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AVESTA: VENDIDAD (English): Fargard 7. Purity Laws, Avestan medicine.

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.)

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

I (1-5). How long after death the Druj Nasu takes possession of the corpse.

II (6-9 = V, 27-30). How far the defiling power of the Druj Nasu extends.

III (10-22). Cleansing of clothes defiled by the dead.

IV (23-24). Eating of Nasu an abomination.

V (25-27), Bringing Nasu to fire or water an abomination.

VI (28-35). Cleansing of wood and corn defiled by the dead.

VII a (36-40). Physicians; their probation.

VII b (41-44). Their fees.

VIII (45-59), Purification of the earth, of the Dakhmas. The Dakhmas and the Daevas,

IX (60-72; 66-69 = V, 45-54). Treatment of a woman who has brought forth a still-born child.

X (73-75). Cleansing of vessels defiled by the dead.

XI (76). Cleansing of the cow.

XII (78). Unclean libations.

This chapter would offer tolerable unity, but for a digression on medicine, which would be better placed as an introduction to the last three chapters. Sections II and IX, parts of which have already been found in Fargard V, are more suitably placed here. This chapter, as a whole, deals with the action of the Druj Nasu, from the moment she takes hold of the corpse, and shows how and when the several objects she has defiled become clean, namely, clothes, wood, corn, earth, women, vessels, and cows.


FARGARD 7. Purity laws

I.

Notes:
1. Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: 'O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! When a man dies, at what moment does the Druj Nasu rush upon him?'
2. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Directly after death, as soon as the soul has left the body, O Spitama Zarathushtra! the Druj Nasu comes and rushes upon him, from the regions of the north1, in the shape of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras2. 1. Hell lies in the north; see Vd2.10 n.; Vd3.7 n.; Vd19.1; Hadokht Nask, section 3.25; Bundahishn 15.19.

2. Khrafstra is a general denomination for noxious animals.

[3. 'On him she stays until the dog has seen the corpse3 or eaten it up, or until the flesh-eating birds have taken flight towards it4. When the dog has seen it or eaten it up, or when the flesh-eating birds have taken flight towards it, then the Druj Nasu rushes away to the regions of the north in the shape of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras.'] 3. Until the Sag-did has been performed (see Vd8.16 seq.)

4. The Sag-did may be performed by birds of prey as well as by dogs. The dog smites the Nasu when it brings its muzzle near to the dead, the bird (mountain hawk, sparrow (?), or eagle) when its shadow passes over the body (Comm. ad § 2; cf. § 29). § 3 is from the Vendidad Sada.

4. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If the man has been killed by a dog, or by a wolf, or by witchcraft, or by the artifices of hatred5, or by falling down a precipice, or by the law6, or by calumny7, or by the noose8, how long after death does the Druj Nasu come and rush upon the dead? 5. 'By poison' (Comm.)

6. Literally, 'by men;' that is to say, put to death by the community according to law (Comm.)

7. If he has been condemned unjustly.

8. If he has strangled himself.

5. Ahura Mazda answered: 'At the next watch after death9, the Druj Nasu comes and rushes upon the dead, from the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras.' 9. The day is divided into five watches or ratu. If the man dies a natural death, the Druj comes directly; if the death be violent and unlooked for, the Druj comes later (as the corruption does not set in so quickly).

II10.

6. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If there be a number of men resting in the same place, on the same carpet, on the same pillows, be there two men near one another, or five, or fifty, or a hundred, close by one another; and of those people one happens to die; how many of them does the Druj Nasu envelope with corruption, infection, and pollution?

10. §§ 6-9 = Vd5.27-30.
7. Ahura Mazda answered: 'If the dead one be a priest, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the eleventh and defiles the ten.

'If the dead one he a warrior, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the tenth and defiles the nine.

'If the dead one be a husbandman, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the ninth and defiles the eight.

8. 'If it be a shepherd's dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the eighth and defiles the seven.

'If it be a house dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the seventh and defiles the six.

9. 'If it he a Vohunazga dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the sixth and defiles the five.

'If it be a Tauruna dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the fifth and defiles the four11.'

. . . 'Those clothes shall serve for their coverings and for their sheets12.'. . .

11. This enumeration is less complete than that in 'the fifth Fargard, as it comprises only the first four sorts of dogs; the rest is to be supplied as in Farg. V, 31-38.

12. This phrase, which forms part of § 19, is wrongly inserted here.

III.

10. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of his bedding13 and pillow does the Druj Nasu defile with corruption, infection, and pollution? 13. The bedding on which he has died.
11. Ahura Mazda answered: 'The Druj Nasu defiles with corruption, infection, and pollution the upper sheet and the inner garment14.' 14. The upper sheet of the bed and the inner garment of the body, that is to say, only those clothes which have been in direct contact with the dead.
12. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can that garment be made clean, O holy Ahura Mazda! that has been touched by the carcass of a dog or the corpse of a man?
13. Ahura Mazda answered: 'It can, O holy Zarathushtra!'

How so?

'If there be on the garment seed, or blood, or dirt, or vomit, the worshippers of Mazda shall rend it to pieces, and bury it under the ground15.

15. According to the Commentary only that part which has been defiled is rent off; the rest may still be used.
14. 'But if there be no seed [on the garment], nor blood, nor dirt, nor vomit, then the worshippers of Mazda shall wash it with gomez.
15. 'If it be leather, they shall wash it with gomez three times, they shall rub it with earth three times, they shall wash it with water three times, and afterwards they shall expose it to the air for three months at the window of the house.

'If it be woven cloth, they shall wash it with gomez six times16, they shall rub it with earth six times, they shall wash it with water six times, and afterwards they shall expose it to the air for six months at the window of the house.

16. See Vd19.21.
16. 'The spring named Ardvi Sura, O Spitama Zarathushtra! that spring of mine, purifies the seed of males, the womb of females, the milk of females17.' 17. This clause is a quotation from Yasna 65.5, intended to illustrate the cleansing power of water. Ardvi Sura is the goddess of the waters. See Vd21.6 notes.
1718. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can those clothes, when once washed and cleansed, ever be used either by a Zaotar, or by a Havanan, or by an Atare-vakhsha, or by a Frabaretar, or by an Abered, or by an Asnatar, or by a Rathwiskar, or by a Sraosha-varez, or by any priest, warrior, or husbandman? 18. §§ 17-22 = Vd5.57-62.
18. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Never can those clothes, even when washed and cleansed, be used either by a Zaotar, or by a Havanan, or by an Atare-vakhsha, or by a Frabaretar, or by an Abered, or by an Asnatar, or by a Rathwiskar, or by a Sraosha-varez, or by any priest, warrior, or husbandman.

19. 'But if there be in a Mazdean house a woman who is in her sickness, or a man who has become unfit for work, and who must sit in the place of infirmity, those clothes shall serve for their coverings and for their sheets, until they can withdraw their hands for prayer.

20. 'Ahura Mazda, indeed, does not allow us to waste anything of value that we may have, not even so much as an Asperena's weight of thread, not even so much as a maid lets fall in spinning.

21. 'Whosoever throws any clothing on a dead body, even so much as a maid lets fall in spinning, is not a pious man whilst alive, nor shall he, when dead, have a place in Paradise.

22. 'He makes himself a viaticum unto the world of the wicked, into that world, made of darkness, the offspring of darkness, which is Darkness' self. To that world, to the world of Hell, you are delivered by your own doings, by your own religion, O sinners!'

IV.

23. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can he be clean again who has eaten of the carcass of a dog or of the corpse of a man19? 19. The carcase-eater lodges the Nasu in himself; he becomes a Nasu, and therefore must be destroyed; cf. below, § 76 seq. [Cannibalism. See Vd8.73-74. -JHP]
24. Ahura Mazda answered: 'He cannot, O holy Zarathushtra! His burrow20 shall be dug out, his heart shall be torn out, his bright eyes shall be put out; the Druj Nasu falls upon him, takes hold of him even to the end of the nails, and he is unclean thenceforth, for ever and ever21.' 20. His house, as he is assimilated to a devouring Khrafstra; see Vd3.7.

21. Till the resurrection. 'It is prescribed in the Vendidad that if a man shall eat of a carcase, his house and family shall he destroyed, his heart shall be torn out of his body, his eyes shall be put out, and his soul shall abide in hell till the resurrection' (Saddar 71). 'He who eats of a carcase with sinful intent is both unclean and margarzan; Barashnum and Nirang are of no avail for him, he must die. If there has been no sinful intent, he may wash himself; one may give him the ashes and the gomez (Comm.); he is unclean, he is not margarzan' (Old Riv. 115 b).

V.

25. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can he be clean again, O holy Ahura Mazda! who has brought a corpse with filth into the waters, or unto the fire, and made either unclean?

26. Ahura Mazda answered: 'He cannot, O holy Zarathushtra! Those wicked ones it is, those Nasu-cutters, that most increase spiders and locusts22; those wicked ones it is, those Nasu-cutters, that most increase the grass-destroying drought23. 22. 'It is said in the Avesta that when there are many gnats and locusts it is owing to corpses having been brought to water and to fire' (Saddar 72).

23. § 26 refers chiefly to the damage produced by the defilement of the waters, and § 27 to that produced by the defilement of the fire.

27. 'Those wicked ones it is, those Nasu-cutters, that increase most the power of the winter24, produced by the fiends, the cattle-killing, thick- snowing, overflowing, the piercing, fierce, mischievous winter25. Upon them comes and rushes the Druj Nasu she takes hold of them even to the end of the nails, and they are unclean, thenceforth, for ever and ever26.' 24. See note 23 above.

25. In the same way (by the bringing of corpses to water and to fire), winter grows colder, and summer grows warmer' (Saddar 72).

26. Whoever shall do that deed, shall pay for it in this world and in the next; they shall flay his body in the presence of the assembly, they shall tear him limb from limb, and his corpse shall be thrown away to dogs and ravens, . . . and when his soul comes to the other world, he shall suffer tortures from the Devs. If he has not made his Patet [confession], his soul shall remain in hell till the day of resurrection' (Gr. Riv. p. 123).

VI.

28. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the wood be made clean, O holy Ahura Mazda! whereunto Nasu has been brought from a dead dog, or from a dead man?

29. Ahura Mazda answered: 'It can, O holy Zarathushtra!'

How so?

'If the Nasu has not yet been expelled27 by the corpse-eating dogs, or by the corpse-eating birds28, they shall lay down, apart on the ground, all the wood on a Vitasti29 a all around, if the wood be dry; on a Frarathni30 all around, if it be wet; then they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean31.

27. That is to say, if the Sag-did has not yet been performed. Read: 'If the Nasu has been expelled...' (that, is to say, if the Sag-did has been performed). See note 6.

28. See above, verse 3, note 3.

29. Twelve fingers; a span.

30. The Frârâthni is, as it seems, as much as a forearm.

31. 'After a year,' according to the Commentary.

30. 'But if the Nasu has already been expelled32 by the corpse-eating dogs, or by the corpse-eating birds, they shall lay down, apart on the ground, all the wood on a Frarathni all around, if the wood be dry; on a Frabazu33 all around, if it be wet; then they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean. 32. Read: 'But if the Nasu has not yet been expelled.' It appears from the similar passages (Vd8.35, 36, and 98, 99) and from the general principles of uncleanness that the words 'If the Nasu has not yet been expelled,' in § 29, have been misplaced there from § 30, and that the corresponding words in § 30 belong to § 29; because uncleanness spreads less far, when the Sag-did has taken place.

33. A measure of unknown extent; 'an arm's length,' it would seem.

31. 'Thus much of the wood around the dead shall they lay down, apart on the ground, according as the wood is dry or wet; as it is hard or soft; they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean.'

32. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the corn or the fodder be made clean O holy Ahura Mazda! whereunto Nasu has been brought from a dead dog, or from a dead man?

33. Ahura Mazda answered: 'It can, O holy Zarathushtra!' How so?

'If the Nasu has not yet been expelled34 by the corpse-eating dogs, or by the corpse-eating birds they shall lay down, apart on the ground, all the corn on a Frarathni all around, if the corn be dry on a Frabazu all around, if it be wet; then they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean.

34. Read: 'If the Nasu has already been expelled . . .' See § 29 note.
34. 'But if the Nasu has already been expelled35 by the corpse-eating dogs, or by the corpse-eating birds, they shall lay down, apart on the ground, all the corn on a Frabazu all around, if the corn be dry; on a Vibazu36 all around, if it be wet then they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean. 35. Read: 'If the Nasu has already been expelled . . .' See § 30 note.

36. A measure of unknown extent; 'an ell,' it would seem.

35. 'Thus much of the corn around the dead shall they lay down, apart on the ground, according as the corn is dry or wet; as it is sown or not sown; as it is reaped or not reaped; [as it is beaten or not beaten]37; as it is winnowed or not winnowed38; [as it is ground or not ground]38; as it is kneaded [or not kneaded]39; they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean.' 37. From the Vendidad Sada.

38. Doubtful.

39. This is supplied, as it seems to be required by the context and by the Pahlavi translation.

VIIa.

36. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a worshipper of Mazda want to practice the art of healing, on whom shall he first prove his skill? on worshippers of Mazda or on worshippers of the Daevas40? 40. On Zoroastrians or on idolaters (or, what is tantamount, on Iranians or on non-Iranians).
37. Ahura Mazda answered: 'On worshippers of the Daevas shall he first prove himself, rather than on worshippers of Mazda. If he treat with the knife a worshipper of the Daevas and he die; if he treat with the knife a second worshipper of the Daevas and he die; if he treat with the knife for the third time a worshipper of the Daevas and he die, he is unfit for ever and ever.
38. 'Let him therefore never attend any worshipper of Mazda; let him never treat with the knife and worshipper of Mazda, nor wound him with the knife. If he shall ever attend any worshipper of Mazda, if he shall ever treat with the knife any worshipper of Mazda, and wound him with the knife, he shall pay for his wound the penalty for willful murder41. 41. For baodhô-varshta, literally, 'done with full conscience.'
39. 'If he treat with the knife a worshipper of the Daevas and he recover; if he treat with the knife a second worshipper of the Daevas and he recover; if for the third time he treat with the knife a worshipper of the Daevas and he recover; then he is fit for ever and ever42. 42. 'Some say, One who has been qualified may become disqualified; one who has been disqualified shall never become qualified' (Comm. ad § 43).
40. 'He may henceforth at his will attend worshippers of Mazda; he may at his will treat with the knife worshippers of Mazda, and heal them with the knife.

VIIb.

41. 'A healer shall heal a priest for a blessing of the just43; he shall heal the master of a house for the value of an ox of low value; he shall heal the lord of a borough44 for the value of an ox of average value; he shall heal the lord of a town for the value of an ox of high value; he shall heal the lord of a province for the value of a chariot and four45. 43. The priest will say to him: Be holy! (that is to say, be one of the blest!) 'Thus he will become holy (i.e. be will go to Paradise); there is no equivalent in money. Some say, It is given when the priest has not 3000 stirs' (Comm.)

44. A group of several houses; Aspendiˆrji and Anquetil say, 'a street.'

45. 'A value of seventy stirs' (Comm.)

42. 'He shall heal the wife of the master of a house for the value of a she-ass; he shall heal the wife of the lord of a borough for the value of a cow; he shall heal the wife of the lord of a town for the value of a mare; he shall heal the wife of the lord of a province for the value of a she-camel.
43. 'He shall heal the heir of a great house for the value of an ox of high value; he shall heal an ox of high value for the value of an ox of aver- age value; he shall heal an ox of average value for the value of an ox of low value; he shall heal an ox of low value for the value of a sheep; he shall heal a sheep for the value of a piece of meat46. 46. Cf. the tariff of fees for the cleanser, Vd9.37 seq.
44. 'If several healers offer themselves together, O Spitama Zarathushtra! namely, one who heals with the knife, one who heals with herbs, and one who heals with the Holy Word [manthra]47, let one apply to the healing by the Holy Word: for this one is the best-healing of all healers who heals with the Holy Word; he will best drive away sickness from the body of the faithful48.' 47. 'By spells' (Comm.; cf. Odyssea XIX, 457). This classification was not unknown to Asclepios: he relieved the sick 'now with caressing spells, now with soothing drink or balsam, now with the knife' (Pindaros, Pyth. III, 5 I).

48. Cf. Yt3.6. The treatment by the Holy Word seems not to consist only in the recitation of spells, but the spells must be accompanied by the ceremony of the Barashnum (see Vd22).

VIII.

45. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long after the corpse of a dead man has been laid down on the ground, clothed with the light of heaven and beholding the sun, is the ground clean again49? 49. Restored to the purity of its nature, and fit to till; as it remains Nasu till that time.
46. Ahura Mazda answered: 'When the corpse of a dead man has lain on the ground for a year, clothed with the light of heaven, and beholding the sun, then the ground is clean again, O holy Zarathushtra50!' 50. See Vd6.1 seq.
47. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long after the corpse of a dead man has been buried in the earth, is the earth clean again?
48. Ahura Mazda answered: 'When the corpse of a dead man has lain buried in the earth for fifty years51, O Spitama Zarathushtra! then the earth is clean again52.' 51. The time necessary to consume the corpse to its last particle.

52. Cf. Vd3.36 seq.

49. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long after the corpse of a dead man has been laid down on a Dakhma, is the ground, whereon the Dakhma stands, clean again?
50. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Not until the dust of the corpse, O Spitama Zarathushtra! has mingled with the dust of the earth53. Urge every one in the material world, O Spitama Zarathushtra! to pull down Dakhmas54. 53. A space of time estimated at fifty years (Comm.) See Vd3.13.

54. See Vd3.9, text and note, and § 13.

51. 'He who should pull down Dakhmas, even so much thereof as the size of his own body, his sins in thought, word, and deed are remitted as they would be by a Patet; his sins in thought, word, and deed are undone55. 55. 'A tanapuhr sin is remitted thereby' (Comm.)
52. 'Not for his soul shall the two spirits wage war with one another56; and when he enters Paradise, the stars, the moon, and the sun shall rejoice in him; and I, Ahura Mazda, shall rejoice in him, saying: " Hail, O man! thou who hast just passed from the decaying world into the undecaying one57!"' 56. When a man dies, hell and Paradise, fiends and gods struggle for the possession of his soul: Astovidhotush, Vizaresha, and the bad Vayu drag the souls of the wicked to hell; Mithra, Sraosha, Rashnu, and the good Vayu take the souls of the good to Paradise (see Vd19.29 seq.; Hadhokht Nask; Menog-i Khrad 2). The struggle lasts for three days and three nights (the sadis), during which time the relatives of the dead offer up prayers and sacrifices to Sraosha, Rashnu, and Vayu, to assure him their protection (See Vd9.56).

57. Hadhokht Nask 16 and Vd19.31.

5558. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Where are there Daevas: Where is it they offer worship to the Daevas: What is the place whereon troops of Daevas rush together, whereon troops of Daevas come rushing along? What is the place whereon they rush together to kill their fifties and their hundreds, their hundreds and their thousands, their thousands and their tens of thousands, their tens of thousands and their myriads of myriads? 58. §§ 53, 54 belong to the Commentary; they are composed of disconnected quotations, part of which refers to the different deeds by which a tanapuhr sin may be redeemed, while the other part refers to the rules of what may be called the book-keeping of good actions and sins.
56. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Those Dakhmas that are built upon the face of the earth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! and whereon are laid the corpses of dead men, that is the place where there are Daevas, that is the place whereon troops of Daevas rush together; whereon troops of Daevas come rushing along; whereon they rush together to kill their fifties and their hundreds, their hundreds and their thousands, their thousands and their tens of thousands, their tens of thousands and their myriads of myriads.

57. 'On those Dakhmas, O Spitama Zarathushtra! those Daevas take food and void filth. As you, men, in the material world, you cook meal and eat cooked meat, so do they. It is, as it were, the smell of their feeding that you smell there, O men!

58. 'For thus they go on reveling, until that stench is rooted in the Dakhmas. In those Dakhmas arise the infection of diseases, itch, hot fever, naeza59, cold fever, rickets, and hair untimely white60. On those Dakhmas meet the worst murderers, from the hour when the sun is down61. 59. Doubtful.

60. Albinism was regarded as sent by the demons. When Zâl was born with white hair, his father Sâm exposed on the Alburz 'that child of Dev, with an old man's head' (Firdausi).

61. Cemeteries are the meeting-place of robbers and murderers.

59. 'And people of small understanding who do not seek for better understanding62, the Jainis63 make those diseases grow stronger by a third64, on their thighs, on their hands, on their three-plaited hair65.' 62. 'Who do not seek for instruction.'

63. [i.e. Genie, jinn, djinn -JHP] 'The Jahi' (Comm.) The Jaini seems to be the Jahi as 'killing,' as bringing sickness.

64. The general meaning of the sentence seems to be that, for want of hygiene, diseaes grow worse through the infection from the Dakhmas.

65. Doubtful.

IX.

6066. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If in the house of a worshipper of Mazda there be a woman with child, and if being a month gone, or two, or three, or four, or five, or six, or seven, or eight, or nine, or ten months gone, she bring forth a still-born child, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do? 66. §§ 60-69 = Vd5.45-54. See the Commentary there.
61. Ahura Mazda answered: 'The place in that Mazdean house whereof the ground is the cleanest and the driest, and the least passed through by flocks and herds, by the fire of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of baresma, and by the faithful;'

62. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How far from the fire? How far from the water? How far from the consecrated bundles of baresma? How far from the faithful?

63. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Thirty paces from the fire; thirty paces from the water; thirty paces from the consecrated bundles of Baresma; three paces from the faithful;-

64. 'On that place shall the worshippers of Mazda erect an enclosure, and therein shall they establish her with food, therein shall they establish her with clothes.'

65. O Maker of the material word, thou Holy One! What is the food that the woman shall first take?

66. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Gomez mixed with ashes, three draughts of it, or six, or nine, to send down the Dakhma within her womb.

67. 'Afterwards she may drink boiling milk of mares, cows, sheep, or goats, with pap or without pap; she may take cooked milk without water, meal without water, and wine without water.' 68. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long shall she remain so? How long shall she live thus on milk, meal, and wine?

69. Ahura Mazda answered: 'Three nights long shall she remain so; three nights long shall she live thus on milk, meal, and wine. Then, when three nights have passed, she shall wash her body, she shall wash her clothes, with gomez and water, by the nine holes, and thus shall she be clean.'

70. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! But if fever befall her unclean body, if these two worst pains, hunger and thirst, befall her, may she be allowed to drink water67? 67. Before those three days have passed.
71. Ahura Mazda answered: 'She may; the first thing for her is to have her life saved. From the hands of one of the holy men, a holy faithful man, who knows the holy knowledge68, she shall drink of the strength-giving water. But you, worshippers of Mazda, fix ye the penalty for it. The Ratu being applied to, the Sraosha-varez being applied to69, shall prescribe the penalty to be paid70.' 68. If there is near her a pious and intelligent man, who recognises that her life would be endangered by too strict an adherence to the rule, he will let her depart from it.

69. See Vd5.25.

70. For the water having been defiled.

72. What is the penalty to be paid?

Ahura Mazda answered: 'The deed is that of a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraosho-charana71.'

71. A penalty to be undergone by the husband, at least in modern practice: 'If through fear of death or of serious illness she has drunk water before the appointed time, her husband shall make Patet for her fault before the Dastur' (Old Riv. 98 b).

X.

73. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the eating-vessels be made clean that have been touched by Nasu from a dog, or Nasu from a man?

74. Ahura Mazda answered: 'They can, O holy Zarathushtra!'

How so?

'If they be of gold, you shall wash them once with gomez, you shall rub them once with earth, you shall wash them once with water, and they shall be clean.

'If they be of silver, you shall wash them twice with gomez, you shall rub them twice with earth, you shall wash them twice with water, and they shall be clean.

[75. 'If they be of iron,71b you shall wash them thrice with gomez, you shall rub them thrice with earth, you shall wash them thrice with water, and they shall be clean.

71b. Dar: brass. -JHP

'If they be of steel, you shall wash them four times with gomez, you shall rub them four times with earth, you shall wash them four times with water, and they shall be clean.

'If they be of stone, you shall wash them six times with gomez, you shall rub them six times with earth, you shall wash them six times with water, and they shall be clean72.]

'If they be of earth, of wood, or of clay, they are unclean for ever and ever73.'

72. From the Vendidad Sada.

73. The power of resistance to uncleanness follows the value of the materials: gold, silver, iron, steel, stone, earth, wood, clay.

XI.

76. O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the cow be made clean that has eaten of the carcass of a dog, or of the corpse of a man?

77. Ahura Mazda answered: 'She can, O holy Zarathushtra! The priest shall not, within a year, take from her either milk or cheese for the libation, nor meat for the libation and the Baresma74. When a year has passed, then the faithful may eat of her as before75.' 74. [barsom -JHP] The libation waters (Zaothra) are mixed with milk (jîv). The cheese (or butter) and the meat are elements of the dron as gôshôdâ.

75. 'Whatever comes from her, if dropped, is clean; if taken, unclean. If she he big with young [pregnant -JHP], the young is born clean, if conceived before her eating of the corpse; if conceived afterwards, it is born unclean' (Comm.)

XII.

78. Who is he, O holy Ahura Mazda! who, meaning well and desiring righteousness, prevents righteousness? Who is he who, meaning well, falls into the ways of the Druj76? 76. Possibly, 'works for the Druj.'
79. Ahura Mazda answered: 'This one, meaning well and desiring righteousness, prevents righteousness; this one, meaning well, falls into the ways of the Druj, who offers up water defiled by the dead and unfit for libation; or who offers up in the dead of the night water unfit for libation77.' 77. 'From what hour may sacrifice to the Good Waters be offered? From sunrise to sunset. . . He who offers up libations to the Good Waters after sunset, before sunrise, does no better deed than if he should throw them downright into the jaws of a venomous snake' (Nirangistan, § 48).


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