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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

On the ten (sayings) of Gurgi, who with the object of destroying the Iranian cities that professed the good religion, stimulated the citizens (of Iran) to hostile (varde) enterprises, led souls to (acts worthy of) imprisonment (in Hell), and deliberately tormented the vital principle; who was a wicked tyrant* with the authority of the evil religion. (202)

[* According to the Denkard, Book 7, and the Shah-nameh, Gurgi was an impostor, and had set up for a priest and promulgator of the Mazdakian [Mazdakite] creed.]

(1) [One,] the impostor, the ashmogh Gurgi, who had a fluent tongue, a heart permeated with boundless avarice, and who was of a disreputable person and descent, proclaimed that for much satisfaction to oneself the greatness of the authority and wealth of this world should be concealed from (i.e. deprecated in) the public. -- (2) [One,] the same Gurgi, the impostor, asked for the aid of a royal garment, dignity and splendor, a throne and a crown for his inglorious person. -- (3) [One,] he demanded that he himself should be nominated the premier of those who made the religion of Ohrmazd current (in the world), and that the Iranian people should fight for his (recognition as the) secular and spiritual lord of the whole material world, and (moreover, he asserted) that the naked Gurgi tribe, the devils with disheveled hair, thus imposed upon, should gather themselves together, and come forward, and push themselves into the provinces of Iran, as a marauding, besieging, and warring (varde-tokhshashni) army, -- (4) [One,] he proclaimed that the (sacred) fire should be extinguished, struck, or injured, that the earth should be defiled or contaminated, and the gospands [livestock] slaughtered without number or discrimination, that such actions be performed as were calculated to keep men separate from each other and in discord, and (thus) the creatures of Ohrmazd be diminished (banished from this world). -- (5), [One,] he proclaimed (that his adherents) should cause the people to be seduced by any mode of preaching or (other) action, from extolling their religion. -- (6) [One,] he proclaimed that men should reduce [lit. make lean] in the cities of Iran the authority of the spiritual and secular lordship of the (Zoroastrian) religion. -- (7) [One,] he proclaimed that the human existences on the soil of Iran should be rendered sinful and strengthened in their (evil) habits, and that the men of that country be turned from the religion of Ohrmazd to the evil nature, to the habits and (wicked) glamour of the Demon, and be allowed to fall into enmity against good knowledge, into listening to what is evil, and into shameful and dishonest (breach of) promise; also that mankind should be injured [wounded] by the hopes belonging to evil worship, and should be given the evil practices of sodomy and of other vices, in order to aid the destructive power of Ahriman. -- (8) [One,] he proclaimed that vile people should be exalted, and the great overthrown. -- (9) [One,] he proclaimed that men should be trained up to frustrate the (ends of) prosperity-producing liberality, and to lead their lives (under forms of belief) blended with damaging sins. -- (10) [One,] he proclaimed that men be taught to be hostile to [the] profitable creatures, and to form wicked friendship with men wolfish and pernicious in (their) nature. -- (11) [One,] he proclaimed that imprisonment for sins and the fear of being burnt in hell should be regard as trivial. -- (12) [One,] these were the ten world-defrauding, wicked sayings (of Gurgi), which encouraged every evil (perverse) religion, (and which were issued) against the ten monitions of him (Khosraw-e Kobadan) who had advanced the people of this world for preventing the illness (i.e. evil) of all others of the true religion.

Exposition in the good religion regarding goodness, and the origin of goodness, and the course of goodness, and (regarding) a person on the side of goodness, and the medium of goodness, and the cause of goodness, and the impressions produced by meditations upon it, and (regarding) the upholder of goodness (at the beginning, the middle and the end of the world); and (regarding) evil, and the origin of evil, and the course of evil, and one on the side of evil, and the method of evil, and the cause of evil, and the impressions produced by meditations upon it, and (regarding) the upholder of evil (at the beginning, the middle and the end of the world.) (203)

Be it known that, the goodness of virtuous people is (arises) from the Spenamino. The origin of goodness is the oneness with the good religion, which exalts every man to a high position, and ministers benefit to him. And the course of goodness is due to the instrumentality of that good friend (of the religion), who in his life is identified (hamnimvand) with one that conducts himself in conformity with its wisdom, and who lays aside the perverse knowledge (of evil creeds), and whose desires, ability, and talents (occupation) may, likewise, be on the side of the good religion; who is well-known as the promoter of goodness in that and in this world, and from whom would originate (dehashne) the most powerful advancement of the first (most excellent degree of) goodness. The conception of the divine wisdom is due to the divine light (accorded to men). Whatever men perceive or conceive in this world regarding the good religion, is to be ascribed to it; and it is by the craving for goodness (virtue) that men are adapted for the power of doing good, for ingenuity, industry, and courage; and whosoever has this power of doing good, can perform thereby righteous actions in this world.

He is on the side of goodness who is cognizant of the final (future) condition of the soul, and who is not without (that knowledge of) its final state; since, while in his life, he is worthy and laudable in himself, and keeps off from himself illness, decay, languor, sinfulness, and the delusions of his soul, which render one's life ignoble and blameworthy.

The medium of goodness in men is the natural gift of virtue from the Creator Ohrmazd, the Father and Lord of the Creation, -- The cause of it (goodness) is the reaching forth of benefits to his fellow-creatures from the person who has a craving desire for it, and for the (consequent) growth of virtue amongst the people of this world. -- The honest impression (idea) about goodness, is the religion which has sprung up for (the purpose of propagating) it (i.e. goodness). Its offspring are as follows: wisdom, and a good nature, and modesty, and love, and liberality, and truth, and thankfulness, as well as other good qualities. On account of it (virtue) the Amahraspands and all other invisible Yazads themselves unite to render human life (passed in virtue) healthy, and to advance it by means of prosperity, authority, religious philosophy, meritorious piety, and by various other kinds or felicities pertaining to the good creatures of this world. In the beginning virtue was made current (in this world) by the Creator and Upholder of the Universe, Who by means of their relation (to the Prophet), will restore His creatures, and avert evil (from them) in the middle ages (myane) of this world; while towards its end He will completely overpower (annihilate) the Blemish-giver, and endow his creatures with deliverance (from hellish penalties), purity, eternal felicity and brightness. The people of evil take their existence from (i.e. owe their evil vices to) the ill-informed Ganamino himself.

The source of evil is that (Ganamino), who is the embodiment of evil, and who conducts mankind to grievous (rnadam) harm. The prevalence of evil is the result of Ganamino's thrusting (into this world) such mischievous practices as false declaration, bewilderment [darkness], and faithless breach of promise. The craving, power, occupation (exertion), skill, ideas, and discrimination (nimane) of one on the side of evil, are made known (to us) by those evil-doers who keep themselves absorbed in evil actions. Whosoever teaches or meditates upon the bewilderment and promise-breaking of the most evil (Ahriman), will be sure to crave for the power, (wicked) occupation, skill, discrimination and ideas, which pertain to that most evil one, and by means of which people perpetrate evil deeds in this world. -- Whosoever is on the side of evil is debarred from any thought of his own final condition. How can lie remain without (avoid) damnation to himself in that final condition? He is proved thereby unworthy and devoid of commendation; since the desert and commendableness of men are owing to their life being free from illness, decay, decline, misery, and the evil pain of damnation. The medium of evil in this and in the next world, as well as the origin of all evil, is Ganamino, the imparter of blemish to mankind. The cause of the approach of evil to created beings, is the craving of the wicked Blemish-giver for injury, by doing harm and imparting blemish to the creatures of Spenamino; such a craving belongs to all that constitute the source and means of evil impelling him to perpetrate all kinds of injury. -- The evil-minded ones are the farehbut and the aibibut, and the whelp (khun-noshe, lit. the young one of a wolf, tiger, or lion) of evil is vice, and the offspring of vice are avarice, wrath, spite, envy, lying, sinfulness, niggardlincss, ingratitude, and other defects. Hence proceeds the evil-sway of the demons and the Drujs, and hence proceeds in regard to men the tyranny, imposture, spiritual illness, penury, knowledge of evil, sinfulness, deceitful training, and distress and destruction unto all other creatures of this world. -- In the beginning the progress of evil was owing to the Blemisher of the world; in the middle ages it was owing to the warring and tumult among the associates of Ahriman; but in the final period (of this world) it will be banished by the good Spenamino by means of his wise (prudent) advancement of virtue. -- There are priests (kesh-yaran) who belong to the Original One, and their religion pertains to the Source of Spenamino (i.e. Ohrmazd); and it is good and praiseworthy and in it the (faith of the) evil Ganamino, is called the condemned or accursed (nekhite).

Exposition in the good religion regarding those who are devoted to (the knowledge of) the Avesta and the Commentary upon it. (204)

Be it known that, the mystical knowledge relating to the wisdom of the Lord, is acquired by the Yazads by means of their conference with Him; and they convey the knowledge unto mankind in the form of divine (madam) prophetic intelligence (vakhsh). So whatever sublime prophecies from God, are foretold to people innumerable by the Yazads are conveyed to men who are by nature and by birth good (Mazdayasnians), by mutual oral conversations. Of all those who are devoted to (the knowledge of) the Avesta, firstly the good-natured (righteous) persons acquire the knowledge of the Mazdayasnian religion by vocal intercourse with the (Yazads); and secondly they perceive (understand) the contents (of the Avesta) by meditating upon every word; and they teach these who have a craving for comprehending it literally, by inserting a useful commentary between two different sentences.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the recognition therein of the extent of relationship or non-relationship to the Mazdayasnian religion among men. (205)

Be it known that, men who are allied (to the religion), and love it, (are of the following description); and their love (for the religion) is exhibited by two different modes of thinking. (There are some), who display in their thoughts their love of the Mazdayasnian religion, and are not attached to demon worship. (There are some), who hold friendly ideas towards divine and towards demon worship. But their alliance to divine worship is greater, and their alliance to demon worship less. Again (there are some), whose object it is to love both the demon and the divine worship; (but among them) the attachment to demon worship is greater, and the relation to divine worship is less. Again, (there are some), whose object it is to be intimate with (i.e. to attach themselves to) demon worship, and who display their total alliance with demon worship, and their holding aloof from divine worship. One should accordingly (numaide) recognize the merits of a man of the religion, and with the knowledge acquired from time (experience), estimate the dignity of every preceptor according to the extent to which he is in communion with the pure religion.

Exposition in the good religion regarding (the fact that) Ohrmazd is the Self-existent One, from Him are manifested the spiritual and material creations, and the other one (i.e. Ahriman) is different from Him. (206)

Be it known that, Ohrmazd Himself is the Beneficent Spirit, and is all powerful in goodness and glory [lit. light]. He himself is pure, and is the Creator of all the good creatures of this world and the next. He is the Giver unto the soul of the power of beholding both worlds, and of doing actions pertaining to both. Whosoever is endowed with good [substance] (i.e. whosoever is so enabled to perform righteous actions), meditates upon the spirit of eternity (Spenamino) and the spirit of darkness (Ahriman).

He (i.e. God) bestows on man a soul endowed with conscience in this world, that he may discern what is good, (and what is evil in this world and the next), and may, therefore, accomplish good deeds pertaining to both. Among all the good and evil people of this world, whosoever performs good actions, appertains to the Good Lord, and whosoever perpetrates evil, appertains to Darkness. He also endows the spirit of man in this world with the power of perceiving and performing good actions relating to both (the worlds). Good is always through the (good) invisible powers; and the virtue (of man) itself is owing to the divine spirits. The spiritually good condition of man himself is owing to his pious communion with the Spenamino of Ohrmazd, the Yazads and other good spirits. His aspect as being himself of (the nature of) the other perverse one (Ahriman), is owing to the constant imparting unto him of the evil power by the dispenser of the wicked glamour. He that is the bestower of this wicked glamour, is himself impure. Every dispenser of (good or evil) power dispenses (his good or evil influences), in order to render man like himself. That dispensation of the (good) power, (which is) from Ohrmazd, renders man (aobash) adapted for pure or holy communion (ham-pasije) with Himself. Those creatures that are useful and related to Ganamino the Destroyer, or to the demons, and Drujs, and their other tormenting confederates, are manifested by their own gifts of (evil) power (i.e. by the evil influence imparted to them by Ganamino and his wicked companions) -- The religion of the priests (kesh-yardan) whose creed is evil and without any moral goodness, should be mentioned as that of Ganamino, and it must not be referred to [lit. spoken of] as pertaining to Spenamino.

Exposition in the good religion regarding (the fact) that it is inappropriate to blend together whatever is worthy with the perverse object. (207)

Be it known that, the perverse object could not be blended with the one that is deserving; for every (deserving object) itself in order to be worthy of its Creator, causes noble actions; while every (perverse object) tends to destroy every thing for the sake of the destroyer (Ahriman). The one pertains to the Farsighted One (i.e. God), the other to the accursed one (Ahriman). How can they be related to one another? From the respective ruler over each of these, there result unto men wisdom or evil knowledge, truth or falsehood, complacency or arrogance, liberty or niggardliness, benignity or cruelty; light or darkness, etc. Of these the one that is endowed with wisdom, and is also handsome, is deserving of praise; the one that is possessed of evil knowledge, and is hideous (in appearance), is contemned. So if a union with perverse one (Ahriman), be manifested in man, the existence of similar (evil) designs in him, is owing to the admixture in him of the element pertaining to Ahriman. And (such a person) feel. no good reverence for the One Knowing (Creator); and without (imbibing) the knowledge of that One Knowing Lord, he cannot see his own shortcomings and his contemptible ugliness. He is, therefore, unfit to he (associated) with all beautiful (i.e. virtuous) and praiseworthy people. How was it possible then that the One, Who saw with (the eye of) wisdom, would blend together the perverse thing (with) what was worthy (or righteous ?) -- Again, the planting and the pruning (of a tree) are not (acts) different from one another, but they correspond (one with the other); they rather improve one another; because the tree that is planted, is rendered suitable (for growth) by pruning it, and because the pruning is the cause of its perfect symmetry. So to call death the cause of life (in this world), is (warrantable) for this reason that through death life is to be rendered worthy (of happiness in the next world), or that death is the cause of the perfection of (human) life (by means of virtue) -- How is it possible for the priests [lit. the friend. of religion], who are in correspondence with the Creator, to suffer themselves to be in unison with the Destroyer and with other perverse people? One who is gifted with the eyes of wisdom, could not be in concord with one who is without any religion. The religion of those priests is the sublime (Mazdayasnians) doctrine. How can the wisdom of the Creator be (reconciled with) the evil faith of the Destroyer? -- Since (the faith founded) in truth is laudable, and that in falsehood is abhorrent. Likewise, he who is complacent (bande-manashne) is deserving of praise, and he who is arrogant, is fit to be contemptible. Likewise, whosoever is liberal, is praiseworthy; and whosoever is niggardly, despicable. Likewise whosoever exists in light, is said to he of good aspect; and whosoever exists in darkness, of ugly appearance. -- Again, the sky and the earth which appertain to the Creator, are not different from one another, (but they also correspond one with the other), and both (these creations) are to be extolled. So also the sun, moon and stars; and so also water and plants; and so also mankind and gospands [livestock]; and so also religion and sovereignty; and so also intellect, reason and sense; and so also the soul and the body; and so also modesty and affection; and so also gratitude and integrity; and all such things are different from one another; but they are all advantageous (creations), and deserve to be extolled.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the wisdom, will, work, and period of Ohrmazd. (208)

Be it known that, Ohrmazd by means of His omniscient wisdom, fulfills every deliberate object of His desire pertaining to the work in the finite period. The consummation of that work in the finite period will extend from the beginning (of this world) to its end. That work having been accomplished, men will at last be rendered worthy of the dawning period of (paradisiacal) felicity. Then shall begin the infinite time (of happiness), and then shall happen the final renovation, the impoverishment [annihilation] of the Drujs the resurrection of the dead, and the attainment of the final body, and the redemption (from hell) of the people of this world; and hence mankind shall live in eternal felicity, and in splendor, and with immutable wisdom, will, action, and (endless) time. -- And whatever desire may then happen to be meditated upon by men, that meditation will be an appropriate one. And in order that the final renovation may be propagated in that period, every creature shall be guided by its connection with the Mazdayasnian religion; and (in that period) every creature with a pious soul shall attain to the dignity (proclaimed by) the Mazdayasnian religion, that it may be identified with the final reformation; that the wishes and acts of mankind may accord with the precepts of the Mazdayasnian religion; that every one may attain the final benefit from Ohrmazd; and that he who attempted to destroy this world may ever remain in misery. In that (infinite) time those stubborn ones who are unceasingly destructive, shall be finally destroyed, while those who have been deluded by the wicked one (Ahriman) in this world, shall then be rendered (by means of punishment) capable of benefit from Ohrmazd. And hence (it proves that) Ohrmazd's wisdom, will, and object, are beneficial unto all creatures, and are worthy of being immuted.

The priests, who every day (strive to) withdraw men by means of their preaching (sakhuni) from the will of Ohrmazd, are such preachers of this world as actually serve to fill the region of hell with men. They who regard belief of such priests as the divine religion, are those people, who entertain a desire for non-existence (in the next world), and who multiply the demons. -- The race of such mischievous priests serves to represent Ganamino in this world.

Exposition in the good religion regarding man being the sharer of (the nature of) his original ancestor. (209)

Be it known that, man is the sharer of (the nature of) his original ancestor, and that in two ways: -- The one appertains to the spiritual existence (alone), the other to the spirituo-corporeal existence. Whosoever is devoted to the spirit (alone) is on the side of the Creator, and does not turn away (from Him). Whosoever is devoted to the spirit in association with the body, turns (to the side of goodness or evil) according to the change of his actions. Whosoever is devoted to the spirit in association with the body, restores himself to his Creator by means of his own (guiding) spirit. That living men move about or act for the benefit of the soul, or for the performance of deeds pertaining to it, is on account of the soul being in a bodily frame. Men themselves incline to two different sides (good or evil); either to the side of the Spiritual (happy) existence, or to that of this world existence. -- The ruler of the former one, is the soul.

Thus, if a person is in correspondence with the Amahraspands, and sides with them, he is (naturally) on the side of his ruler (i.e. he attains the spiritual happy existence). But if a person in this worldly body is not in accord with the soul (or conscience), he resembles the gospands [livestock] and other animals having bodily organism; that is to say, that person becomes devoid of (real) human existence. Under the sovereignty of Ohrmazd, human life is dignified with immortality, because of the (good) actions which it is capable of by means of the (righteous) activity of this animate organic existence of this world. Man is considered to be worthy of this world on account of his righteous actions. The animate organic, human being becomes himself an adherent of the Creator (avash-nimvand) owing to his being not united with the Blemish-giver. This animate material man will thereby attain immortality, just as Gayomard did before the Blemish-giver, and as all men will do at the epoch of the Tanepasin; which immortality will be of a different kind from that of the gospands [livestock], seeing that these animate material gospands are not endowed with intellect. Although these are also animate organisms, still they are without that dignified immortal existence (which chiefly subsists in communion with the good spirits). On account of (the attainment of) that dignified immortal existence, man is never devoid of his (spiritual) personality. For that reason every man who lives in purity in this worldly life, is on the side of immortality; while he who during this material life, is united with the Blemish-giver, is worthy of damnation (in the next world). Accordingly, every living man who is on the side of his own soul(or conscience), is so from his original ancestor (Gayomard). Again, when man in this animate organic frame is actually on the side of his own soul, he is immortal in purity in this worldly life, whereas he who in this animate organism is in connection with the Blemish-giver, is liable to damnation (in the next world). every man who is on the side (either of good or evil), is endowed with life and speech, and is mortal. 'The soul wherewith he was originally constituted, when blended with (i.e. affected by the nature of) the Blemish-giver in this animate, organic or bodily existence, shall live in damnation (in hell). And as to the spirit (of man) that speaks (righteously), it (i.e. the speaking righteously) is due to the power of conscience within, and its utterances of wisdom are the result of its union with the angelic power of consciousness.

Again, the departure of such a spirit from the organic power of Gayomard, was due to the entrance of the Blemish-giver into it. Moreover it was on account of the exit of the soul from the body that the power of (animal) life and speech died away (from him). So long as the animate organic person of Gayomard lived in purity, his power of life and speech existed.

Whosoever is endowed with a soul, and is like unto man (in this body), reveres and obeys (God) like his original ancestor, (reveres and obeys) the One Creator Who is the source of religion and justice, he accordingly resembles his forefathers up to the primitive man (Mashye); and for this reason, because the interpretation of the name Mashye would be "the male being that reveres and is endowed with speech," while the interpretation of the name Mashyane would be "the female being that reveres and is endowed with speech." And they are as it were the original ancestors, the cause of the continuity of the beneficial human creation to the time of the Frashegird. Accordingly, those who are connected with the period of the Frashegird through the good religion, will by that means bestow on mankind the benefit of the Frashegird. -- Such men (as are destined to renovate the world) will particularly descend (from primitive ancestors) as for instance from Syamak and Fravak. Again, the names of Syamak and Fravak are translated "whosoever holds forward the chain of future advantages." The thought (i.e. the object) of these (two) was (to be the ancestors of) a perfect race of mankind at the time of the final beneficial renovation.

They were also from the beginning the cause -- the ancestors who protected the world, guided the world, and advanced the improvement of the people of the world. The protection of the world is only possible through those who guide the world. He (i.e. the king) who directed the world, for the purpose of being united in the work of the Frashegird, contributed to the final protection and improvement of mankind by protecting and improving this world. The first ancestors who were concerned in that (righteous work), were for instance Asrite and Hooshang. Again the interpretation of the name Asrite would be "one who practices tillage," end the interpretation of the name Hooshang would be "one who aims at kingship"; the latter also was himself a worshipper of Ohrmazd, and had thoroughly improved mankind (by virtue of his religion).

Again, mankind had (originally) attained to this knowledge (of the Mazdayasnian religion) through these five ancestors. For instance, faithfulness to the wisdom of the religion from Gayomard, obedience to God from Mashye and Mashyane the attainment of union with the Beneficent (Soshyant) from Syamak and Fravak, the ways of protecting the world and of guiding it from Asrite and Hooshang. It is through them that men are enabled to improve and guide themselves in this world, to propagate with vigor their own race for the time of the final renovation, to drive away the druj and to bestow on the whole world the benefits pertaining to the period of the final reformation.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the attainment of foresight (i.e. knowledge of the future [prophesy]) by man. (210)

Be it known that in the corporeal man the power of akho (i.e. the power of the spiritual apprehension of good and evil) is itself pure vision; and as long as that spiritual vision subsists together with the acquirement of wisdom, the attainment of foresight by man is possible. The man (that has attained to foresight) ever inculcates on the living the thought conducive to their happiness (in the next world); he is the imparter of the wisdom acquired (from the vohuman), and is more triumphant (in life) through that forethought, and through that all-ornamented (sublime) forethought, of the Mazdayasnian religion. The thought of future happiness is a power of perception in the akho, which always serves to keep (man) free from sin. The thought that is conducive to happiness (in the next world), leads to meritoriousness, and keeps man aloof from the druj, consequently from avarice, spite, immoral thought, disgrace, vengeance, and such other corrupting causes of sin, and it bestows on him freedom from evil passions. And hence Vohuman and other Yazads who are the media of righteousness, impel him to righteous actions, as long as the man is in conformity with their thoughts.

Exposition in the good religion regarding (the idea) that the auspicious union with the acquirement of good success, is attainable by man in order that he may become worthy (in this World) by means of the seven grades (leading) to the most exalted rank (pertaining to mankind. (211)

Be it known that, the auspicious union with the acquirement of good success, is attainable by man in order that he may become worthy (in this world) by means of the following seven grades (leading) to the most exalted rank or ways manifested for him by the religion. -- The first (of these) concerns the purity of the soul which is attained by performing actions in accordance with the will of the Almighty, and with the sublime ways of the good religion, which (act) is the outcome of the fortunate source of worthiness in man. In order that man should be meritorious, the second grade concerns his healthy movement or career, by which a suitable life is possible. The third concerns the long life belonging to the soul, whereby permanency (i.e. an unending existence) is possible through a healthy career. The fourth concerns the courageous wealth whereby man can achieve actions and taste the sweets pertaining to both the worlds. The fifth is the overpowering (of one's enemy), and the obtaining of victory (over him), which enables a man to protect his wealth and himself from his enemies. The sixth concerns the foreknowledge of the resources to overpower one's enemies, whereby one can obtain victory over them. And that which is the seventh in these seven is the highest of these seven grades which pertain to man, whereby he would be more exalted in greatness or good fortune than other individuals.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the reason why, in a person who is by nature good, there exists the power of goodness that leads him to (the path of) exaltation, and why in an evil-natured person, there exists the power of evil that leads him to a low condition; and why, by the retraction of the power of exaltation, man is manifested as growing worse in his nature, and why (by the retraction of) depravity he is, manifested as being better in his nature. (212)

Be it known that, men are good or evil-natured because of the good qualities or evil infirmities (in them). The good qualities are due to their union with the divine glory [Khwarrah? - JHP], whereas the evil qualities are due to their correspondence with the evil shadow (i.e. the influence of Ahriman). The divine glory emanates from the Spenamino, and hence the intentions of men are adapted to a good nature; while the evil shadow is from the Ganamino; and hence the intentions of men are conducive to an evil nature. The more glorious one (Spenamino) accumulates the better qualities in a good-natured person, and consequently the latter is a creature of the good principle [lit. origin]. In a man of the good principle exist most excellent attributes of the most glorious one (Spenamino): intuitive good sense, thought of obedience (unto God), liberality, truth, and other good qualities; and hence his person is graceful, and he is free from the anxiety to alleviate his debt (i.e. sin, in order to save himself from hell.) -- In an evil-natured person the pouring in of this evil nature is on account of the evil shadow (of Ahriman). Whosoever has been under that evil shadow, embellishes (or perfects) evil habits, and is a creature of the evil principle; and by reason of the dwelling of the one (Ahriman) who is devoid of greatness, in one of the evil principle, there exist in him such evil qualities as by their growth produce corruption in men: (viz.) perverse thought, avarice, arrogance, wrath, niggardliness, sin, (elements of) damnation, (moral) blindness, and other adverse practices which pertain to the contemptible crimes of evil religions. -- By the admixture of the divine influence of Spenamino in a human creature, the latter prospers and is the origin of good qualities. By the connection with the evil shadow of Ganamino, man is liable to suffer imprisonment and is the origin of evil qualities. The highest welfare in man is owing to his union with exalted virtues; and his being impure and corrupted through evil qualities, is due to his predisposition towards those defects. -- From good qualities there is no ruin (unto man), but immense welfare. (In a man by nature good subsist) good sense, complacent thought, liberality, truth, and all other good qualities of the Spenamino himself, that lead him to a high position. Thus, he shines (in this world) on account of his high rank, teeming prosperity, and brilliant complexion. Whosoever is in correspondence with Ganamino, the Blemish-giver, remains in a base condition by not remedying his evil defects, he does not become known (to the world) by reason of his base and adverse condition. On account of the low power of guidance in him, his high qualities are eclipsed, and hence his incurable defects predominate in him. And in order to macerate him there come on him lowness and misery, (all idea of the) greatness of the vices that are blended with the Blemish-giver, and the apparent glamour of the vices that are incurable. Whosoever is evil-natured and ill-born, in him predominate (afraje) such sin-advancing (defects) as perverse (immoral) thought, avarice, wrath, arrogance, niggardliness. falsehood, (moral) blindness and deafness, and other personal evil qualities; hence he is alienated from his family-gatherings. And [notwithstanding his slight good qualities], the lowness of his defects casts him into wretchedness. On account of his inward evil inclinations (prompted) by his evil qualities, he approaches obscurity. The oppressive defects that lead him to degradation keep his soul without the light of religion, on account of its degraded condition, and imparts to it the glamour of evil defects; and hence through the depravity resulting from his inward evil habits he is devoid of the brilliance (of virtue). Good qualities lead man to greatness, and therefore to good resources. Good qualities lead his person into notoriety.

It is the doctrine of the (Mazdayasnian) religion, that the Yazads pray for the welfare and happiness of the good, who further the praise and worship of the Almighty and for distress and misery unto the bad. Besides, from them (i.e. the Yazads) comes also unto the pious the exposition of (what) sin (is). Of the pious who are to obtain (freedom from hell), the first (i.e. the best) pious man is he who attains to happiness, celebrity, and goodness of the soul by choosing for himself the masters (i.e. the Amahraspands) who possess brilliant and shining persons; and by accepting them as his associates. -- The second is (he who grows pious) by bestowing happiness on others, by reverential bearing towards those to whom respect is due, by protecting the female sex as its lord, and by causing his colleagues or associates to perform good actions through effecting their own union with the Yazads. -- The third one is that king of the world, who encourages pious people by dint of his worldly authority, exalts the Mazdayasnian religion, and debases the evil faith; who welcomes good government, and bestows (increased) power on good rulers; who spreads justice in the world, extends prosperity and felicity among mankind by fertilization (of the soil), good administration, and a good aspect (of affairs). -- The first (i.e. the worst) prisoner (of hell), by reason of the evil shadow (of the demons) over him, and by his choice for himself of the evil master (Ahriman), is manifested as unworthy and, afflicted, infamous and of evil soul. -- The second one is so on account of his being a distresser of others, of his hatred of people to whom respect is due, discourtesy towards women, and by not rendering his associates virtuous, through the evil influence (over him). -- The third one is that king of the world who encourages the sinful by dint of his authority in this world, deprecates the Mazdayasnian religion and exalts the evil faith; who welcomes evil rulers, creates those persons rulers, that issue evil orders; in order that misery, sterility or, barrenness, and evil influence may prevail in the world, and embarrassment and affliction happen unto mankind.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the retrogression of exalted people, that is (regarding) deterioration from exaltation, or the self-deterioration of one from the condition of being exalted. (213)

Be it known that., the cause of the exaltation of exalted people is owing to their connection with the best lineage that is related to the original virtuous one; hence, man is possessed of the means of exaltation. That the person of such a man is rendered of a good nature and of a pious character, is due to his union with that good lineage; and (hence) the pious one of a good nature is saved (from hell). The cause of the deterioration of low people is due to the influence of the corrupting original one, which pervades men; and hence their tendency to deterioration. And the person of such a man is, on account of his union with evil descent, rendered of an evil nature, of a character deserving punishment, [and of a conduct associated with vice]; hence he is liable to meet with punishment (in hell). Because in the good age (dyen shapiraoban) pious people of a good nature, being devoid of meanness, stealth (nehoftagi), and obscurity (apaetaki), shall ever (amarganih) attain to sovereignty (ahupataki), greatness, and notoriety; whereas the sinful, that arc liable to punishment, and devoid of authority, greatness, and notoriety, shall come to stealth, meanness, and obscurity. And in the evil age the evil-natured sinful men that are liable to punishment, shall attain to sovereignty, greatness and notoriety, on account of their stealth meanness, and obscurity, and the pious people of a good nature, shall turn stealthy, mean, and obscure. Accordingly, the exaltation (or retrogression) of men is foreshadowed by the essential causes wherewith they are surrounded (levatman) in life. The evil age or its close, and the good age or the work relating to it, arc respectively evidenced by the retrogression of high people, and by the exaltation (through virtue) of the low.

Again, in the evil age there might (also) occur from one, who has attaincd a high position, protection, kindliness, noble-mindedness, moral bearing, liberality and other good qualities (manifested) towards his virtuous relations. Likewise, from a deteriorated condition there might issue truthfulness and exaltation. By the Mazdayasnian religion there is exaltation (unto men) from their own base condition, since people innumerable do, by means of its doctrine, attain to felicity in evil ages, and the low become thereby exalted. -- Whosoever through his evil mind, accepts the evil succor (of the demons), has evil designs, a mischievous person, and is very spiteful and afflicted (by his own vicious passions).

Exposition in the good religion regarding the extensive propagation constant in the world, of the good religion, its power and its achievements. (214)

Be it known that, the manifestation in this world of the good religion is by its constant extensive propagation; since by means of its propagation by all orthodox people, there will occur among men, through the good religion, remembrance of the Yazads, and praise of truth and goodness, and hatred of falsehood and evil, and of whatever is embarrassing on account of an evil faith. The religion of the Dadar [Creator] is (ordained) for the performance of good actions by all pious and religious people, whereas the evil faith is for the performance of evil actions.

Sovereignty, devotion, protection of the poor, keeping cattle at liberty, and many other truly meritorious actions as well as the gifts pertaining thereto, are the result of the good religion, whereby the people, who are obedient unto God, are said to be of the good ways (i.e. principles). -- In those people whose creed comprehends falsehood and sinning, there is but little power of doing the following really meritorious deeds. -- The power of the good religion restrains [lit. improves] mankind from treading in the path of impurity; its sovereignty leads to the extension of their race (paevandashne); its guidance of the people of this world to purity, curtails (the power of) the Blemish-giver.-The cleansing of the people of this world from failings and corruption of all kinds, prepares them for the everlasting (region of) full resplendence, and in such wise that a single motive of one's advance into impurity being known, he shall (essay to) promote goodness, and curb evil, and guide himself by those sublime meditations that tend to destroy all devilish propensities within. By means of firm reliance on it (i.e. the religion) by men, the people of this world shall be altogether improved through goodness; and as a consequence Ganamino shall be severely afflicted. By virtue of the good religion, Ganamino shall be severed by Spenamino from every object and action pertaining to the Frashegird, while the spread of the Frashegird (i.e. final reformation) shall follow the propagation (in this world) of the good conceptions in the Mazdayasnian religion.

Exposition in the good religion regarding man being acceptable for the purpose of his communion (with God), or for (righteous) actions, by means of his connection with the good creatures, and his forbearance from the avaricious creatures. (215)

Be it known that, the specification of the grades of men from the highest one to the lowest, is according to these six ways. The first and highest (man) is he, who lives (hustigan) through virtue, and is devoid of evil. -- The second is he, who lives for the sake of good, (and) does not live for the sake of evil. -- The third is he who lives for the sake of both good and evil.-The fourth is he who lives for the sake of evil, but does not live through virtue. -- The fifth is he who neither lives [both] through goodness nor through evil. -- The sixth and lowest is he who by leading (his) life in evil, destroys what is good. -- Whosoever leads a life in virtue, and (a life) devoid of evil, is the highest one among men, and preferable for friendship (with God) and for (righteous) actions. -- And whosoever is in union with the good creation (i.e. the Yazads and the Amahraspands), always refrains from the evil-doing avaricious nature. -- Whosoever subverts goodness by leading (his) life in evil, is cut off from acceptance for the highest communion and for (righteous) actions; whereas whosoever is united with the good creation, always abstains from the evil-doing avaricious nature. (Men following) these two ways, are included among the four (kinds mentioned) in the middle (of this section.) -- Whosoever leads his life in virtue, and does not live through evil, is near unto the highest grade by his choice of high friendship, (of great) actions, of a union with good lineage, and of a high religion, and by refraining from avarice and not thinking (of it) -- Whosoever lives both in virtue and evil, is blessed by the Good (Spenamino) with happiness, through his conducting himself with prudence, and refraining from (another's) distress and evil. -- Whosoever lives through evil, and does not live through virtue, maligns through the avaricious nature a union with the good creation, and approves of clandestine deeds in his life-time. -- Whosoever does not live both in good and evil, has no desire for the evil (existence in hell,) by reason of his avoiding both deceitful and meritorious actions during his life.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the unrighteous Source, and (the path of) rectitude, and the means of restoring the unrighteous one. (216)

Be it known that, the unrighteous one himself is so because of his own perverse mind. Whosoever leads an Immoral life, his thought (leads him to) acquire, whatever thing he does not need; and his actions thereby (i.e. through that immoral thought) are of the nature of farehbut. And by entertaining in his conscience the mode of his life that is his (i.e. of farehbut), and by acquiring the thing that he does not need, and by doing deeds that do not concern him, he (i.e. an immoral person) turns [therefore] to be of the nature of an aibibut. The natures of both these farehbut and aibibut are devilish in their ways and wicked in thoughts. Whosoever mind is inclined to the ways of good existence, he always turns himself to acquire whatever thing is requisite for him, and to, perform the actions that pertain to him, and he does, not (wish to) acquire the thing that he needs not, nor perform actions that are not due from him. Hence he becomes of the nature of righteous Yazads. -- An immoral (person) is himself (i.e. represents) the immoral being of the farehbut and the aibibut. The source of that evil knowledge, and [the source] of every other evil, is Ganamino, just as the source of that righteous thought pertaining to the (divine) wisdom, and [the source], of every other good, is Spenamino. Accordingly, whatever (sinful) actions are performed by the unrighteous towards one another, are owing to the approach of the immoral influence of that unrighteous source, Ganamino. For that reason unrighteous people do (the deeds that pertain) to Ganamino, the source of evil knowledge, just as religion people do every deed through the wisdom of Spenamino, (who is himself) the source of wisdom. -- And the means of transforming an immoral one into a moral being (mustih val amuste), is the moral power of the good religion; and accordingly that means is to be employed in two ways by the sovereign professing the good religion: First, by preserving his own good temper from immorality the good temper of people innumerable may be preserved from immorality and towards paradise (i.e. in order that they may be capable of paradise). -- Secondly, by bestowing moral courage on his people through the precepts of the good religion, and by appointing persons who could turn them away and protect them from sin and the (consequent) punishment (in hell), he endows them with complete strength, so that people innumerable may hold themselves aloof from any immoral action or speech. -- And it is by this that the righteous [king] and the unrighteous king, are to he manifested. -- The righteous (king) that is equitable towards the immoral, is he who possesses wisdom worthy of a sovereign, and personally conducts the administration (of his dominion) by means of that wisdom. And if he has enough fortitude to protect every great soul (from affliction in hell), in proportion to the good virtues in that sovereign; there would remain no unrighteous men (among his subjects); and no (righteous) man would be discouraged under his sovereignty in improving all immoral people (nuste-madam) on the behalf of the king.

The proper functions of (such a) king are as follows: To search out every unrighteous person. to recognize him through the deplorable grievance regarding him, to cause him to be exposed (to penalty) by those who possess the faculty or wisdom, and who (thereby) redeem immoral people; and the king who has intuitive wisdom, the monarch that is righteous, thus proves the complete purifier of immoral people from distress by dint of his royal mandates. And on the complaints regarding the immoral one having reached (that king), his affliction is averted (vadharyet) by him (i.e. the king) so powerfully through dint of his preventive authority (padhiran-khveshkarih, that he (i.e. the immoral one) thereby turns virtuous, and the monarch (himself) is saved from the sin (i.e. from the sin of encouraging immoral practices in his dominion). Through such kind of (moral) administration the immoral ideas of the unrighteous, by their being kept back from the people, may be extirpated (from the world).

Of the impious priests he who greatly promotes the immoral through immorality, is the deluded one by the (evil) faith and principles of the ill-informed ashmogh, [and] by such an immoral (priest) those of the people that have attained unto the Great Supporter by means of their religious wishes and acts, are perverted to the side of the mean [lit. little, insignificant] supporter (Ahriman). Hence the impostor of evil speech and deceiver of the true faith (endeavors) to persuade (mankind) to his false doctrine by the two ways (of designating it, viz.) (1) the wisdom of the (good) religion and (2) the doctrine of Spenamino; whereas the evil knowledge and the evil law of Ganamino, (or his) demonism, are emphatically declared (by him).

Exposition in the good religion regarding that which is good for the World, [and that which is (good)] for the body, and that which is (good)] for the soul, and [that which is (good)] among mankind, and [that which is good] for actions and decision. (217)

Be it known that, it is the saying of the good religion, that a virtuous sovereign is good for the world, and wisdom for the person of man, and liberality for the soul, and truth among mankind, and endeavor coupled with perfect meditation in all actions and decisions.

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