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Zoroastrian Pre-Islamic Texts; Zadspram
The Selections of Zadspram
Translated by: W. E. West

Chapter 7: The third battle, that of the earth

  1. And as he (Ahriman) came thirdly to the earth which arrayed the whole earth against him -- since there was an animation of the earth through the shattering -- Alburz grew up, which is the boundary of the earth, and the other mountains, which are amid the circuit of the earth, come up 2244 in number.
  2. And by them the earth was bound together and arranged, and on them was the sprouting and growth of plants, wherefrom was the nourishment of cattle, and therefrom was the great advantage of assistance to men.
  3. Even so it is declared that before the coming of the destroyer to the creatures, for a thousand years the substance of mountains was created in the earth especially as antagonism came on the earth, and settled on it with injury -- and it came up over the earth just like a tree whose branch has grown at the top, and its root at the bottom.
  4. The root of the mountains is passed on from one to the other, and is arranged in connection with them, and through it is produced the path and passage of water from below to above, so that the water may flow in it in such manner as blood in the veins, from all parts of the body to the heart, the latent vigor which they possess.
  5. And, moreover, in six hundred years, at first, all the mountains apart from Alburz were completed.
  6. Alburz was growing during eight hundred years; in two hundred years it grew up to the star station, in two hundred years up to the moon station, two hundred years up to the sun station, and two hundred years up to the sky.
  7. After Alburz the Aparsen mountain is the greatest, as it is also called the Avar-royishn ('up-growth') mountain, whose beginning is in Sagastan and its end unto Pars and to Cinistan.
  8. This, too, is declared, that after the great rain in the beginning of the creation, and the wind's sweeping away the water to the ocean, the earth is in seven portions a little above it, as the compact earth, after the rain, is torn up by the noise and wind in various places.
  9. One portion, moreover, as much as one-half the whole earth, is in the middle, and in each of the six portions around is as much as Sagastan; moreover, as much as Sagastan is the measure of what is called a karshwar ('region') for the reason that one was defined from the other by a kesh ('furrow').
  10. The middle one is Xwaniratha, of which Pars is the center, and those six regions are like a coronet (avisar) around it.
  11. One part of the wide-formed ocean wound around it, among those six regions; the sea and forest seized upon the south side, and a lofty mountain grew up on the north, so that they might become separate, one from the other, and imperceptible.
  12. This is the third contest, about the earth.


Chapter 8: The fourth battle, that of the plants

  1. As he (Ahriman) came fourthly to the plants -- which have struggled (kukhshi-aito) against him with the whole vegetation -- because the vegetation was quite dry, Amurdad, by whom the essence of the world's vegetation was seized upon, pounded it up small, and mixed it up with the rain-water of Tishtar.
  2. After the rain the whole earth is discerned sprouting, and ten thousand special species and a hundred thousand additional species (levatman sardako) so grew as if there were a species of every kind; and those ten thousand species are provided for keeping away the ten thousand diseases.
  3. Afterwards, the seed was taken up from those hundred thousand species of plants, and from the collection of seed the tree of all germs, amid the wide-formed ocean, was produced, from which all species of plants continually grow.
  4. And the griffin bird (simurgh) has his resting-place upon it; when he wanders forth from within it, he scatters the dry seed into the water, and it is rained back to the earth with the rain.
  5. And in its vicinity the tree was produced which is the white Haoma, the counteractor of decrepitude, the reviver of the dead, and the immortalizer of the living.
  6. This was the fourth contest, about the plants.

Chapter 9: The fifth battle, that of the animals

  1. As he (Ahriman) came fifthly to cattle -- which struggled against him with all the animals and likewise as the primeval ox passed away, from the nature of the vegetable principle it possessed, fifty-five species of grain and twelve species of medicinal plants grew from its various members; and forasmuch as they should see from which member each one proceeds, it is declared in the Damdad Nask.
  2. And every plant grown from a member promotes that member, as it is said that there where the ox scattered its marrow on to the earth, grain afterwards grew up, corn and sesame, vetches and peas; so sesame, on account of its marrow quality, is itself a great thing for developing marrow.
  3. And it is also said that from the blood is the vine, a great vegetable thing -- as wine itself is blood -- for more befriending the sound quality of the blood.
  4. And it is said that from the nose is the pulse (maysh or masah) which is called donak, and was a variety of sesame (shamaga), and it is for other noses.
  5. And it is also said that from the lungs are the rue-like herbs which heal, and are for the lung-disease of cattle.
  6. This, rooted amid the heart, is thyme, from which is Vohuman's thorough withstanding of the stench of Akoman, and it is for that which proceeds from the sick and yawners.
  7. Afterwards, the brilliance of the seed, seized upon, by strength, from the seed which was the ox's, they would carry off from it, and the brilliance was entrusted to the angel of the moon; in a place therein that seed was thoroughly purified by the light of the moon, and was restored in its many qualities, and made fully infused with life (janvar-homand).
  8. Forth from there it produced for Eranvej, first, two oxen, a pair, male and female, and, afterwards, other species, until the completion of the 282 species; and they were discernible as far as two long leagues on the earth.
  9. Quadrupeds walked forth on the land, fish swam in the water, and birds flew in the atmosphere; in every two, at the time good eating is enjoyed, a longing (av-dahan) arose therefrom, and pregnancy and birth.
  10. Secondly, their subdivision is thus: -- First, they are divided into three, that is, quadrupeds walking on the earth, fish swimming in the water, and birds flying in the atmosphere.
  11. Then, into five classes, that is, the quadruped which is round-hoofed, the double-hoofed, the five-clawed, the bird. and the fish, whose dwellings are in five places, and which are called aquatic, burrowing, oviparous, wide-traveling, and suitable for grazing.
  12. The aquatic are fish and every beast of burden, cattle, wild beast, dog, and bird which enters the water; the burrowing are the marten (samur) and musk animal, and all other dwellers and movers in holes; the oviparous are birds of every kind; the wide-traveling sprang away for help, and are also those of a like kind; those suitable for grazing are whatever are kept grazing in a flock.
  13. And, afterwards, they were divided into genera, as the round-hoofed are one, which is all called 'horse;' the double-hoofed are many, as the camel and ox, the sheep and goat, and others double-hoofed; the five-clawed are the dog, hare, musk animals, marten, and others; then are the birds, and then the fish.
  14. And then they were divided into species 2, as eight species of horse, two species of camel, ten species of ox, five species of sheep, five species of goat, ten of the dog, five of the hare, eight of the marten, eight of the musk animals, 110 of the birds, and ten of the fish; some are counted for the pigs, and with all those declared and all those undeclared there were, at first, 282 species; and with the species within species there were a thousand varieties.
  15. The birds are distributed into eight groups (ristako), and from that which is largest to that which is smallest they are so spread about as when a man, who is sowing grain, first scatters abroad that of heavy weight, then that which is middling, and afterwards that which is small.
  16. And of the whole of the species, as enumerated a second time in the Damdad Nask, and written by me in the manuscript (nipik) of 'the summary enumeration of races' -- this is a lordly summary -- the matter which is shown is, about the species of horses, the first is the Arab, and the chief of them is white and yellow-eared, and secondly the Persian, the mule, the ass, the wild ass, the water-horse, and others.
  17. Of the camel there are specially two, that for the plain, and the mountain one which is double-humped.
  18. Among the species of ox are the white, mud-colored, red, yellow, black, and dappled, the elk, the buffalo, the camel-leopard, the ox-fish, and others.
  19. Among sheep are those having tails and those which are tailless, also the wether and the Kurishk which, because of its trampling the hills, its great horn, and also being suitable for ambling, became the steed of Manuschihar.
  20. Among goats are the ass-goat, the Arab, the fawn (variko), the roe, and the mountain goat.
  21. Among martens are the white ermine, the black marten, the squirrel, the beaver (khaz), and others.
  22. Of musk animals with a bag, one is the Bish-musk -- which eats the Bish poison and does not die through it, and it is created for the great advantage that it should eat the Bish, and less of it should succeed in poisoning the creatures -- and one is a musk animal of a black color which they desired (ayufto) who were bitten by the fanged serpent -- as the serpent of the mountain water-courses (mako) is called -- which is numerous on the river-banks; one throws the same unto it for food, which it eats, and then the serpent enters its body, when his serpent, at the time this happens, feeds upon the same belly in which the serpent is, and he will become clear from that malady.
  23. Among birds two were produced of a different character from the rest, and those are the griffin bird and the bat, which have teeth in the mouth, and suckle their young with animal milk from the teat.
  24. This is the fifth contest, as to animals.


Chapter 10: The sixth battle, that of mankind

  1. As he (Ahriman) came sixthly to Gayomard there was arrayed against him, with Gayomard, the pure propitious liturgy (Mahraspand), as heard from Gayomard; and Ohrmazd, in pure meditation, considered that which is good and righteousness as destruction of the fiend (druj).
  2. And when he (Gayomard) passed away eight kinds of mineral of a metallic character arose from his various members; they are gold, silver, iron, brass, tin, lead, quicksilver (avginako), and adamant; and on account of the perfection of gold it is produced from the life and seed.
  3. Spandarmad received the gold of the dead Gayomard, and it was forty years in the earth.
  4. At the end of the forty years, in the manner of a Rivas-plant, Mashye and Mashyane came up, and, one joined to the other, were of like stature and mutually adapted; and its middle, on which a glory came, through their like stature, was such that it was not clear which is the male and which the female, and which is the one with the glory which Ohrmazd created.
  5. This is that glory for which man is, indeed, created, as it is thus said in revelation: 'Which existed before, the glory or the body?' And Ohrmazd spoke thus: 'The glory was created by me before; afterwards, for him who is created. the glory is given a body so that it may produce activity, and its body is created only for activity.
  6. And, afterwards, they changed from the shape of a plant into the shape of man, and the glory went spiritually into them.
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