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DENKARD (Acts of Religion), Book 3

This digital edition copyright © 1997 by Joseph H. Peterson. All rights reserved.

Edited by Peshotun Dastoor Behramjee Sanjana, 1881.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the fact that the means of knowing the Deity depends upon the existence of (certain) objects (i.e. faculties.) (247)

Be it known that, the means of knowing the Deity [lit. the Self-existent One,] depend upon the existence of (certain) objects. These are the following three: First, Philosophy; second, Faith; and third, Experience.

First, philosophy is (necessary) for this reason, that we may recognize the existence of the Creator of the Universe from His formations (i.e. the nature) of the worldly existences.

Secondly, Faith is (necessary) for this reason that from the testimony of the innermost [lit. hidden] spirit (viz. conscience,) we may believe in divine existences whose nature is invisible and imperceptible, as well as in the evidence (resulting therefrom) of the existence of the Almighty.

Thirdly, Experience is (necessary) for this reason that from the phenomenon of the sunrise today we may previously understand that there will be the phenomenon of the sunrise tomorrow.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the prosperous or unprosperous state of man (in regard to virtue.) (248)

Be it known that, the prosperous state of man (in regard to virtue) is caused by the vigorous study of (religious) philosophy. -- Whosoever possessing philosophical attainments, holds the highest rank in piety, does so on account of his aspirations towards the Highest. -- Whoso holds the mediocre (rank), does so on account of his mediocre aspirations. -- And he who holds the inferior rank, does so on account of his inferior aspirations. -- Whosoever has no knowledge of the highest [lit. first] stage of piety, is devoid of the felicitous existence in the highest paradise.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the characteristics of true knowledge and of evil cognizance. (249)

Be it known that, the characteristics of the true knowledge (acquired from the revelation) are as follows: Peacefulness, truthful speech, cheerful humor, sincere amity, and liberality. He who possesses these five characteristics with pure goodness is a quarry of knowledge, and should be regarded as an expert in preeminent philosophy; and the people of the world should endeavor to be associated and united with him. -- Again, from the evil cognizance the symptoms are as follows: -- Discord, foolish utterance, melancholy, the enmity of the good, and niggardliness. -- Whosoever possesses these five characteristics, should be considered as celebrated in evil knowledge, and carefully avoided.

Exposition in the good religion regarding light and darkness, and the several descriptions thereof. (250)

Be it known that, light is of two kinds. One is the light of the vision of the physical eye, and thus it may be seen by the open eye of the body. The other is the light that is seen with the mind's eye and it is the knowledge (perceived) from the clear vision of the spiritual eye, [lit. the soul's eye.] -- Every perception relating thereto (i.e. to that light,) is conveyed (unto man) by Vohuman and other good spirits of light. The eye of knowledge is open on account of the vigor of the soul's vision. The soul's power is for the purpose of perceiving objects of virtuous strength. The powerful material light is for the purpose of observing and enlightening objects by means of the strength of the bodily vision which keeps the eye-sight open. The darkness that veils the vision of the bodily eye-sight, is owing to two different kinds of (evil) intelligence. First, whatever shuts the perception of the spiritual eye, such as evil mind, avarice, perverseness, wrath and spite which is the worst of all; secondly, whatever mars the vision of the bodily eyesight by the absence of the good abode of spiritual perception in the material light or in the vision of the bodily eye-sight.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the exalted position that is acquired (by man) at the future renovation on account of perfect improvement by means of paradisiacal virtues, and regarding the fact that this world is (for the purpose of performing righteous acts) for both.* (251)

[* i.e. For performing such acts of merit in this world as would render the soul worthy of paradise and of the felicity of the future renovation.]

Be it known that, all improvement of self for (attaining to) an exalted condition in paradise, is for (i.e. conducive to bring elevation at) the time of future renovation. On account of this paradisiacal region there will be improvement unto a single tribe (lit. people of the same lineage, meaning Zoroastrians) for the period of renovation, just as from the season of spring there is perfect and equal enjoyment unto this world. Because it is declared (in the religion) that the souls in paradise are in an undistressed (felicitous) condition, and these invisible spirits who are the inmates of paradise ever improve themselves so as to be worthy of the perfect felicity of the future renovation. Accordingly, this world is a region wherein sufficient improvement can be acquired to make (man) worthy of both (viz. paradise and the tan-i-pasin); [and] because all happiness (lit. unafflicted enjoyment) in paradise and in the period of tan-i-pasin, is by means of overpowering or defeating the Blemish-giver (i.e. evil), and the waging of that conflict (against evil) by creatures that are endowed with strength from the Creator, takes place on the battlefield of this world. -- The (heretical) priests who abominate paradise and the tan-i-pasin, are worthy of detestation in this world. The most wicked people will be constantly subject to the usual infernal penalty for the purpose of accomplishing the act of renovation. How could that creed be regarded as the medium of improvement which believes in the final evil (of this world)? How could misery without happiness, or distressing calamity, be said to be a good medium for man, and pertain to paradise?

Exposition in the good religion regarding the perception of the highest medium for attaining to the next world (paradise) which is without affliction. (252)

Be it known that, the perception of the highest medium for attaining to paradise which is without affliction, is by means of the Mazdayasnian religion which displays that world with a wholesome vision. Having a conception of that world (it is obligatory that) man should repel the druj perceived from himself, so that the best and known equipments (for paradise) may be acquired [lit. purchased.]

Exposition in the good religion regarding the learned, the religious philosophy, and those that are versed in that philosophy (253)

Be it known that, the learned is he who perceives objects by means of his genius [lit. wisdom acquired from one's own powerful spirit,] as he would see them by means of his corporeal vision. Religious wisdom is that by which one may perceive objects as easily as he would see them by the bodily eyesight; it may be compared to the treasures of the opulent wherefrom people acquire riches*.

[* The Zoroastrian religious wisdom is here compared to a fountain of wealth from which the sages are supposed to collect their whole stock of knowledge.]

He is the learned in religious philosophy in whom there subsists the good abode of the spirit of wisdom; the learned is intelligent on account of his intellect, and lives (i.e. becomes immortal by his intellectual monuments.) Just as a man beholds every object, yea vision subsists in him on account of the good abode of the ocular organ, so wisdom is as nutriment (pashne) in the learned, whereby every object is comprehended by him. According as the discerning person possesses the power of discernment, as the punisher as well as the punished understands the nature of a punishment, and as other objective or subjective agents know the nature of their vocation, so every philosophic person, by virtue of his knowledge, appreciates religious philosophy, and is in union with the ideas of his ancestors. The learned man by means of learning, comprehends the power of knowledge. Knowledge is the means of intellectual culture, whereby objects are understood by the knowing.

There are three description of beings that are versed in religious philosophy. First, He Who is so versed by means of his self-learning, and that is the manifest [lit. known] Creator Ohrmazd whose knowledge is for unlimited time, and is the highest in power. -- Secondly, he who has made himself learned by means of learning, just as a soul is made vital by means of its own vital power, and the fire is made hot by means of its own heat. -- Thirdly, he who is (i.e. presumes to be) learned without having acquired learning himself (i.e. one who depends upon the learning of others, and calls himself learned) is like unto the body that is living by means of the soul's vital power, and unto iron, wood, and stone which become hot by means of the fire. -- That faith is not designated by the learned as the law, which does not emanate from The Wise One. Of the heretical priests he whose creed does not appertain to the Omnipotent, is said to be unfit for (happiness under) the rule of the Divine Sovereign, or for (benefiting) the productions of the Creator. -- -Such a creed is said to be devoid of the wisdom, potency, sovereignty, and efficiency of God.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the triumph of learning and the success of the learned. (254)

Be it known that, successful learning results from the beneficent help of the successful spirits (viz. the angels and archangels) as well as from the habitation in the body of exalted thoughts emanating from a heart prone to exalted habits. The success of the learned is manifest from the constant progress of acquired learning, and from the vigorous habits of recollection thereof (i.e. of progress) in the mind.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the good intention and the evil intention) their causes and efficacy, and the improvement of both by the existence of wisdom. (255)

Be it known that, the cause of the good intention is Vohuman, and its power is the perception of higher efficiency. The cause of the evil intention is Akoman, and its power lies in causing gross defects. The improvement of both is by the existence of efficient wisdom. The man of evil intention closely searches defects in others, while he is hiding his own; but the man of good intention yearns after good virtues, and is unassuming.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the greatness and power originating in man (by association with his parents or preceptors) (256)

Be it known that, the mental appearance or constitution of man is of manifold descriptions. First, it resembles the temperament of her who gives him birth, his mother; secondly, that of the one who has brought him up; thirdly, that of the moral preceptor or teacher while he attends him; fourthly, man acquires in his youth the habits of overpowering and surpassing his inferiors; and lastly, he manifests himself as having the good habits, nature and defects of his begetter, the father.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the duty of man to be grateful in his thought, word and deed. (257)

Be it known that, it is the duty of man to be always grateful in thought, word, and deed, especially towards the following four: (1) Towards Ohrmazd, principally for His having created him. (2) Towards the sovereign, chiefly for his having given him protection in this world. (3) Towards the parents, especially for their having brought him up with care. (4) Towards the moral teacher, chiefly for his instruction (that enables him) to recognize these four kinds of obligations.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the power possessed by every man of this material world for the salvation of his soul (from sin.) (258)

Be it known that, the salvation of the soul shall be attained by the currency of that great remedy, sinlessness or the elevation of one's being by the apprehension of sin, as well as by abstention from sinful acts [lit. by not concurring in sinful acts], and by the knowledge of the good religion and the innate good sense given by God.

Every intelligent human being shall be as capable of avoiding sin as of tending to acts of merit. -- Thus the man of this material world is formed always capable of redeeming his soul from sin.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the pentomadal divisions of the month. (259)

Be it known that, in every month its divisions as regards the moon and its divisions as regards the religion are pentomadal. Their names are three. One of them is (called) Andarmah, the first division, that begins on the first, and ends on the fifth day after the new-moon. -- The second is called Purmah, which begins on the eleventh, and ends on the fifteenth day after the new-moon. -- The third is called Vispotatmah, which begins on the twenty-first, and ends on the twenty-fifth day from the same new-moon. -- And these three pentomadal periods are called good (auspicious) ones. It is generally enjoined that several works should be principally performed therein: corn, vegetables, and other kinds of trees should be grown, man and wife should couple, the male gospands should be left free (to generate), and all sorts of good works relating to this world should be performed or designed, superior functions should be attended to, and the Yazashnih [Yasna] and Myazd rites be observed.*

[* In the Mah Niyayesh these three pentomadal periods are regarded as good ones and praised.]

In the names of the three remaining pentomadal divisions the first is the Padire-Andamah, which begins on the sixth, and ends on the tenth day from the new moon. The second is the Padire-Purmah, which begins on the sixteenth, and ends on the twentieth from the new-moon. The third is the Padire-Vispotath, which begins on the twenty-sixth, and ends on the thirtieth. Such is the course of time after the succeeding new-moons (or in each succeeding month.) The time during these three intervening periods is inferior, wherefore no works relating to the city should be undertaken therein; but works of merit should be as much performed as possible, and no moment should be lost without doing some righteous act, and no moment of the spiritual being (in future) be made harmful by committing perverse sins.

Again, the three Pentomadal periods first described, are selected for the inauguration of special works pertaining to them. As to the works that are not to be performed therein, it is said that these could be thought of or designed, but practiced only in periods suitable for them; and such works or designs should be eagerly put into force on such days as are said to be great (i.e. auspicious) for them. And such works as are prescribed to be religious by the preeminent dasturs of the good religion, should in no wise be opposed or withheld.

Exposition in the good religion regarding men of angelic nature and demoniac beings in human frame. (260)

Be it known that, by means of the pure angelic nature, man enjoys good life, health and protection; and by conducting himself (with that gift) for future benefit, and by preserving his soul (from sin) he attains to divine assistance and gratification. By the non-proximity (i.e. absence) of the Evil (lit. the druj,) his (i.e. man's) good wishes are not frustrated [lit. unobtained], and he follows honest ways through divine guardianship, and redeems his soul from final damnation. Such a man of angelic nature is far from any cognizance of the evil belief. The man that is free from the evil religion, prospers in life, and embarrasses those who adhere to the evil creed. The unhappy man (that follows an evil belief), strengthens and pampers evil, while he that fulfills his desires (by an adherence to the good religion,) aggrandizes his fame and continuously enjoys an happy existence.

The demon-like man on account of his hostile propensity to the Ohrmazdian creatures, exists for the purpose of wounding, distressing, and killing animate creatures [lit. living bodies] as well as for deceiving, corrupting, and exposing the soul to damnation; for which (heinous guilt) the apostate demon-man is doomed to undergo affliction and imprisonment in the infernal abode, is dragged away into the hellish dwelling, there to be killed in the vengeance taken for the pious (injured by him in this world), and his body will be destroyed, putrefied, and rendered stinking by the rush of the druj-nasu upon it. The soul of that sinful wretch will be dragged in hell towards the Blemish-giver (Ahriman), there he will ever remain clamoring and tortured and degraded on account of his devilish acts (done on earth). from such confusion of a man of a demonical nature there is rejoicing unto the genius of the evil religion. In the association with that evil spirit such a one has to suffer forever the gnawing and biting of the surrounding pernicious (hellish) creatures. The evil-willed Ahriman is ever jealous of the salvation of the wicked, or of the happiness of the blessed. However, there is no remedy for the redemption of a perverse wretch, and there is much embarrassment for the follower of evil to render his soul happy. By the total desertion of the evil spirit by his followers, the apostate (Ahriman) will be imprisoned mercilessly and with abhorrence (at the final renovation).

Exposition in the good religion regarding (the questions:) Who is deserving to be the lord of all? Who is undeserving to be the lord of all? Who is deserving to be the lord of existence, and who is not so? (261)

Be it known that, the Just One is deserving to be the lord of all. He Who is the Existent One, is deserving to be the lord of existence. How can he that is non-existent be equal to the Victorious and the First or Highest One?

Exposition In the good religion regarding the selected means of improvement in a city and among mankind. (262)

Be it known that, all sorts of improvement in a city and among men, subsist by means of the knowledge of the revelation, and mostly by truthful speech; and by these means four righteous qualifications are acquired, which tend to the improvement of a city and of men under the supervision of a worthy head. 1st. While he (i.e. the head) has honest inclination., there abides in him the glorious intuition for ameliorating the city. 2nd. While he has a natural vigor in his heart for 4 giving out the truth, he is strongly inclined to utter only the truth. 3rd. While his truthful speech teems with the intelligence of good spirits, the truth is aggrandized. 4th. While he trusts in the righteous utterances of man among mankind, his work (in this life) is full of delight. Thus the revealer of truth is a medium for the improvement of the city and its human inmates.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the material substance [lit. body] of this world, its different ingredients, and its essential elements; the origin and nature of that which adorns the spirit, and renders it useful; the origin and nature of that which destroys or injures it, and the causes of its adornment, benefit, decay, and injury. (263)

Be it known that, the material constitution of this world is composed of fire, water, earth, metals, vegetables, animals, and mankind, just as a human body is made up of marrow, blood, veins, arteries, bones, the stomach, and the hair. The principal ingredients comprehend a the essential elements of fire air, moisture, and mud, just as air, blood, heat, and dust are the elements of the human body. The force of the fire and the wind produces continuous motion and activity in the elements of this world; also by that means the farohar succeeds in effecting organic union and produces efficacy in the corporeal ingredients in man. The world lives by the union of the vital spirit. The great function of help to the vital power, is from the aerial element. The sounds whereby people communicate with one another, are effected by means of breath and intuitive modulation. The vital breath is said to cause activity. The human body is vital on account of the fire in it. The wind that causes motion in the world subsists by the vital agency therein. -- The soul is successful in this life through transcendent merit. Whoso helps his fellow men in trouble, is believed to do so by reason of his good stars.

Just as the intellectual soul causes motion in the human body, so the glorious and bright good spirits produce mobility and beneficial changes in this world. In like manner man adorns and benefits himself by the abode of (the spirit) Vohuman in his heart. But the spirits of evil or cursed motion cause destruction and injury to the life of this world. The beings that swoop down in enmity into the works of the Deity, are designated the dadanis* of the North. Likewise, man is liable to destroy and injure himself because of the ravager Akoman abiding in his heart's thought. The improvement and benefit of the world proceed from the development of husbandry+, which is a precursor of honest toil. The life, security, integrity, devotion, and exalted position of the husbandman, depend upon his attainments in learning. Likewise, his attainments, benefits righteousness, good repute, and piety, are the results of his acquirement of Vohuman.

[* For the explanation of this term see Vol.1. p. 20, § 9.]

[+ For the meaning of bks vide Vol. 1. p. 20, § 8.]

Destruction and injury to the life of this world are caused by the vicious and blemished dadani (the demon of famine.) So also illness, mortality, infamy, putrefaction, evil odors, and mortification to men, are caused by the perverse sense of the destructive and mischievous Akoman, while wickedness and ignominy are the results of sin. The benefits and blessings falling upon men of this world, result from the gifts of happiness bestowed by the Source and Creator of the world, and the exaltation of men is owing to the monitions of the purely moral revelation. But there is no progress in the nature of this world by the creatures and adherents of the perverse Blemish-giver Evil. Hence it is manifest that by reason of a similar improving nature, and through the prosperity and elevation bestowed upon them by the Creator of the world, there results improvement but no degeneration in men in the earthly state, and hence man grows moral by virtue of his pious conceptions. Consequently it is improper to say that humanity is destined to be destroyed. The creed of heretical priests whose heart's thought tends or adheres to the source of evil (i.e. Ahriman,) declares the annihilation of the world by (the prevalence of) that source of destruction. But the priests whose hearts adhere to the source of good (i.e. Spenamino) are, by means of their union with that source, said to overpower the worst among the destroyers, the worst among the evil doers.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the being who preconceives the means of counteracting evil, and the being who is the lord of such means as they are described by Ohrmazd in the revelation that improves [lit. ornaments] the creatures of Spenamino. (264)

Be it known that, he who preconceives the means of counteracting evil, is in communion with the victorious source (of good, i.e. the Spenamino) of the Deity. Whoso is capable of remedying every object pertaining to himself, is so by reason of his communion with the all-informed source of remedy (viz. Spenamino.) The living human being has at his command all such restoratives owing to the efficient intelligence (derived from the revelation.) As to the lord of means, it is He Who is ever needless of any remedy for Himself, since He is the Omniscient Being manifest through His works that are achieved by the best of means, as well as by reason of His Omniscience regarding both the worlds (i.e. this world and the next.) lie is the lord of means and the lord of works.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the religious benefit to the world from one who is faithful to the revelation, and the injury to it from one who is in the greatest danger (of infernal Punishment.) (265)

Be it known that, the monarch who inherits from his ancestors great fidelity to his faith, is a source of religious benefit to his people. By his inclination towards devotion to the Deity, prudence [lit. administration of justice] and religious invocations, such a king propagates his faith and renders piety illustrious; for under the rule of a sovereign that is devoted to the Deity, prudent and religious, there result strength and victory to the realm and the faith of the ruler, who makes current his belief and renders piety full of luster. By reason of his faith the people of the world are protected, improved, dignified and increased. But the ruler that inherits from his ancestors (sins that involve) the greatest danger (of infernal punishment,) is very harmful to the world. By a mind tending to destruction, by hindering justice and abstaining from religious invocations, a ruler render his conscience blunt and himself deceitful, whereby he sullies his faith and calumniates piety-yea, he neglects his duty as the guardian of his people owing to the defects in his rule and faith, and to his perverse and injurious habits, which result in the degeneration, moral weakness and blindness of this world.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the power of perception in man which improves and dignifies, or degrades and debases him, as well as the description of men affected thereby respectively (266)

Be it known that, the power of perception in man is the result of his innate sense. Innate sense itself is a power of spiritual vision. The improvement of man is caused by the Vohuman abiding in his conscience, and his exaltation to a superior position by imbibing sacred wisdom into the mind; his degradation is caused by not digesting the knowledge or the revelation, and his corruption by the abode of the oppressive Akoman in his heart. The five different aspects of such human perception are described in their respective chapters (as follows): 1st. A thoroughly lucid perception. 2nd. An almost clear perception. 3rd. A half clear perception. 4th. An almost obscure perception. 5th. A thoroughly dim perception.

A thoroughly lucid [lit. open] perception is the result of a continuous abiding of Vohuman in the heart, and of the avoidance of the injury of Akoman from it. This is the highest stage of imbibing religious wisdom into the mind. It is the cause of supernatural prophetic perception.

An almost clear perception is the result of the dwelling of Vohuman in the heart and of the dispersion therefrom [lit. from the heart's thought] of the blindness of Akoman. This is a stage wherein man is capable of apprehending the works of the wicked dadani, and of aggrandizing himself.

A half clear perception is the result of the dimness of the light of Vohuman in the heart. Religious knowledge of much inferior quality is imbibed into the mind by the influence of Akoman [lit. by the casting of shadow by Akoman] upon the thought of one's heart. This is a stage wherein man is only capable of knowledge by means of learning or intelligence.

An almost obscure perception is the result of a dim and feeble light of Vohuman in the heart, and deficiency of religious knowledge coupled with an oppressive influence of Akoman upon one's heart's thought. This is the stage wherein man teaches and meditates upon apostate precepts.

A thoroughly obscure perception is the result of a total absence from the heart of Vohuman's light as well as religious learning, and of the penetration into the heart's thought of the distressful Akoman. This is the stage in which man's sense is failing, his skill perverse, and his intelligence dim.

Exposition in the good religion regarding that which by means of revolution returns to its original source, and that which by a (divine) rule is connected from the beginning to the end. (267)

Be it known from an exposition in the good religion that, it is Time which returns to its original source by means of revolution, and that it is the chain of sacred Wisdom which is linked from the beginning to the end (i.e. from one end to the another.) As regards Time the exposition is that it is (avaestakik) consonant owing to the efficiency of the power of its original cause (viz. the Deity;) it is (arshno-tacha) running in a regular measure or order. In the creation the first work of the Creator of the Universe, appertained to Time. The end of the work of that Divine Agent, is connected with the limited time of the planetary motion. The end of the limited time, is joined to (i.e. simultaneous with) the end of planetary revolutions. All worldly existences will be purified (i.e. absolved from evil or sin) before the end of that limited time (or before the resurrection.) At the future renovation there will be no departure for those that are in communion with God.

Regarding Time the dasturs said thus: Time was unlimited at the beginning; but it was afterwards made limited. At the end of the limited time, it will again become without bounds (and roll on to eternity.) The exposition thereof is as follows! Time is known to be limited as regards the end of planetary revolutions, but at their close Time will become unlimited as regards its connection with the infinite end.

As to the sacred wisdom the exposition is as follows: The Deity is infinite in time by reason of his miraculous wisdom. The existence of the Omniscient Lord is eternal in time by reason of his eternal power. The knowledge pertaining to God is unattainable by the Blemish-giver (viz. the spirit of evil) owing to his evil will and design. The latter prevails upon his apostate adherents that act according to his will, and associates with all that desire to be united with him by his worship, though they are not his own creatures. He makes them his accomplices and takes them to be his followers.

On the other hand, the man who is endowed with some proper knowledge of God, attributes the highest position to the Creator of the Universe -- which supreme dignity. He is worthy of by reason of His first glorious creation of the endless light, and thereafter of the spirits of truth in that endless light, by His adherence to the spirits of truth in the endless light, by His great wisdom coupled with His omniscient and beneficent power, and lastly by His omniscient intelligence in producing creatures that may serve to fulfill His will (in this world.*) Thus the Lord will overpower the destroyer in the end. Thus He will turn all his creatures back to Himself. To eternity the evil spirit will be down (or dejected), and Ohrmazd will embellish the world with joy by means of his fresh (or renovated) treasures from the source of good. The source of good is the seed or cause of all natures capable of doing good, whereby the good people become always illustrious. All objects and persons are endowed with splendor or glory from the Creator in proportion to their connection with Him, just as the dawning follows the dusk, the twilight follows the day-light, and light emanates from shining objects.

[* This idea is referred to in the 22nd Chapter of the Vendidad.]

Exposition in the good religion regarding men who abide in this world with their minds devoted to the (good) religion, and are equipped with sacred weapons (for warring against evil,) as well as the advantages resulting therefrom. (268)

Be it known that, men who live in this world with their minds devoted to the (good) religion, and who are equipped with sacred weapons, are victorious and powerful and conduce to the happiness of their fellows. Worthy efforts proceed from them in this world. They are the cause of the activity and prosperity of the world, and the guardians of its creatures.

By the vigor of their good sense the protective spirits instill into them a desire to overpower the druj in order to further the final renovation. Thus they gain the advantages accruing from their abstention from sin, from their exertions in doing meritorious acts, from the deliverance and exaltation of their souls after the end of this material existence, and from their everlasting life in the good abode of paradise.

Likewise, such men possess the following two kinds of like qualifications or powers, (and are believed to be of even merit in their efforts: 1st, the victorious mind that abides in this world devoted to the good religion; 2ndly, the prudent mind that exerts its powers to struggle against evil on behalf of the (good) religion. Thus man obtains the benefits of the spiritual world by his good demeanor, his improvement of self for both worlds, and his acts resulting from the highest aspirations.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the good conduct of man for this world and for the next world. (269)

Be it known that, the excellent conduct of man for this world, is conducive to [lit. for] the good (name) of his family [barih-progency, children.] His excellent conduct for the next world, comprises his good acts which deliver him from punishment in Hell. One should principally exert and desire for the sake of the soul, whatever by solicitation and exertion would strengthen and help it. The object of this earthly life is to abandon one's self to the care of the good spirits, and to choose the good spirits of the earth as one's supervisors Because on the basis of an exposition in the good religion, the earliest heads of the religion have enjoined thus: Whosoever should exert himself for the benefit of his soul, will consume earthly riches to cure the soul's frailty and earn higher profits for it (in the next world.)

Exposition in the good religion regarding the best equipment necessary for the dignified and poor people. (270)

Be it known that, the best equipment adapted to the dignified and poor people is (sacred) wisdom. In every age people become meritorious in manifold ways, especially by means of devotion and obedience to the sovereign as well as to the head of religion, and by reason of fidelity to God through true belief in the doctrine of that reasoning or philosophic lord (of the revelation, viz. Zoroaster). Amongst other virtuous people the chief that surpasses in reasoning power, is from the basis of religious exposition, connected with the body of the prophet; because the sovereign and the priest possessing excellent philosophic talents, are both in communion with the great prophetic lord (Zoroaster).

Exposition in the good religion regarding evil and goodness, their strength and prevalence [lit. currency] in this material world. (271)

Be it known that, goodness is a moral habit, and the ideas appertaining to it comprise wisdom, truth, and other qualities of light, (viz.) good intellect, piety, fresh existence(i.e. meritoriousness or immortal fame), strength of righteous habits, and virtues of like kinds. Evil is an unmoral habit, and the ideas appertaining thereto comprise evil intelligence, falsehood, deceit, and other vices of darkness, (viz.) filthiness, pollution, perverse life, sinfulness, depravity and vicious habits of like nature.

According as the light of the Sun helps the power of beholding this world, so does the virtue of goodness strengthen the material perception. But the evil habits of an immoral being annihilate the power of physical sight, and like darkness obscure perception. The currency of evil in this earthly place is by reason of an evil frailty in this power of perception. Owing to this overpowering evil tendency the earliest followers of the Deity Ohrmazd have abandoned the goodness and piety pertaining to their souls. The adherents of evil are, therefore, always united by their common propensity for propagating evil. Consequently, the impiety of evil can only be conquered by a continuous warring against it by means of power derived from the virtuous merits of divine vision. Man becomes adapted to the source of evil, Ganamino, by undoing or suppressing all his good powers and faculties. The heretical priests who perpetrate such deeds as result from evil immoral powers and similar immoral conceptions, deliberately (pavan kam) hinder the currency of moral habits. Their religion cannot be regarded as a gift from the Deity, and connected with the ways of Spenamino; but as emanating from the ways of Ganamino, who is identified with immorality.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the causes of transgression and consequent sinfulness of the soul possessing a bright vision. (272)

Be it known that, the soul during its connection with its congenial instrument, this corporeal frame, has a desire and capability for acquiring sacred knowledge. Man remains in a pious and sinless condition by the help of the good spirits; but his body and soul tend to the dark perverse nature by reason of an admixture of evil blemish. The soul transgresses owing to its vicious impressions and to the absence of the knowledge of the good religion. The yearning for immoral apostate dogmas makes him vivious, the ignorance of the good religion destroys the propensities [lit. thoughts] for acts of merit. Owing to his fondness for comfort man grows too idle to think of acts of merit.

On the other hand, a soul possessing a bright vision is also liable in this life to commit sin, and thus debars itself from the exalted state accruing from acts of merit, which are the means of absolution from sin. The individual self or the soul consequently suffers serious punishment in the nethermost hollow desert of the druj.

It is manifest from the good religion that in the end the good spirits will be victorious and the powers of the druj defeated, that according to the will of the Creator the spiritual purifiers will absolve the sinful from guilt by the ablution of heavy penalty and convey them out of hell, and that those who will be cleansed of the corruptions of the Blemish-giver, will receive garments of a like nature by the gift of an immortal frame and of a constitution paradisiacal and full of comfort.

The perverse tendencies of the soul in this corporeal organism, are hurtful (to man.) It is apparent falsehood to declare that the soul with such constant natural bad habits, could sustain the soundness and life of the body. As to the human soul there was no sinful condition (destined) for it at the beginning. But the soul is said to be sinful by being guilty of speech and acts pertaining to the druj (viz. Ahriman,) wherefore penitence is declared to be binding upon the soul that is liable to punishment by reason of its sinfulness insinuated by the spirit of evil. It is improper [lit. untrue] to do penitence for sins not perpetrated by one's self, because the indications of penance are said to resemble fire or heat thus: As from the sun no darkness subsists as an effective body, so no evil or sin is said to subsist in the soul (that is ever bright and penitential.) This may be explained in another manner thus: As I have said above, wherever the sun is no darkness subsists, so by the fire or penitence sin itself is melted down or disappears. Consequently, penance is indispensable for every sin that is unrepented for. If a sinful liar repents for his sins, though he is insincere in his utterances still that false wretch should be praised for keeping himself back from his evil nature by sincere penitence for his sins-he should be generally encouraged for this superior contemplation for the good of his miserable spirit; because whosoever after the commission of sins keeps himself back from such sinful habits, is said to rise to a higher condition.

Exposition in the good religion regarding a worthy sovereignty. (273)

Be it known that, a worthy sovereignty is the result of the best (means of) protection of its subjects. A sovereign is great or dignified by reason of the care of his people. He is the constant guide of his loyal fellowmen. The desire for authority or rule is the desire for the (higher cultivation of the) soul. The desire for the soul is the desire for the knowledge or wisdom of the spirit and for the religion comprehending the doctrines of Ohrmazd. By means of an exalted intelligence we are able to test the wisdom of the sages. A sovereign of the above description is styled a good ruler in the Mazdayasnian religion. Again, the best sovereign in this world is he who has faith in the high-priest of the good religion of this world, which embodies the wisdom of Ohrmazd. That monarch resembles Ohrmazd in will, whose desire is to make his people immortal, and who weighs his will by his own wisdom. Such a monarch is considered in the religion as a righteous ruler. Next to him in the world stands the high-priest, that is the wisest among mankind. Thus, that monarch is like unto Ohrmazd, whose will embodies his desire for immortality, and who accordingly guides his people thereto.

A ruler of the following description is styled an evil monarch in the (good) religion. Also amongst dignified people he is considered as unworthy of sovereignty. He is the most degraded ruler that adheres to the wishes of a priest, whose intelligence is vicious and who persuades him to avarice. He creates in his people no yearning for immortality. By long conducting his people into a communion with the evil druj (Ahriman,) that is never connected or will never be connected with the Deity who is the Bestower of felicitous life, he (i.e. the immoral ruler) deteriorates his subjects. It is owing to a good and virtuous rule that the world would be guided to do acts conducive to (promote) the future renovation; but to what end men are conducted by an evil rule, was manifested during the millennium of the wicked sovereignty of Zohak, who was reputed as the pioneer and head of evil monarchy on earth. No ruler ought to rule the world as he did for a thousand years under his pernicious rule.

Exposition in the good religion regarding a righteous action, honest comfort, an honest exaltation of self in righteous acts, honest comfort accruing from righteous nature, and the equipment pertaining to acts conducive to felicity. (274)

Be it known that, a righteous action is the result of pure diligence, which is devoid of avarice and toil of Bratrut. Honest comfort springs from pious contentment, which abstains from the indolence and impatience of Bratrut. An honest exaltation of self in righteous acts, is caused by the profitable yearnings of a pious mind. The honest comfort accruing from a righteous nature, is the result of appropriate habits of contentment, which are devoid of any propensity to ambition, devoid of avarice, anxiety, lust, and improved by harmonious tendencies. The equipment pertaining to acts conducive to felicity, is caused by rational attempts at righteous industry, and by honest actions of physical toil. The equipment of felicitous deeds prescribed by the good religion, comprehends an inquiry of the pious people regarding the sacred wisdom (pertaining to immortal existence) for one-third part of every day and night, the performance of deeds approved by means of that wisdom during the second third part of every day and night, and (lastly) the relaxation of the body for the preservation of one's physical strength necessary for action during the third part of every day and night. Thus righteous sovereigns have ruled with principles conducive to human happiness, owing to their knowledge of the good religion.

(End of volume 6.)

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