Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East,
volume 24, Clarendon Press, 1885.
- In the name of Ohrmazd, the lord, the greatest and wise, the
all-ruling, all knowing, and almighty.
- This is a book (kitab), about the proper and improper, which
is extracted from the good and pure religion of the Mazda-worshippers.
3. What is expedient (vajib) is this, for every one to know and
keep this in practice. 4. And it is not desirable that he become
independent (hali) of this for a single hour (sa'hat). 5. Because,
when one becomes independent, the sin for each one may become
abundant; and when it is brought into practice the reward becomes
- On this occasion (vaqt) I, a servant of the religion -- like
the mobed Eran-shah, son (bin) of Yazad-yar, son of Tishtar-yar,
son of Adarbad, son of Mahraspand -- have sent a reward to their
souls, unto every one who reads and is bound by duty. 7. Thus
much (in qadar), which has come written, is a good work they know,
whosoever are superior; but it is not possible for every one inferior
to know of this. 8. If it were more (ziyadat) it is proper, but
if (imma) less than this it is not proper to know; while, in gratitude
for the benefits (shukr-i ni'hmat) of the sacred being, they become
increasing in action, and the sacred being, the most high (ta'halai),
makes benefits occur on the spot on that account.
- And, secondly, the kindness (lutf) and generosity (karm) of
the sacred being, the most high, are manifest from this, that
he created us with each member (alat) complete (tamam), and did
not keep anything from the maternal nature. 10. And whatever was
necessary for use he gave us. 11. At the head, likewise, he appointed
a master, which is the wisdom for the purpose that they may keep
these members in action.
- May the peace of the sacred being, the most high, be on the
souls of those acquainted with the religion of the pure Zartosht,
the Spitaman, and of those who are pure and virtuous. 13. For
the souls of those persons it is desirable that every duty they
perform they shall perform through the authority dasturi) of the
wisdom of the high-priests.
- The first subject is this, that it is necessary that they
become steadfast in the religion, and do not introduce any hesitation
(shakk) and doubt into the heart. 2. And that they make a statement
('haqiqat) with confidence (i'htiqad), that the good religion,
the true and perfect, which the Lord sent into the world ('halq),
is that which Zartosht has brought; which is this I hold.
- Every time that mankind are like this, and do not introduce
any hesitation and doubt into the heart, of every duty and good
work that others have done, from the days of Zartosht until these
days, and of whatever one does after this until the resurrection,
there is a share for that person. 4. When the soul, on the fourth
night, arrives at the head of the Chinwad bridge, the angel Mihr
and the angel Rashn make up its account ('hisab) and reckoning.
5. And, if the good works it has done be deficient in quantity,
of every duty and good work that those of the good religion have
done in the earth of seven regions they appoint it a like portion
(nazib), till the good works become more in weight; and the soul
arrives righteous in the radiant locality of heaven.
- For it is declared in revelation, that of the duty and good
work which they perform in doubt -- that is (ya'hni), they entertain
a suspicion like this, that 'I do not know that this faith, which
I possess, is better in comparison with other faiths' -- no merit
whatever comes to their souls. 7. Therefore, the first (avval)
thing is to become steadfast in the religion; and this is the
chief of all good works.
- The second subject is this, that it is necessary to make an
effort (gahd), so that they may not commit any sin. 2. If even
a trifling sin occurs it is not desirable to assume that this
small quantity does not possess harm hereafter.
- For it is said in revelation, that if such be the quantity
of sin that the sin is one filament of the hair of the eyelashes
more in weight than the good works are, that person arrives in
hell. 4. And if such a quantity of good works be in excess, he
arrives righteous in the radiant locality of heaven.
- Therefore, even if a sin be trifling it is not desirable to
commit it; and it is requisite to refrain, so that they may not
commit it, and may become without doubt as to the religion.
- The third subject is this, that it is necessary for man that
he be continuously employed (mashjhul) on his own work, and then
the work becomes his own.
- For it is declared in revelation, that every one who hereafter
becomes employed on his own work, if in the midst of that work
any trouble and discomfort happen to him, obtains in that other
world twelve recompenses for every single instance. 3. If he becomes
employed on iniquity (fasad), and in the midst of that work any
trouble and harm happen to him, he so obtains in that other world
only torment ('huqubat) and punishment.
- Similarly (maTHalam), if any one be himself going, employed
on his own work, and a robber falls upon him on the road, and
carries off his property (qumash), or he be slain, they give him
back in that other world four things for each one of whatever
they have carried off. 5. If he be slain he becomes righteous,
any sin that he has committed goes clean away from him, and they
convey him to heaven. 6. But (amma) if he becomes faulty (batil)
in any duty, and a robber falls upon him on the road, and carries
off his wealth (mal), or he be slain, when he descends to that
other world all the property that other carried off from him becomes
just as though it were his who has carried it off from that person;
and, besides, there occur, as a substitute ('hivaz) for that property,
the punishment and torment they give him. 7. And if he be slain
it is just as though he who has carried it off from that person
were one who had innocently slain that person who arrives in hell
as retribution (mukafat) for sin.
- The fourth subject is this, that it is not desirable for any
one that he should become hopeless of the pity (ra'hmat) and forgiveness
of Ohrmazd, and fix his heart outwardly on this, that our sin
is excessive and it is not possible to arrive in heaven. 2. Because
it happens that a small quantity of duty and good work is performed,
and it may be that for that quantity Ohrmazd, the good and propitious,
may have pity on him and may make him arrive in heaven.
- For it is declared in revelation, that one time when Zartosht
was in conversation with the sacred being, the most high, he saw
a man whose whole body was in hell, and one foot -- the right
one -- was outside of hell. 4. Zartosht inquired of the sacred
being, the most high, thus: 'What person has this man been?' 5.
Ohrmazd, the good and propitious, gave a reply (javab) thus: 'He
has been a king, and possessed the sovereignty of thirty-three
towns, and was conducting that sovereignty many years. 6. And
he never did any virtuous action, but was committing much oppression,
lawlessness, and violence (thulm). 7. By chance (qazara) he was
one day going on the chase, and arrived out at a place (mauza'h)
and saw a goat that was tied. 8. A morsel of hay was placed very
far off, and that goat was hungry. 9. Owing to this the goat was
trying to eat the hay, but did not reach the hay. 10. This the
king saw, and kicked his foot at that hay and cast it in front
of the goat. 11. Now, in recompense for that, that one foot of
his is outside of hell, and the remaining (baqi) limbs are in
- Therefore, although a sin has happened to any one, it is not
necessary for him to become hopeless. 13. And whoever has the
power (taqat) is to endeavor to perform good works, so that there
may be an atonement for the sin thereby; because the sacred being,
the good and propitious, is kind to every one.
- The fifth subject is this, that it is necessary for all those
of the good religion that they make a thorough effort, so that
they celebrate the ritual and become Navazud.
- For in our religion there is no good work more ample than
this. 3. And it is declared in revelation, that, although much
duty and good work be performed, it is not possible to attain
to the supreme heaven (garothman), except on that one occasion
when the Navazud ceremony is performed, or they have celebrated
a getig-kharid. 4. And on any occasion ('hal), if they are not
able to perform it with their own hands, it is requisite to order
it; and then it is inevitably necessary that the celebration of
the Getig-kharid should be in the same manner as they would have
performed it with their own hands.
- Man and woman are both equal in this good work; therefore,
it is not proper to neglect this duty, for it is the chief of
all the good works of the religion. 6. Because it is declared
in revelation, that on the day that they are performing the Navazud
ceremony, or are celebrating a Getig-kharid on his account, three
times the soul of that person arrives at heaven, and they show
it a place therein, and offer it a profuse greeting (niTHar).
- The explanation (tafsir) of the Gahs is this, that a Gah --
that is, that his own place -- becomes visible to him in heaven
- And if one does not perform a Navazud ceremony, or does not
order the celebration of a Getig-kharid, it is the same as when
a poor (gharib) man makes for a town, and does not obtain a spot
where he may alight in that place. 9. Although it is his own town
he is in this trouble. 10. Therefore, it is not possible to bring
to hand a place in heaven through any good work, except by the
performance of the Navazud ceremony, or by ordering the celebration
of a Getig-kharid.
- And a Getig-kharid is this, that heaven is purchased in the
world, and one's own place brought to hand in heaven.
- The sixth subject is this, that of the many good works there
are those which, when they accomplish them, obtain great ('hathim)
rewards; and if one does not perform them severe punishment seizes
upon one at the head of the Chinwad bridge. 2. One is the celebration
of the season festivals [Gahambars]; the second is keeping the
days of the guardian spirits [fravashis]; the third is attending
to the souls of fathers, mothers, and other relations; the fourth
is reciting the Khwarshed Niyayesh [Sun
Litany] three times every day; the fifth is reciting the Mah Niyayesh
[Moon Litany] three times every month, once when it becomes new,
once when it becomes full, and once when it becomes slender; and
the sixth is celebrating the Rapithwin ceremony
once every year. 3. If not able to celebrate them oneself, it
is requisite to order them, so that they may celebrate them every
- These six good works are things indispensable unto every one.
5. When any one of them is not performed -- be it that which,
if omitted at its own time, it is not possible to accomplish,
or if it be. that one time one omits an occasion, and another
time they accomplish twice as much -- one should consider that
as an advantage, which occurs in retribution for it, or as atonement
for the transgression. 6. Because they call the transgression
of each of these six a bridge-sin; that is, every one through
whom a transgression of these may have arisen they keep back,
at the head of the Chinwad bridge, till punishment for it happens
to him, and no good work is possible in this place, which is torment
and punishment for him.
- Therefore it is necessary to make an effort, that they may
be performed each one at its own time, so hat they may obtain
a recompense, and not a severe punishment.
- The seventh subject is this, that, when a sneeze ('hatsat)
comes forth from any one, it is requisite to recite one Yatha-ahu-vairyo
and one Ashem-vohu. 2. Because there is a fiend in our bodies,
and she is an adversary who is connected with mankind, and strives
so that she may make misfortune ('hillat) and sickness predominant
(mustauli) over mankind. 3. And in our bodies there is a fire
which they call a disposition -- in Arabic they say tabi'hat --
and they call it the sneezing instinct (gharizi). 4. It is connected
with that fiend, and they wage warfare, and it keeps her away
from the body of man. 5. Then, as the fire becomes successful
over that fiend, and puts her to flight (hazimat), a sneeze comes
because that fiend comes out.
- Afterwards, because it is necessary, they recite these inward
prayers and perform the benediction (afrin) of the fire, so that
it may remain for a long period while thou art keeping this fiend
defeated. 7. When another person hears the sneeze, it is likewise
requisite for him to utter; the said prayers, and to accomplish
the benediction of that spirit.
- The eighth subject is this, that it is necessary to maintain
the religion by rule (dastur), and to practice obedience to the
commands of the high-priests; and every duty that people perform
they should perform by their authority.
- For it is declared in the good religion, that, if they accomplish
as many good works as the leaves of trees, or the sand-grains
of the desert, or the drops (qatrah) of rain, which they do not
perform by command of the high-priests, or to their satisfaction,
no merit whatever attains to their souls, and for the good works
they have done they obtain sin as a recompense. 3. While such
a one is living it is not proper to call him righteous, and when
he dies he does not attain to heaven, and not a single archangel
comes near him. 4. He does not make his escape from the hands
of the demons and Ahriman, and he does not obtain a release from
hell. 5. Because duties and good works attain to the soul on those
occasions when they perform them with the authority of the high-priests
and those acquainted with the religion, and when they give them
one-tenth of those good works.
- The ninth subject is this, that it is necessary to practice
abstinence from committing or permitting unnatural intercourse.
2. For this is the chief of all sins in the religion: there is
no worse sin than this in the good religion, and it is proper
to call those who commit it worthy of death in reality.
- If any one comes forth to them, and shall see them in the
act, and is working with an ax, it is requisite for him to cut
off the heads or to rip up the bellies of both, and it is no sin
for him. 4. But it is not proper to kill any person without the
authority of high-priests and kings, except on account of committing
or permitting unnatural intercourse.
- For it says in revelation that unnatural intercourse is on
a par with Ahriman, with Afrasiyab, with Dahak [Zohak], with Tur-i
Bradrok-resh who slew Zartosht, with Malkos who will arise, with
the serpent Srobovar which existed in the days of Sam Nariman,
and as many sins as are theirs. 6. And Ahriman, the evil one,
becomes more joyful, owing to this practice, than owing to the
other sins which have made high-priests necessary; for the soul
itself of that person becomes extinct.
- And when they commit the sin with women, it is just the same
as that with men.
- The tenth subject is this, that it is incumbent on all those
of the good religion, women and men, every one who attains to
fifteen years, to wear the sacred thread-girdle [kusti]. 2. Because
the sacred thread-girdle is to be a girding of the loins and to
preserve obedience (ta'hat) to the Lord, may he be honored and
glorified ('hazza va jalla)!
- The first person who set the wearing of this sacred thread-girdle
in view was Jamshed. 4. And it may be the whole (jumlah) of the
demons and fiends who are made extinct by the glory of wearing
the sacred thread-girdle.
- Every one who has tied the sacred thread-girdle round the
waist is out of the department of Ahriman, and is established
in the department of Ohrmazd. 6. And also, while he keeps the
sacred thread-girdle on the waist, there is a share for him of
all those duties and good works which they perform in the earth
of seven regions. 7. It is like that which occurs when they are
performing hamazor and hama asho,
and have put on this sacred thread-girdle [kusti] on that account,
or when, similarly, some one in Cashmere, or Eranvej, or Kangdez,
or the enclosure formed by Jam [Jamshed], performs a good work, and we are
not able to perform it with hama zor, then they and we, who wear
the sacred thread-girdle on the waist, are mutually connected
and equally meritorious, one with the other. 8. As no good work
attains to him who does not wear a sacred thread-girdle -- excepting
that which he performs himself -- it is therefore necessary that
any one of mankind should not put it away from the waist on any
occasion, so that the associated good works of those of the good
religion may attain to him.
- And those four knots, with which they tie it on, are on this
account, that it may give four attestations. 10. The first knot
is that which preserves constancy (qarar), and gives attestation
as to the existence, unity, purity, and matchlessness of the sacred
being, the good and propitious. 11. The second knot is that which
gives attestation that is the good religion of the Mazda-worshippers
which is the word of the sacred being. 12. The third knot is that
which gives attestation as to the apostleship and mission (rasuli)
in the just ('haqq) Zartosht, the Spitaman. 13. The fourth knot
is that which adduces more pleasantly, gives assurance (iqrar),
and openly accepts that I should think of good, speak of good,
and do good. 14. And from the whole I become established; and
the pure, good religion is this, that I persist in those views.
- And, again, when the archangels [Amahraspands] came meeting Zartosht they
likewise wore the sacred thread-girdle on the waist; and the distinctive
characteristic (farq) amid the laws of the sacred being is the
wearing of the sacred thread-girdle. 16. It is incumbent both
on woman and on man, and it is altogether (albattah) improper
when they do not wear it.