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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, 1891.

Exposition in the good religion regarding spiritual powers in man, which through the agency of Yazads perform actions on the side of the Deity. (218)


1. This heading might also be rendered: 'Exposition in the good religion regarding spiritual powers in man, their efficacy and their functions'. - Eng. tr.

Be it known from the exposition in the good religion, that in the person of man there are spiritual powers which perform actions (preparatory) for the righteous equipment pertaining to (i.e. deserving a pious retribution from) the Creator of the Universe. -- The principal ones are the following four: (viz.) the soul, the vital spirit, the farohar, and the intellect. The roban is the soul, which is the ruler over the body. Just as the head of a family conducts the household, and the rider the horse, so does the soul conduct the body. And the vital spirit, the intellect, and the farohar, or each of these spiritual agencies amongst whom the soul is a powerful agent, acts as a spiritual intelligencer unto it (i.e. the soul). -- The vital spirit is the breath of life, which is paramount owing to the farohar. Just as a paterfamilias preserves the health (of his family) by means of food, and the rider keeps the horse working, so does this quickening (farohar) keep through energy the (living) body active. So when this (quickening power) is separated from the body, the body dies, just as when the (main) pillar of a house breaks down and the house instantly falls. Again, the farohar keeps active and cherishes the body, just as the master of a house keeps the house replenished and thriving, and the rider nourishes the horse. Thus, when this farohar has been separated from the body, the body is past-strength, and remains inactive like a house that becomes desolate when it is abandoned and left without repair. -- Again, as the sun is the light of the world, and a lamp is (the light) of a house, so does the intellect animate with watchful light the lord of the house (i.e. the soul) in the house (viz. the body), and so does it animate the rider on the horse, as also it directs the master of the house to take care of the house, and the rider of the horse. So when this (intellect) is separated from the body, the soul is distressed in the body, and the body during life remains insensible. While the soul, which with the farohar, [and] the intellect, and the vital power used to recruit the body in its functions, now departs from it; consequently the body is without the means of performing its functions, and of fighting against and repelling the Druj, like a (cavalry) rider who is without his saddle and weapons for striking and overpowering his enemies. -- Just as the soul and its assistant (spiritual) powers are enemies and destroyers of the druj (who is) for the destruction of creation, so have avarice, [and] lust, [and] wrath, [and] spite, [and] stubbornness and envy permeated into the body as enemies of the soul. The struggle and conflict between the body and the soul, are owing to the former not having seen to preserve itself from the battle wherein, by the agency of destructive druj and through perverse antagonism, people corrupt good creatures, and render them in-operative. -- The soul is the lord of this life, and the chieftain of the battle (between good and evil). When the Amahraspands are its assistants, by means of the farohar, [and] the intellect and the vital power, the spiritual agents of the body, it (i. e. the soul) inclines to fight against the druj, and like a heroic person or a valiant man it is the repeller of the druj among (good) creatures by means of its own prowess, and the extricator of the druj from the body. To extricate the druj from the world is to strike, to overpower and to render incapable the Ahriman. The pious man is himself capable of being relieved from the druj. -- Again, when a king through fear for himself is not deceived by the enemy (Evil,) owing to supernatural splendor and luster (i.e. divine inspiration), he (at last) attains to the Origin (i.e. God) bravely and successfully on account of his own good actions; and by the order of the Lord who hath sent him to battle (against evil) he is to earn a diadem of victory and be seated on a throne of full repose and everlasting bliss. And whosoever (king) being deceived by the enemy, and being prone to idleness and evil repose, and listless in the battle (against evil), and without any inclination to the Amahraspands (i.e. to an immortal existence), is much disposed towards the druj; and (hence) he turns an incarnate druj and vicious, and the druj overreaches him; and he mingles lonesome with devils; and he is dragged with hands shackled to the seat of the druj (the Ahriman); and he will so be tortured, and so remain in the prison of the Drujs, to the time of the Resurrection. -- It is manifest in the good religion that he is marked with good repute, whose righteousness is pure (unsullied) in this world; but he from whom destructive wickedness proceeds in this world, is stamped with evil repute, and gets a place appropriate to his sinful acts.

Exposition in the good religion regarding (the fact) that man is brought into relation with the Creator by means of the Stud-Yasht1. (219)

1. Stud-Yasht = Av. Staota-Yasna or Staota-Yasht, is the name of the 21st Nask, corresponding to the Av. Vastarem. It literally implies prayers fit to glorify the Holy Creator.
Be it known that, the man that is most virtuous, is brought into relation with the Creator by means of the Stud-Yasht, by knowing himself by means of the knowledge of the good religion, and by the love chiefly of his own soul; because there is no (virtuous) life from disregarding the relationship (with the Deity), nor there is love for himself; and by not loving himself he does injury to himself, and by (the man) injuring himself the Almighty is displeased, and by the displeasure of the Almighty the relationship of God in him ceases, and by the cessation of the relationship with God ho destroys the protection which the Deity exercises over him, and by the destruction of such protection by the Deity he is liable to cast himself into the abode of darkness and misery pertaining to the druj. -- Again the knowledge of oneself is (attainable) from the knowledge of the good religion, and by knowing self there is love (for self), and by loving self there is no injury to self, and by not injuring self there is no displeasure to the Almighty, and by gratifying God one attains to close relationship with God, and by the close relationship with God there is protection (exercised) by God, and by the protection of God man attains to both kinds of excellence, of this world and of that world.

Exposition in the good religion regarding that (object) which through its guiding (power) is beneficial to man himself, and that which is injurious; and (regarding) the beneficial or mischievous doer and exerter, and its beneficial or mischievous guidance (in the person of man). (220)

Be it known that, that which through its guiding (power) is beneficial to man himself, is wisdom; and that which through its guidance is injurious, is perverse thought. Wisdom an(l vice are the guiding agents in the person of man. Wisdom itself is acquirable by means of Spenamino and the friendship of Vohuman, and vice is (i.e. comes) through the deceit of Ganamino and the friendship of Akoman. The advantage unto men from the guidance of wise inclination is the improvement of the thought, [and] speech and act of rectitude as well as the piety of the soul; and the damage unto them from the guidance of vicious inclination is the corruption (i.e. aggravation) the sinfulness of thought, [and] speech, [and] action, and the wickedness of the soul.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the religious and the evil time. (221)

Be it known that the finite time until the resurrection, is religious owing to the prevalence [lit. currency] of righteousness and orthodoxy in the heart (of men), and the vicious (time) is owing to the prevalence of immorality aggravated by the evil faith and falsehood of the Jewish religion; and during that (evil) time with the exception of a little goodness there is distress and difficulty everywhere.

Exposition in the good religion regarding (Questions): What is man himself? and through what and for what (does he exist)? and whence (has he come)? and wherein (does he live)? and whither will he return? and at the last what will he attain to? (222)

Be it known that, among the creatures of God man (alone) is endowed with reason, and is capable of success and power by means of the blessings (God has bestowed upon him) in the spiritual and the material world; and by reason of high deeds wrought in the full exercise of his human powers, he is like a chieftain over all other creatures of this world, ever guiding them, and repelling with adequate strength the druj from every creature. By a certain thanksgiving of the soul unto the Creator, prompted by the inspiration of the Yazads, by its adequately repelling the evil from itself, and by its being at once in association with all good spirits although abiding in the powerful person of this world (i.e. in this earthly person), it (i.e. the soul) is itself of the nature of a good spirit because of its angelic thoughts, and in spite of its uncongenial abode; and with all the faculties pertaining (to this worldly creature), the invisible soul by completely conquering evil, is an Yazad (a praiseworthy existence) itself for its duration (on earth), which may be either long or short. The dwelling of good spirits in the organism of this world, has for its object the severe struggle against and destruction of the evil predominating therein, and moreover the struggle (against evil) consistently with the doctrine of the good religion. By the disappearance of the soul itself from its earthly active embodiment, and by the body becoming divested of the vital spirit, the soul is intent on going back to the original spiritual abode, and leaving the material frame of this world it departs to the original abode of intuitive wisdom. Whosoever may have by his utmost endeavor repelled in warfare his own rival druj, through his (very) emancipation from the druj, gains the original abode (of heaven.) -- And when an individual benefiting the world, is able to keep a good eye upon his opponent, and is powerful to overwhelm him in person, and adequately drives and repels from himself the vices of the druj that may have been blended in him -- the cause thereof is perpetual thanksgiving unto his Creator. It is declared in the good religion that at the epoch of the Frashegird all men will acquire their bodily frame again in this world in accordance with the will of the Creator, and the human creation having been purified, each will be (entirely) reformed [lit. adorned] by the perfect light (of the Mazdayasnian religion.)

Exposition in the good religion as to a worthy leader. (223)

Be it known that, every person becomes worthy of leadership through having the powers suitable for the exercise of its functions. One (power) is a well-qualified understanding, and the other excellence of wisdom for accomplishing (good) deeds. With these two are combined the strength of a good nature and appropriate prudence. The leadership desirable for the priest is (attainable) by means of the three special virtues above-mentioned, which are capable of exalted acts, as also by the following five grades (of qualities): -- 1, wide intelligence for the preservation of the (Zoroastrian) religion; 2, depth of thought for making a precept; 3, religious education for the administration of justice; 4, advanced age; 5, experience in performing his (ritual) functions. With these eight (qualities) the priest is worthy of reverence (i.e. of leadership.) The leadership desirable for the agriculturist is attainable by two more (qualities) distinct from the eight above-mentioned: 1, to cause the growth of animal food; 2, to perform charitable acts with his wealth. (Thus) there are in all ten (good qualities.) -- For leadership over warriors there must be three (special qualities) distinct from the eight (of the priest): -- 1, a stalwart body with keen sight; 2, enormous strength; and 3, an intrepid heart. Thus there are in all eleven1 (good qualities.)

1. Probably thirteen. -Eng. tr.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the thanksgiving (by man) unto Ohrmazd for the reward of merit. as well as regarding the freedom (of man) from sin by punishment for sin (in this world.) (224)

Be it known that, thanksgiving to God for the reward of merit, is binding on man because of (the existence of) a protective intuitive sense in his conscience, and of his being fitted to obtain the reward of merit (in the next world) by attaining to the vision of and desire for meritorious propensities. Whosesoever powers of thought, speech, and action are obedient to his desire for the prevalence [currency] of meritorious actions, that man [he] attains to good supernatural intelligence. It is the conscience with good intuitive sense that attains in man to good supernatural intelligence; it acquires supernatural knowledge, as well as imparts (to others) whatever knowledge it has acquired. -- Whosesoever inclination is capable of obtaining spiritual knowledge, he, by means of his beatific vision, on behalf of Ohrmazd declares (unto others) the means of fostering the propensity to act in a manner conducive to the welfare of the Frashegird and the nature of the understanding, thought, speech, and action pertaining to merit. And it is for this reason that meritorious people who aspire to the good reward, ought to thank the Giver of the reward of merit. -- Again a person keeps free from sin on account of (his fear of) punishment for sin (in this world). So whosoever, for the sake of evil, closes the path leading to holy thought in his conscience and develops sin, by means of (his) perverse thought diverts his intuitive sense from meritorious goodness, and regards merit as sin, and sin as merit. -- Hence those who forward their desire for a sinful tendency and (therefore) restrain it, front a tendency to merit, owing to their union with the demons advance (their powers of) thought, speech, and action for committing sinful deeds, and keep them back from merit. -- The (future) evil reward to the living organic being (i.e. to man that is sinful), is the pernicious abode. (of hell;) there is no decay (in the next world) for the man that is on the path of merit. -- And how can man he free from hell by conducting himself in sin, by demoralizing himself, and by deceiving mankind? And, likewise, how can the penalty for sin extend to a man that is innocent? From the priests who receive evil inspiration (from the devil), and are the means of (propagating) the perverse ways of sin, there is damage among men Unto those who receive good intelligence regarding the ways of merit; and from their self-willed creed there is destruction unto the human creation. Since their creed is antagonistic to acts of merit, and is the means of keeping sin current, it is hostile to acts of merit and friendly to sin. Hence demonism is paramount, and moral law non-existent; and hence man becomes subject to punishment on account of his sinfulness, and the men who follow that creed are, therefore, called the committers of sin.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the abode of the (good) religion in the body (of man), and the entry into it of the religion of darkness; and regarding the uninjured state of the body of a professor of the good religion by means of the sacred girdle [kusti] of that religion. (225)

Be it known that, he in whose body the (good) religion is a guest, is a companion of the good religion. Consequently he is (spiritually) as beautiful as a maiden having a most handsome body, and is, like a maiden, most desirable to the sight. He is as benignant [lit. good-seeing] as the Sun to the Universe of Ohrmazd: and he looks on (the good creation) with as good an eye as a sincerely loving father looks on a well-born (promising) son, and is delighted at beholding his visage from a distance. In like manner he nourishes, as his offspring, whatever object falls within his vision. And he grows as illustrious by his recitation, understanding, attention, and praise relating to the religion, as one grows strong and active by drinking delicious waters. his desire for union with the religion is owing to this, that his being may live in bliss (in the next world); and his soul confers with the (good) religion as though two good pious friends were consulting together. The religion interprets its doctrine unto him just as an accomplished spiritual teacher would interpret it to his intelligent disciple. As he is most submissive and obedient to the religion, so the religion has supreme authority over him. And such an individual is called in the religion a "successor of the Zarathushtrotema," the incarnation of the religion. His creed is the creed of the religion, his desire the desire of the religion, and his acts the acts of the religion. In whosesoever body the (good) religion dwells, he possesses (in himself) the spirit of the religion, he is a lover of it in mind; and hence the druj is less powerful in his body. Whosesoever mind the (good) religion permeates, his appearance is as [much] beautiful as (that of) other desirable objects (or riches in this world). No sooner does one behold him, with a good eye, than one is exceedingly delighted with him, and loves him like a brother born of the same parents. By means of the (good) religion there is attainment of wisdom according to wish (i.e. satisfactory attainment,) and apprehension of that knowledge. And through one's toil in reciting, expounding, and extolling the (good) religion there is an acquirement of good rewards (in heaven). He that is united with (or is a companion of) the (good) religion, attains to such desires as will exist in the advantageous one, (i.e. Soshyant) the (future) revealer of the (good) religion unto the people of this world. And hence such a religious man, for the performance of his religious duties (under difficulties), is like unto a good-natured guest who is content with an insipid meal in the house of the president of a family. And such an individual is designated in the (good) religion an athravan. -- An orthodox person whose nature, propensity, and acts are reformed by the good religion, is a propagator of the religion in several ways. -- Again, he into whom the religion of darkness has penetrated, will turn away from that accursed thought to the good religion by the effectual help of the thought and preaching and guidance of a pious preserver of the religion (i.e. a priest), for wrestling with evil. -- He (i. e. the priest), a friend of the A (good) religion in this world, shall, by the dint of its philosophy, make such a one a believer in the religion, as has not himself acquired an insight into the religion and is without it. His friendship with the religion is more valuable than his riches; his body and his wealth are not more valuable than his desire to be listened to (on the subject of religion). -- Such a person is called in the religion a Mazdayasnian, 'a worshipper of Mazda.' The professors of the good religion are said to be of the religion of those that put on [lit. fasten] the kusti; and the follower of that religion has the sacred girdle (i.e. the kusti) upon him. -- Whosoever of the evil religion dwells in contemplation upon the good religion (with approval,) his (consequent) good nature and improved person (grow to) abstain (from impiety) like those of the good religion, and by his attainment to that (good) faith the thought comes to him of extolling the Almighty for (the good attained to by) himself, and of loving the followers of the good religion. In whosesoever person good religion exists, he is devoid of doing mischief unto others. He is a creature of the Creator Ohrmazd by virtue of his good religion; and by his submission to the precepts of the good religion he yields compliance to the religion and the prophet. -- In the good religion those persons bear the name "worshippers of demons", who do not believe in God (anair) and act like ashmoghs; such people are also styled followers of the religion of hellish (shakharik) demon-worshippers.

Exposition in the good religion regarding that (person) through whom every one becomes moral (in this world), and (regarding) that through whom no one becomes moral. (226)

Be it known that, that person, through whom everyone grows moral, is (born) to transmit every one (i.e. man) into a state of welfare, and he that conveys everyone into a state of welfare, loves whatever object is anywise on the side of the Creator. -- Whosoever loves every object of the Creator, is a suppressor of his own failings, possesses well-qualified prudence and intuitive wisdom, and shares in the (awards of the good) religion. He well inculcates the desire to be efficient in intuitive wisdom, and to dignify himself, in one who wishes to be efficient in intuitive wisdom and to be dignified. Hence the latter acquires the strength of zeal to do acts of merit and abstain from sin. Hence, he liberates himself from the rival enemy (Ahriman), and attains to the long-lasting felicity (of paradise). And again that (person) through whom no one is moral, is (born) to convey every one into a state of adversity; and whosoever is (born) to convey everyone into a state of adversity does not love a single creature of the Creator. -- Whosoever does not love a single creature of the Creator, possesses evil qualities, vicious speculations and bewildering perverse thoughts. He imparts unto man evil precepts (dushmuk) producing excitable propensities and tending to bewildering perverse thoughts. He who likes him (i.e. such a person as is characterized in the above sentence), is incited by him to bewildering perverse thoughts. He who is a thief of merit and perseveres for sin, degenerates (kastar yahvunad -- lit. becomes the lessener) in the good power of his own spirit, and the antagonistic druj proves successful over him; it (i.e. the druj]) drags and casts him into the infernal region of distress (arik dushwarih.) Whosoever is fit for the Blemish-giver (i.e. fit to be his accomplice in propagating evil in this world,) is a damager of the intuitive sense of man, an extinguisher of merit (i.e. of his meritorious feeling) and an inciter unto sin; [and] that evil one is (born) to drive to the hellish prison of distress and unrelief, the man that is of a religion of bewildering perverse thoughts.

The religion that is given (unto man by evil influence) to produce in him bewildering perverse thoughts, causes adversity, and by making him fit for the Blemish-giver makes sin current; and by corrupting the intuitive sense (in men) causes an opposition to merit, and imprisons him in the evil hell which is for him devoid of relief, full of distress and embarrassment. [And] therefore it (i.e. the evil religion) is said to be without any mark of Spenamino, and with a stamp of Ahriman on it.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the sources which cast luster upon the good religion, and (those which cast evil luster) upon the evil religion. (227)

Be it known that, God who illumines all goodness is the source of the promulgation of the good religion; therefore there is no evil in it. Herein are propounded all good acts relating to the universe, from the original creation to the epoch of final renovation. Hence by firm confidence in this source of the promulgation of the good religion there results [is] the improvement of human nature, and by the improvement of human nature honesty; and by honesty the birth of law [morality]; and by law good mind, good speech, and good action; and by good mind, good speech, and good action righteous felicity unto man and by righteous felicity unto man propitiation and strength to the Yazads and grief and destruction to the demons, (also) by the propitiation and strength of the Yazads, and grief and destruction of the demons the spiritual existence will be perfected, and the material existence (i.e. this material organism) will be improved, and by the perfecting of the spiritual existence and the improvement of the material existence the creation will be connected with the epoch of the Frashegird (final renovation), and the occurrence of that renovation (will be) owing to the purity and goodness of the whole world (aâm-dehishnih) through the reform of the religion.

Again, the source of the promulgation of the evil religion the originator of evil, who casts (wicked) luster upon it. Herein (i.e. in the evil religion) is the enumeration of all the distressful acts in the world from the original creation to the epoch of final renovation. Hence owing to the deceit of that source of the promulgation of the evil religion (there will result) corruption [lit. bewilderment] of good nature; and from the corruption of good nature dishonesty and depravity; and from dishonesty and depravity immoral evil thought, evil speech and evil deed. Again from (immoral) evil thought, evil speech, and evil deed distress unto man; and from distress unto man joy unto the demons and grief unto the Yazads. And from joy unto the demons and grief unto the Yazads predominance of the demons, degeneration and corruption of the times, and distress and damage in the world.

And it is declared in the Mazdayasnian religion that1, when unto Jamshed were exhibited by Ohrmazd His commandments comprehending the established standards of all good virtues, the habits of contumacy [lit. unhearing i.e. refusing to hear] against Ohrmazd, caused by the association of demoniac influence among the creatures and the (consequent) approval by man of the greatest (i.e. most confounding) acts of destruction, disappeared (anâstê).2 1. Lit. and the testimony of the Mazdayasnian revelation is as follows.

2. That Jamshed, the third king of the Peshdadian dynasty, was the first promoter of the Mazdayasnian revelation by the order of Ahura Mazda, and the first promulgator of its doctrines and laws, is witnessed by the following passages from the 2nd fargard of the Vendidad:

"Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: -- 'Who was the first man, excepting myself, Zarathushtra, with whom thou, Ahura Mazda didst confer (on Thy religion)? To whom didst Thou interpret [lit. teach] the Faith that pertains to Ahura and to Zarathushtra? Ahura Mazda answered, 'O holy Zarathushtra; the fair Jamshed, of the good community, was the first man with whom Ahura Mazda conferred and to whom save to thee did I (first) interpret the Faith that pertains to Ahura to Zarathushtra.'"

This fact is also referred to in the reply to the question of the Datastan-i Denig which deals with the importance of the sacred emblems sudre and kusti:

"It is good to fasten the kusti for him who holds a religious position in this world, on the waist, that is on the third part or the highest third part of the body, for by means of the kusti Jamshed, the son of Vivangha, became most successful in conducting the world and acquitting his duties pertaining to this world ; and he thereby kept back from mortals all sorts of fatal diseases, and bestowed on them freedom from old age and death. -- Which sacred girdle that glorious king of the world directed men to wear on their waists when by men were gifted with that good badge of sanctity."

In a commentary on the second fargard of the Vendidad it is stated as follows:

"As long as he (Jamshed) adhered to the good religion and was pious, he was both the teacher and disciple (of that religion); he endowed the bodies of men with the sacred token (of the kusti). That he adhered to the good religion is manifest from the passage:
'That he was pious is indicated from the words: Yimahe Vivanghanahe ashaono fravashim yazamaide.

Firdausi, the epic poet of the Shah-namah, bears testimony to this fact of King Jamshed having introduced among his people the sacred investiture of the sudre and kusti, the chief emblems of Mazda-worship:

"In the meanwhile the auspicious Sraosha came and said unto Jam (i.e. Jamshed): -- 'Do not procrastinate, but glorify (throughout the world) this holy divine Faith, and cast into dust demoniac practices, and put on the sudre, and fasten on thy waist the kusti, that nothing pernicious may come on you from the demons."

In addition to these passages we have various references to this subject in the Pahlavi Madigan-e aiwyanghan-e tashkuk and in the Persian works Saddar-e-nasr, Saddar-e-nazm, Saddar-e-behr-e-tavil, Rivayats, etc.

That Jamshed possessed supernatural glory and received prophecies from the Deity from time to time, is evidenced in the following couplets of the Shah-nameh:

"Thus for a lapse of many years the Kayanian glory shone over the king -- the world was full of comfort and gratification -- various prophetic messages from the Deity came unto him."

The following couplets comprehend the first declaration of king Jamshed on his ascension to the throne, which indicate his power as well as knowledge requisite for the advancement of the Mazdayasnian religion and sovereignty:

"He said: I am gifted with divine glory, I am a secular as well as a religious lord, I will cut short the hands (of evil people) from evil, and I will guide the soul to the path of Heaven."
(Thereafter) the adherents of the Deity, Who is the Source of all goodness, as well as the obedient to the Faith, who had become illustrious by devotion to its precepts, were imposed upon (by demon-worshippers) with the intent that their pure nature should be corrupted, and that by the corruption of their pure nature a scope for dishonesty and blemish, which should deteriorate their morals, being generated, Jamshed could not be powerful in improving mankind and rendering them immortal. However, Jamshed, in order to destroy the deceitful influence from men, invited the demon-men and demons, and put the demons the following questions: -- 'Who created this world?' 'Who destroys it?' The demons clamored out their reply thus: -- We who are demons created it, and we destroy it.' -- Jamshed retorted unto the demons thus: -- 'This I do not believe that it is possible for the evil-knowing (to create this world,) since they who are its destroyers, could not be the creators of the world. [Both of] these assertions are quite inconsistent -- in other words, creative and destructive powers do not emanate from one source. By means of such religious declarations he (i.e. Jamshed) annihilated the deceit of demons and restored mankind to immortal existence. -- It is manifest in the good religion that the pious people who conducted themselves in this world in conformity with the standard faith, and were of good habits, proved so on account of the primitive faith propagated by Jamshed, and on account of their connection with him; and that kings and satraps ruled by virtue of it (i.e. the Faith), [and] suppressed injury from among their subjects, [and] improved and civilized their countries by dint of that standard Faith, [and] yea refined them by the help of the just doctrines of the same primitive faith of Mazda-worship which inculcated devotion to the Deity (airih). The supreme faith and the highest acts of righteousness, which are described in the religion by Zartosht of the adorable farohars, were made current (in the world) by poryotkesh kings from time to time; which kings, by dint of the Mazdayasnian-religion, reformed their peoples, earned on their sovereignty on good principles, [and] embellished the world, [and] exalted their subjects through virtuous practices, and linked them to the mighty power of the Frashegird, the blessed victor (Soshyant).
This, too, is declared in the good religion that the source of demons (Ahriman) had arrayed with deceits Zohak, the descendant of Taj3, the diminisher of creations; hence the laws of Zohak deteriorated his own nature, worked for the immoral and blemished (Ahriman), and caused destruction by tyranny and apostasy, so that the habits of men were corrupted, the world distressed, and there was increase of mortality among the creatures. 3. Zohak was descended from a pious man named Mardas whose lineage is traced from Taz and Tazak, one of the pairs (according to the Bundahishn, Chapter XV.) begotten of Fravak, the son of Siyamak, who had settled in the plains of the Tazikan or Arabia.
The Jewish scriptures were first composed by him (i.e. Zohak), and deposited in the fortress of Jerusalem. And through Zohak men adhered unto the Jewish high-priest Abraham, and through Abraham they adhered unto Moses, whom the Jews accepted as their prophet and messenger of faith, and unto whom they ascribe the salvation of sins committed, and regarded his acquirements as being necessary for the final propagation of their faith. -- Thus Zohak cherished (dôshitê) demoniac deceptions to harm his people4. 4. The Tarikh-i-Tabari describes Zohak in the following passage:
"The Arabs called him Zohak and the Mogs say that he was Bivarasp. + + They say that this Bivarasp flourished in the time of the prophet Noah. This king was tyrannical and killed all the rulers of the world, end inclined mankind to idol-worship."

With reference to this subject Firdousi says

"Since Zohak ascended the throne as king a lapse of a thousand years passed over him, when the ways of the sages disappeared and demoniac propensity prevailed, virtues were slighted and sorcery was esteemed, truth became hidden and evil was paramount, rectitude was never talked of save in secrecy, but the hands of demons were extended on vice."
The elementary knowledge of that evil religion in every age tends to produce baneful influence among the believers in the excellent Mazdayasnian faith, to degrade those obedient unto the Deity, and to promote in the world by various ways and means apostasy twofold or threefold. Through its demoniac predominance there is corruption of the good habits of men, and impiety and desolation in the world, and much distress (frah-sije) and harm to the people generally; and misery, embarrassment and hardship to the pious; and dignity, comfort and authority to the evil people; and such evil people of baneful origin always cause openings [wounds] in the human soil, so that pain and injury to the people would emanate therefrom. Hence (it is declared in the good religion) that the Mazdayasnian Faith should be developed to the highest pitch in conformity with the will and commandments of God; that the openings in the human soil should be removed, impurity ought to be cast out of the world and far away from populated districts, and mankind be purified therefrom and rendered clean.

Exposition in the good religion regarding men that are advantageous to the world, and work for its prosperity, as well as regarding the monarch that is harmful, and works for its misery. (228)

Be it known that, that man is advantageous to the world and works for its welfare, who possesses good intuitive sense for studiously exercising his duties, and who exerts himself for the cause of the good religion. Accordingly, as he exerts himself and studiously performs his duties in this world in consonance with his faith, he, likewise, giving strength to the angels, aggrandizes this earthly life and makes it worthy of paradise. The king of an evil faith is very persistent in perverse acts, advances in evil activity, and is (therefore) harmful to the world and works for its misery. Since he is always predominant in evil activity by dint of his (pernicious) faith in this world, he clandestinely impairs this earthly life by giving strength to the demons, and renders it unworthy of paradise.

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