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The Qissa-i Sanjan

Translated by Shahpurshah Hormasji Hodivala, M. A., from Studies in Parsi History (Bombay, 1920, pp. 94-117.)

NOTE: Also available in PDF and EPUB versions.

Foreword by JHP

This text is an account of the emigration of Zoroastrians from Iran to India. It was written in 1600 A.C. The settlement at Sanjan appears to have occurred in 936 A.C. The Muslim sacking of Sanjan probably occurred in 1465 A.C. The sacred fire Iranshah was moved from Navsari to Udwada in the eighteenth century.

Electronic edition prepared by Joseph H. Peterson, copyright 2000. Spelling has been normalized to conform with other texts in this series.

Foreword by S. H. Hodivala

In the eight hundred and sixty-four lines of the Qissa-i Sanjan, we have, committed to writing for the first time, the traditional account of the flight and first adventures of those ancestors of the Indian Parsis, who abandoning almost everything dear on earth for the sake of their pure and ancient Faith, sought refuge on the shores of Hindustan.

Of the writer, Bahman Kaikobad Hamjiar Sanjana, we know little except that he put the finishing touch upon his verses on the day Khordad, of the month Farwardin, in the year 969 A.Y. (A.C. 1600), that he was already considerably advanced in age at the time, and that he came of a family noted for its literary tastes and aptitude for the composition of Persian verse. Bahman's father Kaikobad Hormazdyar or Hamjiar, whose "heart delighted only in calling the Iranshah to mind," appears to have been a leader among the Sanjana priests settled in Navsari and is mentioned immediately after the famous Dastur Hoshang Asa himself in the Rivayat of Kaus Mahiyar, A.Y. 970 (A.C. 1601). Bahmanís brother, Vekji Kaikobad is similarly the second man of note (the first being Dastur Shapur Hoshang — Hoshang Asa's son) included in the superscription of the Rivayats of Bahman Aspandiar (A.Y. 996 — A.C. 1626-7).

Moreover, Darab Hormazyar to whom we are indebted for the first systematic classification of the valuable traditional knowledge — theological, casuistical, ceremonial, and liturgical — embodied in the Persian Rivayats, was one of his grand-nephews. Darab himself was not devoid of some skill in verse as is proved by his metrical version of the Menog-i Khrad. (West, Sacred Books of the East, XXIV. Introduction, pp. xxiii-iv) Lastly, the famous Dastur Burzo Kamdin Kaikobad, whose name occurs several times in the Rivayats from A.Y. 996 to A.Y. 1039 (A.C. 1626-1670) was also the son of a brother of Bahman's. It may be as well to mention here that Dastur Barzo Kamdin's reputation was not confined to the adherents of his own faith. It appears from a passage in the Dabistan, which on account of the blundering ignorance of the Mahomedan scribe has not, to my knowledge, attracted the attention of any Parsi scholar, that Barzo was personally known to the author, whoever he was, of that remarkable work.

The Dabestan-e Madaheb is an important text of the Azar Kayvani pseudo-Zoroastrian sect. The author is generally accepted to be Mir Duíl-feqar Ardestani (ca. 1671-70) better known as Molla Mowbad or Mowbadshah. The evidence is that the author belonged to a Persian Shiíite family, and became a follower of the Azar Kayvani sect while still a child. While the account of Zoroastrianism is interesting, it cannot of course be taken as entirely reliable. In fact, the author has interspersed Azar Kayvani teachings throughout, and the "author's proselytizing attitude is especially apparent in the section on Islam, which is filled with distortions, fabrications, unwarranted interpretations, and even outright lies." (Fath-Allah Mojtaba'i, Encyclopedia Iranica vol. III, p. 533.) Unfortunately, it has had undue influence on the Parsis via the Ilm-i Khnoom occult movement. -JHP

Adverting to the question of the birthplace of Zoroaster, he says that he had been told by Mobed Tarrau of Busawari in Gujarat, that Zoroaster was really born, not in Azarbaijan, but at Rai.2 I have little doubt that the true reading of the personal name is Barzo, and of the place-name Navsari, and that the priestly informant of the author of this seventeenth century Cyclopaedia of Religions was Dastur Barzo Kamdin Kaikobad Sanjana, who was alive at the time and who died, according to an old Disapothi, in Samvat 1732 (A.C. 1676).3

2. Dabistan, Persian Text, (Calcutta), p. 123 : Shea & Troyer I. 263-4.

3. This Disapothi belongs to Ervad Mahiyar Navroji Kutar.

An English translation of the Qissa-i Sanjan was made in 1844 at the suggestion of Dr. John Wilson by E. B. Eastwick and published in the first volume of the Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Eastwick's manuscript which is now in the Wilson Collection of our University Library, was far from correct and his version is full of errors to which it would be ungracious and unprofitable to draw pointed attention after the lapse of so many years. A more correct version in Gujarati had been printed along with other pieces in a volume of very unequal merit by Dastur Framji Aspandiarji Rabadi in 1831. The Qissa is, with all its faults, so indispensable to all serious students of the early history of our people that I have ventured to offer another rendering, in which I have attempted to adhere as closely to the text as the genius of the two languages and the frequent obscurity and other defects of Bahman's style would permit.

I have not thought it necessary to encumber this translation with textual notes or various readings, but it may be perhaps as well as to say that I have relied for the most part on a copy of the Qissa appended to a valuable autograph manuscript of Dastur Darab Hormazdyar's Rivayat written in A.Y. 1049 (A.C. 1680), which is in my own possession. I have also had before me the manuscript which Eastwick used, and the lithographed text which has been reproduced (not very correctly, I regret to say), from a later autograph copy of the same Rivayat belonging to Ervad M. R. Unwala.


In praise of the unity of the Creator exalted.

In the name of the Wise and Most Holy Lord, whose praises I sing with all my soul every moment. Him I thank profusely night and day, for my spirit rejoices only when grateful to Him. In season and out of season, I do nothing but repeat His name, for He is of the Universe Eternal King. He only is puissant and mighty everlastingly and the eyes of His slaves have the gift of vision (lit. are seeing) only through Him. He is in all places our refuge and our protector, the forgiver of our transgressions and the acceptor of our apologies. He has always hearkened to our grievances and it is He who has given us wisdom and shown unto us [the path of] Faith. Cherisher of the stranger and Sovereign of the Universe, pardoner of the sins and overlooker of the backslidings of mankind, He is our Eternal Guide, the companion of our private hours and the resolver of our difficulties. Thou hast, [O Lord], perfect power over creation, Thou only art Ruler Absolute and thy Kingdom only is never-fading. Thou art the Lord of Lords, marvelous, peerless, and without a second. By Thy might, thou fashionest out of clay the figure of a man and then instillest into it the joyous and gladsome soul. Thou conveyest the seed from the spinal column unto the matrix and it is Thou who delineatest upon the [seminal] fluid the picture [of humanity].

It is Thou who hast given body and form to the germ and implanted therein the Macrocosm (lit. the World) itself. Thou hast given unto man not only a tongue for outward [expression], but an inner sense likewise. Two eyes hast Thou bestowed upon him for seeing, two ears for hearing, and a tongue for speech, which may revolve in Thy praise like a wheel. A nose Thou hast endowed him with for appreciate pleasant odours, and feet for standing [erect] in prayer. Thirty-two pearls hast Thou linked together in a row and imparted the sense of taste also to our mouths. So perfectly does Thy Creation coincide with the first design on Thy Tablets-----1 that one would stake (lit. give) life itself on the perfection of Thy art. It is Thou who hast instilled sorrow into the hearts of lovers and the joy and luxury of grief are also Thy gift. Thou hast built up both worlds out of Nothing and it was Thou who madest Man superior to the Angels.-----2 Deity Supreme is befitting without question only to Thee, and of all things Wisdom has borne witness to Thee only. Whenever I give Thee boundless thanks, it is my tongue that is honoured thereby. Love of Thee hath thrown its halter (lit. cord) around my neck and I must perforce run wherever I am dragged in its train (lit. noose). Nor can I help obeying the behests of the Lord who has cast us hither and thither according to His will. Of Everlasting Existence no one is worthy except God, for He only is without His like. The entire Creation has proceeded from Thee to the cosmos hast Thou given this form out of Wisdom. Thou madest Adam out of clay and inscribed [upon his forehead] the name of Thy Vicegerent.-----3 Thou only dost not admit of change; Thou art also He who taketh us by the hand. No one else is like Thee, nor dost Thou resemble any one. All that exists has proceeded out of Thee. Earth and Sky are Thy handiwork, and the children of Adam Thou hast made the Glory (lit. ornament) of creation.

1. The 'doxology' is a stereotyped feature of all lengthy poetical compositions among the Arabs and Persians and Bahman while imitating those models, employs here, as in some other places, phraseology which a Moslem, not Zoroastrian. cf. Quran, Koran. VI. 38. "There is no kind of beast on earth, nor fowl which flieth with its wings, but the same is a people like unto you: we have not omitted anything in the book of our decreed." that is, "the Preserved Table, wherein God's decrees are written and all things which come to pass in the world, as well the most minute as the more momentous are exactly registered." Sale, Koran, 10-1-2 note.

2. cf. "And when we said to the angels, 'Bow down and worship Adam,' then worshipped they all save Iblis." Koran, Sura II. 32. Rodwell, 345.

3. cf. Koran, Sura II. 28. "When Thy Lord said to the angels, 'Verily I am about to place one in my stead on earth,' they said, 'Wilt thou place there one who will do ill therein and shed blood, when we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness'? God said, 'Verily, I know what you know not.' Rodwell, 340.

Bahman has set his face towards Thy presence-gates; keep Thou his heart enlightened in this world. Replenish it with the Good Religion and release him (lit. his head) from the bonds of sorrow. Keep him ever abounding in faith and render out of Thy bounty his soul full of the light [of the spirit]. Save Thou, I possess no patron and in both worlds my hopes are all in Thee, O Master loving-kind, Thou hast pardoned my faults and my tongue is for ever weighing epithets [in Thy praise]. Thou hast succoured my worthless soul and graciously shown favour unto Thy slave. To whom shall I turn if Thou cast'st me off, to whom shall I flee, for Thou hast no compeer. [Lord], I am ashamed of the imperfection of my words [in Thy praise], for this sort of learning [i.e. poetry] has not fallen to my lot. I have come before Thee apologising [for my shortcomings] for Thine is the Kingdom for ever. O Thou who upholdest the Universe, lift me up [also], for I am thy thrall, humble as the dust of the earth. Never shall I make aught but Thy doorway my Kibla (i.e. address my prayers to anyone but Thee). Tell me only what I shall choose that it may be good in Thy sight (lit. to Thee), and which may bestead (lit. go with) me in the Life [Beyond], for this yokefellow of mine (i.e. the physical body), I know, will not wend with me there. In the end, the rolling spheres will turn me to dust [like everything else]; why then should I have any dread or fear of Death? Give me but to utter with my tongue the Ashem Vohu-----4 at the moment when my soul is about to take its way to Paradise and whenever my Spirit departs from its body, do Thou show unto me an angel and make one of the Holy Guardian Spirits-----5 befriend my soul, so that it may be glorified (lit. receive light).

4. cf. "A time may be when the merit of one Ashem Vohu is as much as the value (qimat) of this world and that other world," and "that [Ashem Vohu] whose nature is as much as this world and the other world is when they recite it at the time of the dissolution or life, for if he be not able to recite it himself, friends and relations give it into his mouth. If he be fit for hell, he becomes fit for the Ever-Stationary, and if he be fit for the Ever-Stationary {hamistagan, i.e. purgatory}, he becomes fit for Heaven and if he be fit for Heaven he becomes fit for the Supreme Heaven". Saddar, 80.5, 10-11. West, Sacred Books of the East, XXIV. 344. See also M. R. Unvala's Lithographed edition of Darab Hormazdyar's Rivayat, I. 18.

5. Farohar (Av. Fravashi). "Embryonic or immaterial existences, the prototypes, spiritual counterparts or guardian angels of the spiritual or material creatures afterwards produced." West, Note on Bundahishn 1.8: Sacred Books of the East. V. 5.

Gracious Lord, forgive for Thy Mercy's sake, any sins that may have been by me committed unwittingly (lit. secretly). Indeed, what excuses can old Bahman urge before Thy tribunal, for [he knows] he has been very remiss in Thy service. Forgive his offences notwithstanding and exonerate his soul from its secret lapses. Accept, O Lord, these utterances and fervent prayers, for I have beheld Thy wondrous works of every sort. Lord, Thou knowest my [most] secret thoughts, why then dost Thou toss me thus about on fruitless errands? [I know that] in this world our salvation can come from Thee only; wherefore then should I look for my redemption from others? My youth hath departed and old age arrived and my straight cypress (i.e. erect stature) is lifting its head heavenwards. Old Bahman is the humblest of the humble; be Thou his friend and take him by the hand on all occasions. Thou only art my Judge in both worlds, Thou only my help in feebleness and old age. Wash off from my eyes the sleep of ignorance, O Lord, and turn Thou my face towards knowledge (lit. wakefulness). Do not, O beneficent Sovereign, take me away in the state [of sin] in which I am. Nothing save transgression can come out of man; lead Thou me towards Thyself along [the path of] Faith. I have been groaning thus piteously at Thy gate only that Thou mayest not reckon my name among the sinners. Wert Thou but to show Thy slave any favour, his head would be exalted in both worlds. I have set my heart (lit. face) on meditation of Thee and repeatedly turned my thoughts towards Thee. I now beseech Thee, who art the Judge of our needs and our prayers that Thy Mercies (lit. wonders) may be made manifest to me.


Hearken now to a wondrous tale (lit. a wonder among tales) recounted by Mobeds and ancients. Were I to tell it [at length], no description would be adequate, and no paper sufficient for the writing thereof. Therefore will I select but a portion and say but one word out of a hundred. I have heard it from a wise Dastur who was ever renowned for goodness. May the Dastur whose name is Hoshang and whose wisdom had always great excellence live long.-----6 The Zend and the Avesta likewise he had studied and driven away all Evil Spirits from himself. He was manifestly the Dastur (ayyán, evidently, plainly) of the city and from him the Faith had always become full of lustre. In those times, his authority was exercised over all (i.e. his commands were obeyed by all) and he managed many spiritual affairs. Every one who took counsel with him on the mysteries of the Faith acted according to his advice in matters of religion. In the town in which he was the preceptor, the hearts and souls of his disciples were delighted with him.-----7 He repeated to me this tale in the words of the ancients and discovered to me the hidden secrets of the Righteous. He narrated this story to us one day and strung the pearls of history with skill. May the Dastur who told me this tale have virtue everlastingly for his fellow. I repeat the story as he told it and relate the [hitherto] unknown deeds of the People of the Good Faith.-----8

6. This couplet is left out in some copies, but I have found it in at least three old and good Manuscripts and M. Huart of the Bibliotheque National has borne witness to its occurrence in Anquetil du Perron's copy of the KissehLV, Suppl. Persan. 200). There can be no doubt, therefore, of its genuineness. See Mody, A Few Events in the Early History of the Parsis 4 note. Anquetil, Le Zend Avesta, Tome I, Pte. ii. xxxiv.

7. or "he cordially delighted in teaching his pupils."

8. I have discussed the significance of this passage in a foregoing paper, "Jadi Rana and the Kisseh-i Sanjan."

The saintly Zartosht-----9 showed us the true path in Religion in the days when king Vishtasp lived. He had described in the Avesta all the stages (lit. states) through which his Faith would pass and said: "A Tyrant will appear; three times will the Good Creed be shattered and the People of the Faith ruined and worsted. That conqueror will be named Sitamgar-----10 [the Tyrant] and by him will the Religion of Virtue be reduced to despair. Give heed then unto what I now say of the Faith's doings." Everything happened as he had spoken and the People of the Good Faith groaned and made moan. Sikandar (Alexander the Great), came at last upon them and publicly burnt the scriptures of the Creed,-----11 which was despised for three hundred years-----12 and the Faithful were oppressed. Then after a time-----13, a Defender of the Faith appeared and Ardeshir seized the kingdom. Then once more the Good Religion revived and in the world became of good report. He got Arda Viraf sent to the Presence Divine for [securing] a description of the World of Spirits. But after a time, the Evil Spirit again wrecked this [right] road and once more brought disruption into the Faith, of which evil reports arrived from all sides. When after a while-----14 king Shahpur appeared, he once more made it illustrious and Adarbad Mahraspandan the Devout girded up his loins in its service. Seven kinds of metal (lit. brass) were molten together and poured upon his body [without doing him harm]. Thus did he resolve all the doubts of the Faithful and the Creed once more acquired lustre. From the times of Shahpur to those of Yazdagar it continued to receive honour and worship. Then the days [assigned] to Zartosht by Time (Fate) came to an end and not a vestige of the Good Religion remained, [so that] when the Millennium of Zartosht was over, the [happy days of] the Good Creed also reached their limit.-----15

9. The writer here follows pretty closely the Pahlavi Vohuman Yasht, II 15-22. West, Sacred Books of the East V. 198-201. See the Persian translation of the same in M. R. Unvala's lithographed text of Darab Hormazdyar's Rivayat, II. 86-88.

10. Alexander the Great is supposed by some to be referred to in the Pahlavi Vohuman Yasht (II. 19) as Akandgar-i-Kilisiyakih. Darmesteter suggested that "'Skandger' (Av. Skendo-Kara, Pers. Sikandgar) 'causer of destruction' would be an appropriate punning title for Alexander from the Persian point of view." West, on the other band, thinks that Akandgar is probably a miswriting of Alaksandar or Sikandar. Sacred Books of the East, V. 200 note. Others, again, are of opinion that there is no reference whatever to Alexander in the above passage. However that may be, Bahman Kaikobed's "Sitamgar" (oppressor) can be nothing else than "a punning title" for the great Macedonian.

11. See a brilliant note vindicating this statement of the Parsi books in Haug and Hoshangji, Book of Arda Viraf, 142-3.

12. Alexander the Great defeated Darius at Arbela in 331 B.C. and Ardeshir Papak's accession cannot be placed earlier than 226 A.C. There was therefore an interval of 557 years and not 300 between Alexander and the Sasanian. See Alberun's remarks on this confusion in the Persian Chronology in the Athar-al-Bakya, tr. Sachau. 116-121. West, S.B.E. XLVII. Introduction, xxxii

13. Pas az wai Muddati -- Muddat is here employed to signify a period of three hundred years.

14. Here also the phrase is "Pas az Muddat." Ardeshir died in 241 A.C. Shahpuhr III reigned from 309 A.C. to 379 A.C. See, West, S.B.E. XLVII. xxxv.

15. The Millennium of Zartosht and its termination are distinctly mentioned in the Pahlavi Vohuman Yasht, II. 23. West Sacred Books of the East. V. 201.

When the sovereignty departed from Yazdagar, the Unbelievers-----16 came and seized his throne. From that period-----17 Iran was shattered. Alas for the land of the Faith which was rendered desolate. During those days-----18 all were dispersed, all (lit. everyone) whose hearts were attached to the Zand and Pazand. When all the laymen and Dasturs suddenly went into hiding for the sake of the Faith, they left their homes, dwellings, gardens, palaces, and halls and abandoned them all for their Religion. In Kohistan, they abode for a hundred years. When they were in this plight, a virtuous sage once bethought him seriously [of their state] and said to his companions, "It will be difficult [for us] to remain here [much longer] for fear of the Unbelievers." So the Dasturs and laymen incomparable departed for the city of Hormuz.-----19 When fifteen years were spent in that clime, every one of them had endured much trouble from the Miscreants.-----20 The sage Dastur who was with them there was a mighty astrologer. He looked into his ancient Tables [and said,] "The period during which we were [permitted by Fate] to eat and drink [in this land] has come to an end. It will be well if we leave this country. We must go out of this region forthwith, [otherwise] we shall all fall into a snare and prudence will then be useless and our business spoilt. It will be better therefore for us to fly from these fiends and Miscreants to Hindustan, and run away towards Ind for fear of life and religion's sake." Then a ship was made ready for the sea. Instantly they hoisted sail, placed the women and children in the vessel and rowed hard for Hind. When the ship came in sight of land, the anchor fell at Div. There they went down, took up their abode and their feet stuck fast in the soil of that spot. The People of the Good Faith stayed there for nineteen years, at the end of which the Stargazer once more [sought to] divine the future. The aged Dastur having looked into his Tables, said: "O my enlightened friends, hence also must we hie to another spot in which will be our second home." All of them were delighted by his words and they set sail quickly towards Gujarat. When the vessel had made some way into the sea, a disastrous storm approached. All the Dasturs of the Faith were thrown into consternation and their heads turned as in a whirlpool.-----21 They rubbed their faces before the Presence Divine and stood up and made loud laments, [saying], "O Thou Wise One, come to our aid on this occasion (lit. business) and for once deliver us from this distress. [And] Thou, All conquering Warharan, befriend us and bring us out triumphant from this trouble. [If we possess] Thy favour, we shall not care for the tempest and give no place to fear in our hearts. Hearken then to the complaints of the helpless and show Thou the way to us who are lost [in this waste of waters]. If we escape from this dreadful storm, (lit. whirlpool), if disaster does not confront us and if we reach the realm of Hind with cheerful hearts and merry, we shall kindle a great fire to Warharan. Deliver us then from this strait and keep us sound (stong). We are resigned to everything [that comes] from the Lord, for save Him we possess no other [friend]." By the blessing of the Fire of the Glorious Warharan, all of them luckily got over that trouble; their supplications were instantly heard and the Lord came to the rescue. A prosperous gale began to blow, the light of Heaven [to shine] and the contrary wind ceased. When the Captain with (lit. opened his tongue to utter) the Holy name of God upon his lips steered the ship with vigour, and all the Dasturs and laymen also made Kusti,-----22 the vessel drove instantly into the sea. Then Providence so ordered it that all those people arrived near Sanjan.

16. Juddin. lit. People of another faith. The Arabs are meant.

17. Here again the phrase is az-an-muddat, an exceedingly vague expression which seems to be applied to a period of almost any length.

18. Badàngàhi. See the paper on the Traditional Dates of Parsi history, ante 8-9, for my view of the real signification of the whole passage.

19. This is not the famous island of Hormuz, but the old city on the main land. "It was on the northern shore of the Persian Gulf, about 30 miles east of the site of Bunder Abbas or Gombroon. Sir Louis Pelly has traced the extensive ruins of the old city, which stand in the present district of Minao, about 6 or 7 miles from the fort of that name. 'Hormuz', says the Geographer Abul Fela, 'is the port of Kerman, a city rich in palms and very hot. One who has visited it in our days tells me that the ancient Hormuz was devastated by the incursions of the Tartars and that its people transferred their abode to an island in the sea called Zarun, near the Continent and lying west of the old city. At Hormuz no inhabitants remain, but some of the lowest order (in Busching, IV. 261-2).'" Ibn Batuta also discriminates between Hormuz or Moghistan on the main land and New Hormuz on the island of Jerun. Yule, Marco Polo. ed. Cordier, I. 110-111. The name Moghistan -- the land of the Moghs -- Fire-worshippers -- is most instructive and significant.

20. Darwand, Av. Dregwant; The Darwand, 'wicked', is the infidel who does not keep the Zoroastrian law. Haug and Hoshangji, Book of Ardaviraf, 178, note.

21. Or "they felt giddy in (or were stunned by) that calamity."

22. The "Kusti is tied round the waist in a peculiar manner during the recital of a particular formula in which Ohrmazd is blessed and Ahriman and the demons are cursed." West's Note on Bundahishn, XXX. 30, S.B.E. V. 129.

In that region was a virtuous Raja who had opened his heart (lit. head) to holiness. His name was Jádi Rana; he was liberal, sagacious, and wise. A Dastur renowned for learning and prudence went to him with gifts and invoked blessings upon him and said: "O Raja of Rajas, give us a place in this city: we are strangers seeking protection who have arrived in thy town and place of residence. We have come here only for the sake of our Religion, for we heard that there was in this place a Raja descended from the beneficent Shillahras,-----23 ever renowned throughout Hindustan, who gave people shelter in his town and kingdom and regarded them with the eye of compassion. We were cheered by these tidings (lit. thoughts) and have approached thee under favourable auspices. We have now reached thy city in the hope of escaping from the Miscreants." The hearts of all the followers (lit. men) of the virtuous Raja were gladdened and their souls charmed by these words. But when that prince beheld them-----24, a terror suddenly fell upon his heart. Fears for his crown entered his mind and [he thought] that they might lay waste his kingdom. Frightened by their dress and accoutrements, he questioned the Dastur about their religious mysteries (lit. inner secrets). "O thou devout Dastur", he at last said, "Tell us, first of all, the gist of the matter (lit. the secret of the business). What are the customs of your Creed, which of them are open and which concealed-----25? Let me first of all see what your beliefs are and we will then arrange for your residence here. Secondly, if we give you shelter, you must abandon the language of your country, disuse (lit. cast aside) the tongue of Iran and adopt the speech of the realm of Hind. Thirdly, as to the dress of your women, they should wear garments like those of our females. Fourthly, you must put off all your arms and simitars and cease to wear them anywhere. Fifthly, when your children are wedded, the marriage knot must be tied at evening time. If you first give a solemn promise to observe all this, you will be given places and abodes in my city." When the Dastur heard all this from the Raja, he could not help agreeing to all his demands.-----26

23. I read Shillahràyán, not Sháhràyàn, for the reasons stated in the paper on Jadi Rana and the Kisseh-i-Sanjan.

24. Shan, 'them', but it may also mean "dignity, stature."

25. i.e. outward professions as well as the really secret doctrines. Persecuted sects were often under the necessity of having two sets of opinions, one for home and the other "for foreign consumption."

26. There is evidently something wrong here. The Raja first says that he would not give them permission to reside in his territory, until he was satisfied of the unobjectionable character of their rites and doctrines. But without waiting to hear a word of explanation, he forthwith proceeds to dictate four conditions, the last of which -- that relating to their marriage ceremonies -- discovers an unexpected familiarity with their usages. If they were such utter strangers to him, how could he know such a minor matter as that their marriages were celebrated in the morning and not in the evening as with the Hindus? Can it be that the lines relating to the conditions have by some accident been misplaced and that they should come after the Dastur's harangue? It is perhaps also worthy of note that Bahman Kaikobad repeatedly avers that the first emigrants brought the women of their own race with them.

Then the old Mobed addressed him thus, "O sagacious king, hearken now to what I say of our Creed. Do not be heavy-hearted on our account, for never shall any evil [deed] proceed from us in this land. We shall be the friends of all Hindustan and everywhere scatter the heads of thy foes. Know then for certain that we are the worshippers of Yazdan (One God) and have fled from the Miscreants only for our religion's sake. We have abandoned all we possessed and borne many hardships on the road. Houses and mansions and goods and chattels we have all forsaken, O auspicious prince. We strangers are of the seed of Jamshed and reverence the Sun and the Moon. Three other things also out of Creation-----27, we hold in honour, viz. the Cow, Fire, and Water. Thus we adore the Fire, Water, Cows, and the Sun and the Moon likewise. It is the Lord who has created all those things that are on earth and we pray to them, because He Himself has preferred (lit. chosen) them.-----28 Our sacred girdle (Kusti) is made of seventy-two threads and we repeat (lit. make) when we tie it on, solemn professions of Faith. Our women when in their manner behold not either the sun or the sky or the moon, because they are the sources of light in excelsis; nor do they touch fire or water. They stand strictly aloof from everything, whether during the radiant day or the darksome night and sit apart, until the catamenia have ceased. They look at the fire and the sun only when they have washed from head [to foot]. So also, the female who gives birth to an infant must live apart for forty days. She ought to keep aloof [all the while] just as if she were in her manner and if this rule is not observed, it is vile. [Similarly], when a child is born of a woman before its time (lit. in a few months only) or when the babe is still-born, the mother (lit. she) does not [among us] go or run about hither and thither, nay does not even hold converse with any one. A female in that state also must keep severely aloof for forty-one days." All their other rites and customs also he described one by one to the Raja. When the mysteries of the Good Faith were thus expounded and the pearls of discourse strung in this most elegant manner, and when the Hindu Raja heard the oration, his mind regained perfect ease.

27. I read Káinàtash. All the Mss have Jáinátash or Jàinànash, which is unintelligible to me.

28. or 'We pray to him who is Self-chosen or Self-Existent.'

That good king forthwith commanded that they should reside in his dominions. Then some persons who were intelligent, good-natured and resourceful surveyed the land, discovered a spacious plain and informed the Mobed. A spot in this wilderness was chosen, of which the soil was excellent and there they made their abode. The people also liked the place and a city appeared where there had formerly been a jungle, desolate and uncultivated, but there they all descended, old as well as young. When the Dastur beheld that fine spot, he chose a site for their dwellings. The Dastur gave it the name of Sanjan and it was soon flourishing even as the realm of Iran. From that day the surname Sanjana came into vogue; know that the town is named after them.-----29 There they remained in joy and comfort and every one prospered in the end according to his wish.

29. Strangely inconsistent not only with the statement in the first hemistich of the same couplet but also with fact.

One day,-----30 they happened to have some business with the Raja, and all of them went with cheerful hearts (lit. thoughts) to him. The Dastur then addressed him thus: "O Prince, you have given us a dwelling spot in this land. We now wish to install in the Indian clime the Fire of Bahram [Warharan]. [But] the land must be cleared for three farsangs,-----31 so that the ceremonies [connected with the consecration] of the Nirang-----32 may be duly performed. No alien should be there present, save and except the Wise Men of the Good Faith. No person belonging to another creed might be there. Then only will the Fire be consecrated. If any strange person make a noise there, the religious rites will doubtless, be all of a sudden interrupted." Quoth the Raja then, "I have given you the permission. I am disposed to be very liberal in this matter. I rejoice (lit. prefer, choose) with all my soul that such a Prince (shâh) should be installed in my time. Indeed O sage, than this [act] what can be better? Go then speedily after his business, and gird up thy loins." That very instant, the Prince issued his commands and gave the Dastur a pleasant site. The Hindu Rana Jadi had the land at once cleared on every side. All the Unbelievers within three Farsangs were removed and no one remained there except the People of the Good Faith. No one dwelt around within three Farsangs of it, and no one stayed there save Zoroastrians (lit. men) of knowledge. Round the Aurvisgâh,-----33 on all sides [stood] Dasturs, every one of whom shone, in virtue of his sanctity, like the sun himself. They watched there day and night, for to do so was the command of the Lord. In those days, they were all men full of knowledge and capable in matters relating to the Faith. For several days and months they recited Yazashnes [Yasnas] and Yashts and worked with great energy. The laymen also were preoccupied in the business and provided, out of [their zeal for] the Faith, all various things necessary. The Prince Jádi Rana also sent offerings of every sort. In those days, all the arts and industries (lit. workshops) were in the hands of the People of the Good Faith. Things were everywhere easy for them for they had brought along with them all the tools (or means) from Khorasan. With all those resources derived from Khorasan, they were able to accomplish their task without any trouble. The reason was that several parties of Dasturs and Laymen of holy lives had also arrived at that spot. In their company were several alchemists also and the favor of the Lord thus made things easy for them. They had brought along with them ample resources and they thus consecrated the Fire according to the dictates of religion. The aged Dasturs thus installed the Iranshah-----34 beaming with light, in conformity wit the rites [prescribed] in our creed. In those times, men were [deeply] versed in spiritual matters and were able to observe religious precepts on account of their wisdom. In our own age, the Lord only knows what True Religion is; [men do not], and [all religious] action is, [after all], only a matter of personal satisfaction.-----35

30. Note that there is nothing here which can support Dr. Mody's assumption as to five years having elapsed between the landing and the consecration of the Fire temple. All that Bahman says is that they went to the Raja one day after they were settled in the town.

31. Farsang. A measure of length which varies considerably according to different authorities. It is sometimes said to be equivalent to a league, sometimes to 12000 cubits -- or 18000 feet. For the different estimates, see Alberuni, India, W. Sachau, II. 67-68; Elliot and Dowson, History of India, I. 24, Ain-i-Akbari, tr. Jarrett. II. 415-6 note. Pietro Della Valle says a Cos is half a Ferseng or league of Persia and that a Cos will answer to a little less than two Italian [English] miles. Vorsages, ed. Grey, I. 23.

32. Nirang, "The ceremony relating to the preparation of the gomez, Cow's urine, which is used as the most efficacious means of purification." Haug and Hoshangji, Book of Arda Viraf 147 note.

33. Arvisgah or Aurvisgah. "The consecrated space within which the Yazashna [Yasna] ceremony is performed." West supposes the word to be derived from the Av. Uvesa, goal. Note on Dadestan-i Denig XLVIII. 13. Sacred Books of the East, XVIII. 163.

34. "The Prince or Lord of Iran" [Persia]. The ancient Fire now lodge at Udwada is still known by this name.

35. The whole passage is most significant and throws, when read side by side with the Persian Rivayats, considerable light on the history of the Indian Atash Warharans.

All the laymen and Dasturs then celebrated in that land an extraordinary festival with entertainments. In this way, three hundred years, more or less, passed away and the people in small numbers or large, left the place. They dispersed in the land of Hind in all directions, and selected places to their minds. Some turned their faces toward Bânkâner, others fell off towards Broach, a few went away in the direction of Bariâv. All hastened towards different spots. Some reached the town of Anklesar or walked away proudly to the city of Cambay. Others dragged all their goods and chattels to Navsari, with pleasure and good luck. Wherever anyone felt [himself] comfortable, there he made his home. In this manner were spent two hundred years in joy, prosperity, and quiet. In those times, several Dasturs' houses were left in Sanjan town. One of God's Judgments then came down upon them, but I do not know what became of all those Dasturs, (or where all of them went). There dwelt one virtuous Dastur, young, well-intentioned and fluent of speech. The name of that Dastur was Khushmast and his aspirations were always towards virtue. A son [he had], who bore the name of Khujastah and whose [sole] delight was the performance of the ceremonies of the Baj-----36 and the Barsom.-----37 His perpetual avocation was the celebration of the Yazashne [Yasna], and the Baj and the Barsom were his constant companions. He was so deeply versed in the Yazashne that he has still left his mark in the Aurvisgâh (i.e. he is still remembered there). That saintly person lived in good repute [on earth]; may he possess joy and bliss in Paradise [also].*-----38 In this manner, seven hundred years went by and many of their descendants had lived in that town. When several years passed over, the heavens became untoward, the world suddenly became strait unto them and Time (Destiny) resolved to take their lives.

36. Baj. "This kind of prayer, Av. Vâk, a word or phrase, Pah. Vâj, Pers. Bâz, is a short formula, the beginning of which is to be muttered in a kind of whisper, or (according to the Pahlavi idiom) 'is to be taken' and 'retained' inwardly (as a protection while eating, praying, or performing other necessary acts) by strictly abstaining from all conversation until the completion of the act, when the prayer or Vâj is to be spoken out, that is, the conclusion of the formula is to be uttered aloud, and the person is then free to speak as he likes." West, Note on Shayast-Na Shayast III. 6, Sacred Books of the East, V. 278.

37. The Barsom, "Av. Baresma, or bundle of sacred twigs is an indispensable part of the ceremonial apparatus; it is held in the hand of the officiating priest while reciting many parts of the liturgy and is frequently washed with water and sprinkled with milk. It consists of a number of slender rods varying with the nature of the ceremony, but usually from five to thirty-three. These rods were formerly twigs cut from some particular trees but now thin metal wires are generally used." West's note on Dadestan-i Denig, XLIII, 15. S. B. E. XVIII. 142.

38. Eastwick says with some reason of the lines placed between asterisks, that they are very obscure and appear entirely unconnected. J. B. B. R. A. S. I. 181. But see the paper on the Traditional Dates of Parsi History, 12-14 ante.


When some years had passed by in the revolution of the spheres, the Shah came to know of the Raja in Sanjan.* Islam reached Chapaner some time after five hundred years had expired in India. A good and fortunate Shah appeared and sat on the throne in that city. They used to call him Sultan Mahmud and his subjects spoke of him as the Shadow of the Glorious Lord. When he was informed some years afterwards, (i.e. after his accession to the throne) that there was in Hindustan a Raja somewhere near (lit. in the direction of) Sanjan, one of the Vazirs spoke thus to Alf Khan;-----39 "The victorious king commands that you should speedily set out with an army for Sanjan and wrest the country from the Raja." At the command of the Sultan Mahmud, Alf Khan rushed forth like smoke, got all his soldiers instantly ready and let his eagle [standard] fly in the air. Then, he led forth his troops and arrived at the prosperous town of Sanjan. When the Hindu Raja heard of his troops, and learnt that he had brought together from all quarters a host of thirty thousand chosen horsemen,-----40 each of whom had two mounts,-----41 and who were all heroes in battle and [cavaliers] of renown, he was terror-stricken by the tidings. But he regained his senses in an hour and immediately summoned all the Mobeds, Ervads and laymen.-----42 The virtuous Raja then said to them, "What do you now propose to do, O my faithful friends? My ancestors have patronised you and always been good to you. Gird up your loins, all of you, then, in my service (lit. business) and take you the lead in the battle. If you acknowledge the obligations you owe to my forbears, do not forget the duty (lit. bring your head out) of gratitude." Then the ancient Mobed made answer, "Do not, O Raja, be heavy-hearted on account of this host. So long as even one of us is alive, the heads of a hundred thousand (of the foes will we scatter. Verily, such is our wont in battle and so long as we are in life, such is our worth. Not a single individual from among us will turn back even were a millstone to whirl upon his head." The Prince on hearing this speech, bestowed upon him a suit of honour of every sort-----43. In those days, there were several warlike (lit. worthy, fit to fight) males of the Good Faith, old as well as young. When they were all reckoned, fourteen hundred were entered on the rolls. Forthwith they saddled their steeds, the drums were beaten and the horsemen stood up. Then all the men of the Good Faith drew themselves up in line with the Raja's forces in the battle field.

39. The name can be read Alaf Khan as well as Ulugh Khan.

40. Eastwick has two thousand in his translation. Journal B. B. R. A. S. I. 182. Anquetil puts the number at Soixante mille. Le Zend Avesta, Tom. I i. 321. Si-hazar (thirty thousand) is so likely to be mistaken in Persian for Sih-hazar (three thousand) that the latter is, as likely as not, to have been what Bahman himself wrote. Bahmanji Patell also understood the words to mean three thousand. Parsi Prakash, 4.

41. 'Duaspah.' "A trooper is called 'Duaspah' if he has two horses and Sihaspah, if three, in order to change horses during elghars or forced marches." Blochmann, Ain-i-Akbari. (Tr.). I. 241. See also Irvine, Army of the Moguls, 23.

42. Dasturs, Mobeds and Hirbads are the three classes of Zoroastrian priests, the first being the highest.

43. I take this to mean a complete suit, i.e. of seven pieces. "There were," says Irvine, "five degrees of khilat", those of three, five, six, or seven pieces. * *A three piece khila't given from the Khila't-khanah consisted of a turban (dastar), a long coat with very full skirts (Jamah) and a scarf for the waist (kamarband). A five piece robe came from the Toshah khanah (storehouse for presents), the extra pieces being a turban ornament (Sarpech) and a band for laying across the turban (Balaband). For the next grade, a tight fitting jacket with short sleeves called a Half-sleeve (Nimah-astin) was added. A European writer, Tavernier, (Ball, I, 163) thus details the seven-piece Khilat; (1) cap, (2) a long gown (Kabah) (3) a close-fitting coat (arkalon) which I take to be alkhaliq, a light coat, (4) two pairs of trousers, (5) two shirts, (6) two girdles. (7) a scarf for the head or neck." Army of the Moguls. 29. See also Yule and Burnell, Hobson Jobson. ed. Crooke, S. V. Killut.


When the first white [streak of] light emerged (lit. showed) from the sable night and the sheen of the stars descended into the bottom of the abyss (lit. cave), Alf Khan and his horsemen put on their armour and approached the field. Embroidered (lit. jewelled, inlaid) saddles were placed on the chargers and banners on the backs of the elephants. The horses were harnessed for fight and the battle-field was crowded by the elephants.-----44 The captains marshalled their troops in battle array and the fighting gear was everywhere held ready. When that great host was drawn up in the plain, the brazen bugles were at once blown. Thus was arrayed a host on either side, one [belonging to] the Moslems and the other to the Hindu Raja. Day and night were astounded at the sight, and even the horses were exhausted by over-much galloping. The leaders on the two sides were as two water-dragons struggling with each other with the fury of tigers. The earth grew dark as pitch with the clouds from which rained swords and spears and darts. So many were slain of both ranks in that strife that there were everywhere heaps of slain. There was no one to hearken to their moans nor any one to help them, for such was the Eternal Judge's doom against them. Not a man could be seen from among that host; all appeared to have fallen without discrimination in the action. Suddenly, there was a rout in the Hindu ranks, so that no one could recognise another in the encampment. Then a devout Layman of the Good Faith said to his comrades: "I do not behold, either in front or rear, so much as one of our Indian allies. The Hindus have fled from the field. No one save ourselves of the Good Faith remains on the battleground. Now is the hour of combat, O my dear friends, now does it behove us to march in line of battle like lions. If we all rush upon them in a body, we shall surely pour out the blood of the foe with sword and arrow." The Layman who was the first to enter the field was one who bore among them the name of Ardeshir. That very moment, the renowned Ardeshir spurred his swift courser into the field. Springing all of a sudden, he came up to the [Moslem] ranks clutching an iron spear. Then he stood up in the arena, javelin in hand, clad in armour and girding a sword. And first, the arrows rained everywhere, the corslets of the warriors were pierced and the world-illuminating sun was so hidden from view that no one could tell (lit. know) if it was day or night. The eyes of the luminary were blinded (lit. covered) by the dust, and everywhere man fell upon man; you might say that the earth had a coat of pitch out of which the arrow heads glistened like diamonds. At last, of the throwers of spears and wielders of maces, but few remained [alive] out of thousands, and though land and sky grew black and gloomy, the soil was, by the blood of the chiefs, dyed red like the tulip. [Indeed], the blood gushed out of their bodies as from fountains and their bucklers were, by the blades, shivered into fragments. Men's armours then became the calamities of their lives. Every minute, men were becoming the guests of Death (lit. Time)-----45 and the [dead] warriors buried from head to foot in iron [mail] were blazing like the shining sun. Shafts kept flying on both sides and blood was flowing along the black soil. Javelins penetrated (lit. dug into) breasts and bosoms and blood oozed out from coats of mail. But no one turned his face away from the blow of an adversary and every weapon was crying for blood.-----46 The soil itself looked as if [it were made] of iron on account of the horseshoes [with which it was bestrewn]. Men were wading in blood upto their knees (lit. calves of the legs). The struggle lasted in this wise for three days and nights until men's hands and feet were aweary. The sabres flashed like lightning on all sides and heads were scattered by the trenchant blades. The [might of] Islam was at last overthrown and destroyed in that engagement with the Hindu prince. Alf Khan ran away in the darksome night, forgetting his baggage and losing also the (right) road. Before Ardeshir, his entire army fled, now stumbling now picking themselves up. Many of the enemy fell into his grasp and he stood triumphant at the close. All the tents, baggage and furniture [also] came at once into the possession of Ardeshir.

44. Or 'The field seemed too narrow on account of the fighting of the elephants.'

45. This obscure line may also mean 'Time (Death) became the guest of mankind every moment.'

46. Or, 'All the instruments of bloodshed were in requisition.'


When the sun rose from above the hills on another day, and the earth became once more resplendent with light, a great shout arose on either side of the two hosts. Once again the land was in commotion and many were the heads which turned stupid on account of the noise of the bells and the Hindi trumpets. Once more Alf Khan was ready for fight and the drums resounded when the famous Ardeshir beheld that host, he strode up swiftly and said forthwith to the well-advised Hindu Prince, "We are only one to their hundred. What do you think it [lit. see] good for us to do, now that a still larger force has arrived. [As for ourselves] we will either give up our own lives or take theirs, and stand [firm] on the battle field with that determination and the Lord will stand our friend, for He has always been the resolver of our difficulties." All of them were cheered by this speech and many hearts were thus delivered from sorrow. That instant, Ardeshir donned his coat of mail and once more came out to do battle with the Khan. Then Ardeshir the renowned rushed like a lion upon the ranks of the foe, with a lasso hanging by his saddle as on a squire errant's, a sabre of Indian [steel] at his girdle [lit. waist] and a javelin in his grasp. Then he proudly shouted aloud, "O lions! why were you so confounded [the other day] in the [hour of] fighting? Who now is your commander, what may be his name and what does he wish to have?" A champion advanced and said, "Here am I who can pour out the blood of [many] men at a [single] blow." Under him was a spirited (lit. bounding) charger and he came up at a gallop (lit. run) to do battle with Ardeshir, with a javelin in his hand and glaring on all sides like a drunken man. He hailed Ardeshir and said, "Now be on thy guard, O thou of stainless birth, for an adversary is before thee. Show then thy own skill or mastery." Ardeshir called out in reply, "Here is thy antagonist quite ready." Then the two fought like lions in the arena and as if they were weary of their own lives. In the end, Ardeshir vanquished him and hurled him down from the back of his steed. Then flinging the lasso and dragging him towards himself, he dismounted and struck off his head. When Alf Khan saw him slain, his heart was filled with woe. That instant, he gave orders that all the Parsis as well as the Raja should be slaughtered and that not one of them should be left alive. Longing for vengeance, he rushed to support his men-at-arms and the din of battle (lit. the cry of "Give, Give") arose. Swords clashed and blood flowed in rivers on land. When the troops on both sides joined battle, blood gushed from their bodies in torrents. It was as if a wave had rushed in from an ocean of gore. Everywhere men were [lying] exhausted. There was not room enough for even an ant to creep in. But what [avails it] if man proposes, unless God disposes [likewise]. Then Ardeshir dashed into the thick [of the fight] and his days came to an end. An arrow pierced his middle and came out on the other side. His body was enfeebled by wounds, for every one of his limbs was a fountain of blood. Then he tumbled down headlong from the saddle and his troops were thrown into disorder and confusion (lit. without feather or wing). Alas for that courageous chief, whom Time at last gave to the winds. When the Fates are angry, the hard stone becomes [soft] like wax. Though he fought and strove [with all his might], of what avail was it since Fortune had turned its face away from the man? On both sides, many warriors were slain, leaders and men of renown and worth. Then also was the Raja killed and a loud wail arose on the battlefield. Alas for that Hindu prince who fell and whose city became on all sides a desert.


The People of the Good Faith also were dispersed. There is in Hindustan a hill named Bahrot. Many crept into it to save their lives. Man has no resource against God's decrees. Twelve years thus passed and they had carried the Iranshah along with them. After a time, by the Lord's command, they forgathered again with their relatives and kindred. Taking the Fire of Warharan also with themselves, all of them arrived at Bânsdâh. When the tidings reached that town, every one came out with loving kindness and three hundred horsemen with several persons of note went forward to escort them. They brought the Fire into the town with a hundred [marks] of reverence. It was as if a sick man had secured a panacea.-----47 Thence forward, Bânsdâh flourished as if it was perpetual spring there. Time passed in this wise and persons of Behdin lineage, old men as well as women, came to adore the Iranshah from every district in which there were [People of] that pure Creed. Just as, in earlier times, men used to go on a pilgrimage extraordinary (lit. unparalleled) to the far-famed Sanjan, so the Parsis now came to Bânsdâh from various places with numerous offerings. Afterward, when fourteen years had elapsed,-----48 the spheres [again] revolved [in a manner] favourable to their affairs.

47. Pazahr Padzahr., protecting from poison, an antidote, in which sense it is used habitually by Avicenna. Bezoars are hard concretions formed in the bodies of animals, to which antidotal virtue, were ascribed, and especially to one obtained from the stomach of a wild goat in the Persian province of Lar. Ibn Baithar says that Bezoars were laid upon the bites of venomous creatures and were believed to extract the poison. Yule and Burnell, Hobson Jobson, ed. Crooke, S. V. Bezoar.

48. These lines have been by some taken to mean that twelve years were spent at Bahrot and fourteen others in Bansdah, making in all twenty-six. Others have understood Bahman to say that the fourteen years last spoken of include the preceding twelve, and that fourteen years express the extreme length of the period which intervened between the Sack of Sanjan and the establishment of the Fire temple at Navsari. See ante, p. 8.


A layman then appeared who had not his peer at the time. He came forward in those days to preserve the religion and many notab1e things (lit. signs, marks) proceeded from him. He was the Dahyovad;-----49 his name was Changa, son of Asa and he solaced the hearts of the People of the Good Creed. That good-natured man would not suffer the Faith to fall into neglect in those latter days. He gave money (lit. purse) out of his own wealth to those who had no Sudre and Kusti (the sacred shirt and girdle). Many [excellent] provisions that man made for the creed. No afflicted person [ever] went to him for whom, poor man, he did not provide some relief or whose heart he did not cordially set at ease. In those times, several Behdin people came into the Faith under his auspices (lit. by his good fortune.) Indeed, my tongue cannot fully (lit. plainly) praise this layman who managed the affairs of the creed so well. One Year, that man of stainless birth went to the Fire-temple in pursuance of a vow. It was the time of the Jashan-i Sadeh, and the Fire-temple was then at Bansdah. O brother, the Jashan-i Sadeh fell on Roz Adar, Mah Adar.-----50 That devout and enlightened Dawar-----51 carried along with him several laymen and Dasturs. All of them prostrated themselves at the sight of the Fire and offered it worship. Every one then took once more the road [homewards] from the House of Prayer with pleasure and pride. Starting thence, the men returned to their homes; full of gladness and joy. When two or three months of that year-----52 had elapsed, an idea occurred to (lit. he brought the idea into his heart) that benevolent person and he called a meeting of the whole community (anjoman) and led the discourse on to the Fire-Temple. "I desire, O my well-wishers," he said, "to bring that Prince of Princes here. If we behold the face of that Lord every day, our religious merit will be exceeding great. Moreover, we have to endure great hardships every year on the journey, for there is heavy rain during that month,-----53 [Adar], and it is difficult for us to go there then. What can be better, O friends, than that we should proceed to Bansdah with some men of discernment, and bring here the Fire of the glorious Warharan, so that we can view it every day. Our means of livelihood [are sure] by its blessing to grow much more abundant and the hearts also of the People of the Good Faith will be filled with light." All were delighted by this speech because they would be longer dependent (lit. free from, i.e. rid of the trouble of going to) Bansdah. With a hundred marks of reverence they brought the Fire away and gave it a fine house. It had three attendants of the Good Faith, who accompanied it. Night and day, the worship was celebrated by that one associate [of the three] whose appointed [duty] it was. Of one of them the name was Nàgan Râm,-----54 and his desires were always turned towards the observance of [the precepts] of the Religion. The second Dastur's name was Khurshed and his father was Kiâm-ud-din who was in Eternity. The third Dastur, Chàyyàn the son of Sâer, also was always to be seen in its service. They had their families and kindred also with them and all of them accompanied the Iranshah. They were received with great respect and pomp and were treated honourably, The three Dasturs thus reached Navsari with their relatives after a long journey. In those days, that pious Dawar befriended these priests of the Iranshah. May this slave's homage reach him from this world. May he have a place among the Celestial Spirits.

49. Pahl. Dahyopat, Av. Danghu-paiti, chief ruler. Changa Asa's son Manak also is styled Dahyovad (Desai) in the Rivayat of Shapur Asa or Kama Asa of 896 A.Y., (1527 A.C.)

50. Bahman seems to have thought that the Jashn-i Sadah of the ancient Iranians was identical with what is now called Adar Jashn, but Alberuni declares that the former fell, not on the ninth day of Adar, but on the tenth of Vohuman. Athar-ul-Bakyah, Chronology of Ancient Nations, tr. Sachau. 213 and 424. The Burhan-i-Kataa says the same. S. V. Sadah.

51. The Dawar. "Pahl. Datobar, upholder of Justice or Judge was, like the Dastur, a ratu, head or chief in the old Zoroastrian community. He appears to have held a high rank which was probably hereditary, as it is still claimed by a Parsi family at Surat, though not acknowledged by the majority." Haug and Hoshangji, Book of Arda Viraf. 143 note. Sea also Parsi Prakash, 15, 70.

52. Bahman declares here that the Iranshah was brought to Navsari two or three months after the Adar Jashn, that is, the event must have taken place, making allowance for the days passed in negotiations and the journey from Bansdah, in the month of Frawardin. This will be a hard nut to crack for those who pin their faith in Bahman's chronology and at the same time uphold the reliability of the traditional date, Roz Mahrespand, Mah Shahrewar, Samvat 1475. The truth is that the two are absolutely irreconcilable.

53. It has been urged against Bahman that Adar mah must, in Changa Asa's time have fallen in September, and that September is not at all a rainy month in Gujarat, but both these assertions can be easily proved to be of very doubtful accuracy.

54. Bahman himself was a lineal descendant of this Nagan Ram, the pedigree being Bahman, Kaikobad, Hamjiar, Padam, Kaman, Narsang, Nagan, Ram. See ante. p. 87.


Thanksgivings infinite and praises boundless, to the Creator of the World and the Cherisher of his slaves, who set my tongue going on this subject and graciously revealed unto me this door out of the Unknown. Lord, make the Dastur who revealed this tale to me happy in both worlds. I am the humble person hight Bahman who has his home and household goods in Navsari. Know further that my father is Kaikobad whose heart is delighted [only] when calling the Iranshah to mind. His sire was the Dastur Hormazdyar. May his place be in the resplendent Abode of the Blest, Know, O friend, that his surname was Sanjana, for by all kinds of wisdom was he fitted (Sanjideh, lit. weighed,) for affairs. This surname of Sanjana was given him on account of the wisdom which he showed [to exist] in our religious practices. They gave him the title of 'Dastur of the Faith' also, and the road of piety was everywhere kept open through him, (i.e. he solved all religious difficulties). He had been settled in Navsari, you may reckon, (i.e. approximately), for two hundred years. A hundred thousand blessings upon him and also upon the souls of all the other Pillars of the Faith.

Thus have I, by the will of the Lord, successfully indited the story of our People, [in the hope] that when a devout person reads it, he may pronounce a blessing on me at the end. Many many thousand blessings from me on that virtuous character and man of those times. May He of the Immortal Soul [Zartosht] send his Spirit to God and secure his pardon from the Supreme. May his Spirit always receive praise and his soul be perpetually at peace (lit. freedom from want). It was in the nine hundred and sixty-ninth year of the Era of Yazdegird that this tale was completed by my pen. On the day Hordad of the month Frawardin, were these verses finished correctly (lit. according to rule). I have written this narrative and brought it to a conclusion, and I expect for it a reward from no one save the Lord, and I desire from my readers nothing but benedictions, for thus will my honour and fame grow. May that soul abide with Him of the Immortal Soul (Zartosht), who reads me with a pleased heart. I have related in this narrative what I have seen and what I have heard from the conversation of the old. My preceptor-----55 has, moreover, corrected it and thus have many flowers sprung up in this pleasance. May the Lord bestow upon him the full period of natural life (i.e. may he live for a hundred years,) and may all the years of that life be like the spring time. In telling this tale, I have ever observed the ways of the truthful. Pronounce then befitting blessings upon me, whenever you peruse (lit. see) this delectable narrative of mine. Laudations infinite and praises countless on the pious Zartosht. May you [reader] have given you the Grace Divine to invoke blessings upon my soul.

55. There is nothing improbable in the supposition that Dastur Hoshang [Asa] from whom Bahman declares he heard the whole story was this teacher as well as the corrector of these verses.

Author:      Hodivala, Shahpurshah Hormasji.
Title:       Studies in Parsi history. -- Bombay [Shahpurshah Hormasji Hodivala] 1920.
Location:    University of Wisconsin, Madison, Memorial Library Stacks
Call Number: DS432 P3 H6
Format:      [4], 2, 349 p. fold. facsims.

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