Pahlavi texts: The Nature and Wisdom of a Fortunate Man.

(Him va Kherat i Farkho Gabra)

Translation by J. C. Tarapore, Vijârishn I Chatrang, Bombay, 1932

In the name of God.

(1) A fortunate man is known from this who observes good toil and merit; who, industrious for preparing means, acts with righteousness; who is in search of good deeds with desire and frees the mind from useless propensities; who casts off perverseness and bodily desires from himself; who protects himself from childishness, understands his benefit and harm, and devotes himself to fame, merit and elevation, and sees what benefit arises from fame, what embellished means from good toil, what makes the praise of body liked, what makes knowledge and wisdom, which man through what among the good does not become praised. (2) A man with merit is he who observes good toil through merit, through conference and deliberation and power and wisdom after good toil he considers much, keeps the name away from idleness, in order to attain greatness and worthiness through wisdom and character.

(3) For the holy man of discerning wisdom is known thus: who collects friends and seeks wisdom so that he becomes more praiseworthy; next to him is the dutiful and famous man who is born good and free from all blemish; next is the man of cheerful heart and cheerful mind; next is the man of agreeable nature who knows how to behave with everybody; he becomes everybody's brother, and peer, friend, companion, and co-mate [1]; and a man of fortune strives to seek his own merit from a great helper; this is clearly apparent that he who has fame and excellence becomes the progenitor of a family.

(4) From folly and loss one does not increase merit, does not gather friends, and does not seek wisdom. (5) For he certainly becomes a man without means among good men of merit. (6) And that clever wise man becomes so much good, and they praise the praiseworthy so well, in all places they exalt him so well in the whole world, like that vine tree all full of fruits whose branches never dry and whose umbrage is always seen full of sweet load, at every time of fruitful gain and at every time praiseworthy and grand. (7) That (man) of bad knowledge and needy, he too does not resemble that tree, but he resembles that tree whose branch is not tender and which does not bring forth grapes and fruit, then it becomes without advantage first because increase happens in the homes and homestead by seeing the farohars and obligation of the good.

(8) He is possessed of arrogance who is more so possessed than his merit, like an onager of this earth in a forest which has not seen the creation, and which is regarded in that little enclosure as if it were a little cattle. (9) It has not seen a strong furious lion which comes forth from the mountain and it becomes struck among the fighters, experiencing strength in its own residence of a beast of burden and becomes joyful and delighted at its own strength. (10) At last its merit becomes manifest when the lion comes forth from the mountain and the gate and when the onager sees the lion of the forest it does not stay there at all.

(11) The decision of that person who mixes wicked wisdom with a man's body and becomes progressive, giving up life, keeps the enemy away from his own body; for the leadership of that man is better looking whose work by his hand is a support and protection to him in this world through his desire, and also it is manifest in the spiritual world that it does arrive. (12) That man of wicked knowledge and needy, who craves strength for his own self, his vice becomes worse through himself: for by his own laziness through his new desire of long life he himself makes his own body fallen, and of ill-fame, and wicked-eyed, by himself he becomes polluted. (13) Like a man in difficulty whose trouble has passed away, that is you having made the trouble pass away, for (it is) advantageous to is fix a covering to the gate.

(14) Their mouth, and back, and arm, and mind, and wife are born pure [2], or by merit they do increase you, or you do then become better, or you are approved through the soul, or you are considered through faith.

(15) Know that you delay a work for want of profit, we do see the wicked creation, know the end of fame that is our profitless fruit, for he gives you, as I see it, the road to wisdom, and your characteristic to the road of helplessness before changing nature; he brings back to his own task a heart without profit and a body with this desire of hard thinking; and holds the eye high, and sees the country and sees people through his wise nature, and what is the result through means of idleness and what when he has knowledge and wisdom.

(16) For I am much advanced in years, I have traveled much from place to place, I have inquired much from the mânsar [[Manthra]] of religion, I have been much after writings and books, I have followed a discriminating leader, and have held praiseworthy conference, I have seen a sage possessing wisdom to be prosperous, I have never seen a discerning man helpless, nor a man of good fame in difficulty, nor a man full of wisdom in want. (17) I have seen an assembly of the great in conference and deliberation with intellect and wisdom. (18) They declared through all their learning that the preservation of good name is through the power of wisdom, for good nature protects immense wealth and treasure, and wisdom preserves it. (19) Through a man's understanding of wisdom there is a good collection of worthier work, for good nature of intelligent wisdom is greater protection for wealth.

(20) Blind needy people, too, who vaingloriously pass by the commencement of (their) work, at every time through the possession of education, and through being praised beforehand, think highly of themselves, and destroy honor, and in the beginning keep Shahrewar afar, they regard the sea as another belt, supporting and hard and straight, and they maintain the heart so hard that we have no idea of it. (21) The blind man becomes repentant that day when by his own law he proceeds further, when he spent the wealth his father made and collected, which the family received, became good and passed away, who sees an old age of want, the end fameless, whose branch is dry like the foot [3] of a damsel they see in the house and homestead; he would see different things which caused pain in the abdomen, dry and empty; who in the end of the house was of ill-honored name and broken, when he sat there, and reaches the assembly his explanation becomes powerless and broken, he does not become afraid of his passing away, the instrumentality of the means of business does not improve through (his) zeal, neither by increase, nor by bribe.

(22) Whoever reads this book sees that which is more profitable; everyone who causes more suffering in the end becomes more repentant.

Completed with propitiation, joy, and delight.


1. Hamtan, lit. "of the same body."
2. Dâman, lit. "the skin of a garment." Cf. Pers. dâman "the skirt." As in the phrase dâman pâk dâshtan "to be righteous" the word came to be used as the emblem of chastity and purity. Hence the meaning "pure," as here used. Dâman zast, "born pure," can also be read dâman dast, "kept pure," "maintained pure."
3. The reference here may be to the delicate nature of the foot of the damsel, or to the fact that she generally kept them dry, unlike other women who usually live an outdoor life.

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