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


1. The eighteenth subject is this, that it is necessary for mankind to make an endeavour, so that they may espouse a wife in their youth and beget a child. 2. And for women, in like manner, it is necessary that there should be a longing (raghbat) for espousing a husband.

3. Because it is declared in revelation 2, that every duty and good work a child performs becomes the father's and mother's, just like those which they have performed with their own hands. 4. The meaning (ma’hnî) of pûr ('a son') is that which signifies pûl ('a bridge') 3, for by this bridge they arrive at that other world. 5. If there be no child for any one they call him one with a severed bridge, that is, the

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way for him to that other world is severed, and he is not able to attain to that world. 6. At the head of the Kinvad bridge he shall remain; although he has performed much duty and good works he is not able to make a passage over the Kinvad bridge, and they do not make up his account and reckoning. 7. And every archangel that comes forward to that place first asks these words, that is, 'Hast thou brought thy own substitute visibly into the world, or not?' 8. When he has not brought it, they will pass over him, and his soul will remain, in that place 1, full of anguish and grief (gham).

9. A similitude (miTHâl) of it is like that which happens when any one may be in a wilderness, and there may be fear of wild animals and creatures, and near to him may be his own town, but a river of water is in front 2, and it is not possible to make a passage over that river, as a bridge is fallen in, and he is not able to arrive at that town, but he is always upon the bank (sart) speaking thus 3: 'Would that the bridge would become perfect!'

10. The duty as to children 4 is in this aggregate 5. 11. Therefore, the creator Hôrmazd has granted unto men that, if there be any one to whom sickness from heaven may occur, and there be no provision of a child for him, he has commanded him that he should make some one a son of his own, as 6 a friend of his soul, and should receive a child, because every duty can be delegated. 12. That person is in place of a

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child, and every duty and good work that he performs shall be just like that which is performed by one's own hand.

13. And, finally, if any one departs from the world (dunyâ) 1 and possesses no adopted child, it is incumbent on the priests and high-priests and his relations to appoint his adopted son, and it is necessary to bring some one in sight on that account, so that his soul may spring away from the torment of hell. 14. Because, every time that his relations do not pay attention to this, when they proceed to that other world, the soul of that person hangs about them and speaks thus: 'I left with you something that I had collected and borne trouble for in many years, and you seized upon it, and put it into your own expenditure (‘harg), and did not seek for 2 mercy (safqat) on my soul. 15. In the same manner as I have remained, delayed (maûqûf) in this place, I will not let you pass; so that you will make no passage over the Kinvad bridge till the sacred being takes my rights away from you.' 16. Then the angel Rashn and the angel Mihir 3 make up their reckoning, and, as to whatever those persons have seized upon from the other's property 4, for every single dînâr the account makes four, and they take away the equivalent. 17. And, as in that world there are no gold and silver, they take away from their souls the good works that they have done, and they give them to the soul of this other. 18. Still, while others do not appoint the adopted son, they are not able to pass over the Kinvad bridge, nor to arrive at their own station.

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19. There is no duty whatever more incumbent on relations than this duty, and every time that they appoint an adopted son for any one it is just as though they have made the deceased alive; and there are no limit (‘hadd) and end (nihâyat) of their good works.


278:2 In the Spend, Nihâdûm, and Dâmdâd Nasks (see Sls. X, 22, XII, 15).

278:3 This fanciful explanation must be derived from a Pahlavi source, as it is only in that language that the two words are written precisely alike.

279:1 Lp, B29 add 'on the bridge.'

279:2 La omits these eight words.

279:3 Lp, B29 have 'always in regret (‘hasrat) thus.'

279:4 Lp has 'as to the command.'

279:5 Lp has 'manner,' and J15 has 'endeavour.'

279:6 Lp, B29 have 'some one through his own affection.'

280:1 La omits these nine words.

280:2 B29 has 'bring.'

280:3 See Mkh. II, 118, 119.

280:4 Lp, J15 insert 'and have expended.'

Next: Chapter XIX