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Epistles of Manuschihar (A.D. 881)

Translated by Edward William West

This electronic edition 2004, J.H. Peterson. Updated Oct 6, 2019.

Also available in pdf and epub versions.

Author also spelled Manušcihr, Manush-/chihar, fl. second half 9th century CE.


Manušcihr was a well-known Zoroastrian religious leader and scholar who flourished in the 9th century. He was one of four sons of Juwanjam (or Gušn-Jam): Zurvandad, Zadspram, and Ašavahišt. His brother Zadspram is known for his Anthology (Vizidagiha i Zadspram) and Book of the Enumeration of Races (nibeg i tohmag-ošmarišnih) (no longer extant). Zadspram was also involved in some controversies,1 which his brother Manušcihr addresses in the present text. Manušcihr was also author of the important book Dadestan i Denig (“Religious judgements”).

This edition is based on Sacred Books of the East, volume 18, Pahlavi Texts translated by E.W. West, Part II (Oxford, 1882). The spelling however has been normalized to conform with other texts in this (avesta.org) series. Additional footnotes by me are marked "-JHP"

For the Middle-Persian text, see Dhabhar, Bamanji Nasarvanji edition by Dhabhar (1912).

See also Manûskîhar, Zatspram, and Y. M. Nawabi. Nâmîkhâ-yi Manûchihr va guzîdah-'i Zâdspram, bi-kûshish-i Mâhyâr Navvâbî, bâ hamkârî-i fannî-i Mah?mûd T?âvûsî. Shiraz: Mu'assasah-'i Asiya'i-i Danishgah-i Pahlavi [2535 i. e.], 1976. (Persian)

Please let me know if you find any typos, or have suggestions for improving this e-text or web site. Thanks. -JHP, July 2004.


  1. To the good people of Sirkan.
  2. To his brother, Zadspram.
  3. To all of the Good Religion in Iran.


  1. For all divisions into chapters and sections the translator is responsible, as the manuscripts are written continuously, with very few stops marked, and even those are often misplaced.
  2. 2-6. (The same as on page 2.)
  3. The manuscripts mentioned are:-
    • BK, an old imperfect copy of K35 written in Kirmân, but now in Bombay.
    • J (about 60 years old), belonging to Dastur Jamaspji Minochiharji in Bombay.
    • K35 (probably written A.D. 1572), No.35 in the University Library at Kopenhagen; upon the text of which this translation is based.
    • M10 (about 150 years old), a Persian Rivayat, No. 10 of the Haug Collection in the State Library at Munich.


EPISTLES OF Manuschihar



Through the name and assistance of the creator Ohrmazd and the whole of the sacred beings, all the angels of the spiritual and the angels of the worldly existences.

A copy of the epistle of the priest Manuschihar,1 son of Yudan-Yim, which was composed by him for the good people of Sirkan,2 on the contents of the precepts (vijir-kardo) which the priest Zadpram,3 son of Yudan-Yim, prepared.

1. The high-priest of Pars and Kirman (see the heading to Dd., p. 3).

2. Written Sirkan once, Sirkano twice, and Sirgano four times, in these epistles. It was a town of considerable importance in former times (see Ouseley's Oriental Geography, pp. 138-145), about thirty parasangs south of Kirman.

3. He was high-priest of Sirkan and brother of Manuschihar (as expressly stated in the heading to Ep. II), both being sons of the same father.


1. In the name of the sacred beings, who sent you a soul with long life, with provision for proper progress, and with the protection of increase of righteousness and wisdom, may such works and [280] mysterious dignity, encompassed with4 happiness, now possess increasing prosperity and a complete share of pre-eminent welfare and great exaltation in both worlds. 4. Or, 'sent down in,' according as we read parvasto or frôsto.
2. The epistle5 which was wisely, properly, and with religious demeanour ordered by you, and sent by a courier (paîko), has come, and has enveloped and assailed (jasto) me, indeed, with appalling intelligence on other subjects; and if even a portion6 of the vast importance and great value, as regards your heavenly concerns, arrangements, and natural and unpremeditated (avarîk) prodigies,7 which are for my knowledge, for the sake of courteous (drûdîk) information, be owing to intelligence for which the courteousness and proper courageousness are among you, special pleasure is received therewith. 3. And praise is, thereupon, recited by me to the sacred beings, as regards the conflicting affairs even of this disordered (gûmê zishnîko) existence; worldly possessions, as much as are suitable for the assistance of wisdom., are proper,8 and the gift of virtuous pleasure is the gain of the undeserving good work or prayer they (the sacred beings) shall accept; it causes aggrandizement and is as deserving as even that which the decision of [281] the wise has said about it, that even from the management of disordered possessions which are impaired there is advantage through the power of wisdom; and they (the sacred beings) select and cleanse and uplift the good works in such manner as a precious stone (sag khêl) from the water, and gold brocade9 from the dust.

5. An epistle complaining of certain heretical teachings of their high-priest, Zadspram, which is no longer extant.
6. Reading va hat vâhar-ic.
7. The epistle which he had received from his brother, Zadspram, some time before, seems also to have mentioned certain omens (see Ep. II, i, 3).
8. J omits shâyedo, 'are proper,' because it follows the other shâyed, 'are suitable;' but it is not always safe to assume that the repetition of a word is a blunder.
9. Reading dîpako-i zahabâ.
4. My pleasure, also, is as much increased through the information due to the same courtesy, and I have a new and great desire for the arrival of information, continously from henceforth, about the perfect courageousness, enduring humility, good works, worshipping, favouring position, and eagerness of soul of you who have recounted your great thoughtfulness for religion and have provided good works.

5. On account of the universal renown (aspôha-rakânih) of the good people of Khwaniras,10 which is yours, owing to the favour that is your complete happiness, ardently and joyfully most desired, and constantly so, when there are opportunities of seeing you — though, it is supposed to be the advantage of your own religion, joy of soul, courteousness, and proper constancy — since my will resides among you, you make known and command my actions, through the will of the sacred beings.

10. The central region of the earth, containing all the lands best known to the Iranians (see Dd. XC, 3).


1. Then comes that itself1 which is dictated in the middle of your epistle, and, thereupon, it lays hold of me, and, owing to its hellish gloom, pallid appearance, and hellish effect, benediction is perplexedly dispensed by me in terror for my heart and mind; I have, also, grievously repented, as regards my own former arrangements in my warfare of violence — which were undeceptive in the balance pertaining to Rashnu2 — of any real falsity of the co-existent one3 I may have produced.

1. J has 'the writing.'
2. See Dd. XIV, 4.
3. The evil spirit who is supposed to be, for a time, co-existent with the beneficent spirit of Ohrmazd.
2. Responsible for the malice and annoyance of unjust kinds which are encountering us is the fiend of great strength, who is unobserving, seductive, astute in evil, eager for causing annihilation (gashto-kûn-varen), and full of deceit, so that it is possible for him to render doubtful, when so deceived, even him who is most a listener to essential righteousness, most desirous of steadfast truth, most performing proper religious customs, most acquainted with good ideas, most amazingly careful of his soul, most approved in the most wounding hell-brought conflict, and most at home (khânagîktûm) in truth of all kinds, and to show him a semblance of reality in unreality, and of unreality in reality. 3. Just as even that similitude which is mentioned in revelation thus: 'He intends righteousness and considers [283] about it thus: "A good work is done by me," and he acquires fiendishness — that is, it becomes a source of sin for him — who shall bring forth water without holy-water to one contaminated by dead matter (nas-hômand), or who shall bring it forth without holy-water on a concealed or dark place in the night.'4

4. Quoted from Pahl. Vend. VII, 194-196, with some slight variations from the existing text. The meaning is that it is quite possible to commit sin by doing a good action in an improper manner.
4. And about this I have no doubt, that the wish of that spirit is not coincident with righteousness, for it is realised, understood, and known that, as regards his own creatures, he is not careful for the proper movement of body and for the long living of life; so that the furtherance and continuance of these, which are his original resources of body and activities (khapârâno) of life, become, for him who is among them (the fiend's creatures), an increase of the propitiation of the sacred beings, of the practice of religion, and of the advancement and benediction of the teachings of just high-priests.5 5. It is also manifest from the constantly-operating arrangement of manuscripts and synodical statements, about which Afarg6 wrote without falsifying the religion and apart from controversies; because among them (the fiend's creatures) is he who has said they are like unto that which is now written [284] by him himself about it, and it has arranged much deliverance from sin.7

5. That is, even the wicked, when they seek welfare, have to take to religious practices.
6. A commentator whose opinions are frequently quoted in the Pahlavi translations of the Avesta (see Sls. I, 3). J has 'about which the splendour (afrand) of the religion is without falsehood.'
7. That is, anyone who explains the scriptures in a new fashion to suit his own purposes, which he thereby represents as beneficial, is merely carrying out the wishes of the fiend. The author is here, referring to the heretical teachings of his brother, regarding purification, which are further described in the sequel.
6. Of this, too, I am aware, that, except there where a purifier is in no way reached, his great duty — which is just the purification in which there is a washer who is cleansed (masîdo) in the religious mode for the profession of the priesthood — is then a means which the high-priests should allow.8 7. A washing which is not religiously ritualistic is ranked as an operation among the useless ones; it is vicious and grievously criminal, because the special means which, by preserving the soul,9 is the perfect happiness of men, is the purification [285] of men. 8. It is said10: 'The purification of men cleansingly is a something (aîto) for the soul that should be after perfect birth; when they have been fully born the purification of others is the one thing which is good for the soul.'

8. That is, whenever a properly-qualified purifier is procurable, the priests should require him to purify anyone who happens to be defiled by contact with dead matter by means of the Barashnom ceremony (see App. IV). It appears from the sequel, and from Eps. II and III, that the heresy of Zadspram consisted chiefly of a misinterpretation of Vend. VIII, 278-299 (see App. V), which passage directs that a man in the fields, who has touched a corpse not yet eaten by dogs or birds, shall wash himself fifteen times with bull's urine, that he shall then run to some village, asking three different men on the way to cleanse him with the proper ceremony, and if they decline they each take upon themselves a share of the sin; when arrived at the village he shall ask a fourth time to be cleansed, and if no one will perform the ceremony he must wash himself with bull's urine and water in the ordinary manner, and shall be clean. The erroneous teaching of Zadspram was that the fifteen times' washing was sufficient, without the subsequent ceremonial cleansing; and the object of these epistles was to combat that view of the law.
9. The ceremonial purification is supposed to cleanse the soul, whereas ordinary washing cleanses the body only, and is spiritually useless.
10. In Pahl. Vend, V., 65, X, 35, being a translation or a quotation from the Gathas or sacred hymns (Y47.5, c).
9. And it is shown in another place that it is possible to obtain possession of purification also for the soul through purification of the body, even as it is said that a purifier is requested by him. 10. And it is necessary for him to speak thus: 'I have thus stood close by the body of him who is dead; I am no wisher for it by thought, I am no wisher for it by word, I am no wisher for it by deed; which is the reason — that is, on account of pollution — it is not possible to seek good works by thought, word, or deed, and it demands purification for me, that is, wash me thoroughly!'11 11. As it is thereby declared that when he whose body is not purified, until they thoroughly wash him, is not able to seek good works by thought, word, or deed, and is not able to purify his soul, it is then a matter for the truly wise to seek even for purification of the soul by the purification of the body, for whose religious purification are those things which are unsubdued (ashikand) in the religious ritual.

11. Quoted, with some variation, from Pahl. Vend. III, 283, 284 (see App. V).
12. When these are thus the statements of former upholders of the religion and high priests of the religion, he who is more intelligent and more active [286] in the religion of the Mazda-worshippers in every house, village, tribe, and province — and, very much more the man who is righteous, of fluent speech, speaking the truth, who has chanted the sacred hymns, acquainted with the ritual, trained for the work, of renowned disposition, and a friend of the soul — is competent for the purification which it is very important to prepare, to think of, and to promote.

13. When the period is so unworthy, the fiend so abundantly contentious, and the hasty preparer of holy-water of such base origin (dus-vêkh)12 — which happens, moreover, when the good are equally low-minded (ham-bâsto-mînishno) — we strive for what encourages the preparation of that even which is a collectively virtuous profession. 14. Then, too, there remains such rising in strength of many new things from very many countries, which is particularly grievous distress and danger to us; they deliver tokens of them to us applaudingly, and the expansibility of the words of the delivering diffuser of these and also other religious customs, as the sacred beings' own persistency and complete glory, is a great and powerful capability.

12. This seems to be an allusion to the unworthiness of some of the priests of the period (compare Ep. II, i, 13; v, 14).


1. This, too, I am begging of you, that you may be desiring the truth, and that Vohuman,1 who, [287] when a ruler (shah) of yours, is an interpreter (pâcûko) about the writing which2 I write, may as regardfully and accommodatingly observe and direct as the variety of dispositions permits. 2. For you are of like opinion with me, to inform again the most initiated;3 so that I am more steadfastly-determined (aûstîkâno-minishntar) thereon. 3. And if there be anything that seems to you otherwise, direct some one to point it out again, with the reason for maintaining it which occurs to you, just as a household companion is a responder and has spoken again for the sake of pointing out again; for there are fl1any reasons, on account of which your kindly-regardful observation is needful, which are to be written about.

1. The archangel personifying 'good thought' (see Dd. III, 13).
2. Reading î instead of va, 'and.'
3. That is, to severely admonish their high-priest, as he does in Ep. II.
4. The first is this, that the penmanship of the spirits is not the profession of me and others;4 and as to him by whom a theory (farhâng) not universally operating is disseminated, which is distinct from his more indispensable occupation, there is then no command for his teaching and apostleship therein. 5. On that account, too, the wise and the seekers for truth uphold the body of opinion about the statements of the writing of the spirits,5 and, therefore, direct less of the ingenuity of preparing again the penmanship of various tidings.

4. That is, he disclaims all pretensions to inspiration on the part of himself and his contemporaries.
5. The inspired scriptures.
6. The second is this, that, in the distress (dahyako) of this grievous time, he to whom [288] adherence and much indebtedness even as to his forefathers have remained, is well-lamenting, owing to the proposals (dâdano) of the unfriendly, and much harm has occurred through the conflicting (ârdîko) offer of remedies and lawful provision of means, full of trouble, except, indeed, to the upholder of religion who is more worldly-managing; and investigation by opponents is grievous danger, fair of things inopportune and unnecessary for accomplishment.6

6. Referring to the risk of unfriendly and destructive criticism of the scriptures.
7. The third is this, that a wise man who is a high-priest of the spirit-retaining7 religion and acquainted with opinions, when also himself properly humble, fearless, and benedictive in the world, is then even, owing to his estimating8 pardonings and long-continued dexterity (dêr zîvacakîh), united with the good creations in affliction and vexation. 8. And, on account of information about the worldly and spiritual misery of former evils of many kinds — always as much in the religion, and in the thoughs of others,9 as one delivers up his heart to ingenious verbiage and for the preparation of phrases — he speaks as in the question in revelation, thus:10 ' "Who in the bodily existence [289] is more quickly fortunate?" and it is answered thus: "The youth who is observant and humble, O Zartosht! who, as regards both that which has happened and that which happens, also sees that which is evil and good with gratitude, just like that also which happens unto another;"' because he knows this, that from this is a benefit, for he knows happiness and also misery.11 9. The g1orified leader of those of the good religion, Hêr-Frôvag,12 son of Farukhûzâd, wrote: 'It is he understands the consequence of his own action; and it is his great household attendant, and the worldly desire provided at the Chinwad bridge13 becomes less watchful.'

7. J has 'spirit-observing,' by changing girishno into nigîrîshno.
8. Reading andasîh; the reference being to the sympathy acquired by a high-priest through performing his duty of appointing atonements for sins confessed to him.
9. Assuming that aîshano stands for aîshâno.
10. J has only 'as one speaks out his heart for ingenious verbiage and phrases, thus.' The question and reply here quoted seem to be no longer extant in the Avesta.
11. It is doubtful whether this last c1ause be a portion of the quotation, or not.
12. This name is corrupted into Hê-Fôrvag in the MSS., but Atur-Frobag is probab1y intended. He was the compiler of a great part of the Denkard, and is also mentioned in Dd. LXXXVIII, 8. The names Atur and Hêr are synonymous, both meaning 'fire.' The passage quoted in the text has the same form (beginning with the word hômando, 'it is') as nearly all the sections of the third book of the Denkard, but it has not yet been discovered among them.
13. Here written Cish-vidarg (see Dd. XX, 3).
10. The fourth is this, that I am more universally hoping about the property of the profession and the much duty fit for the truly wise, in such manner as even that in which the glorified and greatly-learned leader of those of the good religion, Yudan-Yim,14 son of Shahpûhar, always urged on a priestly man with many sons and equally clever15 discourse. [290] 11. That was through my instigation, alone and with little assistance, in the beginning, and, on account of the deficiency of warriors,16 the abundance of opponents, the very rapid arrival of disturbance, and the fourfold supplication for keeping away the ruin or hasty unlawful maintenance of the fires of the Mazda-worshippers, my constant distress is such that most of my time speaks of the same subject.17 12. They may 1eave the abundance of despondency and thoughtfulness or the bodily, existence to such remedial writing of his, unto whom the pleasantly comfortable thought of an evaded (vîrikhto) seizure is requisite, but there is little worldly leisure for me for writing more in this direction (hanâ-runtar). 13. And specially in this passing time — when, alike limited by the coming of the period of giving daily supplies to the performers of worship, and by the ever-triumphant fire and, its produce,18 it was necessary for me to go to Shiraz19 on account of some indispensable provision of means — the work was much and the leisure little.

14. So written in J, but K35 and BK have the syllable dân somewhat corrupted. The person meant, both here and in Chap. VII,5, was probab1y the author's father, though Bd. XXXIII, 11 seems to make Yudan-Yim the son of Vâhrâm-shâd.
15. Reading ham-gôko, but J has ham-dûdako, 'of the-same family;' it also omits several other words by mistake.
16. From this and Ep. II, v, 14 it would appear that the priests at that time maintained a body of troops for the protection of their followers.
17. That is, regarding the proper maintenance of the priesthood, which had already engaged his anxious attention during the lifetime of his father.
18. The word var may either mean 'ashes' (see Sls. II, 49), alluding to clearing out the fire, or it may mean 'ordeal' (see Sls. XIII, 17).
19. See Dd. I, 17. This name is written Shirâzo once, Sîrâzo thrice, and Sirâzo four times in K35. Manuschihar appears to have come to Shiraz on this occasion to hold a general assembly of the priests and leading members of the community, and he wrote this epistle from that city (see Ep. II, i, 11; v, 10).
[291] 14. The fifth is this, that the custom of providing for all the duties even of the sacred fire (âtûr) by me, and my own desire,20 trained hand,21 unhardened mind, and unhardened heart for managing many things should have become the joy of my mind. 15. Then, too, from having read such writing and such news the healer of distress would be thoroughly connected with my heart and mind, owing to which my intellect would have become quickly fatigued (mândako) by a limited preparation of phrases.

20. Reading kâmako, instead of the unintelligible kâmûn.
21. The MSS. omit the last letter of yadman.
16. The sixth is this, that even he who is a rescued22 and better-operating (hû-dâgtar) man — when, owing to the writing of a learned man of the realm who is desiring the truth, he is so perplexed23 on account of a doubt of increasing the after-tearing of the same perplexity — has ho doubt of the falsity and little training existent in the worldly.

22. That is, delivered from contamination or sin; vîrikhtô is probably to be traced to Av. vi + irikhta, rather than to vi + rikhta (Pers. gurêkht).
23. K35 has a blank space here, and again a few words further on, but it is doubtful if any words be missing. Th spaces are filled up in J and BK, apparently by guess, as follows: J has 'he sees so perplexing a chance, concerning which, owing to the increase of after-tearing of the same perplexity and the arrival of evil, he is doubtful, has no doubt,' etc. And BK has 'he is so perplexed on account of no doubt of the falsity and little training that existed in the worldly for increasing the after-tearing of the same perplexity, has no doubt, etc.'
17. The seventh is this, that if none of these six of which I have written should exist, even then your approved cleverness (sîvagdârîh), extolled freedom from strife, hereafter=discerning and complete mindfulness, [292] practised24 attention to the good, and much affection25 for the faithful — so kindly regarding, truly judging, and with a liking for praising (srîdano), as regards whatever I write truly and with true conviction — are, I consider, to make provision, and have realised a preparation striven for.

24. J has bûrzîdako, 'extolled,' instead of varzîdako, 'practised.'
25. Reading dûkhsharmîh as in J; the other MSS. have m instead of û.


1. I have also seen the spiritual life1 in the writing which is in such statements of incompleteness,2 and owing to the same reason they should not cease from the operation3 of washing you — whom may the angels protect! — with the Barashnom ceremony.4 2. Because the ancients have said that, when it shall be discarded from use, every water, fire, plant, righteous man, and animal, and all the creatures of Ohrmazd are afflicted, diminished, and made to leap away. 3. As it is said in revelation that, as to him who stands by a dead body upon which the Nasush5 has rushed,6, 'anusô zî, Spitama Zarathushtra! [293] aêsha yâ7 paiti-irista avad8 hvare â-tâpayêiti,9 anusô hâu mau, anusô avê stârô10 — discontentedly, moreover, O Zartosht the Spitaman! does the sun shine upon him who has been by the dead, so discontentedly [does the moon],11 thus discontentedly do the stars — khshnâvayêiti zî, Spitama Zarathushtra! aêshô nâ yô yaozhdâthryô, yad aêtem12 paiti-iristem frâ-nasûm kerenaoiti — the man who is purifying propitiates them, O Zartosht the Spitaman! when he operates on him who has been by the dead, on whom the Nasush is put forth, and he has become parted from the sacred twigs13 — he propitiates fire, he propitiates [294] water, he propitiates animals and plants,14 he propitiates the righteous man,15 he propitiates the righteous woman, both of them,' as in the Avesta16 of it:- khshnâvayêiti âtarem, etc.

1. Reading dîd ahvôîh; but it can also be read stihânoîh, in which case the translation would be:- 'And my worldly condition.'
2. Meaning the incomplete kind of purification which their statements complained of, or his referred to.
3. K35 and BK omit the r in kardako.
4. See App. IV.
5. The fiend of corruption (see Dd. XVII, 7).
6. The three Avesta passages here quoted, with their Zand (Pahlavi translation), are from Vend. IX, 161-163, and are freely translated (trans. D) thus:- 'It grieves the sun, indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! to shine upon a man defiled by the dead; it grieves the moon, it grieves the stars. That man delights them, O Spitama Zarathushtra! who cleanses from the Nasu those whom she has defiled; he delights the fire, he delights the water, he delights the earth, he delights the cow, he delights the trees, he delights the faithful, both men and women.' The Avesta text is given according to the standard edition of Westergaard (IX, 41, 42), and all variants of any importance, in the three MSS. here used, are mentioned in the notes. These passages are also referred to in Ep. II, iii, 5.
7. K35 and BK insert the last three words, anusô âvâ stârô, here.
8. J inserts here.
9. J has â-tâpayaêta, but K35 and BK omit the word.
10. K35 and BK have khshathrô-chinanghô, 'of a desire of authority' (which occurs in Fravardin Yt. 112 as the name of a man) instead of avê stârê, which they have inserted earlier. They also leave a blank space for the words maman akhûrsandîhâ, 'moreover, discontentedly' (which begin the Pahlavi translation), as if they were descended from a damaged original.
11. All three MSS. omit the words in brackets, which are necessary to complete the Pahlavi version.
12. K35 and BK omit aêtem.
13. J has 'who has become polluted,' which separation from the sacred twigs [barsom] (see Dd. XLIII, 5), or other ceremonial apparatus [alat], implies. The phrase is omitted in Pahl. Vend. IX, 162.
14. J has 'he propitiates plants,' as in Pahl. Vend. IX, 163.
15. Literally 'male.'
16. The initial words of which here follow their Pahlavi translation, instead of preceding it.
4. When there is no purifier all the angels of the worldly existence become afflicted and dissatisfied; and religious purifiers who are intelligent are even now not to keep backward the work of purification, just as it has come to them by practice from those of the primitive faith, and are not to diminish it. 5. To change a good work properly appointed they shall not accept a law which is not right, a good work not properly appointed;17 not to do the work thereof is accounted very sagacious and perfectly wise; and through your freedom from inferiority18 the glorifying, commendation, praise, and blessing are your own. 6. For it is said that in all the work of forming and maintaining the law (dâdistâno) those of the primitive faith were very greatly particular about every single thing; and as to the whole operation of that proceeding into which they have entered, those of the primitive faith have become aware of the power which resides in true authority. 7. But, otherwise,19 the routine which is brought out [295] from revelation20 and the teaching of the high-priests is then not authorisedly changed by that priestly man whose decree of the fifteen21 washings is written in your epistle;22 because, on account of the whole and any perversion (gashtakîh) of the same writing, not of similar utterance with revelation, before which the custom did not exist, I am without doubt as to that decree.

17. J omits these six words.
18. Reading afrôtarîh, as in BK; K35 had originally avartarîh, 'pre-eminence,' as in J, but the copyist wrote afrô (=aparva) over the avarta, as a correction, leaving it doubtful whether he meant afrôtarîh or aparvarîh, 'want of education.'
19. That is, unless confirmed by the decisions of the ancients.
20. J has 'which is brought out with knowledge of the purifying cup (tâshtîk), with preservation of faith, and with manifestation from revelation.'
21. All three MSS. have 'sixteen' in ciphers, but it is evident that Zadspram and his erroneous teaching of the sufficiency of fifteen washings (see Ep. III, I, 2) are here referred to.
22. Reading shemag, a Huz. hybrid for nâmak.
8. And in it,23 moreover, is written, declared, and contained (vanjîdo) that once washing is mentioned,24 until a purifier comes who is acquainted with the ritual, who washes just as declared in revelation. 9. To be so washed I consider just as a thing for which he is even now as it were a purifier who is a good washer,25 that of which it is written below and clearly realised that it should not be decreed; and through the scanty deliverance written therein26 it is manifest it would not be the statement above.27

23. The decree of Zadspram, apparently.
24. Referring probably to Vend. VIII, 299, which provides a washing for the polluted person by himself, if he can find no one willing to purify him (see App. V).
25. That is, for such a purpose any ordinary washer would be sufficient.
26. In Pahl. Vend. VIII, 299, which states that, although pure enough for ordinary purposes, he must still abstain from engaging in ceremonies for others (see App. V).
27. That is, it is very different from the propitiation mentioned in § 3.
[296] 10. If learned knowledge, relating both to that about inferior matters (ajîrtarîhâ) and that about superior matters, be28 true authority praised and declared by the great primitive faith, former high-priests and those newly arisen (navakgandakâno) would be and would have been similarly forward; then, too, it would exist not so much with the priestly men of the time as with the learned officiating priests (magôpatân) of Ohrmazd who have been before. 11. And when, moreover, all the Avesta and Zand are easy to a priest,29 pre-eminently acquainted with the liturgy and a supreme Zartosht, he has attained unto, and should remain with, Ohrmazd and30 the officiating priestship of Ohrmazd, and the supreme, world-managing, religion-observing (hû-dîn-nikah) sovereignty as to religious treatises.31 12. To change then their practice in the law would be entirely an outcry apart from deliberation, and a like violation of the unanimity of the spirits who are the heads and guardians32 of the religion, and of the unanimity of the source of opinion of the good themselves, for the sake of what is not acceptable.

28. J has 'because if even for that about superior matters, acquaintance with religion, and learned knowledge there be,' etc.
29. That is, when he knows all the scriptures and commentaries by heart.
30. J omits 'Ohrmazd and.'
31. That is, he has full authority to interpret the scriptures.
32. Reading sarân sardârân, but in K35 the two words overlap, so that sar-sardârân,' head guardians,' might be intended.
13. But the statement above33 is, was, and will be that which remains a good idea well considered by them with the centre of thought, as to its [297] well-operating characteristics, just contention, and complete powerfulness. 14. Also from the teaching of just high-priests, through the preservation of much evidence, and ascertained for the members of the assemblies of various provinces (shatrô shatrô), are shown the opinion and experience of most priestly men; and to make the various districts (kûstako kûstako) thrivingly steadfast, an unperverted one should be set up in all four quarters (pâdkôs) of the same province.

33. Probably referring to the quotation from the Vendidad in § 3.
15. And a semblance of it is apparent even from that which the glorified Nishahpuhar, the supreme officiating priest,34 and also other officiating priests of Ohrmazd have said, that one is not to change any teaching of theirs thereon after it is provided, and not to render useless the statements of other authority, thereon. 16. But that which they should accept from them as a certainty is to maintain the statements of other high-priests as pre-eminent; and not to change the operation of statements of another description has appeared lawful. 17. Even so it was as that same Nishahpuhar, in the council of the glorified (anôshako rûbânô) Khosraw,35 king of [298] kings and son of Kobad, — by preserving old things (ligâno) — showed that way on whose thoughts they are established, and wrote them unaltered; so that such thoughts thereon became as it were decided; and their thoughts thereon, after such decree of his, have so become unanimous. 18. Through the importance of his assured rank, and the rest which was said by him in the work of sustaining the faithful, he maintains as much as the other statements, one by one, from the deliberative teaching of those high-priests.

34. This mobad of mobads is mentioned in Pahl. Vend. III, 151, V, 112, VI, 71, VIII, 64, XVI, 10, 17, AV. I, 35, and twenty-four times in the Nirangistan (see Sls. I, 4 n). His name is spelt in various ways.
35. King Khosraw, son of Kobad, who is best known by his title Noshirvan, or Anoshirvan, 'immortal-soulled,' reigned A.D. 531-579; and the statement that Nishahpuhar was one of his councillors (made little more than three centuries after his death, and, therefore, probably correct) is of considerable importance for fixing a limit to the age of those Pahlavi books in which he is mentioned. These books are the Pahlavi Nirangistan, a late recension of the Pahlavi Vendidad, and the Book of Arda-Viraf, in which last it is stated that Viraf was called by the name of Nikhshapur by some. From the statements made in our text it seems probable that the council was employed in revising the Pahlavi Vendidad, in which they were careful not to erase the opinions of older commentators, and thus confirmed their statements by their own authority. It is possible that this council was that mentioned in Byt. I, 7, where the name Nishapur also occurs, but whether it refers to a man or a city is not quite certain. This council, which seems to have been summoned for condemning the heresy of Mazdak, was held probably two or three years before Khusro came to the throne (see Nöldeke: Geschichte der Perser und Araber zur Zeit der Sasaniden, p. 465).


1. That writing which comes amid the writing of your epistle is a correct fragment1 as regards the nothing in which one is to change the operation properly maintainable, and it is becoming; because, if it be even for him, by whom it is written from the [299] statements of Medyok-mah, Afarg, and Soshans,2 the several statements and teachings of the same high-priests, yet then the elaboration and publication thereof are not such as that which is sent down by his further elaboration.3 2. And thereby it has seemed manifest that it is sent so that a wish for the spirit may proceed from the truth of its minister (pado), or from his thought for the desired decision; or his understanding may be of that kind which is warped (vukûsto), as though he believed it as other than the exposition of the religion and the teaching of the high-priests. 3. But until the unparalleled arrival of Soshans4 anyone not sharing in complete knowledge is not appointed unto a patron spirit (ahvô), and the fiend specially contends more experimentally with the thoughts of the high-priests of the religion for a religious decision.

1. Reading banjishnîh, but it may be bûjishnîh, 'deliverance from contamination.' The reference is to the decree of Zadspram mentioned in Chap. IV, 7, the 'writing' alluded to in Ep. II, ii, 1; iii, 1.
2. The names of three of the commentators whose opinions are most frequently quoted in the Pahlavi Vendidad (see Sls. I, 3). Each of them appears to have written a complete 'teaching' or dissertation upon the ceremonial laws, from which the quotations are taken (see § 6).
3. That is, in collecting the opinions of the ancients, he has twisted them so as to suit his own views.
4. The last of the future apostles (see Dd. II, 10), not the commentator of the same name mentioned in § 1.
4. And even the recompense of community5 of property is that when one gladly observes pure thoughts; and the swift action of voluble (pûr) speakers and kind regard of religious characters for deliverance6 and for the noticeable undeceitfulness of the same spirit7 — which is itself the desire of settled observation that is in it for the sake of the [300] same kind of full religious diffusion — are the swift action of the patron spirit, which, for the sake of preparing him for a deliverance that is not falsifying revelation and is without disputants, is a kind regard for the deliverance itself of him whose spiritual life (hûko) it is.

5. Literally 'fraternity.'
6. From pollution or sin.
7. See § 2.
5. As to that which is thought by him8 of those deliverances sent down, completed, and announced, I consider more particularly about the meaning of one thing, which is, their solemnized observance. 6. The so1emnized observance of Medyok-mah is in the teaching9 of Medyok-mah, and those of Afarg and Soshans are each one meditated and indicated in a teaching; and the pointedly superior position of each one of them is mentioned by him in his statement of any teaching and of the decision set up. 7. Also with a kind regard for his own choice he has thought it (the former teaching) imperfect, and, on account of what was not attained by it — which was a re-explainer of the same good ideas provided — its dissimilarity to it is not unnoticed.10 8. But when one hears the re-explainers of a true reply he is well protected (hû-zinharîdo) by complete mindfulness,11 and is himself confident that the teaching of Medyok-mah is not the whole statement of Medyok-mah, for there are many opinions of [301] Medyok-mah12 which have decided in another manner; not that whatever Medyok-mah said is not good, but in the teaching of Medyok-mah it is certain that even what is not proper is mentioned many times as a possibility.13

8. Zadspram the writer of the decree mentioned in § 1.
9. The word câshtako means usually a written course of teaching or exposition, a commentary, dissertation, or manual of instruction.
10. Implying that Zadspram had been more inclined to enforce his own opinions than to examine those of the commentators.
11. The Pahl. translation of Av. Armaiti, 'devotion,' which is usually personified as a female archangel protecting the earth.
12. J inserts 'rules which are mentioned in the special teaching of Medyok-mah.' It appears probable that the author had access to much more complete commentaries than the fragments now extant in the Pahlavi version of the Vendidad.
13. Meaning, probably, that Medyok-mah was disposed to relax the rigid enforcement of the law in cases of doubt or difficulty, as the Avesta itself does in several cases.


1. As to that which is written in that epistle, that in the teaching of Soshans he thus states, that 'of both the purifiers necessary he is suitable by whom the ritual is performed,'1 they have been similarly very unanimous that when' one is incapable (atû)2 it is the other that is suitable, who is written of in connection with him; and that, moreover, because the statement of Afarg is in attaching of his,3 and, on [302] that account, that declaraion of his seemed to be from him, which is as though it were decided by him. 2. Then, when one reaches the eulogistic (afrâsînâko) reply of his re-expainer, owing to his just will it is itself well perceived that Afarg comes into account as one of the high-priests; and that which is the special teaching of Soshans has mentioned that they have been very unanimous that when there is one he would be suitable.4

1. Quoted from Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, where it may be read either as an opinion of Afarg (as mentioned in our text, or as a statement of the Pahlavi translator, who would, therefore, appear to have been Soshans. A complete translation of the Pahlavi version of Vend. IX, 1-145 and the commentaries relating to the Barashnom ceremony, which are frequently alluded to in these epistles, will be found in Appendix IV.
2. Perhaps 'impotent,' as the Rivayats (M10, fol. 103 a) provide that a purifier shall be neither aged nor youthful, not less than thirty years of age.
3. See note 1, above; from this it appears that Afarg was the earlier commentator.
4. See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, but the earlier part of the section refers to statements no longer extant.
3. That evidence, too, which many high priests, and especially one teaching, are alike diffusing, is stated also in the teaching of Medyok-mah, that when he who is washing5 understands the profession, then one purifier is plenty for him. 4. When it is abundantly declared, in particular by two teachers, that when there is one he is suitable, it is then not to be rendered quite inoperative through the solitary statement of Afarg; for Afarg only said, as it appeared so to him himself, that 'two purifiers are requisites.'6 5. The customs of another high-priest are not declared to exist with like evidence; and this is set aside (spêjîdo) even by him himself, that another custom is not suitable to exist, because his own view is mentioned as it appeared to him.

5. That is, the person undergoing the purification.
6. See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, Ep. II, ii, 7.
6. Those of the Primitive faith have been fully7 of the custom that other one selected, as to this, where it is the performance of Vikaya ('exorcism');8 because its explanation is this, that an [303] opinion upon which the Priests (magavôgâno) are without dispute is that which he says is the custom of a priest, and the business of the two priests, of whose other custom he speaks as much, is a performance by those two witnesses indicating the same as the priest.

7. J inserts 'of the same opinion.'
8. That is, they have considered one purifier sufficient to reciting the passages from the Avesta (see Vend. VIII, 49-62, IX, 118) which are supposed to drive away the fiend (comp. Ep. II, ii, 7).
7. This too is evident, that by confession of Afarg, when there is only one purifier, he is to be considered as being suitable;9 and an attainment to more evidence is that which is written by you, that Medyok-mah has said that every customary part (pîsako) is to be washed three times,10 and now the purifier do it once. 8. That teaching remains in the same manner as written by him, but the three-fold washing of Medyok-mah is not a washing to be striven for, but one to be well considered, of which he spoke; and this, too, is not said by him, that when one shall not wash three times it is not proper.11 9. Afarg said that when one shall12 wash once it is proper, and about this once the opinion of Medyok-Mah is the after statement, and the opinion of Afar is the prior statement; and since in the life of man the first thing to be considered is about purity, not the indispensibility of washing, and, further, the [304] pollution diminishes, about which it speaks in the religious cleansing, during so many times washing as is declared, then the consideration of it is a consideration about the one time which is the first computation.13 10. That which mentions more than once washing is a contradiction of the prior deponent, not a declaration; and the consideration of that operation, so long as it is declared, is about the statement of him who has mentioned once washing with the opinion of a prior deponent,14 owing to the same reasons. 11. But if it be even that much washing which is the merit of the operation, then the statement of Afarg about these times15 is manifestly very preservative, and that of Medyok-mah is a necessity for declaration.

9. See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b.
10. See Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, j, where, however the statements as to three times washing is attributed to Afarg, who is the prior authority quoted (as mentioned in § 9), and that as to once washing is attributed to Medyok-mah, who is the after authority.
11. Reading lâ khalelûnêdo-ae lâ shâyedo instead of lâ khalelûnêdo a-lâ shâyedo.
12. Reading instead of va a. This statement is attributed to Medyok-mah in Pahl. Vend. (see note 10, above).
13. In Vend. IX, 48-117 the washings of the several parts of the body are mentioned only once, which is 'the first computation' here mentioned.
14. Reading pêsmâl, as equivalent to the pêshmâl or pêshîmal previously used; but the word can also be read pasîmal, 'after deponent,' which would be inconsistent with the context. The two terms are very liable to be confounded in writing Pahlavi, and in Ep. II, ii, 6 they are again written alike, though put in opposition to each other. The 'prior deponent' is Afarg.
15. That is, 'about this one time,' as J has it.


1. And as to that which is written,1 that 'in the teaching of Afarg it is thus declared, that "for every single person, at least,2 one cup of water and [305] one cup of bull's urine, which are well alike .(vêh-mâl),3 are requisite;" and in the same manner it is said in the teaching of Medyok-mah, that "the water and bull's urine, when it is possible, are all to be thoroughly consecrated; when not — and, at the lowest, one cup of water and one cup of bull's urine, which are well alike, for every single person — they are to be set down in that place, and are afterwards to be mingled together."4 2. And since two teachings have so stated, are we to perform the operation more preservatively5 and according to a more correct opinion than this?'

1. In the epistle to which he is replying.
2. The words pavan kâmîstîh, both here and in §§ 5, 6, would be better translated 'as a desideratum, or desired quantity;' but in Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, c the phrase is pavan kamistîh, which can mean only 'at the minimum, or least.'
3. In Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, c, where this statement occurs, the first letter of this word is omitted, which converts it into shumâr, 'alike.' Either word maybe correct, but vêh-mâl occurs twice in this section.
4. This statement of Medyok-mah seems no longer extant in the Pahlavi Vendidad.
5. That is, in a way more delivering from pollution and sin.
3. Also, 'a correct apportionment is not understood by us, and clear reasons have not come to our knowledge that a less measure of the thing is proper.' 4. But I well imagine (hû-minam) this is not the operation of the purifying cup (tâshtîko), where a less thing is not proper, because the information with which they have existed — owing to that information of theirs, of which a former high-priest and deliberator was the communicator — is that which was heard by me, that there are some who, for the sake of diminishing the measure of water and bull's urine, speak of this apportionment thus: 'Vicithrecid,6 in everything the operation [306] which accomplishes this, that is, when there is as much as is discernible from his body,7 is proper.' 5. And the saying is not perceived by me as a correct apportioning, because the judgment of the greatly-learned leader of those of the good religion, the glorified Yudan-Yim,8 and of other deliberators, the opinion of good thinkers, was thus, that that saying is spoken about that of which the measure is not declared as the least by the high-priests' teaching of revelation. 6. Finally, when it is really of the same origin and suitable, then less than the least of that, of which the measure is declared as the least, is not proper, if, owing to much evidence in the teaching which has mentioned it as suitable, it be more of a blessing, and the operation performed thereby be more legitimate; because that teaching is for confessing that the statements of high-priests are most evidence of the practice.

6. This word, which probably means 'in whatever is varied,' was evidently the beginning of an Avesta phrase whose Pahlavi translation concludes the sentence. The phrase does not appear to be extant elsewhere.
7. That is, just sufficient to wet the body.
8. His father (see Chap. III, 10).
7. This is that which is equally perpetual: it is very important for the purifiers to keep the intellect of life in operation, and for the good to become mentally a powerful giver of aid to them; and now, too, a purifier is ordered to keep in use his own most universal equal measure. 8. That which is perceived by me, and has come to my knowledge, more particularly when washed by myself, is the keeping in use an equal measure.9 9. And even if there be a purifier who does not completely keep in use the [307] consecrated water and bull's urine, still then it is not worse than when it does not really arise from the same origin,10 and its religious rite also does not take place.

9. That is, the two liquids should be provided in equal quantities, which differs from the present practice, as stated in the Persian Rivayats; thus, M10, fol. 104 a, mentions 3 1/4 mans of water and 1 1/4 man of bull's urine as suitable quantities to be provided. This section is omitted in J, probably by mistake.
10. Apparently deprecating the use of mingled liquids derived from various sources.
10. Also the words of both the solemnization of the Vendidid and the recitation of the Avesta are likewise to be uttered by him; because11 'Zartosht enquired of Ohrmazd about it thus: "How shall I purify12 where he does not attain unto the Airyema13 — there are some who say where everything is anusô ('discontented')?14 11. How as to the fire, how as to the water, how as to the earth, how as to animals, how as to plants, how as to the righteous man, how as to the righteous woman, how as to the stars, how as to the moon, how as to the sun, how as to the endless light, how as to the independent light,15 how as to all the prosperity, created by [308] Ohrmazd,16 which is a manifestation of righteousness?" 12. And Ohrmazd spoke to him thus: "Thou shalt chant the purification liturgy, O Zartosht! — that is, fully solemnize a Vendidad service — then he becomes purified, etc.," ' as mentioned by me above.17 13. Where they do not make them solemnize a Vendidad so that they keep in operation that which is written of it as a rite, this does not drive pollution from anyone; and then, too, they should abandon the commands of a decree of leaders who are not over them.18

11. The passage quoted here is from Pahl. Vend. XI, 1-5, with a few variations.
12. Pahl. Vend. inserts 'as to the abode.'
13. The Airyema (written Airyêmê in the MSS.) is Yas. 53, which commences with the words 'â airyemâ ishyô,' and is the last of the Gatha spells mentioned, in Vend. X, 22, as having to be recite four times in order to exorcise the fiend. The meaning of the question in the text, therefore, is: how is the purification to be effected when all the spells are not recited?
14. Referring to Vend. IX, 161-163 (see Chap. IV, 3).
15. This clause is omitted in Pahl. Vend., being merely a repetition of the preceding one, the Av. anaghra raochau being first translated by asarag rôshanoih, and then partially transliterated by anagrag rôshano. As sar means 'head, end' in Pahlavi (hardly ever 'beginning'), the only meaning common to the two terms asarag and anagrag seems to be 'without a head or superior, independent,' that, is, in this case, independent of the light of other luminaries. [Compare Vd2.38-40. -JHP]
16. K35 has 'righteousness, created by Ohrmazd,' but this is evidently a mistake, as 'righteousness' does not translate the original Av. vohû.
17. That is, as to the fire, etc. mentioned in § 11.
18. Referring to the heretical decree about which he is writing.
14. Keep the Barashnom ceremony19 in operation, so that the consecrated water and bull's urine are in the proportion which is taught by the high-priests of the religion, unless a scarcity occurs as regards these. 15. Then together with it, also, this is to be observed, that what is mentioned in two teachings is certainly more correct; afterwards, too, where a possibility for it is not obtained by them, there is what is mentioned as suitable by one teaching, and I do not decide that it is not an expediency.

19. See App. IV.
16. And as to that, also, which is written concerning the three hundred pebbles20 that, sprinkled [309] in ceremonial ablution (pâdyâvo [padyab]), are cast into (val) the bull's urine and water, that is taught even in the same manner; the inward prayer (vâjo),21 even for when one does not cast them, is in the existing teaching, which is proper. 17. Then, too, on account of the cheapness22 and harmlessness of the pebbles the purifiers are less curtailing as to them, and to drink the thing so is well-curative in performance. 18. In the existing teaching of imperfect purifiers it should be very advantageous to maintain it as easy; moreover, it is not said of it that it is not suitable and in the teaching of Afarg it is said that it is proper.

20. See also Ep. II, iii, 12. The word generally used in these epistles is sang, 'stone,' but Chap. IX, 6 has sagicako, and Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, c mentions sagcak, 'a pebble,' as being cast into (dên) the consecrated water and bull's urine, without specifying any number. The practice appears not to be mentioned in the Persian Rivayats, and seems now obsolete; the addition of a small quantity of the ashes of the sacred fire to the bull's urine, which is tasted at the beginning of the rite, is, however, mentioned in the Rivayats.
21. See Dd. LXXIX, 2. The prayer or grace has to be taken inwardly, that is, murmured, before the drinking mentioned in § 17. According to this text provision seems to have been made for not using the pebbles, by means of a special prayer.
22. Or 'value,' as arjânih means both.


1. As to that which is written,1 that it is declared in the Sagadum Nask,2 that the consecrated bull's [310] urine, when it becomes fetid, is to be stirred up (barâ agârdoinishno), and they should not carry it forth so to the fire, so that the stench extends to the fire; because, if that stench extends to the fire, on account of the moisture and through carrying bodily refuse (higar)3 on and forth to the fire, it overwhelms it; that is taught in like manner lest, and owing to what is said; it then seemed to one that the bodily refuse and pollution of fetid bull's urine is on account of the stench. 2. But it is proper to observe it more fully mindfully, perfectly completely, and with better understanding, because that which is said by it, that the carrying of bodily refuse forth to the fire overwhelms it, is not on account of the pollution of the bull's urine, but the proportion of the sin through this; so that it becomes the origin of as much sin for him as that pollution of the bull's urine; but the stench, on account of moisture, is like him even who shall bring clear and purified water into the fire, and thereby becomes sinful.4

1. In the epistle to which he is replying.
2. This was the eighteenth of the lost books of the Mazda-worshippers (see Sls. X, 25, note). It was one of the seven law books, and treated of many legal matters. Among the contents of its first thirty sections the following items are mentioned by the Denkard, and one of these passages probably contained the statement quoted in our text:- 'On carrying forth the holy-water and also the pot (digo-ch) to the fire, that is, with purified and thoroughly-washed hands; and the sin of carrying them forth with unpurified and imperfectly-washed hands. On preserving the pot and the other things, whose use is with the fire, from defilement with bodily refuse; when, through want of care, defilement occurs, and any one shall carry it unawares to the fire, he who is careless overwhelms it thereby.... On lawfully warming the bull's urine on the fire, and the sin when it is not done lawfully.'
3. See Dd. XL VIII, 19, note.
4. The argument is that the urine being a consecrated liquid, its corruption is not contaminating (provided it be not occasioned by foreign matter, as alluded to in § 7); but if the stench be sufficient to extinguish or injure the fire, it is as sinful to expose the fire to its influence as it would be to injure the fire with holy-water.
[311] 3. This, too, is a saying, that the proportion of the sin is mentioned not on account of the pollution of the bull's urine; it is said to be a counterpart even of that which is declared of the care of the flesh of the ass and pig, so that when they shall now carry unto the fire more than the proportion which is ordered, it overwhelms it through carrying bodily refuse forth to the fire, and even then that flesh, investigated as to purity, is mentioned as a supply for the season-festival.5

5. So the damage to the fire is not occasioned by any impurity of the flesh of the ass or pig (which could be used for a sacred feast), but by the excessive quantity brought to it. The pig was formerly domesticated by the Parsis (see Sls. 2.58), but they have long since adopted the prejudices of the Hindus and Muhammadans as regards its uncleanness.
4. The fetid bull's urine is itself likewise prepared, so that on this account it is ordered that it is to be stirred up, that so long as it is stirred up they may thereupon order the use of it; if then it is to be rendered quite useless, there is afterwards no necessity for stirring it. 5. The stirring is declared a purification as regards polluted things, where bodily refuse is only such that it is not endless, and so pure that it purifies even that of another.

6. When if is written of it itself, that it is thus declared in the Sagadum Nask, that consecrated bull's urine which is fetid is to be stirred up for the fire, it is afterwards declared that it is not speaking only of the bull's urine which is provided those three days;6 but that, too, which is old and consecrated, [312] become fetid and is stirred again, when they keep it in use, is proper. 7. And that which the Sagadum has declared is, specially, that one of the high-priests has individually said: 'That stench is mentioned with reference to the occasion when a stench reaches it of a different kind from that which exists naturally in it.'

6. Referring probably to the times of the three washings, subsequent the chief ceremony, which take place after the third, sixth, and nights, respectively, (see Vend. IX, 136, 140, 144.)


1. And as to that which is written,1 that 'the teachings of Medyok-mah, Afarg, and Soshans2 have all three come and remained, and, on that account, whoever has washed just as they always wash therein is certain that he is worthy.' 2. Also, 'should it have been as it were proper to them, would Medyok-mah have said that "not even the purifier is single?" ' 3. And the rest as written on that subject, which, on account of its acute observation, has seemed to be from their statements; they, however, have not decided it so by the teaching which is in their names, as was indicated by me before.3

1. In the epistle to which he is replying.
2. See Chap. V, 1.
3. See Chap. VI, 2-4.
4. But I do not so understand that 'if those should have been all the particulars of the peculiarity of all three teachings, would the teachings of Medyok-mah and Soshans have said, concerning anyone who should have so washed that the purifier was single, that it is suitable, because the high-priests have been thus very unanimous that when [313] there is one he is unsuitable?4 5. And when it should be to them as it were proper that, apart from the hands, the other5 customary parts (pishako) should be washed once by them, would Afarg have said it is proper,6 because washing them three times is not mentioned in the Avesta? 6. And when it would have been as it were proper that the three hundred pebbles (sang) should not be cast into the water and bull's urine, would Afarg's teaching have said that it is proper,7 because there is not a single use for a pebble (sagichako)? 7. And when it would be as it were proper that he who is washed at the ablution seats (mak) at which anyone has been washed during the length of a year, is not injured thereby — only they shall take them away and they are again deposited8 — would Medyok-mah's teaching have said that it is proper, because, when the stones (sago) are again deposited by one, it is to effect the cleansing (vistarishno) of some one, [314] and when a shower of rain occurs thereon so that the whole place shall be thoroughly wetted, inside and outside, it is proper? 8. And if some one says that this is the case of a rite by a teaching of authority, and the rule is by a teaching of private authority, is not the whole rite by any teaching proper, that consists in this washing which is thoroughly preserved as they keep it in practice?'9

4. The writer says he does not understand this argument of his correspondents, because it differs from the view he takes in Chap. VI, 2, but it must be confessed that the meaning of the passage in dispute (Pahl. Vend. IX, L 32, b) is not very clear, as the word ashâyed, 'he is unsuitable,' can also be read ae shâyed, 'he would be suitable,' both there and in our text.
5. K35 has one line blank here, but this was probably owing to the state of the paper, or some inadvertence of the copyist; as it is evident that none of the text is omitted.
6. Compare chap. VI, 9-11.
7. Compare Chap. VII, 16-18.
8. This shows that the places for ablution during the Barashnom ceremony were, a thousand years ago, the same as now, namely stones deposited on the ground, not holes dug in the ground, as directed in Vend. IX, 13, 14, 16. They are, in fact, the stones or hard material directed to be deposited at the holes in end. IX, 29, 30, but they go by the old name for the holes (magh).
9. This string of arguments appears to be quoted from the epistle to which the writer is replying, but as they are separated from their context it is difficult to understand the exact line of argument, or to be sure that they are translated correctly.
9. The reply is even this, that every rite (nirôang) is to be performed in such manner as that which is said to be most preservative, and most connected with the declaration of revelation and the testimony of the high-priests concerning it. 10. And not for the reason that Medyok-mah's teaching is more preservative10 as to one rite, and after that something of Afarg is more preservative, is the operation to be performed by the statement of Medyok-mah; but whatever is the more preservative of Medyok-mah's is collected from Medyok-mah, all the more preservative of Afarg from Afarg, and that which is the more preservative of any other high-priest from that which has the most preservative approval of the high-priest. 11. That which those high-priests have said, which they decide by just authority, is the commandment of the learned of the realm, which has lawfully arisen over the provinces (shôhârâno); but even that statement opposing it which is much testified and manifestly more of a deliverance, or which is declared as an exposition [315] of the teaching of high-priests of the religion in a dissimilar case, they shall then11 wholly accept, and they are to perform the operation authorisedly and preservatively thereby.

10. From pollution or sin.
11. That is, when the dissimilar case arises, or when it is manifestly more efficient.
12. This, too, I so consider, that even if each separate teaching should be as it were proper, it would then not be determined by them as to the impropriety of the purifying cup, for Medyok-mah has stated, only as it was apparent to him, that every single customary part is to be washed for three times,12 and has not specifically determined that when all shall be so once it is not proper. 13. By the special teaching of Medyok-mah and the washing which is in the law that says — concerning those interpreting revelation — that whoever becomes quite polluted shall thoroughly wash by that law, so that his being washed is to be considered as being washed, it (the rite) is not performed by me if, also, that other high-priest has said, that every one who becomes quite polluted, and washes not by the law of the primitive faith, is not to be considered as washed. 14. Then, too, in the special teaching of Medyok-mah it is not said, of that washing which is washed by the law of those of a portion of the religion (pârak-dinôân), that it is not proper.

12. See Chap. VI, 7.
15. He who washes by the law of those of the primitive faith, which many high-priests maintain as excellent, because it is suitable, and imagines that regarding the threefold washing it should be said that it is not proper, even he — when he also [316] has become of the same opinion as to this, that the statements of the high-priests are on an equality, and the most evidence of the high-priests is the right course — would have attained to confidence about this, that in a doubtful matter there should be a high-priest13, and also that of which Afarg and Soshans have alike understood a similar thing is proper.

13. To consult about the matters in doubt.


1. And as to the many other matters to which an explicit reply is not written by me — be it the determinableness of it, be it the flow of inward prayer,1 be it the pouring of the water, and likewise the rest which is written to me — the statements, when deliberation and conjecture about such arrangements become needful, are not to be made unto the multitude, but unto the priestly at once.2 2. And this much, also, which is written by me is on this account,3 that when a writing has come to you which is the purport of my re-explanation, and it has seemed that it is written after well-weighed (sakhtako) observations,4 even so they would cause some of those of good desires to understand, who are thoughtful friends of the soul and observers of [317] well-weighed ideas, in whose heart and mind, owing to that other writing,5 the existence of doubtfulness may fully remain; and, owing to that, this much re-explanation has, indeed, seemed to me good.

1. Reading vâj-rêjishnoih; but J omits the first letter, and thereby converts the word into apardazhishnih, 'want of leisure.'
2. J has merely 'the statements are when deliberation and conjecture become at once needful.'
3. Reading hanârâi, as in J; the other MSS. have hanâ lâ.
4. Or, perhaps, 'strict observations' here, and 'strict observers' further on.
5. To which he is replying.
3. And then the desire6 to sprinkle7 in many modes is also an incorrect presentation,8 on which same subject there is this in consideration, that afterwards, peradventure, the same priestly man,9 by whom it is written may come — whose assured wisdom10 may the angels make steadfast! and whom my approaching causing a purifier to travel for various quarters has occasioned to write it — so that while they are, therefore, awed by him, and shall provide more completely for use the full measure of water and bull's urine, the complete words of the Avesta, and other proper rites, they shall proceed more approvably. 4. And if it be even not auxiliary for the same purpose (âhano) that it was written by him &mdashl except, indeed, through consideration of its details — no reason for a writing of that kind is to be assigned.

6. Reading adin gâm, but this is doubtful.
7. The Huz. verb zerikûntano, 'to sprinkle,' is not found in the glossaries, but is readily traceable to Chald. ZRQ.
8. Reading arashniko-cho-dahishnih.
9. Meaning his brother, Zadspram.
10. The usual Pahlavi phrase for the Av. âsnô khratush or instinctive wisdom (see Dd. XL, 3).
5. But if for the reason it was written by him it be manifest as an existence which is very little threatening, then I consider his opinion, which is in his decree, not so perplexing; and, till11 now, the perplexing consideration was more particularly as [318] to that, when, owing to the great learning thereof to be seen by me, this was, not doubtful, that as to the great opinion of the world about the existing law of the profession of the priesthood, and the practice of all those of the good religion of the realm, they should make a decree only by the deliberation of me and other priestly men and religious observers.12 6. For if even he retorts a further statement13 as to the appointed observance, its origin is then also a propagation from the diverse teachings of those great high-priests of those of the primitive faith, who were they who have been formerly great.

11. Assuming that val stands for val.
12. Implying that the more learning there is manifest in an erroneous teaching, the more necessary it is to submit it to careful examination.
13. Reading frâjo vac pato-yekavimûned, and assuming that the last word stands for pato-isted.
7. On account of the depth and much intricacy of the religion they mention many opinions and well-considered decrees which were likewise formed devoid of uniformity, and the utterance of the different opinions of the priests is with the reciters of the Nasks; but even among themselves the most supremely just high-priests were of a different opinion, different judgment, different teaching, different interpretation, and different practice only in the peace, mutual friendship, and affection which they had together. 8. Just as that even which was prominent about these chief priests (magopatâno, magôpato), whose names were Aturo-Frobag-Vindad and Aturo-bujed; who have been, each separately, the high-priest of the realm, of the true religion and the scholar of the age.

[319] 9. To many, when an opinion is afterwards so obtained, pertaining to the high-priests in the spiritual existence,14 it is as is, said about Zartosht the Spitaman, that 'the first time when the archangels are seen by him, the Spitaman, it is then supposed by him that they are Aindar, Saru, Nakishiyya, Tauirev, and Zairik,15 who are most mighty.'16 10. From such as those the decree and its original perversity (bûn-gâshtikoih) and scanty preservativeness are so written and prepared, and afterwards, also, your opinion is that way irritated by the habit of good thinking — of which there is so much manifest17 from those of the primitive faith and the high-priests — because even its words and those written with it, and the completeness of will and religion which is written, inclined the mind away from the teaching of the high-priests.

11. But as the same decree, or that which is resembling the same decree,18 is appointed (vakhto) [320] and specially decided, and is not to be accepted from him, and the operation is not to be performed thereby, its position is then to be considered, by those steadfast in the practice of the pre-eminent religion, with the most advanced understanding and discernment, which are the thought of its true station in the religion of the Mazda-worshippers. 12. And other religious decrees, intelligently preservative of the soul, which are made known and declared from the teaching of truthful high-priests of the religion of the Mazda-worshippers, are to be suitably accepted and fulfilled. 13. And since this opinion (dâstako) of mine is, moreover, from the writing of Afarg, even about the preservation of different interpretations and different teachings, not specially owing to unobtainable statements of this shattered19 religion of the Mazda-worshippers, nor even to distress through simultaneous strife, but owing to the desire of true opinions which has existed, there is safety abundantly, but temporarily, from the scribbling of the opposing, partial, and injurious writing of that priestly man.20

14. That is, such as have passed away.
15. These are the last five of the arch-demons who are the special opponents of the archangels, being corruptions of the Avesta names Indra, Sauru, Naunghaithya; Tauru, and Zairica. (see Bd. I, 27). The name of the first arch-demon, Akoman, is omitted here, probably by the mistake of some copyist, as six names are wanted to make up the number of the archangels exclusive of Ohrmazd himself.
16. J continues as follows:- ' "of the demons." 10. Written with the wretchedness (vakhârih) and savageness of such as those, the oppressiveness and disaster of a decree of that description, and its original perversity,' etc. (as in the text).
17. In the decree, which was so written as to appear to be directly derived from the teachings of the commentators, but, at the same time, so warped their statements as to lead astray. Hence, it might be compared to the conversion of an archangel into an arch-fiend through a mental hallucination, as mentioned in § 9.
18. J omits these last eight words.
19. Reading hanâ giring, but it can also be read ân adarog, 'that undeceitful.'
20. Zadspram.


1. For completion little is observed by me; and a man of my own, in a position of authority (sông gâh), comes with a second epistle1 for that priestly man, opposing, disputing, showing the harm, making [321] aware of the deliverance,2 and applying for arrangement. 2. And the man who comes as a co-operator is announced by me, and the rite which is accomplished by him is so till further notice, which is for my further epistle;3 because a double elucidation about that which it is necessary to arrange from afar is a custom more suitable for the discreet.

1. Not Ep. II, but one which preceded it (see § 5, note).
2. From pollution, by means of the Barashnom ceremony.
3. Probably referring to Ep. II, till the arrival of which (or that of Ep. III) they were to act as directed by the priest he sends with this epistle.
3. If that same priestly man4 should have been in the vicinity, then interviews with me, with a few words, would have been more preservative than trying to convert that wretchedness (vakhâr) into that which is customary (pishako) even by further writing and much information. 4. And even now my prospect is a well-considering demand for explanation, so that, if the duties which are suitable for the discreet be really disposable for it, it is proper so to arrange what it is possible for the to complete for three months; and I may go myself into the presence of that same priestly man for the arrangement of the indispensable duties, and may diffuse this arrangement properly.5 5. But there are many reasons for private reflection (nâhido) on account of which a descent from position is an evil resource; and this once a temporary epistle is written by me to him, and comes with this epistle.6 6. And Yazdan-pânak7 [322] a man who is instructed,8 shall come to him, who is friendly to custom (âinag-iyâr), and of like rank with his own man who is faithful; and I will write further and more controversially to him, and give the information advisedly with which I shall acquaint him, so that it may be more explanatory to him.

4. His brother Zadspram.
5. This intended visit to Sirkan is also mentioned in Ep. II, v, 5; vi, 4, 6; vii, 3.
6. Being apprehensive that personal interference might lead to altercations derogatory to his dignity, he prefers trying the effect of writing in the first place. The temporary epistle, here referred to, could not nave been Ep. II, as that was written after Ep. III, and was the further epistle promised in § 6.
7. Or, perhaps, Yazdan-pahnak. This was a common Parsi name in former times, as it is found in two of the Pahlavi inscriptions in the Kanheri caves, dated A.D. 1009 (see Indian Antiquary, vol. ix, pp. 266, 267), and the very similar name, Yazd-panâh occurs as the name of a Parsi convert to Christianity who was put to death about A. D. 541 (see Georg Hoffmann's Auszüge aus syrischen Akten persischer Mârtyrer, Leipzig, 1880, p. 87).
8. Assuming that dinhârdo stands for zinhârido.
7. But if through this which is written by me, or through myself,9 he should come immediately (di-jandyish) unto Pars, I shall then be seeking an opportunity even for the retirement of him himself; I do not abominate it (madam lâ manshôm) when it is necessary for them and private, as is better.

9. If I should come personally.
8. As to these other diffusions of arrangements which are pre-eminently the resources of that priestly man, and the acquaintance with revelation which is sought by him, for the sake of the advantage of the religion they should not be molested before.10

10. Referring probably to further matters of complaint, which he did not think it advisable to notice seriously until the present controversy was settled.
9. May the arrangement and restoration and benediction of the revelation (dinô) of the Mazda-worshipping religion reach a climax! and may the [323] eminence of you listeners11 to the primeval religion consist in long-continued, supreme prosperity, through all happiness! then, through such thoughtful friends, the acquaintance with its difficult teaching and mighty words, which is to increase that gratitude of yours to me for my decisions, is made a blessing to you, if you observe therein a good idea which seems to you important, when it reaches your sight.

11. Reading nyôkhshidârâno, as in J, instead of avakhshidârâno.
10. The correct writer and scribe is ordered that he do not alter any of12 the words (mârik), while he writes a fair copy of this epistle of mine, which is written by me to you, and he orders some one to give it to that same man, Yazdan-pânak, along with that epistle, so that it may come to him,13 for there are times when I seem aware that it is better so. 11. And may the angels increase and enlarge your many new things with full measure and complete exaltation! the pleasure, peace,14 righteousness, prosperity, commendation, and happiness of the powerful15 who are all-controlling and happy-ending.

12. Reading min, instead of mûn, 'who.'
13. To Zadspram. This copy was that mentioned in Ep. II, vii, 1.
14. Reading shlam, as in J; the other MSS. have shnuman, 'propitiation,' the two words being nearly alike in Pahlavi letters.
15. Reading patûgâno; J has padvandâno, 'connections,' by inserting a stroke.
12. Manuschihar, son of Yudan-Yim, has written it in the day and month of Spendarmad,16 in the [324] enjoyment of righteousness, the glorification of the religion, trustfulness to the angels, and gratitude unto the creator Ohrmazd, the archangels, and all the angels of the spiritual and the angels of the worldly existences. 13. Praise to the month (mâh) of like kind which is exalted in its name with this.

16. The fifth day of the twelfth month of the Parsi year; and, as Ep. III (which was evidently written after further consideration) is dated in the third month of A. Y. 250; this must have been written in A. Y. 249. The date of this epistle, therefore corresponds to the 15th March, 881.




Copy of an epistle of the priest Manuschihar, son of Yudan-Yim, which was prepared by him for the priest, his brother, Zadspram.1

1. See the heading to Ep. I.


1. In the name of the sacred beings who shall keep exalted the preeminent success of your priestly lordship! Accomplishing your wishes in both worlds, I am longing for the children — formerly promoting health of body — and for activity, and fully desirous, and in every mode a thanksgiver unto the sacred beings, for the well-abiding eyesight, peace, and understanding of your priestly lordship.

2. The epistle that came from you in the month Aban,2 which Nivshahpuhar3 was ordered to write, [326] and .... by me from4 and ...., would have been quite desirable to increase my gratitude unto the sacred beings for the health and salutation of your priestly lordship, though it had been merely to write intelligence of your own condition; for your writing of the epistle is not such as that of the distant who write in duplicate, but like that of neighbours who think that everything new should always be really mutual information. 3. As to that, too, which you ordered to write about omens and such occurrences — for which my form of words is not as is twice specified within the epistle, and from henceforth one should order to write intelligence more clearly — moreover, on account of want of leisure on many subjects, my heart is not disengaged even for the understanding of omens.

2. The eighth month of the Parsi year; which must have been A. Y. 249 (see Ep. I, xi, 12, note). This month corresponded to the interval between the 11th November and the 10th December, 880; but it is evident from Chaps. VII, 2, VIII, 1 that this reply was written about the same time as Ep. III, that is, in the interval between the 14th June and 13th July, 881.
3. This appears to have been them original form of the name Nikhshapuhar or Nishahpuhar, applied both to a man (see Ep. I, iv, 15, 17) and to a city in Khurasan, and in this place it is not quite certain whether a man or a city is alluded to. The text, as it stands in the MSS., is as follows:- 'Nâmako zitano dên bidanâ Âvâno mûn Nivshahpûhar nipishtano farmûdo va mado.' This can be translated as in our text, if the word va be omitted; but, if this word be retained and mûn be changed into min, the translation would be as follows:- 'The epistle which someone was ordered by you to write in the month Avan from Nivshahpuhar, and which came.' Now it is evident from Ep. I that Zadspram must have been in Sirkan for some time previous to the date of that epistle, 15th March 881, and, therefore, probably in the previous November; but, at the same time, it must be noticed that there are allusions in this second epistle (see Chaps. I, 1, V, 3) to his having been formerly at Sarakhs and among the Tughazghuz, that is, in the extreme east of Khurasan; it is, therefore, just possible that he may have been at Nivshahpuhar, on his way to Sirkan the south, in November.
4. J and BK attempt to fill up the blank with the words kêshvar arj, 'the value of the realm;' but the original text probably stood thus:- 'and was received by me from so and so,' the names having been torn off in some intermediate MS.
4. I apprize you, priestly lordship that in this [327] interval (tâhiko)5 a written statement has come unto me that the good people of Sirkan are, indeed, so enveloped by you in distress, despondency, and trouble that its counterpart was when there was a liberation of our glorified fathers from the state of material existence. 5. For such as the insufficiency of the whole life of such was then to me, so even is the wounding and damage which comes now to my understanding and intellect. 6. The whole life of such is on the confines of the pure existence, a contest with the complete incorrectness that remains contaminating the liturgy by which the greatest intelligence of the religion of the Mazda-worshippers is aided; a little also, finally, of sagacity and observance of the apportionment of the more grievous impostures and more frightful delusions.

5. Since he heard from his correspondent. The word cannot be tishgako, 'nine days,' as that would not tally with the dates of Eps. I and III.
7. And, first of all, as to when your completely vile idea first destroyed your own enlightenment, and quite subdued your seconding of me, is inopportune (avidanâ) for me; and that ordinance,6 which though it be also right, is then even grandeur, because it is a law of the realm and an opinion of the world. 8. When even in the mansion of various thoughts, the residence of the assembly of Pars, and many other conventions to deliberate, and the united opinions of a thousand priestly men (magavôg) of the good religion thereon, it could remain unaltered, then, also, the various good thoughts and opposing considerations that, along with me, the [328] minds of other heads of the religion have promoted, and shaped or altered decisions thereon, and settled and issued orders thereon; could not have seen a grievance (sej) therein. 9. And this, too, should be observed among your requirements,7 that when the fattiness8 of the body is in wrinkles (cin), so that four perfect ones of the period are provided; even then the opinion of a high-priest of the religion is greater than every opinion, out the law of the realm of various kinds9 is only through the deliberation of the same perfect ones; to make him decide then is not proper.10

6. Referring probably to the Barashnom ceremony which Zadspram wished to dispense with in many cases.
7. J omits this phrase.
8. Reading mêshakh or miskhâ; but it may be masagih, 'squeezing.'
9. J has merely the words, 'even then the opinion of the high-priest for the realm,' which gives a reverse meaning to the text.
10. It appears from this, that when a supreme high-priest became very old, his worldly duties were put in commission, by being intrusted to a committee of four of the most learned priests; but the opinion of the superannuated high-priest was still supreme in spiritual matters, though not to be trusted in worldly affairs.
10. And it would be desirable for you to take account of that which is said thus: 'Thou shouldst not practise that, O Zartosht! when thou and three or four companions, in the village of a thanksgiver of the assembly, shall say this: "Such is an evil notion." ' 11. These words of his are then not taken into account by you; and it is firmly and with acute observation determined by you, arid thought preservative for yourself; that even the sin be not privately (andarg) declared by me unto the assembly which has deliberated at Shiraz.11 12. You order this, and [329] it is known that if it were a statement of yours in the assembly of the Tughazghuz,12 you would have been still less a speaker in private.

11. Whither Manuschihar had specially gone to hold this assembly before writing Ep. I (see Ep. I, iii, 13).
12. The MSS. have Tughzghuz in Pazand. Mas'audi states (A.D. 943) that the Taghazghaz were a powerful Turkish tribe who dwelt between Khurasan and China, in and around the town of Kushan, and not very far from the supposed sources of the Ganges. They had become Manicheans, having been converted from idolatry to the heretical form of Mazda-worship taught by Mazdak (see Mas'audi, ed. Barbier de Meynard, vol. i, pp. 2-14, 288, 299, quoted at length in a note to. Sls. VI, 7). It would seem from the allusion in our text that Zadspram had recently been among these Taghazghaz, and might have imbibed some of their heretical opinions, so as to lead to this controversy with his brother and the orthodox people of Sirkan. That he had recently been in the extreme north-east of Khurasan is further shown by the allusion to Sarakhs in chap. V, 3.
13. I consider that you are as much under-hand (air) about this, as regards yourself, as Zaratust13 the club-footed (apafrôbd) when he arranged his garments (vakhshakihâ), and his club-foot is itself overspread thereby even to himself, so that he was then approved as good14 by some of those of Kirman15 when they heard of it, and those of Rai16 (Râzhikâno) wrote a reply that, if he should be appointed by you also at a distance) he would then be approved by them likewise as good. 14. This idea of yours is more heinous than that act of his, the reply from various sides is more mischievous, the disgrace among the people is more unslumberable, the load upon the soul is more consumingly heavy, and the [330] severance from, and contest with, Ohrmazd and Zartosht become more incalculably perplexing. 15. And this, too, is my summing up (khapir)17 — when your own acquaintance with the religion and salvation of soul are in such force — by the parable (ânguni-aitako) of that physician of the body who, when they asked about destroying the toothache, thereupon gave his reply thus: 'Dig it out,' and they rejoined thus: 'He is always wanted as our physician, so that he may cure even a tooth which is diseased;' I would extract its teeth18 more plentifully and with more suspicion than he.

13. Evidently some recent pretender to the supreme high-priesthood, who had endeavoured to conceal the deformity that disqualified him for that office.
14. That is, fit for the dignity he aspired to.
15. Here written Gîrmân (see Dd. XCIV, 13).
16. Near Teheran.
17. J converts the phrase into ‘very heinous to me,' by reading avir and adding girân.
18. That is, he would drive the morbid ideas from his brother's mind.
16. And if, also, those of the good religion in the country of Iran be, therefore, always in want of the learning and acquaintance with religion of his priestly lordship, so that he disperses the profession and the preparation and management of the remedy19 of many diseases, then he throws it away as a profession, and there is not much of a necessity for the wisdom and learning of his priestly lordship. 17. For there are some of the present time would never vouchsafe approval of a presiding fire,20 which is in many modes an advance of foreign habits; and of many things which are in writing, of a nature easier and more comfortable in a worldly sense, they offer and [331] always give more than he who is a priest; and, at last, no one ever accepts any except him who is astute in evil and wicked.21

19. Meaning the practice of the Barashnom ceremony, for which the priests were specially required.
20. Probably because they saw no necessity for the presence of the fire at the sacred ceremonies. He is warning his brother that his heretical teachings would soon make the people imagine that they could dispense with the priesthood altogether.
21. That is, some priest who teaches such heresies, These terms are those applied to the demons themselves in Pahl. Vend. XIX, 140, 141, 147.


1. I have also examined that writing1 in detail, and it is very unprepared for the remarks of the learned and those acquainted with the religion, for the sentences concocted have to be divided, and the slender demonstration is disconnected (aparvan-dido); so I consider that it is not sent to be seen, as regards which such a course would, indeed, be a cause of terror to purifiers. 2. It is so written that, while on account of that same terror they are very much alarmed, and are thorough in maintaining the duty of the continuance of care for water and bull's urine,2 and of the formula of the operation, they shall more fully perform it as a duty provided for high-priests; even from that I am more fully of opinion that your like judgment and own concession have produced this explanation.

1. The decree of Zadspram, a copy of which had been sent to him by the people of Sirkan (see Ep. I, iv, 7).
2. The two liquids used in the purifying ceremony of the Barashnom (see App. IV).
3. When I saw in the decree, such as that which you have written, that each time one comes unto a purifier who washes in such manner as is declared [332] in revelation — which is evident, indeed, from his existence when he is a religious purifier, and also from your priestly lordship's knowledge of the rite; indeed, there is no use of that same decree unless the scripture of revelation, likewise, be so — he is to do it with very strict observation, now, since, owing to the reception of terror by the purifiers, that preparation is evidently to produce, as regards their own disposition and movements, much harm and irregularity, and perplexed thoughts among the people, the discredit of the decreer is generated therefrom, and it would have been more reasonable to consider the terror and doubt of the purifiers in another way.

4. That which is so, explained by you as though it would remain accomplished and would be in notice — and this is written by you like as it were from a teaching of some description — is not proper; because, thus, every rite in the performance of the desired operation, even by one single teaching, is suitable, which, like the preparation for the statements of lying litigants, is very like, but not correct.

5. For when there are some who have furthered Medyok-mah better than the teaching of Afarg,3 it is well when every single rite in the teaching is right; and as to his rite it is not very clear that deliverance4 is promoted by maintaining it. 6. Even on that occasion when Medyok-mah has mentioned threefold washing, and Afarg, once washing,5 Medyok-mah is the after deponent and Afarg the prior [333] deponent;6 and, on that account, the statement is to be made as long as Medyok-mah is preserved, but as regards the opinion of the words of Afarg it is to be maintained in a state of preservation.

3. See Ep. I, v, 1.
4. From pollution.
5. In Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, j (see App. IV), where the threefold washing is connected with the name of Afarg, and the once washing with that of Medyok-mah; but Ep. I, vi, 7-9 agrees with the statement here.
6. The words pasimal, 'after deponent,' and pêsmâl, 'prior deponent,' are here written alike (see Ep. I, vi, 10, note).
7. As to that which Afarg has said,7 that 'two purifiers are requisite;' Medyok-mah has also said that one is plenty; and, since the teaching of Soshans8 is similar evidence to his, as to that which is said by him, they have thus peen more unanimous that when there is one it would be proper; and as several high-priests have announced just the same evidence, and Afarg himself and other priests have been of the same opinion where it is the performance of the beginning of the Vikaya ('exorcism'),9 Medyok-mah is preserved. 8. Not on this account, that Afarg is more preservative10 through once washing, is the operation to be performed according to the teaching of Afarg, but the once washing from Afarg who is the prior deponent, and the one purifier from Medyok-mah who is the most corroborated are to be accepted and to be conducted.

7. In Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b (see App. IV and compare Ep. I, vi, 1-4).
8. See Ep. I, v, 1.
9. See Ep. I, vi, 6.
10. From pollution (see § 6).
9. And even the computers of the stars would make the position of the stars which exists when that of the sun and moon is from the direction (min zik) of Satvâharân,11 that of Saturn from the direction [334] of Avênak, and that of Mars from the direction of Padramgôsh, a position which sends much good, and is said to be capable of undoubtedly (anârangak) bringing on maturity of strength. 10. That this is to be seen as an occurrence (jasto) is a conjunction (nazdako) which is not possible,12 because, if the conjunction of Shatvâharân be exact, yet, since Saturn and Mars are not at their conjunctions (min nazdak), its effect is not a good configuration (khûp tanû); if the conjunction of Avênak be exact, yet, since the sun, moon,13 and Mars are not at their conjunctions, its effect is not good; and if the conjunction of Padramgôsh be exact, yet, since the sun, moon, and Saturn, are not14 at their conjunctions, the effect is [335] not good; on account of15 which, in any conjunction which is not exact, they believe it possible for a firm mind also to accomplish this auspicious labour (sukh-varzhishno), but they say the just and wise should make the decision.16 11. So that this one is a very good position, because that which is truly issuing (râst-taj) through the conjunction of Shatvâharân is from that mighty Shatvâharân,17 and that of Shatvâharân being better through the conjunction of Padramgôsh, that is done.18

11. The high-priest of the Parsis in Bombay is of opinion that the names of the three 'directions' mentioned in this section are the Pahlavi forms of the names of three of the lunar mansions, whose Pazand appellations are given in Bd. II, 3; and he identifies Shatvaharan with Kahtsar, Avenak with Avdem, and Padramgosh with Padevar. The reading of all these names is, however, very uncertain. Shatvaharan is written Shataharan three times out of the five occurrences of the name, and the first syllable might easily be read Gaht=Kaht, so as to correspond with the Pazand; on the other hand, the reading Shat corresponds with Shata-bhishaj or Shata-târakâ, the Sanskrit name of the 25th lunar mansion, Kahtsar. As Paz. Avdem seems to be merely Pahl. afdûm, 'last,' I prefer identifying Avênak (which can also be read Avêrak) with the ninth lunar mansion, Avra (Avrak in Bd. VII, 1, Awrak in Zs. VI, 1), the Sans. Âshleshâ. Padramgôsh is also written Padramgôs twice out of the three occurrences of the name; its identification with Padêvar makes it the first lunar mansion, the Sans. Ashvinî. The aspect of the heavens, therefore, which is here mentioned as very auspicious, has the sun and new moon in the latter part of Aquarius, Saturn in the first part of Aries, and Mars in the latter part of Cancer, that is, twice as far from Saturn as the latter is from the sun and moon.
12. That is, it very rarely happens; as rarely as the exact agreement of three different commentators, whom these three conjunctions are intended to represent.
13. Reading mitrô mâh, instead of Medyok-mah.
14. The MSS. omit , 'not,' by mistake.
15. Reading râî, as in J, instead of the , 'not,' of K35 and BK.
16. That is, the circumstances are too unpropitious for anyone to come to a decision without consulting those who are better qualified to judge, as is also the case when commentators disagree.
17. Reading min zak rabâ Shatvâharân, but this is doubtful, because K35 has min rabâ âharân with zak Shat written above min rabâ; BK has min zak Shato (or dâdo) rabâ âharân (or khârân), which is merely reading the same characters in a different order; while J omits most of the doubtful phrase, having merely min zak-i, which, with the alteration of râst-taj into râsttar, changes the meaning into the following:- 'because that which is through the conjunction of Shatvâharân is more correct than that of Shatvâharân, and that which is through the conjunction of Padramgosh, that is done.'
18. Or 'that remains the effect.'
12. You should understand that of the same kind is the similitude of the three teachings, of which you have written, with this similitude which I have portrayed19 and ordered to form and scheme, so that you may look at it more clearly, from a proper regard for your own deliverance,20 for the sharp [336] intellectuality of the re-explainers of what is not well-considered in connection with its purpose (âhanko), and for the accumulation of opinions that is steadfast in the law of the ancients and orders you to heed it. 13. For, owing to the miraculousness and pre-eminence of that,21 he who thinks to restore the good ideas of the ancients does not himself understand the knowledge in that wisdom of the ancients, and does not keep his own presumption (minih) lowly and teachable; much, too, which is through his own learning is declared to be out of it (the law), and how he orders us to understand it is by his own opinion.22

19. Reading nîshâninido; K35 and BK omit the first letter so as to convert the word into dihâninido, which might mean 'presented.'
20. From pollution. There is some temptation to use the word 'salvation' for bûjishn but this would introduce ideas that were, no doubt, foreign to the author's mind. 21. The ancient law, as contained in the difficult language of the Avesta.
22. That is, commentators are apt to attribute to the scriptures many opinions which really originate in themselves.


1. It is disquieting about this, too, which is declared in your writings,1 as regards your vehement desire and embarrassment (rûzdih) for a new law, and your wish and longing for the establishment of the law of the apostles;2 as also that which you have done about the gathering of the details of statements from the three teachings,3 and about [337] causing the rapid bringing of the new law. 2. And on account of your embarrassment and wrong-doing (vadag) they would give up the Frasnâteê ('washing upwards')4 and Upasnâteê ('washing downwards'), to bring the fifteen times which are without ordinance (barâ âinako), that are after it,5 back to the fifteen which are a portion of the ordinance (âinako vâi).

1. The decree mentioned in Chap. II, 1.
2. That is, the new law which the future apostles, Ushedar, Ushedarmah, and Soshyant (see Dd. II, 10) are expected to bring, so as to restore the religion in preparation for the resurrection.
3. Those of Medyok-mah, Afarg, and Soshans {see Ep. I, v, 1, 6).
4. These terms are quoted from Vend. VIII, 276, 279 (see App. V), and are thus explained in Pahlavi in chap. IV, 2.
5. Referring, apparently, to the second mention of the fifteen washings, in Pahl. Vend. II, 281, which does not occur in the Avesta text ('the ordinance'), but refers to its previous occurrence in § 279 of the Avesta. But, perhaps, the author means that they would confound the final washing appointed in Vend. VIII, 299 with the preliminary washing appointed in the previous § 279.
3. As to the three times, each of which times one runs a mile (hâsar) even until he obtains a purifier,6 since peradventure thy mile (parasang), too, might become more, all the good work is written purposely (aj-karihâ) of three miles and more.7 4. And that, too, which the high-priests have so appointed, when he has striven in that manner for three persons,8 or that sin and retribution of his is, apportioned unto them and brought to the balance (sanjag-âinido), is because that commission and retribution of sin might now, peradventure, be [338] allotted unto the priest;9 for if he were impure (palishto) there would be no one whatever who would properly perform the purification as it is necessary.

6. See Vend, VIII, 286, 287; 291 (compare App. V and Ep. I, ii, 6, note).
7. After the polluted person has thrice fun a mile, he is to run further (see Vend. VIII, 294) to some inhabited spot; from which directions the author concludes that any excess of distance is immaterial. K35 and BK have 'four miles and more,' but this seems to be a copyist's blunder.
8. To purify him, and, if they refuse, they each take a share of his sin (see Vend. VIII, 280-293).
9. Who is to purify him finally with the Barashnom ceremony.
5. Then it has become indispensable for you to perform the purification, for that operation — so suitable for the discreet where 'he who has been by the dead,'10 so that he has become polluted, and even 'the stars and moon and sun snine upon his life discontentedly' — is just as fit for the exalted when there is great 'propitiation of fire, water, earth, cattle, righteous males, and righteous women' thereby. 6. So great is its value that where there is no purification of the body it is not possible to purify the life and soul; and when there is a man in a realm who is able to perform it, that man is not justifiable except when he shall perform it.

10. Referring to Vend. IX, 161-163, quoted at length in Ep. I, iv, 3.
7. Finally, when that pre-eminent operation is being accomplished, over which there is in revelation and the perfect information due to revelation that supreme11 control which you are so disputing in the religion — which even through your trifling (khûrdako) in the name of authority is becoming a struggle (patkâr-yehevûn) — then, though it may not be possible for you to perform it yourself, it should thereupon be the duty of some one of your disciples to perform it in your sight, so that you may be aware of the rite, even apart from the great resources in that most learned (âztûm) acquaintance [339] with revelation which is associated with you.12 8. Also from that which is repeatedly written by you with understanding of the rite, as regards all three teachings,13 it is manifest those rites are mentioned even as those which are more maintained, and are not those which are unnecessary to perform. 9. You are a something therein that tends to preserve14 a little of what it is not possible for thee to attain fully in any mode; when thou shalt obtain the operations of the voice,15 and the water and bull's urine, as well as the three men,16 or thou shalt give a man17 to wash therein, the intellect of those controlling is then, indeed, not preservative therein.

11. Reading mahistô, but it can also be read Mazdayastô, 'Mazda-worshipping.'
12. That is, even when not performing the ceremony himself his presence would be desirable, for the sake of securing due attention to all the details, with which his superior knowledge must make him better acquainted than his subordinates.
13. See § 1.
14. Reading bûkhtano; the MSS. divide the word, so as to convert it into barâ tanû, 'without a body.' The meaning is that by his presence he is, at all events, able to secure some efficiency in the ceremony, when he is compelled to intrust its performance to subordinates who are not fully competent.
15. In the prayers and exorcisms.
16. See § 4.
17. That is, one thoroughly qualified (the priest mentioned in § 4) who requires no special supervision.
10. It is proper also for you to consecrate the water and bull's urine by that ritual which is in all three teachings, to prepare your own ritualistic liquid and other things which are approved among you with mutual assistance, and to appoint a purifier who has performed fully acceptably and been wanted. 11. Then, to give out properly to the country that the purification is according to my order, I always [340] perform it more acceptably: than that of other purifiers. 12. For the water and bull's urine are all consecrated by me, and the three hundred pebbles (sang)18 are cast into them (aûbash) by me, just as it is directed; the operation is also directed by me in the three days19 when it is performed, and all the customary parts are washed three times by me;20 the ablution seats (mako) are also arranged by me anew for every single person, and the use of washed seats is not ordered by me therein;21 every rite of the washing by the purifier is also so performed by me as all three teachings have mentioned as perfection. 13. You become the best of the district, as regards the minutiae (bârikidoân) of the purification that is within your duty, so long as they excite the sight,22 but which are curtailed (kazd) by you in the way of washing disclosed to me,23 while, when it should be performed by you in this manner, your performance would be equally constantly extolled and your writing praised.

18. See Ep. I, vii, 16.
19. The 'three washings' mentioned in Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, o (see App. IV); referring probably to those after the third, sixth, and ninth nights (see Vend. IX, 136, 140, 144), that is, on the fourth, seventh, and tenth days of the Barashnom ceremony. Most of this clause is omitted in J.
20. As said to have been directed by Medyok-mah {see Chap. II, 6, Ep. I, vi, 7), though the extant Pahlavi Vendidad (IX, 132, j) attributes the order to Afarg.
21. Compare Ep. I, ix, 7, Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, q, s.
22. J has 'so long as they advance the purification as much as possible by a resemblance so approved.'
23. In the heretical decree under consideration.
14. When, then, you write of it that they should always perform it just as now, the falsity therein is [341] grievous (yagar), and I know none worse; for this washing and professional purification which one is to keep in operation — as is declared by revelation; the teaching of high-priests, and those of the primitive faith who are esteemable24 — you withdraw (madam dârêdo) from the midst of us. 15. That which you understand yourself is that unto Ohrmazd the confederate good creatures are as it were defiled, and in the eyes of the good and wise they are as it were propitiatory towards; the mischievous Vae.25 16. And your words about it are just as they say concerning a beggar,26 where a garment is given to him, thus: 'Wash the dirt (âlûg) on him thoroughly clean;' and that garment they shall take is put upon the fire and burnt; and he spoke thus: 'My dirt was a comfort.'

24. That is, by the Avesta and Zand.
25. Reading anâko Vâê; he is the demon that carries off the soul (see Dd. XXX, 4). Even the best creatures are imperfect in the eyes of Ohrmazd and the righteous.
26. Reading niyâzkar, instead of the niyâzar of the MSS.


1. It1 is both explained again and summarized thus:- 'If the decree be from a law of Zartosht, is it so decreed as he spoke it? and if they should never perform by that, do not bring the Avesta and its exposition into the midst of it. 2. For the fifteen times of which you have written, if from the revelation of Zartosht, are his mode of washing fifteen times upwards and fifteen times downwards,2 a rule [342] which is fulfilled. 3. It is said, if one's defilement be owing to depositing any bodily refuse (higar-l), then nothing of this is ever necessary for him, for one reckoning (mar-l)3 will smite that which he takes hold of with a finger and it is clean, or it will smite a golden yellow clean, or whatever4 it shall smite is clean; but nothing merely clean is purified, unless a demon be clean.5

1. His own line of argument.
2. See Chap. III, 2.
3. That is, a single washing, which is sufficient for ordinary defilements unconnected with the dead.
4. This is doubtful; the word seems to be cîkê in Pazand, but, as the Av. î and û are much alike in Iranian MSS., it may be read cûk-ê, and the phrase would then be 'or it will smite a penis clean.'
5. That is, cleanliness can no more be considered purification than a demon, who is supposed to be an embodiment of impurity, can be considered clean.
4. And this, too, is very amazing to me, that when this is not taken into account by you, that when there should be, and one should obtain, no purifier6 it would then be necessary for him to operate himself;7 how then is this knowledge obtained by you, on which information (âgahih) has reached you, that the purifying of all the purifiers of the country of Iran is just as they should always perform it. 5. When, as I consider, there is then no complete acquaintance with the management of a house in you, its own master, in what manner then is your account of the gossip,8 and your information, about all the purifiers of the country of Iran [343] obtained? 6. If your people should abandon that which is most indispensable, and your account of the gossip, as regards that which the whole realm has done, be not according to the commands of religion and to sound wisdom; and if it has not come completely to your knowledge as the washing of the purifiers of the country of Iran — because, when you do not fix the number even of their footsteps,9 it is certain that your understanding of their disposition and virtuous practice is even less — then it was necessary for you to determine the reason that all the purifiers in the country of Iran always wash that way that is declared as improper, with whatever certainty it be uttered or written.

6. J has 'when there should be no purifier it would be necessary to beg the help of a chief of the religion, and when one should not obtain that.'
7. As directed in Vend. VIII, 299 (see App. V).
8. Reading vac sakhûn, but this is uncertain.
9. Referring probably either to the distance of the Barashnom place from pure objects, or to the distances between the holes or ablution seats, and from them to the furrows, mentioned in Vend. IX, 12, 14, 18, 22 (see App. IV).


1. If this which is said by you be a knowledge that is replete (avkâr) with advantage, why was it then necessary for you to keep it as it were concealed1 from me, when I thus consider that, if a knowledge should be rightly obtained by you, it should then have been needful for you to report unto me on the first rumour2 from every one who is well-enlightened (hû-bâm)? 2. If this decree [344] seemed so to you before, between when you have been in Pars and this time when in Sirkan, it was not well considered with those acquainted with the religion, the wise and the high-priests, and not even reported. 3. If not conceived by you before, then what learned acquaintance with the religion was acquired by you in Sarakhs3 and Shiraz, about which you are enlightened? 4. And before it was to be well considered amid observation and meditation4 what high-priest was obtained by you in Shiraz, who, when it was well considered with him, in completely securing himself, kept you away from deliberation to be decided with me and other priestly men and high-priests?

1. Reading nihâno, as in J, but K35 and BK omit the first letter.
2. Assuming that mayâg is a pseudo-Huzvarish equivalent of âvâg (Pers. âvâ); mayâ being the true Huzvarish of âv, 'water.'
3. A town in the extreme north-east of Khurasan, between Nishahpuhar and Marv, but nearer the latter city. When in this town Zadspram probably came in contact with the Tuzhazghuz mentioned in Chap. I, 12.
4. J inserts the words 'by you, and through your good consideration it was more properly undeceiving, if done, then.'
5. If not decided by you in Pars on account of breaking away from me, that is as though you yourself understand that I am to keep, in my own person, not even in the rank of discipleship unto you, but in that which is like servitude; and my coming,5 which is on your account, is even an accumulation of harm and distrust (tars) which you have amassed for yourself by having written and acted, and has made me suffer sorrow (vidvarinido) in my own person. 6. If it had been shown to me by you that it would be the preservation of the religion; it would then have incited me to accept it steadfastly. 7. If, [345] for the sake of co-operation with me, a lawful decree had been even more privately propagated by you, and if the religious demonstration about it were conservative and correct, it would then have been less vexatious for you to explain it to me than to others who have less acquaintance with the decrees and declaration of revelation; and if a difference had arisen thereon, a correct reply would then have come to you more fully from me. 8. And if you conceive that it is not necessary to demonstrate it to me through the declaration in revelation, that deliverance which it is not necessary to announce is not to be so decreed, even in another place. 9. And, just as even in Pars, if it were not decreed by you in Sirkan on that account, when your conception was that they would not accept it from you, it was necessary for you to know that, because it was not possible for you to provide much interval for demonstration.

5. Referring to his intended visit to Sirkan, mentioned in Chaps. VI, 4, 6, VII, 3, Ep. I, xi, 4.
10. If its purport be now considered by you, when you are moving as to the writing from Shiraz6 — which writes fully of your acquirement and interpretation of it, and of a mutilated deliverance7 — the arrangements for iniquity on this subject are many. 11. And one of them is the erroneous writing8 which is with me, for you conceive that they would accept from me your view, as it were swearing (sôkandiko) that it does not go to the filth accumulated for9 [346] Zartosht, and does not contend with him; and that the opposition (hamemalih) does not strive for a new law, and does not increase the evil of the spirit and the world, since it labours for the hoard of the soul.

6. Referring probably to Ep. I, which appears to have been written from Shiraz after holding a general assembly (see Chap. I, II, Ep. I, iii, L3); but this epistle, judging from the remark in the text, was probably written after Manuschihar had left Shiraz, as was also Ep. III (see Chap. VIII, 1).
7. From pollution.
8. See Chap. II, 1.
9. Assuming that the Paz. pjsâhu stands for pazh sâkh-i; but, as Av. j and d are much alike, it may be pdsâhu, which, when written in Pahlavi letters, can also be read pad gêhân, 'protector of the world;' or pdsâhu may be merely a corruption of padshâh = pâdakhshah, 'sovereign.'
12. And, persistently concealed, that was done by thee, owing to which is the anguish of my life; for it is annoying when a wound of the soul is not actually realised by means of the decree; but if, too, it should be really avoidable, it is then even said that ignorance itself would be regenerative (navazû-dârthâ), since it is not dubious to me, unless a matured knowledge of creation and some of that even of the angels should be in sight.10 13. Also through their much talking, which is like Visarish,11 and much affliction, which is like the eradication of life, there is a perpetual demonstration then in every place of the country of Iran, where this information about its religion shall arrive, that they then consider thee as an apostate and an enemy of the religion.

10. Meaning that he should have preferred being ignorant of such a decree, unless it exhibited far more knowledge of the truth than it actually did.
11. So written here in Pazand; but, no doubt, the demon Vizaresha (the Vizarash of Dd. XXXII, 4, XXXVII, 44), who carries off the souls of the wicked, is meant.
14. And through this eager procedure of yours many troops in the provinces, who have to horse (aspinidano) themselves, have joined Aturo-pad;12 [347] for, inasmuch as those most mounted on horses13 are the washers14 of Sirkan, who would have always thought about their abundance which is due to the archangels, they have spoken with opponents about this interpretation of the section of scripture (vidak),15 and so become similarly testifying,16 thus: 'We do not conceive it is necessary to demand thy reason for this most grievous disaster,17 a thing which is more complete through your elucidation of doubt and the power of the enemy, owing to this way which is appointed by thee.' 15. And on that account, too, it is more disquieting unto me, when I am aware both of the origin of this perplexity and the surpassing contamination which is possible to arise from it.

12. The name, apparently, of some rival of his in authority, who is also mentioned in Chap. IX, 11.
13. Reading asp-vârakântûm, and this meaning tallies well with the previous mention of troops horsing themselves; but J, by prefixing a stroke, changes the word into vâspôharakântûm, 'those most renowned among the spheres.'
14. The ceremonial washers or priests.
15. The term vidak is applied to sections or chapters of the Avesta in Dd. XLVII, 1, 5, 6, LXVI, 4; and here it must be applied to the Avesta of Vend. VIII or IX, to which the misinterpretations of Zadspram specially referred.
16. J has 'and so given similar testimony, which is written by them of a priest of your fame, and written by them to me.'
17. The diminution of their means of livelihood by the decrease of ceremonial washing, more than their apprehension of the sinfulness of such decrease.
16. And you always so observe as not to leap (lâ aiyyûkhtano) without looking before; but temporary observation is nothing really of that which, by a well-stinging similitude, is what one observes, with the eyesight looking well forward; when dust of many kinds is domesticated with the sight of the [348] eye; and if his intellect be not judicious he is wonderfully deceived by it; and should it be even when he mentions the existence of two moons, has it become more proved thereby? 17. It is a custom of the most provoking in itself, and presented disquietingly when I, who believe with a fervent mind, would have delivered the life even of my body over to the perplexing bridge18 for your happiness and enjoyment. 18. Also, on account of my want of leisure, even the information which is presented, asking peace, is information I believe with a generous mind; and being aware regarding my want of leisure is both an advantage and harmful, and the heart to write of them19 is, therefore, miraculous. 19. Then it is always necessary for me, who am in want of leisure, to write unto you so much writing of the harassing of annoyers and against disputes, of whose end there is no conception in my heart.

18. The Chinwad bridge, or passage to heaven (see Dd. XX; 3); meaning that he would have been ready to lose his life for the sake of his brother.
19. The heart to write of the 'happiness and enjoyment' of § 17.


1. When at any time I write more pleasantly, this directs you to understand that still with the steadfast are my affection and natural lowly mindedness; afterwards, too, that which happens when you have kept me wide away from the way of brotherhood, and higher even than a father, master, leader, ruler, or high-priest; is due to the fame and happiness of [349] my body and life, not to affection of character, but the position of religion and the command of the sacred beings. 2. On that account, when you have seen the pure, religiousness, the learned knowledge, and the repose-promoting truth of the invisible (avenâpih) of which my1 heart is leaping with evidence, so that you are steadfast even unto the nôit asta-ca ('not though the body') of which Zartosht the Spitaman spoke2 — and, because, turned by me to the religion which is thy, passport (parvânako) to the best existence, you have understood that it is the organizer of the greatest protection, even that is supposed by me — I undergo all the terror of the period in hope of the supreme recompense.

1. The MS. J ends at this point, but the continuation of the text, as far as the word' important' in Chap. IX, 7, is interpolated in Dd. XXXVII, 33 in the same MS.
2. In Vend. XIX, 26, 'not though the body, not though the life, not though the consciousness should part asunder,' would he curse the good, Mazda-worshipping religion.
3. And the position that that religion has given, which on that account is mine, you have that way considered as supremacy;3 and if, sent from you or another person, the opposition of one of the same religion is seen to be the dispersion and disruption of the appointed profession, I act against the continuance of the opposition, and as steadfastly as the series (zarah) of submissiveness and gratification of your priestly lordship has dope to me. 4. And this will be undoubtedly realised by you, that if you do not turn away from this decree which is not preservative, but, being appointed, I reach out from [350] the country of Iran,4 then I shall become its greatest attacker of you. 5. And so I consider that from my opposition it is possible for more harm to happen unto you than from many accusers who are like the leader of those of the good religion, the many who are as it were of like fame with me.

3. He now proceeds from persuasion to an assertion of his authority, accompanied by threats.
4. Referring to his intended visit to Sirkan (see Chaps. V, 5, VII, 3, Ep. I, xi, 4).
6. And also from my departure, and the non-existence of one that is a friend of yours, who, like me, is less able to be for your harm than he who is one of the many accusers of whom it is I who am the restrainer, you know this, that my coming is on account of the affection of some and the reverence of others. 7. From the exercise of religion I do not at all fall away, and for the sake of the position of the religion I am maintaining opposition5 to any one; even when he is a friend who is loved by me, I am then his antagonist. 8. Fate (ziko)6 is the great truth of the vacant, the form (andâm)7 which has procured the light of life.

5. J has 'I am an opposition.'
6. Or, 'living.'
7. Or 'the time (hangâm).'


1. A well-reflecting person, moreover, is able to understand that which is written by me, in private, in writing unto the good people of Sirkan, as perhaps a legitimate copy1 or a writing of that kind from [351] me may be near you; and it was like the production of some one for the tearing and rending of his own limbs, and for the purpose of bringing on that remedy — the burning, torturing medicine that is religious2 — whose purpose is to remain away from the steadfast while abiding by the commands of religion. 2. This same epistle,3 which was one of very great incompleteness, and one as it were thinking very severely, was similar to the decision (azad)4 to which I have come on the same subject, which is written of below and again; and accompanying this epistle was a man of my own with a further epistle.5 3. I am discharging (vijârako) my own duty as regards it,6 where I so arrange affairs of every kind which it is possible for me to complete for a period of three months,7 and come myself to where you are, and that mastery (cirih) which is prepared is again arranged when it is wanted by them.8

1. The MSS. have pino, instead of pacino. This copy of Ep. I is mentioned in Ep. I, xi, 10.
2. Probably meaning 'remorse.'
3. Ep. I.
4. Chald. AZD, referring to his general mandate (Ep. III) mentioned again in Chap. VIII, 1.
5. The temporary epistle to Zadspram (mentioned in Ep. I, xi, 1, 5), of which no copy has been preserved.
6. J begins as follows:- 'And I will come later on and more combatively, when it is requisite for the sacred beings (or for them); I am also myself in possession of an opportunity as regards it.'
7. This period for his visit to Sirkin is also mentioned in Ep. I, xi, 4.
8. Or 'by the sacred beings;' the words yazdân and shân being written alike.
4. You have already become a reserver (khamoshidâr) and rapid preparer of the adaptation of words in which cogency exists, and have clearly explained [352] as much as is in sight about the reason of altering that decree, concerning which your opinion is written with great judiciousness. 5. But as to the understanding which prompted you to write properly, and not to alter the rites and purifications of the Avesta, and about the duty of purifying the purifiers,9 such as has entered into the practice of the good, the propriety is declared in the teaching of the high-priests; and to do it better, so far as is possible, is to strive forwards in goodness.

9. J has 'and not to alter the purification in the rites of the Avesta.'
6. Also, as regards changing the law of the fifteen times washing,10 just as it is for Iran in which purifiers are to be found, it is ordered for places to be found without purifiers; and it is in the countries of Iran that the order is given regarding purifiers not thus appointed for the work.

10. See Chaps. III, 2, IX, 2, Ep. I, ii, 6, note.


1. To arrange again for approval the other matters, of which a portion is written about by you, an epistle1 is again prepared in advance for Sirkan, Shiraz, and other places, so as thus to make your decree a writing of bygone offence. 2. Because, if your despatch (firist) prepared this new proceeding, and you do not turn away from it, and do not recede through opposition and accumulation of vexation, and these others, too, like thee, shall [353] not now abandon routine of that kind, then your children, your own precious ones who are beloved — of whom I know that you make them love you, and do not, moreover, diminish in your protection of them — shall be your accusers; and they shall abandon confidence in me as refuge and guardian, and in the sacred beings, through want of advice and want of guardianship. 3. The fires of the sacred fires whose manager is a guard and protection such as I, lest they should not obtain such an officiating priest (zôto), will have in defence and guardianship of themselves to make back to their Shiraz abode. 4. And I myself shall have to retire (agvirazhidano) from the countries of Iran, and to wander forth to far distant realms where I shall not hear a rumour about your evil deeds, 5. In my occupation, moreover, my fortune (shukûn) may be to wander forth by water even to China, or by land even to Arum;2 but to be carried off by Vae,3 that uplifter, is much more my desire than when I am there where, owing to you, I hear that, as regards the glorifying of the sacred beings, which, because of my reply obtained above, would then be as much as death to me; it would also be the ending of that internal strife, so distasteful (aparvârako) to me, which is like his who has to struggle with his own life.

1. Ep. III, also mentioned as a 'decision' in Chap. VII, 2.
2. The eastern empire of the Romans, that is, Asia Minor and the neighbouring regions.
3. The bad Vae, who carries off the soul (see Dd. XXX, 4).


1. This, too, this aged one (aûzvârdo)1 orders, that, as to the polluted of the countries of Iran, when they do not obtain another washer, their way is then through thoroughly washing themselves.2 2. For you who are understanding the rite and capable of washing, and are the most forward and intelligent of the religious, so long as your previous washing is a way of no assistance, there is this tediously-worded epistle; moreover, all their sin you assign for your own affliction,3 whose after-course is thus for their Pancadasa ('fifteenfold') washing,4 at the time they shall abandon, as distasteful, that sin which is a new development by way of Upasnatee ('washing downwards');4 and the sinfulness is his who established that law for them.

1. From this it appears clearly that Manuschihar was an aged man when these epistles were written, though not too old to travel. The previous allusion to old age, however, in Chap. I, 9, may not have referred to himself.
2. As provided in Vend. VIII, 299 (see App. V).
3. J omits alag, 'affliction;' and in K35 it is doubtful whether it be struck out, or not.
4. See Chap. III, 2 for both these terms.
3. And yours are truly creatures of a fetid pool (gand-âvo), who, as regards my motive, always speak about it just as they spoke thus to a priest:5 'Why has the savoury meat-offering not become forgotten by thee; white the firewood and incense, because it is not possible to eat them up, are quite [355] forgotten?' 4. Also, as a similitude of your affairs, they are saying that it is as though the stipend of guardianship were always to be demanded just in accordance with omissions of duty (avâg mânidihâ).6 5. So that even while the trifle of trifles which exists as an interval from the title of leadership unto that of high-priestship — in which, except a title that is no joy of the strictly religious, there is nothing whatever — is, that way, to prepare a source of dispute as to the work which you do for the guardianship, it should, therefore, be a sufficiency (khvâr-bâr), where your own supreme work is purification itself; and to do either what is taught, or is advantageous, would be withdrawing from the country a demand which has caused disturbance (balûbâkinido); to subdue it thou shouldst always so decide the daily allowances.7

5. Implying that the laity were inclined to attribute his own strict enforcement of ceremonies, requiring the employment of the priesthood, to interested motives.
6. That is, the laity attributed his brother's laxity, on the other hand, to sheer neglect of duty, and had, therefore, begun to consider his supervision hardly worth paying for.
7. Meaning that by adherence to long-established custom, as regards both priestly work and priestly allowances, the laity would be better satisfied and more easily managed.
6. And today I have, on that account, written everything sternly, because that which another person arranges and speaks so opposed to me in evil appearance — which is little fit to be prepared — when I write seasonably, and with friendly and brotherly exaltation, you direct and persevere more expressly in preparing, so that portion upon portion is thus brought forth. 7. In good old age8 the great law of after-restoration is a harsh remedy, and, on that [356] supposition, where a rule is shown to descend from their three teachings,9 and is itself regarded as true, and the wisdom of the period as impotent (anôzô-hariko), you yourself fully imagine (hû-minêdo)10 that further restoration is not an important11 and foremost thing. 8. Those of different faiths of various kinds have many usages and perplexing kinds of doubt, even about the accomplishment and explanation of the statements of the high-priests,12 for on this subject, about old age (gûnânih), and even about sprinkling and about yourself accomplishing the religious rites, you are wisely for a preservation of the equally wise experience of the profession; and as to the heterodox, that writing which realised that even now memory is opposing you is itself evil-wishing,13 and you know it is your own arrangement.

8. Reading hû-kahôbanih; J has merely kahôb:anih, 'old age, antiquity.' He appears to be referring rather to the antiquity of the Avesta law, than to his own old age.
9. See Chap. III, 1, Ep. I, v, 1, 6.
10. J has khavitûned, 'you know.' He deprecates all further investigation into the meaning of the scriptures, which had already been explained by three old commentators, as he doubted the religious wisdom of the age in which he lived.
11. The continuation of the text in J ends at this point.
12. The commentators.
13. That is, the decree of Zadspram, though itself objectionable, was opposed to the heterodox who wished for further innovations.
9. This too they14 say, that if it be on that account that the purifiers shall not always so perform the purification by all three teachings, or every rite which is proper according to one teaching, it will be necessary that the purifiers shall abandon purification. 10. Then about old age, the performance of the ceremonial,15 and the many times of this which [357] are mentioned as though this were proper, it is stated as regards how it is proper that, when on account of those of the good religion they always proceed just as is mentioned in the Zand teaching of the Avesta,16 it will then be necessary that they shall abandon the religion. 11. And many other sayings of things like unto these are scattered about (zerkhûni-aito), and are named near Aturo-pad17 as hints from you; for this reason they are reckoned (khaprag-aito) in the thoughts of men.

14. The heterodox.
15. Referring perhaps to the performance of the Vendidad service (which includes the Yasna ceremonial) as directed in Pahl. Vend. IX, 132, b, o (see App. IV).
16. It is possible also to read 'in the teaching of the Avesta and Zand;' but this would ignore the fact that the 'teaching' is the Zand itself.
17. The same rival as is mentioned in Chap. V, 14.
12. And this much is written by me in distressing haste; I consider it complete, and may peace and every happiness perpetually become hospitably attainable and accomplishable for you thereby, through the severe anguish and discomfort, and the eternal distress and despondency of the healer of affliction, Manuschihar, son of Yudan-Yim, director of the profession of priests of Pars and Kerman.18

18. According to Dd. XLV, 5 the farmâdâr or 'director' of the profession of priests of Pars was the pêshûpâi or 'leader' of the religion.
13. Written in propitiation, praise, and benediction of the creator Ohrmazd and the archangels, all the angels of the spiritual and the angels of the worldly existences, and every guardian spirit of the righteous. 14. Homage to the exalted pontiff (rado) sent from the creator Ohrmazd, the most heavenly of the heavenly, Zartosht the Spitaman. 15. The [358] most prayerful and gainful of things is righteousness; great and good and perfect is Zartosht; and one only is the way of righteousness, all the others are no ways.19

19. Compare Dd. XCIV, 14, Ep. III, 23. [Also, Y72.11. -JHP]



In the name of the sacred beings.

A copy of the notification (vishâdako) of his priestly lordship Manuschihar, son of Yudan-Yim, regarding the grievous sinfulness of assuming the propriety of washing for fifteen times.

In the name of the sacred beings.

1. It has come unto the ears (vashammûnishno) of me, Manuschihar, son of Yudan-Yim, pontiff (rad) of Pars and Kirman,1 that in some quarters of the country of Iran, they whose chance happens to be so much2 pollution, such as is decreed unto so much washing of the customary parts (pishako), always wash themselves fifteen times with bull's urine and once with water, consider themselves as clean,3 and go to water, fire, and ceremonial ablution, the ablution [360] of the sacred twigs. 2. Such — although4 they say that Zadspram,5 son of Yudan-Yim has ordered, and the high-priests have appointed, washing of this kind — has appeared to my well-reflecting (hû-min) opinion, apprehension, and appreciation very marvellous and grave, and merely a rumour. 3. And it is needful for me to keep those of the good religion in all quarters of the country of Iran informed concerning the placing reliance upon their washing with the Barashnom ceremony,6 and to make my own opinion clear also as regards the writings collected.

1. See Dd. XCIV, 13.
2. Reading hâvan; but it may be 'pollution of the spiritual life (ahvô),' though this is hardly possible in the next phrase, where the same word occurs.
3. By confounding the preliminary washing appointed in Vend. VIII, 279 with the final washing appointed in Vend. VIII, 299 (see App. V, and compare Ep. II, iii, 2, ix, 2).
4. Reading amat, instead of the very similar word hamâi, 'ever.'
5. See the headings to Eps. I, 11.
6. See App. IV.
4. And, first of all, about the indispensability of the Barashnom ceremony I write several such copies of a well-matured writing of mine7 as may even be new light to the intelligent. 5. That my opinion of the information provided by revelation, the decisions of high-priests, and the teachings of those of the primitive faith is thus, that washing by the polluted with water is pollution for the life and spiritual life (ahvô);8 they render the material body clean thereby, but that which is known as the handiwork9 of the immortals, and is also professionally called the Barashnom, when there is the protection of a ritual of various kinds, shall make the body clean from endless worldly attacks.

7. Meaning this epistle.
8. Because it pollutes pure water, which is considered a sin.
9. Reading yadman; but it may be gadman, 'glory,' which is written in precisely the same manner.
6. It is in the nine ablution seats (magako)10 and the furrows,11 even with prayer, bull's urine, water, [361] and other appliances, and the ritual, which is such as is declared in the teaching of revelation; and even now the purifiers, who are just as written about below, keep it in use. 7. When there is a washing they wash just as in the well-teaching statements which are known as those of Medyok-mah, of Afarg, and of Soshans,12 or in the statement of one of those three teachings, or in the statement of one of the high-priests by whom those three teachings are declared as propriety, or has come unto me as the practice of those same three teachings by those of the primitive faith.

10. See Ep. I, ix, 7.
11. See Vend. IX, 21-28 (App. IV)
12. See Ep. I, v, 1.
8. I deem this deliverance13 one wholly approvable, and the washer in a washing of that kind, with the Barashnom ceremony — which is lawfully of that description — I consider as a purifier who is approvable. 9. And the polluted of every description, as above written, who have obtained, for any indispensable reason whatever, a purifier, as above written, whom even now various districts and various places have appointed and approved, are able to wash with the Barashnom ceremony as above written. 10. Then their washing fifteen times is no deliverance in any way, and to wash them quickly with the Barashnom ceremony as above written is indispensable.

13. From pollution.
11. Owing to a washing of the same kind through the Barashnom ceremony, as is intended, water, fire, and other things, not to provide care for which is un14 .............. authorisedly is grievously sinful. [362] 12. When, on account of a cleansing through another washing, distinct from the Barashnom ceremony, [363] they consider themselves as clean it is more grievously sinful; just as when they do not wash with the Barashnom, as above written, but consider themselves as clean through washing fifteen times, as above written, or on account of any washing whatever distinct from the Barashnom, it is more grievously sinful; because, when they do not wash with a Barashnom, as above written, but wash for fifteen times, as above written, or any washing whatever distinct from the Barashnom, as above written, they do not become clean, through the professional washing which is decreed, from that pollution which remains.15

14. At this point there is a blank page in K35, and so in the MS. belonging to Mr. Tehmuras Dinshawji, which is supposed to be older; and one line: is left blank in BK. It is not, however, quite certain that any text is really missing, as this section can be read continuously and translated as follows, without much difficulty:- 'Apart from a washing of the same kind through the Barashnom ceremony, as is intended, there would be a grievous sin against water, fire, and other things, not to provide care for which would be unauthorised.'

If some folios of text are missing, as seems quite possible from the terms applied to this epistle in § 4, the question arises whether a portion of the missing text may be contained in the following fragment on the subject of the Barashnom, which is appended to the passage (Ep. II, vi, 2 - ix, 7) interpolated in Dd, XXXVII, 33 in the MS. J:-

'As it is declared in revelation that, if a man who has chanted comes upon a corpse, whether a dog, or a fox, or a wolf, or a male, or a female, or any creature on whose corpse it is possible that he may come, that good man becomes so that a man may become defiled by him, and it is necessary to wash the polluted one, so that it may not make him a sinner. In order that they may act so to the polluted one it is necessary to wash him, it is necessary to perform that Barashnom ceremony of the nine nights. If the man that is spoken of has worked about carrying the dead and contact with dead matter (nôsâ hamâlih), so that they know about his defilement to whom he comes, then he who has done this work in contact with dead matter becomes afterwards disabled for that worship of the sacred beings which they perform. So, also, some one says (compare Vend. VIII, 271-299), where in a wilderness (vyâvân) are several priests (âsrûvô) and a man lies on the road, there he who carries the dead body of the man who passes away — as those others remain and stand away helpless, without offerings of inward prayer (vâjo vakhtagân) over that person (kerpô) according to the religious way — having washed his body, comes into the town and performs the nine nights' Barashnom ceremony twice; afterwards, his Geto-kharid ceremonies (see Dd. LXXIX, 4) are performed, and he has acted well according to the religious way; then he comes into the ceremonial of the sacred beings. "How are those men purified, O righteous one! who shall end up by a corpse which is very dry and dead a year?" (See Pahl. Vend. VIII, 107 , 108.) The reply is this, that "those men are purified; for it is not to the dry from that dryness — that is, it would not act from this polluted thing — that the existence of dry diffusion has arisen."'

15. Even after the best ordinary washing.
13. When without similar trouble and great judiciousness they go unto water and fire, the sin is grievous; and when they go to the bowl (padmâno) for ablution of the sacred twigs16 it is non-ablution advisedly, and to perform the ceremonial therewith would not be authorised. 14. And, in like manner, the washing of polluted Hom twigs,17 for any indispensable purpose, with the Barashnom ceremony, as above written, is not possible.

16. See Dd. XLIII, 5.
17. See Dd. XLVIII, 16.
15. Therefore, so that we may obtain as it were a remedy for it, I wash with the Barashnom ceremony, as above written; to keep the mind steadfast and to attain to a remedy I wash with the Barashnom, as above written; and to bestow the indispensable, comprehensive Barashnom, as above written, is indeed a good work suitable for the discreet and liberated [364] from bonds, and the purification of body and soul is connected with it.

16. These things those of the primitive faith, who provided for the moderns, have communicated, whose position was above us moderns who are now the law (gûn) of others, and are teachers and rulers; our station as regards them is the position (gâsih) of disciples to spiritual masters, that of listeners and servitors to form and hold the opinion, about the same and other things, which those of the primitive faith formed; and the teaching of even one of those high-priests is greater and higher than our sayings and decisions.

17. And as to every custom there may be in the country of Iran, about casting away the Barashnom ceremony, as written by me, and about all the polluted, as above written — whom it is possible to wash, for any indispensable reason whatever, with the Barashnom as written by me, and one does not wash with the Barashnom as written by me, but is ordered to wash for, fifteen times, as written by me, and to pronounce as clean — and which is established as a rule one is urged to practise, if Zadspram or anyone else has ordered, said, or decided in the name or authority that one is to do so, or has established it as a rule, or set it going, this is to give authoritatively my opinion, decision, and enactment upon it likewise. 18. That those same sayings are short-sighted (aê-vênako), that same order is unlawfully given, that same decision is false teaching, that same rule is vicious, that same setting going is grievously sinful, and that same authority is not to be accepted; it is a practice, therefore, not to be performed, and whoever has performed it, is to [365] engage quickly in renunciation of it. 19. And he who has decreed in the country of Iran, in the name of authority, washing of other kinds as all-remedial for the polluted, as above written, and has established a rule of that description is to be considered as a heretic (aharmôkô) deserving death.

20. So, when through his wilfulness that kind of injury without enlightenment (bâm) is decreed, and a rule of that description is established, as above written, and one rendered polluted is washed fifteen times with bull's urine and once with water, or in whatever other mode that is distinct from the Barashnom ceremony as written by me, though it is possible to wash him! for any indispensable reason whatever, with the Barashnom as above written, then, his renunciation of sin being accomplished, he is to be washed again at the nine ablution seats (magh)18 with the Barashnom as written by me; and until washed again, as written by me, he is not to go to water and fire and the bowl for ablution.

18. See § 6.
21. And this epistle is written by me, in my own handwriting, tor the sake of all members whatever of the good religion of the country of Iran becoming aware of the opinion, apprehension, and appreciation of the commands of religion entertained by me, Manuschihar, son of Yudan-Yim; and several copies are finished in the month of the triumphant Hordad of the year 250 of Yazdegird.19

19. The third month of the Parsi year 250, which corresponded to the interval between the 14th June and 13th July, 881.
22. In trustfulness and gratitude to the sacred beings, and homage to the exalted pontiff sent from20 [366] the creator Ohrmazd, the heavenly, most righteous, and glorified Zartosht the Spitaman. 23. For the sake of obtainments of prayers the one thing is the righteousness of the Spitaman; great, good, and perfect is Zartosht; one only is the way of perfect righteousness, which is the way of those of the primitive faith; all the others, appointed afresh, are no ways.21

20. Reading min, as in Ep. II, ix, 14, instead of mûn, 'who.'
21. Compare Dd. XCIV, 14, Ep. II, ix, 15. This epistle is followed, in K35, by the Selections of Zadspram, of which the first portion is translated in the fifth volume of the Sacred Books of the East.

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