This digital edition copyright © 1995
by Joseph H. Peterson. All rights reserved.
Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East,
volume 24, Clarendon Press, 1885.
- The eleventh subject is this, that it is necessary to maintain
the fire-place properly, and to keep watch, so that the fire shall
not die out, and that nothing polluted and impure shall attain
to the fire; and it is necessary to make a menstruous woman avoid
being within three steps of it.
- Because every time that they maintain a fire properly, which
is within a dwelling, every fire which is in the earth of seven
regions becomes pleased with those persons, and, when they ask
a favor, or beg a necessity ('hajat), it becomes quickly operative.
3. And every time that one does not maintain it properly, every
fire which is in the earth of seven regions receives injury from
that person, and the necessity he begs does not become operative.
4. If any one does not maintain the fire-place properly, if he
gives a hundred dinars to the fire [Adar] Gushnasp there is no
acceptance of it, and that sin does not depart from him.
- For it is declared in revelation, that the creator Ohrmazd
has given sovereignty in heaven to Ardwahisht, the archangel,
and has spoken thus: 'As to every one with whom thou art not pleased,
do not let him escape into heaven.' 6. And this is also declared
in revelation, that, every time that they do not maintain the
fire properly, pregnancy becomes scarcer for the women, fewer
male children are born, and honor ('hurmat) in the vicinity of
the king becomes less for the men, and there is no approbation
(qabul) of their words.
- For every single fire which dies out in a dwelling a loss
of three dirhams and two dangs falls on the property of that person,
or it becomes the loss of this dwelling, or it does not reach
him from the place whence wealth comes to him.
- The twelfth subject is this, that, when any one dies, an order
is necessary that how much soever scantier clothing they are able
to make a beginning of, the better they act. 2. Beside (illa)
something become old and washed, anything new is not proper for
the purpose that they may let it go upon a dead body.
- For in the commentary of the Vendidad it asserts that, if
they shall pass on to a dead body as much as a woman's spindle
makes for a single thread, with the exception of that which is
unavoidable, for every single thread a black snake hangs, in that
other world, on to the liver of that person who has made a beginning
of the clothing. 4. Likewise, that dead person becomes his antagonist
('hazm), and hangs similarly upon his skirt, and speaks thus:
'This clothing, which thou hast put on my body, devours me, having
become worms and noxious creatures. 5. My name was put upon a
sacred cake, the fourth day, with a Yasht, so that there might
be alike a benefit therefrom for my soul, and it might be alike
unnecessary for thee to bear this torment ('haDHab).' 6. Owing
to that, many sorrows come to that person, and he has no advantage
from it. 7. Therefore, it is necessary to act with caution (i'htiyat),
so that, how much soever the clothing be scantier, they may make
a beginning of it.
- And as many as shall be able to walk after the bier (tabut)
and corpse shall walk. 9. Because every step that they go after
a corpse is a good work of three hundred stirs; and every stir
is four dirhams, in such manner that three hundred stirs are a
thousand and two hundred dirhams. 10. For every single step there
is thus much good work.
- The thirteenth subject is this, that it is necessary to maintain
the souls of fathers, mothers, and relations properly. 2. And,
when any day of theirs occurs, it is necessary to make an endeavor,
so that they may accomplish the ceremonial (yazishn), the sacred
feast (myazd), the consecration of the sacred cakes (dron), and
the benedictions (afrinagan).
- For it is declared in revelation, that, every time that any
day of theirs occurs, they will bring with themselves 9999 guardian
spirits of the righteous, like that case when any one goes home
himself, and brings people (qaum) in hospitality. 4. And, when
they utter the consecration of the sacred cakes and sacred feast
and the benedictions, those people become joyful and utter blessings
on that house and master of the house, and on the house-mistress
and any persons who are in that house.
- But if they do not celebrate the sacred feast, the consecration
of the sacred cakes, the ceremonial, and the benedictions, the
spirits will remain for them in that place from dawn as long as
the period of a day, and are maintaining a hope that 'perhaps
they will have us in remembrance.' 6. Then, if they do not bring
them into remembrance, the souls turn upwards from that place,
go very quickly on high, and will say, 'O creator Ohrmazd! they
do not know that we are such as we are, and that it is necessary
for them to come into this world, and in this world they will
not give any one acquittal. 7. For them there is need of the good
works in consecrating the sacred cakes and celebrating the sacred
feast and benedictions; there is no need of them for such as we.
8. Yet (va likin), if they would have maintained a place for the
duty of those days, we should have turned away from them misfortunes
of various kinds; but, as they have not maintained observance
of us in the day's duty, we are not able to come in friendship
to this house.' 9. Thus much they say, and turn away in anger,
and go away from that place.
- The fourteenth subject is this, that, when the nails are pared
according to custom (ba-'hilal), it is necessary that they put
the parings into a paper. 2. And it is further necessary to take
the Srosh-baj inwardly, and to utter three Yatha-ahu-vairyos.
3. And for the speaking of this -- to say with each Yatha-ahu-vairyo
the Avesta is this: -- Paiti te, meregha Asho-zushta! imau srvau
vaedhayemi, imau srvau awaedhayemi; imause te srvau, meregha Asho-zushta!
hyare arshtayasca, karetayasca, thanvareca, ishavasca erezifyo-parena,
asnaca fradakhshanya paiti daevo-Mazainyano; asha vohu manangha
ya sruye pare magaono. 4. Afterwards, one completes the Baj in
the manner that it was taken inwardly.
- At those two Yatha-ahu-vairyos, with which one completes the
Baj, at each one, he makes lines ('hattha) in a little dust in
the midst of the nail- parings. 6. And, if he does not know this
Baj, on uttering the Srosh-baj and those three Yatha-ahu-vairyos
he is to furrow three lines, with the nail-cutter, around the
nail-parings, and then he is to complete the Baj with those Yatha-ahu-vairyos,
and to put the dust, with the end of the nail-cutter, into the
midst of the nail-parings, and carry them to a desert spot. 7.
It is necessary that he should carry a hole down through four
finger-breadths of earth, and, having placed the nail-parings
in that spot, he puts the soil overhead.
- For Ohrmazd, the good and propitious, has created a bird which
they call Asho-zusht, and they call it the bird of Vohuman. 9.
They also call it the owl, and it eats nails.
- It is altogether necessary that they do not leave them unbroken,
for they would come into use as weapons (sila'h) of wizards. 11.
And they have also said that, if they fall in the midst of food,
there is danger of pulmonary consumption.
- The fifteenth subject is this, when one sees anything that
is welcome to the eyes, it is requisite to say 'in the name of
the sacred being.' 2. Because, if they do not say 'in the name
of the sacred being,' and an injury happens to that thing, or
a disaster occurs, one becomes a sinner; so far is notorious (ma'hlum).
- The sixteenth subject is this, that, when a woman becomes
pregnant in a house, it is necessary to make an endeavor so that
there may be a continual fire in that house, and to maintain a
good watch over it. 2. And, when the child becomes separate from
the mother, it is necessary to burn a lamp for three nights and
days -- if they burn a fire it would be better -- so that the
demons and fiends may not be able to do any damage and harm; because,
when a child is born, it is exceedingly delicate for those three
- For it is declared in revelation, that, when Zartosht, the
Spitaman, became separate from his mother, every night, for three
nights, a demon came on, with a hundred and fifty other demons,
so that they might effect the slaughter (halak) of Zartosht, and,
when they had beheld the light of the fire, they had fled away,
and had not been able to do any damage and harm.
- During forty days it is not proper that they should leave
the child alone; and it is also not proper that the mother of
the infant should put her foot over a threshold in the dwelling,
or cast her eyes upon a hill, for it is bad for her menstruation.
- The seventeenth subject is this, that when they cut a toothpick
('hilal), or a splinter which they wish to apply to the root of
the teeth, it is necessary that they retain no bark. 2. For if
a small quantity of bark be on it when they apply it to the teeth,
and they cast it away, if a pregnant woman puts her foot upon
it, the danger of that may be that the child comes to harm.
- The eighteenth subject is this, that it is necessary for mankind
to make an endeavor, so that they may espouse a wife in their
youth and beget a child. 2. And for women, in like manner, it
is necessary that there should be a longing (raghbat) for espousing
- Because it is declared in revelation, that every duty and
good work a child performs becomes the father's and mother's,
just like those which they have performed with their own hands.
4. The meaning (ma'hni) of pur ('a son') is that which signifies
pul ('a bridge'), for by this bridge they arrive at that other
world. 5. If there be no child for any one they call him one with
a severed bridge, that is, the way for him to that other world
is severed, and he is not able to attain to that world. 6. At
the head of the Chinwad bridge he shall remain; although he has
performed much duty and good works he is not able to make a passage
over the Chinwad bridge, and they do not make up his account and
reckoning. 7. And every archangel [Amahraspand] that comes forward
to that place first asks these words, that is, 'Hast thou brought
thy own substitute visibly into the world, or not?' 8. When he
has not brought it, they will pass over him, and his soul will
remain, in that place, full of anguish and grief (gham).
- A similitude (miTHal) of it is like that which happens when
any one may be in a wilderness, and there may be fear of wild
animals and creatures, and near to him may be his own town, but
a river of water is in front, and it is not possible to make a
passage over that river, as a bridge is fallen in, and he is not
able to arrive at that town, but he is always upon the bank (sart)
speaking thus: 'Would that the bridge would become perfect!'
- The duty as to children is in this aggregate. 11. Therefore,
the creator Ohrmazd has granted unto men that, if there be any
one to whom sickness from heaven may occur, and there be no provision
of a child for him, he has commanded him that he should make some
one a son of his own, as a friend of his soul, and should receive
a child, because every duty can be delegated. 12. That person
is in place of a child, and every duty and good work that he performs
shall be just like that which is performed by one's own hand.
- And, finally, if any one departs from the world (dunya) and
possesses no adopted child, it is incumbent on the priests and
high-priests and his relations to appoint his adopted son, and
it is necessary to bring some one in sight on that account, so
that his soul may spring away from the torment of hell. 14. Because,
every time that his relations do not pay attention to this, when
they proceed to that other world, the soul of that person hangs
about them and speaks thus: 'I left with you something that I
had collected and borne trouble for in many years, and you seized
upon it, and put it into your own expenditure ('harj), and did
not seek for mercy (safqat) on my soul. 15. In the same manner
as I have remained, delayed (mauquf) in this place, I will not
let you pass; so that you will make no passage over the Chinwad
bridge till the sacred being takes my rights away from you.' 16.
Then the angel Rashn and the angel Mihr make up their reckoning,
and, as to whatever those persons have seized upon from the other's
property, for every single dinar the account makes four, and they
take away the equivalent. 17. And, as in that world there are
no gold and silver, they take away from their souls the good works
that they have done, and they give them to the soul of this other.
18. Still, while others do not appoint the adopted son, they are
not able to pass over the Chinwad bridge, nor to arrive at their
- There is no duty whatever more incumbent on relations than
this duty, and every time that they appoint an adopted son for
any one it is just as though they have made the deceased alive;
and there are no limit ('hadd) and end (nihayat) of their good
- The nineteenth subject is this, that the performance of agriculture
is like that when some one is performing the ceremonial of the
sacred beings, and it is necessary to maintain much respect for
agriculturists; it is also necessary to keep trouble and strife
far from them.
- For it is declared in revelation, that, as to every one who
replants a shrub, while that shrub or tree exists at the place,
every good work that every one, who eats of that shrub, does in
that state of repletion becomes the agriculturist's, just like
those which are done by his own hand. 3. If any one orders it,
just as that good work occurs much new repose (ra'hat) and comfort
reach his soul. 4. As to corn and grain ('hubub) and whatever
they sow, it is just like this, because, as regards every one
who eats wheat, barley, and other grains, and performs duty and
good works, they become those of the sower of those grains, just
as those which are performed by his own hand. 5. Because, for
the life of mankind a crop was necessary, the creation of a creator
after the sacred being, the most high, owing to the work of the
agriculturist. 6. For everyone who eats anything dies, therefore,
as regards that person by whose work the life of mankind is established,
it is necessary to consider him valuable and precious.
- The twentieth subject is this, that it is incumbent on those
of the good religion that they continually give something to the
worthy to eat, on account (jihat) of that which it says in revelation
thus: 'When thou givest things to some one that he may eat, every
duty and good work that he performs in that state of repletion
become those of that person, who has given that bread or food
to him, just like those which he has performed with his own hand.'
2. And if he commits a sin, he who may have given food to him
is innocent. 3. But it is necessary that he be of the good religion
and worthy; they should give something to one of a different religion
only in case of extreme necessity (zarurat), lest it become as
- The twenty-first subject is this, that, when they eat bread,
it is necessary that one should recite the Itha-at-yazamaide and
three Ashem-vohus, especially (ba-'hazzatam) in the benediction-ceremonies
- For it is declared in the good religion of the Mazda-worshippers,
that, when they wish to celebrate the sacred feast (myazd) and
benediction-ceremonies, it is necessary that all persons who are
seated at the feast should take up the inward prayer. 3. For each
man an angel is stationed, on the right-hand side, and two angels
for the priests 4. But when they eat chatteringly, or relate the
news ('hadiTH), the angels depart from them, and a demon seizes
on the place of each angel.
- And in former times the custom ('hadat) of the people would
have been in this manner, that, if any one should have come to
the door in the middle of the feast, that person whose Afrinagan-precinct
it might have been, or whoever should have gone to the expense
of that Afrinagan, would have had words with that intruding person,
and would have also spoken thus: 'As thou hast brought my feast
to harm, give me back whatever has been the cost.'
- And in one place in revelation it is declared that from eating
chatteringly itself is the sin, for every one who is chattering
during the eating of bread is just like him who is smiting and
harassing the angels of the spiritual existences.
- Therefore, if there be any one who is not able to consecrate
a sacred cake, it is necessary to eat bread with the inward prayer
of Ohrmazd, that is, the archangels. 8. And, if he does not altogether
know it, he recites the Itha-at-yazamaide and three Ashem-vohus,
and eats up the bread. 9. Afterwards he makes his mouth clean,
and, four Ashem-vohus and two Yatha-ahu-vairyos being spoken out,
he is then to utter words.
- For, every time that this custom (qa'hidat) is carried on
in a place, through the first Ashem-vohu so much good work has
arisen that it has propitiated the sacred being, the good and
propitious; through the second Ashem-vohu so much good work has
arisen that it has reverenced and propitiated Srosh, the righteous;
through the third Ashem-vohu so much good work has arisen that
it has reverenced and propitiated Hordad and Amurdad, the archangels;
and through the fourth Ashem-vohu so much good work has arisen
that whatever the creator Ohrmazd has created becomes reverenced
and propitiated. 11. And with each mouthful (luqmah) that is eaten,
while the inward prayer subsists, they proclaim a blessing for
Hordad and Amurdad, the archangels. 12. But, if it be eaten without
the inward prayer, as demons are in that place, they say, 'Thou
mightest have eaten the poison of a serpent.' 13. Therefore, take
notice as to which is the better of these two.
- The twenty-second subject is this, that the performance of
Jadangoi ('intercession') is like that when some one is occasioning
the ceremonial of the sacred beings. 2. Therefore, it should be
expedient that it be continuous, and that they perform Jadangoi
as regards the priests and high-priests and the worthy.
- For, in the commentary of the Hadokht Nask, it says that every
one who performs Jadangoi, and extracts anything from a person
on their account, and conveys it to them, is as much without dishonesty
('hiyanat), towards them, as he who may have given to them out
of his own property. 4. And in the spiritual existence they take
account of that profit for him, and just as they make out the
account of the good work of that person who may have given it,
even so much is his good work.
- The twenty-third subject is this, that it is requisite to
restrain a tethered animal from misbehavior, and to keep watch
over one's own creatures, especially at the time when they have
- Therefore, if they have eaten meat and they commit an assault,
every offense that the animal ('haivan) commits may be that person's
whose meat may be eaten. 3. For example, if a horse lashes out
a kick (lakad) at any one, the offense may be that person's whose
food may be eaten and caused the offense.
- Therefore it is necessary to make an endeavor that they shall
commit no offense whatever, especially at a time when they have
- The twenty-fourth subject is this, that when an infant is
born from its mother it is necessary that they give it the consecrated
Haoma juice, on this account, that understanding ('haql), wisdom,
and knowledge may more abundantly get to it, and the want (ablat)
of them may come more scantily upon it.
- If, at that time, they do not perform the consecration, they
should take forth a little Haoma for it, and recite a Yatha-ahu-vairyo,
and put a trifle of water into it, and make Haoma-juice of that,
and give it to the infant, and afterwards milk.