Shayest Na-Shayest ('Proper and Improper')

Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East, volume 5, Oxford University Press, 1880.

PART 2. -- A Supplementary Treatise (Continued).


The signification of the Gathas.
These three Ashem-vohus (Y11, end) which represent the Fravarane (Y11, end) of the preliminary ritual (pesh nirang) and the rotation of these three Has ('chapters'), the Fravarane, Frastuye, and Astuye -- fravarane being the beginning of the Fravarane which extends as far as frasastayaecha, frastuye, the beginning of the Frastuye (Y12.1-Y13.26) which extends up to the Astuye, and astuye, the beginning of the Astaothwanem (Y13.27-Y14, end) which extends as far as astaothwanemcha daenayau Mazdayasnoish -- also represent the Visai-ve-amesha-spenta (Y15), which is the beginning of the Stotan-yasno ('the ritual of praisers'), and these three Has of the Baghan (Y19-Y21).
In the exposition (chashidak) and through the evidence of revelation (dino) the wise of those of the primitive faith have thus said; that a man of fifteen years, and a son and brother of Mazdayasnians -- when he confesses his failings (mandak) to the high-priests (radan), and they shall bring him the whip and scourge, and these five Gathas are chanted and the good waters consecrated by him, and the whole of the renewed-birth ceremony (navid-zadih) is performed by him -- becomes a mature youth and not a child, and a share of the prayers of initiation (napar) and of the fires is to be given over to him; and when thus much is not performed by him, a share is not to be given. 3. These five Gathas are made up from the body of a righteous man.
Ahya-yasa (Y28), Khshmaibya (Y29), and Ad-ta-vakhshya (Y30) have, severally, eleven stanzas (vachest), because eleven things move spiritually within the bodies of men, as life, consciousness, religion, ,soul, guardian spirit, thought, word, deed, seeing, smelling, and hearing; and the bodies of men and other creatures are formed of water, fire, and wind.
Ashem-Ahurem-mazdam (Vr15) is to be recited three times before the coming of Hoshedar, Hoshedarmah, and Soshyans; and when they also recite the chapter (had) well, and by line (gas) and stanza, those apostles are present, and the country becomes more flourishing and more dominant in the world.
The twenty-two stanzas of Ta-ve-urvata (Y31) are the twenty-two judgments (dadistan) of which it speaks in the Hadokht Nask thus: -- 'Anaomo mananghe daya vispai: kva, kva paro?' ('where are they to be produced beyond every thought? and where before?') 'Lodging in the judge, that while he has twenty-two judgments he may be more just;' -- so that when they pray the Ta-ve-urvata chapter well, and recite it by line and stanza, the judges possess those twenty-two judgments more correctly, and judiciousness is more lodging in them.
The sixteen stanzas of the Hvaetumaithi chapter (Y32) are lodging in warriors, so that it becomes possible, during their good protection, to force the enemy away from those sixteen countries which the Vendidad mentions in its first fargard.
The fourteen stanzas of Yatha-aish (Y33) are for this reason, because seven archangels are more diligent in activity for the spirit, and seven archangels for the world, so that they may attain 'to heaven, the home (mehono) of Ohrmazd, the home of the archangels, the home of those righteous ones,' avi gara-nmanem, maethanem Ahurahe mazdau, maethanem ameshanam spentanam, maethanem anyaesham ashaonam [Vd19.107]. 9. The three repetitions (danar) of Ye-sevisto (Y33.11), and the holding up of the holy-water (zohr) at these repetitions, are for the four classes, and for this reason at Ahurai mazdai and ashemcha fradat the holy-water is to be held level with the heart of him who is the officiating priest (zot), and at sraota is to be held level with the arm of him who is the officiating priest, so that while the warriors are in battle with foreigners (an-airan) they may be fuller of breath (vayo-girtar), and the husbandmen stronger-armed in the tillage and cultivation of the world.
The fifteen stanzas of Ya-shkyaothana (Y34) are for this reason, because it is given for the destruction of those fifteen fiends who are disclosed in the medical part (beshaz) of the Hadokht Nask. 11. The four repetitions (bar) of Mazda-at-moi (Y34.15) are for the right coming on of the share of these five chieftainships (radih), the house-ruler, the village-ruler, the tribe-ruler, the province-ruler, and the supreme Zartosht [Zarathushtrotema].
The two repetitions of Ahya-yasa (Y28.1) are for this reason, that the sovereign (dahyupat) may not at once seize body, consciousness, and soul. 13. Those four Yatha-ahu-vairyos of the first Gatha are for this reason, that is, so that inferiors may become more tolerant of the commands of superiors, and good thoughts, good words, and good deeds be more domesticated (mah-mantar) in the world, and the fiend more powerless (apadakhshahtar).
In short (ae-mar), Ahya-yasa is as (pavan) Ohrmazd and the righteous man, Khshmaibya as Vohuman and cattle, At-ta-vakhshya as Ardwahisht and fire, Ta-ve-urvata as Shahrewar and metal, the Hvaetumaithi as the Gatha of Spandarmad and the earth, Yatha-aish as Hordad and water, and Ya-shkyaothana as Amurdad and plants.
The progress [benefit] which is in the Ahunavaiti Gatha the house-rulers should carry on; that which is in the Ushtavaiti Gatha the village-rulers should carry on; that which is in the Spenta-mainyu Gatha the tribe-rulers should carry on; that which is in the Vohu-khshathra Gatha the province-rulers should carry on; that which is in the Vahishto-ishti Gatha the supreme Zartoshts [Zarathushtrotema] should carry on; and that which is in the Yasna, which is the place of righteous blessing, these four classes themselves should carry on.
Of the Yasna of seven chapters (Y35-41.17) the beginning section (kardako) has nine stanzas; and its beginning is Humatanam (Y35.4), and its end is Humatanam (Y51.17 supl.)
The six stanzas of Ahya-thwa-athro (Y36) are owing to the six hot ordeals (var) which, in the Husparum Nask, are effected by cha-thrayaim athraiam.
The five stanzas of Itha-at-yazamaide (Y37) are thanksgiving and praise for the production of the good creations by Ohrmazd.
The five stanzas of Imam-aat-zam (Y38) are owing to those five comforts and five discomforts of the earth, which, it is declared in the third fargard in the Vendidad, are accomplished thus:- 'The first comfort of the earth is from the land on which a righteous man walks forth; the second is when they shall make the dwelling of the good and fires upon it; the third is when they sow corn upon it, and shall take heed of dead matter; the fourth is when all beasts of burden are born upon it; the fifth is when every beast of burden, is on it; and its first discomfort is from the Arezur ridge and the gate of hell; the second is when they dig it up for a dead body; the third is when one constructs a depository for the dead (khazan) upon it; the fourth is from the holes of its noxious creatures; the fifth is when they shall forsake a man in affliction (vardakih) upon it, who is righteous.'
The five stanzas of Itha (Y39) are just as those which go before.
The four stanzas of Ahu-at-paiti (Y40) are about the benefit (arj-homandih) which is on account of water, earth, plants, and animals.
The six stanzas of Stuto-garo (Y41.1-17), the two repetitions of Humatanam (Y35.4-6), and the three repetitions of Hukhshathrotemai (Y35.13-15) are on account of the existence of the sons of Zartosht.
The two repetitions of Ashahya-aat-sairi (Y35.22, 23) are for the laudation of righteousness and the destruction of the fiend. 24. The two repetitions of Yenhe-hatam are for the laudation of Ohrmazd and the archangels, and the destruction of the evil spirit and the miscreations (vishudakan). 25. The two repetitions of Thwoi-staotarascha (Y41.12-14) are for the laudation of ceremonial worship (yazishno) and the sacred feast (myazd).
The two repetitions of Ataremcha (Vr19.1-8) are for the laudation of the [Adar] Farnbag fire and the fire Vazisht.
Of the sixteen stanzas of the Ushtavaiti chapter (Y42) it is related just as about the Hvaetumaithi chapter.
The twenty stanzas of Tat-thwa-peresa (Y43) are the twenty judgments (dadistan) between the beneficent spirit and the evil spirit; and for this reason they should every time utter Tat-thwa-peresa again, because they should utter the original judgment again, and the twentieth time the evil spirit becomes confounded.
The eleven stanzas of At-fravakhshya (Y44) are made up from the six chieftainships and the five accomplishments (farhang) owing to religion; one is thus, not to do unto others all that which is not well for one's self; the second is to understand fully what is well-done and not well-done; the third is to turn from the vile and their conversation (andarag-guftano); the fourth is to confess ones failings to the high-priests, and let them bring the whip; the fifth is not to neglect the season-festivals [Gahambars] at their proper hour (den hasar), nor the other things which go to the bridge; and the six chieftainships are not his property who has not these five accomplishments, and he is not fit even for teaching.
The nineteen stanzas of Kem-nemoi zam (Y45) are for this reason, that every one may so persevere in his own duty (khveshakanih), that while those are our nineteen propitiations (aushofrit), which it says in the Sagadum Nask should be my own, the strength and power of the angels shall become more considerable, and the destroyer more perishable.
The Ushtavaiti Gatha is a Gatha (gas) of four chapters, and each stanza of five lines (gas), except Haechat-aspa-vakhshya (Y45.15). 32. The two repetitions of Ushta-ahmai (Y42.1) are, one as a retention and embrace of Ohrmazd, and one as a destruction of the fiends; and Ushta-Ahurem-mazdam (Vr21.1-5) in like manner.
Spenta-mainyu (Y46) has six stanzas, Yezi-adaish (Y47) twelve stanzas, At-ma-yava (Y48) twelve stanzas, and Kat-moi-urva (Y49) eleven stanzas. 34. The Spenta-mainyu Gatha is a Gatha of four chapters, and each stanza of four lines; it is made up from the five chieftainships and four classes. 35. The two repetitions of Spenta-mainyu (Y46.1) are, one for the laudation of the beneficent spirit (Spandarmad) and one for that of the earth.
One Spentem-Ahurem-mazdam (Vr22.1-11) is the laudation of the creatures of the beneficent spirit, and one is the destruction of the creatures of the evil spirit.
The twenty-two stanzas of the Vohu-khshathra Gatha (Y50) are those twenty-two judgments which are lodging within judges, as written above. 38. The two repetitions of Vohu-khshathrem (Y50.1) are, one the laudation of living (zindakih), and one of the supreme Zartosht [Zarathushtrotema].
One Vohu-khshathrem yazamaide (Vr23.1-9) is for the laudation of Shahrewar, and one of metal. 40. The two repetitions of Avi-apam (Vr24.1-12) are, one for the laudation of waters, and one of plants.
The nine stanzas of the Vahishtoishti (Y52) are on account of those nine things which are ... the supreme Zartosht-ship lodging in the supreme Zartoshts [Zarathushtrotema], the source of fountains, the bridge over waters, and even the navigable river, the righteous man, and the righteous woman. 42. And it is a Gatha of one chapter, and each stanza of four lines, except Itha-i-haithya-naro (Y52.6), for there is always one lord and sovereign in the world. 43. And those four lines are for this reason, because it is declared: chathrush hamayau khshapo dahmayat paro afritoit, 'four times every night is the "blessing of the holy" (Y59),' and three times Srosh, twice Bushasp, and once Eshm will come to the material world. 44. And the five lines of that one stanza (Y52.6) are for this reason, because the assistants of the supreme Zartosht are five, the house-ruler, the village-ruler, the tribe-ruler, the province-ruler, and she even who is his own wife (narik). 45. The two repetitions of Vahishta-ishtish (Y52.1) are, one for the laudation of sovereigns, and one for the laudation of peace (patman).
The two repetitions of Vahishtem-Ahurem-mazdam (Vr26) are, one for the laudation of Ohrmazd and the archangels, and one for the destruction of the fiends. 47. The four repetitions of the A Airyema Ishyo (Y53) are for the existence of more submission (airmanih) in the house, village, tribe, and province. 48. The four repetitions of Avat-mizhdem (Vr27) are for the healing of those who dwell in the house, village, tribe, and province.
The section (kardako) whose beginning is Tat-soidhish (Y57.1-9) is, for the completion of the Gathas, taught as pertaining to the Gathas (gasanik chasht).
The beginning of the Gathas is Ahya-yasa (Y28.1), and their end is drigave vahyo (Y52.9, end); and there are 278 stanzas, 1016 lines, 5567 words (vachak), 9999 marik, and 16,554 khurdak. 51. For the lines and stanzas of the Gathas were collected by us, and were: -- one hundred stanzas of the Ahunavaiti Gatha (Y28-34), of which each stanza is three lines; forty stanzas of the Yasna of seven chapters (Y35-41.17), of which each stanza is three lines; sixty-six stanzas of the Ushtavaiti Gatha (Y42-45), of which each stanza is five lines, except Haechat-aspa (Y45.15), for that one is four lines; forty-one stanzas of the Spenta-mainyu Gatha (Y46-49), of which each stanza is four lines; twenty-two stanzas of the Vohu-khshathra (Y50), of which each stanza is three lines; and nine stanzas of the Vahishtoishti (Y52), of which each stanza is four lines, except Itha-i (Y52.6), for that one is a stanza of five; -- the amount of the foregoing is 278 stanzas.


May it be in the name of God (yazdan) and the good creation!
When they consecrate a sacred cake (dron), and it becomes demon worship, what and how many thing are not proper?
The decision is this: -- Whoever knowingly consecrates a sacred cake with unpurified sacred twigs (barsom-i apatiyav), or with a twig-bundle the number of whose twigs (tak) is too many or too few, or of another plant not proper for sacred twigs; or holds the end of the twig-bundle to the north and utters the Avesta attentively; or whoever consecrates with efficacy unawares, it is not to be considered as uttered by him. 3. Nor by him who advertently or inadvertently takes a taste (chashnik), not from the sacred cake with the butter (gaush-dae), but from the frasast; or takes the prayer (baj) inwardly regarding that cake (dron) before the officiating priest (zot) takes a taste from the same cake; or shall utter the length of a stanza in excess, and does not again make a beginning of the consecration of the sacred cake; or takes up the dedication formula (khshnuman) too soon or too late; or does not utter the Avesta for the fire when he sees the fire.
This is how it is when the period of the day (gas) is retained, and how it should be when one may relinquish it; that is, when even one of the stars created by Ohrmazd is apparent, it is retained, and when not it is relinquished. 5. It is Vand-Ohrmazd who said that when, besides Tishtar, Vanand, or Sataves, one of the zodiacal stars (akhtarik) is apparent, it is retained, and when not it is relinquished. 6. There have been some who said that when, besides one of those three, three zodiacal stars are apparent, it is retained, and when not it is relinquished.

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