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DENKARD (Acts of Religion), Book 3

This digital edition copyright © 1997 by Joseph H. Peterson. All rights reserved.

Edited by Peshotun Dastoor Behramjee Sanjana, 1881.

(Exposition in the good religion) regarding the following six ways of expiating the punishment for the margarjan sin. (175)

Be it known that, the six kinds of expiation of the punishment for the margarjan sin, are as follows: -- When the orders of rulers are violated, one (kind of expiation) is (by performing righteous acts) by means of riches, or by sincere penitence for that sin, according to the precept of the high priest of the religion. -- One (the second kind of expiation) is by the penitent confession of the (margarjan) sin before the high priest of the religion, whereby the final or best remedy is known for the relief of the soul (from hell), and of the body from imprisonment (in this world); provided that, while fighting with unsubmissive people (anair), the sinful one shall have slain his enemy or rival in battle at the imminent risk of his life [lit. life-devotingly]. One (the third) is, when one, by whom the (margarjan) sin of confounding idolatry has been committed, shall, in satisfaction for the sin, rightly and willingly abide, wherever in pursuance of the decree of his king, they may direct his imprisonment for ten years; since the final (effective) reparation for his sin (of idolatry), known (in the religion), is his condign imprisonment for ten years. -- One (the fourth) is, when a person who has become liable to margarjan punishment by disobeying the commands of his masters or lords, is saved ( from the punishment of hell) by obtaining his masters' forgiveness of his sin. -- One (the fifth) is, when a woman has become liable to the margarjan punishment by disrespect towards her husband, (her sin), it is declared, (may be canceled) by her husband's forgiveness. -- One (the sixth) is, when any kind of sin, which may have been committed in one's (daily) avocations, is remitted by repenting of that sin with due observance of the directions of the high priests of the religion as (affording) the best decision. -- And the final means or mode of averting from the soul (of the deceased) the effects of its sinfulness, is (by meritorious actions, or by making vows to perform them) during the three days and nights following death (i.e. immediately after the soul has parted from the body).

Exposition in the good religion regarding the good qualities of Hozvaban Tehmasp, his great or holy miraculous spiritual power (put forth) in annihilating evil practices, which was made manifest by virtue of his chieftainship, and by which miraculous spiritual power he was enabled to restore the districts of Iran by expelling different infidel and demon worshipping peoples from the kingdom of Iran, and to enforce therein the supremacy and the laws of the royal descendants of Erach. (176)

Be it known that, it is manifest from the good religion that the exceedingly miraculous spiritual power of Hozvaban Tehmasp,1 was manifested in this world by virtue of his chieftainship in overpowering, destroying, and annihilating evil practices wherever they appeared under his sovereignty. And, likewise, by means of his holy spiritual miraculous power, he had revealed to the infidel (anair) and demon-worshipping peoples (of his time), and to many of their brave commanders, the prophetic intelligence that Gushtasp would convert to his (Mazdayasnian) religion the (then) king of Turkistan, the men of the Arab tribes with disheveled hair, and the kingly tribes called the Kalisiai and the Rumi. And that Hozvaban King drove out of the districts of Iran those persons who corrupted (the people) with many enormities, -- he ruined or suppressed them, and caused them to disappear; and he readjusted the sovereignty and the laws of the Kingdom of Iran.

1. Molé: Uzâb son of Tahmâsp, known from Yt13.131 and GrB18.18.

And thereafter he foretold the cessation or disappearance of idolatry, misery and demon-worship, as well as all sorts of pernicious pollution, decay, and ruin from water, fire, earth, and other good things of creation, from the districts of Iran, and the prevalence therein of renewed courage and victory for the religion of Ohrmazd in the millennium of Zartosht; and that, finally (i.e. at the time of the resurrection), in accordance with the will and decree of the Almighty, the holy lord of Chasru-madina,2 the son of Gushtasp, who is otherwise called Peshotan, with his 150 disciples, will be powerful (enough to bring about the final renovation above mentioned.)

2. Molé: Catrumân, a name which means "the four houses." However, graphemes used in the Zand i Vohuman Yasht 3.25 ff suggest that the first part of the compound is cithro.

Exposition in the good religion concerning the keeping of one's self and of one's fellowmen from all the evil or mischievous propensities of man's nature, the moment they are perceived (to be injurious); also concerning the doing of good by one's self to others of the same (one's own) race or religion. (177)

Be it known that, every manifestation of affection in man is towards himself or his own offspring. Hence it is befitting that a man and his offspring should do good and not evil (towards each other). Man ought, (therefore), to feel affection for himself and for his own children; and the rearing of children and (so to say) the reproduction of one's self, is owing to the love of one's own race or family. It is necessary that the relations between man and man should be governed by a pure affection, in order that they may be capable of virtue, and that their inclinations may be turned from evil.

All men are as one's own person and children. For this reason every man should be greatly averse to evil, and be very eager to advance in goodness; since every man is a participator (in the goodness or evil) of this world. No man, therefore, should deliberately cause injury to others, or take pleasure in the injury that may befall them. He in whose soul virtue dwells, is well disposed towards others, and desires or is pleased with the happiness of others; thereby he becomes capable of preventing mutual injuries among men, and of promoting the union of virtue among them. And, accordingly, such a man counteracts or destroys that power in men, which troubles the world and abets the drujs. And, thus, the drujs are tormented by the Yazads; and the world-aiding Yazads themselves drive away completely from the world the infamous drujs and the mischief (emanating from them) ; and (thus) by means of the Yazads goodness is increased in this world.

Accordingly, these two kinds of evil exist in this world. One proceeds from a human creature of this world on account of the devilish power (acquired by him); the other emanates from the invisible drujs because of their own (inherent) power. (Both of these evils) ought to be expelled from the world. -- But there are two kinds of goodness. Of these one originates from man (a creature) of this world, the other comes on the world from the invisible Yazads*.

It is revealed by the good religion that in the final seven and fifty years perfect goodness unalloyed with evil, shall prevail in the world through Saoshyant, and just before the resurrection all men for their fidelity to the Mazdayasnian religion, shall be renovated by means of their good-natured or virtuous deeds, and shall in their conduct obey the precepts of the Gathas.

[* Good and evil exist respectively on account of angelic and devilish power of man. The meaning is that it is the demons that produce evil in this world, and it is by them and by men who possess their evil nature, that that evil is accomplished in this world. Of these the devils are the authors of evil, while demon worshipping men are as it were the tools by which the demons work out their ends. -- In like manner the Yazads are authors of goodness in this world; while their active instruments are those Yazdanparast people, who have the power and attributes of angels to destroy the evil and to enlarge the good in this world.]

Exposition in the good religion regarding the hope man has from this life, and (his) fear of damnation, and the departure or return of the one (object, viz. the soul) from the other (viz. the body). (178)

Be it known that, it is owing to the divine glory (of Ohrmazd) that man from the beginning has in life the knowledge of his Creator's desires; but (it is) by not remembering him, and by being drawn towards the immoral (sinful) splendor (or attractions) of the Blemish giver (Ahriman), that by his life (in this world) he brings on himself damnation for eternity in the next. As long as man is in inward communion with the Yazads, by sincere worship of the Deity, and by (means of the active Influence of) angelic Powers; he is capable of procreating offspring, he acquires great ability or talent for other works (varied actions), as well as dignified wisdom [lit. an increase of wisdom]. And by following the immoral splendor of the wicked (Ahriman), his expectations of the future are filled with fear of damnation during his passage to the Chinwad Bridge (i.e. at that moment he has lost all hope of obtaining the final reward, and is instead tortured with the fear of damnation in hell). He, whose life has been devoted to the remembrance of the Highest (i.e. the Almighty), is not (troubled) with any foreboding of painful suffering (to come hereafter). And should disgrace or reproach come on that man of angelic strength, through any good deed of his, his fear of damnation in hell is moderated or destroyed by the power of the divine glory that aids him, and the hope he derives from a life spent in communion with heavenly beings; and because of the absence in him of any of the unrighteous splendor of the Blemish-giver (Ahriman), his future life is exempted from affliction. -- When man cannot adore the Deity, it is derogatory to the divine wisdom (in or familiar to him), by reason of the great diminution of his share in the divine glory. Consequently, that man who is of a perverse disposition, and without God's religion which teaches the hope of a future life and forewarns of the punishment of hell, is deprived of the knowledge of both (viz. the hope of an eternally happy life and the fear of the pains of hell.) On account of this perverse inclination (arising) from the unrighteous splendor of the Blemish-giver (Ahriman), and by reason of forgetfulness of the future life (in heaven), man gradually reaches a condition [lit. knowledge] which is deserving of damnation.

Moreover, when men are no longer capable of procreating children or able to maintain them, and are on this account grieved with despair, their souls are (directly) disunited (from their bodies) by (the decree of) Astwidat or Fate, and they are then overwhelmed with deep despair both on account of the future (which life they have forfeited), and the damnation (in hell, which they have merited); and having neglected the Deity during life, they remember Him the more at the moment of death. Because it is declared concerning those who fall into hell, that from the severity of their punishment in hell, their life which in this world they deemed to be proper (or free from blame), appears to them in hell so unfit or stained with sin [lit. so changed into unfitness], that they eagerly express the wish: "Would that we had never been born, or that we had not lived to follow the faith of the sinful." On account of which (penalty) they also exclaim that (it would have been) better if they had never been born.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the best kings. (179)

Be it known that, the kings (who are) like Jamshed and Vishtasp in dignity, arc the best kings. That king is like Jamshed in dignity, who like Jamshed is most prominent (or conspicuous) among men like the sun, and who is well-disposed towards all those among the good creatures, who are submissive to the Deity. That king is like Vishtasp in dignity, who like King Vishtasp is known as the most friendly towards, the most sincere acceptor, the most faithful adherent, and the most zealous propagator, of the Mazdayasnian religion (in this world).

Exposition in the good religion regarding the manner in which man alone among the Creator's creations, ought to improve himself and save his soul from hell. (180)

Be it known that, of all God's creatures man may improve himself and save his soul from hell by the following six (means). Three (of these) are chiefly for the preservation of the soul (from sin); and three chiefly for the improvement of one's self.

(1) One (means) of (preserving) the soul is each man's own conscience, which is the essential means in man of avoiding sin, of making relief unnecessary, of escaping penal imprisonment, and of effectually keeping the soul out of hell.

(2) One is the religious teacher in this world, who by training men in the Mazdayasnian religion, and in the knowledge of the means of preserving their souls through their meritorious actions and of punishment for sins, relieves (or confirms) those who are good, and enables them to reach a high degree of religious merit.

(3) One is the Rashn-e-Rast and other spiritual lords, (angels and archangels), who, when a man has already repented of his sins in this world, made satisfaction for the sins committed by him, and cast away those sins from him, purify that person from the penalty due to such sins, at the time of reckoning on the third night after death, and send him by the Chinwad Bridge into the abode of Paradise.

The three (means) particularly adapted for the improvement of one's self (are as follows). -- (1) One is a well-conducted (friend) who lends a helping hand in distress, who communicates to his fellowmen the influence of his own good disposition. -- (2) One is the path of mithra (i.e., of truth and honesty) which when a man's soul has been endowed with it, preserves his life and person in persevering union with the Yazads. -- (3) One is the world-protecting king who is a refuge unto mankind in this life from every pernicious object (sin), and who cherishes and liberates them.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the injustice (done) to a rightful [deserving] person by a gift (being given) to an unrightful [undeserving] one. (181)

Be it known that, the injustice to a rightful person by gift being made to an unrightful one, arises in the following manner. It is necessary (for a religious person) to make a gift, joyfully and unasked, to a proper person who is deserving of it (i.e. of that gift), since if he does not bestow it (upon that worthy man), he commits a sin [lit. there will be sin]. And if the giver does not bestow it on one who is unrightful and has not asked for it, he does not incur any sin at all. But if being requested (by a deserving man) and being rich, he refuses to grant it, he is called in the Gathas the Drujo, "of the creation of the Druj (Ahriman) himself." Regarding this the exposition is as follows: -- Whosoever does not bestow a gift on the man who comes to him with a desire (to have something), is the creature of the Druj, that is he has acted like a creature of the Druj, and thus (it is proper that) he be called publicly [lit. by the voice of the kingdom], one of the nature of Ahriman [lit. as one of the evil creations of Ahriman].

Exposition in the good religion as to what things are the more beneficial to men in this world. (182)

Be it known that, the following six things are the more beneficial to men: -- (1) One is to confess openly one's sins, that they may be legally punished in this world in the presence of the leader of the Behdin community (anjoman). -- (2) One is that men should have a constant (ham-baste) reverence for whatever has been done by the previous leaders of religion (poryotkesh). -- (3) One is the zealous exertions of the talented Athravans to establish institutions for religious instruction. -- (4) One is that the disciple should acknowledge the habits (or follow in the footsteps) of his worthy teacher, and secure himself from punishment by (the bond of) association with him and by meditations on the Mazdayasnian religion. -- (5) One is the humble submission to the deservingly pre-eminent high-priest of the Mazdayasnian religion, (as a final or best resource) for the faithful followers of the Din (religion) of Ohrmazd to advance in the good religion. -- (6) One is the concord of the subjects of the Sovereign of the World with the just and supreme king of a continent, for the proper advancement of the people.

Exposition in the good religion (on the subject) that men should as much as possible banish from the world the visible portion of pollution or all kinds of (filth, that no harm may accrue unto them.) (183)

Be it known that, the only best means of giving perfect health is the Mazdayasnian religion; since this is manifest from it, that men ought to clear away from fertile land, or as much as possible keep aloof from, all dead matter, bodily refuse or pollution of any kind, and to destroy two-thirds of such putrid matter from amongst the population. Accordingly, they are to abstain from burning it (i.e. putrid matter) in fire, and from pouring water over it; and they ought to preserve those (elements) from pollution. By the continued shining of the fires (i.e. by the heat of the sun, moon and other fires), two-thirds of the pernicious matter (or poisonous atmosphere) in the world is destroyed. It is also manifest that the entrance of the contamination of putrefying substances unto men is owing to the Blemish-giver (Ahriman), and there result from it corruption and stench which produce poisonous exhalations infecting men (with diseases). The visible form and figure of the body on earth are due to (or dependent on) air and fire; and it is they that nourish the vital parts in the physical structure of man. Consequently, it is the precept of the good religion to preserve them (from corruption).

By bringing contamination or putrefaction into these substances (viz: fire, air and water), disease is produced; (so) by preserving them, and by removing pollution and stink, salubrity and health may be secured for men and cattle. Pure water is the means by which man preserves his body from defilement (or infection). And on account of their fidelity to the Mazdayasnian faith, our ancestors used to respect and put in practice the precepts of the Mazdayasnian religion, given by the high-priest of the good religion, as well as the mandates issued by the sovereign professing the good religion.

The sovereignty of the Mazdayasnian prince was accepted as their own supremacy by men of the good religion; and thus it came about that men acted in accordance with his orders. On that account a blessing was (pronounced) on the people of the world by the accomplished doctor or high-priest of the Mazdayasnian religion, for the increase of piety, beauty and gloriousness in mankind.

Victory, greatness and deep adoration (of men) in this world, are the result of the innumerable pious actions (undertaken) to strengthen their own happiness in the next. They who abandoning the teaching (or precepts) of the accomplished high-priest, have fallen into pamperedness or luxury owing to (their association with) a priest who teaches impiety to man-kind, and who is deceitful and leads them into evil ways, turn away, in the decay of their soul and body, from the knowledge thereof; and in consequence complete (grievous) distress is seen in this world. And such is the exposition in the Mazdayasnian religion, that all men should adopt means for the health and well-being of the world by accepting the precepts of the accomplished high-priest of the religion, and that they should always act in union with that accomplished high-priest who is a guide in the exalted path. And that accomplished high-priest should at the same time inculcate the maintaining of mutual peace (or friendship) and charity towards one another, so that all (men) may remain free from corruption, decay old age or mortality, and that all men in the good creations (of the world) may become entirely happy.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the origin of moderate thinking and of immoderate thinking, their outcome, and the explanation and power thereof, the thoughts suggested therefrom, and the relation between the advantages of moderate thinking and the injury from immoderate thinking. (184)

Be it known that, the original power of moderate thinking is the gift of the Moderate Thinker, Who is Ohrmazd; and it may be described as having the mind (occupied) in collecting a store of merits for the soul.

The strength (or degree) of a man's improvement depends on it (viz. moderate thinking). So long as the intuitive wisdom of Vohuman subsists in man, his judgment leads him to think about that good quality and good power for himself. His prosperous existence is the result of his contentment and of Ohrmazd's preserving care; and his whole thought is therefore directed to the virtuous qualities and power of the Yazads, whereby man attains to the great angelic blessing of being free from envy; he lives thereby free from disease, and free from any grievance against, and contention with the good people. Again, whosoever is protected by Ohrmazd, shares in a more complete manner the virtuous qualities and power of the Yazads; and thus he is well fitted to support his fellow-creatures in virtue, thereby acquiring joy and power (or solid holiness) for himself. Again, every one who expressed his praiseworthy ideas (or belief regarding (the benefits of) union with the Mazdayasnian religion, was its expounder (madde) only on account of it (i.e. moderate thinking)*: Such was Hoshang among the Peshdadians, Zohak among the tormentors, Patsroban among the fortunate, Kaus among the enlightened (or the wise), Sam among the valiant, Zoroaster [Zartosht] among the bright, Isfandiar among the abstaining. Such were also beings of angelic qualities and knowledge in the forms of the canine and boar species.**

[*It was the gift of moderate thinking that enable many men to expound the blessings of the Mazdayasnian religion.]

[** This probably refers to the different shapes (one of which is that of a boar) in which the Yazad Verethraghna appears in the Warharan Yasht, paras. 15, 19.]

Likewise, it is manifest from the good religion in the following words of Zartosht -- whose Frohar is worthy of glorification -- (uttered) unto the dignified Kay Vishtasp:

"Thou shalt not hate whosoever serves thee with good mind, because he will be worse by that training (or example) of thine."

Thus, the advantage of moderate thinking lies in constant meditation on whatever stands in relation (to the Deity) in this good religion. Concerning this the conference of (the Holy) Zartosht with Vishtasp, declares thus:

"So long as thou shalt act thus (i.e. according to the dictates of the good religion), thy courage shall be so, and so also thy victory."

Immoderate (or unbridled) thinking is a defect in man originating from the Blemish-giver (Ahriman); and such a thought may be described as the abandonment of the acquisitions of merit (saman) for the (happy) life in the next world, by reason of the (evil) power of perverseness and avarice; and for this reason the thought (of man) does not turn towards the virtues and stability (necessary for him). On the contrary he feels an aversion to Ohrmazd's preserving care, to the pious qualities and power of the Yazads, he is ill-inclined and feels a hatred of divine gifts; thence follow hindrance to one's own good health, an immoral struggling (with his conscience), and an ever growing thought of (disposition towards) perfect evil. There is (therefore) a diminution of that spiritual power of his soul, which is apt to (gain) eternal happiness, and a hatred against whatever pre-eminent qualities and strength of the Yazads he himself is capable of. Thus such a one possesses the (wicked) strength of the rebellious devils; hence (it is fitting) that harm should be caused to his spiritual life [lit. life pertaining to the soul], just as it is declared (in the Avesta) regarding the most famous (lit. the manly-minded, the great-souled) hero Keresasp of Sam, for quickly dispatching [lit. making invisible] the Druj Snavidhak [cf. Jamyad Yasht, 43-44].

On the basis of an exposition in the good religion it is declared by the (primitive) religious leaders, that the powerless one (Ahriman) is not, was not, and will never be fit (to rule) over the race of good creatures; but that the Creator Ohrmazd will ever be powerful (to rule) over the finite and the infinite. (185)

Be it known that, the Father and the Procreator or Origin of all the good (Yazads), is the Omniscient, the Omnipotent and the All-Ruling Creator Ohrmazd. Over that good-intentioned and righteous One, the powerless one (Ahriman) had not, has not and will never have sway. Also it is known regarding Him, that His power is manifested in every deserving person, and His union subsists in all those (creatures of Spentomainyu), who are by origin related to Him. And (as to) the overpowering influence of the evil-religioned (Ahriman) among men, it is owing to the prevalence of his bad faith in men in the limited time. Also in that unlimited time which is beyond the influence of the stars (i.e. in the period of the resurrection, beyond the time appointed for Ahriman) the limit of Ahriman's power will end in this world, though his existence will be infinite in time.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the actions which are acceptable to the Creator (Dadar vajin), whereby man approves himself to Him, and regarding the actions acceptable to man (mardum vajin), whereby the Creator becomes the object of man's choice. (186)

Be it known that, by means of the knowledge regarding the soul, derived from the good religion, man can perform actions calculated to improve himself. Thus by his actions, which are acceptable to the Creator, man approves himself to Him. So also it may truly be said that that person is acceptable to Him (God), who being guided by the true wisdom (or conscience), performs actions which are agreeable and appropriate.

Again, the Creator renders man victorious by (revealing to him) all sorts of wisdom (calculated to benefit) his soul. Thus, on account of his intelligent foresight, His understanding and actions are acceptable to man.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the careful keeping, and exposure to light from darkness, of the fire and water in one's power or possession, in conformity with the good religion. (187)

Be it known that, everything in this world constantly tends to return to its own original abode (source) The original source of fire is the Essence of Fire. The original source of water is the ocean on the Earth. The powerful blaze of the fire is due to the wind. The varied arrangement of the water under the earth is also due to it. The movements of the sea also are caused by the wind; and it is the wind that warms and refreshes. And the birth and improvement of man in his corporeal existence here, as also of creatures possessed of bodies in this world, are the result of the beneficent actions of water. By not carefully protecting fire and water from contamination people pollute themselves; and the pollution in the waters of the ocean spreads (or mingles) through the atmosphere, and through the influence of the warmth of the atmosphere it perpetually permeates the living bodies in this world. The contamination is caused both by heat and moisture. It is by being free from pollution or impurity that the body is cured of any infection (it may have caught), and health is obtained by the people of this world. The cause of uncleanness (in men) is pollution, and this accounts for the prevalence of infection, pain and the many fatal diseases of the human body. And owing to the great dread of these various diseases we are admonished by the good religion to preserve fire and water (from pollution).

Sickness and much mortality among men are brought about by the belief of those whose religion inculcates the practice of polluting fire and water by filthiness and stench; whosoever teaches such a creed, is (as it were) of hostile inclinations towards men (or an enemy of mankind).

Exposition in the good religion of the ways pointed out by the good religion by which the followers of this good religion ought to regulate his conduct in (good and evil) times. (188)

Be it known that, it is the precept of the good religion that the epoch of the exaltation of men of the good religion, can be reached only when they oppose the degrading condition (of their nature) by superior wisdom, good qualities, strict morals, efforts to attain a higher position by public or national spirit, energetic action, and noble enterprise [lit. exalted banners]; and that they who resist their condition of exaltation are those low and groveling people who turn away from learning and wisdom, and who conduct themselves in such a manner as to subvert the courage, humility (airih), contentment and grandeur of the good people. Hereof an illustration is manifest from the precept of the good religion in the movements of flying birds and khrafstras (pernicious creatures), that when night falls, creatures that go about in darkness, begin to move about, while the birds that go about in the light (of day), will not issue out of their nests; and by the confinement of the birds of light, the (wicked) creatures of darkness are free to wander about (in the world). And at the dawn of the light of day when the birds of light are again seen moving about in the open air, the noxious stygian birds of night and the evil pernicious khrafstras of darkness disappear.

Exposition in the good religion regarding steadfastness in the religion and the thought of detraction from it. (189)

Be it known that, the idea concerning steadfastness in the good religion is expressed above in the chapter bearing upon it. But there are two ways in which (men) contemplate to detract from the good religion. 1. To deny the existence of the next world like an ashmogh. 2. To regard the good religion as bad like one of an evil faith.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the respective appellations of the good and bad religions, and the condition of those who are in them. (190)

Be it known that, the good religion is one that is in correspondence with the (divine) intuitive reason; it possesses every degree of embellished wisdom, it is the interpreter of superior knowledge, dignified by its communication with the spiritual existences, possessing (inculcating) the noblest system of morals, all manner of felicity in eternal existence, liberality, and preservation; and its object is to make its professor an extoller of the Deity, to keep him in obedience (to him), in union with the Original (Being), and possessed of the original thought. It is the very abode of piety and the source of graceful authority. And the faithful thereby (i.e. by the medium of the religion) are enabled to reform their natural habits and to strengthen their own common sense and to propagate the glory (of the religion). That supremacy or rule is graceful (or blessed), which is acquired by the aid of that religion. And the fidelity of the mass of the people to that religion, is the precursor of a time of happiness. It suppresses in this world unrighteousness and the Blemish-giver (Ahriman), and saves the people (from hell). Herein exist the institutions of the priest, the warrior, the farmer and the artisan, the worship of Ohrmazd, piety, and other good qualities, righteousness and virtue.

Again, the bad religion is imbued with the wickedness (or perverse doctrine) of (Ahriman), is an opponent of providence, possesses a store of false sayings for the sake of avarice, keeps (men) in distress through the evil spirits, glorifies the demons by means of sorcery, leads to the worship of the Druj by giving her the appellation of God, inculcates immoral habits in the name of morality; it is the mother of frehbut and aibibut, and the creed of falsehood.

With such a religion tyranny is seemly (becoming), and its adherents are corrupt in their habits; they pervert or destroy their wisdom or common sense, and forfeit their fame. To lend his evil help to it is worthy of its tyrant-adherent. The mass of its followers through fraud are subjected to many calamities, for they bestow (let loose) on the world their vicious help (vices) and the (sinful) strength of the Blemish-giver (Ahriman), and they cause distress to the good creatures. Herein (i.e. in the bad religion) are found such vices, as disturbance of piety, tyranny, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, demon-worship, degeneration, and of other defects and sins and evil-doings. -- The bad religion is also coupled with selfishness; it is the enemy of prudence, the opponent of intelligence, the disturber of the belief in the spiritual world, and the approver of the law of non-existence; herein are skepticism, habits of infidelity, and sorcery.

Exposition in the good religion regarding (the fact that) Ohrmazd is the creator of the good creations. (191)

Be it known that, birth is a term applied to the first (appearance) in the spiritual world of living creatures. The origin and source of the spiritual (existence) is manifested by the action of force in this world. The invisible soul that has entered into the body, is just like the gold (necessary) for (making) a diadem, the silver for a goblet or a vessel, the iron for a hoe or spade, the wood for a door or a door-case, the root of a tree for its fruit, and the procreator for the offspring. Other spiritual substances which are in the body exist through the gift of this soul's power. -- Creation is a term employed to ascribe the advent of the heavenly soul into this worldly existence. The living body exists through the soul that supports it (i.e. the material constitution of man owes its living principle to the soul). Just as a woolen thread is made of wool, a diadem is made of gold, a vessel of silver, a door of wood, just as the fruit is produced by means of the root, and the offspring by the begetter, so also other physical substances subsist by means of their original soul. This original soul is regarded as the support of the (material) constitution. The bodily existences of this world have developed out of their original semen, just as trees of like nature have grown from a seed. In the religious writings they are called living organisms. The living organism subsists by means of the soul, and by the power of fire and water in it. The essences that constitute the strength (of a body), are called bodily existences. Again, the semen of the bodily embryo in this world, is of the nature of fluid. The body is called in this religion a moving or active existence; the embryo being gradually matured by means of the soul into a human organism. The pair by whose connection the body is begotten are reckoned as the father and mother; and the person himself is called their son. If he is of a good race (lineage), benefit accrues from him to the living world; and (further) from the existence of a man of such good name many other men become well-inclined towards the actions of Providence (i.e. they are drawn to acquiesce willingly in the dispensations of Providence).

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