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


1. The eighty-first subject is this, that every duty and good work, which it is requisite to perform, they should accomplish while within that day, and not postpone for the morrow.

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2. For it is declared in revelation, that the creator Hôrmazd spoke to Zaratust thus: 'O Zaratust! I have created no one better than thee in the world, and after thee I shall likewise not create one; thou art my chosen one, and I have made this world apparent on account of thee. 3. And all 1 these people (‘halâîq) whom I have created, and the whole of these monarchs who have existed and do exist, have always maintained the hope that I should create thee in their days, so that they should accept (qabûl kunand) the religion, and their souls should attain to the supreme heaven.

4. 'Nevertheless I have created thee at the present time, in the middle period; for it is three thousand years from the days of Gayômard till now, and from now till the resurrection are the three thousand years that remain: therefore, I have created thee in the middle. 5. For whatever is in the middle is more precious and better and more valuable, in the same manner as the heart is in the middle of the whole body and is unquestionably (lâ-garm) very precious 2, in the same manner as the land of Erân 3 is more valuable than other lands, for the reason that it is in the middle. 6. And the country of Erân, which is in the fourth climate (iqlîm) 4, is better than other places, for the reason that it is in the middle. 7. Therefore, I have created thee in the middle, in the manner of what is precious, and I have given thee the apostleship, and have sent thee to a monarch, a friend of knowledge and a friend of religion.

8. 'Afterwards, I have sent thee, with thus much

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preciousness, to the people; and the knowledge of the good works that mankind perform 1 in life, and have not been able to bring to hand without trouble (mi‘hnat), I have made clear and plain unto thee; and I have made thee aware of the whole of knowledge. 9. I have taught it 2 to thee in the Avesta, in a language that no one in the world considers plain and easy; and I have told thee its interpretation (zand) in a language that is more current among mankind, and thou likewise hast more eloquence (faʓ‘h) therein.

10. 'While thou hast all this greatness that I have given to thee, O Zaratust! I enact a precept for thee, that "every good work which thou art able to do to-day do not postpone for to-morrow, and accomplish with thine own hand the counsel of thine own soul." 11. Do not be proud (gharrah) on the score that it is still the time of youth, and it is quite possible to do it hereafter, while thou thinkest thus: "I will do it after this." 12. For there have been many people whose remaining life was one day, and they have been taken away in the presence of fifty years’ work 3.'

13. Therefore, make an effort, so that thou mayest not postpone to-day's duty for to-morrow. 14. Because Aharman, the evil wicked one, has intrusted two fiends with this matter, the name of one is Tardy (dêr) and the name of the other is Afterwards (pas). 15. Both these fiends are united, and they

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make an effort and exertion 1 with man, so that his duty falls back behindhand 2. 16. For, as to every duty and good work which comes forward, that fiend whose name is Tardy speaks thus: 'Thou wilt live long, and it is possible to perform this duty at all times;' and that fiend whose name is Afterwards says: 'Pass on now; it is possible to perform it afterwards.' 17. And these two fiends united keep the soul away from its own duty, till the end arrives; all duties have fallen back behindhand, and it has to experience regret (‘hasarat) and penitence. 18. It has no benefit through duty and good works, and departs from this world.


345:1 B29 omits 'all.'

345:2 B29 omits these twenty-five words.

345:3 The Gugarâti pronunciation of Irân.

345:4 The middle one of the seven.

346:1 B29 has 'the knowledge that mankind practise.'

346:2 Lp, B29 have 'taught the whole of knowledge.'

346:3 It is quite uncertain whether Hôrmazd's exhortation ends here, or elsewhere.

347:1 Lp has 'conflict.'

347:2 B29 omits 'behindhand.'

Next: Chapter LXXXII