The Teachings of Zoroaster and the Philosophy of the Parsi Religion, ed. S.A. Kapadia (London: John Murray, 1905). https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1267,
|Available in the following formats:|
|Facsimile PDF||2.77 MB||This is a facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans of the original book.|
|Kindle||120 KB||This is an E-book formatted for Amazon Kindle devices.|
|EBook PDF||345 KB||This text-based PDF or EBook was created from the HTML version of this book and is part of the Portable Library of Liberty.|
|ePub||129 KB||ePub standard file for your iPad or any e-reader compatible with that format|
|HTML||180 KB||This version has been converted from the original text. Every effort has been taken to translate the unique features of the printed book into the HTML medium.|
|Simplified HTML||180 KB||This is a simplifed HTML format, intended for screen readers and other limited-function browsers.|
A collection of extracts of the most important writings and sayings of Zarathushstra the founder of the Zoroastrian religion.
The text is in the public domain.
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
“Purity is for man, next to life, the greatest good—that purity is procured by the law of Mazda to him who cleanses his own self with Good Thoughts, Words, and Deeds.
“Make thyself pure, O righteous man! Any one in the world here below can win purity for himself, namely, when he cleanses himself with Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds.”
“ . . . The law of Mazda cleanses the faithful from every evil thought, word, and deed, as a swift-rushing, mighty wind cleanses the plain.
“So let all deeds thou doest be henceforth good. . . . A full atonement for thy sin is effected by means of the law of Mazda.”
The sage asked the Spirit of Wisdom thus: “How is it possible to seek maintenance and prosperity of the body without injury of the soul, and the preservation of the soul without injury of the body?”
The Spirit of Wisdom answered thus: “Him who is less than thee consider as an equal, and an equal as a superior, and a greater than him as a chieftain, and a chieftain as a ruler. And among rulers one is to be acquiescent, obedient, and true-speaking; and among accusers be submissive, mild, and kindly regardful.
“Commit no slander; so that infamy and Edition: current; Page:  wickedness may not happen unto thee. For it is said that slander is more grievous than witchcraft.
“Form no covetous desire, so that the demon of greediness may not deceive thee, and the treasure of the world may not be tasteless to thee.
“Indulge in no wrathfulness, for a man when he indulges in wrath becomes then forgetful of his duty and good works . . . and sin and crime of every kind occur unto his mind, and until the subsiding of the wrath he is said to be just like Ahareman.*
“Suffer no anxiety, for he who is a sufferer of anxiety becomes regardless of enjoyment of the world and the spirit, and contraction happens to his body and soul.
“Commit no lustfulness, so that harm and regret may not reach thee from thine own actions.
“Bear no improper envy, so that thy life may not become tasteless.
“Practice no sloth, so that the duty and good work, which it is necessary for thee to do, may not remain undone.
“Choose a wife who is of character, because Edition: current; Page:  that one is good who in the end is more respected.
“Thou shouldst be diligent and moderate, and eat of thine own regular industry, and provide the share of the sacred beings and the good; and thus the practice of this in thy occupation is the greatest good work.
“With enemies fight with equity. With a friend proceed with the approval of friends. With a malicious man carry on no conflict, and do not molest him in any way whatever. With a greedy man thou shouldst not be a partner, and do not trust him with the leadership. With an ill-famed man form no connection. With an ignorant man thou shouldst not become a confederate and associate. With a foolish man make no dispute. With a drunken man do not walk on the road. From an ill-natured man take no loan.
“In forming a store of good works thou shouldst be diligent, so that it may come to thy assistance among the spirits.
“Thou shouldst not become presumptuous through any happiness of the world; for the happiness of the world is such-like as a cloud that comes on a rainy day, which one does not ward off by any hill.Edition: current; Page: 
“Thou shouldst not become presumptuous through much treasure and wealth; for in the end it is necessary for thee to leave all.
“Thou shouldst not become presumptuous through great connections and race; for in the end thy trust is on thine own deeds.
“Thou shouldst not become presumptuous through life; for death comes upon thee at last, and the perishable part falls to the ground.”
1. Zarathustra asked Ahura-Mazda: “Ahura-Mazda, Heavenly, Holiest, Creator of the corporeal world, Pure! when a pure man dies, where does his soul dwell during this night?”
2. Then answered Ahura-Mazda: “Near his head it sits itself down, reciting the Gâthâ Ustavaiti, praying happiness for itself: ‘Happiness be to the man who conduces to the happiness of each. May Ahura-Mazda create, ruling after His wish.’ On this night the soul sees as much joyfulness as the whole living world possesses.”
3. “Where does the soul dwell throughout the second night?”Edition: current; Page: 
4. Then answered Ahura-Mazda: “Near his head it sits itself,” etc. (as in verse 2).
5. “Where does his soul stay throughout the third night?”
6. Then answered Ahura-Mazda: “Near his head it sits itself,” etc. (as in verse 2).
7. “When the lapse of the third night turns itself to light, then the soul of the pure man goes forward, recollecting itself at the perfume of plants. A wind blows to meet it from the mid-day region, a sweet-scented one, more sweet-scented than the other winds.
9. “In that wind there comes to meet him his own law in the figure of a maiden, one beautiful, shining, with shining arms; one powerful, well-grown, slender, with large breasts, praiseworthy body; one noble, with brilliant face, one of fifteen years, as fair in her growth as the fairest creatures.
10. “Then to her (the maiden) speaks the soul of the pure man, asking: ‘What maiden art thou whom I have seen here as the fairest of maidens in body?’
11. “Then replies to him his own law: ‘I am, O youth, thy good thoughts, words, and works, thy good law, thine own law of thine own body—which would be in reference to thee like in greatness, goodness, and beauty, sweet-smelling, victorious, harmless, as thou appearest to me.Edition: current; Page: 
12. “ ‘Thou art like me, O well-speaking, well-thinking, well-acting youth, devoted to the good law, so in greatness, goodness, and beauty as I appear to thee.
14. “ ‘Thou hast made the pleasant yet more pleasant to me, the fair yet fairer, the desirable yet more desirable, that sitting in a high place, sitting in a yet higher place, in these Paradises Humata, Hûkhta, Hvarsta (Paradises). . . .
15. “ ‘The soul of the pure man goes the first step and arrives in (the Paradise) Humata; the soul of the pure man takes the second step and arrives at (the Paradise) Hûkhta; it goes the third step and arrives at (the Paradise) Hvarsta; the soul of the pure man takes the fourth step and arrives at the Eternal Lights.’ ”
19. Zarathustra asked Ahura-Mazda: “Ahura-Mazda, Heavenly, Holiest, Creator of the corporeal world, Pure! when a wicked one dies, where does the soul dwell throughout this night?”
20. Then answered Ahura-Mazda, “There, O pure Zarathustra, near the head it runs about whilst it utters the prayer Ké mánm, etc., ‘Which land shall I praise, whither shall I go praying, O Ahura-Mazda?’ In this night the soul sees as much displeasing as the whole living world.Edition: current; Page: 
25. “When the lapse of the third night approaches towards light, O pure Zarathustra, then goes the soul of the wicked man to the impure place, recollecting itself continually by the stench. To it comes a wind blowing from the North Region, an evil-smelling one, more evil-smelling than other winds.
26. “When the soul of the wicked man receives this wind into the nose, it goes (saying), ‘Whence comes this wind which I smell with the nose as the most evil-smelling wind?’
33. “The fourth step takes the soul of the wicked man and it arrives at the darknesses without beginning.”
“The thirteenth question is that which you ask thus: Who should prepare the account of the soul as to sin and good works, and in what place should they make it up? And when punishment is inflicted by them, where is their place then?
“The reply is this, that the account about the doers of actions, as to good works and sin, three times every day whilst the doer of the actions is Edition: current; Page:  living, Vohûmano the archangel should prepare; because taking account of the thoughts, words, and deeds of all material existences is among his duties.
“And about the sin which affects accusers, which is committed by breakers of promises, even in the world Mitrô is said to be over the bodies, words, and fortunes of the promise-breakers; and as to the amount, and also as to being more than the stipulation when there is a period of time, Mitrô is the account-keeper. In the three nights’ account Srôsh the righteous and Rashnû the just are over the estimate of the limits of the good works and sin of righteousness and wickedness. In the future existence, on the completion of every account, the Creator Aûharmazd Himself takes account, by whom both the former account of the three nights and all the thoughts, words, and deeds of the creatures are known through His omniscient wisdom.
“The punishment for a soul of the sinners comes from that spirit with whom the sin, which was committed by it, is connected; fostered by the iniquity practised, that punishment comes upon the souls of the sinful and wicked, first on earth, afterwards in hell, and lastly at the organisation of the future existence. When the punishment of the three nights is undergone the soul of the righteous attains to Heaven and the best existence, and the soul of the wicked to hell and the Edition: current; Page:  worst existence. When they have undergone their punishment at the renovation of the universe they attain, by complete purification from every sin, unto the everlasting progress, happy progress, and perfect progress of the best and undisturbed existence.”
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: when praise is to be offered, how shall I complete the praise of the One like You, O Mazda? Let the One like Thee declare it earnestly to the friend who is such as I, thus through Thy Righteousness within us to offer friendly help to us, so that the One like Thee may draw near us through Thy Good Mind within the soul.
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: how, in pleasing Him, may we serve the Supreme One of the better world?
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: who by generation was the first father of the Righteous Order? Who gave the recurring sun and stars their undeviating way? Who established that whereby the moon waxes, and whereby Edition: current; Page:  she wanes, save Thee? These things, O Great Creator! would I know, and others likewise still.
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: who from beneath hath sustained the earth and the clouds above that they do not fall? Who made the waters and the plants? Who to the wind has yoked on the storm-clouds, the swift and fleetest too? Who, O Great Creator! is the inspirer of the good thoughts within our souls?
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: who, as a skilful artisan, hath made the lights and the darkness? Who, as thus skilful, hath made sleep and the zest of waking hours? Who spread the Auroras, the noontides and midnight, monitors to discerning man, duties, true guides?
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright these things which I shall speak forth, if they are truly thus. Doth the Piety (which we cherish) in reality increase the sacred orderliness within our actions? To these Thy true saints hath she given the Realm through the Good Mind. For whom hast Thou made the Mother-kine, the producer of joy?
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: who fashioned Âramaiti (our piety) the beloved, together with Thy Sovereign Power? Who, through his guiding wisdom, hath made the son revering the father? Who made him beloved? Edition: current; Page:  With questions such as these, so abundant, O Mazda! I press Thee, O beautiful Spirit, Thou maker of all!
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright, that I may ponder these which are Thy revelations, O Mazda! and the words which were asked of Thee by Thy Good Mind within us, and that whereby we may attain, through Thine Order, to this life’s perfection. Yea, how may my soul with joyfulness increase in goodness?
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright that holy faith which is of all Things best, and which, going on hand in hand with Thy people, shall further my lands in Asha, Thine Order, and, through the words of Âramaiti (our piety), shall render actions just. The prayers of mine understanding will seek for Thee, O Ahura!
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: who is the righteous one in that regard in which I ask Thee my question? And who is evil? For which is the wicked? Or which is himself the foremost wicked one? And the vile man who stands against me in this gain of Thy blessing, wherefore is he not held and believed to be the sinner that he is?
“This I ask Thee, O Ahura! tell me aright: how shall I banish this Demon-of-the-Lie from Edition: current; Page:  us hence to those beneath who are filled with rebellion?”
“The good, righteous, right religion which the Lord has sent to the creatures is that which Zarathustra has brought. The religion is the religion of Zarathustra, the religion of Ahura-Mazda, given to Zarathustra.”
“I praise the well-thought, well-spoken, well-performed thoughts, words, and works.
“I lay hold on all good thoughts, words, and works.
“I abandon all evil thoughts, words, and works.
“I bring to you, O Amĕsha-çpĕntas,
“Praise and adoration,
“With thoughts, words, and works, with heavenly mind, the vital strength of my own body.
“I drive away the Daêvas, I profess myself a Zarathrustrian, an expeller of the Daêvas, a follower of the teachings of Ahura.
“A hymn-singer of the Amĕsha-çpĕntas, a praiser of the Amĕsha-çpĕntas.Edition: current; Page: 
“To Ahura-Mazda, the good, endued with good wisdom, I offer all good.”
“Whom hast thou placed to protect me, O Mazda, while the hate of the fiend is grasping me? Whom but thy Atar and Vohumanô (Angels in charge of Heaven), by whose work the holy world goes on?
“Reveal to me the rules of thy law!”
“Who is he who will smite the fiend in order to maintain thy ordinances? Teach me clearly thy rules for this world and for the next, that Shros (Angel who fights Drug with an uplifted Club, and guards the Earth Night and Day) may come with Vohumanô and help whomsoever thou pleasest.”
“And he who in this material world, O Spitama Zarathustra! shall recite and pronounce§ those names of mine either by day or by night;Edition: current; Page: 
“He who shall pronounce them, when he rises up or when he lays him down; . . . when he binds on the sacred girdle or when he unbinds the sacred girdle; when he goes out of his dwelling-place, or when he goes out of his town, or when he goes out of his country and comes into another country;
“That man, neither in that day nor in that night, shall be wounded by the weapons of the foe who rushes with anger and is Drug-minded;
“But those names shall come in to keep him from behind and to keep him in front, from the Drug unseen, . . . from the evil-doer bent on mischief, and from that fiend who is all death, Angro Mainyus.”
“Praises, and songs, and adorations do we offer to Ahura-Mazda, and to Righteousness the Best; yea, we offer and we ascribe them, and proclaim them.
“And to Thy good kingdom, O Ahura-Mazda! may we attain for ever, and a good King be Thou over us; and let each man of us, and so each woman, thus abide, O Thou most beneficent of beings, and for both the worlds!Edition: current; Page: 
“So mayst Thou be to us our life, and our body’s vigour, O Thou most beneficent of beings, and that for both the worlds!
“Aye, let us win and conquer long life, O Ahura-Mazda! in Thy grace, and through Thy will may we be powerful. Mayst Thou lay hold on us to help, . . . and with salvation, O Thou most beneficent of beings!
“What reward most meet for our deserving Thou hast appointed for the souls, O Ahura-Mazda! of that do Thou bestow on us for this life, and for that of mind. Of that reward do Thou Thyself grant this advantage, that we may come under Thy protecting guardianship, and that of Righteousness for ever.”
Ahura-Mazda spake unto Spitama Zarathustra, saying:
“I have made every land dear to its dwellers, even though it had no charms whatever in it. Had I not made every land dear to its dwellers, even though it had no charms whatever in it, Edition: current; Page:  then the whole living world would have invaded the Airyana Vaêgô.”
|COUNTRIES AND LANDS CREATED BY AHURA-MAZDA.||CORRESPONDING EVILS PLACED THERE BY ANGRO MAINYUS (THE EVIL SPIRIT).|
|1. Airyana Vaêgô by the good river Dâitya.||1. The serpent and winter.|
|2. The plains of Sughdha.||2. The fly Skaitya, which stings and brings death to the cattle.|
|3. The land of Mourn (Merv).||3. Sinful lusts.|
|4. Bâkhdhi with high-lifted banners (Balkh).||4. Corn-eating ants.|
|5. The land of Nisâya.||5. The sin of unbelief.|
|6. Harôyu with its lakes (Herat).||6. The stained mosquito.|
|7. Vaêkereta (Cabul).||7. The Pairika Knāthaiti (meaning an evil creature or a pari who destroys mankind)|
|8. Urva of the rich pastures (land in Khorasan).||8. The sin of pride and tyranny.|
|9. Khnenta in Vehrkâna.||9. Unnatural sin.|
|10. Harahvaiti the beautiful.||10. Sin of defiling the virgin earth by burying corpses.|
|11. The bright and glorious Haêtumant.||11. Witchcraft and wizards.|
|12. Ragha of the three races (Rai, the birthplace of Zoroaster).||12. Sin of utter unbelief (atheism).|
|13. Holy Kakhra.||13. Sin of burning of corpses.|
|14. The four-cornered Varena.||14. Illness of women.|
|15. Country of the Seven Rivers.||15. Excessive heat.|
|16. The land by the floods of the Rangha.||16. Excessive frost.|
“There are still other lands and countries, beautiful and deep, desirable and bright and thriving.”
And Ahura-Mazda spake unto Yima, saying:
“O fair Yima, son of Vîvanghat! upon the material world the fatal winters are going to fall, that shall bring the fierce, foul frost; . . . that shall make snow-flakes fall thick, even an aredvî, deep on the highest tops of mountains.
“And all the three sorts of beasts shall perish, those that live in the wilderness, and those that live on the tops of the mountains, and those that live in the bosom of the dale, under the shelter of stables.
“Therefore make thee a vara,† long as a ridingground on every side of the square, and thither Edition: current; Page:  bring . . . sheep and oxen . . . men . . . dogs . . . birds and . . . red blazing fires.
“There thou shalt make waters flow in a bed a hâthra* long; there thou shalt settle birds, by the ever-green banks that bear never-failing food. There thou shalt establish dwelling-places, consisting of a house with a balcony, a courtyard, and a gallery.
“Thither thou shalt bring . . . men and women, of the greatest, best, and finest kinds on this earth; thither thou shalt bring . . . every kind of cattle, of the greatest, best, and finest kinds on this earth. Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of every kind of fruit, the fullest of food and sweetest of odour. All those . . . shalt thou bring, two of every kind, to be kept inexhaustible there, so long as those men shall stay in the vara.
“There shall be no hump-backed, none bulged forward there; no impotent, no lunatic, no poverty, no lying, no meanness, no jealousy, no decayed tooth, no leprous to be confined, nor any of the brands wherewith Angro Mainyus stamps the bodies of mortals.”
Then Yima said within himself: “How shall I manage to make that vara which Ahura-Mazda has commanded me to make?”
And Ahura-Mazda said unto Yima: “. . . Edition: current; Page:  Crush the earth with a stamp of thy heel, and then knead it with thy hands . . .”
“He who would till the earth, . . . with the left arm and the right, . . . unto him will she bring forth plenty, like a loving bride, on her bed, unto her beloved; the bride will bring forth children, the earth will bring forth plenty of fruit.
“He who sows corn sows holiness: he makes the law of Mazda grow higher and higher.
“When barley is coming forth, the Daêvas start up; when corn is growing ripe, then faint the Daêvas’ hearts; when the corn is being ground, the Daêvas groan; when wheat is coming forth, the Daêvas are destroyed. In that house they can no longer stay; from that house they are beaten away, wherein wheat is thus coming forth.
“He who tilling the earth, . . . would not kindly and piously give to one of the faithful, he shall fall down into the darkness . . . down Edition: current; Page:  into the world of woe, the dismal realm, down into the house of hell.”
“It is the place whereon one of the faithful erects a house with a priest within, with cattle, with a wife, with children, and good herds within; and wherein afterwards the cattle go on thriving, holiness is thriving, fodder is thriving, the dog is thriving, the wife is thriving, the child is thriving, the fire is thriving, and every blessing of life is thriving.
“It is the place where one of the faithful cultivates most corn, grass, and fruit; . . . where he waters ground that is dry, or dries ground that is too wet.
“It is the place where there is most increase of flocks and herds.”
“It is the place wherein most corpses of dogs and of men lie buried.Edition: current; Page: 
“It is the place whereon the wife and children of one of the faithful . . . are driven along the way of captivity (the dry, the dusty way, and lift up a voice of wailing.
“Unhappy is the land that has long lain unsown with the seed of the sower, and wants a good husbandman, like a well-shapen maiden who has long gone childless and wants a good husband.”
“. . . A year long shall the ground lie fallow whereon dogs or men have died.”
“O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! if a worshipper of Mazda, walking, or running, or riding, or driving, come upon a corpse in a stream of running water, what shall he do?”
Ahura-Mazda answered: “Taking off his shoes, putting off his clothes, boldly, O Zarathustra! Edition: current; Page:  he shall enter the river, and take the dead out of the water. . . .
“He shall draw out of the water as much of the corpse as he can. . . . No sin attaches to him for any bone, hair . . . that may drop back into the water.
“As long as the corpse has not been taken out of the water, so long shall that water be unclean and unfit to drink.
“After the corpse has been taken out and the stream has flowed three times,* the water is clean. . . .”
“He shall learn on during the first part of the day and the last, during the first part of the night and the last, that his mind may be increased in knowledge and wax strong in holiness: so shall he sit up, giving thanks and praying to God and His angels that he may be increased in knowledge. He shall rest during the middle part of the day, during the middle part of the night, and thus shall he continue until he can say all the words which former Athrapaitis‡ have said.”
Zarathustra asked Ahura-Mazda: “O thou all-knowing Ahura-Mazda, should I urge upon the godly man, should I urge upon the godly man, should I urge upon the godly woman, should I urge upon the wicked Daêva-worshipper who lives in sin, that they have once to leave behind them the earth made by Ahura, that they have to leave the water that runs, the corn that grows, and all the rest of their wealth?”
Ahura-Mazda answered: “Thou shouldst, O holy Zarathustra.”
“O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! where are the rewards given? Where does the rewarding take place? Where is the rewarding fulfilled? Whereto do men come to take the reward that, in their life in the material world, they have won for their souls?”
Ahura-Mazda answered: “When the man is dead, when his time is over, then the hellish, evil-doing Daêvas assail him; and when the third night is gone, when the dawn appears and brightens up, and makes Mithra† . . . reach the all-happy mountains, and the sun is rising:
“Then the fiend named Vîzaresha carries off in bonds the souls of the wicked Daêva-worshippers who live in sin. The soul enters the way made by Time, and open both to the wicked and to the righteous. At the head of the Kinvad Edition: current; Page:  (chinvat) Bridge . . . they ask for their spirits and souls the reward for the worldly goods which they gave away here below.
“Up rises Vohumanô (Door-Keeper of Heaven) from his golden seat. Vohumanô exclaims: ‘How hast thou come to us, thou Holy One, from that decaying world into this undecaying one?’
“The law of Mazda indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! takes away from him who confesses it the bonds of his sin; it takes away the sin of breach of trust; it takes away the sin of murdering one of the faithful; it takes away the sin of burying a corpse; it takes away the sin of deeds for which there is no atonement; it takes away the heaviest penalties of sin; it takes away any sin that may be sinned.”
Thus Zarathustra answered Angro Mainyus (the Evil Spirit): “O evil-doer, Angro Mainyus! I will smite the creation of the Daêva; I will smite the Nasu, a creature of the Daêva. . . .”
Again to him said the guileful one, . . . . Angro Mainyus: “Do not destroy my creatures, O holy Zarathustra! . . . Renounce the good law of the worshippers of Mazda, and thou shalt gain such a boon as Zohâk,† the murderer, gained, the ruler of the nations.”
Thus in answer to him said Spitama Zarathustra: “No! never will I renounce the good law of the worshippers of Mazda, though my body, my life, my soul should burst!”
Again to him said the guileful one . . . Angro Mainyus: “By whose word wilt thou strike, by whose word wilt thou repel, by whose weapon will the good creatures strike and repel my creation?” . . .
“. . . The words taught by Mazda, these are my . . . best weapons! By this word will I strike, by this word will I repel . . . O evil-doer, Angro Mainyus! To me Spenta Mainyus (Good Spirit) gave it; he gave it to me in the boundless time; to me the Ameshaspentas (Archangels), the all-ruling, the all-beneficent, gave it.”Edition: current; Page: 
Zarathustra chanted aloud the (prayer of) Ahuna Vairya.
“The will of the Lord is the law of holiness. The riches of Vohumanô (Good Mind) shall be given to him who works in this world for Mazda, and wields according to the will of Ahura the power he gave to him to relieve the poor.” . . . . . . They run away, the wicked, evil-doing Daêvas; they run away, casting the evil eye, the wicked, evil-doing Daêvas.
“ ‘Let us gather together at the head of Arezûra (the Gate of Hell). For he is . . . born, the holy Zarathustra, in the house of Pourushaspa. How can we procure his death? He is the stroke that fells the fiends.’ . . .
“Down are the Daêva-worshippers, the Nasu made by the Daêva, the false-speaking lie! They run away, they rush away, the wicked, evil-doing Daêvas, into the depths of the dark, horrid world of hell.”
“Away art thou driven, O mischievous Angro Mainyus! from the fire, from the water, from the earth, from the cow, from the tree, from the faithful man, and from the faithful woman . . . from all good things made by Mazda, the offspring of the holy principle.”
“He who does not restore (a thing lent) when it is asked for back again, steals the thing; he robs the man. So he does every day, every night, as long as he keeps in his house his neighbour’s property, as though it were his own.”
“Ahura-Mazda, indeed, does not allow us to waste anything of value that we may have, not even so much as an Asperena’s weight of thread, not even so much as a maid lets fall in spinning.”
“Regarding wine, it is evident that it is possible for good and bad temper to come to manifestation through wine.
“It is not requisite for investigation, because he who is a good-tempered man, when he drinks wine, is such-like as a gold or silver cup which, however much more they burn it, becomes purer and brighter. It also keeps his thoughts, Edition: current; Page:  words, and deeds more virtuous; and he becomes gentler and pleasanter unto wife and child, companions and friends, and is more diligent in every duty and good work.
“And he who is a bad-tempered man, when he drinks wine, thinks and considers himself more than ordinary. He carries on a quarrel with companions, displays insolence, makes ridicule and mockery, and acts arrogantly to a good person. He distresses his own wife and child, slave and servant; and dissipates the joy of the good, carries off peace, and brings in discord.
“But every one must be cautious as to the moderate drinking of wine. Because, from the moderate drinking of wine, thus much benefit happens to him: since it digests the food, kindles the vital fire, increases the understanding and intellect, and blood, removes vexation, and imflames the complexion.
“It causes recollection of things forgotten, and goodness takes a place in the mind. It likewise increases the sight of the eye, the hearing of the ear, and the speaking of the tongue; and work, which it is necessary to do and expedite, becomes more progressive. He also sleeps pleasantly and rises light.
“And in him who drinks wine more than moderately, . . . himself, wife, and child, friend and kindred, are distressed and unhappy, and Edition: current; Page:  the superintendent of troubles and the enemy are glad. The sacred beings, also, are not pleased with him; and infamy comes to his body, and even wickedness to his soul.
“And even he who gives wine authorizedly unto any one, and he is thereby intoxicated by it, is equally guilty of every sin which that drunkard commits owing to that drunkenness.”*
“Who will praise us? Who will offer us a sacrifice? Who will meditate upon us? Who will bless us? Who will receive us with meat and clothes in his hand and with a prayer worthy of bliss? Of which of us will the name be taken for invocation? Of which of you will the soul be worshipped by you with a sacrifice? To whom will the gift of ours be given, that he may have never-failing food for ever and ever?”
“And the man who offers them up a sacrifice, with meat and clothes in his hand, with a prayer worthy of bliss, the awful∥ Fravashis of the faithful, satisfied, unharmed, and unoffended, bless thus:Edition: current; Page: 
“May there be in this house flocks of animals and men! May there be a swift horse and a solid chariot! May there be a man who knows how to praise God and rule in an assembly, who will offer us sacrifices with meat and clothes in his hand, and with a prayer worthy of bliss!”
“I drive the Daêvas hence; I confess as a Mazda-worshipper of the order of Zarathustra, estranged from the Daêvas, devoted to the lore of the Lord, a praiser of the Bountiful Immortals; and to Ahura-Mazda, the good and endowed with good possessions, I attribute all things good, to the Holy One, the resplendent, to the glorious, whose are all things whatsoever which are good; whose is the Kine, whose is Asha (the righteous order pervading all things pure), whose are the stars, in whose lights the glorious beings and objects are clothed.
“And I choose Piety, the bounteous and the good, mine may she be! And therefore I loudly deprecate all robbery and violence against the (Sacred) Kine, and all drought to the wasting of the Mazdayasnian villages.
“Never may I stand as a source of wasting, never as a source of withering to the Mazdayasnian villages, not for the love of body or of life.Edition: current; Page: 
“Away do I abjure the shelter and headship of the Daêvas, evil as they are; aye, utterly bereft of good, and void of virtue, deceitful in their wickedness, of all beings those most like the Demon-of-the-Lie, the most loathsome of existing things, and the ones the most of all bereft of good.
“Off, off, do I abjure the Daêvas and all possessed by them, the sorcerers and all that hold to their devices, and every existing being of the sort; their thoughts do I abjure, their words and actions, and their seed that propagate their sin; away do I abjure their shelter and their headship.
“Thus and so in every deed might Ahura-Mazda have indicated to Zarathustra in every question which Zarathustra asked, and in all the consultations in the which they two conversed together. Thus and so might Zarathustra have abjured the shelter and the headship of the Daêvas in all the questions and in all the consultations with which they two conversed together, Zarathustra and the Lord.
“And so I myself, in whatsoever circumstances I may be placed, as a worshipper of Mazda, and of Zarathustra’s order, would so abjure the Daêvas and their shelter, as he who was the holy Zarathustra abjured them.
“To that religious sanctity to which the waters appertain, do I belong, to that sanctity to which Edition: current; Page:  the plants, to that sanctity to which the Kine of blessed gift, to that religious sanctity to which Ahura-Mazda, who made both Kine and holy men, belongs, to that sanctity do I.
“A Mazda-worshipper I am, of Zarathustra’s order; so do I confess, as a praiser and confessor, and I therefore praise aloud the well-thought thought, the word well spoken, and the deed well done.
“Yea, I praise at once the Faith of Mazda, the Faith which has no faltering utterance, the Faith that wields the felling halbert, the holy (Creed), which is the most imposing, best, and most beautiful of all religions which exist, and of all that shall in future come to knowledge, Ahura’s Faith, the Zarathustrian creed. Yea, to Ahura-Mazda do I ascribe all good, and such shall be the worship of the Mazdayasnian belief!”
“I am wholly without doubt in the existence of the good Mazdayasnian faith, in the coming of the resurrection and the later body, in the stepping over the bridge Chinvat, in an invariable recompense of good deeds and their reward, Edition: current; Page:  and of bad deeds and their punishment, as well as in the continuance of Paradise, in the annihilation of Hell and Ahriman* and the Daêvas, that [God] Ahura-Mazda will at last be victorious and Ahriman will perish together with the Daêvas and the off-shoots of darkness.
“All that I ought to have thought and have not thought, all that I ought to have said and have not said, all that I ought to have done and have not done, all that I ought to have ordered and have not ordered, all that I ought not to have thought and yet have thought, all that I ought not to have spoken and yet have spoken, all that I ought not to have done and yet have done, all that I ought not to have ordered and yet have ordered; for thoughts, words, and works, bodily and spiritual, earthy and heavenly, pray I for forgiveness, and repent of it with Patet.†
“This heavenly Patet shall be a fast brazen wall . . . that it may keep the gate of Hell fast in bonds, and the way to Paradise open, the way to that best place:—to the shining Garothman which possesses all majesty, that our soul and the souls of the pure at the Bridge Chinvat, the great, may step over freed from trouble and Edition: current; Page:  easily, and may the pure Srosh,* the victorious, friend, protector, overseer, be the protector and the watcher of my soul. . . .”
“Do you both accept the contract for life with honourable mind, that pleasure may increase to ye twain?
“In the name and friendship of Ahura-Mazda. Be ever shining . . . Be increasing! Be victorious! Learn purity! Be worthy of good praise! May the mind think good thoughts, the words speak good, the works do good! . . . Be a Mazdayasnian, accomplish works according to thy mind . . . speak truth . . . and be obedient. Be modest with friends, clever, and well-wishing. Be not cruel. Be not wrathful-minded. Commit no sin through shame. Be not covetous. Torment not. Cherish not wicked envy, be not haughty, treat no one despitefully, cherish no lust. Rob not the property of others, keep thyself from the wives of others. Do good works with good activity. . . . Enter into no strife with a revengeful man. Be no companion Edition: current; Page:  to a covetous one. Go not on the same way with a cruel one. Enter into no agreement with one of ill-fame. . . . Combat the adversaries with right. . . . Enter into no strife with those of evil repute. Before an assembly speak only pure words. Before kings speak with moderation. In no wise displease thy mother. Keep thine own body pure in justice.
“May Ahura-Mazda (God) send you gifts, Bahman,* thinking with the soul; Ardibihist, good speech; Sharevar, good working; Çependarmat, wisdom; Khordat, sweetness and prosperity; Amertat, fruitfulness!
“May that come to you which is better than the good, may that not come to you which is worse than the evil. . . . ”
They say that, once upon a time, the pious Zaratûsht (Zoroaster) made the religion which he had received current in the world; and till the Edition: current; Page:  completion of three hundred years the religion was in purity, and men were without doubts.
And this religion, namely all the Avesta and Zend, written upon prepared cow-skins and with gold ink, was deposited in the archives in Stâkhar Pâpâkân; and the hostility of the evil-destined, wicked Ashemôk, the evil-doer, brought onward Alexander, the Rûman who was dwelling in Egypt, and he burnt them up.
And after that there was confusion and contention among the people of the country of Iran, one with the other.
And afterwards there were other magi and Desturs* of the religion, and some of their number were loyal and apprehensive. And an assembly of them was summoned in the residence of the victorious Frôbaĝ fire; and there were speeches and good ideas of many kinds on this subject: that “it is necessary for us to seek a means so that some of us may go and bring intelligence from the spirits; that the people who exist in this age shall know whether these Yazashni and Drôn and Afrînagân ceremonies, and Nîran prayers, and ablutions and purifications which we bring into operation attain unto God or unto Edition: current; Page:  the demons, and come to the relief of our souls or not.
And from the seven, three were selected, and from the three, one only, named Vîrâf, and some called him the Nîshâpûrian. Then that Vîrâf, as he heard that decision, stood upon his feet, joined his hands on his breast, and spake thus, “If it please you, then give me not the undesired narcotic till you cast lots for the Mazdayasnians and me; and if the lot come to me, I shall go willingly to that place of the pious and the wicked, and carry this message correctly, and bring an answer truly.
“After I had drunk the consecrated wine, and I had reposed my body to rest, and given my mind up to the adoration of God, methought my soul took its flight towards the holy regions, where Serosh Izad* appeared unto me, and beckoned me towards him, when, after giving and receiving the customary salutations, Serosh Izad said to me, ‘You have made a long journey in the faith. I am happy to see you in these blessed regions, and your escape from the world of wickedness gives one great pleasure; but, Ardâ-Vîrâf, you have come before your time. What is the occasion?’ Ardâ-Vîrâf replied in accents of Edition: current; Page:  complacency, ‘I have been sent, O Serosh Izad! by the king, by the priests, and by the voice of the nation in general, on this embassy, to know of heaven and hell, in order that heresy and schism be banished from the earth, and that the worship of the true God be restored to its wonted purity.’
“ . . . On saying this, Serosh Izad took hold of me by the arm, and led me forward across the bridge, when the throne of Mehr Izad* came in view, with Roshni Izad† standing by him, holding in his hands the scales of justice, made of pure gold, and having on his right hand and on his left five thousand angels, and whose different petitions he can hear at once, and if written can see at one glance. Having saluted, and having my salutation returned, the attending angels surrounded me, and thus addressed me, ‘O Ardâ-Vîrâf! your time has not yet come. How and by what means have you come thus far?’ I answered, ‘I have come thus far by the assistance of God, at the request of my king, Ardeshir Babegan, of the priests, and of the people, to collect and report the wonders of heaven and hell; that I may see that the truth may be these means be again restored to the earth, and heresy and wickedness banished for ever.’
“. . . Afterwards arose Vohûmano,‡ the archangel, Edition: current; Page:  from a throne made of gold, and he took hold of my hand. With the words ‘good thought’ and ‘good word’ and ‘good deed,’ he brought me into the midst of Aûharmazd* and the archangels and other holy ones, and the guardian angels of Zaratûsht Spitâma, Kaî-Vishtâsp, Jâmâsp, Isâdvâstar, the son of Zaratûsht, and other upholders and leaders of the religion, than whom I have never seen any one more brilliant and excellent.
“And Vohûman said thus, ‘This is Aûharmazd.’ And I wished to offer worship before him.
“And he said to me thus, ‘Salutation to thee, Ardâ-Vîrâf, thou art welcome; from that perishable world thou hast come to this pure bright place.’ And he ordered Srôsh the pious, and Âtarô† the angel, thus, ‘Take Ardâ-Vîrâf, and show him the place and reward of the pious, and also the punishment of the wicked.’
“And I saw the darkest hell, which is pernicious, dreadful, terrible, very painful, mischievous, and evil-smelling. And after further observation it appeared to me as a pit, at the bottom of which a thousand cubits would not reach; and though all the wood which is in the world were put on to the fire in this most stinking and gloomy hell, it would never emit a smell; and again also, as Edition: current; Page:  close as the ear to the eye, and as many as the hairs on the mane of a horse, so close and many in number the souls of the wicked stand—but they see not and hear no sound one from the other; every one thinks thus, ‘I am alone!’ And for them are the gloom of darkness and the stench and fearfulness of the torment and punishment of hell of various kinds; so that whoever is only a day in hell cries out thus, ‘Are not those nine thousand years yet completed when they should release us from this hell?’
“ ‘Without trouble nothing can be attained,’ said Serosh Izad; ‘the poor day-labourer is worthy of his hire, and those who perform good works will have their reward in eternal life, according to their several merits.’ He continued, ‘The life of man is of short duration, and many troubles and anxieties fall to his lot; and a man, after fifty years of prosperity and happiness, may be, by some unforeseen accident, reduced to sickness and poverty. Many are tried by this criterion, and but few are found worthy. To suffer a day of pain, after fifty years of pleasure, is too much for them, and they complain in bitterness of spirit to the Creator of all good of His injustice and cruelty, without remembering the good they have so long enjoyed or calling to mind the eternity of punishment in reserve for the Edition: current; Page:  wicked. Therefore, O Ardâ-Vîrâf! walk yourself in the ways of righteousness, and teach others also to do so. Recollect that your body will return to dust, but your soul, if rich in good works, will mount to immortality, and partake of the happiness you have already witnessed. Take less care of your body and more of your soul; the pains and aches of the body are easily cured, but who can minister to the diseases of the soul? When you set out on a journey in the lower world, you provide yourselves, and take with you money, clothes, provisions, and are prepared against all the exigencies of the road, but what do you provide yourselves with for your last journey of the soul from the lower to the upper world, and whose friendship have you to assist you on the way? Hear, O Ardâ-Vîrâf! and I will describe to you the provisions requisite for the voyage to eternal life.
“ ‘In the first place the friend who will assist you is God; but to attain His friendship you must walk in His ways and place in Him the firmest reliance. The provisions must be faith and hope and the remembrance of your good works. The body, O Ardâ-Vîrâf! may be likened unto a horse, and the soul to its rider, and the provisions requisite for the support of both are good actions; but as with a feeble rider the horse is ill-managed, so with a feeble horse the rider is but ill accommodated. Care ought to be taken that both are Edition: current; Page:  kept in order; so, in a spiritual sense, the soul and body must be kept in order by a succession of good actions. Even in the world the multitude would sneer at a man who took more care of his horse than of himself; for this reason a man ought to take more care of his soul than of his body. God, O Ardâ-Vîrâf! requires only two things of the sons of men: the first, that they should not sin; the next, that they should be grateful of the many blessings He is continually bestowing upon them.
“ ‘Let the world, O Ardâ-Vîrâf! be taught not to set their hearts on the pleasures and vanities of life, as nothing can be carried away with them. You have already seen the rewards given to the good and deserving—how they have been repaid for all their trouble; the poor and the rich, the king and the peasant, here receive honours and distinctions according to their good works. The herdsman and shepherd, you have seen their condition.
“ ‘In youth and in the prime of manhood, when blessed with health and vigour, you suppose that your strength will never fail; that your riches, your lands, your houses, and your honours will remain for ever; that your gardens will be always green and your vineyards fruitful. But, O Ardâ-Vîrâf! teach them not to think so; teach them the danger of such a way of thinking: all, all will pass away as a dream!
“ ‘The flowers fade, and give lessons unto man Edition: current; Page:  that he is unwilling to profit by. Yea, the world itself will pass away, and nothing will remain but God!
“Therefore, O Ardâ-Vîrâf! turn your thoughts only towards Him. No pleasure but has its concomitant pain; roses have thorns, and honours fall into disgrace. It is pleasant to drink wine, but intoxication brings pain, if not disgrace; if you exceed in eating, this also brings its punishment, and you must have a doctor; even if you drink the purest water to excess, it engenders dropsy; therefore let the avoidance of excess in everything be most particularly inculcated—in wine or women, in eating and drinking: though they bring their own punishment in the world by the diseases they engender, yet they encourage the most deadly sins, and the soul so indulging will most assuredly be cut off from heaven. So you see, O Ardâ-Vîrâf! that the indulgence of our passions brings no pleasure of long duration, or impresses any good sentiment on the heart.
“ ‘If after praying to God for offspring, and He has granted your request, into what sea of trouble and anxiety are you plunged! Your son or daughter may grow up in vicious habits, and embitter your days by their undutiful conduct: the one may become a thief, the other a courtezan, and bring disgrace on your old age. The bee that produces honey has also a sting.
“ ‘The world is composed of lust, avarice, and Edition: current; Page:  of passions the most ungovernable; if God gives them one thing, even that for which they most desire, they are not satisfied, but are continually craving for more and more, to a hundredfold.
“ ‘Avarice and ambition deprive them of sleep, and prevent them from making a laudable exertion to subdue these dreadful passions, which will plunge them into everlasting misery.
“ ‘A king who has conquered all the surrounding countries sighs because he has no more worlds to subdue. Kai Kâus, after having conquered many countries, aspired to be a king in heaven, and was punished for his presumption by a dreadful fall, which made him sensible of his folly.
‘ “So you see, O Ardâ-Vîrâf! that content is the happiest condition of man and the most pleasing to the Creator: and treasure the advice I have given you; and as you return to the lower world, inculcate these precepts, and abide by the laws and walk in the way of truth and holiness, and continue in the worship of the true God.’ ”
“I pray with benedictions for a benefit, and for the good, even for the entire creation of the holy and the clean; I beseech them for the generation which is now alive, for that which is just coming into life, and for that which shall be Edition: current; Page:  hereafter. And I pray for that sanctity which leads to prosperity, and which has long afforded shelter, which goes on hand in hand with it, which joins it in its walk, and of itself becoming its close companion as it delivers forth its precepts, bearing every form of healing virtue which comes to us in waters, appertains to cattle, or is found in plants, and overwhelming all the harmful malice of the Daêvas, and their servants who might harm this dwelling and its lord, bringing good gifts, and better blessings, given very early, and later gifts, leading to successes, and for a long time giving shelter. And so the greatest, and the best, and most beautiful benefits of sanctity fall likewise to our lot for the sacrifice, homage, propitiation, and the praise of the Bountiful Immortals, for the bringing prosperity to this abode, and for the prosperity of the entire creation of the holy, and the clean, and as for this, so for the opposition of the entire evil creation. . . .”
“Keep us from our hater, O Mazda! . . . Perish, O fiendish Drug! Perish, O brood of the fiend! Perish, O world of the fiend! . . . . Perish away to the regions of the north, never more to give unto death the living world of the holy spirit!”
Yima was known in the Shah Nameh* as Jamshid. Pride was the cause of his downfall. God conferred favours on him, and, according to the Vendidad, he became a mighty and prosperous king. Being elated by success, he disowned God, and in the words of Firdosi thus expressed himself:
This act of heresy caused his empire to crumble to pieces, and, mighty as he was, he was taken prisoner by the wicked Zohak and sawn in two between planks.
Zohak, according to Firdosi, was a son of an Arabian prince. Early in life he had sold his soul to the Devil. He started his infamous reign by murdering his father. At the time when he conquered Jamshid, the Devil had bestowed on him two serpents, one on each shoulder, who had to be fed with human brains. This curse of the Devil brought terrible ruins to the soil of ancient Iran. According to the old Persian legend, Zohak was chained Edition: current; Page:  up in a cave on Mount Demavend by Feridoon, who conquered and ascended the throne of Iran. Zohak is destined to remain there, a prey to anguish, till the day of judgment. Night and day he licks his iron fetters so as to thin the metal and break his bonds. A cock, placed there by the Guardian Angel, gives forth his clarion notes on the break of day, and the fetters of Zohak, rendered thin by hours of licking, with a clang and clatter immediately resume their original size. Thus once more the labour of Zohak has to be begun again. This will go on till the final trumpet call. It is the punishment to one who, in his early folly, sold his soul to the Evil One.
Gāo was a blacksmith during the reign of Zohak His son was captured by Zohak’s retainers, and was destined to feed the serpents with his brains. Gāo, in his terrible anguish to save his child such a horrible and atrocious death, tore off his leathern apron, and, waving it aloft, raised a cry for freedom from his tyrant. The band of soldiers gathered around him under Feridoon, the conqueror of Zohak and liberator of Iran, adopted his apron as the royal standard, which was handed down from generations of rulers of ancient Iran bedecked with precious stones and which was carried aloft in the forefront of numerous battles of historical renown as “Gaviani Zoondo.” It proudly floated and shared all the glories of the Persian Empire and veneration of its doughty warriors.
Symbol of Life.
Free translation of Fargard V. of the Vendidad.
Ormuzd Yast. Tr. by Darmesteter
For further information on this subject see extracts Yaçna XLIV.
Fargard I, of the Vendidad.
Dr. E. W. West’s “Introduction to the Sacred Books of the East,” Vol. 18.
Dînâ-î Maînôg-î Khirad.
Fargard X. of the Vendidad.
A prayer of repentance for sin.
Fargard III. of the Vendidad (Darmesteter).
Sad Dar LXXXIII.
Fargard XVIII. (Bleeck’s Translation).
Means life or vitality.
Conduit, canal or water ways.
“Original Creation” (a book).
“Lalla Rookh” (Thomas Moore).
“House of hymns”—the highest Heaven.
Spiegel and Bleeck’s translation.
Sacred Books of the East. Translation by J. Darmesteter.
Dînâ-î Maînôg-î Khirad. Sacred Books of the East. Translated by Dr. West.
Dâdîstân-î-Dînîk. Sacred Books of the East. Translated by Dr. West.
Sacred Books of the East. Yaçna XLIV. Dr. L. H. Mills’ translation.
See Introduction about the names of God.
Sacred Books of the East. Translation by Dr. L. H. Mills.
About an English mile.
A teaching priest.
God of Light.
Max Müller’s “Sacred Books of the East.”
Dînâ-î Maînôg-î Khirad. Sacred Books of the East. Translated by Dr. West.
Sacred Books of the East.
The last ten days of the year.
Sacred Books of the East. Translated by Dr. L. H. Mills.
The Guardian Angel.
Spiegel and Bleeck’s translation.
See Ameshaspends, page 41.
Dr. Haug and Dr. West’s “Ardâ-Vîrâf”; J. A. Pope’s “Revelations of Ardâ-Vîrâf.”
The Guardian Angel of Souls.
Mithra: The Recording Angel.
Angel of Justice.
God of Fire: The Angel of Life.
Sacred Books of the East. Translated by Dr. L. H. Mills.
History of Persian kings, by the great epic poet Firdosi.