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For a newer translation of this text, see šak-ud-gumanih-vizar -- The Doubt-removing book of Mardanfarrox, edited and translated by Raham Asha (2015). Used with permission.
For another translation (into French), see Pierre Jean de Menasce, Shkand-Gumanik Vicar: la solution décisive des doubtes (1945) See also translation of extensive portions in R.C. Zaehner, Teachings of the Magi, 1956.
This electronic edition copyright © 1995, J.H. Peterson. If you find texts in this archive useful, please do not copy except for private study ("fair use").
Shkand-gumanig Vizar, or "Doubt-dispelling Exposition", is a Zoroastrian apologetic from the ninth century, by Mardanfarrokh-i Ohrmazddad.
Based on Sacred Books of the East, volume 18, Pahlavi Texts translated by E.W. West, Part II (Oxford, 1882).
Spelling has been normalized to conform with other texts in this (avesta.org) series.
Please let me know if you find any typos, or have suggestions for improving this e-text or web site. Thanks. -JHP, July 1995.
|Chapter 1.||Introducing the subject and the author|
|Chapter 2.||Why Ahriman advanced towards the light, though of a different nature|
|Chapter 3.||Why Ohrmazd did not use his omnipotence to repel Ahriman|
|Chapter 4.||How the stars came to be distributors both of the good produced by Ohrmazd, and of the evil produced by Ahriman|
|Chapter 5.||Proof of the existence of a creator derived from the evident design in the creation|
|Chapter 6.||Further proofs of a similar description|
|Chapter 7.||Proof of the existence of an injurer from the provision made against him|
|Chapter 8.||Proofs of the same from the existence of evil|
|Chapter 9.||Proof of the existence of the opponent before the creation, and of his appearance afterwards|
|Chapter 10.||Those who believe in the unity of creation, also believe in a corrupting influence which is really another being|
|Chapter 11.||The inconsistency of those who trace both good and evil to a sacred being whose attributes are incompatible with the latter; with references to various scriptures|
|Chapter 12.||Other inconsistencies in the assertions of various sects regarding the sacred being|
|Chapter 13.||Criticism of the Jewish account of the creation of the universe and the fall of man, as given in the Old Testament|
|Chapter 14.||Other statements of the Old Testament and Jewish tradition, regarding the sacred being, that are inconsistent with his attributes|
|Chapter 15.||Criticism of many statements of the Christian scriptures, showing their inconsistency, and that some of them also admit the existence of a separate originator of evil|
|Chapter 16.||Criticism of some of the doctrines of the Manichaeans|
[Compare with translation by R. C. Zaehner in Teachings of the Magi, 1956, pg. 86-87.]
|English rendering of the 1945 French translation by Jean de Menasce by Jan Pieter Kunst (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Sat, 7 Jan 1995 21:17:08 GMT (selections)||Translation by E. W. West, SBE.||NOTES:|
Introducing the subject and the author
|(1-6) In the name of Ohrmazd, the wise and supreme Lord, all-ruling, all-knowing and almighty King, spirit among the spirits. By himself he created infallibly each of the particular beings. He created by his unrivaled power the seven Amesha Spentas and all the Yazatas of the spiritual and the material world, and the seven material categories, namely man, animals, fire, metal, earth, water and plants. And man was created by him as master of the creations for the realization of his [i.e. Ohrmazd's] will.||
1. In the name of Ohrmazd, the lord, the greatest and wise, [the
all-ruling, all-knowing, and almighty, (2) who is a spirit even
among spirits, (3) and from his self-existence, single in unity,
was the creation of the faithful. 4. He also created, by his own
unrivaled power, the seven supreme archangels,] all the angels
of the spiritual and worldly existences, (5) and the seven worldly
characteristics which are man, animals, fire, metal, earth, water
6. And man was created by him, as a control of the creatures, for the advancement of his will.
7. From him likewise came at
various times, through his own compassion, mercifulness to his
own creatures, religion, and a natural desire of the knowledge
of purity and - contamination. 8. So, also, as to the intellect,
understanding, wisdom, knowledge, consciousness, and guardian
spirit-which are the appliances of the soul that are seeking information
of these spiritual appliances, the five which are the sight, hearing,
smell, taste, and touch, (9) through the five worldly appliances,
which are the eye, the ear, the nose, the mouth, and the rubbing
surfaces of the whole body - (10) he likewise created man with
the accompaniment of these appliances, for the management of the
11. He also created the religion of omniscience like an immense tree, (12) of which there are one stem, two branches, three boughs, four twigs, and five shoots. 13. And its one stem is agreement. 14. The two branches are performance and abstinence. 15. The three boughs are Humat, Hukht, and Huvarsht, which are good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. 16. The four twigs are the four classes of the religion, by whom the religion and world are prepared, (17) which are priesthood, warriorship, husbandry, and artisanship. 18. The five shoots are the five rulers whose scriptural names are the house-ruler, the village-ruler, the tribe-ruler, the province-ruler, and the supreme Zartosht [Zarathushtrotema]. 19. And the one chief of chiefs, who is the king of kings, is the ruler of the world.
20. Likewise, the work manifested by him in the world - which is man - is in the likeness of these four classes of the world. 21. As unto the head is priesthood, (22) unto the hand is warriorship, (23) unto the belly is husbandry, (24) and unto the foot is artisanship.
25. So, also, of the four capabilities (hunaran) that are in man - which are temper, ability, wisdom, and diligence - (26) unto temper (khim) is priesthood, as the greatest duty of priests is the temper that they do not commit sin on account of shame and fear; (27) unto ability (hunar) is warriorship, that is, the most princely adornment of warriors is the ability which is expended, the manliness which is owing to self-possession (khvadih); (28) unto husbandmen is the wisdom (khrad) which is strenuous performance of the tillage of the world, and continuance unto the renovation of the universe; (29) and unto artisans is the diligence (tukhshakih) which is the greatest advancement of their class.
30. This arrangement of every kind is upon one stem, truth and agreement, opposing the fiend and his appliances which are coexistent. 31. These, which are recounted by me, are of many kinds and many species, as many are religious and many believing at a period that all are mutually afflicting, coexistent destroyers and injurers, one as regards the other. 32. And with the mutual afflictiveness, destructiveness, and combativeness which are theirs, one towards the other, they afterwards also contend against the one truth cooperatively and with united strength.
33. The possession of truth is the one power of the faithful, through the singleness of truth. 34. The many kinds of falsehood, which must become confused and mutually afflicting to many, are, in the aggregate, from one source of deceitfulness.
|(35-57) I, Mardanfarrokh-i Ohrmazddad, composed this treatise, having observed on many occasions the diversity of the sects, religions and teachings. And, from childhood on, I have always used my mind to seek and examine the truth: that is why I traveled the lands and the seas. And to this treatise, which summarizes the questions of the desirers of the truth and the writings of the ancient sages, the truth-loving dasturs, especially the venerable Aturpat-i Yavandan, I have given the title "Doubt-dispelling Exposition", because it is very suitable for new learners to dispel their doubts about the understanding of the truth and the soundness of the Good Religion, in contrast with the misery of the opponents. I composed and arranged it not for the wise and talented, but for the students and novices, so that many of them may acquire more certainty regarding the excellency and the soundness of the Good Religion and the teachings of the ancient sages. As regards distinguished wise men, I ask of those wishing to consider it, not to consider the person who narrates and edits the essentials of the religion, but the greatness, the truth, the soundness, the exactness of expression of the ancient sages, for I, the author, belong not to the rank of the teachers, but to the rank of the disciples. And it is out of generosity that this theological treatise seemed to me to be proper and adapted to neophytes, because he who distributes the little knowledge that he has to those who are worthy is more acceptable than he who knows much, but from whom those who are worthy don't receive benefit or help. The ancient sages distinguished three kinds of generosity: in thoughts, in words and in deeds. He who is generous in thoughts wants good for whoever is of the same nature as himself, just like for himself. He who is generous in words teaches to those who are worthy all the superior wisdom and all the knowledge that he has acquired; as a wise man said: "I want to possess all advantageous knowledge and teach it to my friends, and acquire the result which is to be acquired." He who is generous in deeds, gives of the good that he has acquired something to those who are worthy. Furthermore, in this way I remind the good of the welfare of their souls, and I remind the wise, in their benevolence, while considering me kindly, to remember their immortal souls. It is written that "he who considers the good creatures with a kind eye, his eye is the eye of the sun", for the sun indeed considers and illuminates all creatures with a benevolent eye.||
35. As to that, this composition is provided by me, who am Mardan-farukh
son of Ohrmazd-dad, as I saw in the age much religiousness and
much good consideration of sects (keshan) of many species; (36)
and I have been fervent-mindedly, at all times in my whole youthful
career, an inquirer and investigator of the truth of them. 37.
For the same reason I have wandered forth also to many realms
and the seashore. 38. And of these compendious statements which,
owing thereto, are an inquiry of those desiring the truth, and
a collection and selection (vijidano) of it, for these memoranda,
from the writings and memoranda of the ancient sages and high-priests
of the just -- and especially those of the glorified Atur-padiyavand
-- the name Shkand-gumanik Vizar is appointed by me. 39. As it
is very suitable for explaining away the doubts of new learners
about the thorough understanding of the truth, the blessedness
and truth of the good religion, and the inward dignity of those
free from strife.
40. And it is composed and arranged by me not for the wise and talented, but for preceptors (farhangikan) and those newly qualified. 4I. So that, while many become freer from doubt about the miraculousness and blessedness of the statements of the good religion and primitive faith, (42) I am still begging of distinguished sages, (43) that whoever wants to look, should not look to the religion of the particular speaker and composer, but to the greatness of the truth, blessedness, and definite statements of the ancient sages. 44. Because I, who am the composer, do not hold the station of teaching, but that of learning.
45. And it seemed to me, through liberal thought, a statement, from that knowledge of the religion, destined and important even for new learners. 46. Because he who distributes to the worthy, out of the little knowledge which is his, is more acceptable than he who knows much and the worthy are without benefit and without help from him.
47. Since those ancient sages decided, (48) that liberality is of three kinds, of thought, of word, and of deed. 49. Liberality of thought being that whose wishing of happiness for any others whatever, of a like disposition, is as much as for its own. 50. Liberality in word being that which teaches to the worthy something out of every virtuous knowledge and information which have come to it; (51) just as that which a certain sage said (52) thus: 'I desire that I may understand all information which is advantageous, and I will teach it to friends and acquire the result which is obtainable.' 53. And the liberality which is in deed being that which, out of any benefit whatever that has come to it, is a benefit to the worthy.
54. Again, it is a reminding of the good as to the preservation of the soul; (55) and for the same reason I have arranged that while the wise are kindly observant of me, through their own compassion, they may remember about the immortality of the soul 56. Since it is said, that the eye of him who observes all good creatures with kind eyes is the eye of the sun; (57) because the sun is, indeed, an observer and beautifier with kind eyes for all creatures.
Chapter 2. Why Ahriman advanced towards the light, though of a different nature
|(1-9) First subject. On some questions from the always glorious Mihrayyar-i Mahmadan from Isfahan, put forward not out of pointless curiosity, but with good intentions. Answer. To the question "for what reason did Ahriman attack the light and how is that possible, since it is so that he is not of the same nature and we can observe that a being always guards itself from that which is not of the same nature as itself -- as the water does from the fire" the answer is: the attack of Ahriman against the light is precisely because of their difference of natures. It is by reason of his destructive will which is a constant trait of his nature, that he attacks all that is of a different nature. No destructive operation can take place unless there is an essential difference, and beings of different natures. For between beings of the same nature there is the same will and the same mutual disposition, and not a mutual destructive force. Beings which are essentially different, because of their essential opposition, every time they meet one another, clash and destroy each other, while beings of the same nature, because of their mutual similarity, and their community of nature, stay alive and active and assist each other.||
1. The first subject (2) is about several questions that the
ever-successful Mitro-aiyyar, son of Mahmad, from Spahan, asked
with good intent and not in search of defects, and the answer
3. As to that which is asked thus: 'Why did Ahriman hurry on to the light, and how was it possible to be so when he is not of a like nature with it, though we always see that whatever is not of a like nature abstains from a different nature as much as water does from fire?' 4. The answer is this, that the cause itself of the hurrying on of Ahriman, which was to the light, was his different nature. 5. And on account of the desire of a destroyer, which was perpetually in his nature, he is a destroyer of different natures.
6. Being injured and injuring, however they occur, do not take place except from difference of nature and those of a different nature. 7. Because in those of a like nature there exist similarity of will and unanimity, one towards the other, not injuring and being injured. 8. And those of a different nature, on account of their opposing nature, are destroyers and injurers, one of the other, however they come together. 9. Those of a like nature, on account of unanimity and similarity of nature, are lively, efficient, and mutually helping, when they come together.
10. The disintegration and separation of like natures is the disunion of different natures. 11. Just as heat and cold which, on account of their opposing nature, are destroyers and injurers, resisting and disintegrating one another, through their perpetual nature. 12. Because every disintegration is owing to the laws (rastagan) of cold and dryness, heat and moisture, (13) and their destruction, injuring, and opposition of one another. 14. For the disintegration of bodies is owing to the perpetual struggling of heat and cold, dryness and moisture; (15) and owing to their struggling, one with the other, bodies are disintegrated and disabled.
16. Of water and fire, through their own nature, no injury whatever is manifest; (17) but the cold of their fraternization is mingled with the moisture of the water, and is an opponent of the heat of the fire; (18) and the dryness of their fraternization is mingled with the heat of the fire, and is counteractingly an injurer of the moisture of the water.
Chapter 3. Why Ohrmazd did not use his omnipotence to repel Ahriman
|(1-18) As to the question "why did the creator Ohrmazd not prevent Ahriman from doing and wanting evil, when he had the power to do so--for if we say that he could not do it, that would mean that he is not perfect and he does not rule?" this is the solution: the evil actions of Ahriman originate from the natural and voluntary maliciousness which is a constant property of the Enemy. The omnipotence of Ohrmazd is limited to that which is possible. The question of knowing whether or not one has the power to do that which is not possible does not make sense. To raise this question while speaking is not taking the meaning of the words into account. For he who says first: "that thing is impossible" and next "God has the power to do it" by that denies the impossibility of that thing, because now it is possible instead of impossible. As his [Ohrmazd's] power is limited in this way, so is his will; for he is wise, and the will of the wise is confined to that which has the possibility of being, and his will does not turn to that which cannot possibly be, because he wants all things which are both proper and possible. If I say that the creator Ohrmazd has the power to refrain Ahriman from the maliciousness which is his constant and natural property, I might as well say that the demoniacal nature can change itself to divine and the divine to the demoniacal, and that it is possible to change darkness into light and light into darkness.||
1. And as to that which is asked (2) thus: 'Why does not the
creator Ohrmazd keep Ahriman back from evil doing and evil seeking,
when he is the mighty maker? 3. As I assert that no mighty maker
is afterwards imperfect nor yet unresisting.'
4. The answer is this, (5) that the evil deeds of Ahriman are owing to the evil nature and evil will which are always his, as a fiend. 6. The omnipotence of the creator Ohrmazd is that which is over all that is possible to be, and is limited thereby.
7. That which is not possible to be is not stirred up by a capable or an incapable being. 8. Whoever says it is so is not within the limits of understanding the words. 9. Because, though he said that it is not possible to be, he says again that the sacred being is capable of it, and that has brought it out of the limits of what is not possible to be. 10. For then it is not the not-possible, but the possible to be.
11. As his capability is limited, so also is his will, thereby. 12. For he is sagacious, (13) and the will of a sagacious being is all for that which is possible to be, (14) and his will does not pass on to that which is not possible, (15) because he wills all that which is possible and fit to be.
16. If I say that the creator Ohrmazd is able to keep Ahriman back from the evil which is his perpetual nature, (17) it is possible to change that nature which is demoniacal into a divine one, and that which is divine into a demoniacal one; (18) and it is possible to make the dark light, and the light dark.
19. Of the changing of a nature by its own self those not understanding nature speak, (20) who are uninformed of the nature of the result in actions and propensities; (21) and they account the wolf and noxious creatures as a benefit.
22. Since the harm and evil which arise from mankind and cattle are not naturally their own, but are owing to the havoc, deceit, solicitation, and deluding of the fiend, (23) they are from the like vileness of other fiends who are such as the malice, wrath, and lust which are mingled with mankind. 24. Just as the swallowing of bitter medicine, which is mingled with poison, is not the accomplishment of happiness, but for the removal of the pain and sickness which are owing to an extraneous nature (bara gohar). 25. As of a statement which is true or false -- (26) though it may be that, connected with a false statement, a righteous man is preserved from much harm, and is ruined by that which is true -- (27) mostly that benefit is not from the false statement, but from the removal of the destruction and evil which are mingled with the vile, (28) and that harm is not from the true statement, but from the evil which is mingled with the vile.
29. Also, as regards that which happens when opponents have appeared in order to remove each one its own competitor, (30) every one is unrestricted in keeping away that which is its own opponent, (31) such as light and darkness, perfume and stench, good works and crime, erudition and ignorance. 32. That which is not unrestricted is the light to keep away stench, nor the perfume darkness, (33) but they have each separately appeared in order to keep away their own opponent.
34. As to that, too, which they say, that in the dark night a righteous man is preserved from the lion, wolves, dogs, and robbers, (35) while in the light day he becomes a captive in their hands, (36) it is not proper to consider that as a benefit owing to darkness, nor yet as an evil owing to light. 37. Because light is created for the removal of darkness, not for the keeping away of the lion, wolf, and noxious creatures. And there are many other things which are of this nature. 38. On account of tediousness this is collected merely as a summary; the virtue and understanding of you triumphant ones (39) are so much, that you may obtain more from revelation.
And as to that which is asked (2) thus: 'When I always see
that all things ever arise from the celestial sphere and stars,
(3) and who created this sphere, then it is like that which those
of the Virod (contradictory) religion say, that he created good
and evil. 4. If Ahriman created anything, how did he become able
to create the effect of these marvelous things, (5) and why is
it when they are stars by which assistance of virtue is always
bestowed? 6. If Ohrmazd and Ahriman created in conference, then
that way if is manifest that Ohrmazd is an accomplice and confederate
with Ahriman, in the harm and evil which ever arise from the celestial
sphere.' 7. The answer is this, (8) that the celestial sphere
is the place of the divinities (baghan), who are the distributors
of happiness, from which they always justly bestow their distribution
of every happiness. 9. And the forms of the seven planets (star)
are witches who rush below them, despoilers who are antagonistic
distributors, (10) whose scriptural name is Gadug.
11. Through the creator Ohrmazd was the arrangement of these creatures and creation, methodically and sagaciously, and for the sake of the continuance of the renovation of the universe. 12. As the evil spirit was entangled in the sky, that fiend, with evil astuteness and with lying falsehood, encompassed and mingled with the light, together with the fiends of crimes of many kinds, who are those of a gloomy race, thinking thus: 'I will make these creatures and creation of Ohrmazd extinct, or I must make them for my own.'
13. Those luminaries, the highest of those of the good being, became aware, by means of omniscience, of the blemishing operation and the lies and falsehoods of the fiend, (14) and of this too, that is, of what extent was this power of his, by which this blemishing operation and work of ruin creep on, (15) So that, henceforth, there exists no power whatever for its restoration, which is free from the complete daubing of restraint, pain, and entanglement that is inside the sky.
16. It is they who are sagaciously mingled by him (the good being) with the substance of the luminaries, because that fiend encompassed and was entangled with his luminaries, therefore all his powers and resources are for the purpose of not allowing the fiends of crimes of many kinds their own performance of what is desirable for them each separately; (17) such as the fiendish venom of the noxious creatures which the four elements (zahakan), pertaining to Ohrmazd [keep enveloped. 18. For if this fiendish venom of the noxious creatures] does not remain entangled [with the four elements of the bodily formations pertaining to Ohrmazd] -- which are water, fire, earth, and air -- it is just as though they came to the sky and spiritual existence. 19. And if they attained to spirituality and a disembodied existence, it would not be possible for those creatures of Ohrmazd to avoid and escape from that demoniacal venom of theirs. 20. It would be in the grasp (grohe) and mingled with the breath (vad) of mankind and the other creatures, and their restoration, support, increase, and growth would not be possible.
21. So they also keep those planets enveloped in light, because the fiendish venom of the noxious creatures is in the substance of those luminaries. 22. On account of that, too, the existence of somewhat of advantage is manifest from the serpent species, which are dissolving venom from the multitudes of other wild animals and noxious creatures. 23. So also from the planets; on account of the commingling of the inferior splendor of those luminaries, benefit is manifested by them.
24. A similitude of these planets and the benefit which they always bestow (25) is such as the brigands (gadugan) and highwaymen who interrupt the path of traders in a caravan. 26. They abstract important things from many, (27) and do not grant and give them to the diligent and worthy, but to sinners, idlers, courtesans, paramours, and the unworthy.
28. Observe this, too, that this performance of good works which astrologers compute and state from those planets is for this reason, (29) when they have not preferred the method of the divinities (baghan) who are distributing welfare, and that, also, of the five constellations pertaining to Ohrmazd -- which are the great one that is supreme and measurable, Haptoring, created by Mazda, and the stars Vanand, Sataves, and Tishtar -- as regards the brigands (gadugan) and distributors of evil. 30. And those are the five planets that rush below them in the shape of stars, and they keep them enveloped in light, which are Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. 31. Since the supreme constellation, the great one of the north-opposing (32) Haptoring, is opposing Saturn, (33) Haptoring, created by Mazda, is opposing Jupiter, (34) Vanand, the smiter of noxious creatures, is opposing Mars, (35) the star Sataves is opposing Venus, (36) and the star Tishtar is opposing the planetary Mercury, (37) the welfare, which they say is from those brigands (gadugan), is from those five constellations pertaining to Ohrmazd, (38) as they obtain the triumph of much power and little injury.
39. And for the sake of not leaving these five planets to their own wills, they are bound by the creator, Ohrmazd, each one by two threads (jik) to the sun (Mihr) and moon. 40. And their forward motion and backward motion are owing to the same cause. 41. There are some whose length of thread is longer, such as Saturn and Jupiter,(42) and there are some of which it is shorter, such as Mercury and Venus. 43. Every time when they go to the end of the threads, they draw them back from behind, (44) and they do not allow them to proceed by their own wills, (45) so that they may not injure the creatures.
46. And those two fiends that are greatly powerful, who are opponents of the planetary sun and moon, move below the splendor of those two luminaries. 47. Another -- even that which is called the brigand (gadug) of the stars, as regards the welfare that exists -- is likewise confined below the splendor of the sun. 48. And when it gets far from control, it commits damage and harm on the constellation into which it springs, and on the quarter which is the particular concern of that constellation, (49) until it becomes again, a second time, bound and fettered to the sun.
50. The statement which they offer about it (51) is this, the conflict of the superior beings within the star station. 52. Out of the inferior of those are the conflicts of Tishtar and the demon Spozgar, (53) of the fire Vazisht and the demon Avaush, (54) and of other good spirits with gloomy ones, for the formation of rain and allotment of welfare to the creatures.
55. Below them are mankind and cattle, noxious creatures and deadly ones, and other creatures that are good and bad. 56. Because propensities (gadashni) are mingled with mankind, (57) which are greed, lust, malice, wrath, and lethargy, (58) wisdom, temper, skill, knowledge, understanding, and intellect, (59) as the good influences and bad influences are called, which are the causes of good works and sin.
60. All this welfare of the creatures is specially owing to the creator of the creatures, (61) who is himself the healer and perfect ruler, the maintainer of protection, nourisher, and caretaker, preserving his own creatures. 62. And, for his own creatures, he has thoroughly created and taught the means of preservation from evil, and the appliances for abstaining from crime.
63. A semblance, too, of him is such as a wise orchard-owner and gardener who wishes to diminish the wild animals and birds which are mischievous and destructive for his orchard by spoiling the fruit of the trees. 64. And that wise gardener, effacing (padasae) his own little trouble, for the sake of keeping those mischievous wild animals away from his own orchard, arranges the appliances which are necessary for the capture of those wild animals, (65) such as springs, traps, and snares for birds. 66. So that when a wild animal sees the snare, and wishes to proceed with suspicion of it, through unconsciousness of the spring and trap he is captured therein.
67. This is certain, that, when a wild animal falls into a trap, it is not a victory of the trap, but that of the arranger of the trap, (68) and through him the wild animal is captured in the trap. 69. The-proprietor and orchard-owner, who is the arranger of the trap, is aware through sagacity that the wild animal is powerful, and to what extent and how long a time. 70. 'The power and strength of that wild animal, which are in its body, are exhausted and poured out by struggling, as much as it is able, in demolishing the trap and in endeavoring to destroy and spoil the spring. 7l. And when, on account of imperfect strength, its power of struggling totters and is exhausted, that wise gardener then, by his own will and his own result of determination, wisely throws that wild animal out of the trap, with its existing nature and exhausted strength. 72. And he consigns his own trap and spring, rearranged and undamaged, back to the storehouse.
73. Even like him is the creator Ohrmazd, who is the preserver of creations and arranger of creatures, the disabler of the evil original evolution and protector of his own orchard from the injurer. 74. The mischievous wild animal, which is the spoiler of the orchard, is that accursed Ahriman who is the hurrier and disturber of the creatures. 75. The good trap is the sky, in which the good creations are lodging, (76) and in which the evil spirit and his rudimentary miscreations are captured. 77. And pertaining to the spring and trap of the wild animal, who is mischievous owing to his own willfulness, is the exhauster (78) time that, for the struggling of Ahriman and his powers and resources, is for the long period (79) which, through the struggling of the wild animal in the spring and trap, is an exhaustion of its strength. 80. The sole creator of the creatures arranges a preservation again, which is the preparation of an eternal happy progress free from his adversary, which that wise orchard-owner does with his own-trap and springe.
81. Then the scanty power and want of ability of that fiend for it, in his struggling for the luminaries, are manifest even from this. 82. When as with lying falsehood he thought thus: 'I will make this sky and earth and the creatures of Ohrmazd extinct, or I will turn them from their own nature and bring them to my own,' (83) even then, with all the power, desire of destruction, and perpetual struggling of the fiend, no slaughter whatever by the demons is free from effectual limits; it is this earth and sky, and these creatures, (84) that are propagating from few to many, as is manifest, (85) and innumerable persons are convinced of it. 86. For, if in this struggling any victory should have specially occurred, it would have been impossible to attain from few to many.
87. Moreover, if the births of the worldly existence are mostly manifest through the occurrence of death therein, even then it is seen that that death is not a complete dissolution of existence, but a necessity of going from place to place, from duty to duty. 88. For, as the existence of all these creations is derived from the four elements, it is manifest to the sight that those worldly bodies of theirs are to be mingled again with the four elements. 89. The spiritual parts, which are the rudimentary appliances of the life stimulating the body, are mingled with the soul -- (90) on account of unity of nature they are not dispersed -- (91) and the soul is accountable (amarhomand) for its own deeds. 92. Its treasurers, also, unto whom its good works and offenses are entrusted, advance there for a contest. 93. When the treasurer of the good works is of greater strength, she preserves it, by her victory, from the hands of the accuser, and settles it for the great throne and the mutual delightfulness of the luminaries; (94) and it is assisted eternally in virtuous progress. 95. And when the treasurer of its offenses is of greater strength, it is dragged, through her victory, away from the hands of the helper, (96) and is delivered up to the place of thirst and hunger and the agonizing abode of disease. 97. And, even there, those feeble good works, which were practiced by it in the worldly existence, are not useless to it, (98) for, owing to this same reason, that hunger and thirst and punishment are inflicted on it proportionately to the sin, and not lawlessly, (99) because there is a watcher of the infliction of its punishment. 100. And, ultimately, the compassionate creator, who is the forgiver of the creatures, does not leave any goal creature captive in the hands of the enemy. 101. But, one day, he saves even those who are sinful, and those of the righteous through atonement for sin, by the hands of the purifiers, and makes them proceed on the happy course which is eternal.
102. The conclusion is this, that the creator is the healer and perfect ruler, the maintainer and nourisher, protecting and preserving the creatures; not a producer of the disease, a causer of the pain, and an inflicter of the punishment of his own creatures. 103. And it is more explicitly written below, with the arrangement of the two original evolutions, among the assertors of the non-existence of a sacred being, and the contemplators of unity.
104. As ordered and requested by you it is provided (padarast); do you direct and observe it with kind regards. 105. Because, as written above by us, I do not hold the station of teaching, but really that of learning. 106. Even this teaching of doctrines is that which was obtained by me, through the religion of wisdom, from the writing (nipik) of Atur-padhiyavand, and is here indicated. 107. And his teachings are in the Denkard manuscript (nipik), which the supremely learned Atur-frobag, son of Farukh-zadh, who was the leader of those of the good religion, explained out of his knowledge of the religion, and which consists of a thousand subjects.
108. Of that, too, which is asked by you about unlimitedness and limitation, I have written below, through the will of the sacred beings.
|[English rendering of the 1945 French translation by Jean de Menasce
by Jan Pieter Kunst (email@example.com) Date: Sat, 7 Jan 1995 21:17:08 GMT (selections)]
(1-20) It is asked: "I observe that everything is founded on the celestial sphere and the stars; so he who created this sphere must be the one who, as the believers [Muslims] say, created good and evil. If it is Ahriman who created this marvelous activity, how did he receive this power to create, when these are stars which dispense happiness and well-being? If Ohrmazd and Ahriman created them in cooperation, then it is evident that Ohrmazd is the accomplice and the ally of Ahriman as regards the sins and the evils that come from the celestial sphere." I answer: the celestial sphere is the place of the divinities (_bagAn_) which dispense happiness, and their dispensation of happiness always takes place in a rightful way. And the seven stars, _karapAn_ and _parIkAn_, which circle underneath them, are the cause of distortion and counter-dispensation. In the religious language they are called _gadOkAn_. The creator Ohrmazd arranged this creation with competence and wisdom and with his progress to frashegird [Av. frashô-kereti] in mind. When the Evil Spirit was encircled in the inside of the sky, that Deceiver, like all the lying and deceiving species of dark descent, who, having leaped to the light, are mingled with it, cried out, at the same time ignorant and deceiving: "This creation of Ohrmazd, either I will destroy it, or it must be that I appropriate it!" The heavenly bodies, supreme among the good beings, thanks to their omniscience, had knowledge of the foolish manipulation and the treachery of this Deceiver, and knew also that the power that brought forth this foolish and destructive action was limited, so that soon it would not have the power to restore itself from the complete exhaustion, caused by its chains, its suffering and its imprisonment inside the sky. [The Creator] did this with wisdom; when that Deceiver, who leaped to the heavenly bodies, was imprisoned, to prevent all the forces and instruments of the deceiving evil beings to act according to their will, they were mingled with the matter of the heavenly bodies; in the same way, the evil poisons of the monsters are covered with the four ohrmazdian products. For if the evil poison of the monsters was not imprisoned within the four corporeal ohrmazdian products, which are the water, the fire, the earth and the wind, they would have reached the spiritual state of the sky; and if they would have reached the spiritual and incorporeal state, it would not have been possible for the creatures of Ohrmazd to protect themselves against these evil poisons and to escape them, and if they [the poisons] had been mingled with that state, the arrangement, the fertility, the growth and the multiplication of mankind and the other creatures would not have been possible.
1. Another subject, among the assertors of the non-existence of a sacred being, is about the existence of the sacred being and his competitor.
2. Of the knowledge approvable by wisdom and the statements of the limits of evidence, about the existence of the sacred being and his competitor, (3) this is a summary: -- One knows it should be enjoined, that the supreme first knowledge, most suitable for the well-discerning, is comprehending the sacred being. 4. He, of whom this knowledge; is not the leader of knowledge, is unaided by other knowledge. 5. Comprehending the sacred being is possible through undecayed understanding, fervent intellect, and decisive wisdom.
6. Since comprehending the sacred being is not, thus far, more than that one knows that a sacred being exists, (7) because whoever is acquainted with the existence of a certain thing, and is unaware of its nature, is thinking thus, that that thing is good or bad, erudite or ignorant, antidote or poison, cold and frozen or hot and scorching, dry and withering or damp, (8) and, when unaware of its nature, his only knowledge of it is then useless -- (9) for it is possible to cause the commendation and condemnation of any person or thing, not through its existence but through its nature -- (10) therefore one knows this should be also enjoined, that a knowledge of anything is acquired in three modes: -- (11) by knowing what is inevitable, or by knowing what is analogous, or by what is possible and fit to exist.
12. Inevitable knowledge is such as once one is one, and twice two are four. 13. For within the bounds of the really inevitable it is not possible to say, (14) that there was or will be a time, or a place, where twice two are said to be five or three.
15. Knowledge by analogy is that which announces, from anything manifest, something which is not manifest, (16) and brings, out of anything visible, something invisible, in the likeness of a hand put up, for the household service of the perception of wisdom, (17) through complete similarity, resemblance, or partial resemblance.
18. Complete similarity is such as that of a man of Pars to a man of another district. 19. Resemblance is such as that of cheese to the white of an egg. 20. And partial resemblance is such as that of cheese to chalk, (21) since this is about the limit of partial resemblance, because cheese is like unto chalk only in whiteness, (22) but to the white of an egg in whiteness and also as food.
23. And there is also that which is called more resembling than resemblance, and more partially resembling than partial resemblance. 24. That which is more than complete similarity is not spoken about, (25) because completion does not become more complete.
26. By this mode it is set forth a second time at more length. 27. To demonstrate an invisible from a visible thing is such as from a thing made and maintained, which is not domestically serving the maker and maintainer, (28) and from a thing written, whose writer is not declared, (29) are manifest a maker of that which is made, a maintainer of that which is maintained, and a writer of that which is written, who are inevitable, (30) because that which is not manifest and is invisible is demonstrated by the thing which is manifest and visible.
31. Information of that which is within the possible and fit to exist is credible, (32) such as what one states thus: 'I saw a man by whom a lion, or a lion by whom a man, was slain outright.' 33. And this, being that which is within the limits of the possible and fit to exist, may be a lie. 34. But when a man announces that intelligence, who is renowned for truth and tested in judgment, it is within the limits of truth and reality. 35. If a man announces it, who is disgraced by falsehood and tested in misjudgment it is within the limits of falsehood and unreality.
36. Another mode, outside of these and within the limits of the inevitable, is by knowing what has not occurred and is not possible; (37) such as what one states thus: 'It is possible to bring the world, in secrecy, into the inside of an egg,' (38) or 'it is possible for an elephant to pass into an eye of a needle,' (39) in such a manner as though one of them really becomes no greater and no less, (40) or its substance is something which is not a rudiment.
41. A struggle which should not be limited, (42) an existing thing which is not temporary and localized, (43) or is localized and not limited, (44) the working of a vain miracle, (45) and other things of this description of speaking and imagining are faulty and false and not possible.
46. Then the knowledge of the existence of him who is the exalted sacred being, apart from tangibility of nature and other evidence, is through the inevitable and analogy, (47) as much visible before the sight of wisdom as from the prosperity, formation, and organization which are, according to different statements of many kinds, the formation of the things of the world and mankind whose particles, and the appliances which are owing thereto, are such as the elements; of the body and life, from which they are prepared and farmed, (48) which are fire, water, air, and earth, (49) that are, each separately, a stimulus so qualified and ennobled for their own operations, (50) that the operation of fire, through its own quality (ciharih) and nobility (vaspuharakanih), is such that the operations of water, air, and earth are not to stimulate unrestricted (atang) by it. 51. Thus, also, the operation of water, through its own quality, is such that the operations of air, fire, and earth are not unrestricted by it. 52. So, also, of air, the operations of fire, water, and earth are not unrestricted by it. 53. So, also, of earth, the operations of these others are to stimulate not unrestricted by it. 54. But each separately is for its own operation, just as they are ennobled and qualified (55) by him who is, sagaciously and methodically, a qualifier, a constructor, and an ennobler. 56. And the organization is constructed, prepared, qualified, and ennobled as is suitable for those operations.
57. So, also, as to mankind and the other creatures, who are the germinating of these elements, (58) whose organization of bone, fat, sinew, veins, and skin, each separately (59) without sympathy, one for the other is visible altogether. 60. Thus, too, are the nobility and qualification of the internal organs, (61) such as the liver, heart, lungs, kidneys, gall-bladder, and other appliances, for every one of which a function of its own is manifest. 62. They are qualified and ennobled for their defense by those functions which are their own.
63. So, also, is the qualification of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, mouth, teeth, hand, foot, and other external appliances, whose own functions are each separate. 64. And it is visibly manifest therein; inasmuch as, when one of these organs is disabled, any one of the rest is - not suitable for the work of that other one, for which it is not qualified. 65. And when only the construction of one of the organs of the body is examined into -- that is, how it is -- it is wonderfully sagaciously constructed.
66. Such as the eye, which is of many natures of different names and different purposes, (67) as the eyelash, the eyelid, the white, the eyeball (khayak), the iris (sayak), and the pupil (tedhak), (68) in such way that the white is fat, (69) the iris is water which has so stood in the prison of fat that the turning of the eye, from side to side, occurs through it, (70) and the pupil, itself the sight, is like a view into the water. 71. The iris stands in the prison of white, like the standing of water in a prison of fat; (72) and the pupil is within the iris, like the view of a thing within clear water, (73) or the form of a column in a shining mirror. 74. And the arrangement of the white in the orbit is for the reason that the dust whirling from the atmosphere, when it arrives at the eye, shall not be concealed in it, (75) but shall turn to the lid (gumb) of the eye, (76) and shall not injure the sight of the eye. 77. Just as the construction of the tube (rag) of the ear is undilated (afahal), for the reason (78) that whirls of dust and winged noxious creatures shall not rightly enter therein. 79, And the moisture of oneself, the secretion of the ear, and the venom of noxious creatures are manifestly as useful.
80. When the appliances of life and soul are observed -- (81) such as the smell, hearing, sight, taste, and touch which are causing the intelligence. of living beings, (82) as also the wisdom of every pontiff (radh), which is pronounced decisive, (83) the knowledge which is acquiring, (84) the intellect which is a seeker and transmitter, (85) the understanding which is a treasurer and defender, (86) the consciousness which is itself the sight of the soul, (87) the guardian spirit (farohar) which is itself the nature that is a maintainer of the body, (88) the spiritual life (ahu) which is pure, (89) and the other spiritual existences that are maintaining the body, which are each separately qualified, in that manner, for their operation and duty -- (90) they are perfect in their own operation, as to duty such as they are ennobled and qualified for. 91. As to that for which they are not qualified, they are not suitable.
92. The two arguments which are each separate in the Denkard manuscript, as the supremely learned one has explained them out of his knowledge of the religion, are here set forth at length. 93. He whose wish is to fully understand the wonderfulness of the Mazda-worshipping religion and the statements of the primitive faith, (94) examines into it in a manuscript of that character, (95) and shall understand more fully the wonderfulness and truth of the religion.
1. As to another delusion of those asserting the non-existence of a sacred being -- (2) whom they call atheistical (dahari) -- (3) that they are ordained free from religious trouble (alag) and the toil of practicing good works, (4) and the unlimited twaddle (drayishn) they abundantly chatter, (5) you should observe this: -- 6. That they account this world, with the much change and adjustment of description of its members and appliances, their antagonism to one another, and their confusion with one another, as an original evolution of boundless time. 7. And this, too, that there is no reward of good works, no punishment of sin, no heaven and hell, and no stimulator of good works and crime. 8. Besides this, that things are only worldly, and there is no spirit.
9. As I have written and shown above -- (10) that to be made without a maker, and decided without a decider, is as impossible as to prepare what is written without a writer, or a house without a mortar-mixer (razh) and building (deshak) -- (11) things made, of all kinds, cannot arise without making.
12. And this worldly existence is owing to the mingling of competing powers. 13. So its numerous possessions are so constructed, selected, and made of diverse races (ciharan), diverse colors, diverse scents, diverse characteristics, and diverse species as I have stated above about the body, (14) that it is constructed and made out of many things, such as bone, fat, sinew, veins, skin, blood, breath, hair, fundament, hand, foot, head, belly, and other members, internal and external, (15) in two series of things of many kinds, of which to be never made by means of the diverse nature of diverse powers, (16) or to arise without a maker, the impossibility is certain.
17. And in like manner of the other creatures, plants and trees, water and fire, earth and air, their stimulus, too, which is not themselves, is to their own duty; and they are not stimulators, (18) but there is a stimulator, a building (deshak), and a making for them. 19. And the usage (vazar) which is changing and urging them, from stimulus to stimulus, from statement to statement, and from time to time, is not according to the will and requirement of those made, but according to those that are stimulating and making.
20. Even so, indicative of the rotation of the years, months, days, and hours, is the revolution of the celestial sphere and stars which are settled (pasakhtak), and of the sun and moon which are adjusted (nivardhak), a well-horsed progress and conspicuous revolution. 21. This, too, is an indication that the movements of every appearance (ciharih) are owing to an exhibitor, by whom the movement of that appearance is exhibited.
22. Owing to other differences and different management in the worldly existence (23) it is possible to know, from the worldly existence at various times and various periods, that this worldly existence is not without a manager. 24. Or that its manager is not a sacred being, who is learned, acting reasonably, of unlimited power, and illumining the sky, is also that which is visible when the development, decay, and death of the world are such, that the nature alike of mankind and animals, and alike of races and trees, is to come from youth to old age, and from old age to death. 25. No one whatever is seen that has come from old age back to youth, or from death back to life, and it is not possible to say so. 26. Nor yet is it proper to think, say, or believe this, (27) that there is no recompense of good works and punishment of crime, (28) nor even an appearance of an attainable creator of all the creatures, and of the daubing of a destroyer.
29. Moreover, as to this latter, that is precious to those who are more friends of penury than of the comfort of ill-famed vileness -- (30) because they produce their happiness thereby, and are grateful, (31) and when they see distress they become suppliants (32) even from this destiny and dispensation which cannot become spiritual except by the spirits (33) even so, in the appearance of every one of the hungry, (34) and in every one hurrying and straitened, who is imploring favors, is a manifestation of the maintenance of a hope for a supreme inspection over mankind, and, indeed, over wild animals, birds, and quadrupeds.
35. As to this, too, which they call sophistical, (36) that there is no assurance of even one of these things, (37) because all are jaundiced -- (38) for whoever says that honey is bitter and honey is sweet, is right in both, (39) since it is bitter to those abounding in bile, and sweet to others; (40) also bread is pleasant and bread is unpleasant are both true, (41) since it is pleasant to the hungry, and unpleasant to the surfeited; (42) and many other statements of this description -- (43) that which should be said in reply to their twaddle is summarily (44) such as the wise have told them (45) thus: -- 'Even this statement of you sophists, about the jaundiced nature of everything, is alike jaundiced, and there is no truth in it.'
Many other things are said among them; (47) and this that
is indicated by us is the predominant information for you victors,
(48) so that you may obtain more from revelation.
1. Another subject is about the existence of a competitor of a different nature, as shown above, (2) that, from the constructing, qualifying, and ennobling of things so sagaciously, and even from the circumstances of an unimproving (acarik) hand put upon the concentrated light, it is manifest that its maker, constructor, concentrator, and qualifier is sagacious. 3. Also his constructing sagaciously is manifest, from each separately, through the qualifying and ennobling of his own works severally. 4. And his working sagaciously is an indicator that his work is purposed and caused, (5) because every one of the works of the sagacious ought to be purposed and caused. 6. The purpose and cause of a work arise first, the work itself afterwards.
7. From the many kinds of his work it is manifest that his work is willed and requisite. 8. For there are two modes of doing a work, (9) either the willed is of the many kinds which are his will, (10) or the quality is of one kind which is as it is qualified; (11) so from the many kinds of work of the creator it is manifest that his work is willed and requisite. 12. And his will is owing to a necessity of different limit, (13) because his will was a requisite for the power of the original evolution.
14. The purpose and cause of a work are before the necessity, (15) because while the purpose of the necessity of a work does not occur, the necessity does not exist. 16. The purpose of a work arises from the cause, towards which the necessity of that work instigates. 17. The necessity and willing of a thing which is caused exist; (18) and a cause of the necessity of a thing owing to its own self is not well suited, (19) because the cause arises from progression, (20) concerning which an indicator is the purposed work that is sagacious. 21. The purpose is owing to a cause, the cause is owing to promptitude (aushtav), the promptitude is owing to an exception (bara), the exception is owing to an injurer, and the injury is owing to an opponent, without further words.
I have also shown, on this subject, through inevitable knowledge
and through analogy, the making and qualification of the world
and its circumstances and appliances. 23. From the making and
qualification of the world is manifested a maker and qualifier;
(24) and [through the purposely-made work of the sagacious creator,
(25) owing to] the purposely-made work, is manifested the existence
of an injurer from without.
[Compare with translation by R. C. Zaehner in Teachings of the Magi, 1956, pg. 59-66.]
1. Again, about the existence of a competing and different original evolution, there are these (2) that are manifest from the good and evil which are in the world, (3) and the particulars of its good maker which are self-limited. 4. Such as darkness and light, (5) erudition and ignorance, (6) perfume and stench, (7) life and death, (8) sickness and health, (9) order (dad) and disorder, (10) distress and freedom from care (azhadih), (11) and other coexisting factors whose certain existence is visible in every district and land, and every age. 12. So that no district or land whatever is discovered, nor yet any age has existed or shall exist, (13) wherein these good and bad terms and particulars have not existed or do not exist. 14. And it is not possible to say, as to any place or age, that good and evil are changeable in themselves by their own nature.
15. So, moreover, of the other coexistences whose difference is not through different duty, through different species, or through different quality -- (16) as the difference of those of a like nature among one another, such as male and female, (17) of the varieties of scents and flavors, and of the sun and moon and stars, whose difference is not through different nature, but through different duty, through different qualification, and through different construction, which are such as are attainable for various duties (18) the good and evil, light and dark, and other different natures are then their distinction not through different duty, but through different nature, (19) the incompatible quality and the injuriousness which are manifest in them, one towards the other. 20. Therefore, when good is there, the non-existence of evil is unquestionable; (21) when light has come, darkness is removed. 22. Even so of the other coexistences whose incompatibility and injuriousness together are owing to the cause of difference of nature, (23) because, in the worldly existence, there is a manifestation of the competing nature and injuriousness of the things, one towards the other.
24. The worldly existence is the fruit of the spiritual, and the spiritual is its root, (25) because fruit is obtained through a root. 26. In like manner the giver of the evidence arisen among the intelligent is clear. 27. Of the worldly existence being the fruit, and the spiritual being the root, the evidence is this, (28) when the progress (madano) of every visible and tangible thing from imperceptibility to perceptibility is explicitly manifest. 29. Because the arising of mankind and other creatures, who are visible and tangible, from a spiritual existence which is invisible and intangible is known, (30) as much as the mirrored length and breadth of the body being an emanation of itself 3I. And the perceptibility of the body of man and other creatures was imperceptible and invisible in the semen which is derived from their fathers; (32) the semen itself, too, came into perceptibility, visibility, and tangibility in the skin of the fathers.
33. It is now possible to know inevitably that this worldly existence, which is visible and tangible, is produced and has arisen from a spiritual existence which is invisible and intangible. 34. In like manner the lapsing (yehevuntano) from visibility and tangibility into invisibility and intangibility, which are themselves a spiritual state, is unquestionable.
35. When these are seen by us, in the worldly existence, the competing nature, formation, and injuriousness of one towards the other, even as to the property of the spiritual existence, (36) which is the root of the worldly one; (37) and, in like manner, there is no doubt of the existence of its fruit of worldly possessions; (38) this is that which is manifest as regards a competing nature. 39. Then its purpose and cause were indicated by me above, which are the sagaciously working of the creator, (40) who created the creature which is an indicator of the existence of an opponent.
41. For it is known that work due to workers is of two kinds, designed or qualified. 42. That which is designed is of three kinds. 43. Two are due to the wise and sagacious; (44) either through seeking for their own working of advantage and benefit, (45) or through removing and keeping away the harm and evil which are from without. 46. And one is due to the ignorant and unwise, (47) done defectively and without a purpose. 48. From the wise and sagacious, work ought I not to arise without a purpose and without a cause.
49. As the sagacious creator, who is all-knowing, perfectly capable, and fully complete in his own self, has sought that which is not a necessity for any advantage and aggrandizement of his from without, (50) it is, therefore, necessary to understand that the purpose and causes of his works are of that one kind, (51) to remove and keep away the harm which is due to his opponent and the injurer who may arise from without, which is itself the purpose and cause of the creation of the creatures. 52. Also this, that that sagacious creator is good-willed, (53) and his will is all goodness. 54. The creatures were also created by him predominantly of his own will. 55. And the completely-stirring desire of him who is good-willed and sagacious is to subdue evil and make it extinct, (56) for while evil is not subdued the will of him who is good-willed is not fulfilled. 57. And this, that the goodness of that sagacious creator is manifest from creativeness, cherishing, and protection, and from commanding and teaching the means of putting away the path of evil and causing forbearance from crime; (58) also from the qualities and powers of the body in pain and sickness from without.
59. And, as a cause of the body, (60) to remove and keep away the opponent who comes to the body, and to be the maintenance, the cause of maturity, and the cause of growth of animals and sprouting plants, through the power of maintaining and cherishing their qualities, there is a cooperator who is scripturally called the Fravash. 61. And through those four powers that are accumulative, which are the powers of attracting, seizing, digesting, and extracting -- (62) and which, owing to the creator's sagacity of every kind, are cooperators with proportionate power for keeping away the pain and sickness of various kinds which are owing to the opponent, who is working defectively and desirous of evil (63) and through others that are of like strength and auxiliary, the good will of the creator is manifest.
64. Of this, too, that this one is no creator of the pain and death which are dissipaters of the body, who is good-willed and a maintainer and cherisher of the body, (65) the evidence is even from this, when the sagacious creator is not a sufferer from sorrow (apakhshadar) and performing penitence, (66) and is no dissipater and disabler of his own achievements, (67) because he is sagacious and all-knowing.
68. As to this other and the sorrow and penitence of the kind which is owing to his own work, it is fitting to speak about him as of deficient knowledge, incomplete wisdom, and inconclusive understanding. 69. As work does not arise from the wise and sagacious without a purpose and without a cause, (70) in like manner work from the unwise and ignorant and those of inconclusive understanding is all defective, without a purpose, ands without a cause. 71. And that sagacious one is a contriver, working sagaciously and methodically, for keeping away that defective work and inconclusive understanding from his own creatures.
72. He who is working defectively produced distorted and entangled scriptures among the creatures; (73) because this is known, that it is not possible so to keep away and cramp him who is a moving and living nature in a boundless void, and to become without risk of injury. 74. But, though he does not become entangled, fenced in, and captive, (75) he is spreading anguish into the entanglement and captivity, and it is a means of grievous punishment. 76. Only while a complete wiping away of the anguish due to him, and complete information as to his own ignorant activity do not arise, he has meditated with lying falsehood on that which is connected therewith. 77. And the complete capability of the almighty creator is the wiping away of the anguish.
78. Owing to the complete wiping away of anguish, through the almightiness of the sagacious creator, he casts him back impotent into the boundless void. 79. And the good creatures thereby become fearless, immortal, and undistressed (80) through the completely methodical sagacity and discernment of means of that omniscient creator of good beings.
81. From observation of possessions the difference of things is manifest. 82. And the difference is of two kinds, as mentioned above. 83. One is difference of operation, and the other is difference of nature. 84. Difference of operation is owing to mutual assistance and united strength, (85) and difference of nature is owing to want of an adapter and to opposition. 86. And not in a single place is a permanence of possessions manifest.
87. If one of anything shall exist and one does not exist, its name shall exist, (88) for the sake of recognizing things, one from the other, and preserving the name. 89. The bad, by separation from the good existence, is originally evolved in such a manner that the one is really no cause of the other. 90. Because each one is existent (ait-homand) through its own self, (91) owing to the perpetual injury and antagonism which are manifestly theirs, one towards the other.
92. If any one shall say that, as the competing formations of the competitors are numerous -- (93) such as good and evil, dark and light, perfume and stench, life and death, sickness and health, pleasure and vexation -- (94) there ought to be many other such original evolutions, many in number and of many species; (95) then they may give this reply, (96) that, even when there are many names and many species of competitors, still then all are within the compass of two names. 97. And these two names are their including-source, which are good and evil. 98. Their different names and different species are tokens of these two sources.
99. There is nothing whatever that is not in the compass of these two names. 100. There has not been and will not be anything which is not good or evil, or a mixture of both. 101. On which account it is explicitly manifest that the original evolutions are two, and not more; (102) and also this, that it is not possible for good to arise from evil, and evil from good.
103. From this, too, it is possible to understand, (104) that it is not possible for complete evil to arise from that thing which is filled with goodness. 105. If it be possible, then it is not full; (106) because any one thing, when said to be full, is no place for anything else; (107) and when there is no place for anything else, other things are not improved by it.
108. If the sacred being be perfect in goodness and wisdom, the folly and evil of any one are known not to arise from him. 109. If it be possible for them to arise from him, then he is not perfect. 110. If he be not perfect, it is not proper to glorify him for the sacredness of complete goodness. 111. If good and evil have crept on from the sacred being, he is imperfect in goodness. 112. If he be imperfect in goodness, he is imperfect in good information. 113. If he be imperfect in good information, so also he is imperfect in wisdom, understanding, knowledge, intellect, and other appliances of sagacity. 114. If he be imperfect in wisdom, understanding, intellect, and knowledge, he is imperfect in health. 115. If he be imperfect in health, he is apt to become sick. 116. If he be apt to become sick, he is imperfect in life.
117. If anyone shall speak thus: 'I always see that from one nature, such as that of mankind, alike good and alike evil have always crept on, through actions owing to them,' (118) that is for this reason, because mankind are not perfect even in one thing. 119. And, on account of imperfection in goodness, evil has crept on from them; (120) and also on account of imperfection, even in health, they become sick. 121. For the same reason they die, (122) because the cause of death is the struggling of two competing propensities within one nature. 123. There where two competing propensities exist within one nature, the occurrence of sickness and death is known.
124. If any one shall say that there are good and evil actions which, until they are done, do not exist, (125) then they may give this reply, (126) that the occurrence of an action apart from doing is as impossible as any propensity apart from a nature; and, as to the nature, (127) its continuance and arrangement are then known thereby not to occur through its own self. 128. For when a man indulges in wrath, Vohuman is far from there; (129) and when Vohuman holds the position; wrath is not there. 130. When a man tells a lie, truth is far from there; (131) and when he speaks true, falsehood has no position there, and that man is called truthful. 132. So also when sickness has come, health is not there; (133) and when health has come, sickness has gone. 134. Just as a substance which is not moving can exist, (135) but movement, except in a substance, cannot exist.
About this chapter, too, collected as a summary, (137) do
you reverently and discreetly observe and instruct thereon.
1. Other information about the existence of the competitor, similarly testified by the Denkard manuscript (nipik), is here well noted, for you. 2. For both this which is written above and that which is written here are all grown from the seed which the glorified Atur-padiyavand sowed, (3) and from the original thanksgiving (spas) of the supremely learned Atur-frobag, son of Farukh-zad, himself.
4. The fourth subject, which is from the Denkard, is about the existence of an opponent of the creatures and of an opponent earlier than the creatures, and is from the exposition of the good religion.
5. That is, a knowledge of the existence of an opponent of the creatures is obtainable from the innermost recesses of the body of man even to the outermost objects of which sight is susceptible, (6) and beyond those, within the certain limits of analogy. 7. The innermost recesses of man are the innermost of life, (8) and are seen through complete observation, within the same limits.
9. This is, as ignorance is to erudition, (10) deceit to good disposition, (11) and falsehood to truth, (12) other defects of the capabilities which are the source of erudition, good disposition, and truth are the opponent, (13) and the cause of the wickedness of the soul. 14. Again, these irregularities of the rules of arrangement of the body, within the compass of the body, are the opponent, and the cause of the disintegration of the body. 15. Again, as to these among the emanations, cold is the opponent of heat, dryness is of moisture, and the other doers of mischief are opponents of the operations of existence.
16. Within time darkness is the opponent of light, stench of perfume, ugliness of handsomeness, unsavoriness of savoriness, poison of its antidote, noxious creatures and the wolf of the well-yielding cattle, and the vile felon (mar) of the good man. 17. Beyond time the brigand planets (gadugan) are the opponents of the work of the divine bestowers.
18. Beyond the knowledge obtainable of all these champions susceptible to sight, are those who are within the limits of analogy and the certain information of multitudes, the demons who are the opponents of the sacred beings.
19. The existence of an opponent before the creation of the creatures, and his coming to the creatures (20) after the creation of the creatures, and also to the creator, are presented comprehensibly through reasons which are suitable and presentable, and through the provision of a remedy, a creation which is for a purpose. 21. This one statement (vacak) possesses five arguments (saman). 22. One is the being presented comprehensibly. 23. One is the being presented through reasons. 24. One is the reasons which are presentable and suitable that the creation existed. 25. One is the remedy appointed for the creation. 26. And one is the creation of the creatures of the creator for a purpose.
27. The existence of these five arguments is manifest through the creations and achievements themselves. 28. The presenting comprehensibly is wisely arranging the testimony of the effect of the creatures, (29) through the reasons presented, which are a declaration owing to the same sagacity. 30. The reason obtainable, that the creation existed, (31) with the arrangement of the creation so methodically, ought to arise from the suitable state of the creation; (32) and the suitable design of the creation itself possesses the testimony, through its appearance. 33. The remedy appointed is a comprehensible and presentable demonstrator, (34) because it becomes a desire of knowledge and an appearance of the desire. 35. The being created for a purpose is manifest through the desire of activity of the creation, both severally and naturally.
36. The evidences of the existence of an opponent before the creation of the creatures are many. 37. And one of them is the suitable state of the creation of the creatures, (38) because the limit of suitability is not well fitted for anything except necessity. (39) That which is inferred from suitability is necessity. from necessity haste, and from haste the existence of an opponent who is before the suitable work which is the creation.
The evidence of the coming of the destroyer to the creatures,
after the creation of the creatures, is the formation of the means
of the creator, for encountering an opponent, before the arrival
of the opponent, (41) which are omnisciently a provision before
creation by the creator. 42. And there is a demonstrator of these
same means of the creatures that is prepared, which is the struggling
opposed to the opponent through the arrangement of their nature.
43. One duty of the nature of the creatures is the subduing of
so much vexation. 44. Their preparation, too, is like a contest
that is forming an enemy opposing the opponent, (45) and their
natural desire for duty is removing all haste.
1. Another subject is about the deliberating of the deliberators on unity, from which even the preparation of the duality is manifested.
2. It should be known, that whoever wishes to understand a creator, except when he gives trouble to his own life, (3) should meditate reverently. 4. First, he fully understands his own body and soul, (5) that is, who produced them, out of what, and for what purpose? 6. Also, who is his accuser and adversary; (7) and who is his friend and helper? 8. Likewise, who instigates him to commit crime, (9) of what nature is he, (10) and how is it possible to escape him?
11. Then he is not able to understand him as the creator through his nature and his coming to himself. 12. For when he bore the name of creator, then, with it, he brought these three creations: -- (13) creation, religion, and soul. 14. Because the name of creator is known from the occurrence of creation. 15. This implies that the creator of the creation created the creations for duty, (16) but does not release them from duty. 17. And the duty of the creatures is to understand and perform the will of the creator, (18) and to abstain from what is disliked by him. 19. To act by the will of the creator, and to abstain from what is disliked by him, is to preserve the soul. 20. The will of the creator is not understood, except from the religion of the creator. 21. And the religion is appointed by the creator free from doubt.
22. Now it is expedient to know that the sacred being appointed the religion for the understanding of his will, (23) and from the understanding of his will for the preservation of the soul are manifested the compassion and mercifulness of the sacred being. 24. From the preservativeness of the religion for the soul are manifested the grandeur and valuableness of the religion; (25) from the necessity of preserving the soul are manifested the defilement and delusion of the soul; (26) and from the defilement and delusion of the soul is manifested a defiler and deluder of the thoughts, words, and deeds of mankind. 27. On the whole a corrupter of souls is manifest.
28. And now it is expedient for us to well recognize and know, as to that defiler who is a corrupter of souls, of what nature he is. 29. Because, if the creation and achievement of the sacred being are said to be of a like nature, then how did the sacred being appoint the religion for the preservation of the soul? 30. That is not expedient for him -- if a defiler and deluder of souls to produce as his own creation and will. 31. For if he be himself the creator, and be himself the defiler and corrupter of souls, and nothing occurs except by his will, (32) then, when it is necessary for us to write of preservation from the sacred being, whom shall we make as a refuge?
33. Now it is necessary for every intelligent person to understand and to know thus much, (34) that is, from whom it is necessary for us to flee and to abstain, (35) and with whom is the hope, and with whom the maintenance, of our protection. 36. The method for this acquisition is nothing else but to understand the sacred being in his nature, (37) because, as I wrote above, it is not only to know his existence, but it is necessary to understand his nature and his will.
38. And I have observed, in the world, the sectarian belief of all maintainers of sects who hold [the two fundamental doctrines]. 39. One is that which asserts that all the good and evil, which are in the world, are owing to the sacred being. 40. And one is that which asserts that all the good of the world, besides the hope of preserving the soul, is owing to the sacred being; (41) and the cause of all evil of the body, besides the risk of the soul, is owing to Ahriman; (42) and all things have started from appointment by these two origins into various formations and various subdivisions.
43. Now I have been an inquirer everywhere, for understanding the sacred being, as written above, fervent-minded in the investigation of his religion and will; (44) as likewise I have wandered, for the sake of investigation, to the region without and the land of the Hindus, and to many different races. 45. Because, as to religion, I did not admire that which was in supremacy, (46) but I sought that which was more steadfast and more acceptable in wisdom and testimony. 47. I went also into association with many different races, (48) until a time (49) when, owing to the compassion of the sacred beings, and the strength, glory, and power of the good religion, I escaped from much gloomy depth and ill-solvable doubt.
50. By the united power of knowledge of the religion (51) and the well-reflecting writing of the wise, (52) the marvelous allegorical writings of the learned Atur-padiyavand, (53) and by that writing which the glorified Roshan, son of Atur-frobag, prepared (54) for which he appointed the name of the Roshan manuscript (nipik) (55) and likewise that for which the supremely learned and righteous Atur-frobag, son of Farukh-zad, (56) who was the leader of those of the -good religion, (57) appointed the name of the Denkard manuscript -- owing to its explaining the religion -- (58) I am saved from the many doubts, delusion, deceits, and follies of sects, (59) and, especially, from those of the deceivers, the very great and very mighty, very evil-teaching and empty-skulled Manicheans, (60) whose devotion is witchcraft, whose religion is deceitfulness, and whose teaching is folly and intricate secret proceedings.
61. I have been deliberately confirmed by the power of wisdom and the strength of knowledge of the religion, (62) not through obstinate faith, but by the pure revelation opposed to the demon, which is the decision of Ohrmazd (63) that was taught by the creator Ohrmazd to the righteous Zartosht.
64. Zartosht came alone, on a true mission, to the lofty portal of Kay Vishtasp, (65) and the religion was taught by him, with a powerful tongue, to Kay Vishtasp and the learned through the speech of wisdom, through manual gestures, through definite words, through explanation of many doubts, and through presentation of the visible testimony of the archangels, together with many miracles. 66. And a greatness in power which is not the destiny of worldly existences was theirs who saw him of the vehement guardian spirit. 67. And Kay Spend-dad and Zargar and other royal sons (zadak), instigating the many conflicts and shedding the blood of those of the realm, accepted the religion as a yoke, (68) while they even wandered to Arum and the Hindus, outside the realm, in propagating the religion.
69. Owing to progress onwards it came in succession to the descendants of the divinities, the rulers who were those of the Kayanian race who were exalted ones. 70. And still onwards even until the achievement with melted metal pouring upon the chest of the glorified Adarpad Mahraspandan, in the reign of that divinity (bagh) Shahpuhr, the king of kings who was the son of Hormazd, in a controversy with apostates of different species of many kinds. 71. He was preserved from those most mighty apostates, who are called even by the name of their desires.
72. And the Arumans, who have been, at various periods, termed untruthful, have asked many ill-solvable questions of this religion; (73) but there has been no doubtfulness of any question that is explained by this religion, (74) and the learned of the country of Iran have always been sustainers of victory among them. 75. Not like other sects whose religion is secretly progressive and deceiving, delusively for the deceived, and undutifully among the customs and assemblages of the less-informed, unintelligent, and demon-natured whose information was nothing whatever of knowledge and understanding of wisdom. 76. Then, so far as the assemblages that are very secretly deceived and deluded by them, nobody is presented for detection (ashkarakih); (77) but afterwards, owing to the capture of the many of little knowledge and unintelligent opinions who are deluded by them, it is discovered they are provided with much mutually afflicting speech, falsehood, and disconnection, which are their religion.
So that I here notice some of their much inconsistency and
disconnection, for informing the judgment of new learners, (79)
for the reason that when the writings of the learned ancients
have specially minutely and reverently discoursed of what is most
astute in evil, to impel one to good knowledge, (80) you should
observe with kind regards what is ordered.
1. Henceforth I write of the inconsistency of their twaddle, and of just observations (2) you should estimate with wise regard.
3. First, as to the full consideration of that one original evolution (4) which they state thus: 'The sacred being is one, doing good works, wise, powerful, compassionate, and merciful, (5) so that good works and crime, truth and falsehood, life and death, good and evil are owing to him.'
6. Now do ye ask of them (7) thus: 'Is the sacred being always compassionate and showing mercy, doing good works and judicious, and does he know all that is, was, and will be; and is he advancing the desire of one's wishes in everything, even in this where judiciousness is interference, or when such is not so? 8. Because, if he be compassionate, doing good works, and showing mercy, why then are Ahriman and the demons and all these evil faiths of hell admitted by him to his own creatures, through his own compassion, doing of good works, and showing of mercy? 9. If not known by him, where are that knowledge and omniscience of his? 10. If he did not wish to keep misery and evil away from the creatures, and to produce only happiness for every one, where are that judiciousness and interference of his? 11. If it were not possible that it should not be produced by him, for what is that omnipotence of his (12) which we every one, as it were, observe and well consider?'
13. Whenever they say that every good and evil has arisen from the sacred being -- except when they separate from him these four attributes (hunar), requisite for divinity, which are omniscience, omnipotence, goodness, and mercifulness -- (14) there is then no possibility of it. 15. When, indeed, they separate from him only one of these four attributes, even then he is not complete in divinity. 16. For if a sacred being be he who is omniscient, omnipotent, good, and merciful, then he who is not omniscient, or not omnipotent, or not good, or not merciful is not a sacred being.
17. Again, observe this, that when he is a ruler advancing desires in every person and thing, why are that country and empire of his own not so kept, without help, from every enemy and adversity apart from his own work, so that there would not be anything whatever of distress, oppression, injustice, and complaint for any one in his empire? 18. Since the rule and empire of a man, who is ruler and emperor, are then commendable when it is possible for him so to protect and keep his own country and empire, through his own wisdom, that they may not assist his enemy to detract from his work, and to produce sin and harm. 19. Or, when his enemy covets some of his work, he is enabled to keep him away from his own thoughtful friends, and to make every one free from distress.
20. Again, observe this, that when he is triumphant, victorious, and prevailing, (21) over whom are that triumph, victory, and prevailing of his? 22. Since triumph and victory are over enemies, a competitor exists. 23. It is not expedient to become himself a competitor and enemy to his own; (24) while when there is no enemy and competitor of his, over whom does he become triumphant and victorious? 25. That sort of triumph and victory is not spoken about, (26) because even cattle and sheep, when they have no opponent and injurer, are victorious and triumphant over themselves.
27. Again, observe this, is a wise being contented with his own divinity and grandeur, or not? 28. If the wise being be contented, then he has become contented to produce an enemy and criminal, and to admit all that is devastating into a country, through his own knowledge and will, for the benefit of the country and creatures. 29. But why is it expedient to seek a disposition of crime and evil, to become himself an enemy and curser as regards them, and to provide a hellish existence, becoming the misery of mankind?
30. Again, observe this, as to whatever he says, does he speak truly and credibly, or not? 31. If he speaks that truly and credibly which he states thus: 'I am a friend of good works and an enemy of crime,' (32) and always produces more crime and criminals than good works and doers of good works, (33) where is that truthful speaking of his?
34. Again, observe this, is his desire goodness, or vileness? 35. If his desire be vileness, whence is that divinity of his? 36. If his desire be goodness, then why are the vile and vileness more than the good and goodness?
37. Again, observe this, is he merciful, or not? 38. If he be not merciful, whence is that divinity of his? 39. If he be merciful, then why does he speak thus: 'The hearts, ears, and eyes of mankind are bent about by me, so that it is not possible for them to think, speak, or do anything but that which is wanted by me; (40) be it what has made them great and noble, through: being without want; (41) or be it what has admitted them to eternal hell, slain and exterminated by death of many kinds. 42. So that while those whom I force back become good and more active in good works, (43) yet still those who are forced back do only a little, (44) and are much more criminal and more sinful than those who are forward.'
45. Again, observe this, that if, whatever he does, he does wisely and for a purpose, (46) then, when no opponent and adversary of his existed, why did the first achievement which was prepared by him become servants to demoniacal disobedience, who are perverted thereby, among mankind, to wickedness and a hellish existence? 47. If it were not known by him that they would become perverted, it was expedient (sazhid) for him to order the making of a trial of them, (48) because now many thousands and myriads who are prepared by him, so that they may serve him and exhilarate (mastend) his rule, have become in every mode disobedient and unhappily advised. 49. For with that scanty knowledge that mankind possess, which is not so prepared and organized as is the wish of mankind, (50) if even anything arises, that they construct and prepare, which does not so come on and become as is their wish, they do not stop again, a second time, for the preparation of that thing, but they refrain from it.
51. As to him, that omnipotent and omniscient ruler, of the abundant and innumerable things he has hitherto made and prepared not even one comes on and becomes such as is his wish, yet still he never refrains from the preparation and production of many new things. 52. Just as when he was the creator of that one of his first angels whom, on account of affection, he prepared out of fire, and for several thousand years, (53) as they say, they always performed his worship; (54) at last that one was undone by one command that was given by him (the creator) thus: 'Offer homage to this first of mankind, who is prepared by me out of clay.' 55. And deliverance, as to what is not expedient to offer, was expressly mentioned by him. 56. Then that one acted scornfully and contemptibly as to his clay and curse and wrath; (57) and, being perverted to devilry and fiendishness, he was forced out of heaven, (58) and was given a life of millenniums and an eternal dominion, (59) so that he said, 'I will go and make my servants and worshippers astray and deluded.' 60. And he was made an injurer and adversary at his own will.
61. At last also that man, to whom he, the supreme angel, was ordered to offer homage with many worshippers, for the sake of affection and respect, (62) is appointed to the garden of paradise (vahisht), (63) so that he may cultivate it and eat all the fruit, (64) except of that one tree of which it is ordered thus: 'Ye shall not eat of it.' 65. And with them (mankind) the deceiver, who is the deluder prepared by him (the creator), (66) is let into the garden. 67. There are some who say he is a serpent, and there are some who say he is Ahriman. 68. And an inclination for eating and greediness is given by that same one himself to mankind. 69. Then, being deceived by that deluder saying: 'Eat of that tree' -- (70) there are some who say he spoke to Adam -- (71) they ate through that inclination for eating.
72. After eating they became so imbued with knowledge that good and evil were understood and known by them. 73. Deprived of that so-great respect and affection, through that one injunction which was forgotten by them -- (74) and that forgetfulness being likewise owing to that cause -- (75) they are forced out of the garden of paradise -- he with his wife -- by grievous wrath and disrespect, (76) and are delivered into the hand of that enemy who is a deceiver and deluder; (77) so that he has propagated his own will among them, and has fashioned it upon them.
78. Now which was unjust, the unreasonable command, the after-wisdom, or the scanty knowledge that was more faulty and more mischievous than these? 79. Also this, that is, why was that garden not made by him fortified and strong, so that that deluder could not have gone into it?
80. Even now he (the deceiver) has made and makes multitudes of his (the creator's) servants and worshippers deluded; (81) and, for the same reason, multitudes of apostles and prophets (vakhshvaran) are appointed by him (the creator) for the worldly existence at various times, (82) so that, as he says: 'They may save my servants from the hand of that deluder, (83) and bring them into the true path and way.' 84. And even those worshippers of his, in every way through their own will, have slain and subdued (khvaft) by a wretched death, his own apostles, whose diligence had brought mankind into the proper path and doctrine.
85. That original deluder and misleader is allowed an eternal life. 86. And, even till now, his will is more triumphant and absolute than that of the sacred being, through deluding and misleading, (87) because those deluded and astray are much more numerous than those in the true path and undeluded.
88. Again, observe this, does he do whatever he does for a purpose, or not? 89. If he does it without a purpose, he is working foolishly; (90) and it is not proper to praise him who is working foolishly as a sagacious divinity. 91. If he does it for a purpose, (92) then, when no opponent and adversary of his existed, why is the production of all these creatures which are even like demons, disobedient men with the opposing will of that contentious deluder, and innumerable unprofitable creatures?
93. Again, observe this, that, if he knows all that is, was, and will be, it was not expedient for him to produce, through his own knowledge and will, anything of that of which he may be sorry, and which remains opposing his will and command, (94) and becomes an adversary of his apostles and the doers of his will.
95. If they say that this adversary was produced good and virtuous from the beginning, and afterwards became an evil and a misleading of the creatures, (96) that implies, you should say, that, when he is all-powerful, the purpose and will of the adversary, in changing into an evil and a misleading of the creatures, are more successful and more powerful than those of the sacred being; (97) because the evil in any period is stronger than the good.
98. Again, observe this, that when a criminal arises wholly through his will, (99) and the minds of criminals are defiled by him himself, (100) and the seed of crime is sown by him himself, (101) when if has grown who has maintained its origin? 102. And by what power of adjudication is one executed and one rewarded?
103. Again, observe this, was this world made and created by him (the creator) for a purpose, for his. own pleasure and for the sake of the comfort and happiness of mankind, or without a purpose, for his own discomfort and the hurry, trouble, pain, and death of mankind? 104. For if made by him without a purpose, he was acting foolishly; (105) a thing without a purpose being not acceptable by the wise. 106. If made by him for a purpose, and created by him for his own pleasure and the comfort and happiness of mankind, (107) why was it not made by him prosperous and full of happiness?
108. If his pleasure and happiness arise from the preparation of mankind and the creatures, what is the advantage from their slaughter and devastation? 109. If thoughts of crime are not given by him himself to mankind, who is he who gives thoughts of crime different from his command and will? 110. If they are given by him himself, and he now considers them a fault, what is that justice and arbitration of his owing to? 111. For when mankind with little knowledge and little wisdom, even then so far as they are able, do not let the lion and wolf and other noxious creatures in among their own young ones and pregnant females, (112) so long as they can destroy them, (113) why has the merciful sacred being now let Ahriman and the demons in upon his own creatures, (114) so that they have made them vile, defiled, wicked, and hellish? 115. If done for the sake of experiment, just as that which they assert, that evil was created: by him for the sake of an experiment as regards the creatures, (116) why was it not understood by him before those men and creatures existed? 117. Because he whose custom is experiment is not to be called omniscient.
118. The conclusion is this, that the sacred being, if there existed no opponent and adversary of his, was able to create all those creatures and creations of his free from misfortune; why did he not so create them? 119. Or was it not possible for him to wish it? 120. If it were not possible for him to wish it, he is not completely capable. 121. If it were possible for him not to wish it, he is not merciful. 122. If it were known by him that he might say: 'Something or some one will arise, from these creatures and creations which I create, that will not be according to my will,' (123) and ultimately he made them, (124) then to attach now all this wrath and cursing and casting away for punishment in hell, discontentedly to his own performance, is unreasonable.
125. Again, observe this, that if all the crime-meditating and crime-committing sin which mankind think and speak and do, as well as pain, sickness, poverty, and the punishment and misery of hell, cannot arise, except by the will and command of the sacred being -- (126) the will and power of the sacred being being eternal, (127) because his self-existence is also eternal (128) the hopelessness of eternally saving any one whatever from misery and punishment is now certain. 129. For it is repeatedly declared that there is no learned teacher whatever who keeps one away from these mischievous evil desires, (130) if the worshipper be even of the same kind as those worshippers and high-priests who have issued to mankind this admonition: 'Commit no crime and sin.' 131. Because they wish to set aside the will and command of the sacred being. 132. Observe this, too, that, as both are his will, alike crime and alike good works, it is not manifest whether he approves the good works of doers of good works more, or the crimes of criminals.
133. Likewise observe this, those physicians who, on account of the hope of the soul, prepare the medicine of the sick, (134) and remove and dismiss their pain and disease, (135) so that merit is possessed by them (the physicians) owing to that practice; (136) yet they are prepared for the punishment of hell. 137. And those who, on account of affection for the soul, give something to poor, begging, suffering people, (138) and thereby scatter and dismiss their want and poverty, (139) so that merit is possessed by them (the charitable) owing to that practice; (140) yet it becomes grievous sin for them, through anxiety. 141. If they say that those physicians and the remedies which they offer, and also those who give something to the poor and suffering, all exist by the will of the sacred being, (142) it is easier, more reasonable, and more adapted to divinity, when the sacred being is without an adversary and without an opponent, for him not to create that disease and poverty (143) than that, as to those that he himself is to make sick and poor, he should have commanded mankind thus: 'Ye shall make them healthy and free from want.' 144. If they say that his desire is this, that he may occasion the happiness of those physicians and givers by the recompense for it, (145) and make them proceed to the eternal happiness of heaven (vahisht); (146) you should observe, as to that, since he acts injudiciously and incapably when, on account of the existence of a complete desire for happiness and prosperity among others, he is an attainer of misery for multitudes of the innocent who are distressed, poor, necessitous, and sick, (147) this may also be said, that if it be not possible for him to occasion happiness and prosperity as regards one, except by the distress, pain, and vexation of some other, (148) that shows that his absolute power and freedom from opposition are not adapted for effectual operation. 149. If they say that he makes those sick and poor proceed to the eternal happiness of heaven in the spiritual existence, as a recompense for it, (150) that implies, if it be not possible, or not completely possible, for him to give the recompense in the spiritual existence, except through the misery of the worldly one, (151) also this, that his production of distress in the worldly existence arising unquestionably and unreasonably, through its previous occurrence, (152) and the recompense of the spiritual existence arising doubtfully and incredibly after the production of the distress -- (153) just as the previous distress is unreasonable, the after recompense occurs alike unreasonably and foolishly. 154. This also may be said, that no after nobility is obtained for previous distress without a cause.
155. Again, observe this, that the existence of one of these three doctrines is inevitable: (156) Every single thing that is, or was, or will be in this world is all by his will, or it is not, (157) or there are some that are by his will and there are some that are not. 158. Because nothing whatever is found which is not good, or evil, or a mixture of both.
159. If they say that all things are by his will, the good and evil are both his desire. 160. If good and evil are both his desire, he is not of perfect will; (161) it is not perfect even as to a single thing. 162. And he who is of imperfect will must be himself imperfect, (163) as is shown above.
164. If nothing be by his will, (165) on account of nothing being by the will there is no will. 166. He in whom there is no will is working constitutionally, (167) and he who is working constitutionally is constituted and made.
168. If there be some things which are by his will, and there be some which are not by his will, (169). and nothing is found in the world which is not good and not evil, (170) from that it is known that, if the sacred being be of good will, he is not desirous of that evil of it, (171) and that which is evil is not by his will. 172. If his will be evil he is inevitably not desirous of that good of it, (173) and that which is good is not by his will. 174. If that which is good be by the will of the sacred being, it is known that that which is evil arose from another will. 175. If that which is evil be by his will, that which is good arose inevitably from another will. 176. And the inevitability of a rival of the will of the sacred being is manifest.
177. If one says the evil springs from mankind, (178) that implies the inevitability -- since mankind is not perpetually a self-existence -- that evil either arose before mankind, or after, (179) or it arose with mankind. 180. If they say it arose before mankind, (181) that implies since, apart from the sacred being, there was no other creator and producer -- (182) that either the sacred being produced that evil, or it produced its own existence itself, or it was itself eternal. 183. If they say it arose after mankind, (184) as to that, when human nature is likewise a production of the sacred being, (185) and the sacred being did not produce evil in the nature of mankind, (186) how has it sprung into action from them? I87. If the evil was set in action by them, apart from the will of the sacred being, (188) and a knowledge, as to their setting about it, existed in the sacred being, (189) that implies that the sacred being is imperfect in his own will, (190) and mankind are victorious and triumphant in setting aside the will and command of the sacred being, and doing the evil competing with the will of the sacred being. 191. Also the power of the sacred being in his own will and his own servants is manifestly unprevailing. 192. If they say that he makes them proceed afterwards to the awful punishment of hell, (193) as to that, if the sacred being be a powerful doer, and not to allow the committal of crime, but to convey it away from their minds, be more advantageous and more adapted to the compassion of a sacred being than if he allowed the committal, (194) yet he has become helplessly contented with it, (195) and, afterwards, contentedly punishes his own creatures, (196) then, as to the one matter I am well considering, either incapability, or scanty knowledge, or scanty goodness is thereby manifested.
197. If they say that the sacred being produced and created evil for the reason that so mankind may fully understand the value of goodness, (198) as to that you should observe that, if evil be requisite and advantageous for understanding goodness, that evil exists by his good will. 199. And if evil exists by his good will, and is requisite and advantageous for him of whom they say that evil is not his wish, it is inconsistent.
200. As to that also which they say, that death, pain, and poverty are produced by him for the reason that so mankind may much better understand the value of life, health, and opulence, (201) and become more grateful unto the sacred being, (202) as to that you should observe that it is as it were acting unreasonably, in the mode of him who gives poison to mankind for the sake of increasing the value and price of an antidote, (203) so that he may sell the antidote dearer and more costly. 204. To what is this intermeddling action owing, that, for the sake of an understanding of the value of the goodness of other things, he allows pain, death, and misery in some one else?
205. Again, as to that which a multitude of them say, that the sacred being is a ruler over every creature and creation, (206) because his creations are all his own. 207. And he acts about them as is desirable for him, because it is desirable for him, and he is not a causer of distress. 208. Since distress is that which they inflict upon anything that is not their own, (209) then he who, all things being his own, acts about them as is desirable for him, is not a causer of distress. 210. As to that you should know that, if, on account of sovereignty, he who occasions distress is not to be called a causer of distress, (211) that is as though even he who is a sovereign and tells a lie is speaking truthfully, (212) and he who, on account of sovereignty, commits crime, sin, theft, and plunder is not to be called a sinner. 213. Such as that which the glorified Roshan, son of Atur-frobag, related as a parable (anguni-aitak), (214) that they saw a man who was defiling an ass, (215) when they inquired of him thus: 'Why dost thou commit this execrable action?' 216. And he spoke thus in excuse: 'The ass is my own.'
217. Again, you should ask this of them, (218) that is: 'Is the sacred being a friend, or an enemy, to these creatures and creations which are made by him?' 219. If he be a friend of the creatures, that implies that it is not proper for him to desire and to produce the evil and misery of the creatures; (220) yet, as regards the devastation and misery of his own achievements, he has never even become tired of them. 221. If he be an enemy of the creatures, that implies that it is not proper for him to create and produce, through his own competent knowledge, that thing which is his enemy and disablement and struggles against his will.
222. This, too, you should ask, (223) that is: 'Is the sacred being always a well-understanding, good sovereign, occasioning prosperity, (224) or an evil-understanding, bad sovereign, occasioning distress? 225. Or is there a time when he is a well-understanding, good sovereign, occasioning prosperity, (226) and is there a time when he is an evil-understanding, bad sovereign, occasioning distress?'
227. If he be always a well-understanding, good sovereign, occasioning prosperity, (228) that implies that there are not, in his country and sovereignty, any oppression, distress, and complaint; (229) and his affection for the creatures and the affection of the creatures for him are pure. 230. Owing to the same reason he is merciful as regards his own creatures, (231) and his creatures are recounting his praise, utterers of thanksgivings and pure friends towards him. 232. His title of divinity, moreover, is worthily his own.
233. If he be an evil-understanding, bad sovereign, occasioning distress, (234) that implies that he is himself a pure (mere) enemy to the creatures, and his creatures are also of a like nature towards him. 235. Owing to the same reason he is an injurer, destroyer, and deluder of the creatures, (236) and his creatures are complainers of him, strugglers concerning him, and pure enemies. 237. His title of divinity, moreover, is the equivalent of an unworthy name; (238) and, even on account of his eternity, the creatures are hopeless of becoming free from the risk of distress and misery for an unlimited time.
239. If there be a time when he is a good sovereign, well-understanding, and occasioning prosperity, and there be a time when he is turned away from this; (240) that implies that his affection for the creatures is mingled. 241. From a mingled affection arises mingled action, (242) and from mingled action a mingled individuality is also manifested. 243. And his creatures also are mingled friends to him. 244. Of one's associates there is none who, if a friend, is not one's enemy, no praiser who is not complaining of one, no glorifier even who is not scorning one; a character of this description is manifest among all creatures.
245. Again, observe this, that since all things which are in the world are not outside of these two terms, good and evil, (246) that implies, if good and evil are both said to arise from the sacred being and through the will of the sacred being, (247) that the troublesome Ahriman is unreasonably defamed; that, being innocent and without an original evolution, he never was, nor will be, evil and headstrong. 248. That which is mentioned in scripture (nipik), that Ahriman became headstrong, and was put out of heaven by them, is unreasonable, (249) because even that headstrongness and disobedience were likewise through the will of the sacred being.
250. If even it be said that the good arises from the sacred being and through the will of the sacred being, and the evil from mankind, still Ahriman is without an original evolution and innocent, and curses and scorn for him are unreasonable. 251. If all this misery and evil be sent down, not from a different nature, but from the individuality and individual nature of the sacred being himself, (252) that implies that the sacred being is an enemy and adversary to his own tendencies (run).
253. Observe this, too, that to speak of the existence of criminality apart from a nature of crime is very deluding; (254) and as it is deluding to imagine a nature of crime that is good, is it more deluding to imagine Ahriman who is the origin and original evolution of every crime -- apart from the creation and achievement of the sacred being?
255. The conclusion is this, that if at first there be anything which is not within the will of the sacred being, provided everything be through the will of the sacred being, no one whatever is a sinner; (256) and the apostle and religion were appointed without a purpose. 257. If it be expedient to ruin any one for sinfulness, it is more expedient to ruin him who is the original doer, maintainer, and creator of every evil and crime. 258. And if it be said that evil and crime arise from Ahriman or mankind, that implies, as they are likewise created and produced by the sacred being, that he is the source of them; in like manner, he who is the cause of the origin of evil (259) is worse than evil.
260. This, too, you should observe, that sects (keshan) of every kind assert this maxim, handed down by their own high-priests, when it is mentioned and prescribed by them to their own congregation (ram), that is: 'Perform good works and abstain from crime.' 261. On account of delusion they do not consider this, that is, from where and what origin ought the crime to arise, about which it is thus commanded: 'Ye shall not commit it, and I will cast him who commits it into eternal hell.' 262. So that, if that same be owing to the sacred being, it would be easier for him not to produce it, than, after its production, to have brought it to notice and commanded us to abstain from it. 263. So far, indeed, I do not understand any advantage and motive in the production and creation of evil.
264. Again, in their scriptures, he speaks inconsistently about good works and crime (265) thus: 'Good works and crime are both owing to me. 266. Neither demons, nor wizards, are unrestricted in causing the ruin of any one. 267. No one has accepted the religion and done good works, and no one has walked in infidelity and committed crime, except through my will.' 268. In the same scripture he adduces many things which one has to connect, and inflicts curses on the creatures, (269) thus: 'Why do mankind desire and commit that crime which I design for them?' 270. It occurs concerning the will and work of his own hand, and yet he frightens them with punishment in body and soul. 271. In another place he speaks thus: 'I myself am the deluder of mankind, for if it should be my will they would then be shown the true path by me, but it is my will that they go to hell.' 272. And in another place he speaks thus: 'Man himself is the causer of crime.'
273. In these three modes the sacred being gives evidence of different kinds about his own creatures. 274. One is this, that he himself is Ahriman; (275) one is this, that he is himself the deluder of the creatures; (276) and, in the other, he makes his own creatures confederates involved with Ahriman in deluding; so that he implies: 'There are instances when I occasion it, and there are instances when Ahriman does.'
277. Through that which he states, that mankind themselves occasion crime, they are made by him confederates with Ahriman; he himself being at a distance from the crime. 278. For if mankind commit crime owing to their own nature and their own delusion, that implies that the sacred being, with Ahriman, is far from the criminality, (279) because it is as it were not owing to the sacred being, nor yet owing to Ahriman.
280. Again, you should ask of those whom they call Mutazalik (281) thus: 'Is it the will of the sacred being for all mankind to abstain from crime through their own free will, to escape from hell, and to make them proceed to heaven, or not?' 282. If one says that it is not, (283) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to the little goodness of the sacred being and the evil of his will; (284) and, for the same reason, it is not fitting to glorify him as the divine existence. 285. If one says that it is his will, (286) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to the good will of the sacred being; (287) and, for the same reason, it is fitting to glorify him as the divine existence.
288. Ask this, too, that is: 'If it be his will, is he capable of performing it, or not?' 289. If one says that he is not, (290) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to the incapability of the sacred being as regards that will of his; (291) and, for the same reason, it is not fitting to glorify him as the divine existence which is almighty. 292. If one says that he is capable of performing his will, (293) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to his capability for that will of his; (294) and, for the same reason, it is fitting to glorify him as the divine existence which is almighty.
295. Again, ask this, that is: 'When he is capable of performing his will, does he perform it, or not?' 296. If one says that he performs it, (297) that implies that the abstaining from sin, escaping from hell, and bringing to heaven would be manifested unto all mankind; (298) but this is that which is not manifest by his existence, and is falsifying even his own revelation (dino). 299. If one says that he is capable of performing his will, but does not perform it, (300) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to the unmercifulness of the sacred being, his enmity to mankind, and the inconstancy of his will. 301. For if he performs it, it is no harm to him himself and is an advantage to mankind; his own will is also continuous thereby. 302. But if he does not perform it, it is no advantage to him himself and is harm to mankind; his own will is also discontinuous thereby.
303. Again, ask this, that is: 'Does he not perform it through will, or without will?' 304. If one says that he does not perform it through will, (305) that implies that an opinion is formed by him that the sacred being is good-willed, but has no will to do good; (306) and this is even to consider him faulty through inconsistency. 307. If one says that he is without will, and therefore does not perform it, (308) that implies that an opinion is formed by him as to the weakness of the sacred being in his own self, or the existence of an injurer of his will.
309. The conclusion is this, that, with a manager of this worldly existence who may be without an opponent, without competition, and perfect in sagacity, goodness, and capability, there should not be all these unworthy actions, trouble and misery, pain and vexation, especially of mankind and the other creatures. 310. Because, when a manager, without an opponent, is perfect in sagacity, he knows means for evil not to occur and also remedies for carrying off evil. 311. When he is perfect in goodness and merciful, he has no wish for the occurrence of evil at first, but a wish for its extinction. 312. When he is perfect in capability, he is capable of not really becoming equally the origin of evil.
313. Now, as in the worldly existence, whose manager is the sacred being, the existence of evil is unquestionably visible, then thus much is not separable from this, either where the manager is provided with an opponent, or is without an opponent: -- 314. If he does not know means for evil not to occur, and remedies for carrying off evil, the imperfect sagacity of the sacred being is thereby manifested. 315. Or the evil exists with his good will, and the imperfect goodness of his will is manifested. 316, Or he is not capable of not allowing the occurrence of evil, and of carrying it off, and the imperfect capability of the sacred being is manifested. 317. And when he is imperfect even in one -- in sagacity, or goodness or capability -- it is not fitting to glorify and worship him as the divine existence who is almighty, all-good, and all-wise.
318. This, too, you should know, that since any existing thing, which is acting, is provided with a will, but its nature has not become unrestricted, (319) that shows that, if the original existence of the creator be divinity, and his nature be light and beauty, fragrance and purity, goodness and sagacity, then such things as darkness and ugliness, stench and pollution, vileness and ignorance -- the demoniacal nature itself -- ought to be far from him. 320. If his original existence be anything demoniacal, and his nature be darkness or stench, ugliness or pollution, vileness or ignorance, then the nature of divinity remains strange to him.
321. If there be any one by whom indecision about all this is insinuated into his own self, that implies that, owing to his indecision about it, there is no discrimination in him as to goodness, amid his own evil. 322. Now, moreover, the hope of the hopeful is absorbed, (323) for even he who goes to heaven through doing good works is, even there, in evil and misery, (324) because there is no distinct discrimination of good from evil, even there, (325) if there be the goodness which is devoid of evil, and there be also the evil which is devoid of goodness, represented as really of the same origin. 326. This is known, that the difference of good and evil is owing to difference of nature. 327. When the two origins of their difference and distinction from the other of different nature are manifest, that hope of the hopeful is just, (328) and sagacity is their passport (parvanak).
329. This, too, you should know, that every statement which is not unconfused by its own limits is uninquiring (apad-khvah). 330. Likewise this, that the limit of divinity is specially sagacity. 331. And also this, that the limit of sagacity is only advantageous action. 332. Advantageous action is not doing injury; (333) and the modes of doing injury are three. 334. One is that which, being no advantage to oneself, is the injury of another also. 335. [One is that which, being no advantage to another], is the injury of oneself also. 336. And one is that which is the injury of oneself and the injury of another also. 337. And from the creation of Ahriman and the demons there is no advantage to a wisely-acting sacred being himself, and there is injury of others also; (338) the non-advancement of even his own will, owing to his own work, is always manifested thereby.
339. This, too, you should know, that if the will of the sacred being be goodness, (340) his will is also eternal. 341. And he should be capable of a suitable will, (342) so that, from the beginning even to the end, all the goodness and virtue of the will of the sacred being would have proceeded in the world. 343. Now it is manifest that vileness and vice always proceed much more. 344. Therefore the cause is one of these, either they always proceed through the will of the sacred being, or without his will. 345. If they always proceed through some will of the sacred being, it is evident that his will is also for vileness as well as for goodness, (346) or he is inefficient and changeable in will. 347. Since a will does not change, unless owing to a cause, or unless owing to a changer, (348) that implies one of these two, either it is through some cause, or there exists some other being with him as a changer of his will. 349. If they always proceed not through the will of the sacred being, (350) from that it is evident that the sacred being is suffering in his own will, and his will is not perfect, (351) or there exists some diminisher of it who is a possessor of will.
352. As to this, too, which they assert, that the sacred being commanded Adam thus: 'Thou shalt not eat of this one tree which is in paradise (vahisht),' (353) you should ask of them (354) thus: 'Was the command which the sacred being gave to Adam, thus: "You shall not eat of this tree," good or evil?' 355. If the command were good it is evident that the tree was evil, (356) and it is not befitting the sacred being to create anything that is evil. 357. If the tree were good the command was evil, and it is not befitting the sacred being to give an evil command. 358. If the tree were good, and the command as to not eating were given by him, it is not adapted to the goodness and mercifulness of the sacred being to allot a benefit away from his own innocent servants.
359. As to this, too, which they assert, that the sacred being brings every one whom he wills unto faith and the true way, and, as the recompense, he makes him proceed to the happy progress which is eternal; (360) and him whom he does not will he leaves in irreligion and ignorance of the sacred being, and, for that reason, he casts him into hell and eternal misery; (361) you should ask of them (362) thus: 'Is he good whose desire and will are for the religion and faith of the sacred being and the true way, or he whose desire and will are for going astray, irreligion, and ignorance of the sacred being?' 363. If one says that he is good whose desire and will are for the religion of the sacred being and the true way, (364) now as to that man about whom this is the will of the sacred being, that he shall leave him in irreligion, going astray, and ignorance of the sacred being, and to whom an apostle, or some other person who is a friend, recites the revelation (dino) of the sacred being and the true way, (365) does that show that the sacred being is thereby better and more beneficial to him, or are that apostle and that person so? 366. If one says that the will of the sacred being about him is good, it is thereby asserted by him, that not understanding the sacred being, not accepting the religion, and going astray are good; but this is not acceptable [and not to be taught], on account of error. 367. If one says that his coming to the true religion and understanding the sacred being are thereby better and more beneficial, (368) it is thereby obviously asserted by one that the apostle and person are thereby better to him than the sacred being. 369. Because a person through whom the true way and an understanding of the sacred being are wanted among mankind, and his will is bent upon it, is much better than he who is a sacred being (370) by whose will backsliding (avaz-rasih), misunderstanding, and irreligion exist among them; and the sacred being is much worse than that person.
371. Observe this, too, that if the criminal thought and criminal action of man are by the will of the sacred being, that already implies that the sacred being produced criminal thought, and sowed crime in his mind, (372) and Ahriman merely invites and instigates him to the committal of crime; that shows that the criminal thought traced to the sacred being and also his desire for it are more violent and worse than the invitation of Ahriman. 373. When, too, his listening to what proceeds from Ahriman, as to the committal of crime, is likewise due to the criminal thought which the sacred being produced, and so also is his desire for it, it is already obvious that the sacred being is much worse and more sinful than Ahriman.
As regards these statements, which are enumerated by us, (375)
one of these two opinions must arise, (376) either that all are
true or that all are false, (377) or there are some which are
true and there are some which are false. 378. If all be true,
every statement that is not adapted to these statements is false,
or something of the two, truth and falsehood. 379. If all be false,
every statement that is not adapted to these statements is true,
or something of the two together. 380. If there be some that are
true and there be some that are false, (381) then of those which
are true -- derived from the nature and nucleus (naf) of truth
-- (382) and of those which are false -- derived from the nature
and nucleus and original evolution of falsehood -- (383) the origins
are two, one from which arises truth, and one from which arises
1. Again, about the inconsistency of their assertions there are several statements from the Denkard manuscript, (2) as to that which they say, that the sacred being is around everything, but nothing is within him; (3) and within everything, but nothing is around him. 4. That is above everything, but nothing is below him; (5) and below everything, but nothing is above him. 6. That he sits upon a throne, but is possessing no resting-place; (7) and is inside heaven, but is possessing no whereabouts. 8. That he does not exist in any place, and yet he does exist there. 9. That he exists everywhere, and yet his place does not exist. 10. Also that everything of his becomes fit for his own by his own will, (11) his original evolution being both malice and good; (12) and he is eternally unforgiving and compassionate, (13) preparing distress and not distressing. 14. Likewise that he has commanded him who is incapable of performing or neglecting the divine command, (15) and he has created him who is innocent for hell, not the-distresser. 16. That he is aware of the hellish existence of mankind, owing to wickedness, and his will is for it; (17) and he is good-willed, or it has become not his will. 18. That he has produced a remedy, and is not himself distressing; (19) or no remedy, but want of remedy, is produced by him, and yet he is not possessing an opponent. 20. That he is wanting experience, and yet omniscient; (21) neglecting commands, and yet they are themselves his will; (22) and he who neglects, and provides a restricted evolution, is yet a good sovereign. 23. Also that his commands are all continuous, (24) and yet the setting aside of his commands is obtainable. 25. And that there is some of his will which is not continuous, (26) and neglect of his will is not an injurer of the will. 27. Likewise that he has commanded that which is not his will, (28) and the command which is not inconsistent with his will and also the command which is inconsistent with his will are both proper. 29. Also that his good will is not a discontinuous will, (30) and as to his evil will, which makes evil things, that is judicious. 31. And many other inconsistencies which are in the assertions of various sects.
32. If it be not possible for an orderly (padmanik) religion to exist, without rescue from these inconsistent assertions of many kinds, (33) they then say this of it, that to the supposers of two original evolutions the work of the sacred being is weak and unresisting; (34) and they say it is not as it were adapted to the grandeur of the sacred being.
35. Upon this subject, too, there are some matters, which I shall clearly state, that should be dictated and known. 36. That is, does he make divine things weaker and more unresisting, (37) where it is he who says that the sacred being's own achievements, which were created by him, have all lapsed into being intolerant of command and deaf to admonition, (38) till even the most tender-bodied creatures struggle against his will? 39. And so they have slain or impaled those many prophets (vakhshvaran) and apostles (petkhambaran) of his, who are appointed by him; (40) and there are some who have acted scornfully, contemptibly, and irreverently. 41. This, too, is where he has not only not protected his own dominion from the vile creatures which were created by him himself, but he has himself afflicted his own dominion also; (42) and he himself destroys his own productions without a reason, (43) and himself renders his own creations useless. 44. Through his own culpability he himself destroys his own innocent servants. 45. He himself makes his own peculiar friends weak, needy, sinful, and deluded. 46. And his wrath, inflicted upon a single innocent servant, which is like Ahriman's, makes his own innumerable creatures unobservant and deluded. 47. For a sin that is limited, which is owing to his own actions, he puts the innocent to unlimited punishment. 48. The door of forgiveness is finally shut up, (49) and he is not satiated with the pain, distress, and misery of his own creatures, (50) but maintains them perpetually in action and excitement. 51. And yet he is not able to insist upon the commands which he gives in the beginning, middle, or end. 52. Or is it he who says that that one is the sacred being who is perpetually a ruler, all-knowing and almighty; (53) whose dominion and knowledge and power are perpetual and for unlimited time? 54. Owing to him, too, is the happiness of any goodness; (55) his actions also are for a purpose, his commands are advantageous, (56) he is compassionate and forgiving as regards his own servants, (57) and is an abundant bestower of recompense, too, on that servant who is a carrier off of victory. 58. As to him who is a sinner, who, on account of his own sinfulness, becomes captive in the hands of the enemy, he is forgiving upon atonement for the sinfulness and cleansing from iniquity and pollution. 59. In the end he is no leaver of any good creature captive in the hands of enemies, (60) and is their protector, maintainer, and cherisher, in body and life, amid their contest and struggle with enemies. 61. He is a complete defender of his own empire from opponents of a different nature, (62) and his champions and troops become victorious in the struggle and contest 63. And in the end he is a bringer of victory to his own creatures, as regards every iniquity.
64. When it is observed as to light, knowledge, sight, life, health, and other divine creations, that they are fully resistant and prevailing over darkness, ignorance, blindness, death, sickness, and other demoniacal peculiarities -- (65) because this is known, that light is the putting aside of all darkness, (66) knowledge is victorious over ignorance, (67) and life is powerful and increasing over death, (68) for, owing to the powerfulness and increase of life, the incalculable progress of the creatures arises from two persons, (69) and multitudes are confident about it; (70) so also sight and health are manifestly as much victorious and powerful over blindness and sickness -- (71) such being observed, it is also expedient to observe this, that is, what does the opposing fiend want, and about what do the troops of the sacred being struggle?
72. That opponent wants this that he speaks of thus: 'I will make this earth and sky and the creatures which are luminaries extinct, (73) or I will bring them into my possession, and will pervert them from their own nature, (74) so that the sacred being shall not be able to occasion the resurrection and the renovation of the universe, and to restore his own creatures.'
75. The troops of the sacred being struggle about this, that the opponent shall not attain to his will through his desire. 76. Observe this, too, that the troops of Ohrmazd have been valiant in struggling and successful in will ever since the original creation.
77. From this it is manifest, when it happens that this earth and sky are formed, (78) that it would be possible for him to make all creatures and creations extinct; but he is incapable of making even one of the most tender-bodied creatures of the sacred being extinct. 79. Because, if even, by-reason of death, the body be separated from life, it is not extinction and change of nature from its own self, but decay of peculiarities and a necessity of going from place to place, from duty to duty. 80. Then each one of the qualities of one's body and life is to subsist again, in its own nature, for other duties, as is revealed. 81. And the existence of these creatures and creation, fully continuously and perpetually active, is advantageously manifest during a suitable period.
Thus far is considered complete upon this subject.
[Translation of E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East. Compare with translation by Jacob Neusner in Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism in Talmudic Babylonia, 1986, pg. 178-185.]
1. Again, about the inconsistency and faulty statements of the first scripture, (2) which they call holy (azad) -- (3) and as to it they are, in every way, unanimous that the sacred being wrote it with his own hand, and gave it to Moses (Mushae) -- (4) so that, as it is full of delusion, I will here publish, for your information, a story out of all its stupidity and of much that is in it.
5. It states, in the beginning of the scripture, (6) that there first arose earth, without form and void, darkness, and black water; (7) and the breathing of the sacred being ever yearns over the face of that black water. 8. Afterwards the sacred being spoke thus: 'Let there be light,' (9) and there was light. 10. And stooping he considered that light below him, (11) and the light was transmitted by him to the day, and the darkness to the night. 12. In six days this world and sky and earth were also created by him, (13) for during the seventh day he was reposing (khaspan) and comfortable. 14. Through that same mystery (razh) even now the Jews are enjoying repose on the Sabbath day.
15. This, too, is stated, that Adam and his wife Eve (Havae) were created by him, (16) and put into a garden of paradise (vahisht); (17) so that Adam should perform cultivation in that garden, and should keep watch. 18. The Lord, who is the sacred being himself, commanded Adam (19) thus: 'Eat of every tree which is in this garden, except of that tree of knowledge; (20) because when you eat thereof you die.' 21. Afterwards a serpent was also put by him into the garden; (22) and that serpent deceived Eve and spoke thus: 'Let us eat of the gathering from this tree, and let us give it to Adam.' 23. And she acted accordingly, (24) and Adam likewise ate. 25. And his knowledge became such that good was distinguished by him from evil, and they did not die. 26. He also saw and knew that he was naked, (27) and became concealed under the trees; (28) he likewise covered over his own body with leaves of trees, on account of the shame of nakedness. 29. Afterwards the Lord went to the garden, and called Adam by name thus: ' Where art thou?' 30. Adam replied thus: 'Here I am, under the trees, for this reason, because I am naked.' 31. The Lord indulged in wrath, (32) and spoke thus: 'Who could have informed thee that thou art naked? 33. Mayest thou not ever yet have eaten of that tree of knowledge, of which I said that you shall not eat?' 34. Adam spoke thus: ' I have been deceived by this woman, who was given to me by thee, and I ate.' 35. And the Lord inquired of Eve thus: 'Why was it so done by thee?' 36. Eve spoke thus: 'I have been deceived by this serpent.' 37. And Adam and Eve and the serpent are, all three, forced out of the garden of paradise by him with a curse. 38. And he spoke to Adam thus: 'Thy eating shall be through the scraping off of sweat and the panting of the nostrils, (39) until the end of thy life; (40) and thy land shall grow all bodily refuse and dung.' 41. He also spoke to Eve thus: 'Thy pregnancy shall be in pain and uneasy, and thy bringing forth in grievous hastening.' 42. And he spoke to the serpent thus: 'Thou shalt be accursed from amid the quadrupeds and wild animals of the plain and mountain; (43) for thee also there shall be no feet, (44) and thy movement shall be on thy belly, and thy food dust. 45. And betwixt thy offspring, with those of the woman, there shall be such hatred and conversion to enmity that they will wound the head of that offspring.'
46. This, too, they say, that this worldly existence, with whatever is in everything, was made and produced by him for mankind; (47) and man was made by him predominant over all creatures and creations, wet and dry.
48. Now I will tell you a story (nisang-1) about the contents of their twaddle and the faultiness of their statements, (49) that is, where and with what limits did that earth without form and void, the darkness, the sacred being and his breathing, and the black water arise? 50. Or of what description was the sacred being himself? 51. It is manifest that he was not light, (52) because, when the light was seen by him, (53) stooping he considered it, for the reason that he had not seen it before. 54. If they say that he was dark, that manifestly implies that the origin of darkness is uttering a word and there is light. 55. If they say that he was not dark, but light, (56) why, when the light was seen by him, did he admire and consider it, though he was light himself? 57. And if they say that he was neither light nor dark, (58) it is necessary for such to specify that third state which is not light and not dark.
59. Then as to him whose position and abode were in darkness and black water, and light was never seen by him, how was it possible for him to look at that light? 60. And what was his divinity owing to? 61. Because even now it is not possible for any one who remains in darkness to look at the light. 62. Observe also this, that if his origin and abode were darkness, how was it possible for him to remain opposite the light? 63. Because this is known, that it is not possible for darkness to remain opposite the light, since the latter puts it aside harmless.
64. Again, I ask this, that is, was that earth, which was without form and void, limited or unlimited? 65. If it were limited, what was there outside of it? 66. If it were unlimited, whither did that unlimitedness of it go, (67) when, as we see, this earth and worldly existence are not those of the first existence?
68. As to that which the Lord spoke, (69) that is: 'Let there be light,' and it was so, (70) it is thereupon appropriate to understand that the Lord existed before the time that the light arose; (71) and when he was wishing to make the light, and he gave the command for it to arise, he then considered mentally in what way the light is of good appearance or evil appearance. 72. And if the light, through its own nature, reached into the knowledge and consideration of the Lord, it is evident that the light was existing alike within the knowledge and mind of the Lord, (73) and alike outside of him. 74. For it is not possible to know and obtain anything, unless it be a manifestation of an existence. 75. If the light was existing is it, on that account, a creation of the Lord? 76. And if they say that the light was not, through its own nature, within his knowledge, that light was demanded by him, who did not know of what nature it was, very unwisely. 77. Or how is it possible to consider in the mind that which one has never even thought of or known?
78. And observe this, too, that that command for the arising of light was given either to something or to nothing, (79) because this is certain, that it is necessary to give a command to a performer of commands. 80. If it were given by him to something existing, which was light, that implies that the light itself existed. 81. And if the command were given by him to something not existing, then how did the something not existing hear the command of the Lord? 82. Or how did it know that the will of the Lord was thus, that 'I should become light?' 83. Because the command of the Lord is not heard by what does not exist, in the same manner as though it were not given by him. 84. Since it is not possible for the non-existent even to think in any way, (85) it was that which is appointed non-existent, so that it does not exist, but yet exists', that was really before the sight of the sage; by which it was known in what manner the Lord is demanding that it shall arise, and in the manner which was demanded by him it arose.
86. If they say that the light arose from the word of the Lord, which was spoken by him thus: 'Thou shalt arise,' and it was so -- (87) that being when the Lord and his belongings (khudih) were dark, and light had really never been seen by him in what way is it possible for that light to arise from his word? 88. Because this is known, that speaking is the progeny of thinking. 89. If they say that his word became light, that is very marvelous, because then light is the fruit of darkness, and the source of darkness is thereby the essence of light; or else it is this, that the light was concealed in the darkness.
90. As I have said, it is evident that it is of no use to give a command, except to a performer of commands, (91) so that it should be that the light existed, and then the command was expedient and given.
92. Again, I ask this, as to these creatures and creations, sky and earth of his, since they were prepared and produced by him in six days, (93) and the seventh he reposed (khaspid) therefrom, (94) then, when this world was not produced by him from anything, but merely arose by his command, 'thou shalt arise,' and it was so, (95) to what was that delay of his of six days owing? 96. For when his trouble is merely as much as to say 'thou shalt arise,' the existence of that delay of six days is very ill-seeming. 97. It is also not suitable for trouble to arise for him therefrom. 98. If it be possible to make the non-existent exist, and he be capable of it, it is possible to produce it even a long time back. 99. And if he be incapable of producing except in the period of a day, it is not fitting to speak of his producing it from nothing.
100. And, again, I ask this, that is, when the number of the days should be known from the sun, whence then is the number of the day, besides the names of the days, known before the creation of the sun? 101. For they say that the sun was produced by him on the fourth day, which is itself Wednesday.
102. I also ask this, to what was it owing that it was necessary for him to make himself comfortable and reposing on the seventh day? 103. When the delay and trouble in his creation and production of the world was merely so much as that he spoke thus: 'Thou shalt arise,' (104) how are those days accounted for by him, so that it was necessary to make him reposing whose trouble is recounted? 105. For if 'thou shalt arise' were spoken by him at once, that is his trouble, and he ought to become comfortable immediately.
106. Again I ask this, that is, for what purpose and cause is Adam produced by him, together with Eve, (107) so that while they practice his will, the purpose of it is not so presented by him that they shall not turn away from the performance of his desire? 108. For when it is known by him, before the fact, that they will not be listening to his command, and yet they are finally produced by him, that shows that for him now to become exhausted, and to indulge in wrath about them, is unreasonable, (109) because it is evident that the Lord himself was not fully proceeding with that which is desirable for his own will, and is manifestly an opponent and adversary to his own will. 110. If they are not understood by him before the fact, and it is not even known by him that they will not listen to his command, then he is ignorant and badly informed. 111. If they say that his will itself was for non-performance, why then is the command for performance given by him? 112. Also what is the sin in not performing it, and how goes (113) a horse whom they yoke with another in confinement (lag) and hurry on with a whip (tazanak). 114. From this statement signs and tokens of deceivers are manifested, (115) whose will and command are inconsistent and unadapted, one to the other.
116. And if his will and desire were this, that they shall not turn away from his will, (117) still their power and desire for turning away from his will are much stronger and more resistant than those which he gave for not turning. 118. If the will for their turning away from his will, and also the knowledge of it, were his, and the command for not turning away were given by him, how was it still possible for the distressed Adam to act so that they should not turn away? 119. Also, the origin and maintenance of his will ought not to exist, (120) because by turning away from his command one merely falsifies (drujed) it as a command, while by not turning away it becomes a falsification of both his will and knowledge.
121. Again, I ask this, that is, on what account and for what advantage was that garden, prepared by him, produced? 122. And as to the tree of knowledge itself, about which he commanded thus: 'Ye shall not eat of it,' and also as to the injunction for not eating of it, which was issued by him, why was it necessary for him to make them?
123. It is also evident, from his injunction and command, that scanty knowledge and ignorance are more loved by him, (124) and his desire for them is more than for knowledge and wisdom. 125. And that even his advantage from ignorance was more, (126) because while the tree of knowledge was not tasted by them they were ignorant, and not disobedient and without benefit unto him, (127) but just as their knowledge arose they became disobedient unto him. 128. There was also no anxiety for him from their ignorance, but just as their knowledge arose (129) he became exhausted and wrathful about them, (130) and, forced out of paradise by him, with grievous discomfort and disgrace, they are cast to the earth. (131) The sum total is this, that the cause of this birth of man's knowledge, in the worldly existence, was owing to the serpent and deceit.
132. They also say this, that things of every kind were created for mankind -- on account of which it is evident that even that tree was created by him for mankind -- (133) and man was made by him predominant over every creature and creation. 134. If that be so, why were they now to incline their desires away from that tree which was their own?
135. From this following statement this, too, is evident, that knowledge was not really originating with him, (136) because if he came forth to the garden and raised his voice, and called Adam by name thus: 'Where art thou,' it is just as though he were unaware of the place where he existed; (137) and if he had been unanswered by him, he would have been unaware of the place where Adam existed. 138. If it were not owing to his (ajash) outcry, too, before seeing him, he would have been unaware that he had eaten of that tree, or not; and of this also, that is, by whom and how it was done, who ate and who deceived. 139. If he were aware, why had he to make that inquiry of him, mayest thou not ever yet have eaten of that tree, of which I commanded that you shall not eat?' 140. And at first, when he came forth, he was not exhausted, but afterwards, when he knew that they had eaten, he became exhausted about them and was wrathful.
141. His scanty knowledge is also evident from this, when he created the serpent, which was itself his adversary, and put it into the garden with them; (142) or else why was not the garden made so fortified by him, that the serpent, and also other enemies, should thereby not go into it?
143. Even his falsity is also evident from this, when he spoke thus: 'When you eat of this tree you die;' and they have eaten and are not dead, but have become really intelligent, (144) and good is well recognized from evil by them.
145. I also ask this, that is, how is his knowledge inconsistent and competing with his will and command? 146, For if it were willed by him to eat of that tree, and the command for not eating were given by him, the knowledge about it was that the fruit would be eaten. 147. Now it is evident that the will, knowledge, and command are all three inconsistent, one towards the other.
148. This, too, is evident, that, though Adam committed sin, the curse which was inflicted by Him (the Lord) reaches unlawfully over people of every kind at various periods, (149) and I consider it, in every way, a senseless, ignorant, and foolish statement.
On this subject, on account of tediousness, thus much is considered
[Compare with translation by Jacob Neusner in Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism in Talmudic Babylonia, 1986, pg. 185-189.]
1. My desire is also that I write a story (nisang-I) out of the accompanying inconsistency and full delusion of the same scripture, (2) that is full of every iniquity and demonism; and I will disclose a summary of one part out of a thousand of what is declared thereby, (3) so as to notice the commands therein.
4. First, this is what he says about his own nature, (5) that is, 'I am the Lord, seeking vengeance (6) and retaliating vengeance, (7) and I retaliate vengeance sevenfold upon the children, (8) and one does not forget my original vengeance.' (9). Another place states that, 'having acquired wrath and grievous thoughts, (10) his lips are also full of indignation, (11) his tongue is like a blazing fire, (12) and his breath (vaya) is like a river of rapid water (arvand nak). 13. His voice, too, as though for causing weeping, is more resembling the shouting of a demon, (14) and his seat is in the gloom, the dew, and the cloud. 15. His charger, also, is the drying (khushkak) wind, (16) and from the motion of his feet is the arising of a whirlwind of dust. 17. When he walks the arising of fire is behind him.
18. And, elsewhere, he speaks about his own wrathfulness, (19) thus: 'I have been forty years in wrath about the Israelites,' (20) and he said that the Israelites are defiled in heart.
21. Elsewhere he speaks thus: 'Who is blind, unless it be my servant? 22. Who is deaf, but the messenger (firistak) I am appointing? 23. Who is blind like the king?' And it is declared that their king is the Lord himself.
24. Elsewhere it also says this, that the worshippers (parastakan) of his fire are defiled. 25. Also this, that his deeds bring blinding smoke, (26) and his fighting is the shedding of blood. 27. And this, that is, 'I pour forth mankind one upon the other, (28) and I sit upon the sky, over their limbs.' 29. Likewise this, that, in one night, a hundred and sixty thousand were slain by him, through a wretched death, out of the champions and troops of the Mazendarans. 30. And, on another occasion, he slew six hundred thousand men, besides women and young children, out of the Israelites in the wilderness; (31) only two men escaped.
32. Again, it shows that his final result is all regret, (33) just as this which it states, that he became among the despondent (zardakan), and he spoke thus: 'I am repentant as to the making of men on the earth.'
34. This, too, it states, that he sits upon a throne which four angels hold upon their wings, from each one of whom a fiery river always proceeds, owing to the load of his weight. 35. Now, when he is a spirit, not formed with a body, why then are those four distressed by him! who have to sustain with toil the grievous load of that easy thing?
36. Again, it states this, that every day he prepares, with his own hand, ninety thousand worshippers, and they always worship him until the night time, and then he dismisses them, through a fiery river, to hell. 37. When trouble and injustice of this description are seen, how is it expedient for worldly beings to exist in duty, good works, and good deeds? 38. When he casts distressed worshippers who are reverent, listening to commands, and pure in action, together with others who are sinners, into eternal hell, (39) it is like even that which another congregation asserts, that the sacred being, at the day of the resurrection, gives the sun and moon, together with others who are sinners, to hell for the reason that there are people who have offered homage to them.
40. Another place also states this, that when the eyes of the aged (masatval) Abraham, who was the friend of the Lord, were afflicted, the Lord himself came inquiring for him; (4I) and he sat on his cushion and asked for peace. 42. And Abraham called Isaac, who was his dearest son, in secret, and spoke (43) thus: 'Go to paradise (vahisht), and bring wine that is light and pure.' 44. And he went and brought it. 45. And Abraham made many entreaties to the Lord (46) thus: 'Taste one time wine in my abode.' 47. And the Lord spoke thus: 'I will not taste it, because it is not from paradise, and is not pure.' 48. Then Abraham gave assurance thus: 'The wine is pure from paradise, and Isaac, who is my son, brought it.' 49. Thereupon the Lord, on account of his freedom from doubt in Isaac, and the assurance given by Abraham, tasted the wine one time. 50. Afterwards, when he wished to go, he was not allowed until one of them had sworn to the other by a serious oath.
51. Observe this twaddle full of delusion; not even a single detail is adapted to a sacred being. 52. In what way was his coming in bodily form to the abode of Abraham and eating bread, of which not even a single detail is adapted to him? 53. This, too, is evident from it, that the suffering of Abraham was not from the Lord, but from another producer. 54. And even the faultiness which was owing to his want of understanding of knowledge was such, that the purity of the wine and whence it came were not known by him. 55. His falsity is also seen in this, when he spoke of not drinking the wine, and at last drank it. 56. Afterwards he is confessing that it is genuine and pure. 57. Now, how is he worthy of worship, as a divinity that is all-knowing and almighty, whose nature is this?
58. And another place states that there was one of the sick who, with his own wife and child, was particularly one that was suffering, poor, and without a stipend. 59. At all times he was very diligent and active in prayer and fasting and the worship of the sacred being. 60. And one day, in prayer, he secretly begged a favor thus: 'Give me any enjoyment that is in daily food (rozhih), (61) that it may be easier for me to live.'
62. And an angel came down unto him and spoke thus: 'The sacred being has not allotted thee, through the constellations, more daily food than this, (63) and it is not possible to allot anew; (64) but, as a recompense for worship and prayer, a throne whose four feet are of jewels is appointed for thee in heaven (vahisht) by me, (65) and, if it be necessary, I will give unto thee one foot of that throne.'
66. That exalter of the apostles inquired of his own wife, (67) and the unfortunate one spoke thus: 'It is better for us to be content with the scanty daily food and bad living in the worldly existence, (68) than if our throne, among our companions in heaven, had three feet; (69) but if it may occur to thee then appoint us a day's food by another mode.'
70. At the second coming of that angel he spoke thus: 'But if I dissipate the celestial sphere, and produce the sky and earth anew, and construct and produce the motion of the stars anew, still thenceforth it is not clear whether thy destiny will fall out good or bad.'
71. From this statement it is, therefore, manifest that he is not himself the appointer of daily food and supreme, (72) distribution is not by his will, he is not able to alter destiny, (73) and the revolution of the celestial sphere, the sun and moon and stars, is not within the compass of his knowledge, will, and command. 74. And also this, that the throne, as to which it was announced (nivikinid) thus: 'I will give it in heaven,' is not of his formation and creation.
75. And in another place he speaks about his own twaddle (76) thus: 'I have slain, in one day, an assemblage (ram) of sinners, as well as innumerable innocents.' 77. And when the angels talked much of the unreasonable performance, he then spoke of it thus: ' I am the Lord, the ruler of wills, (78) superintending, unrivaled, and doing my own will, and no one assists or is to utter a murmur (drenjishno) about me.'
79. Especially abundant is the twaddle that is completely delusive, which has seemed to me tedious to write. 80. Whoever would investigate the backward opinions of these statements, should be, for that purpose of his, a high-priest speaking candidly (azhad), (81) until he becomes aware of the nature of the same scripture, and of the truth of that which is stated by me.
82. Now if he be a sacred being, of whom these are signs and tokens, that implies that truth is far from him, (83) forgiveness strange to him, (84) and knowledge is not bestowed upon him. 85. Because this itself is the fiend who is leader of the hell which is the den (grestak) of the gloomy race, (86) whom the devilish defiled ones and evil people glorify by the name of the Lord, and offer him homage.
About this subject is here complete.
1. Another thing I publish is a feeble story (nisang) about the inconsistency, unbounded statements, and incoherent disputations of Christian (Tarsak) believers.
2. Since, inasmuch as all three are from the one origin of Judaism -- (3) that implying that, when anything is said within the one, it is for them mutually helping their own delusion of every kind -- (4) you should know whence the original sect of Christianity came forth. 5. That in the town of Jerusalem there was a woman of the same Jews who was known for incapacity, (6) and pregnancy became manifest in her. 7. When asked by them thus: 'Whence is this pregnancy of thine?' (8) she said in reply thus: 'The angel Gabriel came unto me, and he spoke thus: "Thou art pregnant by the pure wind (holy spirit)."'
9. As to that, you should observe thus: 'Who, apart from that woman, saw the angel Gabriel? And on what account is it expedient to consider that woman truthful?' 10. If they say that, on account of the spiritual state of that angel, no one is able to see him, (11) that implies -- if the cause of not seeing that angel be his spiritual nature -- that the sight of that woman also, for the same reason, is not unrestricted. 12. If they say that the sacred being made him visible to that woman, and on account of the worthiness of that woman, (13) no other person being made worthy, (14) observe this, where is the evidence that the woman spoke truthfully? 15. Or, if that woman were conspicuous to any one for truth, it is fitting for him to demonstrate that also to other persons, so that, through that evidence, she might be more fully considered as very truthful by them. 161. But now the showing of him (the angel), to that woman only, is not considered by any one as true. 17. Now you should also observe that the origin of their religion has all come forth from this testimony of a woman, which was given by her about her own condition.
18. Observe, again, that if they say the Messiah arose from the pure wind of the sacred being, that implies -- if the only wind that is pure and from the sacred being be that one -- that the other wind, which is distinct from that, is not from the sacred being and not pure, (19) and another producer is manifested inevitably. 20. If the wind be all from the sacred being and sacred, it ought to be all pure. 21. If only that one wind be pure, the other wind is polluted and not sacred. 22. As there is no producer whatever except the sacred being, that pollution and impurity of the other wind are likewise from the sacred being. 23. And if the other wind be that of the sacred being and sacred, it ought to be all pure. 24. Now, that one being considered as purity, why was the other polluted?
25. Again, observe this, that, if the Messiah were the son of the sacred being for the reason that the sacred being is the father of all, through productiveness, creativeness, and cherishing, (26) that Messiah, through sonship to the sacred being, is not otherwise than the meaner creatures which the sacred being produced and created. 27. If he were born through the means of male and female, (28) that implies -- if birth through male and female be suitable unto the sacred being -- that it is also so unto the archangels and spirits; in like manner, on account of the existence of birth, the occurrence of death also is suitable. 29. Thus, about the arising of that same sacred being there is no doubt, (30) because there where birth of that kind exists, eating, drinking, and even death are certain.
31. And there are some even who say that the Messiah is the sacred being himself. 32. Now this is very strange, when the mighty sacred being, the maintainer and cherisher of the two existences, became of human nature, and went into the womb of a woman who was a Jew. 33. To leave the lordly throne, the sky and earth, the celestial sphere and other similar objects of his management and protection, he fell (aupast), for concealment, into a polluted and straitened place, (34) and, finally, delivered his own body to scourging, execution on the tree (dar-kardih), and the hands of enemies, (35) while, apart from death, much brutality and lawlessness were arranged by them.
36. If they speak of his having been inside the womb of a woman for the reason that the sacred being exists in every place, (37) that implies that being inside the womb of a woman, through existence in every place, is not more antagonistic than being in any very polluted and very fetid place; (38) and, along with that, that the faultiness of speaking of all places as having been the property of the sacred being is manifold, (39) because, if they were so, in like manner the speaking of anything whatever that is devoid of the existence of the sacred being is strange.
40. Again, as to that which they say, that death and execution on the tree were accepted by him, as a yoke, for the sake of demonstrating the resurrection to mankind, (41) that implies -- if it were not possible for him to demonstrate the resurrection to mankind, except through that disgrace and death and brutal treatment of himself -- that that omnipotence of his is not effectual. 42. Or, when no opponent and adversary whatever of his arose, why are they not made without doubt of that sort of clear knowledge which is imparted by seeing the resurrection, so that there would not have been a necessity for this mode of demonstrating it brutally, disgracefully, distressingly, and through the will of his enemies. 43. If that death were accepted by him, as a yoke of a new description, through his own will, (44) that implies that now his outcry of woe and curses for the executioners, and his considering those Jews as it were wrathfully are unreasonable. 45. He ought, indeed, not to cause curses and imprecations of woe upon them, but it is fitting for them to be worthy of recompense through that deed.
46. Again, as to this which they state, that the father and son and pure wind are three names which are not separate one from the other, (47) nor is one foremost, (48) and this, too, that, though a son, he is not less than the father, but in every knowledge equal to the father, why now is one to call him by a different name? 49. If it be proper for three to be one, that implies that it is certainly possible for three to be nine and for nine to be three; (50) and it is possible to speak of other numbers, in this sequence, unlimitedly.
51. Observe this, too, that if a son be not less than a father, that father also is not greater than the son. 52. That is possible if the father is said to be from the son, or the son not from the father. 53. And this is certain, that it is possible for every one originating from any one to be less than him from whom he is, who is the essential origin of himself; (54) if he be so in point of time, and likewise if so in point of relationship. 55. If the son be not less than the father, that implies that the maker is not before the thing made, nor yet is greater; (56) both must be original evolutions, (57) and the creation is not less than the creator, nor the creator greater than the creation, (58) however he may be said to be unlimited.
59. Observe this, too, that if the son be equal to the father in all knowledge, that father also is as ignorant as the son who was unaware of his own death and execution on the tree, (60) until he was slain by their capturing him and causing his wretched death, brutal treatment, and disgrace. 61. He did not know about it because they inquired of him thus: 'When is the day of resurrection?' And he answered thus: 'Of this no one is aware but the father.' 62. Just as when the son is formed (tashtik) as it were ignorant, the father must be as it were just the same.
63. Observe this, too, that all the creatures and creation, and even his own adversary, being created and produced by him out of nothing, the executioners of his son are themselves deluded by him. 64. And if the sacred being himself created the executioners of his son, and even his own adversary, without a purpose and without a cause, (65) and the son was slain by them altogether with his knowledge, (66) that implies that it is now possible to be without doubt that the slayer of his son was he himself, (67) if he knew that when he produces a son they will then slay him, and in the end he produced him foolishly and unwisely. 68. If he did not know it, he is deficient in knowledge.
69. Again, observe this, that, if the sacred being created these creatures and creation out of nothing, and created and produced even his adversary similarly out of nothing, that implies that their nature ought to be one. 70. Now, why is not the adversary preserved in the same manner as the other creatures?
71. Another point is about the inconsistency of the statements derived from the scriptures of their high-priest, (72) and that which he says that no one falls, nor anything from a tree, and no outcry arises in a district, nor two birds fight together without the command of the father, (73) which is a demonstration of these statements, that the original evolution is single and all things are by his will.
74. Now for what purpose was the Messiah appointed, who is his son; and which way is the demonstration, through that, of his (the father's) being unwilling; (75) when all is by his will, and nothing whatever is said about his being unwilling? 76. Even this is evident from the same explanation, that the Jews slew the Messiah, who is his son, through the will of the father.
77. Again, he speaks inconsistently about the free will (azad-kamih) of the faithful, (78) that mankind are produced by him with free will. 79. Thus the iniquity of the sin which mankind commit is freely willed, (80) and the freedom of will was produced by him himself for mankind. 81. That implies that it is fitting to consider him likewise a sinner who is the original cause of sin. 82. If mankind commit sin and crime by their own free will through the will of the sacred being, (83) through what free will and sin are the sin and crime of the lion, serpent, wolf, and scorpion -- the stinging and slaying noxious creatures -- which are the natural actions that ever proceed from them?
84. So also, who has maintained the origin of the deadly poison which is in the Besh herb and other species of plants, the cause of which is not owing to free will? 85. If they say that those poisons are advantageous and suitable in many medicines which are removers of the disease of the sick, (86) it should be asked of them thus: 'Who produced the disease itself and the harm that arises from it, and what is the necessity of it, (87) that, afterwards, medicine and deadly poison were created by him for it, and were necessary?' 88. Or, as to that disease, 'it would be more expedient if he had produced an antidotal (anosh) medicine for carrying it away than a medicine of poison.' 89. Also this, that is, 'from what origin is the term itself "doing harm," and against whom is the advantageousness necessary?' 90. On this subject it is possible to speak abundantly for a summary compiled.
91. Another instance is from the words of Paul (Pavaros), who was their high-priest -- (92) that one who was afflictive with them at their own beginning -- even this, they say, (93) is thus: 'Not the good works which I desire, but the iniquity (94) which I do not desire, I do. 95. And it is not I that do so, but that which is collected within me does it, (96) because I always see that it is striving with me day and night.'
97. Again, they say, from the words of the Messiah, that the original evolution from the sacred being is light and goodness; (98) evil and darkness are separate from him. 99. Also this, that is, 'just as a shepherd who provides protection for his hundred sheep, (100) and the wolves carry off one from him; (101) goes after that one which the wolves carried off until he leads it back to the flock, (102) and leaves the ninety-nine of them in the wilderness (dasht), (103) even so I am come to take care of the defiled, not for the just, (104) because it is needless to bring him who is just into the right way.' 105. That implies, if the original evolution be one, and his will be wholly that no one whatever of it shall be astray and defiled, (106) that even the wolf's slaying the sheep is likewise his will, (107) and the wolf itself was also created by him.
108. The word of the Messiah is specially inconsistently a demonstrator as regards the two original evolutions. 109. As they say this is one of those same statements of the Messiah, that there is another original evolution, 'an enemy of my father, and I am of that sacred being doing good works.' 110. From this statement it is evident that his own father separates from that enemy, and acts differently.
111. This, too, he says, that is, 'I am produced by the sacred being for truth and through truth; (112) and Ahriman, the iniquitous, came for my death (vadardano), (113) and I am desired by him to deceive in many ways.' 114. Now, if the original evolution be one, and there be nothing competing with it, why was Ahriman so powerful that he desired to delude the son of the sacred being? 115. If the sacred being himself created that iniquitous one, then the producing of that delusion by the latter was with the knowledge and will of the former himself, (116) and the deluder of the son was in like manner himself.
117. This, too, it says, that, when the Jews stood disputing against him, he spoke to the Jews thus: 'You are from that which is a lower region, and I am from an upper region; (118) you are of this country, I am not of it.' 119. And he also said this, that is, 'I know that you are of the seed of Abraham, and he who had slain mankind from aforetime (120) has wished to slay even me. 121. I do that which is seen of my father, and you do that which is seen by you as to your own father.' 122. This, too, he said, 'If the sacred being be that father of yours, he would be a friend of me for your sake, (123) because I have sprung from the sacred being; I have not come of my own will; (124) I am appointed by that sacred being doing good works. Why do you not hear those words of mine? 125. Only because you are from the iniquitous one it is not possible for you to hear them, (126) and you wish to do the will of your own father. 127. By him truth is not spoken; whatever he speaks he tells a lie of it, therefore you are false yourselves together with your father. 128. As for me, who speak the truth, you do not believe it of me. 129. And he who is from the sacred being hears the words of the sacred being, but you, because you are not from the sacred being, do not hear my words.' 130. By all these sayings it is demonstrated by him that there are two original evolutions, 'one by which I am produced, and one by which the Jews are,' (131) and that latter is not his doer of good works, but is called by him the iniquitous one.
132. And this, too, was said by him, that 'not unrestricted (atang) is the tree of merit (kirfak) to produce the fruit of offensiveness (bazak), nor yet that of offensiveness as to the fruit of merit.' 133. This, too, he said, that 'he either makes the whole tree with fruit of merit, or the whole tree with fruit of offensiveness, (134) for every tree becomes manifest by its fruit, if it be of merit and if it be of offensiveness.' 135. And the whole tree was mentioned by him, not half the tree. 136. Now, how is it suitable for half a tree to be light and half dark, (137) half merit and half offensiveness, (138) half truth and half falsehood? 139. When these remain both competing together, (140) they cannot become one tree.
141. And, again, a Jewish sect was called by him the hill-serpent of the Jews,' (142) and he spoke thus: 'How is it possible for you to do good works when you are Jewish evil-doers?' 143. And it was not his own father he called an evil-doer.
144. This, too, he says, that 'every tree which the father has not sown should be dug up, and should be cast into the fire.' 145. Wherefore it is fitting to understand from these words that there is a tree, which the father has not sown, that it is necessary to dig up and cast away.
146. Again, he says this, that 'I am come to my own, and I am not received by my own.' 147. Wherefore it is fitting to understand that what is his own and what is not his own are two things.
148. This, too, he says, that is, 'Our father, that art in the sky, let thy empire arise! And may it be thy will that shall take place on earth as in the sky! 149. Also give us daily bread! And do not bring us to a cause of doubt!' 150. From these words it is evident that his will is not so unalloyed (avezak) on earth as in the sky. 151. Also this, that the cause of the doubt of mankind is not owing to the sacred being.
152. And this, too, was said by him at first, that 'I am not come for the purpose that I may destroy the law of Moses (Mushae), (153) but I am come for the purpose that I may make it altogether more complete.' 154. And yet all his sayings and commands were those that are dissipaters and afflictive for the rules and laws of Moses.
Upon this subject, however, as far as here is complete.
1. Again, about the delusion of Mani, one out of the thousands and myriads is written; (2) for I am not unrestrained (anatang) as to writing more fully of the delusion, twaddle, and deceit of Mani and the Manichaeans, (3) and much trouble and long-continued daily work is necessary for me therein.
4. Now you Mazda-worshippers of Zartosht should know that the original statement of Mani was about the unlimitedness of the original evolutions, (5) the intermediate one about their mingling, (6) and the final one about the distinction of light from dark, (7) that which is much more like unto want of distinction.
8. Again, he states this, that the worldly existence is a bodily formation of rudiments of Ahriman; (9) the bodily formation being a production of Ahriman. 10. And a repetition of that statement is this, that the sky is from the skin, (11) the earth from the flesh, (12) the mountains from the bones, (13) and the trees from the hair of the demon Kuni. 14. The rain is the seed of the Mazendarans who are bound on the celestial sphere. 15. Mankind are two-legged demons, and animals four-legged. 16. And Kuni is the commander of the army of Ahriman, (17) who, to be liberated by his nails from the divinity Ohrmazd in the first conflict, swallowed the light; (18) and, in the second conflict, the demon Kuni was captured by them, together with many demons. 19, And it is in binding the demon Kuni on the celestial sphere he is killed, (20) and these magnificent creatures are preserved from him and formed.
21. And the sun and moon are arranged in supremacy in the outer sky, (22) so that, as regards that light which the demons swallowed, they filter and excite it, little by little, through the exciting and filtering of the sun and moon. 23. Then Ahriman knew, through foresight, that they would rapidly filter and release this light through the exciting of the sun and moon. 24. And, for the purpose of not rapidly releasing the light from the darkness, he prepared this lesser world which, like mankind, cattle, and the other living creatures, is a wholly-copied similitude of the greater world with the other bodily creations. 25. He confined life and light in the body, and made them prisoners; (26) so that, while that light which is excited by the sun and moon is again exhausted through the cohabitation and birth of living creatures, (27) their release would become more tardy.
28. And the rain was the seed of the Mazendarans (29) for the reason that when the Mazendarans are bound on the celestial sphere, (30) whose light is swallowed by them, (31) and, in order to pass it from them through a new regulation, discrimination, and retention of the light of Time, the twelve glorious ones show the daughters of Time to the household-attending male Mazendarans, (32) so that while the lust of those Mazendarans, from seeing them, is well suited to them, (33) and seed is discharged from them, (34) the light which is within the seed is poured on to the earth. 35. Trees, shrubs, and grain have grown therefrom, (36) and the light which is within the Mazendarans is discharged in the seed. 37. That which is within the earth is discharged from the earth as the cause of the trees.
38. Again, about the difference of nature of life and body, this is stated, that the life is confined and imprisoned within the body. 39. And as the producer and maintainer of the bodily formations of all material existences is Ahriman, (40) for the same reason it is not expedient to occasion birth and to propagate lineage -- (41) because it is cooperating with Ahriman in the maintenance of mankind and cattle, and in causing the exhaustion of the life and light within their bodies -- nor yet to cultivate trees and grain.
42. Again, inconsistently, they also say this, (43) that the destroyer of the creatures is always Ahriman; (44) and, for the same reason, it is not expedient to kill any creature whatever, (45) because it (killing) is the work of Ahriman.
46. Again, they say this, that, as the world is maintained by Ahriman, and in the end the sacred being is triumphant (47) through the departure of lives from bodies, (48) this worldly existence is dissipated in the end, (49) and is not arranged anew; (50) nor does there occur a restoration of the dead and a future existence.
51. Again, they say this, that those two original evolutions are perpetually remaining, and existed as contiguously as sun and shadow, (52) and no demarcation and open space existed between them.
53. Now I speak first about the impossibility of the occurrence of any existing thing that is unlimited, (54) except only those which I call unlimited, that is, empty space and time. 55. Those, indeed, which are for existence within them -- that is beings and things in locality and time -- are seen to be limited.
56. This, too, I say, that, if unity and duality be spoken of about them, it is owing to this, because unity, except through the perpetual encompassing of something, does not then exist therein. 57. For the one is this, namely, not two; (58) and the two are these, namely, the original one and the one that is the difference of this one from the other (59) which is not called two. 60. When the one is not understood, except through the whole compassing of unity, (61) and duality cannot occur, except through the separation of unit from unit, (62) the one is that one in the unity, and is steadfast in unity. 63. One and two are in the pedigree (tokhmak) of quantity and numerousness; (64) and quantity, numerousness, aggregation, and separation, which, as I have said, cannot occur without limitation, (65) are clear even to medium understandings.
66. Again, I say this, the unlimited is that which is not compassed by the understanding. 67. When it is not possible to compass by any understanding, it is inevitable that it was not possible to compass in the understanding of the sacred being. 68. It is itself the peculiarity of the sacred being, and even that of the gloomy original evolution is not wholly compassed within the understanding. 69. To speak of him whose own peculiarity is not compassed within his own understanding as all-good and all-seeing is strange, (70) because it describes a whole aggregate. (71) and an aggregate is called a whole on account of encompassment on all sides. 72. But what is encompassed on all sides is inevitably limitedness. 73. Is it fitting to account that as a sacred being when aware, from all its own encompassment, that it is limited? 74. And if unlimited it is unaware of it. 75. The first knowledge of a sage is owing to his well-arranging comprehension of his own peculiarity, nature, and quantity; (76) and to speak of him who was unaware of all his own peculiarity, nature, and quantity, and yet wise about another nature and quantity, is strange.
77. This, too, I say, that as the unlimited, on account of non-encompassment, is not compassed by the understanding, (78) that implies this, that all its peculiarity may be wise, or there may be some that is ignorant; all may be light, or there may be some that is dark; all may be alive, or there may be some that is dead; and one is unaware of it.
79. Again, I say this, that the light and the life which I obtain here are an allotment that exists owing to the selfsame Time, or they are not. 80. If they be an allotment that exists owing to a peculiarity of Time, that implies that men should well recognize this, that anything owing to whose allotment it is possible to ordain them must be provided with allotments. 81. As to what is provided with allotments, except when united it is then not possible even for it, (82) and as to what is united, except through the uniter by whom that united thing is united it does not then determine it. 83. And when the allotment made is seen to be limited, the origin from which the allotment is in like manner made is doubtless a limited existence. 84. As regards that, since they say that all allotment of a result is a giver of evidence as to its origin, (85) that implies, when I obtain an allotment made and limited, that an origin even of that, except when made and united from allotments and limited, is then not possible to exist.
86. This, too, I say, that the unlimited is not bestowed, (87) because an allotment is bestowed from an aggregate, (88) and aggregation is an evidence as to limitation, (89) as I have shown above. 90. So that as to the existence and nature of the origin, except by the likeness and similitude of the result, I do not then attain to them. 91. Whatever is obtained in the result (92) is certain to exist in like manner in the origin. 93. That implies likewise from this explanation, when the formation and limitation are obtainable in the result, that the origin also, from which the result arises, is without doubt as to limitation.
94. Again, I say this, that the unlimited is that which has an undisturbed position and an unbounded individuality, (95) and there is no other position or resting-place for it disturbed apart from it. 96. That implies, when two original evolutions are said to be unlimited and of unbounded (asaman) individuality, that the skies and earths, the rudimentary bodily formations, growths, and lives, the luminaries, divinities, and archangels, and the many congregations (hambarishnan) whose different names are owing to the difference of each one of those two from the other, cannot be limited. 97. What produced all those within them, and where is it, (98) when the two original evolutions have been eternally in an undisturbed position? 99. Unless that individuality of theirs, which is unlimited, be made limited, how is it possible for a place to exist for all these things that are and were and will be made? 100. If a nature that is always unlimited can become limited, that certainly implies that it could even become nothing; (101) and that which they say about the unchangeableness of a nature is strange.
This, too, you should understand, that the unlimited becomes
that which has disturbed it, which was not appointed by it at
first; (103) nothing different from it can exist separate from
it. 104. Apart from the boundary of unlimitedness it is not understood,
(105) or, stupidly, one does not know that thing, that is, of
what it is he always speaks and contends and bandies words about,
and thereby deludes those with a trifle of the trifles of knowledge
into some way and whither. 106. If he uncritically says even this
of it, that its individuality is unlimited, and its knowledge
also, being unlimited, knows through unlimited knowledge that
it is unlimited, (107) that is a strange thing which is two-fold
strange. 108. One is this, that of knowledge, except about things
acquired by knowledge and compassed within knowledge, (109) nothing
whatever is understood until complete, except that which is wholly
compassed within knowledge and acquired, (110) which knowledge
of anything arises through entire understanding of the thing.
111. And entire understanding of anything arises through entire
compass of the thing within knowledge.
.............. (The most complete manuscript breaks off here.)
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