Sacred Texts  Zoroastrianism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


1. The seventh subject is this, that, when a sneeze (’hatsat) comes forth from any one, it is requisite to recite one Yathâ-ahû-vairyô 3 and one Ashem-vohû 4. 2. Because there is a fiend in our bodies, and she is an adversary who is connected with mankind, and strives so that she may make misfortune (’hillat) and sickness predominant (mustaûlî) over mankind. 3 And in our bodies there is a fire which they call a disposition—in Arabic they say tabî’hat—and they call it the sneezing instinct (gharîzî). 4. It is connected with that fiend, and they wage warfare, and it keeps her away from the body of man. 5. Then, as the fire becomes successful over

p. 266

that fiend, and puts her to flight (hazîmat), a sneeze comes because that fiend comes out.

6. Afterwards, because it is necessary, they recite these inward prayers 1 and perform the benediction (âfrîn) of the fire, so that it may remain for a long period while thou art keeping 2 this fiend defeated. 7. When another person hears the sneeze, it is likewise requisite for him to utter the said prayers, and to accomplish the benediction of that spirit 3.


265:3 See Mkh. XXVII, 70 n, Sls. XII, 32.

265:4 A formula in praise of righteousness, which begins with these two Avesta words, and is in constant use (see Bd. XX, 2).

266:1 The formulas are muttered as a spell.

266:2 B29 has 'it is making.'

266:3 In some parts of Europe it is still the custom to invoke a blessing, by means of some formula, on hearing a sneeze.

Next: Chapter VIII