. 48. And when it 3 gets far from control, it commits damage and harm on the constellation into which it springs, and on the quarter which is the particular concern of that constellation, (49) until it

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becomes again, a second time, bound and fettered to the sun.

50. The statement which they offer about it 1 (51) is this, the conflict of the superior beings within the star station. 52. Out of the inferior of those are the conflicts of Tîstar and the demon Spenzagar 2, (53) of the fire Vâzis3 and the demon Avâush 4, (54) and of other good spirits with gloomy ones, for the formation of rain and allotment of welfare to the creatures.

55. Below them are mankind and cattle, noxious creatures and deadly ones 5, and other creatures that are good and bad. 56. Because propensities (gadasni) are mingled with mankind, (57) which are greed, lust, malice, wrath, and lethargy, (58) wisdom, temper, skill, knowledge, understanding, and intellect, (59) as the good influences and bad influences are called, which are the causes of good works and sin.

60. All this welfare of the creatures 6 is specially owing to the creator of the creatures, (61) who is himself the healer and perfect ruler, the maintainer of protection, nourisher, and caretaker, preserving his own creatures. 62. And, for his own creatures, he

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has thoroughly created and taught the means of preservation from evil, and the appliances for abstaining from crime.

63. A semblance, too, of him is such as a wise orchard-owner and gardener who wishes to diminish the wild animals and birds which are mischievous and destructive for his orchard by spoiling the fruit of the trees. 64. And that wise gardener, effacing (padasâê) his own little trouble, for the sake of keeping those mischievous wild animals away from his own orchard, arranges the appliances which are necessary for the capture of those wild animals, (65) such as springes, traps, and snares for birds. 66. So that when a wild animal sees the snare, and wishes to proceed with suspicion of it, through unconsciousness of the springe and trap he is captured therein.

67. This is certain, that, when a wild animal falls into a trap, it is not a victory of the trap, but that of the arranger of the trap, (68) and through him the wild animal is captured in the trap. 69. The proprietor and orchard-owner, who is the arranger of the trap, is aware through sagacity that the wild animal is powerful, and to what extent and how long a time. 70. The power and strength of that wild animal, which are in its body, are exhausted and poured out by struggling, as much as it is able, in demolishing the trap and in endeavouring to destroy and spoil the springe. 71. And when, on account of imperfect strength, its power of struggling totters and is exhausted, that wise gardener then, by his own will and his own result of determination, wisely throws that wild animal out of the trap, with its existing nature and exhausted strength. 72. And

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he consigns his own trap and springe, rearranged and undamaged, back to the storehouse.

73. Even like him is the creator Aûharmazd, who is the preserver of creations and arranger of creatures 1, the disabler of the evil original evolution 2 and protector of his own orchard from the injurer. 74. The mischievous wild animal, which is the spoiler of the orchard, is that accursed Aharman who is the hurrier and disturber of the creatures. 75. The good trap is the sky, in which the good creations are lodging, (76) and in which the evil spirit and his rudimentary 3 miscreations are captured. 77. And pertaining to the springe and trap of the wild animal, who is mischievous owing to his own wilfulness, is the exhauster (78) time that, for the struggling of Aharman and his powers and resources, is for the long period 4 (79) which, through the struggling of the wild animal in the springe and trap, is an exhaustion of its strength. 80. The sole 5

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creator of the creatures arranges a preservation again, which is the preparation of an eternal happy progress free from his adversary, which that wise orchard-owner does with his own trap and springe 1.

81. Then 2 the scanty power and want of ability of that fiend for it, in his struggling for the luminaries, are manifest even from this. 82. When as with lying falsehood he thought thus 3: 'I will make this sky and earth and the creatures of Aûharmazd extinct, or I will turn them from their own nature and bring them to my own,' (83) even then, with all the power, desire of destruction, and perpetual struggling of the fiend, no slaughter whatever by the demons is free from effectual limits; it is this earth and sky, and these creatures, (84) that are propagating from few to many, as is manifest, (85) and innumerable persons are convinced of it. 86. For, if in this struggling any victory should have specially occurred, it would have been impossible to attain from few to many.

87. Moreover, if the births of the worldly existence are mostly manifest through the occurrence of death therein, even then it is seen that that death is not a complete dissolution of existence, but a necessity of going from place to place, from duty to duty 4. 88. For, as the existence of all these creations is derived from the four elements, it is manifest to the sight that those worldly bodies of theirs are to be mingled again with the four elements. 89. The spiritual parts, which are the rudimentary appliances of the life

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stimulating the body, are mingled with the soul—(90) on account of unity of nature they are not dispersed—(91) and the soul is accountable (amârhômand) for its own deeds. 92. Its treasurers 1, also, unto whom its good works and offences are intrusted, advance there for a contest. 93. When the treasurer of the good works is of greater strength, she preserves it, by her victory, from the hands of the accuser 2, and settles it for the great throne and the mutual delightfulness of the luminaries; (94) and it is assisted eternally in virtuous progress. 95. And when the treasurer of its offences is of greater strength, it is dragged, through her victory, away from the hands of the helper 3, (96) and is delivered up to the place of thirst and hunger and the agonizing abode of disease 4. 97. And, even there, those feeble good works, which were practised by it in the worldly existence, are not useless to it; (98) for, owing to this same reason, that hunger and thirst and punishment are inflicted on it proportionately to the sin, and not lawlessly, (99) because there is a watcher 5

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of the infliction of its punishment. 100. And, ultimately, the compassionate creator, who is the forgiver of the creatures, does not leave any good creature captive in the hands of the enemy 1. 101. But, one day 2, he saves even those who are sinful, and those of the righteous through atonement for sin, by the hands of the purifiers, and makes them proceed on the happy course which is eternal.

102. The conclusion is this, that the creator is the healer and perfect ruler, the maintainer and nourisher, protecting and preserving the creatures 3; not a producer of the disease, a causer of the pain, and an inflicter of the punishment of his own creatures. 103. And it is more explicitly written below, with the arrangement of the two original evolutions 4, among the assertors of the non-existence of a sacred being 5, and the contemplators of unity 6.

104. As ordered and requested by you it is provided (padarâst); do you direct and observe it with kind regards. 105. Because, as written above 7 by us, I do not hold the station of teaching, but really that of learning. 106. Even this teaching of doctrines is that which was obtained by me, through the religion of wisdom 8, from the writing (nipîk) of Âtûr-pâdîyâvand 9, and is here indicated. 107. And his teachings

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are in the Dînkard 1 manuscript (nipîk), which the supremely learned Âtûr-frôbag 2, son of Farukh-zâd, who was the leader of those of the good religion, explained out of his knowledge of the religion, and which consists of a thousand subjects 3.

108. Of that, too, which is asked by you about unlimitedness and limitation, I have written below 4, through the will of the sacred beings.


127:3 Compare Sans. viruddha, 'perverse, contradictory,' or Pers. bulûd, 'antiquity.' It is possible that Muhammadanism is alluded to, as that religion is hardly ever mentioned by name in Pahlavi writings, probably from motives of policy.

128:1 Av. gadha, a term for 'a brigand' which is used in conjunction with witches and other evil beings in the Srôsh Yt. Hâdôkht, 5, 6.

128:2 Supposing that the Pâz. frawast (fravast in § 16) stands for Pahl. parvast, as in Chaps. VIII, 96, 97, XIV, 73, XVI, 56, 60, 66-69, 71, 72; but as Nêr. uses Sans. prasarpita, pravishta, pravartita, samudgata, and samutpatita to translate the word, he must have assumed that it stood for frazast (Pahl. fragast, 'sprang forth').

129:1 Sans. 'will retreat,' as if Nêr. understood the pronoun 'his' to refer to the good spirit, instead of the evil one; the application of the pronouns in §§ 14, 15 being by no means clear in the original text.

129:2 The spiritual representatives of the luminaries, who are angels.

129:3 The words in brackets are omitted in AK, PB3, L23, so that §§ 17, 18, in those MSS., stand as follows:—'Since the fiendish venom of the noxious creatures, that the four elements pertaining to Aûharmazd—which are water, fire, earth, and air—have not entangled, is just as though they (the creatures) came to the sky and spiritual existence.'

130:1 Or grôhê may mean 'an assemblage.'

130:2 The angels of the luminaries.

130:3 Which they eat, and thereby diminish the number of such objectionable creatures.

130:4 See § 10 n.

131:1 Called 'the great one of the middle of the sky' in Bd. II, 8, V, I, which has not yet been identified, but may be Regulus or Orion.

131:2 Sans. 'very visible.'

131:3 See Mkh. XLIX, 15-21, where it is called Haptôk-ring.

131:4 This epithet is often applied to Haptôiring, Vanand, and Satavês.

131:5 See Mkh. XLIX, 12-14.

131:6 See Mkh. LXII, 13.

131:7 See Mkh. XLIX, 5, 6.

131:8 The planetary witches (see § 10).

131:9 Or it may be 'planetary-opposing,' or 'north-accepting.' The dislocation, and probable corruption, of these sections is due to Nêr., who evidently considered the epithet mazdadhâta, 'created by Mazda,' as the name of one of the constellations, and 'great' and 'supreme' as mere epithets of Haptôiring. But he found it difficult to adapt the text to this opinion of his.

131:10 These oppositions agree with those mentioned in Bd. V, 1, except that Haptôiring is there opposed to Mars, and Vanand to Jupiter.

132:1 Referring to the supposed cause of eclipses, which are said to be occasioned by two dark bodies revolving below the sun and moon, so as to pass between them and the earth whenever an eclipse occurs (see Dd. LXIX).

132:2 Referring to the supposed injurious influence of comets which, as they usually appear one at a time to the unassisted eye, are here assumed to be a single evil being, the Mûspar of Bd. V, 1, 2.

132:3 We should perhaps say 'she,' as a drûg, 'fiend,' is usually considered to be a female being, and the Mûspar or Mûs-pairika is a witch.

133:1 Meaning, probably, the reason given by the astrologers for the good works mentioned in § 28.

133:2 The demon of thunder (see Bd. VII, 12).

133:3 The lightning (see Bd. XVII, 1).

133:4 The demon of drought (see Bd. VII, 8, 10, 12, XXVIII, 39). These two conflicts represent the struggle between rain and drought, which culminates in the thunderstorm; Tîstar (Sirius) being the bringer of rain.

133:5 So in AK, PB3, MH19, but other MSS. have mâr, 'serpent,' instead of mar, though Nêr. uses Sans. nrisamsa.

133:6 Which is manifest in the world around us.

135:1 Nêr. has 'of the trap' in Sanskrit. The Pâz. dãm, meaning both 'creature' and 'trap.'

135:2 Reading bûn gastak instead of bûn yastak, as the word has evidently no reference to any form of worship. It cannot be translated 'original perversion' (a possible meaning of the word) because there are two of them (see § 103 and Chap. VIII, 101), one competing with the other (see Chap. VIII, 1), which, as one of them is here said to be evil, implies that the other is good and cannot, therefore, be a perversion; nor would this term be applicable in Chap. VI, 6 or XV, 56.

135:3 Or it may be 'primitive,' as kâdmon is the Huzvâris form of the Pâz. khâmast (superlative of Pers. ‘hâm, 'immature') here used.

135:4 So in all the older MSS., but in Sans. it 'is the long-time lord,' a common Avesta epithet of 'time,' and this alteration has been introduced into JE, R, and a few other modern MSS.

135:5 Assuming that Pâz. awâz stands for ez. The word is omitted by Sans., K28, L15.

136:1 As stated in § 72.

136:2 Reading adînas, 'then for it,' which is the original Pahlavi indicated by the Pâz. ainâ of Nêr. (see Mkh. IX, 6 n).

136:3 See § 12.

136:4 Compare Chap. XII, 79.

137:1 Nêr. divides the word gangôbar, 'treasurer,' into the three words gang u bar, 'treasure and produce.' These treasurers are the female spirits who meet the soul after death, with its stores of good works and sins (see Dd. XXIV, 5, XXV, 5), and symbolize its good and bad conscience, represented by a beautiful maiden and a frightful hag, respectively.

137:2 The accuser is any person or thing of the good creation that has been injured by any sin, and who must be satisfied by atonement before the sin can be remitted. The question, therefore, to be settled, when the account of the soul is rendered, is whether its good works are sufficient to atone for its sins. In this case the treasurer of offences represents the accusers.

137:3 The treasurer of good works.

137:4 That is, to the torments of hell.

137:5 Either the treasurer of its good works, or the good works themselves.

138:1 Compare Chap. XII, 59.

138:2 Assuming that Pâz. gumê is a misreading of Huz. yôm-1.

138:3 Compare § 61.

138:4 See § 73 n, Chaps. V, 46-IX, 45.

138:5 Chap. V.

138:6 Chap. X.

138:7 Chap. I, 44.

138:8 It is doubtful whether this dîni-i-khard was the name of a book now unknown, as the phrase admits of reasonable translation.

138:9 This writer is also mentioned in Chaps. I, 38, IX, 2, X, 52, but his name has not yet been found elsewhere. As he does not p. 139 appear to be mentioned in that portion of the Dînkard known to be extant, his writings were probably embodied in the first two books of that work, which have not yet been discovered.

139:1 The most extensive Pahlavi work in existence, of which only Books III-IX are extant; they contain about 170,000 words and are a summary of the religious opinions, customs, legends, and literature of the Mazda-worshippers, compiled probably in or before the eighth century of the Christian era from earlier records.

139:2 An early editor of the Dînkard, 'acts of the religion.' His selections from various religious writings form the fourth and fifth books of that work. He appears to have been succeeded in the editorship by his son Zaratûst. And when their manuscript became worn out, it was finally re-edited by Âtûrd, son of Hêmîd, who lived in the latter part of the ninth century. All these three editors were 'leaders of the good religion,' and are mentioned in the last paragraphs of the third book of the Dînkard.

139:3 Pâz. daraa means rather 'subject' than 'chapter' (Pâz. dar).

139:4 See Chap. XVI, 53-107.

Next: Chapter V