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


1. The twenty-sixth subject is this, that the wise and the ancients say that when a man becomes fifteen years of age it is necessary that he takes

p. 289

one of the angels 1 as his own protection 2, that he takes one of the wise as his own sage, and that he takes one of the high-priests and officiating priests as his own high-priest. 2. So that, if, any time, a bereavement (âstânah) approaches, he may beg a favour from the archangels 3, in order that it may furnish 4 an escape from that bereavement. 3. And 5, any time any affair comes forward, and he has 6 to have opinion (râî) and advice (masvarat), he holds a consultation with that sage, while the sage tells him his opinion (tadbîr). 4. And, if any question as to proper and improper comes forward, he speaks with that high-priest, so that he may tell him in reply.

5. When the instructions of these three persons are brought to pass, carrying out the commands of the sacred being is accomplished. 6. Especially the instructions of the high-priests, because their satisfaction is connected with the satisfaction of the sacred being; and the high-priests possess so much dignity (martabat) in the presence of the sacred being, the good and propitious, that they are quite able to forgive any trivial one of the sins of mankind 7, and Hôrmazd, the good and propitious, quickly 8 forgives that sin for the high-priest. 7.

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[paragraph continues] Therefore, carrying out the commands of the high-priests becomes 1 incumbent on every one; and the fulfilment of this maxim is better than that of a whole assemblage of maxims.


289:1 La, Lp have 'ancients,' but this seems inconsistent with § 2.

289:2 La has 'ancestor,' having read ba-niyâh instead of panâh.

289:3 Lp, B29, J15 add 'and they may provide health of body and safety.'

289:4 Lp, B29, J15 have 'that they may furnish him.'

289:5 Lp, B29 insert 'if.'

289:6 Lp, B29 have 'it is necessary.'

289:7 B29 has 'to forgive one-third of the sins which mankind commit.'

289:8 Lp has 'likewise.'

290:1 Lp, B29 have 'is.'

Next: Chapter XXVII