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DENKARD (Acts of Religion), Book 3

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

Edited by Peshotun Dastoor Behramjee Sanjana, 1876. English translation by Ratanshah E. Kohiyar.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the reasons for the plan (of this and the next world). (82)

Be it known that, the reason for the (plan of the) invisible world and this world are of two kinds. Of these, the reasons for the safety and the ease of the invisible world are, the wishes of the Yazads, the strength (derived) from the (invisible) bestowers of good, the blessings of the good, the love of the pure, and the virtuous objects of the good. And the reasons for the illness and hardship (of the next world) are the oppression of the Devs, the work relating to reptiles, the evil wishes of the diminishers, the praises of sorcerers, and the evil objects of the bad. Safety in this world is owing to virtuous (self) restraint, and ease is owing to industry. Similarly, illness is owing to living without (self) restraint; and hardship is owing to idleness. Whatever safety and ease, and whatever illness and hardship belong to the next world, to what causes are they to be ascribed? To the powers that help and harm man in this world. What are the powers that help and harm in this and the next world? Those powers which, in this world, procure good things for man and increase his safety and ease, and those powers which approve of his illness and hardship. How does (man) become qualified for the next world? And from what is there safety (regarding the next world). From conscientious wishes that help in this world and from practicable efforts. From what is there ease (in the next world?) From industry that helps in this world. From what is there illness? From the cruel wishes of this world pertaining to Farehbut and from enfeebling oppression. From what is there hardship (in the next world)? From the obstructive idleness of this world? How does (man) become qualified for this world? And from whom is there safety (regarding this world)? From the source of joy, the invisible helpers (the Yazads). From what is there ease (in this world)? From the good gifts of the invisible helpers. From whom is there hardship in this world? From cruel, invisible (Devs) with thoughts to cause pain. From whom is there hardship (in this world)? From the evil-causing invisible (Devs), the doers of cruel deeds. The learned philosopher knows well the causes of good and evil in the next world and in this world. In what does goodness consist? In the improvement of mankind. In what does evil consist? In not adopting the appointed means against evil, and in not being industrious. (Goodness) concerning the next world consists in the worship of the bountiful Yazads, and in securing their good-pleasure, and in the non-remembrance of reptile-dispositioned Devs, and in causing them distress. And (goodness) in this world consists in the preservation of the body, in medicaments, in well-directed industry, and in being contented. Of the two (worlds), men are enabled to perform the work of existence in the first, through the influence of the second. Therefore religious teachers, who do not even perform some of the work of the religion, to guide people in this manner, and who are without a regular knowledge of the religion, ought to be removed (from their position) for want of knowledge (of the religion).

Exposition in the good religion regarding guiding the people of this world by admonitions of various kinds. (83)

Be it known that, there are various ways in which the people of this world may guide (their) emotions in accordance with the laws of the Creator in (the present) state of contamination with the Blemish-giver. That is to say, that for the merchandise of life, (man), through his emotions, is able to guide himself in various ways, by means of the law of the Self-existent, without turning towards those who have perverse passions. In particular, he who, through (his) emotions, is a doer of deeds of greatness, guides his every faculty by (the) hope (of heaven) and the fear (of hell): he is also the giver of advice to people to guide themselves by keeping among the emotions of their nature the wish for the Frashegird: that (they) might not prevent themselves from guiding themselves by such emotions, and from movements in accordance with the dictates of reason: and that they might become adorners of themselves, with good qualities and embellishers (of themselves). Generally man guides himself through (the good) passions, by guiding himself (in this world) by means of the wisdom and authority of the religion, by doing (good) deeds, and by remaining aloof (from sin). And by cherishing similar other wishes, (he) becomes a thorough injurer of the work of guiding (oneself) by means of the passions possessing the power pertaining to the wishes of the Blemish-giver, and a giver, to people, of relations for the higher rank of the Frashegird.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the Spenamino being made to prevail over the Ghanamino. (84)

Be it known that, the original explained meaning of Spenamino, is 'one possessed of wisdom of a high order,' and of 'Ghanamino' is 'one possessed of the law-breaking evil wisdom.' As to making the Spenamino prevail over the Ghanamino, the explanation given is, that certain wise (invisible) powers are (intended) to make (man) of high rank, and certain (invisible) powers, that increase evil thoughts, are (intended) to make (him) miserable. Therefore, whoever is wise among mankind enjoys a higher rank in various ways, over those who guide (themselves) by evil-mindedness. And, that he who is evil-minded is not one to guide himself with wisdom, is apparent from a knowledge of the religion. Therefore, each of these minos, acts personally, through (men) who guide (others) towards them. In particular, (man), owing to obedience to the Spenamino, is not separated (from Creator). And he perceives, indications of temptations of all kinds offered by the Ghanamino. By putting the Spenamino out of himself, (man) makes the nature of the Ghanamino to work in him for various objects. Of these, the chief object is this, that, owing to the connection with the diminishing powers of the Ghanamino, he himself is enabled to cause pain and harm to the creation of the Spenamino. And a perception of his ignorance will, of itself, be felt by the Ghanamino at the time of the Frashegird. And those who guide themselves through the Ghanamino, will at that time be helpless and powerless.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the ways of friendliness with the religion. (85)

Be it known that, friendship with the good religion is, in particular, formed in two ways. By acquiring a knowledge of the good religion, (and), by obeying its commandments, (man) becomes a friend (of the good religion), conscientious, pure, fit for paradise and the Garothman. And he who does not acquire the friendship and the knowledge to act according to the commands of the good religion belongs to the evil religion, and pines for righteousness (in the next world.)

Exposition in the good religion regarding the industry and the (self) restraint of the prudent. (86)

Be it known that, it is the business of the prudent (man) to secure good help, by being industrious in that which is most profitable. And the income obtained by him by so doing has reference to the goodness of his soul and to righteousness. Similarly (his business) is to remain aloof from that which causes much injury. And the help which he obtains by thus keeping aloof is for the purpose of covering up the evil of the soul. Therefore, if (a man) never remain without acquiring righteousness, through the advantages (offered) in this world, he certainly becomes worthy of higher industry. And he who, owing to the (opportunities for) harm (offered) in this world, lets not pass even a little time without committing sin, he will not be delivered (from hell). Therefore, he who is without restraint in, and fear for sin, and has no solicitude for virtue, is not (a) prudent (man).

Exposition in the good religion regarding (the establishment of) the lowest, the middling and the highest relations with the Mazdayasnian religion, and the advantages resulting therefrom. (87)

Be it known that, the lowest relation with the Mazdayasnian religion is (formed) by confirming the faith in the religion of a single individual. And the person who does this mediates like the Dastur of (the religion). And the advantage (caused) thereby is this, that through the connection of that individual (with the Mazdayasnian religion) the Druj being separated from that individual, is enfeebled, and thereby the strength of the Yazads is increased. Middling relation with the Mazdayasnian religion is (formed) by confirming the faith of a community in the good religion and by guiding it always with thoughts relating to Ohrmazd. And those who do this are (fitted) for the office of our Zarathushtrotum. And the benefit derived thereby is this, that through the union of that community (with the Mazdayasnian religion), the Druj becoming separated from it, is much enfeebled. And hence much strength accrues to the Yazads. The highest relation with the Mazdyasnian religion is (formed) by the faith of all mankind being confirmed in the good religion, and their thoughts being in unison with Ohrmazd through a Zarathushtrotum. And the advantage derived thereby is this, that the Yazads, and the army of all mankind holding relations with the religion, will receive mutual assistance in disabling and subjugating the Drujs, owing to their being without an army, and ill smiting them. The formation of all mankind into a uniform army for the work of the Frashegird depends upon the power of the Yazads, and it is owing to the influence of that power that all mankind will ever possess, with victorious Soshyant, the strength of a uniform army, for the purpose of diminishing the Drujs. And, in accordance with the will of the holy Dadar [Creator], reform pertaining to a knowledge of the good religion will be introduced into the worlds.

Exposition in the good religion regarding those who increase the brilliancy of the good religion and those who obscure it. (88)

Be it known that, he who, from a knowledge of the Mazdayasnian religion, (and) in accordance with the commands of the Zarthushtrotum and religious teachers, is generous to the pure men of his religion, and bestows the symbols of it (i.e. sudreh and kusti) and speaks (in favor) of it and loves it, is an increaser of the brilliancy of the Mazdayasnian religion. And he who is versed in the ways of the Ghanamino, comes across the good religion, and communicates similar thoughts (to other people), is a Farehbut and Aibebut, who obscures that religion.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the continuance of contentment and industry with an eye to (eternal) life. (89)

Be it known that, whoever is worthy of greatness, is capable of being contented, and he attaches no weight to wealth of an inferior kind. But he reckons the contentment pertaining to the long life as strength of a superior kind, and gives (his) attention to exalted contentment. And whoever is possessed of eternal joy, becomes such by continued industry for (the purpose of) obtaining the good reward of the invisible mansion.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the reasons for man's obtaining from the holy Dadar [Creator] reward for righteousness and punishment for sin. (90)

Be it known that, for man there are both these things from the holy Dadar [Creator] -- reward for righteousness, and punishment for sin. In particular, (man) becomes (deserving) of the punishment of sin by remaining aloof from doing righteousness, and by knowingly committing sin; And he becomes (an observer) of the law, fit to be approved for his own sake, by remaining aloof from committing sin and by doing deeds of righteousness. Man is enabled to do the work of purity for (his) soul, while suffering (hardships in this world), by retaining his Creator within himself as a friend. The intelligence, and religious feelings, and other good qualities which are in man, are means to enable him to form righteous relations. Man is obedient to his Maker through the strength and knowledge of the means of righteousness; And these fully inform man to keep aloof from sin. Righteousness renders sufficing assistance to man, and through it the judges (of the next world) remit the punishment of sinful persons. Therefore, whoever among mankind prevents sinful deeds and is as a means to stop any vice from arising, he is the physician that provides remedies for sin and is one who keeps back mankind from sin, and renders them religious through righteousness. And that man points out to men the road to distinguish sin and righteousness and makes fully known (the extent) to which the reward of righteousness and the punishment of sin are mixed up (in this world).

Exposition in the good religion regarding rendering praise and thanks (to God.) (91)

Be it known that, all are bound to praise and to be thankful to the Creator, who is (fit) for praises and thankfulness of all kinds. For, above those who are finite or proportioned, the Lord is infinite and unproportioned. By infinite and unproportioned is meant that the Lord being the Creator of the whole creation and the bestower of existence upon it, is known in that relation to the creation. And those who are proportioned are the Amahraspandan, the invisible Yazads, the Sun and other shining stars, and generous kings and other persons. Therefore, each (part of the) invisible and visible (creation) is bound to render praise to those who keep it prosperous. Among these, the creatures of this world are bound to be thankful to each of those who cause (them) to prosper, for the proportionate power pertaining to each (kind of) prosperity. Hence, the praises and thanks rendered to the Yazads pertaining to the invisible and visible (worlds) are (so rendered) because of their relation to the original Creator.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the removal from the world of injurious hardships. (92)

Be it known that, the head of the people, the king, should, in virtue of (his) rule, manifest an anxiety to remove from the world every injurious hardship that may be found therein; that thus he may show much love towards the holy Dadar [Creator]. But if this (hardship) should appear anywhere, and he be unable, singly, to put a stop to it, or, should show no solicitude about it, or, should be unable to understand (the remedy for) it, then, that (king), who is incapable of prevailing over evil and is weak, and does not know (the remedies for) it, is manifestly unfit to administer justice of any kind: therefore, (it behooves other) rulers to war with him for the sake of justice.

Exposition in the good religion regarding injury to the earth. (93)

Be it known that, as air moves about in the body of man, so it always moves about within the earth for its improvement; and as there is a passage in the body of man for the air to pass out and in which it moves, so is it with the earth. As, owing to the passage in the body for the movement of air, the body lives, and as, when the air finds no passage in any direction, the body perishes, so, a state of things similar to that of the body happens when the passage in the earth is stopped up. An injury is caused in the body by irregular ways of behavior productive of change, so when the passage of air is stopped in the earth by contrary movements, injury is caused, in the direction in which the passage of air, is stopped, owing to no vent being found by it: (injury), such as was caused by that sorcerer Afrasiab the Tur, by means of sorcery in rendering large tracts of fertile land unwatered, uninhabited, and desolate. Again, it is made known in the exposition of the good religion that the air within the earth is always heated by fire and that it rushes up from below, causing injury thereby (to the earth) and splitting it into two parts. As in the body of man wind is known to be raised up by fire, so (from a similar cause operating) in the earth, earthquakes and (other) injuries are caused. Therefore, everything retains its ordered condition, because of the (just) proportion of these, (fire and air): And it is injured by a want of proportion. Hence it is declared in the religion, that the creation is kept in order, when the good invisible power prevails; and in disorder, when the evil invisible power prevails. The birth of Fire depends upon Air, and the mover of Air is fire; if they are in their proper proportions, through Air, Fire has life and birth; and through Fire, Air has the power of motion. And owing to them, improveable things remain in safety and ease. And those things in which they are ill-proportioned, -- things that are improveable by Fire and Air, such as, the earth, water, trees, cattle and men, -- suffer injury, when in their constitution Fire is weaker in its force than Air, or, when the power of Fire to raise up the Air is impaired.

Exposition in the good religion regarding remaining aloof (from certain things) in accordance with the precepts of the Paoiryo-tkaesha. (94)

Be it known that the Creator disapproves of evil things; therefore (we) ought to keep aloof from any place where evil things are. God is not the bestower of those things which he dislikes, consequently such things ought not to be considered superior, and (we) ought to keep aloof from them. Man ought to keep aloof from (attempting) to understand those things which God (alone) understands. (A man) ought to keep aloof from a thing which he knows to belong to another, but which he likes; and (he) ought not to do (anything) that is very injurious, and ought not to attach importance to it. The Lord Creator is full of goodness towards man, in various ways; therefore, a man ought to keep aloof from a thing, which, though it is intended for him (and) is suitable to him is yet apt, in various ways, to raise up quarrels, and, appertains to the wish to cause harm. God Himself has no wish to cause harm; hence, (we) ought to keep aloof from such (wishes). And if there be any one who does such deeds (of harm) his wishes ought to be turned away (from them): for, he who does not turn, the doer of such deeds, away from his wishes, has similar wishes to those of that disreputable (man). The passions of the Devs, wolves, and Khrafastras will not be turned away from warring with mankind and from doing harm to the people of Ohrmazd; hence, (we) must keep aloof from them (i. e. the passions). Those religious teachers who do not turn mankind back from doing the immense harm appertaining to conduct like that of Devs, wolves, and Khrafastras, help them in this world, to deficiency (in the next). Their religion, notwithstanding that it is proper and safe (in other respects) is hostile towards man, and impure, owing to deeds being done, like those of Devs, wolves, and Khrafastras. The ways of a sinner cannot deliver him from hell, owing to his harm-causing wishes; for the harm doer's injurious and unjust wishes are not considered to be the wishes of the holy Self-existent: therefore, it is not proper to call them (the wishes) of the Father, the Creator of the creation. And they cannot be so called according to law.

Exposition in the good religion regarding those in the invisible and the visible (world) who bear the mark of being the creatures of Ohrmazd. (95)

Be it known that among the invisibles those who belong to the Pure and the Good, are the Yazads. Among the people who have mixed with this world, those who keep themselves eager to drive out (from them) the aims of the Evil-minded, which have reference to evil, and to turn themselves in the direction of the aims of the Wise, which have reference to good, are, with the help of the Yazads, of the nature of cattle, and are marked as the creatures of Ohrmazd. Among the invisibles those who belong to the Bad are the Devs. Among the people of this world those, who are not eager to keep evil at a distance from themselves and to turn themselves towards good, are, with the help of Devs, like wolves; and like wolves and Khrafastars bear no mark of being the creatures of Ohrmazd. Therefore, it is not proper to consider such (men) as the creatures of Ohrmazd.

Exposition in the good religion regarding the assurances resulting from good and bad government, and the indications derived therefrom as to the time of the Beginning and the End (mentioned) in the good religion. (96)

Be it known that, in good government there is assurance (to people) of wisdom, truth and goodness; therefore, the times (of such government) are the times of the Yazad's. Through it justice spreads among, and prosperity and good help is obtained by, the people of the world. In it there is intelligence, truthfulness, and excellence. And wise and truthful men and men possessing other virtues, obtain greatness and high rank; and, those who are fitted for inferior rank, obtain inferior rank; and the king confers authority upon wise persons. Hence, a great many men obtain ease and happiness, and thus this world becomes worthy of the Spenamino. And such (a government) is considered as the blessed beginning of the reign of Ohrmazd at the End (For, at the End, the pure Ohrmazd will) thus fully reduce the Blemish-giver, and prevent his (the Blemish-giver's) original power from being infused (into people), and accomplish the final reformation of the world. In a badly governed kingdom there is assurance of evil-mindedness, untruthfulness, and vice: hence, its times are the times of the Devs. (For), through it oppression, the happiness of an evil income, and desolation are made manifest in the world. In it there is evil-mindedness, deceit, and immorality. And evil-minded persons, deceivers and other immoral men obtain much greatness, and people of low rank obtain the honor due to holy men. And the king confers authority upon evil-minded persons. Hence, a great many persons have to suffer hardship and pain. And thus, this world becomes suited for the Ghanamino. Such (a kingdom) is considered as the beginning of the (evil) dispensation of the oppressive reign of the Ghanamino. And it is declared in the religion that at the End everyone who makes such a beginning will receive spontaneously harm as a reward. Therefore the religion of those religious teachers who inculcate the practices and the (mode of) government of a bad kingdom, is akin to the ways of a bad kingdom. And as the practices of a bad kingdom are hurtful to the people, they ought to be considered wicked.

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