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The Dabestan-e Madaheb, or 'School of religious doctrines'
Parts 3-13

From the translation of David Shea and Anthony Troyer, 1843. Notes in square brackets [] were added by JHP.


Of the ordinances contained in the book revealed to Abad.

The third section of the Dabestan explains the laws of the Paiman-i Farhang (excellent covenant) and the Ervad Sár (the pure High Priest).

The Paiman-i-Farhang is the code of Mahabad, of which many translations have been made; one of them is that made by Faridoon, the son of Abtin; another, that of Buzurg-Mihr for the use of Nushirvan, the son of Kobad; some extracts from these have been given in the present work. The Yazdanian, "godly," who are also called Sahi Kesh, "flourishing faith," and Sipasi, "adorers," maintain that the most exalted of the prophets, the mightiest of kings, and the sire of the human race which exists in this cycle was Mahabad, whom they also call Azar Hooshang, "the fire of wisdom." They also say that it is thus recorded in the code of this venerable personage, which is the word of God; and that moreover, this mighty prince has himself expressly announced that the Divine Essence, which has no equal, is totally devoid and divested of all form and figure; incapable of being the object of conception or similitude: also that the tropes of the most eloquent orators, the illustrations of the most enlightened and profound geniuses, are utterly unable to convey a clear idea of the light, which has neither perceptible color nor sign: the sublime speculations of the learned and the discriminating understandings of the sage are too feeble to comprehend the substance of the pure essence of that light, which is without equal, quality, color, or model: also that all existences have proceeded from the bounty and wisdom of the Almighty, and are consequently his creation: that not a single atom in this world, nor even the motion of a hair on the body of a living creature escapes his knowledge: all which propositions are proved by evident demonstrations deduced from various premises, and accompanied by excellent commentaries, the enumeration of which this abridged treatise cannot admit. Also that the cognizance of the self-existent God extends alike to the most minute particles of matter and the entire universe.


In the code of the great apostle Mahabad it is thus stated; the work of God is above the power of the tongue, and infinitely exceeds the calculations to which the inhabitants of this lower elemental world have recourse: the operations of the Eternal are from eternity to eternity they assign the name of Vohuman [1] to the first Angel whom the Almighty invested with the mantle of existence, and through the medium of whom it was communicated to others. The planets, fixed stars, and heavens have each their peculiar conservative Angel; also the four elements below the lunar sphere have four conservative Angels, and in like manner all productions connected with them: for example, in minerals there are many precious stones, such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds of every kind, which are under the dominion of their good, munificent, protecting Angel: and so on with respect to all species of vegetable and animal productions. The name given to the conservative angel of mankind is Farun Faro Vakhshur. [2]

[1. Azad Vohuman is called by the Sipasian (see p. 6) the precious jewel or the intellectual principle. In the Zand books and in the Bundahishn, he is invoked as created by Ohrmazd, and as one who is to conduct the heavens; he presides over the eleventh month or the year and the second day or the month; he is the king or the luminous world; the other angels repose under his guard; he is the principle or the intelligence of the ear, given by Ohrmazd; the father of the purity of the heart; the Yazad of peace who watches over the people; he aids in the distribution of the waters, and in the production of herds and other riches; it is he who receives the souls or the just at their entrance into heaven, congratulates them on their happy arrival, and clothes them with robes of gold.
2. Vakhshur signifies "prophet" in the old Persian language. According to the Dasatir (edit. of Bombay, English transl. p. 79) Sadvakhshur is an epithet of Hooshang, signifying "one hundred prophets by a mistake ascribed, as well as the work Javidan Khirid, to Jamshid, in my note, pp. 31 and 32. -A.T.


The code of Mahabad states that the second rank is assigned to the Angels connected with bodies: that is, every heaven and every star has a simple uncompounded spirit, bare of matter, as it is neither a body nor material: also that all, living beings in the world have an uncompounded soul.


It is stated in the code of Mahabad, that angelic beings of the third rank are the same as the superior and inferior bodies. The superior bodies are those of the sphere and the stars; and the inferior the four (quhar) elements. The most noble of all bodies are those of the sphere.


The code of Mahabad states thus: "In the Minu or 'azure heaven' there are many gradations, we shall first enumerate the gradations of Paradise in this lower world. The first gradation consists of minerals, such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and the like; the second of vegetation, such as plane trees, cypress, gardens, etc.; the third of animals, such as the Arab horse, the camel, and such like: the fourth consisting of selected individuals amongst men, such as princes and those connected with that class, persons in the enjoyment of health, the contented, and such like; all which gradations they call Mînú Sár, 'celestial abode,' and Bîst Lád,' that is, Ferôden ferô, 'the low foundation.'" In these slates there is a retrospect; for example, there is one man who in relation to his deeds gradually descends to the animal state; whilst the terrene particles of virtuous men's bodies change either to the vegetable state that or the choicest minerals, however without the existence of an incorporeal soul in either of them. On ascending from this state, the change is called Lim Sar, or "dwelling on high;" the first is the lunar step; for in the soul of the exalted moon are the forms of all those beings in to which the elements enter. A person on arriving there remains in it, becoming the regent of all the lower world, and in proportion to his knowledge and the habits resulting from his laudable qualities, assumes a better form. On arriving at a higher rank than this, he finds augmented delight as far as the solar step; for the sun is the Pirah-i-Yazdan, or "the ornament of God," that is, the viceroy of the Lord and sovereign of the stars, whose gracious influence pervades both high and low. On leaving this and passing through the various gradations to the empyreal heaven, every step becomes more delightful and excellent. On ascending beyond the great sphere, he arrives at the curtain of the great Angels and contemplates the Lord of the light of lights surrounded by angels: no state can surpass the beatitude and glory of this gradation, which is called the Mînúivái Mînú, or "heaven of heavens."


The code of Mahabad states thus: Hell is situated under the sphere of the moon: [1] the first step consisting of minerals in misshapen masses, or stones without worth; of plants, thorny and vile and poisonous herbage; of living creatures, such as ants, serpents, and scorpions; and of men labouring under indigence, sickness, feebleness, ignorance, and disgrace: in this step man is punished for whatever evil actions he has committed, and escapes not without due retribution. However, the, severest gradation of the infernal regions is that of mental anguish, which is appropriated to the irreligious philosophers, for when his elemental body is dissolved, they do not assign him another; so that he finds not his way to heaven, but remains in the lower elemental world, consumed by the flames of anguish: besides, in consequence of his detestable qualities, his tormentors pounce upon him in the shape of serpents, scorpions, and other such plagues. This state they denominate Puchán-i-Púch, or "the hell of hells."

[1. The manuscripts, with that of Oude, read 'mâh,' the edition of Calcutta 'bâd.']

The code of Mahabad also states, that whatever occurs in this elemental world proceeds entirely from the planets; so that their adoration, next to that of the Almighty, becomes an indispensable duty: for these luminaries approach near the palace, of the Almighty, and the chiefs of the court of eternity. In this world, whoever draws near the seat of grandeur, must have a friend to sound his praise, which is a measure much to be commended. The person who undertakes a journey cannot do without a guide, and he who goes to a city where he has no friend, meets with difficulty: consequently, the worship tendered to these dignities is much to be commended. The stars are truly many in number, but amidst these multitudes, the influences of the seven planets are the most evident: also of all the starry hosts the sun is the sovereign lord. It is therefore necessary to form seven images, and to raise that of the sun above the others; the temples built by the Abadian princes were open on all sides, so that when the sun shone they were exceedingly bright in the interior; not like the Hindu idol-temples [Mandir], in which they walk about with lamps, even in the day time: the roofs of the Abadian temples were also rather elevated. The emperors and princes are individuals of the most select description, on which account the king should find repose in the fourth sphere, which is one of the solar regions. As it is evident that the stars are set by God for the due government of the world, in like manner it is clear that it is not every individual indiscriminately who attains to the regal dignity, but only a royal personage, not opposed to the Farhang-Abad, or the law of Azar Hooshang: as otherwise he would be undeserving of the supreme power. Of the qualifications indispensably requisite in a monarch, the first is conformity to the faith above described, and firmness in adhering to it. In the next place, if on the side of both parents, which means Hasab va Nasab, "accomplishments and genealogy," he were of royal descent, it would be more advantageous: the meaning of royal birth is to be the possessor of the kingdom of justice; if every external qualification be united, with the supreme power, it is much more agreeable, so that the king should not say, "I am more excellent than my father, and he than his ancestors:" on the contrary, he styles his father "highly distinguished," and his grandfather "far superior." Moreover, if any one should praise him on this account, he should order that person to be chastised. Azizi, "a distinguished man," [1] has said: "The following is what we mean by this principle; that as one sire is superior to another, if a son should imagine himself the greater, then each child would reckon himself superior to his father, and there would then be no acknowledged ruler."

[1. It is not decided whether "Azizi" here and elsewhere is a proper name, or the attribute of a person.]

A king must also be provided with a distinguished mathematician as prime minister, to whom the calculators and astronomers should be subject; in every city there should he an astronomer or surveyor; and an Arshiya, or accountant, should act as vizier, one well versed in the amount of rents paid by the Rayas; he must also have commissaries;, and as there are attached to every city many villages and hamlets, the king's private property, to which the local director attends, that officer is called the Vizhak. Also with every vizier, whether absent or present, there should be two Ustuwars or supervisors, and two Shudahbands, or recorders of occurrences; the same rule is to be observed with all administrators, and the Samán Sálár, or head steward, the chief reporters and inspectors should also be each accompanied by two Ustuwars and two Shudahbands. Dastur, or prime minister, means the person to whose department the public revenue is attached: the copies of the registers of all the viziers should be regularly kept at the seat of government, as well as the papers of the Shudahbands.

The king also requires military commanders, in order that they may keep the soldiers in due discipline. The first dignity consists of the chiefs of a hundred thousand cavalry; the second, of the commanders of thousands; the third, of the commanders of hundreds; the fourth, of the rulers over tens and the fifth, of those accompanied by two, three, four, or five persons. Thus in this assemblage every ten persons have an officer and every hundred a Sipahdar, called in the popular language of Hindustan Bakhshi, "pay-master," in that of Iran, Lashkar Navîs, or "army-registrar", and in Arabic, Ariz, or "notary:" a similar arrangement must be observed in the infantry. In like manner, when the military in regular succession are in attendance on the king, there is at court a Bárnîgárî, or "registrar," to set down those who are absent as well as those present; in the popular language of India officer is styled Chauki Navîs, or "register keeper;" they are accompanied by a Shudahband, an Ustuwar, and sentinels, so that they may not go to their homes nor give way to sleep; until their period of duty is terminated: there are also different sentinels for day and night. It is also so arranged that there should be always four persons together on each watch, two of whom may indulge in sleep whilst the other two remain awake. In every city where the king is present there ought to be a Shuduhband, to report to the king whatever occurs in the city: the same rule should be observed in the other cities also: this functionary they call, in India, Wakia-Navis, "news-writer [reporter]." There should also be a Shahnah, or "intendant of police," styled Farhang-i-roz, "registrar of the day," who is to conduct all affairs with due prudence, and not suffer people to inflict injury on each other. He is to have two Shudahbands and an Ustuwar or "confidential secretary." In like manner, among the troops of the great nobles there must be two Shudahbands; and in all provinces a Shahrdar, or governor; and in every city a Bud-andoz, or collector-general, a Sipah-dar, that is a Bakhshi, and an intendant of police, or Shahnah; it is to be noted that among the Yezdanian, a Kázî and Shannah were the same, as the people practised no oppression towards each other. The Shudahband, the Návand (writer), and the Rávand (courier), or those who conveyed intelligence to the king, had many spies set over them secretly by his majesty, and all those officers wrote him an account of whatever occurred in the city. If the Sipahdars did not give the men their just dues, these officers called them to account: also if a superior noble acted in a similar manner towards his inferiors, they instituted an inquiry into his conduct: they also took note of the spies; so that if any secret agent made himself known as such, he was immediately dismissed. If anyone kept the due of the soldier or of the cultivator, in the name of the king, and did not account for it, they inflicted chastisement on him. The officers were obliged to delineate the features of every one employed in the cavalry or infantry, and also to furnish a representation of his horse, and to give the men their regular pay with punctuality. Previous to the Gilshahian dynasty, no one ever branded the king's horses, as this was regarded as an act of cruelty towards the animal: most of the soldiers also were furnished with horses by the king, as the sovereigns of Ajem had many studs. On the death of a horse, the testimony of the collectors and inspectors was requisite. Every soldier who received not a horse from the king, brought his own with him: they also took one out of twenty from the Rayas. However, under the Sassanian princes, the Rayas requested "to take from them one out of ten:" and as this proposition was accepted, it was therefore called Baj-i-hamdastani, or voluntary contribution, as having been settled by the consent of the Rayas.

The Omras and the great of the kingdom, near and far, had not the power to put a guilty man to death; but when the Shadahband, "recorder," brought a case before the king, his majesty acted according to the prescriptions of the Ferhang-abad, unless in the case of executing a dangerous rebel, when, from sparing him until receiving the king's will, a great evil would arise to the country.

They laid down this royal ordinance: that if the king sent even a single person, he was to bring back the head of the commander of a hundred thousand; nay, that person never turned aside from the punishment. For example, when such a commander in the time of Shah Mábúl had put an innocent man to death, the prince sent a person who was to behead the criminal on a day on which the nobles were all assembled: and of this there are innumerable examples. Also in the time of Shah Faridoon, the son of Abtin, the son of Farshad, the son of Shá-î Gilîv, a general named Máhlád was governor of Khorosan: and he having put to death one of the village chiefs, the Shudahbands reported to the king all the public and private details of the fact, on receiving which the king thus wrote to Máhlád: "Thou hast acted contrary to the Farhang Abad." When Máhlád had perused the king's letter, he assembled the chief men of the province, and sending for the village chieftain's son, put a sword in his hand that he might cut off his head: the son replied: "I consent to pass over my father's blood." Máhlád however, would not agree to this, and insisted so earnestly, that the young man cut off his head, which was sent to the court. The king greatly commended this conduct, and according to his usual practice conferred Máhlád's office on his son. In the same manner, the Moghuls submitted implicitly to the commands of the Lord strengthened by the Almighty, that is, to Gengis Khan; [1] and the tribes of Kazl-Básh [2] were equally obedient to Ismail Safavi during his reign. But the kings of Ajem were averse to the infliction of capital punishments, so that until a criminal had been declared deserving of death, according to the Abadian code, the order for his execution was not issued.

[1. Genghis Khan, "the king of kings," was name assumed by Temuz Khin, a Moghul, when he had succeeded in uniting under his own and sole domination the various tribes of the Turks. He was born in the year 1162 and died in 1228 of our era. His history is sufficiently known and belongs not to this place. -A.T.

2. Kazl-básh signifies in the Turkish language "red head," a name given by the Turks to the Persians, since they began to wear a cap of that colour enveloped by a turban with twelve folds in honour of the twelve Imams. This happened in the year 1501, under the reign of their king Ismail Sufi. -A.T.]

The kings and chieftains of Iran never addressed harsh language to any one; but whenever a person deserved chastisement or death, they summoned the Farhangdar, or "judge," and the Dad-sitani, or "mufti;" on which, whatever the code of Farhangabad enjoined in the case, whether beating with rods or confinement, was carried into effect: but the beating and imprisonment were never executed by low persons. Whatever intelligence was communicated by spies was submitted to a careful examination, in which they took great pains; and that unless reports made by two or more spies coincided, they carried nothing into execution. The princes and young nobles; like all others, began by personal attendance on the king: for example, the routine of Hash-o-bash, or "presence and absence" at court, was enjoined them in rotation, that they might better understand the state of humbler individuals: they even attended on foot, that they might more easily conceive the toils of the foot-soldier.

Bahzad the Yasanian, in one of his marches having proceeded a short distance, alighted from his horse [intending to put an end to the march] on which a distinguished noble, named Naubar thus remarked: "On a march it is not proper to remain satisfied with so short a journey." On this, Bahzad shah, leaving the army in that place said to the commander Naubar, Let us two make a short "excursion." He him self mounted on horseback and obliged the other to advance on foot. They thus traversed mountain and plain until Naubar became overpowered by fatigue, on which Bahzad said: "Exert thyself, for our halting place is near;" but he having replied, "I am no longer able to move," the king rejoined; "O oppressor! as thou art no longer able to proceed; dost thou not perceive that those who are on foot experience similar distress from performing too long a march?"

"Thou, who feelest not for the distress of others,
Meritest not to be called by the name of man."

The military, in proportion to their respective ranks, had assigned to them costly dresses, vigorous steeds with trappings and saddles inlaid with precious stones, equipments, some of solid gold and silver, and others plated with gold or silver, and helmets. The distinguished men were equally remote from parsimony and profuseness. The nobles of Ajem wore a crown worth a hundred thousand dinars of gold: the regal diadem being appropriated to the king. All the great Amirs wore helmets and zones of gold; they also had trappings and sandals of the same. When the soldiers set out on an expedition, they took with them arms of every description, a flag and a poignard; they were habituated to privations, and entered on long expeditions with scanty supplies: they were never confined within the enclosure of tents and pavilions, but braved alike the extremes of heat and cold. In the day of battle, as long as the king or his lieutenant stood at his post, if any one turned his back on the foe, no person would join him in eating or drinking, or contract alliance with him, except those who like himself had consigned their persons to infamy and degradation. Lunatics, buffoons, and deprayed characters found no access to the king or chieftains.

On the death of a person who had been raised to dignity, his post was conferred on his son, or some one of his legitimate connections adequate to its duties; thus no innocent person was ever deprived of office, so that their noble families continued from the time of Shai Kiliv to that of Shai Mahbul. When king Khusraw, the son of Faridoon, the son of Abtin, the son of Forzad, the son of Shai Kiliv, had sent Gurgin [1] the son of Las to a certain post that dignity remained in his family more than a thousand years; and when, in, the reign of the resplendent sovereign, king Ardeshir, Madhur the descendant of Gurgin had become a lunatic; the king confined him to his house, and promoted his son Mabzad to the government; and similar to this was the system of Shah Ismail Safavi.

[1. Gurgin, in the Shah namah, is called the son of Melad, and was one of the principal chieftains under the reign of Khusraw. Gurgin's character does not figure advantageously in the history of Pizshen and Munizsha, one of the most interesting episodes of Ferdausi's historical poem. -A. T.]

But if an Amir's son were unfit for governing, he was dismissed from office, and had a suitable pension assigned him. Nay, animals, such as the cow, ass, and horse, which were made to labor when young, were maintained by their masters in a state of ease when they grew old; the quantity of burden which each animal was to carry was defined, and whoever exceeded that limit received due chastisement. In like manner, when any of the infantry or cavalry grew feeble, infirm, or old, although he might not have performed effective service, they appointed his son to succeed him; and if the latter was not yet of mature age, they settled on him a daily allowance from the royal treasury. But if he had no son, they assigned him during his life such an allowance as would keep him from distress, which allowance was continued after his decease to his wife, daughter, or other survivors. Whatever constitutes the duty of a parent was all performed by the king; if, in the day of battle, a soldier's horse fell, they bestowed on him a better and finer one. It has already been said that most of the cavalry horses were supplied by the king, and the military were at no expense save that of forage. If a soldier fell in battle, they appointed the son with great distinction to his father's post, and also conferred many favors on his surviving family; they also greatly exerted themselves in teaching them the duties of their class, and in guarding their domestic honor inviolate: as, in reality, the king is the father, and the kingdom the common mother.

In like manner, when a soldier was wounded, he received the greatest attentions. Similar notice was taken of workers in gold and of merchants who had failed and become impoverished, their children being adopted by the government: so that, within the circuit of their dominions, there was not found a single destitute person. The Sardar of each city took cognizance of every stranger who entered it: in the same way, all friendless travellers were received into the royal hospital, where physicians gave themselves up to the curing of the sick: in these there were also Shudahbands to take care that none of those employed should be backward in their respective offices. The blind, the paralytic, the feeble, and destitute were admitted into the royal hospital, where they passed their time free from anxiety. Now the royal Bimarastan, or hospital was a place in which they gave a daily allowance to the feeble and indigent: thus there were no religious mendicants or beggars in their dominions; whoever wished embraced a Dervish's life and practised religious austerities in a monastery, a place adapted for every description of pious mortifications: a slothful person, or one of ill repute, was not permitted to become a Dervish, lest he might do it for the purpose of indulging in food and sleep: to such a character they enjoined the religious exercises suitable to a Dervish, which, if he performed with zeal, it was all well; but, otherwise, he was obliged to follow his inclinations in some other place.

The king had also confidential courtiers, well skilled in the histories of the righteous men of olden time, which they recited to his majesty. There was also an abundance of astrologers and physicians, so that, both in the capital and in the provinces, one of each, agreeably to the royal order, should attend on every governor; and their number was such in every city, that men might consult them on the favorable and unfavorable moments for every undertaking.

In every city was a royal hospital, in which were stationed physicians appointed by the king; there were separate hospitals for women, where they were attended by skilful female physicians," so that the hospitals. for men and women were quite distinct. In addition to all this, the king stands in need of wise Farhangs, "judges," well versed in the decisions of law and the articles of faith, so that, aided by the royal influence and power, they may restrain men from evil deeds, and deliver the institutes of Farhang, "the true faith," to them. The king also requires writers to be always in his presence.

[1. The manuscript translation of D. Shea reads in this place: "These officers are called Sa'mo'r, or the Char Ayi'n Farangi, "the four institutes of law:" which words are not in the printed edition of Calcutta, but are probably in the two manuscripts which he had before his eyes. -A.T.]

A great Mobed must be acquainted with all sciences; a confidential courtier, conversant with the narratives and histories of kings; a physician, profound in medical science; an astrologer in his calculations of the stars; an accountant, accurate in his accounts; and a Farhangi, or lawyer, well versed in points of law: moreover, the study of that portion of the code contained in the Paiman-i-Farhang, or in the "covenant of the Farhang," is incumbent on all, both soldiers, Rayas, and those who practise the mechanic arts, and on other people. In like manner, persons of one rank were not wont to intermeddle with the pursuits of another: for example, that a soldier should engage in commerce, or a merchant in the military profession: on the contrary, the two employments should not be confounded, so that one should at the same time be a military man and a servant, or in any employment; and having become a commander, should again take up the trade.

They also permitted in every city such a number of artificers, conductors of amusements, merchants, and soldiers as was strictly necessary; to the remainder, or surplus, they assigned agricultural occupations; so that, although many people may know these arts, yet no more than is required may be occupied with them, but apply themselves wholly to the cultivation of the soil. If any officer made even a trifling addition to the import on any business which brought in a revenue to the king, so far from its being acceptable, they, on the contrary, ordered that ill-disposed person to be severely punished.

The king gave audience every day: but on one day of the week in particular, he acted as Dadsitan, or "Mufti," when every person who was wronged had access to the sovereign; also, once a year, he gave a general audience, when everyone who pleased came into his presence; on this occasion, the king sat down at table with the Rayas, who represented, to him, without the intervention of another, whatever they thought proper.

The sovereign had two places of audience; one the Rozistan," or "day-station," in which he was seated on an elevated seat; which place they also called the Tabsar, or "place of splendor;" around which the nobles and champions stood in their respective ranks; the other was the Shabistan, or "night station," which had also an elevation, on which the king took his seat. Men of distinction stood on the outside; those of royal dignity were at the door; and next the king was a company standing with weapons of war in their hands. Every one, indiscriminately, had not the privilege, of laying his hand on the royal feet; some only, kissed the slipper and walked around it others, the sleeve of the royal mantle which fell on the throne: that person must be in high favor at court who was permitted to kiss the king's feet, or the throne, or perform a circuit around it.

As a brief account has been given of the exterior place of reception, and of the Rozistan, or "day station," we now proceed to write a few particulars concerning the interior place of reception or the secret night station, or the Harem which is also called the "golden, musk-perfumed pavilion." In the code of Azar Hooshang, or Mahabad it has been thus laid down: whatever be the number of the king's women, there must be one superior in dignity to all the rest: her they style "the Great Lady;" but she possessed not such absolute power that the right of loosing or binding, inflicting the bastinado, or putting to death within the night station should be conferred on her: or that she could put to death whomsoever she pleased without the king's consent, a power quite opposed to law.

The Shudahbands also report to the royal presence all the transactions of the Great Princess and of the night station, just as they transmit accounts of those persons who live out of its precincts. If the king's mother, be alive, the supremacy is of course vested in her, and not in the Great Princess. Salarbars or "ushers with silver maces "Jadars or "superintendants of police," Gahnumas or Shudahbands, astrologers and such like professions, were also met with in the interior residence. Of these women and princesses not one had the smallest degree of authority over the rest of their sex who lived outside of the precincts, nor did they possess the power of issuing any order whatever; nay they seldom made mention of them in the royal Rozistan; neither were they called by any fixed title; nor, without urgent necessity, did they ride out in public.

The king also, on visiting the interior apartment, is not wont to remain long with the women; nor do they ever entertain any wishes which have not reference to themselves; such as the mode of speaking when enjoining an officer to perform some service, or increasing the dignity of the great warriors. The same system was followed by every Amir in his own house; but in the dwelling of every Amir, whether near or remote, there was an aged matron or Atuni, deputed on the king's part, with the office of Shudahband, to report the exact state of affairs to the Great Princess, or to send from a distance a written report, for being brought before the king.

To the king's Harem, or to that of an Amir, no males had access, except boys not come to maturity or eunuchs; but criminals only were qualified for the latter class, who were never after admitted to any confidential intimacy; and no individual in their empire was allowed from motives of gain to have recourse to that operation.

Every year, on certain occasions, on some great festivals, the wives of the Amirs waited on the Great Princess, and the women of the city came to the general levee; but the king never saw these women, as on such days he did not enter the musk-perfumed pavilion, but departed to some other place, so that his eyes might not fall on a strange female. The motives of the ladies visit to the king was this: that if any were oppressed by their husbands, it might be reported to the king, who after proper investigation was to enjoin the punishment awarded by the court of justice.

The great king partook not of reason-subduing strong drinks, as he was a guardian, and as such should not be in a state of helplessness on which account not one of those kings who were styled guardians ever polluted his lips with wine or other intoxicating beverage before the Gilshaiyan dynasty. The cup-bearers of the king's sons and other nobles were always females, and these were called Badeks: [1] no beardless males were admitted to the feast: even eunuchs were excluded from the banquets of the Gilshaiyan princes, and they were waited on by beardless youths under ten years of age; and at the time of taking wine even they were not allowed to be present. The ancients, or those previous to the Gilshaiyan dynasty, had appointed seasons for drinking wine, which occurred when the physicians prescribed it for the removal of some infirmity, on which occasions they conformed to the above-mentioned rules. If any one, and the king in particular, labored under a malady the cure of which could only be effected by wine, and the invalid should be altogether reluctant to the drinking of it, in that case, as the cure was confined to the use of wine, the patient was obliged to comply with the prescription: for things forbidden under other circumstances, become lawful when taken for medicinal purposes: but with this reservation, that no injury should accrue to any innoxious animals.

[1. It may be recollected that the interior service in the palace of an Indian king was of old always performed by females. -A.T.]

Along the roads frequented by travellers in this realm, there were many caravansaries, between every two of which were posted sentinels, so that the voice of a person reached from one to the next. In every halting-place was a Shudahband, a physician, and a Timari; and the inns were also constructed near each other. Now a Timari is one appointed by the king to protect the helpless, such as persons of tender years and the infirm. Aged women brought out from the Harem all the requisite supplies (for these establishments), which they transferred to aged men, by whom they were conveyed to the attendants.

The soldiers' wives were not without employment, such as spinning, sewing, and in various works, the making of house-furniture, riding, and in the management of the bow they were as able as men; they were all formed by discipline and inured to toil.

It is evident to all the world that notwithstanding the extent of their realms was so exceedingly great and spacious, yet in consequence of these arrangements, the kings were necessarily informed of every event which occurred: in addition to what has been stated, pursuant to decrees influential as those of Heaven, villages were erected at every stage and halting-place, at each of which the king's horses were picketted, and men appointed whom they called Ravand, or "couriers." When the Shudahband day by day delivered the report of whatever had occurred into the hand of a courier, the one near the city delivered it into the custody of another, and so on, from the couriers of the stage to those of the villages, until the report reached the capital. The

king observed the same system in corresponding with the Umras; at one time appointing an individual who was with great caution to communicate the royal despatches without entrusting them into the hands of another; a courier of this description mounted at every stage the king's post-horses which were picketted at the different halting-places until he completed his object: this description of courier they call Nuwand; the Umras also despatched Nuwands to the king's court; but the couriers belonging to royalty or the nobility were not empowered to seize any individual's horse, or practise oppression, as they would in that case meet with due retaliation: there were besides, at the different villages, persons stationed as guards, who were liable to be called to account if a traveller suffered oppressive treatment from any quarter. Shadahbands also were there. Azar Hooshang, that is, Mahabad, thus enjoined: "Let there be no exactions practised towards the Rayas: let him afford what be well can, and nothing more;" they therefore only took such an amount as maintained both soldiers and rayas in tranquillity.

All the king's devoted servants entertained this belief, that the performance of whatever was agreeable to the king was attended with advantage in both worlds; also that the royal command was the interpretation of the word of God, and that it was highly

praiseworthy to meet death in the path of obedience to the Great King: nay, they accounted death, with the prospect of royal approbation, which is the bestower of paradise, as far superior to life; but he must be a king who acts in conformity with the Paiman-i-Farhang, or "excellent code." In short, the system of inquiry was such, that the inspectors used to question the soldiers, whether they were satisfied or not with their chief.

With respect to keeping guard, it was thus settled; that out of the four persons acting in concert with each other, two went to sleep and the other two stood up armed; again, when the sleepers arose the others went to rest; and on the expiration of the night, other troops came to keep watch: the night sentinels, however, did not depart but by order of their officer. These inspected the men three times during the night. In that manner each person had, every week, one day's watch: and when they retired from keeping guard, proclamation was made to this purport by the king's command: "If any have cause of complaint against their inspector or chief, let them not keep it concealed." In like manner every month the inspectors whether near or remote, looked into the state of the military; if they found any individual, without sufficient cause, deficient in the requisites for service, they ordered him to be punished, unless he adduced a satisfactory excuse and testimony; in which case they accepted his reasons: and if they proceeded from overpowering necessity, they had regard to it.

To whomsoever they had assigned land, Jaghir or Mukasa, they gave daily or monthly pay with the greatest punctuality, never permitting any deficiency to occur.

If any were deficient in the performance of duty, for example, being absent one watch without sufficient cause, besides inflicting the due punishment, they deducted the pay of that watch, but not of the whole day. When, for some good reason, he applied for a furlough, he obtained it.

The prime minister was obliged to institute an inquiry into any affair of which he got the necessary information. The Rais sufid, "chieftain," must produce a Khushnudi namah, or "a certificate," purporting that he had given the due to his people, and that they were satisfied with him; also that whatever revenue had been received was delivered over to the inspector, in the presence of the Anim and Shudahband: the inspectors also produced, in the royal presence, certificates stating that they had practised no oppression towards the military: and although the spies made a report of all particulars every week, still the king inquired besides of the soldiers, as to the truth of this approbation.

The Yazdanians never attempted a thing mentioned with abhorrence in the Farhang code, in which every fault had its fixed punishment. When anyone was convicted of a crime, the king's near attendants never made intercession for him: for example, pursuant to this code, and by the king's command, the son inflicted punishment on the father, and the father on his son, so that even princes of the blood had not the power of breaking this law; if they were guilty of injustice, the kings themselves inflicted the allotted punishment: for example, Jai Alad had a son called Hudah, whom he himself beheaded for having put to death the son of a villager. The king's devoted servants raised themselves to distinction by their excellence and exertions to obtain praise and titles: whoever swore falsely by the royal family was expelled from all intercourse with them.

There were peculiar places assigned for the combat of elephants, lions, and other wild beasts, the backs and sides of which places were so elevated, that people might behold from every part, without the possibility of sustaining injury from the elephants and other wild animals: the king being all the while seated on a lofty throne. They never created embarrassments in bazaars or populous places with furious elephants or fierce lions, but kept them in remote situations and secure places such as before-mentioned, from whence they could easily remove them.'

It is recorded that, in the time of Shirzad Shah, the Yassanian, an elephant having broken out of the place where he was tied up, killed someone; on which the king, in retaliation for the deed, put the elephant to death, and also inflicted capital punishment on the elephant-keepers and the door-keepers of the elephant-stables, who had left the door open. The king never listened to tales of fiction, but solely to true statements: the military and the rayas also never averted their necks from executing the king's commands: and if a traveller invoked the king's name and entered into any house, the inmates not only washed his feet, but even drank the water in which they performed the operation, as a sovereign remedy, and sedulously showed all due attentions to their guest.

On the day of battle, the soldiers were drawn up in right, centre, and left columns, an arrangement which they never violated in any engagement: as when once dissolved, the restoration of that combined order would be impossible: when the troops had been arrayed in this manner, they gave the enemy battle; and in proportion to the necessity, the bazaar, or "market" of assistance followed them: even after victory they observed the same arrangement.

On the day of triumph, when the enemy fled and the foe dispersed, the entire army did not give themselves up to plunder; but the king appointed for the service a certain detachment, accompanied by Shudahbunds and Binandahs, or inspectors and supervisors, whilst the rest of the army remained prepared for battle and ready to renew the engagement; not one of them raising the dust of plunder or departing to their homes, lest the enemy, on discovering their dispersion in pursuit of plunder, might return and gain the victory. When they had made themselves masters of the spoil, the king ordered them to set apart the choicest portion for the indigent and the erection of religious foundations: he next distributed an ample share to the men proportioned to their exertions; after which he gave each of his courtiers a portion; and he lastly conferred a suitable portion on the great officers; but no part of this division entered into the account of the allowances settled on the military class: last of all, the king drew the pen of approbation over whatever was worthy of the royal majesty. Some of the ancient kings and all the princes of the remote ages, far from taking any part of the spoil to their own share, even made good every injury which happened to the army in executing the royal orders, as the loss of horses and such like.

After the victory, they never oppressed the helpless, the indigent, merchants, travellers, or the generality of the inhabitants, and the Rayas. Those who were guilty of such acts were, after conviction, punished. They divided among them whatever the enemy had in their flight left on the field of battle: but whatever in the different realms belonged to the conquered prince and his near connexions, they submitted to the royal pleasure. They never slew or offered violence to the person who threw down his arms and asked for quarter.

This class of the obedient followers of the Azar Hooshang code were styled Farishtah, " angelic;" Surush, "seraphic;" Farishtah manish, "angel-hearted;" Surush manish, "seraph-hearted;" Sipasi, "adorers;" Sahi din, "upright in faith;" and Zanadil, "the benevolent;" opposed to whom are the Ahriman, the Divs, and the Tunadil, or "fierce demons."

The Divs are of two kinds; the one class subject to the king of the angels, who, through fear of that prince, have been compelled to desist from injuring animated beings; the second kind, consists of Divs in the realms of other kings, who break through the covenants of the law, and slay animals: these in truth are no other than wolves, tigers, scorpions, and serpents.

They record that in the time of Ardeshir, the son of Azad, the son of Babegan, the son of Noshirwan, there was a Jaiyanian champion by name Farhad, the son of Alad, who were both ranked among the distinguished leaders: Alad, when in a state of intoxication, having slain a sheep with his sword, his son Farhad, on ascertaining this, made him pass under the sharp-edged scimitar; the people held him in detestation, and said: "Thou shouldst have sent thy father to the king." He replied, "My father had committed two criminal actions; the first, in taking so much wine as to lose his senses; the second in destroying a sheep. Although it would have been proper to send him to the king, I could not suffer any delay to intervene in punishing his crimes at present I confess myself guilty of transgressing the Abadian code, for not submitting the details of this affair to the king" He then ordered himself to be put in chains, and brought in that state before the king: but his majesty drew the pen of forgiveness over his crime and elevated the apex of his dignity.

Moreover it was necessary to drink wine in a secret place, as they inflicted due punishment on whoever was found intoxicated in the public bazaar. In truth, permission to drink wine was only given in cases of malady, as from the time of the very ancient sovereigns of the Mahabad dynasty; until that of Yassan Ajam, no person partook of wine or strong drinks, except the invalids who were ordered by the physicians to have recourse to them; and even they partook of them according to the established rules: but among the ancient kings, i.e. from Gayomard to Yezdegird, they at first indulged secretly in wine for the purpose of sensual enjoyment, under color of conforming to medical ordinances. At last matters terminated in this, that wine was openly produced at the banquets, and the champions in attendance on the king partook of it; but it was not permitted to be drunk openly in the bazaars or streets.

The king gave audience every day, being seated on an elevation, that is a Tabsar, or elevated window: in the same manner he took his seat in the Roz-Gah, which is a place where, on his rising from the Tabsar, he seated himself on a throne: on which occasion the nobles in attendance were drawn out in their proper gradations: note, that by giving audience is meant, turning, his attention to the concerns of mankind. Every decree issued by the king from the rozistan or shabistan of the interior or exterior, was transcribed by the Shudahband and again submitted to the royal presence, and when its promulgation was ratified, it was laid before his majesty a second time.

Whenever a traveller entered a caravanserai or city, the secretaries of the place, in the presence of witnesses and notaries, made out a statement of his wealth and effects, which they gave him; and the same at the time of sale; so that if he should afterwards declare that his stock had been diminished or some part had been abstracted, they could ascertain its value and quantity: there was also a fixed price assigned to every commodity and article, and also a certain rate of profit prescribed to each vendor.

The following was their mode of hunting: the army being drawn out in array, in right, centre, and left columns, the nobles and eminent warriors took their several posts according to rank, and during a period of forty or fifty days formed a circle around both mountains and plains. If the country abounded in wood, they formed the whole of it into well secured piles: the king then directed his steps towards that quarter, and his train by degrees drove in the game, keeping up a strict watch that no beast of prey should escape out of the circle: on this the king, his sons, and relations dispatched with arrows as many as they could; after this the king, surrounded by the most distinguished courtiers, sat on a throne placed on an eminence, formed of strong timbers so fastened together that no animal could get up there: the generals, and then the whole of the soldiery charged into the centre, so that not a trace remained of ferocious animals, that is, of lions and such noxious creatures: they next counted the numbers of the slain, and having piled them in one place, formed a hillock of their carcasses. If they discovered a harmless animal amongst the slain, they ordered vengeance to be inflicted on its destroyer, and cast his body among those of the ferocious animals.

They record that in the reign of Yassan, the son of Shah Mahbul, an elk had been slain by some tyrannically inclined person, on beholding which the father of the insane criminal, with the ruthless sword, immediately dissevered his son's head from his shoulders. Also in the reign of Noshirwan, the fortunate descendant from the Shaiyan dynasty, at one time whilst in the pursuit of game, an arrow shot intentionally from the bow of a noble champion named Fartush, wounded a deer so that it fell dead: his son, Ayin Tush, was perfectly horror-struck, and in retaliation with an arrow pinned his father's body to that of the slaughtered deer; so that, in future, there should be no infringement of the Farhang law.

As soon as a lofty mound had been formed of slaughtered noxious creatures, which either walk, fly, or graze, then by the king's command a Mobed ascended the eminence and said: "Such is the recompense of all who slay harmless creatures; such the retribution which awaits the destroyers of animals free from crimes." He then said to the harmless creatures: "The equitable king of kings, in order to destroy the noxious animals which cause you so many calamities, has come forward in his own precious person, and taken vengeance for the misdeeds of these wicked creatures: now depart in peace; behold the vengeance inflicted on your sanguinary foes; and commit no sin before the protector of your species." They then left a road open for the innoxious animals to escape and hasten to their mountains and deserts. This kind of hunting they called Shikar-i-dad or Dad-shikar i.e.: "the hunt of equity," or "the equity-hunt." The royal governors also in their respective provinces adopted a chase of the like description. Whenever the sovereign was of such a character as not to deviate from the Farhang code, if any person declined rendering allegiance to the prince chosen by him for his successor, that person was immediately destroyed by the people.

In the reign of Shah Giliv, a champion having beheld in a vision, that the king had raised to the throne one of the princes who met not his approbation, immediately on awaking put himself to death. Shah Giliv, on hearing this, said to the son of the deceased: "When a person is awake, rebellion is to be abhorred; but not in a state of sleep, as it is then involuntary."

Also in the reign of Bahman, the son of Isfendiar, the son of Ardashir, the son of Azad Shai, [1] one of the generals, Bahram by name, governor of Khorasan, having made arrangements for revolt and rebellion, the soldiers on learning his designs put him to death, and offering up his flesh after the manner of the Moslem sacrifice, divided it and ate of it, saying "He is a noxious animal."

[1. Bahman, son of Isfendiar and successor of Vishtasp, is also named Kai Ardashir, diraz-dost, and identified with the Artaxerxes (longimanus) of the Greeks. He is placed 505 years before our era. He reigned 112 years, according to the Shah-namah. -A.T.]

In the same reign, a champion, by name Gilshasp, saw in a trance that he had rebelled against Bahman: on relating the dream to his soldiers, they for answer drew forth their swords and shed his blood, saying: "Although there is no blame to be attached to the vision, yet he is the genius of evil for publishing it abroad."

Ayin Shakib, a Mobed, who saw in a vision that he was uttering imprecations against Ardahir, the son of Babagan, the son of Azad the Jaiyanian, immediately on awaking cut out his tongue: such was their devotedness to their kings.

They moreover say, in the case of every prince who was adorned with sound doctrine, good works, and noble descent; who promoted the interests of the military and the happiness of the Rayas, and who never deviated from the covenant of the law; that when any one proved refractory to his commands, that person's life and property were confiscated with justice. The kings made trials of their sons' capacities, and conferred the royal dignity on whichever was found the most deserving; not making the one king whom they regarded with the greatest natural affection. They also said: "Sovereign power becomes not the monarch who transgresses this blessed law; neither should any prince give way to the disposition to deviate in the slightest degree from any of its covenants, lest from their esteeming one branch of the law as of no importance, they might regard the whole as of trifling obligation." The adorable and almighty God so gave his aid to these praiseworthy sovereigns that they decked the bride of dominion with the ornaments of equity, benevolence, and impartial justice. Merchants, travellers, and scholars moved about in perfect security; during their reigns there existed no annoyance from the payment of tolls, customs, and other exactions; and in the caravanserais was neither rent nor hire.

The kings had the covenants of the law transcribed, which they always kept near them, and had read over to them daily by some confidential courtier: on great festivals they were communicated to the military and the rayas, with strong injunctions to store them up in their recollection. The Umras also pursued the same system, and recited the law to their dependants. In like manner, the princesses of the Shabistan, "night-apartment," observed the same rule.

They moreover say that every prince who, through the suggestions of his own mind or of his minister's, adopted any measures except in conformity to this law, bitterly repented of it. -- Jai Alad has said "Whoever in the king's presence utters a word contrary to the covenants of the law, or persuades him to do so; the king may rest assured that the object of that person is to throw the kingdom into confusion."

When the Yezdanian princes and rulers gave audience, there lay before them a book, a scourge, and a sword; the book contained the covenants of the law; and every affair which was submitted to them being considered according to the view taken of it in the book, they then gave a decision.

In the royal dynasty which preceded the Gilshaian kings, there was no violation whatever of this code; but under later princes some disorder crept into its observance. They also say, that whenever they violated the commands, decrees, maxims, rules, and decisions of this covenant, they became associated with regret and repentance. Whenever a sovereign sustained any injury, it arose principally from inattention to this standard; and whenever a monarch lived in prosperity, it proceeded from his scrupulous observance of the most minute details of this code. The ancient sovereigns, that is, the Abadian, the Jaiyan, the Shaiyan, and the Yassanian, who are the most renowned of kings, never lost sight of the Farhang Abad, that is, they did everything according to its dictates: this code they also called Hirbud Sar, or "sacerdotal purity." During this period no enemy arose, and no foe obtained the supremacy; the military and the rayas enjoyed undisturbed repose. Amongst the Gilshaiyan kings, Hooshang, Tahmuras, Faridoon, Minochehr, Kai Kobad, Kai Khosraw, Lohrasp, Bahman, Ardashir Babagan, and the others, had this code transcribed in secret characters, which they employed as mental amulets and spiritual charms. Nashirvan also, having procured a transcript of this law, kept it by him. Although all the sovereigns conformed to this rule, yet none observed it in so high a degree as the ancient sovereigns of the Abadian, Jaiyan, Shaiyan, and Yassanian dynasties: as in the belief held by the Yazdanians or "theists," their dignity so far transcends that of the Gilshaiyans, that we can institute no comparison between them, The Gilshaiyan princes also exerted themselves to prevent the slaughter of harmless animals; although the people did not pay the same respect to their orders as to those of the ancient sovereigns, yet, as compared with their successors, people were more exact in the performance of duty than in later periods.

They say that Rustam, the son of Zaul, at the moment of abandoning the robes of mortality, having heaved a deep sigh, the king of Kabul said to him : "O Rustam! art thou alarmed at death?" the hero replied: "God forbid! for the death of the body is to the spirit the bestowing of life; and the issuing forth under the sphere is the being born from the maternal womb; when the cloud of the body is removed, the sun of spirit shines more resplendently: but my grief proceeded from this reflection, that when Kaus commanded Tus to put me to the ignominious death of the gibbet, I refused to submit to the punishment. Although Kaus, in violation of the Farhang code, had passed a sentence opposed to the decisions of Mahabad, and even the interests of Kaus were ultimately advanced by my rebellious conduct, I am at present afflicted on that account, lest, perhaps, anything opposed to the Farhang code may have proceeded from me. In like manner Isfendiar was slain by my hand, and I refused to be put in chains although it became him not to exact compliance, nor was it in accordance with the Farhang code." Dastan (Zaul) also lived in regret, saying: "Why did I utter a word in opposition to Kai Khusraw, on the day when he chose Lohrasp as his successor, although my sentiments were expressed by way of counsel?" When Bahman, the son of Isfendiar, made preparations for laying waste Sistan, notwithstanding the people urged Dastan to give the invaders battle, he approved not of it, but said: "Never more will I break through the Farhang code." He then came on foot into the presence of Bahman, by whose orders he was thrown into chains: but he finally attained the king's unbounded esteem, and was released; whilst his son Faramarz, contrary to the Earhang code, gave the king battle, and, being taken prisoner, suffered the ignominious death of the gibbet: his son was also put to death on the same account. The implicit obedience of the, son Minufarad to Kobad, the father of Noshirwan, is also well known; although that prince was not strictly entitled to obedience according to the Farhang covenant, yet the devotedness of his subjects is highly celebrated.

SECT. IV. of the Jamshaspian.

The FOURTH SECTION OF THE DABESTAN contains an account of the Jamshaspian sect. The Yekanahbinan, "seers of unity," also called the Jamshai, who form another great body of the Parsis, are the followers of Jamshasp, the son of Jamshid, the son of Tahmuras: in their speech there is much that is enigmatical, and endless subtilty. Jamshasp never invited any one to follow his tenets, but he was of such exemplary life and so great a sage, that the people bore him great affection, and wrote down his sayings, until by degrees great numbers voluntarily adopted them as articles of faith. According to them, the world has no external existence; they hold that whatever exists is God, and that naught exists besides him: a holy man has said:

"Every eye which is directed to the primitive nature,
Unless tinged with the collyrium of divine light,
Whatever it beholds in the world, except thy face,
Is but the second image of distorted vision."

They hold that all the intelligences, souls, angels, heavens, stars, elements, the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms exist within his knowledge ,and are not external to it: which sentiment king Jamshid explained to Abtin, saying: "Know, O Abtin, that the Almighty conceived in idea the first intelligence; in like manner the first intelligence conceived three objects, namely, the second intelligence, the soul of the upper sphere, and the body of the same heaven: in like manner, the second intelligence conceived three objects, and so on in succession to the elements and their combinations: and this is exactly as when we form an idea of a city, with its palaces, gardens, and inhabitants, which in reality have no existence external to our imagination; so that, consequently, the existence of this world is of the same description." The Abadian regard these sayings as enigmatical, although Jamshid composed many philosophical works, which the Yekanah Binan admit without any commentary: many of the Parsis adopt this creed, and particularly the ascetics of that class. The belief of these sectaries is illustrated by the following tetrastich from Subahani:

"The sophist, who has no knowledge of intellect,
Asserts that this world is altogether an optical illusion,
In truth, the world is an illusion; however,
Certainty is for ever displaying her effulgence there."

On this subject they have composed various works, the most celebrated of which is the "Testament of Jamshid addressed to Abtin," compiled by Farhang Dostoor. Shidah, Suhrab, Mizan, and Jamshasp, who, under the profession of mercantile pursuits, travelled along with Shidosh, the son of Anosh, were of the Yekanah Binan sect.

SECT. V. of the Samradian.

THE FIFTH SECTION OF THE DABESTAN describes the Samradian sect. -- In common language Samrad means imagination and thought; and the sects thus named are of many descriptions; the first is that of the followers of Fartosh, who lived about the commencement of the Serpent-shouldered Zohak's reign: Fartosh followed mercantile pursuits, and his faith was as follows: this elemental world is merely idea; the remainder, the heavens, the stars, the simple uncompounded beings actually exist. The holders of this opinion are called the Fartoshian.

The second are the Farshidiyah, so called from Farshid, the son of Fartosh: he asserted that the heavens and the stars are also ideal, and that the simple uncompounded beings only have actual existence.

The next are the Farirajiyah. so called from Fariraj, the son of Farshid : his opinion was that the simple uncompounded beings, that is, intelligences and souls, also have no existence, which is the attribute of the necessarily self-existent God alone, and that all besides is ideal, appearing only to exist in consequence of the essence of that sole existence.

The next are the Faramandiyah, thus named from Faramand, the disciple of Fariraj. He says, if any person exists, that person knows that the elements, heavens, stars, intelligences, and souls are the Almighty; and what people call the necessarily self-existent God has no being, although we, through imagination (idea), suppose him to exist; which he certainly does not. According to the testimony of the sage Amr Khaiam:

"The Creator in this aged world is as a vase,
Which is internally water and externally ice;
Resign to children this trifling about infidelity and faith
Remove from the place where God is only a letter."

They said to him: "How dost thou prove this idea?" He answered:

By means of the solar light we can see: but where is the sun?"

Thus, according to them, the Almighty is only an idea of the imagination: the people of this sect are now mixed up with the Moslems, and go about in the garb of the faithful: according to them a person named Kamkar, one of the ascetics of this sect, who lived in the reign of sultan Mahmud of Ghiznah, [1] composed a poetical treatise, and compiled narratives, proofs, and revelations conformable to his tenets; assigning to his faith a superiority over all other systems, after this manner: that, whatever devout persons have recorded in their respective creeds concerning the existence of God, the greatness of the empyreal sphere, the extent of the angelic world, or concerning paradise, hell, the bridge of judgment, the resurrection of the dead, the interrogatory and reply, the appearing before God, the rejection of tradition, eternity, and the creation of the world, is all correct in this creed; as all becomes evident to the idea of their, professor through the existence of idea; with respect to which they thus express themselves: "by means of idea, they behold the ideal."

[1. Mahmud, the son of Sebekteghin, was the first monarch of the dynasty of Ghiznah, the foundation of which had been laid by his father. During a reign of 33 years (from, 997 to 1030, A. D.) he made twelve expeditions to India, and established his domination in the western part of this country, out of which he possessed a still greater empire, which to the Northwest extended over the whole of Persia, and was limited on the Northeast by the river Oxus. -A.T.]

In proof of his system, he farther says: "Self cannot be ignorant of self." But in truth they are ignorant of their own identity, and understand not in what "self" consists: some of them maintain, that the being called man and endowed with voice and speech, is an incorporeal essence joined to the body; the relations of thought and action resulting merely from its entrance or descent into body: notwithstanding this principle, they differ greatly among themselves respecting the eternity and creation of their own souls. In like manner, some have also denied the simple uncompoundedness of the intellectual soul, and have spoken largely against that doctrine; consequently, as they are unacquainted with their own identity, what can they know about the heavens, stars, intelligences, and God? and it becomes not that one should know nothing about himself, but that he exists not. Kamkar, in his treatise, has collected many amusing anecdotes respecting the Samradian sect, of which the following is an instance: a Samradian once said to his steward: "The world and its inhabitants have no actual existence; they merely have an ideal being." The servant, on hearing this, took the first favorable opportunity to conceal his master's horse, and when he was about to ride, brought him an ass with the horse's saddle. When the Samradian asked, "Where is the horse?" the servant replied, "Thou hast been thinking of an idea: there was no horse in being." The master answered, It is true:" he then mounted the ass, and having rode for some time, he suddenly dismounted, and taking the saddle off the ass's back, placed it on the servant's, drawing the girths on tightly; and having forced the bridle into his mouth, he mounted him and flogged him along vigorously. The servant, in piteous accents, having exclaimed "What is the meaning of this conduct?" the Samradian replied: "There is no such thing as a whip; it is merely ideal; thou art only thinking of some illusion:" after which the steward repented and restored the horse.

In another tale it is recorded that a Samradian, having obtained in marriage the daughter of a wealthy lawyer, she, on finding out her husband's creed, proposed to have some amusement at his expense. One day the Samradian brought in a bottle of pure wine, which during his absence she emptied of its contents and filled it, up with water; when the time for taking wine came round, she poured out water instead of wine into a gold cup which was her own property. The Samradian having observed, "Thou hast given me water instead of wine," she answered, "It is only ideal; there was no wine in existence." The husband then said: "Thou hast spoken well; present me the cup, that I may go to a neighbour's house and bring it back full of wine." He therefore took out the gold cup, which he sold, and concealing the money, instead of the gold vase brought back an earthen vessel full of wine. The wife, on seeing this, said, "What hast thou done with the golden cup?" he replied, "Thou art surely thinking about some ideal golden cup:" on which the woman greatly regretted her witticism.

As to those sectaries who assert that the world exists only in idea, the author of this work saw several in Lahore, in the year of the Hejirah 1048, A. D. 1657. The first was Kam Joi, who composed the following distichs on Fariraj:

"Thou knowest that every thing is ideal,
If the Almighty has given thee illumination!
The mention even of ideality proceeds from idea;
The very idea itself is nothing more than ideal."

It is to be noted that Samrad and Samwad are applied to fancy or idea. Ismail Sufi, of Ardistan [1] has poetically expressed himself to the same purport in what is styled the mixed Persian:

"I am about to mention something although remote from reason;
Listen carefully: but if not, mercy still awaits thee:
This world is ideal; and ideality itself is but idea:
This existence which I call ideal, that likewise is idea."

[1. Upon Ismail Sofi, see note p. 52, 53. Ardistan or Ardastan is a town of the province called Icbal, or Persian Irak, 36 leagues distant from Esfahan. -A.T.]

The second person treated of in the Samrad Namah of Kamkar was Nek Khoy; the third was Shad Kesh; and the fourth, Mahyar: they were all engaged in commercial pursuits, and styled Moslem or true believers.

SECT. VI. of the religion of the Khodanian.

THE SIXTH SECTION OF THE DABESTAN describes the tenets of the Khodaiyan. -- This sect are followers of Khodadad, a Mobed, who lived during the decline of Jamshed's power and the usurpation of Zohak. Khodadad held intelligences and souls to be simple uncompounded beings, and the stars and heavens to be the companions of God; each of which, in proportion to its proximity to the Almighty beyond other created beings, is so much more elevated in dignity: notwithstanding which we are not to account any being, whether the simple uncompounded or material, as a mediator or promoter between us and God; neither is there any occasion for prophets, because through the medium of reliance, the seeking out of God is attained, and we are to serve God alone. Among those who held these opinions in Lahore, in the year of the Hejirah 1049 (A.D. 1639) were seen Kamus and Fartush, both merchants.

SECT. VII. of the tenets of the Radian.

THE SEVENTH SECTION OF THE DABESTAN describes the system of the Radian. -- The chief of this sect was Rad Gunah, one of the eminently brave, a lion-like hero, who, to beneficent acts and abstinence from cruelty to animals, joined the dignity of knowledge; he enjoyed distinguished honor and rank about the end of Jamshid's reign and the commencement of Zohak's usurpation: his opinion is, that God is the same as the sun, whose bounty extends to all beings; and that the fourth heaven, by reason of its constituting the true centre of the seven heavens, is the seat of his glory; and as his essence is pure good, his place must also be regarded as a proof of his goodness: besides this, his grace extends alike to all bodies, whether superior or inferior: moreover, as the heart, which is the sovereign of the body, is settled in the midst of the breast, such is also the rule and custom observed by renowned princes to fix the seat of government in the centre of their realms, so that their bounty as well as severity may be equally extended over the whole community; and, by such a measure, the repose of the people and the due regulations of the Rayas may be promoted. He asserted that the spirit of the heavens, the stars, and the three kingdoms of nature proceed from the solar spirit, and that their bodies return to the light of his body; that is, the virtuous return to him or some of the stars approximating to his glory, whilst sinners remain in the elemental world. He at first communicated these opinions secretly to his friends; but promulgated them fearlessly during the reign of Zohak. In the year of the Hejirah 1052 (A. D. 1642), the author, whilst journeying from Panjab to Kabul, met at the station of Rawal Bundi two persons of this creed, and whose names were Hormuzd and Tirah Kesh, who were skilled in all arts, abstinent, and remote from hurting any living being.

SECT. VIII. of the religion of the Shidrangian.

THE EIGHTH SECTION OF THE DABESTAN treats of the Shidrangian creed. -- Shidrang, a champion of Iran, who in battle was regarded as the acknowledged chief of the marshallers of armies, and joined profound knowledge in science to bravery in the field, always turned away most studiously from doing injury to the creatures of God. He appeared about the middle of Zohak's reign, and soothed the serpents between the usurper's shoulders. Shidrang unceasingly invited the people to adopt his faith, and had many followers: he maintained that Khoy and Manish, "disposition and constitution" or nature, to be God; according to his system, the state of man and other animals resembles that of herbage, which, when scattered about or dissolved, grows up again. A merchant, named Pil Azar, who belonged to this sect, was met by the author in Kashmir in the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A. D. 1631).

SECT. IX. of the belief of the Pykerian.

THE NINTH SECTION explains the Paikarian creed. -- Paikar was a virtuous sage from Iran, who appeared about the middle of Zohak's reign. He thus addressed his disciples "The Almighty is the same as fire, from the effulgence of which stars have been formed, and the heavens from its smoke; as fire is both hot and dry, from its heat proceeded the air, which is hot and humid; and from the humidity of the air came water, which is cold and humid; also from the coldness of water proceeded the earth, which is cold and dry; and from these conjointly came the compound productions; both perfect and imperfect. Two individuals of this sect, Paikar Pazhuh and Jahan Navard, who were unequalled in drawing out astronomical tables, painting, and inlaying, were met by the writer in the year 1059 (A. D. 1649) in Gujarat, in the district of Panjab.

SECT. X. of the tenets of the Milanian.

THE TENTH SECTION OF THE dabestan explains the Milanian system. -- Milan was one of the brave champions of Iran and contemporary with Paikar; he exhorted many people to adopt his faith; which was as follows: "The air is the truly self-existent God, as it is both hot and humid; from its heat proceeded fire, and from its humidity, water; from the effulgence of fire came forth the stars; from its smoke the heavens (as before mentioned) and from the frigidity of water proceeded the earth." One of this sect was Roham, who passed under the designation of a draughtsman; he was in truth a painter possessed of European skill; the hand of Balizad and the finger of Mani, who never remained long in one place. In the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A.D. 1650) the author beheld him in Kashmir, in the house of Shidosh.

SECT. XI. of the doctrines of the Alarian

THE ELEVENTH SECTION describes the system of the followers of Alar. -- Alar was a native of Iran, celebrated for his extensive knowledge, who lived in reputation and dignity about the end of Zohak's reign, under whose command he distinguished himself in the erection of forts and other architectural works. His belief was that God is the same as water, from the ebullition of which proceeded fire; from the fire came forth the heavens and the stars (as before stated); from the humidity of water proceeded the air, and from its frigidity, the earth. To this sect belonged Andariman, who was well skilled in the management of the bow, archery, wielding the lance, horsemanship, and other military accomplishments; he gave instructions in these sciences to the sons of great men, in which occupation he passed his life. In the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A.D. 1630) the author met him in Kashmir at the house of Shidosh. To this sect also belonged Milad, who possessed consummate skill in writing, and was held in great respect by men of high station: he was in truth unequalled in the recitation of histories, the narration of stories and romantic tales. The author enjoyed his society also in Kashmir.

SECT. XII. of the religious opinions of the Shidabian.

THE TWELFTH SECTION treats concerning the Shidabian faith. -- Shadib, who lived about the end of Zohak's reign, was an eminent physician of Iran, held in great estimation by nobles and princes. He maintained that the self-existent lord is the same with the earth, from the dry propensity of which was produced fire; and from fire the heavens and stars, as before mentioned; from its frigidity proceeded water; from the humidity of which was formed the air; and when the four elements were mixed together, the three kingdoms of nature were then manifested. The physician Mihran was also of this sect. In the year 1048 of the Hejirah (A. D. 1638) the author joined him, and travelled in his society from Lahore to Kashmir. Among those who held these tenets was one named Khaki, who followed the profession of a merchant and possessed great wealth: him the author met in Lahore. In that same year and in the same place, he became acquainted with a young man named Shir, who excelled in writing the Nishki and Taalik characters, and was one of the chosen followers of Shidab.

Section. 13. The religion of the Akhshian.

THE THIRTEENTH SECTION describes the system of the Akhshiyan sect. -- The Mobed Akhshi was by origin a Persian, possessed of great knowledge, and full of kindness towards the creatures of God; he was contemporary with Shidab, and promulgated his sentiments openly, inviting all men to embrace his faith: he maintained God to be the essence of the elements; so that when people say, "God is not visible," this implies the elemental essence, which presents no form to the sight; when they assert the ubiquity of God, they style that the essence, as he is every where under his fourfold form; their proposition of all things excepting God being perishable, means that the elements admit of change, but that their essence remains for ever in the same state. They hold the sun to be the source of fire and of the other stars, such as the falling and shooting stars, comets with tails, etc. One of those sectaries was a person named Shidab, whom the author met in the costume of a merchant, in Kashmir in the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A.D. 1631), and from whom he heard what has now been written, and which was partly recited out of the book of Akshi. The same Shidab, called also Shams-ud-din; or "the sun of faith," composed a treatise entitled Razabad in proof of his system, which he demonstrated by texts of the Koran and the traditions. According to these sectaries, which became known after the Radiyan, there is no resurrection nor return to life but after this manner: the seminal principle being derived from food, when the body of a living creature is dissolved, it becomes grass and constitutes the food of some other animal: as to future rewards and punishments, they enter not into the faith or practice of this sect: their paradise consists in having fine raiment, in carousing, riding, sensual enjoyments, and such like pleasures, which alone they esteem the chief good; torment, according to them, consists in being separated from such objects: however, the founders and followers of this, faith carefully avoid all kind of cruelty towards living creatures.

According to them, intercourse with daughters, sisters, mothers, maternal aunts, and their children is allowable; as there can exist no antipathy between the source and what is derived from it: no degree of relationship in their opinion should be a bar to the intercourse of the sexes: nay, on the contrary, it is highly to be commended, as the nearer the degree of consanguinity, the greater will be the friendship between the parties. [1] They however regard adultery as highly criminal, unless the husband should willingly sacrifice his wife's honor. They in fact maintain that marriage between any two parties, however nearly related, is perfectly allowable if the parties agree among themselves. They also regard the ceremonial ablutions enjoined by the law as absurd and unnecessary. [2] They so say, that men assume a particular nature by means of laws and institutions, and on that account regard good as evil, and evil as good. When they desire to make a sacrificial offering, they kill some harmless animal and count it not a foul crime. Nay, some religionists who partake of swine's flesh, scrupulously avoid that of cows, and vice versa. Whoever shall appeal to the intelligence, which is the gift of God, will be convinced that our discourse is true; that is, all we have narrated from the fifth chapter to the present. The professors of this belief are mixed up with the Muhammedans, and travel about under that mask, assuming the name of true believers, but having a distinct appellation for their peculiar creed; they are scattered over Iran and Turan, remote from and averse to the fire-worshippers.

[1. The translation of this passage of the original text is not, and ought not to be, literal, as the author's expressions are here such as an European reader would hardly think suitable to common decency. -A.T.

2. The same observation is also applicable to this passage. -A.T.]

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