Denkard, Book 9

Details of Nasks 1-3 (Ancient Canon of Zoroastrianism)

Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East, Oxford University Press, 1897.

Sudgar Nask

fargard 12. Advantage of satisfying water, impure recitation, impurity of greed, birds kill snakes, effectual invocation, goodness of archangels and Zartosht, gifts to his disciples (13)

1. The twelfth fargard, Ushtavaiti [1], is about the exaltation of Zartosht through the satisfaction of water, and the hope of all creatures for him. 2 And about the impure recitation of a text, when [2] the text is not uttered by a high-priest. 3. This, too that the text which a man who is corrupted may offer is an impropriety (adinaih) for that which is an uncorrupted place. 4. This, too, is declared, that a greedy man whose belly is filled by accumulation -- and the end of every sin is, to him, only for the gratification of the body -- one considers just like a gallows to which there is a foundation (sipo) of every impurity. 5. This, too, that a bird (vae) practices that habit (shan) even that it kills those outright which have become large in our midst, which are the serpents produced by the demons. 6. This, too, that for invocation (azbayishno) of the sacred beings thinking with speaking, speaking with acting, and acting without deceitfulness are effectual.

7. About the pure goodness of the archangels, the union of their thoughts, words, and deeds together; their bountifulness, nurturing, and protection are the cause [3] of the prosperity of the world. 8. About the production of Zartosht by Ohrmazd with a goodness like his own. 9. This, too, that whoever gives anything to the disciples of Zartosht, his reward and recompense are just as though the thing had been given by him to Zartosht [4].

10. It is perfect excellence that is righteousness.


1. The appellation of the first ha of the second Gatha (Y43) which begins with the words "ushta ahmai yahmai ushta;" it is here written aushtavaito in Pahlavi.

2. Assuming that mun, 'which,' stands for amat; the Pazand of both words being practically the same. Or, it may be, 'also him who does not utter the text through a high-priest.'

3. B omits shan, 'the cause of.'

4. Compare: ' Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' (Matthew 25.40.)

fargard 13. The spirit of the sacred cake attacks demons when the cake is consecrated, men who pray are righteous if not deceitful, a heinous sin no obliterator of other sin (14)

1. The thirteenth fargard, Tat-thwa-peresa [1], is about the strength and mightiness of the spirit of the sacred cake [2]. 2. This, too, that every night the demons rush from hell [3] into the world, to injure and cause the death of the creatures; and, when people consecrate a sacred cake, that spirit descends to attack and keep back the demons, and to engage in combat with the demons ninety-nine times during every night; he also smites and stupefies them, and keeps them back from destroying the world.

3. This, too, that any one whatever of those men who utter these words [4] in prayer becomes righteous, except those men who shall contentedly, or wishfully, carry out a command for evil deeds, and they deceive (suftend), or make others deceive, by statements proposed to them; and whose evil thoughts are thus more than their good thoughts, their evil words more than their good words, and their evil deeds more than their good deeds. 4. About carrying off the reliance produceable that a sin worthy of death is the obliteration (fraz mushtano) of other sin, like an awful and mighty wind when it sweeps swiftly over the plain [5].

5. Of righteousness the excellence is perfect.


1. The first three words of the second ha of the second Gatha (Y44.1), here written tad-spa-peres in Pahlavi.

2. See Bk. 8, Chap. 29.2

3. K omits 'from hell,' and B omits 'night.'

4. Meaning probably Yas. 44.

5. A favorite metaphor derived from the Avesta text (see Pahl. Vend. 3.149; MX.52.19).

fargard 14. The torment of Kersasp's soul, notwithstanding his heroic deeds, owing to smiting the fire which opposes his soul, though befriended by Goshorun, until Zartosht intercedes (15)

1. The fourteenth fargard, Ad-fravakhshya [1], is about Ohrmazd's showing to Zartosht the terrible condition of the soul of Kersasp [2]; the dismay of Zartosht owing to that terrible condition; the sorrowful speaking of Kersasp as regards the slaying of multitudes, for which mankind extol him, whereby abstentions from sin occurred; and the recognition of him by the creator, Ohrmazd, as smiting his fire. 2. The supplication of Kersasp for the best existence from Ohrmazd for those exploits when the serpent Srobar [3] was slain by him, and the violence of that adversary; when Gandarep [4] with the golden heels was smitten by him, and the marvellousness of that fiend; when the Veshko progeny [5] who were descendants of Nivik and Dashtanik were slain by him, and the grievous harm and disaster owing to them; and when the mighty wind [6] was appeased by him, and brought back from damaging the world to benefiting the creatures; and for that which happens when owing to confinement [7], Dahak [Zohak] becomes eager, rushes on for the destruction of the world, and attempts (girayedo) the annihilation of the creatures; when he (Kersasp) is roused to smite him, and to tame that powerful fiend for the world and creatures.

3. The enmity of fire to Kersasp, through the distress which he occasioned to it, and the keeping of him away [8] [from heaven; also the friendship of Goshorun [9] for him, through the prosperity which he occasioned to it, and the protection of him] from hell. 4. The petition of Zartosht to the fire to have compassion upon what was owing to Kersasp's sin; the compliance (hanjaftano) of the fire with that petition, and the departure of the soul of Kersasp to the ever-stationary existence [10].

5. Of righteousness perfect is the excellence.


1. The first two words of the third ha of the second Gatha (Y45.1), here written ad-fravakhshe (B) and ad-fravakhsha (K) in Pahlavi. This chapter has been already translated in S.B.E., vol. xviii, pp. 370-372.

2. See Bk. 8, Chap. 13.12; S.B.E., vol. xviii, pp.369-382.

3. See Bk. 8, Chap. 35.13.

4. Av. Gandarewa of Yt.5.38, 15.28, 19.41; the 'watery demon' of MX. 27.50.

5. Reading hun Veshko, the Av. hunavo Vaeskaya of Yt5.54, 57, who were enemies of the warrior Tusa; but the hunavo of Nivika and of the Dashtayani were slain by Keresaspa (see Yt19.41). It is also possible to read khuno-dako, 'blood-producing.'

6. When it becomes a storm-demon, the vato-daeva of Vd10.14, instead of being the angel of useful wind.

7. In the volcano, Mount Damawand, where he was confined by Faridoon in olden times, and whence he is expected to break loose hereafter (see Bd12.31, Bd29.9; Byt3.55-61).

8. The words in brackets occur only in K; their meaning is, however, given in the Pahlavi Rivayat accompanying Dd. and quoted in S.B.E., vol. xviii, pp.379, 380. The enmity of the fire to Kersasp was owing to its having been extinguished (when kindled upon the serpent Srobar) by the upsetting of Kersasp's caldron, as described in Y9.11 and Yt19.40.

9 Av. geus urva, 'the soul of the ox,' the spirit which departed from the primeval ox when the evil spirit attacked it; she is supposed to be the heavenly protector of all animals, and is also called Drvaspa (see Yt9.1; Bd3.14, 18, Bd4.2-5; Sls22.14).

10. A locality intermediate between heaven and hell, where the souls of those whose sins and good works exactly balance remain in a passive and immovable state till the resurrection (see Sls6.2; MX7.18, MX12.14; Dd20.3).

fargard 15. Proceedings of the demon of death, the soul alone sees the events of the spiritual state, treatment of the corpse and misery of its consciousness; (§9) worldly happiness seldom lasts a century, ordainable supplies, the seven immortal rulers in Xwaniratha (16)

1. The fifteenth fargard, Kamnamaeza [1], is about the arrival of Astwihad [2] upon the spot, and the insecurity of any one from him; also the non-continuance of the mortal body and decaying (farsavand) wealth of any one of the mortals summoned is death [3]. 2. And this, too, that Astwihad shall carry off all mortals by that awful and proclaimed marvel, and they are not saved from him [4]; each one, indeed, saves only that which is the soul. 3. This, too, that the soul alone sees the reward and bridge [5] of the spiritual existence, and embodied it does not see such things; if; when embodied, it could have seen like that, then it would not have committed the sin really originating with it, even for anything whatever of the ease and comfort of the worldly existence, nor shrunk (manshido) from the first good work.

4. About the hideousness and frightfulness of the body of man after death, and only that which is considered by every one the most precious of desirable things is undecaying (afarsak). 5. As regards the casting away of the dust, and also living people, that which is more nearly connected therewith is uninhabitableness [6] and its duration. 6. And when, too, this way, the consciousness is in the vicinity of the body [7], and the dog and bird go forth for the dismemberment of the body, the frightening of the consciousness by them is like that of a sheep by a wolf; also its disputing with the dog and bird about the dismemberment of the body, the reciting (mardano) of words spiritually at first repelling them, thinking the body is alive. 7. And, afterwards, when the body is dismembered by them, the hastening of the consciousness to the vicinity of the dismembered body, just like a female (denudako) sheep when it hastens on to its young ones; and its noticing -- with grievous unhappiness [8] for the body -- and recounting where the features (demagano) of that body were in happiness, and to what misery it has now come. 8. And, when that body became sinful in its lifetime, about its not accepting, during that lifetime, that which the consciousness repeatedly well-endeavoured to promote for that body, as regards abstaining from sin and practising good works.

9. This, too, that thy time of worldly happiness has occurred, and that of misery is long. 10. This, too, that tbe people who live on, in the worldly existence, a hundred years are less than those who do not live a hundred years; the progress of a lifetime, little by little, and the rushing on of a lifetime; wife and property and the rest of worldly things all leaving you at once, and coming to another person. 11. And this, too, that -- when mankind mostly keep up any statement (nisang-ich) or register (aevarjo) which they have drawn out (nazi-hend) [9] about ordainable supplies in a friendly or inimical (patyanmond) way, which is more particularly expedient for them -- a supply, suitable for the discreet, of the rest of that which is constantly desirable, is to be extracted therefrom, and one is to keep up its preparation with his own.

12. About the seven immortal rulers who are produced in the region of Khwaniras [10], and also about the ordaining of their glory and the goodness, too, of their assistants living and privileged in both existences. 13. The tree opposed to harm [11] is on Eranwej [12], in the place of most excavations (freh-niganan gas). 14. Gok-pato [13] is in foreign [14] countries. 15. Peshotan [15], son of Vishtasp, is in Kangdez [16] the hundred-moated (sad-gandak), wherein there are a myriad spears (drafsh), those of the exalted who wear black marten fur, who are righteous listeners of the religion [17], out of the retinue (akharih) of Pehshotan, son of Vishtasp. 16. Fradakhshto, son of the mortal Khumbiks [18], who is predominant on the waters flowing in channels. 17. Ashavazd, son of Porudakhshto [19], who is predominant over the most manifest among uplands, the plain of Peshinas [20]. 18. Barazak [21] the causer of strife. 19. 'And the eighth Kayan [22] who was renowned, O Vishtasp! it is he whom one calls Kay-Khosraw, who produces even an advance of thy religion of the Mazda-worshippers, and also understands about it; who gives my good practices further blessings, so that the world [23] maintains my doings with benedictions.'

20. Righteousness is perfect excellence.


1. The appellation of the fourth, and last, ha of the second Gatha (Y46), which begins with the words kam nemoi zam; it is here written kamnamezo in Pahlavi.

2. See Chap. 12.17. The connection of the demon of death with Y46 is that the first few words of that ha are supposed to be repeated by the wicked soul in despair after death (see Yt22.20, W,; MX2.159; AV17.7).

3. K has mardum, 'human (?).'

4. B has the whole of this first clause thus:-'And the unconsumed (apakhshino) property of him who is surprised by the invisible marvel that he shall endure, they have not saved from him.' This marvel is probably the supposed casting of a noose by Astwihad around the neck of the dead to drag him to hell, which only the righteous are able to cast off.

5. See Bk. 8, Chaps. 14.8, 24.10.

6. Corpses are to be deposited in an uninhabited place (see Vd6.44-51, Vd7.45-50; Dd18).

7. Compare Dd16.7.

8. Pahl. ashadih in K, but B has ayadakih, 'remembrance.'

9 Or 'they offer up (uzdahend).'

10. See Bk. 8, Chap. 8.2. And, regarding these seven rulers, compare Bd. 29.5, 6; Dd.90.

11. The many-seeded tree in the wide-formed ocean, whence the seeds of all wild plants are brought by the rain (see Yt.12.17; Bd.27.2, 3; MX42.37-42).

12. See Chap. 12.3.

13. 'Gopatshah in Bd. 29.5, 31.20, 22; Byt.2.1; Dd. 90.3, 4; Gopaitoshah in MX. 62.8, 31; and Gopaito in MX. 44.35. All these forms of the name imply that he was a king, or master, of oxen; and MX. describes him as a Mazda-worshipping minotaur on the sea-shore, probably the Caspian, or the river Oxus, as Bd. makes him a brother, or nephew, of Frasiyav the Turanian. His country is called Saukavastan in Bd., and Gopato in Dd.

14. Pahl. an-Airan which corresponds with the position of Saukavastan being between Turkistan and Chinistan, as stated in Bd.29.13, and that of Gopato being coterminous with Eranwej, as in Dd.90.4. But K, by omitting the negative prefix, places it 'within the countries of Iran;' and MX. makes Gopato a chief of Eranwej.

15. Av. Peshotanu, commonly written Peshyotanu in Pahlavi.

16. A fortified settlement, to the east of Iran (see Bd.29.10), formed by Siyavakhsh (see Bk.8, Chap. 13.14) who was first cousin of Vishtasp's great-grandfather (see Bd. 31.25, 28, 29).

17. Who are expected to be led into Iran by Peshotan in future times, when he is summoned by the angels to restore religion to the world after the conflict of the nations (see Byt.3.25-42).

18. K has 'Fradakhshto, son of Khumbik the son of Hoshang.' He was evidently the Fradhakhshti Khunbya of Yt.13.138, who might have been considered as a descendant of the Haoshyangha mentioned before him in Yt13.

19. Av. Ashavazdangh Pourudhakhshtayana of Yt5.72, Yt13.112.

20. Said to be in Kavulistan where Sama Keresaspa lies asleep till summoned to kill Dahak [Zohak] in the latter times (see Bd.29.7, 11; Byt.3.59-61). It maybe connected with the vairi Pisanangh of Yt.5.37, where Keresaspa offered sacrifice, and with the Pishin valley southeast of Qandahar; but Chap. 21.20 seems to place it between Mazendaran and Iran, and MX.62.20 also describes it as near Mount Demawand. Its name is variously written Peshinash, Peshansih, Peshyansai, Peshandas, Peshanigas, &c.

21. Possibly Av. Varaza of Yt.13.101.

22. Kavi Haosravangh (Kay-Khosraw) is the eighth and last in the list of Kavis, or Kayans, in Yt.13.132; and was celebrated for his opposition to idolatry (see Yt.5.49,50; Bd.17.7). This section appears to be an actual quotation from the Pahlavi version of the Nask, professing to give the words of Zartosht.

23. K has dehik, 'a provincial.'

fargard 16. Bridge-judgment of sinners, merit of certain good works, punishment of certain sinners, Gathas for an ordeal (17)

1. The sixteenth fargard, Spenta-mainyu [1], is about effecting the bridge-judgment of sinners, as declared by revelation. 2. About performing the ceremony (yashto) for a man and a woman, and it is ordered for the woman before the man; the fitness for the supreme heaven (garothman) arisen through the liturgy (yashto) to be recited itself, or through purchasing heaven in the worldly existence [2].

3. About the immunity of the soul from hell through the righteousness of having respectfully given a horse of a good race, the land of a cultivated field, or a virtuous woman, to a righteous man; and also the woman who gives herself in marriage to the righteous man; and that liberal good work increases from time to time [3], and from day to day.

4. About the bridge penalty of him who is a mourner (navinidar) and self-wounder in the three nights after a death, and how it is as though they who are living should again pour melted ore on a human being. 5. About the punishment for a woman who gives herself in marriage to a righteous man, and comes away [4] from him; such as when a hedgehog [5] should be constantly going in and coming out by her sexual organ; and the cutting off of her way from the best existence. 6. About the non-deliverance of a soul of the wicked from hell till the future existence. 7. About the punishment of the wicked there is this, too, it is as though a sheep which is alive should be remaining tied by the legs, head downwards, and there should be a specific exudation of its toes through running at the nose [6].

8. About the Gathas for an ordeal [7] of the spiritual existence, which is concealed in every mode, being without a footing (apa-pastako), as it were, for him who is a righteous chanter of the Gathas.

9. The excellence of righteousness is perfect.


1. The first two words of the first ha of the third Gatha (Y47.1), which are converted into the Pahlavi appellation Spendmaito.

2. By providing for the performance of the proper ceremonies for the benefit of one's own soul.

3. Pahl. vidanaanag vidanaanag, a hybrid equivalent of zamanak zamanak (see Bk.8, Chap. 35.6 n).

4. B has 'relapses.'

5. Compare AV. 70.

6. Pahl. afash angusto zahih-1-i mayaganik pavan vinik-taj ae. For mayaganik, 'specific' (which occurs, however, in Bk.8, Chap. 20.166), we can read masanik, 'tumerous or coagulating,' or we may consider it equivalent to muyishnik, 'lamentable.'

7. Compae the reference to the ordeal by fire in Pahl. Yas. 46.6; the earlier part of the chapter is also somewhat of a homily upon the references to the wicked and righteous in the same ha.

fargard 17. Where seven particular classes of sinners have to go (18)

1. The seventeenth fargard, Yezi [1], is about where he is who shall commit any of these five sins [2], and, thereby perverted from the religion, has diminished his own life and destiny [3]: -- A human being when he contentedly reverences a demon in spiritual lordship (ahuih) and priestly authority (radih), one steadfast in religion when he so reverences one un-steadfast in religion, a teacher when he so reverences one who is no teacher and ignorant, one acquainted with the Gathas when he so reverences one unacquainted with the Gathas and unintelligent (anashnas) [4], and a helpful one when he so reverences an unhelpful and unwise one.

2. This, too, where also they are who unlawfully slaughter a sheep, or beast of burden, which diminishes their life and destiny. 3. And so, too, those also who think scornfully of Ohrmazd, O pure and righteous Spitaman! and their own religion, the strength of the righteous and thy disciples.

4. Excellence that is perfect is righteousness.


1. The first word of the second ha of the third Gatha (Yas. 48.1), here written yezik in Pahlavi.

2. B omits 'sins.'

3. Or 'glory.'

4 So in K, but both MSS. give this clause imperfectly.

fargard 18. Pregnancy of the fiend due to certain sins; the soul blesses the body when righteous, and curses it when wicked; proper times for reciting the Ahunwar and Ashem, the corruption of the wicked (19)

1. The eighteenth fargard, Ad-ma-yava [1], is about the pregnancy of the demon from him who has eaten and chattered in sinfulness towards Hordad and Amurdad [2], or who makes water when standing [3], or who heedlessly sees his semen. 2. And the hussy [4] who spills (juyedo) anything after sunset (huk-frashmok-dad), or who scatters a morsel (danar) of food to the north, at night, without a recitation of the Ahunwar [5].

3. This, too, that only the soul is constantly desirable for the body, even through this alone, that this perishable body [6] [is a worldly state of righteousness, and, by rousing up (lala-payamishnih) [7] when thou wouldst sleep on, the righteousness] is on the advance when thou wouldst have retreated; and the righteousness, in arising, is like thee in every coming and departure; through fetching and delivering the breath it shall become good reward, abundant reward, and the reward of righteousness. 4. When the body shall act so, the soul is rejoiced and shall utter a blessing for the body thus: 'Happy may it be for thee, O perishable body! whom I have made tall, and whom I have brought near to the best existence.' 5. And when the body shall not accept the progress (afras) of the soul, and says it is evil progress on rousing up, evil progress on advancing, [and evil progress upwards, the soul is a demon] [8] and shall offer [lamentable] [8] words thus: 'Evil art thou, O perishable body! whom I made dwarfish (gashuk), and whom I have brought near to the worst existence.'

6. About where there are unaccustomed (aveshako), imperfect, and secret signs of short life, and the healthfulness of uttering the Ahunwar [9] and Ashem [10] for it. 7. This, too, that, when thou wouldst squat for making water, thou recitest the Ahunwar, and the Ashem, afterwards, when thou wouldst stand up; so that any demon, or fiend, shall least injure thee. 8. And when thou wouldst go in unto thy wife (narik), thou recitest first the Ahunwar, and the Ashem, afterwards, when thou wouldst be coming together [11]; for so thou wouldst be making that, too, which arises -- which is thy son -- more righteous and more successful through the Ashem. 9. This, too, that, when thou wouldst go into a house, thou shouldst be offering homage, and do thou utter the Ahunwar, for the spirit of the house and for everything of the material existence of the righteous which is and was and will be in that dwelling.

10. Also about the corruption (tavashtano) of the wicked, and the calamity (sur) which is unjustly distributed by them in the realm [12].

11. Excellence that is perfect is righteousness.


1. The first three words of the third ha of the third Gatha (Y49.1), here written ad-ma-iyubo in Pahlavi.

2. Av. Haurvatat, 'completeness, or health,' and ameretat, 'immortality;' the archangels who have special charge of water and plants, respectively (see Sls.15.25-29), and are said to he injured by the sin of talking while eating and drinking those things (see Chap. 9.2).

3. Thereby polluting more ground than is necessary (see Sls.10.5).

4. See Chap. 11.5 n.

5. K does not mention the latter sinful action. The reason of the sin of such actions is that they may be considered as offerings to the demons (who are supposed to come from the north and to be powerful at night) unless protected by the Ahunwar (see Bk. 8, Chap. 1.7) used as an exorcism (see Sd.30.1, 2; Sls. 10.7, 12.18).

6. B has 'even through the assertion that this is corporeal and perishable.' The passage in brackets occurs only in K.

7. This appears to be the most probable reading of the word which occurs again in § 5, where it is written lala-upayamishnih in K, which form is also found in Hn.1.23, where it translates Av. ustryamno. For the latter member of this compound see also Chap. 20.6, 7. For the syllable yam we might substitute gam or gam without much alteration of meaning, or even dam if we translate by 'fanning up, exciting.'

8. The words in brackets are omitted in K.

9. See Bk.8, Chap. 1.7.

10. See Chap. 3.1 ; here, and in §§ 7, 8, it is expressed by Pahl. aharayih, 'righteousness,' being an abbreviation of its usual appellation, 'praise of righteousness,' in Pahlavi.

11. Pahl. 'amat andarg hakhto vadidunah ae.'

12. Like Y.49 this fargard begins with special references to the wicked, and returns to them towards the end.

fargard 19. The souls praise a virtuous high-priest, miseries of hell, the Chinwad bridge, promises not to be broken, not even those to a courtesan, in which case the penalty is childlessness in hell (20)

1. The nineteenth fargard, Kad-moi-urvu [1], is about where the souls, when they come together, extol the soul of him who was a virtuous high-priest, a friend of the soul, because he did not injure it, and guarded it from hell.

2. About the darkness, the intensity (bur'zvo homandih) and far-reaching bottomlessness of the blackness, and the absence of goodness in hell; and the proximity to stenches, close concealment [2], sleet-pelted clambering (pishnako-balinih), frozen advancing, painful condition, distressed state, and awful fear of those in hell. 3. This, too, that is thrown open (lakhvar ramitund) over it, from the Daiti peak [3], which is in Eranwej, to Alburz [4], and below the middle of which is the gate of hell, is the Chinwad bridge [5] which is the route (vidar) of every one, righteous or wicked; the width across the route of the righteous is a breadth of nine spears, each one the length of three reeds, but the route for the wicked becomes like the edge of a razor.

4. 'Thus say I [6] unto thee, O Spitaman! that the man of truth steps forward over the Chinwad pass. even the far-famed happy bridge; for Ashtad [7], the good promoter of the world, and Mihr [8] of the vast cattle-pastures save only the man possessing truth from that distress, as though they were a regiment (sipah) a thousand strong. 5. So I say unto thee, O Spitaman! that thou shouldst not become a liar unto Mihr, neither when thou wouldst converse with the wicked, nor when thou wouldst with those of thine own religion who are righteous; for both of those are promises, both with the wicked and the righteous; there is a promise, O Zartosht! even of a wolf with young animals, but that which is a lascivious (jehik) promise is more awful, O Spitaman! 6. So I say unto thee, O Spitaman! that thou shouldst not seize a wanton (jehik) for use -- that is, do not make her thy wife -- and with compulsion (upayamishnih) of her [9] -- that is, do not let thyself lie with her. 7. And if thou shouldst seize a courtesan for use, and with compulsion of her, thou mayst not dismiss her afterwards, neither in adversity, nor in prosperity, neither on account of fondness for self, nor for life; because he who seizes a courtesan for use, and with compulsion, and shall dismiss her on account of fondness for self, or for life, becomes thereby a breaker of promises to the house, village, community, or province, that gives her life (valman zivinedo), and to the soul that animates her [10].'

8. So breaking the promise comes upon the children that are theirs, through evil teaching; and he who is wicked is lying down without children at the bottom of hell. 9. That is, there is nothing whatever of [11] happiness for the wicked, that happiness which is produced abundantly by him who is Ohrmazd.

10. Perfect righteousness is excellence.


1. The first three words of the fourth, and last, ha of the third Gatha (Y50.1), here written kad-mok-ravako in Pahlavi.

2. Compare AV. 54.5-8: - 'As close as (tang-ich) from the ear to the eye, and as many as the hairs a horse has in his mane, so many in number the souls of the wicked stand, but they do not see, nor do they hear a sound, one from the other, and every one, therefore, thinks that he is alone.' F or a description of hell see also Dd27.

3. Or Chakad-i Daiti (see Pahl. Vend. 19.101; Bd. 12.7).

4. Av. hara berezaiti, the range of lofty mountains supposed to surround the world (see Bd. 5.3-5).

5. Here called Chinako-puhal, and Chish-vidarg in § 4; for a fuller descripticn of it see Dd.21.2-7. Allusion is made to it in Y50.7.

6. Ohrmazd, speaking to Zartosht, The whole of this paragraph appears to be quoted verbatim from the original Pahlavi text of the Nask.

7. See Chap. 9.6.

8. See Bk. 8, Chap. 44.16.

9. Or, perhaps, 'with approach to her' (see Chap. 19.3 n). If padamishnih were read, it might mean 'aspiration, or attachment' for her.

10. This implies that the woman, being a notorious sinner, cannot reasonably complain of bodily injury on being dismissed; but her soul and the community are grievously injured by her being thus driven into further sin, and for this injury the man's soul will be made responsible.

11. K has 'none even of this.'

21. fargard 20. Zohak's oppressiveness, the people's reproaches contrasting him with Yim [Jamshed], Faridoon's smiting and binding him; (§11) gradual submission of most of the regions, war with the Mazendarans; (§22) their defeat and slaughter by Faridoon, since which time none of them have entered Xwaniratha, except two men who came to consult Frashostar (21)

1. The twentieth fargard, Vohu-khshathrem [1], is about the oppressive actions of the sovereignty which Dahak [Zohak] [2] exercised over the earth of seven regions, and the forward progress of his commands owing to a surrounding of terrors.

2. About Dahak's enquiry of the members of the asscmbly, regarding the reason of the affliction of the collected people, after the cutting up of Yim [Jamshed] [3] and the accession (khudayih) of Dahak; and the people's saying, in reply to Dahak, that Yim had kept away want and destitution, hunger and thirst, decay and death, lamentation and weeping from the world, besides the cold and heat of the immoderate mingling of the demon with mankind. 3. And this, too, that 'a giver of comfort was Yim -- that is, those things were produced by him which are the comfort of mankind -- and he was a giver of desire for them, so that his happiness was through the gratification produced -- that is, mankind gratified him through virtue. 4. And Audak [5], who made Yim the splendid and rich in flocks -- who was struck down by you through violent assault -- unauthorisedly desirous (varak [6]) and eager for the world, produced want and destitution, distress and greed, hunger and thirst, and the sanctifier [7] of Wrath the wounding assailant, Want without pastures, Terror, Destruction the secret-moving, Decay the decrepit [8], and the seven arch-demons [9].' 5. And this, too, that 'those who look for a son are made devoid of pregnancy by thee; evil-destined is the monster (shipist) self-made, the uncompleted demon that it is impossible to seek a remedy for, who does not extend (la valed) from himself, that is, no lineage proceeds from him. 6. And thou art a sheep that is a wide-traveller, and keeps the dog away from mankind; thou hast snatched away from us the bright radiance of Yim the splendid and rich in flocks, who came out on every evil contingency, at the approach of every winter, or scorched by extreme heat, so as to act for the benefit of his place [10]. 7. Thou art intelligent, O Bevarasp [11]! do thou even tell how this opinion is so, that a bad ruler is a thing which is so bad; he who is a good ruler is our desire, we will give the revenue of taxation (bahar-i madam-dedrunishnih) to him, and anything which is necessary for good government when he shall achieve it.'

8. About the smiting by Faridoon [12], for the sake of killing Dahak [Zohak]; the striking of his club upon the nape of the neck [13] (pilik), the heart, and even the skull; and Dahak's not dying from that beating.

9. Then smiting him with a sword, and the formation (vashtano) of noxious creatures of many kinds, from the body of Dahak, at the first, second, and third blow. 10. The exclamation of the creator Ohrmazd to Faridoon thus: 'Thou shouldst not cut him who is Dahak, because, if thou shouldst cut him, Dahak would be making this earth full of serpents, toads (khan-galak), scorpions, lizards, tortoises, and frogs;' with the mode of binding him with awful fetters, in the most grievous punishment of confinement [14].

11. This, too, that when Az-i Dahak was bound, the report of the same proceeded thus through all the regions, which are seven, that down-stricken is Az-i Dahak, but he who smote him is Faridoon the Aspikan [15], the exalted and mighty. 12. And in the tenth winter those particulars were believed, and thus they spoke, that it was owing to [16] Yim that Az-i Dahak is now smitten by them, because the tidings which are good are not yet gathered unto all the regions, which are seven, and those which are evil do not mention Az, nor demand the virtuous maiden (charatik) with importunity, nor even coveted wealth [17] 13. This, too, that, when information came to him of women, or property, that seemed to him desirable to possess, they were then admitted by him into a golden cage [18], and that, which was completely impregnable (airishto), came on through immaterial space (mainog-divakih) to the den (grestako) of Az-i Dahak.

14. This, too, that, though [19] he who smote him were his brother, or descendant, or kinsman, or any one whatever of his nearest relations, it did not seem to them as that which is grievous, and it, was not thought of in their minds, so that it did not occasion them even a reminiscence again; and thus they talked, that if a householder be he that smote, he is one for whom all the fires of the religion are suitable, but that householder being a monarch, he that smote is one who is every way their ruler. 15. This, too, that at every place where he came on, and upon which his horse's hoofs (safo) fell, the dense fire from them was for the protection of the horse's body. 16 This, too, that through his confused (gumezako) practising of good deeds arose even the evil deeds of Az-i Dahak [Zohak].

17. About those of the Mazendaran [20] country having consulted, after the smiting of Dahak, as to turning (gashtano) to Khwaniras [21] and driving out Faridoon therefrom, and as to the residence offered by the same place through the great number fallen; also, on account of their tallness, there are parts of the wide-formed ocean [22] that come up to their mid-thigh, there are others that are up to the navel, and the deeper places are up to the mouth. 18. And, when they have come to this region, their producing grievous harm and destruction to the poor [23], and the coming of the people with complaints to Faridoon, and their speaking thus: 'Why didst thou smite Az-i Dahak, who was a good ruler as to prerogative, so that danger was kept away by him, and an inquisitor (vijoyidar) from him protected this region from those of the Mazendaran country?' 19. And they also said this, about the vileness of the Mazendarans, and the wretched state of the people of this region as regards them, that is, they then speak thus: 'Since their habits are thus, since they are filthy (dosh-homond) -- that is, dirt (karak) is theirs -- possessing holes [24] (sulak-homond) -- that is, holes are theirs -- and having appellations (karitunishno-homond) -- that is, they call to one another -- we men (vir) think, and consider upon this, that they also are human beings.'

20. About the encountering of Faridoon with those of the Mazendaran country on the plain of Peshanigas [25], and disputing with them thus: 'You are of the Mazendar country, and I (anmano) have destroyed Az-i Dahak by the swiftest ruin, him who was a grievous sovereign of every one, demons and men; for that smiting of him I am produced by Ohrmazd more overpowering than his limbs made paralyzed by his own enmity, and then you destroy this country of mine, you who are of the Mazendar country.'

21. And the Mazendarans thought slightingly (sapuko) of Faridoon, and spoke in a tone of derision thus: 'Should it be so, that thou destroyedst Az-i Dahak by the swiftest ruin, him who was a good sovereign of both demons and men, and thou art produced by Ohrmazd, for that smiting of him, more overpowering than his limbs, even then we will settle in this place and will stay in this place; and it is not thou that art exalted, who art an over-grown (kabed-aroyishno) huge sheep with the speech of a hero among other people, and we would not admit thee here.'

22. This, too, that 'nevertheless they afterwards fled, and the victorious Faridoon pursued them to the foremost upland, and his nostrils flamed upon it so that they split it through ; from his right nostril is the cutting and sharp scorching of the ice that has fallen and of all the cold of winter; and from his left nostril is the cutting and sharp scorching of the rock that has fallen, which is similarly burning to a fire the size of a house, carrying the dust from the feet of the male ox, Barmayun [26] of the obstructed victor, the mighty Faridoon. 23. And he made it rush up on the ascent, whereby they are made figures of stone, and they who are of the Mazendar country are destroyed by him through the smiting of fifties, the smiting of hundreds, the smiting of thousands [27], the smiting of myriads, and the smiting of multitudes innumerable [28].'

24. 'Thus there are destroyed by him, the victorious and mighty Faridoon, two-thirds of those of the Mazendar country, and one-third came out beaten and sick; and never afterwards, O Spitaman Zartosht! have they who are of the Mazendar country marched upon this region of Khwaniras, and it has not been imagined by them, even in thinking about it, that they [29] should go there, except those [30] whose names were thus, Spitiyosh, son of Spansnayosh [31], and Arezraspah, son of Spansnayosh [32], who have wandered (tajido) in search of wisdom and have proceeded unto Frashostar [33] of the Hvobas [34].'

25. Perfect excellence is righteousness.


1. The first two words of the fourth Gatha (Y51.1), here written vohûk-khshatar (B) and vôhûk-khshatar (K) in Pahlavi.

2. See Bk. 8, Chap. 13.8.

3. As mentioned in Yt.19.46; Bd.17.5 ('when Yim was cut up by them the fire Frobak saves the glory of Yim from the hand of Zohak') and 31.5. Regarding Yim see Bk. 8, Chap. 13.6-8.

4. What follows, as far as the end of § 7, appears to be quoted verbatim from the original Pahlavi text of the Nask.

5. The demon Uda who tries to make people talk when they ought to he silent (Bd28.19), and who seems to be identified (in Pahl. Vend. XVIII, 70) with the fiend who confesses her amours to Srosh, and is said (in Bd.31.6) to have been the mother of Zohak, there named Udai or Aud, but more commonly called Vadak (see Chap. 10.3; Dd. 72.5, 78.2), whence possibly the matronymic Vadakan (MX.57.25, the Av. vadhaghana of Vd19.6) of that monarch. The text here appears to allude to an amour with Yim.

6. Av. vara; or it may be a miswriting of vardak, 'astray' (Av. vareta).

7. Pahl. aizishn-homond, 'one holding ceremonies,' alluding to Zohak himself as the progeny of Audak.

8. These five demons are Aeshm, Niyaz, Saham, Sej, and Zarman in Pahiavi, who, with the exception of Saham, 'terror,' are described in Bd.28.15-17, 23, 26.

9. The seven arch-demons are the six mentioned in Bd.1.27, 28.7-13, 30.29, whose Avesta names are Akem-mano, Indra, Sauru, Naunghaithya, Tauru, and Zairika (see Vd10.9, 10, Vd19.43), together with either Mithaokhta or Anghra Mainyu himself (see Bd1.24).

10. K has only 'who came out at every place to act for its benefit.'

11. 'With a myriad of horses,' a title of Dahak.

12. See Bk. 8, Chap. 13.8, 9.

13. Or, perhaps, 'the reins.'

14. In Mount Demawand (see Chap. 15.2 n).

15. Av. Athwyana, a patronymic derived from Athwya who, according to Y9.7, was the father of Thraetaona (Faridoon); but Bd.31.4, 7, 8, Bd32.1 n, make it a family name for many preceding generations.

16. Or min may mean 'apart from.'

17. Demands often made by Dahak, as stated in § 13.

18. Pahl. sulak-homand, 'something having apertures;' compare the sulak-homand which translates Av. sufram and suwraya in Vd2.7, 18, 30, and has sometimes been understood as a 'signet-ring.' Also compare § 19 below.

19. Assuming that mun, 'who,' stands for amat, as in Chap. 13.2.

20. See Bk. 8, Chap. 13.9.

21. See Bk. 8, Chap. 8.2. Mazendaran was considered to be outside of Khwaniras because it is separated from Iran by lofty mountains.

22. The Caspian is probably meant here, being considered a portion of the circumambient ocean.

23. K omits 'to the poor.'

24. Burrows, caves, and similar underground habitations are probably meant.

25. See Chap. 16.17.

26. This appears to have also been the name of a brother of Faridoon (see Bd. 31, 8).

27. B omits 'the smiting of thousands.'

28. Compare Yt. V, 54, 58, 117; Pahl. Vend. 7.137, 139.

29. Literally 'we.'

30. K has 'the two.'

31. These first two names are only in K, because B repeats here a previous phrase by mistake. The second name is written Sansnayosh here, but is spelt correctly on its next occurrence.

32. These two sons of Spansnayosh were the spiritual chiefs, or supreme high-priests, of the two northern regions, Fradadafsh and Vidadafsh. They are named Spitoid-i Ausposinan and Aerezrasp-i Ausposinan in Bd. 29.1; and the statement that they came from Mazendaran, made in the text here, identifies that country with the two northern regions. The names of these two high-priests are evidently derived from the Avesta genitives Spitoish Uspasnaosh and Erezraspahe Uspasnaosh in Yt.13.121, persons concerning whom it is only stated that their fravashis, or guardian spirits, are to be reverenced.

33. See Bk. 8, Chap. 38.68.

34. Av. Hvova, the family name of Frashostar, Jamasp, and several other ancient personages (see Bk. 8, Chap. 29, 25).

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