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.

Warsht-mansr Nask

fargard 1. Zartosht relates the incidents of his birth to Maidok-mah; his first three utterances that routed the demons; (§12) his profession of the religion, Ohmazd's advice and its acceptance, grumbling of the evil spirit, creation by Ohrmazd, reverencing fire, water, and a spirit (24)

1. Of the Warsht-mansr [1] there are twenty-three fargards, and the first is the Aethrapaitish [2], on the asking of Zartosht, by Maidok-mah [3], about the nature of the birth of Zartosht, and his coming to the religion.

2. And the reply of Zartosht about the combative coming together of the life-causing and death-causing spirits at his birth [4]. 3. This, too, that when the fellow-villagers [5] of her who bore him saw his head [6] they considered it the shoulder of [7] Arduisur [8] and his chest and back those of Ashishwangh [9], and when they saw his full [10] bosom they considered it that of the spirit of liberality [11]; and by his side was the Kayanian glory [12] to rub (mushtano) his bosom.

4.. The speaking of Zartosht spiritually, on the grievous bringing forth of his head [13], thus: 'As a spiritual lord is my desire, do thou who art the Zoti speak forth to me [14];' and the reply from Ohrmazd thus: 'So shouldst thou be the priestly master as regards whatever righteousness I speak forth with righteous intelligence; thou art of very much value, thou art very righteous, thou art most intelligent, and thou wilt state the religion of the Mazda-worshippers to creatures of every kind.' 5. Through that saying an arrow reaches spiritually unto the demons, just as from a mighty chief warrior of Kay Vishtasp [15], like him in a mountain dwelling (garano man) who has shot an arrow for an attack (patkopishno) opposing those in coats of mail. 6. The evil spirit grumbled (dandido) to the demons thus: 'Evil has it become for you who are demons, but you are unobservant.' 7. Even so Zartosht proclaimed life free from the control of the demons, when this same saying was uttered by him, thus: 'As a spiritual lord is my desire;' and, at the falling of the demons upon Zartosht for his destruction, an incarnation (tanu) of its spiritual existence stood opposed to them, in that weapon proceeding from Zartosht, to keep them back.

8. And he spoke again thus: 'The religion of the benefiters progresses there in him who, through good actions, has joyfulness owing to his righteousness [16]; and, through that saying, an arrow reaches spiritually unto the demons, equal to ten of that which was first spoken, and, at the falling of the demons upon Zartosht for his destruction, it stood spiritually opposed to them, and that weapon proceeding from Zartosht kept them back.

9. The third utterance of Zartosht, on the bringing forth of his arms, was thus: 'That which the first existence produced is to be so practiced, with attention, through actions to be concealed by him who is a priestly authority (rado) [17];' and through that saying an arrow reaches spiritually unto the demons, equal to one hundred of that which was first spoken; and, at the falling of a demon upon Zartosht for his death, its spirit, as a sacred being, kept the demon away from Zartosht.

10. And, when the whole body of Zartosht was brought forth, trouble (asipo) fell among the demons, and the demons rushed back to hell in haste; light increased among the creatures, and every creature of the beneficent sacred being is pleased and talked of virtuous conduct. 11. And Ohrmazd took away Zartosht with joyfulness to provide security for him, and Arduisur, Ashishwangh, and the primitive and Kayanian glory in the body of Zartosht spoke to Zartosht of its production by Ohrmazd thus: 'Thou shouldst think of him who is wise.' 12. Thereupon Zartosht spoke spiritually, in reply, thus: 'I am a Mazda-worshipper, I profess the Mazda-worship of Zartosht [18]; and this means that I am an apostle of Ohrmazd, and am sent by Ohrmazd.'

13. And Ohrmazd spoke to Zartosht thus: 'As to the sacred beings of the worldly existence, do thou beg companionship from them; but as to the demons, do thou long for (dosh) [19] separation from every one of them; practice good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, and abstain from evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds.' 14. Also about vigilantly reverencing the sacred beings, and the reward thereof; not strengthening the vile, nor weakening [20] the good; expounding for the disturber of religion (dino-padresh), and producing liberality for the accepters of religion; and not turning away from the religion on account of fondness for body and life.

15. The accepting of such advice spiritually by Zartosht, and his glorifying Ohrmazd, for creativeness, sovereignty, and all goodness, and the primary archangels and other good creations, each separately, for their own special glory [21]. 16. And, afterwards, the grumbling of the evil spirit maliciously, at that vexation, thus: I have produced, for the annoyance [22] of any upholder of that religion of thine, 99,999 wizards, 99,999 wolf-worshippers [23], and 99,999 apostates.'

17. Ohrmazd spoke to Zartosht thus: 'Maintain this religion steadfastly, for through the assistance of this religion I, who am Ohrmazd, will be with thee, and the omniscient wisdom becomes thine, and extends to thy disciples, Maidok-mah [24], Parshadgavo [25], Seno [26], Kay Vishtasp, Frashostar, and Jamasp [27], the teacher of public observance and will to the righteous, besides many of the people who are diligent and even those who are idle, and their good works and praise will be owned by thee.' 18. Likewise about the worldly display of the religion to Zartosht by Ohrmazd, the accepting of the religion by Zartosht through recitation and faith, and the reverence of the Ahunwar [28] by Zartosht.

19. Also about Ohrmazd having created the creatures in the spiritual existence, and their allotment out to the worldly existence, the superiority of the righteous man as compared with other creatures, and, among mankind, of him who is relying on the provisions of the law and its unchangeableness from goodness, and who is a teacher and provider of teaching as to the pre-eminent existence of the good religion of the sacred beings.

20. And a summary about the bringing together of that fire which is the residue of a fire in a house, for the reverence of that water which is nearest to the dwelling, and of any spirit of a kinsman; and as to him who leaves that fire, water, and spirit, and, on account of a similar desire, reverences another fire, water, and spirit, but none of them can accept that ceremonial, and the acceptance of that man's ceremonial by the others will have occurred just when the former three are reverenced by him.

21. Righteousness is perfect excellence.


1. The second of the Nasks and third of the Gathic division (see Bk. 8, Chap. 1.9, 12). It is a second commentary on the Gathas, devoting a fargard to each ha of the Gathas and to each Gathic formula, as in the Sudgar Nask, but beginning with an extra fargard about the birth and calling of Zartosht. Its chief object appears to be the quotation of texts, both from the Gathas and from sources no longer known.

2. Here written asrapaitish (B) and asrapaitish (K) in Pahlavi, which, no doubt, stand for Av. aethrapaitish, Pers. herbad, 'a Zoroastrian priest.' This name may either refer to the general subject of the fargard, or have been the first word of its Avesta text; as it seems not intended to quote any section of the Yasna, although the guardian spirits of the priests are reverenced in Yas. 26.7, 8, before commencing the recitation of the Gathas.

3. Av. Maidhyo-maungha; he was first cousin of Zartosht, and also his first disciple (see Bd. 32.2, 3; Zs. 11.10 n).

4. B has 'at the birth of his life.'

5. B has ham-visagih, K ham-disagiih.

6. Assuming that vagano stands for vagdano, which word occurs in § 4, according to K.

7. B omits 'the shoulder of'

8. Av. Aredvi Sura of Yt. 5, a title of Anahita, the female angel of the waters.

9. See Bk. 8, Chap. 9.3.

10. Pahl. aurukspar = Av. uruthware.

11. Av. Rata, who is associated with the archangel Spenta Armaiti in Yt. 2.3, 8; S.1,5, S2.5, and with Ashi Vanguhi in Yt 24.8.

12. Av. kavaem hvareno (see Chap. 22.7).

13. B has 'whenever his birth occurred.'

14. This, with the first clause of the response, is the Pahlavi version of the concluding formula of Y26.11, without the extra Pahlavi glosses.

15. See Bk. 8, Chaps 11.1-4, 13.15.

16. This is the Pahlavi version of Y.34.13b, without the glosses.

17. This is the Pahlavi version of Y. 33.1a, b, without the glosses and incomplete.

18. This is the Pahlavi version of part of Y12.7, 8 (XIII, 25 Sp.) without the glosses.

19. B has 'hope for' (nyosh).

20. Assuming that nizorinidano (K) stands for nizarinidano; B has zorinidano, which is synonymous with the previous niruchinidano, 'strengthening.'

21. Or it may be 'in his own particular soul (nisman).'

22. Pahl. reshidarih, which B omits.

23. This term, gurg-yazako (=Av. vehrkayaza), does not occur in the extant Avesta.

24. See § 1.

25. Av. Parshad-gau of Yt. 13.96 (compare Paz. Parshadga of Bd. 29.5). This name can also be read Fradadayano and be compared with Av. Fradhidaya of Yt. 13.97.

26. Av. Saena of Yt. 13.97, who is said to have 'first set forth upon this earth with a hundred disciples.' Further details about him are given in Chap. 33.5. In the third and seventh books of the Denkard his name is written Shenov (for Shenok or Shenoe) which has been read Dayun by Peshotan (Dk. pp. 308-314 of English translation), as pointed out by Darmesteter in his Textes Pehlvis relatifs au Judaisme, p. 3, n 2. In Dk. 7 he is said to have been a high-priest who was born in the 100th year of the religion, and died in its 200th year.

27. See Bk. 8, Chap. 38.68.

28. See Bk. 8, Chap. 1.7.

fargard 2. Worthiness of a ruler and high-priest (25)

1. The second fargard, Yatha-ahu-vairyo [1], is about the worthiness, as to worldly and spiritual virtue, in a ruler and in the production of a high-priest's efficiency; and they have been suitable for leadership and priestly authority with whom there is an existence of it; also other talent through which sovereignty and priestly authority are appropriated, and which the ruler or high-priest himself possesses.

2. 'My wish (dosh), O Zartosht! is that thou be in spiritual lordship and priestly authority, because thou art, O Zartosht! provided with a spiritual lord and possessing priestly instruction -- that is, they consider thee, too, as high-priest -- and it is because thine is the accomplishment of rites, that thou art quite preserved when there is an encounter of the demons with thee -- that is, a dispute of apostates with thee.' 3. It is non-possession of a ruler and high-priest, or non-possession of a ruler [2], that became the nature and law of the demons; and the maintenance of Ohrmazd and the archangels, as ruler and high-priest, and the dominion of Ohrmazd are combined with beneficence.

4. This, too, that through righteousness a priestly instructor (rado) is a ruler at will, a sage and benefactor, a cherisher and cleanser (asnidar) of the poor; also the fitness for the supreme heaven (garothman) of all those who are accepting the religion which proceeds from Zartosht.

5. Of righteousness the excellence is perfect.


1. The Ahunwar (see Bk. 8, Chap. 1.7) upon which this fargard is a commentary quoting some text on the subject in § 2.

2. K omits these five words, and B has a blank space for the letters khud in khudai, 'ruler.'

fargard 3. In praise of righteousness (26)

1. The third fargard, Ashem-vohu [1], is about admonition as to the praising of righteousness; which is itself the production of true awe of Ohrmazd, the perfection of existences, the better state of prayers [2], and the greatest assemblage of righteousness, good breeding, humility (avopatagih), awe of the spiritual existence, extreme joyfulness, and comfort and enlightenment of soul. 2. Also the equipment (padmukih) of him who is practicing as a high-priest is righteousness and the maintenance of the worship and obeisance for the spirit of righteousness.

3. Of righteousness perfect is the excellence.


1. See Chap. 3.1 n.

2. K omits 'of prayers.'

fargard 4. Worship of Ohrmazd and the archangels (27)

1. The fourth fargard, Yenhe-hatam [1], states that Ohrmazd spoke to Zartosht the Spitaman thus: ' Utter the words of the ceremonial and obeisance for us who are Ohrmazd and [2] the archangels, because they are, O Zartosht! thy ritual for water [3], ritual for plants, ritual for a guardian spirit of the righteous [[Asho Farohars]], and ritual for an angel of a spiritual existence, or who is even appointed for a worldly existence.'

2. And Zartosht spoke thus: 'I will utter the words of Ohrmazd, which are opposed to harm and are the ordinance of Ohrmazd, those of the ceremonial and obeisance for you who are archangels.'

3. Of righteousness perfect is the excellence.

1. See Chap. 4.1 n. The texts quoted in this fargard appear to be no longer extant.

2. B omits 'Ohrmazd and.'

3. K omits 'ritual for water.'

fargard 5. Worthiness of Zartosht and obeisance to the sacred beings, the supreme heaven, praise of Zartosht and Frashostar, assisting others, good works, wisdom of Zartosht (28)

1. The fifth fargard, Yanim-mano [1], is about the beneficence and worthiness of Zartosht, through the virtuousness of his thoughts, words, and deeds [2]; the priority of Ohrmazd [3], and the first possession of obeisance (niyayeshno) to him; the mindful performance of obeisance to the sacred beings, and all the merit of obeisance to the sacred beings; the excellence of receiving a righteous man, of bringing fire together, and of maintaining the good religion; the elementary (kham) wisdom [4] of the creator, and the consideration of every duty towards his will and creation; the outward indication as to propitious discrimination and of what is done by those who are propitious; and the existence of every kind of self-attraction by Zartosht towards the religion, from first to last, through the complete reasoning thought that arose solely through obeisance to the sacred beings.

2. This, too, that 'thou art come to the supreme heaven (Garothman) [5], O righteous Zartosht! thou art aware of the deeds, O Zartosht! which were practiced by those in the bodily existence, and which still they practice, and the sacred beings have placed upon mankind acquiring the power of good works.' 3. And about the wonderfulness of the supreme heaven there is this, too, that whoever is in that abode is not any one that passes away after his birth; at the time of the renovation of the universe the supreme heaven is lowered down to the star station [6], the earth being up to there, and Vohuman [7] is summoned for every purpose to the conference, and, when they call him, Mihr's [8] investigation as regards the existence of righteousness is on the spot; through the coming of that archangel [9] of true statements for assistance, and through the cooperation of the other archangels and Srosh [7] the righteous, is the overpowering of the vexing of distressers [10]; and the assistance of the archangels for Zartosht was when he went forth for disabling the vicious law of Iran. 4. Concerning Zartosht there is this, too, in the words of Ohrmazd, that is: 'Thou art our own, O Zartosht! and this liberality to thee is ours; anything one gives to thee is given by him to us;' also the announcement to Zartosht, and the bringing of him to Vishtasp [11] for his assistance and likewise the strength [12] of his sovereignty for him.

5. The discipleship and veneration of Frashostar [13] also, and the laudation of Frashostar for making the religion progressive and for its true transmission in the words of Ohrmazd; also the whole righteousness of those whom Frashostar attracted to the religion.

6. About the laudation of Zartosht there is this, too, that is: 'Thou art not astray from us, neither in life, nor in inquiry, nor in openly announcing, even when demonstrating [14] the religion to others, nor in anything whatever, O Spitaman! from us who are archangels; and the donation of benefit to supplicants is the food, and the clothing for us, who are in the ceremonial of the sacred beings, is unworn (asudako) [15].'

7. About guarding a friend, managing an unfriendly person, and affording a person shelter for the sake of protection, justice, and rectitude [16]; also the unworthy condition of that man who, requiring to perform those duties and good works that are important, shall perform those that are trivial. 8. And this, too, that is: 'Thou art likewise aware, and thou also understandest it, O righteous Zartosht! through the sagacity of my wisdom, which was the first among existences [17], and which is also so unto the last existence.'

9. Righteousness is excellence that is perfect.

1. See Chap. 5.1 n.

2. See Pahl. Yas. 28.0.

3. Ibid. 1 b.

4. Ibid. 1 c.

5. Ibid. 4 a.

6. The lowest grade of heaven (see Sls. 6.3 n).

7. See Bk. 8, Chap. 9.3 for both angels.

8. See Bk. 8, Chap. 44.16.

9. Vohuman.

10. See Pahl. Yas. 28.6 c.

11. See Bk. 8, Chap. 11.1; and compare Pahl. Yas. 28.6b, 7b, c.

12. So in K, but B has 'also his announcement on being brought to Vishtasp, and Zartosht was an assistance to him and the strength, &c.'

13. See Bk. 8, Chap. 38.68, and compare Pahl. Yas. 28.8 b, c.

14. K has 'when thou wouldst demonstrate.'

15. See Pahl. Yas. 28.10 c.

16. Ibid. 11 a.

17. Ibid. 11 c.

fargard 6. Complaint and petition of Goshorun, the reason of her creation, her colloquy with Ohrmazd; (§9) nourishment of cattle, punishment of their oppressor, wisdom of Ohrmazd, benefit of the liturgy, goodness of Zartosht (29)

1. The sixth fargard, Khshmaibya [1], is about the complaint of Goshorun [2] to Ohrmazd, when she sat at the creation in the assembly of the archangels, as regards the abundant disease and misery which she saw spiritually would come upon her in a bodily existence, through beating, slaughtering, and wounding, stealing, plundering, and presenting, by him of vicious actions and worse desires, as a bribe to him who is an evil-ruling villain (mar), and the operation thereof: the bad ownership, wrongful investigation, false evidence, and making captive (vardako), by him who is wrathful and oppressive through greed and envy, from the warm cowshed and the effective and diligent guardianship of the herd's dog (pasush-haurvo), to that which is a cold and hastily-constructed place ; or by him who is seeking meat with a merciless hand through making her distantly separated from her young. 2. Also their explanation and extenuation (kastano) [3], and the causing of misery of many kinds thereby, 'which is no affliction to them when the wind that is cold [4], or even that which is hot, comes upon me; which is no affliction to them when, the untimely offspring of my womb being cast away, they slaughter me; and is no affliction to them when the serpent, the leech (khun-garai) [5], or even the foulest of noxious creatures gnaws me.' 3. And the petition of Goshorun was thus: 'Do not appoint me to a worldly existence, and that awful misery, or, if thou appointest me to a worldly existence, produce it for me without life (auzushtaniha), so that I may be without feeling and may want that distressing [6] pain; it is created for the mighty, through whose assistance there is a capability of affording protection to me, even though the Kay and Karap [7] exist.'

4. And, together with the just complaint of Goshorun, and the compassion of the archangels as to that complaint, there is then the creation of the creatures, among whom the greatest and best [8] is mankind, for fighting and subduing the destroyer, even though joined together with a complaint of wounding and affliction like that of Goshorun, and Goshorun arose with greater judiciousness than an absence of creation even with freedom from disturbance by the Kays [9]; on account of the necessity of preparing for the living of mankind through the assistance of cattle, Goshorun was produced for the material bodily existence and assistance of mankind. 5. And, on account of little feeling for her worldly misery, the breeding (mayinidano) of cattle was the arraying of strife; the advancement of the Mazda-worshipping religion of Zartosht in the world by Goshorun, on the production of Zartosht for the assistance of cattle; and the preservation of cattle and other good creations through complete satisfaction at the progress of the religion.

6. This, too, was said to Goshorun, that is: 'I assert unto thee the passing away of devastation, that is, the existence of a remedy for the misery owing to the evil spirit [10], for which no creature would be produced by me -- me who am Ohrmazd -- when a remedy for the misery owing to him had not been known to me.' 7. This, too, that the wish of the evil spirit was thus: 'Thou shouldst never produce a creature, O Ohrmazd! and there should be here no spiritual lordship, no priestly authority, and no desire for perfect righteousness, or necessity for duty and good works.' 8. The inquiry of Goshorun, thus: 'For whom am I appointed and formed? [11]' and the reply to her, thus: 'For him who is diligent and moderate [12].'

9. Also the friend and nourishment (srayishno) begged for cattle by Goshorun, the righteous man produced for the assistance of cattle by Ohrmazd, and the sweetness in water and plants for the nourishment of cattle, so that he is privileged to feed and keep cattle who gives them pasture in reality, and is also diligent in the production of cattle, that is, he gives them pasture, and is thereby proclaimed a cattle-guardian (pasush-haurvo) for them who makes the cattle fully develop [13]; and also he who gives the wicked Wrath, the foreigner, a beating, so that he may make him stupefied [14]. 10. The development of cattle by Ohrmazd, advice to mankind as to moderate eating [15], and the grievous bridge judgment of him who has unlawfully produced distress for the cattle whom Goshorun is kindly regarding, with loving eyes [16], in the spiritual existence, in bodily contact with (ham-kerpo-i) the archangels and in bodily contact with the light of the sun, so that her hands are more powerful; she who replies to the sacred beings, and the sacred beings reply to her [17].

11. About the statements of Ohrmazd there is this, too, that is: 'I am a calculator of those words [18] by which they assert that the existence of worldly beings is for the sake of that of both existences; I am aware of the actions which are practiced by those in the material existence, both demons and men; of whatever they practice [19] I am the decider and lord, and it is such as my will requires [20], even for the last change of existence; and I look upon all that with that wisdom and sagacity of mine which was, which is, and which ever will be.'

12. The formation of a reward for worldly beings by Ohrmazd, through the propitious liturgy (Mahraspand) [21] which has become the precursor of the benefiters; that is, their high-priest, who has a propitiousness and intelligence that are all-beneficial, is he with the liturgy. 13 And about the uniqueness and incomparableness of Zartosht among mankind, through his desire for righteousness and his understanding the means of defeating the destroyer [22] and teaching the creatures.

14. Righteousness is perfect excellence.


1. See Chap. 6.1 n; it is here written khshmaiba (B) and khshmaibe (K) in Pahlavi.

2. See Chap. 15.3; Pahl. Yas. 29.1.

3. Or it may be 'fining and beating,' as K has kustano.

4. B has 'when some of that which is cold,' writing aito for vado in this first clause, and amat min for amatam in the first and third clauses.

5. Doubtful.

6. K has 'ill-passing.'

7. See Bk. 8, Chap. 35.13 n.

8. B has 'or whom the best.'

9. The obnoxious tribe, or class, mentioned in § 3. After the word 'affliction' K completes the clause to this point as follows: 'just as Goshorun arose with greater judiciousness than an absence of creation even with an adversity of the primitive tendency.'

10. See Pahl. Yas. 29.6 a.

11. Ibid. 1 a.

12. Ibid. 6 c.

13. Ibid. 2 b.

14. See Pahl. Yas. 29.2 c.

15. Ibid. 7 b.

16. Pahl. kamako-doisar = Av. vouru-doithra, an epithet of Rata, 'liberality' (see Chap. 24.3), and Saoka, 'prosperity;' but here applied to Goshorun.

17. Some words in § 10 occur also in Pahl. Yas. 29.3.

18. See Pahl. Yas. 29.4 a.

19. Ibid. 4 b.

20. Ibid. 4 c.

21. Ibid. 7 a.

22. See Pahl. Yas 29.8 c.

fargard 7. Benefits of worship, advice to man, falsehood of the demon Aresh about the origin of Ohrmazd and Ahriman, their difference of motive and action, the demons' want of discrimination, their deception of man; (§10) monarchy and religion provided for the creatures who triumph in the end, the producers of the renovation and future existence, the doers of good, advice to man (30)

1. The seventh fargard, Ad-ta-vakhshya [1], is regarding the maintenance of the worship and obeisance of the religion and the spirit of the liturgy; and this, too, that the spirit of the ceremonial of him who is a right-thinking, intelligent, and wise [2] man is quickly mixed up with the light of the sun, and connected with the accomplishment of the wishes and the joy of the archangels.

2. About the choice of will by mankind, and the existence of a way to reward through their decision.

3. About advice to mankind as to seeking that position in which it is possible to remain long with fondness, and as to reciting and teaching [3] the revelation of the sacred beings.

4. And, from the statement of Zartosht, about the shouting of the demon Aresh [4] to mankind, thus: 'Ohrmazd and Ahriman have been two brothers in one womb [5], and out of them the archangel [6] liked that which is evil [7], through what occurs when the understanders of it have mentioned the worship of the demons and this, that, after it, you should present cattle to the planetary bodies and the demons.' 5. About the falsity of the demon Aresh, the separate origin of light and darkness, the goodness of the material existence of light for determining what is done, and the evil of that of darkness.

6. The grumbling of the evil spirit thus: 'I am he whose thoughts are evil, O beneficent spirit! he whose words are evil, and he whose deeds are evil [8]; what is dark is my garment which is very thick, with lower corners where, so far as many go, it is still darker [9]; evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds are my food, and I love those of them who are in that place through evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds.' 7. And the speaking of Ohrmazd thus: 'I am he whose thoughts are good, O evil spirit! he whose words are good, and he whose deeds are good [10]; the sky is my garment, which was first produced from that substance of the worldly existences which is created as the stone above all stones [11], that is, every jewel is set in it; good thoughts, good words, and good deeds are my food, and I love those of them who are in that place through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.'

8. This, too, that true discrimination is not for them, the demons [12] astute in evil; and they never truly discriminate whose will is that of Akoman [13]. 9. And about the sickening (vimarinidano) of the patron spirits of mankind, by the demons [14], through the deceit of man towards man owing to the deceit of the demons; and the approach of mankind to evil proceedings on the part of the spiritual lordship, through those patron spirits [15].

10. Also the sending of monarchy and the wisdom of religion, by Ohrmazd, for the preservation of the creatures; the recurrence of the mission [16] whereby there are injury and affliction for the demons and sovereignty again for Ohrmazd, and they possess the reward of Vohuman [17] and what is required by the sacred beings; and the predominance of man over demon, in the end, the good over the evil, and the righteous over the wicked; also about the nature of those who are producing the renovation of the universe. 11. This, too, that is a declaration: 'They are those, O Zartosht the Spitaman! who shall produce the renovation, they have escaped (girekhto) among the existences, they are vigilant [18] in seeking righteousness, and gentle-voiced; and, as regards righteousness in thought, they convert into righteousness anything virtuous which belongs to them.' 12. About the statement of those praised it is recited that it is thus mentioned in the Gathas: 'So we are with those who are thine -- that is, we are thine own -- by us this renovation is to be produced in the existences [19].' 13. About the perpetual convocation held by the archangel regarding the production of the future existence [20].

14. This, too, that he is an extender of the days of those who defeat the army of the fiend [21] and clothe themselves with deeds of shining light, and also those of a virtuous body, who are these: the priest, the warrior, the husbandman, and the man who is a ruler; with whom are Ashishwangh [22] and the spirit of liberality (radih) [23]; they meditate with good thoughts (hu-minishnih) [24] and joy, and, with pleasure to themselves they give the world into the guardianship of Ohrmazd, and also of Ardwahisht [25], when they possess the religion of Ohrmazd as a ruler. 15. This, too, that he, whose thoughts are through a high-priest who possesses a patron spirit, always thinks that which is virtuous, and his sagacity increases [26].

16. And about advice to mankind as to three things, through which the renovation and happy progress of the creatures arise, namely, seeking the true religion, abstaining from injuring the creatures, and striving for the benefit of mankind.

17. The excellence of righteousness is perfect.


1. See Chap. 7.1 n; it is here written at-tag-vakhshe in Pahlavi in both MSS.

2. See Pahl. Yas. 30.1 a, c.

3. Ibid. 2 c.

4. See Chap. 31.6; the demon or envy, or malice, called Areshk, or Arashk, in Bd. 15.18, Bd. 28.16.

5. See Pahl. Yas. 30.3 a. This materialization of the Gathic text here reported as the utterance of a malicious demon, corresponds very closely with the statement of the Armenian Eznik quoted in Haug's essays, p. 13.

6. That is, the arch-demon who was archangel of the demons.

7. See Pahl. Yas. 30.5 a.

8. Ibid. 3 b.

9. Referring to hell.

10. See Pahl. Yas 30.3b.

11. Ibid. 5 b.

12. See Pahl. Yas. 30.6 a.

13. Evil thought (see Bk. 8, Chap. 9.3).

14. See Pahl. Yas. 30.6 c.

15. The ahu, or patron spirit, having become diseased and incapable of true ahvoih, or spiritual lordship, through the action of the demons.

16. Reading lakhvar petami-hastano (or petam gastano) which probably refers to the later missions of Ushedar, Ushedarmah, and Soshyant (see Bk. 8, Chap. 14.12-14).

17. See Pahl. Yas. 30.8 b.

18. Pahl. zen-havand=Av. saenangha.

19. See Pahl. Yas. 30.9 a.

20. Ibid. 9 b.

21. Ibid. 10 a.

22. The female angel of perfect rectitude (see Book 8, Chap. 9.3).

23. See Chap. 24.3.

24. See Pahl. Yas. 30.10 b.

25. Ibid. 10 c and Book 8, Chap. 37.14.

26. See Pahl. Yas. 30.9 c.

fargard 8. Reciting revelation, benefit owing to Ohrmazd and misery to Ahriman, the actions of both spirits; (§6) colloquy of the demon Aresh and Zartosht, power of the liturgy, creation by Ohrmazd, benefits from Vohuman, merit of benefiting cattle, hypocrisy, work of the creator; (§17) complete mindfulness, liberality, the worst ruler, judges and guardians, conflict of good and evil, apostates; (§24) the three nights, Hordad and Amurdad, the good ruler (31)

1. The eighth fargard, Ta-ve-urvata [1], is about advice as to reciting [2] the revelation, the information therefrom for the faithful, about which they have to report to the unfaithful, by mentioning conspicuous specimens and explanatory knowledge, and by thinking of anything whatever which they have to accept, or even which they have not to accept [3]; also, for one called to the religion, the advantage owing to the attraction of mankind to the numerous actual disciplehood of the religion, and the increasing greatness materially, and further reward spiritually, owing to the numerous disciplehood; and the progress of the religion of Ohrmazd even among the irreligious (adenoan) [4] and actual apostates [5].

2. This, too, that the life of the creatures of Ohrmazd and also all other benefit are owing to Ohrmazd [6] and the inclination (kamvarichako) of Ohrmazd thereto; moreover, reward and recompense come from Ohrmazd. 3. And the creatures of Ahriman proceed from Ahriman, all misery is owing to Ahriman, and Ahriman becomes worse and more oppressive and a further producer of misery when they worship him.

4. About the continuance and arranging of both spirits as to their own creations (sti) and the self-acting of their own appliances; the achievement of each one through his own natural resources and through the trifling (gadaganik) operation of the other the spiritual lordship and priestly authority, true confession and the progress of the good religion, being from Ohrmazd, and, through enmity to the creatures of Ohrmazd, Ahriman is contesting these. 5. Ohrmazd, for setting aside that contester, is the producer of true intelligence. and gave language and also the ritual of ordeal [7]; the invocation of the sacred beings [8] for assistance, and the arrival of an angel for the assistance of the invokers; the overcoming of their affliction, the production of their immunity and even righteousness, and also of that good ruler [9] who is a reminder of Ohrmazd, and the restoration of bodies, which is the hope of all good creations, are through the sacred beings being invoked for assistance and their arrival where the diffusion [10] is that of virtuous knowledge through Vohuman [11], the good religion which is whatever may be the knowledge [12] of all those who are, and were, and will be.

6. About the shouting of the demon Aresh [13] to Zartosht and the reply of Zartosht as to the advice of Ohrmazd and whatever is on the same subject. just as revelation (deno) states it, that the demon Aresh spoke to him thus: 'Then the Franamam [14], O Zartosht! is applicable to the assembly of demons who sit in the same place three nights and four days on account of thee.' 7. Zartosht inquired of him thus: 'O Aresh, thou most deceitful to me! what recompense would there be for it to me, if I should worship you in words?' 8. And Aresh, the most deceitful of demons, spoke to him thus: 'Thou wouldst become predominant among mankind, through producing at will among the existences just as is requisite for thyself; and thou wouldst become immortal, O Spitaman!' 9. Zartosht also inquired of him thus: 'O Aresh, most deceitful of demons as to the people by whom you are worshipped, whether for the birth of a son, or even for a concubine sought for enjoyment, so that the favor is considered by them as your property, how can any one of them be immortal?' 10. And Aresh, the most deceitful of demons, could not tell him who had the more intelligence. 11. So Zartosht spoke thus: 'I am for that being and I like him, that is, I am his own and would transact his affairs, and I will recite the law and the benedictions of the sagacious Ohrmazd, the gratifier of desires.'

12. About the deliverance of all creatures through the liturgy [15], and, so long as it is continued by them, it is for the power through which the immortality of the separate creations is prepared in the renovation of the universe; the increase of the good creatures through the complete continuance of the liturgy, and the existence of purity and development of goodness in the world when he who is a good ruler arrives.

13. The arising of the spiritual creation, the first thought of Ohrmazd; and, as to the creatures of Ohrmazd, first the spiritual achievement, and then the material formation and the mingling of spirit with matter; [the advancement of the creatures thereby, through his wisdom and the righteousness of Vohuman being lodged [16] in the creatures,] and all good creatures being goaded (zakhami-hastano) thereby into purity and joyfulness. 14. This, too, that a complete understanding of things arises through Vohuman having made a home in one's reason (varom).

15. About the great reward of him who shall produce benefit for cattle [17]; also the deceitfully and seductively assuming of religion and coloring of thought, talking of righteousness and adopting evil practices, through the recitation of righteousness even hypocritically (davansiha-ch); and an instance of the reward of an undutiful (avar'zidar) apostate [18]. 16. About the work of the creator; and, for the completion thereof, the most eminent is understood to be when the world and religion were formed [19] by him, when life was given by him to those possessing bodies [20], and [21] he provides instruction and employment [22] for it, and when spiritual life (huko) [23] was given by him to the wishful man, so that he may more fully appropriate a share of the worldly and spiritual existences.

17. He who makes complete mindfulness [24] lodge in his body consults complete mindfulness, and [25], through the much investigation of his spiritual life (ahvo) and mind into the attraction of both spirits -- that which is good and also that which is evil -- each separately for its own appliances, and into the duties of the religion of Ohrmazd, is explaining the inefficiency of mankind, as regards the dissipation of their sin, because Ohrmazd is aware of all they practice, that which is public and that, too, which is concealed [26]. 18. The great reward of him who is liberal of gifts (dasar) from his own property to a righteous man[27]; and this, too, that whoever gives him who is wicked [28] a gift, for the sake of improper expectations, assists darkness and not light.

19. This, too, that the worst ruler is he of evil religion and evil deeds, who even for a bribe [29] would not occasion happiness; he who is a destroyer of an innocent man; also the grievous state of punishment of that person, in hell, who shall make that wicked one a ruler [30]. 20. And advice to mankind as to providing a judge and guardian over every dwelling, the probation of a man for appointment 'a that important duty, and the development of all creations in the world when its ruler is sagacious [31].

21. Also causing the disturbance (va-shiklinidano) of the evil spirit for satisfying a man who is rightly thinking, rightly speaking, and rightly acting; the opposition to a righteous man of a wicked one belonging to the evil spirit, who is an evil-reciting and improperly-disputing apostate; the enticement (lusinidano) of mankind to devious ways (avariha), by an apostate, being more than that which attracts to the true way for a righteous man, and afterwards also, in the end the defeat of the army of the fiend by him who is beneficial to mankind. 22. Advice to mankind about abstaining from the suite of him who is an apostate, not hearing and not solemnizing the Avesta and Zand of the sacred beings from him [32]; also the evil behavior (dush-barishnih), slander, strife, death, and fear in the world owing to apostates [33]. 23. Advice to upholders of the religion about the means of thoroughly understanding apostates, and preparing and keeping a weapon for them [34], go that he who is authorized and fearless may be more eager for truthful speaking; and, when the religion of Ohrmazd is liked by him, his truthful speaking and other righteousness have then allured (kamakinido) [35].

24. Also what happens in the three nighs [36], for the assistance and preservation of the righteous, through what is accomplished by the propitious fire [37]; and the progress of his lamentation who deceives and vexes a righteous man [38], and is leading the wicked by their own befitting deeds to hell [39] 25. This, too, that the complete worthiness which exists in Hordad and Amurdad [40] arises in him who maintains the prerogative which is his [41] through virtuousness, who must become such a friend of whatever is his own spirit, through his actions [42], as the creator is of his own creatures. 26. This, too, that whatever is thus in the world is perfect, when every one thinks, speaks, and shall act just like his spiritual lord and high-priest [43]; so that a good ruler is he with whom virtuous speaking arises, as well as proper action [44] 27. And this, too, that the lodgment of Ohrmazd in the worldly existence is most in the person of that ruler [45], and that lodgment in him is manifest.

28. The excellence of righteousness is perfect.


1. See Chap. 8.1 n; it is here written tag-va-rato in Pahlavi in both MSS.

2. Sec Pahl. Yas. 31.1 a.

3. B omits these last eight words.

4. K has akdenoan, 'infidels.'

5. See Pahl. Yas. 31.1 c.

6. Ibid. 2 c.

7. See Pahl. Yas. 31.3 b, c.

8. Ibid. 4 a, b.

9. Ibid. 4 c.

10. K has 'ceremonial.'

11. See Pahl. Yas. 31.5 b.

12. K has hu-danakih, 'sagacity.'

13. The demon of envy, as in Chap. 30.4. The occurrence of his dialogue with Zartosht in this place explains the word [.....] which is found twice in Pahl. Yas. 31.5 b, and has been read hu-varih, 'good judgment,' or hu-vaharih, 'good fortune.' In the MSS. called Pt4 and Mf4, in Geldner's edition of the Avesta, this Pahlavi word is both times separated into two thus: [.. ...] which may be read avo Aresh, 'to Aresh,' and the whole § 5 b may be translated as follows: 'The gift of understanding through Good Thought is that which thou shouldst give unto me (that is, that wisdom thou shouldst proclaim to me as virtuousness), which is to me (through what pertains to it) that which is for Aresh (that is, through that wisdom which is virtuosness it shall become possible for me to give a reply to Aresh).' The reply here mentioned appears to be that given in § 11 of our text; and the name Aresh explains the word ereshi in the original Avesta text as meaning 'envy' and being equivalent to araska.

14. The Mazda-worshipper's profession of faith, beginning with word Av. fravarane (Yas. 1.23) = Pahl. franamam.

15. See Pahl. Yas. 31.6 b.

16. Ibid. 6 c. The passage in brackets occurs only in K.

17. Ibid. 10 a, b.

18. See Pahl. Yas. 31.10 c.

19. Ibid. 11 a.

20. Ibid. 11 b.

21. So originally in B, but altered into 'when,' by the repairer of the MS., so as to agree with K.

22. See Pahl. Yas. 31.11 c.

23. B has kamak, 'desire,' with 'the wishful' in the plural, and this might agree better with Pahl. Yas. 31.11 c, but not with the next clause in the sentence here, where both nominative and verb are in the singular.

24. See Pahl. Yas. 31.12 c. This term is the Pahl. equivalent of Av. Armaiti which is usually personified as the female archangel Spandarmad.

25. The MS. K is left unfinished at this point, merely adding the words expressed by 'into the attraction of,' in this translation. For the remainder of Book 9 the only known MS. authority is B.

26. See Pahl. Yas. 31.13 a.

27. See Pahl. Yas. 31.14 b.

28. Ibid. 14 c.

29. Ibid. 15 b.

30. Ibid. 15 a.

31. Ibid. 16 a.

32. Ibid. 18 a.

33. Ibid. 18 b.

34. Pahl. Yas. 31.18 c.

35. Ibid. 19 b.

36. After death.

37. See Pahl. Yas. 31.19 c and Chap. 12.4.

38. Ibid. 20 a.

39. Ibid. 20 c.

40. Ibid. 21 a and Chap. 19.1.

41. Ibid. 21 b.

42. Ibid. 21 c.

43. Ibid. 22 a.

44. Ibid. 22 b.

45. Ibid. 22 c.

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