Pahlavi texts: About the Style of Letter Writing.

(Aininak Nâmak Yaktibûnishnih)

Translation by J. C. Tarapore, Vijârishn I Chatrang, Bombay, 1932

In the name of God.

(1) Now it is written for fitting letter-writing to different chieftains; to kings and grandees and nobles, all victorious; to workers, ever more prosperous; to those who became deserving through all blessings, protectors of the good spirits and helping the country; to those lesser ones blessed memory and 1000 blessings; to servants and underlings, 1000 blessed memories which immortal memory several possess; the greatest respect and greatest love to father or brother or children, or to those who are like father or brother or child.

(2) From the bountiful wealth of the good spirits may you have long-life of healthy body, prosperity of shining exaltation, the eternal connection of good fortune and satisfaction of constancy, and the joy of good fortune and the endless swift-approaching praise, and the great name which shines afar, and the excellent righteousness of soul salvation, and the highest exaltation of oneself being without want by this fortunate body and immortal life from the beginning. Completed with propitiation.

(3) May the good spirits always keep you in the increase of all exaltation, and luster and glory of all honor, and freedom from disease, and joy of all goodness, and perfect wisdom and attainment of desire.

(4) You who may attain by the great exaltation of your own desire, and luster, and fame of excellent name, and high offerings and strong and undiseased nature, and splendor resembling light, and honorable praise which purified free origin and which may you perfectly by your desire attain through good leader's sharing and through the attainment of great deeds of the good (performed) with this healthy body.

(5) May you be the elevator of greatness of many persons who helpfully keep afar from all difference and become all victorious through the abstainers, so-and-so of so-and-so.

(6) Great worker, ruler of the world, increaser of goodness, and giver of help to the poor, and giver of hope to each creature, so-and-so of so-and-so.

(7) (Who) adorned the earth, honored the world, and accepted faith so-and-so of so-and-so.

(8) A saddle unto the good spirits, and a support unto the industrious people of Iran, and a protector of the Mazda-worshippers, so-and-so of so-and-so.

(9) May you attain the end of (your) desire for ever in the height of all prosperity, increase of all exaltation, and the joy of both the worlds.

(10) Noble by birth, and blessed with art, and holy by deed, and perfect through wisdom, and famous through all virtue, so-and-so of so-and-so.

(11) Most advanced through knowledge, and praiseworthy by character, and shining with full splendor in (his) time, and helpful in both the worlds so-and-so of so-and-so.

(12) Righteous by disposition, adorned by nature, elevator in (his) reign, and good worker in virtue, and a helper to all the good, so-and-so of so-and-so.

(13) May you among the great with the gift of all luster, and glory, and all prosperity and exaltation, be constantly entertained thereby.

(14) May you maintain long-constant healthy body, and exalted and free wealth, and full glory which shines desirably, and eternally connected righteousness, and increase, free and saved from all difference.

(15) All exaltation, and increasing purity, and progressive wish, and love of freedom, and renovation are linked together.

(16) May you attain all exaltation, and increasing purity, progressive desire, through all spiritual and earthly exaltation, and complete participation, and end of (your) wish, and freedom from all difference.

(17) May you maintain pure goodness and increasingly prepared virtue in both the worlds, perfect exaltation and extensive freedom, and shining righteousness.

(18) A letter to the great and the honored to give consolation by inquiring in distress.

(19) You all victorious, so-and-so of so-and-so, may you keep away from distress, and be far from another old age; and all opposition becomes exalted through full spiritual and earthly prosperity.

(20) When the news of the passing away of so-and-so's immortal soul reached us, we got great fear from death, but for this corporeal remedy through deliverance from death and passing away of the food eating man, not through the glory of the glorious, nor through the skill of the skillful, nor through the learned or the wise, nor even of the oppressors and sinners, and even of great worker, and those of virtuous behavior, any of whom by the approach of death and the duty of passing judgment on his reaching the Chinwad Bridge becomes adorned.

(21) He was also an immortal soul of good work, and great name, and great advantage, and may be sharing the best existence and may the highest heaven be (his) reward.

(22) May you live long and live well, possess contentment and purify thought, and advance your own soul, and make Ahriman and the evil spirits shattered and rent' and vanquished; by the acceptance of contentment you know the soul of that immortal souled man making it worthy by praise, remembrance, memory, and the extollation of the creatures. (23) They for a long time guard you from every blemish-giver and cause to be increased highest joy, and goodness; and may you make this auspicious body well-progressive till the time of the renovation [[Frashegird]]. (24) On account of freedom, from all difference you always gave immortality and highest prosperity.

(25) So-and-so of so-and-so wrote (this letter) with healthy blessings and praise of the good spirits. (26) Blessings of many from so-and-so to so-and-so, be you great in sharing as this letter (is written) with haste.

(27) Homage unto Zarathushtra the Spitama of holy soul. (28) And to (his) body blessed by birth, exalted through the creation, holy by origin, admitted into the faith of the good spirits, and in the otherwise increase of the lords, during the time, suitable through splendid and glorious nature, perfect through moderation, truly saved by speech, of famous name, victorious, and wise through the order of the Lord and through good sovereignty, and through government, and be well-repenting and through man's friendship and hope of the world the good become always adorned and victorious lords, so-and-so of so-and-so.

(29) May the good spirits always keep you through the eternal satisfaction about the gift of long life, and becoming right through good fortune, and all adorned and blessed in the end of (your) desire, long living life, health of body and prosperity of wealth, with the delight of thinking any goodness and greatness whatsoever, always with the purity of soul; with your protection always may it thus be increasing like most extensive joy; this desiring of news and longing for help and your good health which this letter have made greater.

(30) Now I write thus, "Till the day Vohuman and month Vohuman when I wrote this letter we were all right and full of blessings and full of desire, and your letter reached (us) and we saw what was written and the reader understood it, and we became delighted at your good health and offered thankfulness unto the good spirits." (31) Through virtue and goodness one should be informed when here there is the virtuous and good time and the age of goodness; to the good may you be good, to the good it is good by their desire.

(32) They may always maintain your body healthy and life immortal and name exalted, the creation honored, and glory increasing, wealth constant and religion constantly connected to the renovation, and the soul in the blessed abode.

(33) To him who is most liberal by nature, most exalted by name, most reliable through virtue, most famous through goodness, completely most brilliant through friendship, most well-known through charity, most active through the propitiation of the good spirits, most without suffering through the religion of Mazda-worship, most helpful through whatever riches of the times, and the blessed quality of all that is high, and the glory of so-and-so of so-and-so. (34) May they keep you in the eternity in bodily health, and full protection of the body which is a distress unto the tormentors and full store of good fame of which you become worthy.

(35) They maintain you from well-liberal complete goodness, lasting wealth of good increase, and full participation and attainment of desire and saved free from all difference.

(36) At the end of the letter: The good spirits maintain you lasting, adorned and constant through that which is the most excellent time.

(37) Ever victorious, excellently more exalted so-and-so of so-and-so.

(38) May the good spirits maintain you long-lived, and well, and prosperous and fearless, and victorious, and of progressive orders.

(39) At the end of the letter: May you always increase good fortune and victory, and blessing to so-and-so of so-and-so.

(40) The good spirits maintain the priestly lords through "brilliance and glory" [1], through the lasting of "healthy body" [2] in both the worlds, lasting and constant and adorned.

(41) At the end of the letter: The good spirits who become anew and anew through the savior may keep you in splendor, and glory, and duty, in health of body and long life, and attainment of (your) desire through all goodness.

(42) Always victorious, so-and-so of so-and-so, the good spirits may bestow on you that which is great salvation and highest exaltation, and keep (you) in unbounded joy, and all liberal, righteous and victorious.

(43) At the end of the letter: You may increase blessing, and joy, and righteousness, so-and-so of so-and-so.

Concluded with propitiation: The bases of religion are knowledge and faith, and its middle part wisdom and love, and its end is perfect devotion and the good eye. (Completed) with propitiation, rejoicing and delight [3].


1-2. These words are taken from Avesta Yasna 68, which contains the text of the often repeated prayer Ahmai Raeshcha.
3. This concluding part of the text is highly suggestive and peculiar. The author has here attempted to supplement the usual frajapt with his own rational ideas about the component parts of religion.

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