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Vendidad

This digital edition copyright © 1995 by Joseph H. Peterson. All rights reserved.

Translated by James Darmesteter, from Sacred Books of the East, American Edition, (New York, The Christian Literature Company, 1898.)

Comments in [] by JHP.

Compare this chapter with the ancient description given of it in the Denkard, Dk Book 8 chap. 44:

Nowadays, before laying the dead in the coffin, two priests recite the Ahunavaiti Gatha (Yasna 28-34): it is the so-called Gâh sârnâ (chanting of the Gathas: gâthâo srâvayêiti). From the following Fargard it appears that formerly all the five Gathas and the Yasna Haptanghaiti were recited. Certain stanzas were recited several times and with a certain emphasis (framrava): and they were followed with certain spells. The object of this Fargard is to show which are those stanza; how many times each was recited, and to give the corresponding spells.


FARGARD 10. Formulas recited during the process of cleansing

1. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: 'O Ahura Mazda! most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How shall I fight against that Druj who from the dead rushes upon the living? How shall I fight against that Druj who from the dead defiles the living?' Notes:
2. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Say aloud those words in the Gathas that are to be said twice 1.
'Say aloud those words in the Gathas that are to be said thrice2.
'Say aloud those words in the Gathas that are to be said four times3.'
1. The so-called Bish-âmrûta.

2. The Thrish-âmrûta.

3. The Chathrush-âmrûta.

3. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which are those words in the Gathas that are to be said twice?
4. Ahura Mazda answered: 'These are the words in the Gathas that are to be said twice, and thou shalt twice say them aloud4:-
ahya yasa ... urvanem (Y28.2).
-----
humatenam ... mahi (Y35.2),
ashahya aad saire ... ahubya (Y35.8),
yatha tu i ... ahura (Y39.4),
humaim thwa ... hudaustema (Y41.3),
thwoi staotaraska ... ahura (Y41.5).
-----
usta ahmai ... manangho (Y43.1),
spenta mainyu ... ahuro (Y47.1),
vohu khshathrem ... vareshane (Y51.1),
vahista istis ... skyaothanaka (Y53.1).
4. The Bish-âmrûta are the opening stanzas of the five Gathas and five stanzas in the Yasna Haptanghaiti.
5. 'And after thou hast twice said those Bis-amrutas, thou shalt say aloud these victorious, most healing words:-

'"I drive away Angra Mainyu5 from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness.

5. The chief demon, the Daeva of the Daevas.
6. '"I drive away the Nasu6, I drive away direct defilement, I drive away indirect defilement, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness."'
6. The very demon with whom one has to do in the present case.
7. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which are those words in the Gathas that are to be said thrice?

8. Ahura Mazda answered: 'These are the words in the Gathas that are to be said thrice, and thou shalt thrice say them aloud:-
ashem vohu ... (Y27.14),
ye sevisto ... paitî (Y33.11),
hukhshathrotemai ... vahistai (Y35.5),
duzvarenais ... vahyo (Y53.9).

9. 'After thou hast thrice said those Thris-amrutas, thou shalt say aloud these victorious, most healing words:-

'"I drive away Indra, I drive away Sauru, I drive away the daeva Naunghaithya,7 from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness.

7. Indra, Sauru, Naunghaithya, Tauru, and Zairi are (with Akemmano [Akoman], here replaced by the Nasu), the six chief demons, and stand to the Amesha Spentas in the same relation as Angra Mainyu to Spenta Mainyu. Indra opposes Asha Vahishta and turns men's hearts from good works; Sauru opposes Khshathra Vairya, he presides over bad government; Naunghaithya opposes Spenta Armaiti, he is the demon of discontent; Tauru and Zairi oppose Haurvatat and Ameretat and poison the waters and the plants. -- Akem-mano, Bad Thought, opposes Vohu-mano, Good Thought.

10. '"I drive away Tauru 7, I drive away Zairi7, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the holy world."'


11. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which are those words in the Gathas that are to be said four times?
12. Ahura Mazda answered: 'These are the words in the Gathas that are to be said four times, and thou shalt four times say them aloud:-

yatha ahu vairyo ...8 (Y27.13),
mazda ad moi ... dau ahum9 (Y34.15),
a airyama ishyo ... masata mazdau10 (Y54.1).

8. Translated in Vd8.19.

9. Translated in Vd11.14.

10. Translated in Vd20.11; see Vd11.7.

13. 'After thou hast said those Chathrus-amrutas four times, thou shalt say aloud these victorious, most healing words:-

'"I drive away Aeshma, the fiend ot the murderous spear11, I drive away the daeva Akatasha12, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness.

11. Aeshma, Khishm [Eshm], the incarnation of anger: he sows quarrel and war. 'He is the chief source of evil for the creatures of Ohrmazd, and the Kayanian heroes mostly perished through him' (Bund. 28.17). [Aeshma appears as Asmoday or Asmodeus in Christian and Jewish writings in the apocryphal Book of Tobit 3.8. -JHP]

12. The fiend who corrupts and perverts men.

14. '"I drive away the Varenya daevas13, I drive away the wind-daeva, from this house, from this borough, from this town, from this land; from the very body of the man defiled by the dead, from the very body of the woman defiled by the dead; from the master of the house, from the lord of the borough, from the lord of the town, from the lord of the land; from the whole of the world of Righteousness." 13. The fiendish inhabitants of Varena (Gilan). Varena, like the neighhouring Mazana (Mazandaran), was peopled with savage, non-Aryan natives, who were considered men-demons. See Vd1.18 and notes.
15. 'These are the words in the Gathas that are to be said twice; these are the words in the Gathas that are to be said thrice; these are the words in the Gathas that are to be said four times.
16. 'These are the words that smite down Angra Mainyu; these are the words that smite down Aeshma, the fiend of the murderous spear; these are the words that smite down the daevas of Mazana14; these are the words that smite down all the daevas. 14. The demoniac races of Mazandaran; Mazandaran was known in popular tradition as a land of fiends and sorcerers.
17. 'These are the words that stand, against that Druj, against that Nasu, who from the dead rushes upon the living, who from the dead defiles the living.
18. 'Therefore, O Zarathushtra! thou shalt dig nine holes15 in the part of the ground where there is least water and where there are fewest trees; where there is nothing that may be food either for man or beast; "for purity is for man, next to life, the, greatest good, that purity, O Zarathushtra, that is in the Religion of Mazda for him who cleanses his own self with good thoughts, words, and deeds16." 15. The nine holes for the Barashnom; see above, Vd9.6 seq.

16. See Vd5.21.

19. 'Make thy own self pure, O righteous man! any one in the world here below can win purity for his own self, namely, when he cleanses his own self with good thoughts, words, and deeds.
20. '"Yatha ahu vairyo: - The will of the Lord is the law of righteousness," &c.17
'"Kem-na mazda: - What protector hast thou given unto me, O Mazda! while the hate of the wicked encompasses me?" &c.
'"Ke verethrem-ja: - Who is the victorious who will protect thy teaching?" &c.
'"Keep us from our hater, O Mazda and Armaiti Spenta! Perish, O fiendish Druj! ... Perish away to the regions of the north, never more to give unto death the living world of Righteousness!"'
17. The rest as in Vd8.19-20.


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