Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East,
volume 24, Clarendon Press, 1885.
- The twenty-fifth subject is this, that any agreement and promise
(qaul) they make with any one it is necessary so far to perform
and bring to pass. 2. Although many things may go to harm by means
(sabab) of it, it is not desirable to perform that agreement with
- Because, in our religion, they call this a Mihr-druj ('breach
of promise'), and in revelation it decrees, as to any one who
commits a Mihr-druj, that the way to heaven becomes closed for
him, and that person himself goes discomforted out of this world,
so that a warning ('halamat) becomes quite manifest unto him.
- And a Mihr-druj is attached in such a manner that, if fortune
(tali'h) may have befallen any one happily, or an insufficient
quantity of his life ('humr) may have remained, the Mihr-druj
extends to his children without opposition ('hilaf). 5. And every
household that becomes extinct, or race whose issue fails, or
any of the great misfortunes that happen to mankind -- from which
misfortune one obtains release with difficulty -- may all be owing
to the fact that they have committed a Mihr-druj.
- If committed by oneself, it is declared, in one place in revelation,
that the glorified Zartosht, the Spitaman, inquired of Ohrmazd,
the good and propitious, thus: 'Of any of the sins that mankind
commit which is the worst?' 7. Ohrmazd, the good and propitious,
decreed thus: 'No sin whatever is worse than this, that two persons
make a covenant with one another in such a manner that no one
whatever is between them, except me who am Ohrmazd; and, afterwards
one of those two persons deviates from it, and says, "I have
no knowledge ('habar) of it," and no one whatever is a witness,
for that other person, except me.' 8. No sin whatever is worse
than that, and that person himself will not go out of this world
until retribution overtakes him, and in that other world his punishment
is more severe than all; so that person becomes unfortunate in
both worlds. 9. And it is the same if this covenant be with a
righteous person or a wicked one.
- The twenty-sixth subject is this, that the wise and the ancients
say that when a man becomes fifteen years of age it is necessary
that he takes one of the angels as his own protection, that he
takes one of the wise as his own sage, and that he takes one of
the high-priests and officiating priests as his own high-priest.
2. So that, if, any time, a bereavement (astanah) approaches,
he may beg a favor from the archangels, in order that it may furnish
an escape from that bereavement. 3. And, any time any affair comes
forward, and he has to have opinion (rai) and advice (masvarat),
he holds a consultation with that sage, while the sage tells him
his opinion (tadbir). 4. And, if any question as to proper and
improper comes forward, he speaks with that high-priest, so that
he may tell him in reply.
- When the instructions of these three persons are brought to
pass, carrying out the commands of the sacred being is accomplished.
6. Especially the instructions of the high-priests, because their
satisfaction is connected with the satisfaction of the sacred
being; and the high-priests possess so much dignity (martabat)
in the presence of the sacred being, the good and propitious,
that they are quite able to forgive any trivial one of the sins
of mankind, and Ohrmazd, the good and propitious, quickly forgives
that sin for the high-priest. 7. Therefore, carrying out the commands
of the high-priests becomes incumbent on every one; and the fulfillment
of this maxim is better than that of a whole assemblage of maxims.
- The twenty-seventh subject is this, that is, if any affair
comes forward, that they should thoroughly understand whether
it be a good work, or a sin. 2. In that manner it becomes better
that they make an evasion on the spot, until a time when they
make it known with accuracy that that affair is a sin or a reward.
3. If they perform any affair without knowing this, although it
be a good work, it becomes a sin for them.
- For it is declared in revelation, that, except that which
they inquire of the high-priests, no affair whatever is proper
to perform. 5. Whatever wisdom there be for any one from his own
head is only one; then, as two wisdoms are more than one, it therefore
makes it expedient to inquire of the high-priests.
- The twenty-eighth subject is this, that, when they teach the
Avesta, it is in like manner necessary that they teach it properly
and truly, and recite it with deliberation and composure (sakini).
2. And it is necessary for those who are taught to recite it connectedly,
and to keep it ever in remembrance.
- For it is declared in revelation, that the sacred being has
decreed thus: 'As to every one who puts the Avesta away from his
memory, I will put his soul as far from heaven as the width of
the earth.' 4. And in the commentary of the Avesta it is related
that, in former times, as to any one who had been taught the Avesta
and had put it away from his memory, until the time he had again
made it easy, they would have given him bread like that which
they give to the dogs. 5. And in another place I have read that
they would have given bread to him on the point of a spear.
- The twenty-ninth subject is this, that, when they provide
any munificence (sa'havat) or liberality, it is necessary that
they provide it for the worthy; and one is to consider thus: 'Is
this person, to whom I am giving this thing, worthy or not?'
- Therefore it is necessary to make an effort, so that they
may not give to the unworthy. 3. For in revelation, as regards
that person who provides any munificence for the unworthy, they
call it a vain work and a gift without advantage; and day by day
it is the punishment and torment of that person. 4. And, whatever
they give to the unworthy, they have made that thing extinct.
- The thirtieth subject is this, that it is not proper to pour
away water at night, especially from the northern side (janib)
which would be the worst. 2. Therefore, if it become a necessity
in the end (ba-'hatam), it is requisite to recite one Yatha-ahu-vairyo,
and, when they make a light ready ('hazir), to pour away the water
- In like manner it is not proper to swallow water at night,
because it is a sin. 4. But, if a necessity arises, it is necessary
to make a light ready, and one first eats some morsels of food
(ta'ham) so that the sin may be less.
- The thirty-first subject is this, that, every time they eat
bread, it is necessary to withhold three morsels from their own
bodies, and to give them to a dog. 2. And it is not desirable
to beat a dog. 3. For, of the poor no one whatever is poorer than
a dog, and it is necessary to give a tethered animal bread, because
the good work is great.
- And in revelation it is declared in this manner, that, if
a dog is asleep upon the road, it is not proper that they put
a foot violently on the ground, so that he becomes awake. 5. And,
in former times, an allowance (raitib) of bread would have been
made every day for the sake of the dogs, three times in summer
and twice in winter, on this account, that one wishes them to
come to the assistance of his soul at the Chinwad bridge.
- In the worldly existence they are the guard of men and cattle.
7. If there had not been a dog they would not have been able to
keep a single sheep. 8. Every time that he barks, just as his
bark goes forth, the demons and fiends run away from the place.
- The thirty-second subject is this, that, when a hen utters
a crow in a house, or the cock crows unseasonably, it is desirable
that they do not kill it, and do not consider it a bad habit (fa'hl).
2. Because it is uttering that crow for the reason that a fiend
has found a way into that house, and the hen or the cock, alone,
does not possess the power (taqat) that would keep the fiend away
from that house, and the hen is going to give the cock assistance,
and utters the crow. 3. Therefore, if any time the chance (ittifaq)
happens in that manner, it is requisite to bring another cock,
so that they may drive away that fiend through the assistance
of one another. 4. And if a cock crows unseasonably it is likewise
not desirable to kill it, because the reason may be this which
I have stated.
- For it is declared in the good religion, that there is a fiend
whom they call Sej [Av. ithyejo], and, in every house where an
infant exists, that fiend strives that she may cause some misfortune
to come upon that house. 6. So it is necessary that they should
keep a cock on the watch for her, so that it may smite that fiend
and force her to the road away from that house.
- The thirty-third subject is this, that, when there is a place
and any risk or fear exists that a corpse is concealed beneath
the ground, one is to make it apparent and visible, because it
is a great good work.
- For it is declared in the good religion, that, when they conceal
a corpse beneath the ground, Spandarmad, the archangel, shudders;
it is just as severe as a serpent or scorpion would be to any
one in private sleep, and it is also just like that to the ground.
3. When thou makest a corpse beneath the ground as it were apparent,
thou makest the ground liberated from that affliction.
- The thirty-fourth subject is this, that it is greatly necessary
to refrain from much slaughter of animals and the cattle species.
2. Because it says in revelation that, for every one who slaughters
many animals and cattle, every fiber of the hair of a goat becomes,
in that other world, like a sharp sword, and adheres in the soul
of that person.
- And there are several things the slaughter of which is very
bad, and the sin very abundant, as the lamb, the kid, the ploughing
ox, the war horse, the swallow bird that catches the locust, and
the cock; and of the whole of these the sin is most as regards
the cock. 4. If it becomes a necessity, it is proper to kill a
cock that does not crow, and it is necessary to consecrate their
heads. 5. Any head of an animal, not consecrated, it is not desirable
to eat, so that it becomes so far a righteous gift. 6. If one
be not able to consecrate the head, it is requisite to consecrate
one kidney as a substitute (badal) for it.
- The thirty-fifth subject is this, that, when they wish to
wash the face, they should recite one Ashem-vohu, and set the
mouth firmly closed, so that the water, not staying away from
it, shall not go into the mouth. 2. And, as one washes over the
face, they should recite the Kem-na-mazda, so that the fiend Nasrusht
may become smitten.
- The thirty-sixth subject is this, that it is strictly incumbent
on mankind, on man and woman, to perform the Barashnom ceremony,
because mankind feed on menstruous matter in the womb of the mother.
2. For that reason it is necessary to perform the Barashnom once,
so that one may become pure from that pollution. 3. For if one
becomes fifteen years of age, and does not perform the Barashnom,
whatever he puts a hand on, the glory and purity of that thing
will diminish; and it is not proper that they put hand on a sacred
cake or any thing washed with ceremony.
- In revelation it says, if any one who has not performed the
Barashnom shall die, the demons make him as though he were a corpse
kept one month in the hot season. 5. And, when the soul arrives
at the head of the Chinwad bridge, the archangels and angels complain
of the stench of that soul, and are not able to make up its account
and reckoning. 6. It remains at the Chinwad bridge and is not
able to pass; it experiences much repentance and has no advantage
- If it be necessary for any one to perform the Barashnom of
the head, and he be able to do it, but does not do it, if he performs
the ceremonial ablution of the head a thousand times, it does
not become pure from that pollution, and that is the pollution
of Nasrusht, which is amid the veins and sinews, and the flesh
and bones; it does not become pure through any other thing except
through the liquid consecrated by the religious formula [nirang].
- And as to that person, also, who performs the Barashnom for
mankind, it is necessary that he be a man, a friend of the soul,
a truthful speaker, and an abstainer, because through chastity
and modesty (masturi) he becomes employed. 9. If complaint of
any perfidy in him is publicly diffused, in that disgrace (malamat)
it is necessary that the high-priests should dislocate his joints
one by one, and it is requisite that they give him as food to
the dogs. 10. So that by this action they may make a man observe
more chastely and continently, that this result ('hazil) of sin
may not occur.
- The thirty-seventh subject is this, that, when the days of
the guardian spirits come on, it is necessary that all persons,
among their own food and devotion, should order and provide the
sacred cakes and ceremonial, the sacred feast and benedictions
(Afrinagan). 2. For these ten days it is incumbent on every one;
and those are better which they prepare in their own houses, because
the souls go every one to its own house. 3. And they should have
an ear for them, so that they may prepare the sacred cakes and
feast and benedictions.
- Those ten days any one of all the souls -- that are in this
way in every house where they provide the feast more abundantly
-- proclaims, as to that master of the house, that family, and
the whole who are in that house, and the year's affairs of every
kind, that they are very good, and their entry (da'hl) and coming
in are very good. 5. And every single good work, on account of
which we have spoken of the souls of the departed, becomes just
like those we have done for our own souls. 6. And, when they pass
away from this worldly existence, those souls come again, meeting
them, and cause gladness, maintain their courage, and also render
them honor in the presence of the creator Ohrmazd, and speak thus:
'These righteous souls did not put us away from remembrance while
they were in the world, and we have been satisfied with them;
now we are unanimous that thou shouldest provide them equal shares
of those good works of ours, and make their souls attain to the
position of the righteous.' 7. They utter these words, and give
those souls confidence, while they make out their account. 8.
Afterwards, with them, they make the passage of the Chinwad bridge,
till they arrive at their own position, and then they return.
- Therefore it is necessary to make an effort, so that they
may maintain the guardian spirits properly, and the souls of their
fathers and mothers and relations may exist with honor from them.
10. For if they retire with dissatisfaction they utter a curse,
and, as the soul departs from this world, they administer reproaches
to it, and speak thus: 'Thou thinkest that they wish continually
to make a way for thee to that place, but it is not necessary
for thee to come into this world. 11. Now, hadst thou performed
duty and good works on our behalf, and hadst thou recollected
us, we would also have come to thy assistance, and would have
released thee from this fearful position.' 12. And that soul experiences
much repentance, and has no advantage whatever from it.
- The thirty-eighth subject is this, that, so far as effort
and endeavor prevail, it is requisite to abstain from the same
cup as those of a different religion, and it is not desirable
to drink the water of any goblet of theirs. 2. And if the goblet
be of copper or of tin, it is requisite to wash it with water,
so that it may be proper to drink the water. 3. If the goblet
be of earthenware or wooden, it is altogether improper.
- Because, when any one drinks with a stranger, it makes his
heart inclined (mail) towards him, for it would be a sin; and,
on account of the sin committed, he becomes bold, and his soul
has an inclination for wickedness.
- The thirty-ninth subject is this, that it is necessary to
properly maintain the sacred fire which they have established
in a town or village. 2. And at night it is necessary to make
it blaze up once, and by day twice.
- For it is declared in revelation, that, if there had been
no sacred fire, no one would have been able to go from town to
town; because it is owing to the glory of the sacred fire that
no one on the roads is able to commit an excess upon any one else.
- It is necessary that they should present the whole of the
firewood; and, as to the person who makes it blaze, they should
give him bread and a salary (nafaqah). 5. For, every time that
that fire is satisfied, and they maintain it properly, every fire
that may exist in the earth of seven regions becomes satisfied
with that person.
- The fortieth subject is this, that it is not desirable to
distress one's priest, or father, or mother; and, if people perceive
much trouble, disquietude, and harm arising from them, it is certainly
not desirable that they should give them back a reply with any
aggravation. 2. Because their satisfaction is connected with the
satisfaction of the sacred being, and every time that people distress
them they have distressed Ohrmazd, the good and propitious. 3.
It is not possible for any duty or good work to extend to the
spiritual existences while one does not make those guardians satisfied,
and it is not possible (mumkin) that any one should repay these
three persons all their dues.
- In the commentary of the Hadokht Nask it says: -- Ma azarayoish,
Zarathushtra! ma Pourushaspem, ma Dughdhovam, ma aethrapaitish,
'it is not desirable that thou, O Zartosht! shouldest distress
thy father, or mother, or priest.'
- Therefore, three times every day it is indispensable for one
to fold his arms in the presence of these three persons, and to
say: 'What is your will (murad)? So that I may think and speak
and do it. 6. If what was not proper has come from me of itself,
it is necessary that you make a righteous gift on our behalf.'