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Pahlavi Texts, Part V: Marvels of Zoroastrianism (SBE47), E.W. West, tr. [1897], at


1. About the marvellousness which is manifested after the departure (vîkhêzŏ) of Zaratûst, whose guardian spirit is reverenced, to the best existence, and in the lifetime of Vistâsp.

2. One marvel is this which is declared by revelation, about the provision of a chariot 3 by Srîtô 4 of the Vîsraps 5; this is through a famous wonder and

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the coming of a report about the marvellousness of that chariot to Vistâsp, Vistâsp's begging that chariot from Srîtô, and Srîtô saying in reply to Vistâsp: 'That chariot is for a righteous man, in which the soul of Srîtô in the lifetime of Srîtô's body 1, and that of that man in the lifetime of his body, come visibly together once in the worldly existence.' 3. And the soul of Sritô, through the generosity of that Srîtô, presents that chariot to the eyesight of that man of righteousness; thereby it becomes evident he had seen it, and is told not to act in another manner. 4. The exalted Kaî-Vîstâsp, as becoming from revelation more particularly aware of this marvel about the future at that time, and for the sake of this marvel being published to the worldly existence (gêhânîgîh), and of his becoming

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more invoking for the supremacy of the Mazda-worshipping religion, became discernible by those of the realm, is sought for, and is most attended.

5. A great wonder became manifest to Vistâsp and those of the world, just as revelation mentions thus: 'Thereupon the archangels are letting forth the soul of that Srîtô from the light of the supreme heaven, from the light on to the earth created by Aûharmazd; and the soul of Vistâsp proceeded from him into the light to meet it. 6. Vistâsp proceeded on to the propitious south (rapîtvînŏ); he was producing more gain than the gainers, and he was more inquisitive than the inquisitive; to all whom he saw he spoke, and unto such as spoke he listened; when he gazed at them looking simultaneously they stood up, and obeisance was offered by them unto the soul and person of Vistâsp.'

7. Immediately upon that no delay occurred until there came on at a run—besides the soul of Sritô of the Vîsraps—the most horrid (agrandtûm) of demons, from the horrid northern quarter of the horrid destroyer (zadâr), that was himself black, and his deeds, too, were very black. 8. And as he comes himself, so also he grumbles to the soul of Srîtô thus: 'Give a maintenance (khvârag) to Vistâsp who is thy driver 1, for the sake of good fellowship and service, and for that, righteousness is suitable unto a pure one; do not give it as a thing which is protective (that is, do not give it for the sake of worldly gratuity), but for love of the righteousness which is owing to the perfect existences.'

9. When those words were fully heard by Srîtô of

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the Vîsraps, the early bestower (levînŏ-vakhsh), he stood still and so he spoke in words thus: 'For righteousness I give thee, O mighty Kaî-Vistâsp this chariot which is without a driver, only for love of the righteousness which is owing to the perfect existences.' 10. As much for righteousness as is best for righteousness, and as much for the soul as is best for the soul, the gift of the whole was secured (that is, its acceptance was announced as often as three times).

11. Then that chariot became two chariots, one spiritual and the other worldly; in the worldly one the exalted Kaî-Vistâsp travelled forth unto the village of the Nôdars 1 in the joyfulness of good thoughts, and in the spiritual one the soul of Srîtô of the Vîsraps travelled forth unto the best existence.

12. One marvel is this which is declared that in fifty-seven years onwards from the acceptance of the religion by Zaratûs2, the arrival of the religion is published in the seven regions 3; and within the lifetime of Vistâsp, the circumstance (aêdûnŏîh) is manifested by the coming of some from other regions to Frashôstar of the Hvôbas 4 for enquiry about the

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religion, even as revelation mentions thus: 'Two whose names are thus, Spîtôîs 1 and Arezrâspô 2, who have hastened unto Frashôstar of the Hvôbas in search of wisdom.'

13. Thus much splendour and wonder of Vistâsp and those of the realm regarding Zaratûs3, and thus much due to the coming of the archangels from the sky to the earth before Vistâsp, as evidence about the true prophesying of Zaratûs4; and that, too, about Pêshyôtan 5, the chariot of Srîtô 6, and other subjects seen written above, are declared by the Avesta, which is the same that they accepted from Zaratûst, as the culmination 7 (avarîgânîh) of Aûharmazd's words. 14. And if this splendour, glory, and wonder that are written above as regards what those learned men of the realm saw—which are in the statement revealed by the Avesta—had not occurred, king Vistâsp and those learned men of the realm would not have seen what this Avesta had revealed to them—which was thus much splendour and wonder reported by it to them—and not one word about leaving its preservation to us would be annexed.


77:3 Pahl. râê which is written exactly like the Pahlavi ciphers for twenty-two and, no doubt, stands for Av. ratha.

77:4 So spelt ten times in §§ 2-11, but here Srâtô. It is also Srîtô in Dk. V, iii, 2.

77:5 Pahl. Vîsrapân in §§ 9, 11 and Dk. V, iii, 2; but here it is p. 78 Visrapân, and in § 7 the first letter is omitted, leaving only îsrapân. In Pahl. Vd. XX, 11 (Sp.) we have Srît-î (in L4), which latter name may also be îsrapânŏ, though more likely to be read Sêrzânŏ when considered by itself. It is almost certain that the person mentioned in Pahl. Vd. XX, 11 is intended to be the same as that named here in the text. But it is doubtful if this person be the Av. Thrita son of Sâyuzdri (or Sâizdri) of Yt. V, 72; XIII, 113. As the legend in the text appears to refer to the soul of Srîtô, or Thrita, revisiting the world to meet Vistâsp, this Srîtô may have been the warrior Srîtô, the seventh brother, employed by Kaî-Ûs, about 350 years earlier, to kill the frontier-settling ox of that time, but there seem to be no means of so identifying him with absolute certainty.

78:1 This is the literal meaning of the Pahl. 'mûn rûbân-î Srîtô pavan zîndagîh-î Srîtô tanŏ,' but it is not quite consistent with Srîtô's return to the earth as a spirit. The Indian copyists seem to have observed this, as they have omitted several words, so as to alter the meaning to the following:—'That chariot is for a man of the righteous, with whom Srîtô in the lifetime of that man's body comes visibly together, &c.' But the sentence is not quite grammatical.

79:1 This speech seems intended as veiled irony.

80:1dar (Av. Naotara) was a son of king Mânûskîhar (Bd. XXXI, 13) and an ancestor of king Vistâsp. Vistâsp being a descendant of Kaî-Kavâd(Bd. XXXI, 28, 29) who was the adopted son of Aûzôbô (Bd. XXXI, 24) a son of Zâgh, son of Masvâk, son of Nôdar (Bd. XXXI, 23 corrected from XXXIII, 5). Hûtôs, the wife of Vistâsp, was also of the village of the Nôdars (Yt. XV, 35).

80:2 That is fifty-seven years after the conference of Zaratûst (see Chap. V, 1).

80:3 See the summary in Dk. VIII, xiv, 10:—'Likewise, about the communication of Zaratûst's knowledge of the Mazda-worshipping religion to the world, his attracting mankind to the religion, and the ages, after Zaratûst, until the renovation of the universe.'

80:4 Av. Ferashaostrô Hvôgvô (Yas. LI, 17); he was a brother p. 81of Gâmâsp (Dk. V, ii, 12; iii, 4; Zs. XXIII, 10), and the father of Zaratûst's wife Hvôvi. The Hvôvas (Pahl. Hvôbas) were a numerous family.

81:1 Av. gen. Spitôis (Yt. XIII, 121). He was high-priest of Fradadafsh, the south-east region.

81:2 Av. Erezrâspa (ibid.) He was high-priest of Vîdadafsh, the south-west region (see Bd. XXIX, I). These foreign envoys were brothers, each being a son of Uspãsnu.

81:3 See Chap. IV, 73.

81:4 See Chap. IV, 70-82.

81:5 See Chap. V, 12.

81:6 See §§ 2-11.

81:7 See Chap. V, 11.

Next: Chapter VII