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

Chapter 21: His going to confer with Ohrmazd

  1. About his coming to thirty years of age if is thus declared, that on the lapse of thirty years onwards from his appearance, on the day Anagran of the month Spandarmad, he had proceeded in that direction in which there occurred the so-called festival of spring (jashno-i vahar), forty-five days beyond new-year's day, at a place become specially noted, where people went, from many quarters, out to the place of festival (jashnocar).
  2. When Zartosht, for the sake of going off to the festival place, halted on the way in walking, he chanced upon a solitary (aevatak) plain, and he saw, in a vision, that mankind and a much-adorned worldly existence were kept away to the north, so that all the people in the earth have become fully manifest in the north.
  3. And he at the head (pavan tekh) of them was Maidok-mah, son of Arastai, even as Arastai was brother of Pourushasp; Maidok-mah was the leader of all mankind who have gone out to the presence of Zartosht, and he became their guide, so that first Maidok-mah and afterwards the whole material existence are attracted.
  4. And about his coming out to the conference, on the lapse of those forty-five days, at the place of festival at dawn on the day Dadvo-pavan-Mitro [Day-pe-Adar] of the month Ardwahisht.
  5. And Zartosht, for the purpose of squeezing the Haoma, went forth to the bank of the water of the Daitya, because it is the river of the conference for the supremacy (patih) of Zartosht, and is the water of Aban which has consisted of four channels (beta).
  6. Zartosht also passed on through it; and its first channel was up to the ankle, the second up to the knee, the third up to the parting of the two thighs, and the fourth up to the neck.
  7. This was an indicator that his religion comes four times to supremacy; the manifestations of which are through Zartosht, Hoshedar, Hoshedarmah, and Soshyant.
  8. When he came up from the water, and put on his clothes, he then saw the archangel Vohuman in the form (ayuinako) of a man, handsome, brilliant, and elegant, who wore his hair curve-tailed, because the curved tail is an indication of duality; who had put on and wore a dress like silk, than which there was no making anything superior, for it was light itself; and his height was nine times as much as of Zartosht.
  9. He also inquired of Zartosht thus: 'Who mayst thou be, and from whom of them mayst thou be? also what is mostly thy desire, and the endeavor in thy existence?'
  10. And he replied thus: 'I am Zartosht of the Spitamas; among the existences righteousness is more my desire, and my wish is that I may become aware of the will of the sacred beings, and may practice so much righteousness as they exhibit to me in the pure existence.'
  11. And Vohuman directed Zartosht thus: 'Do thou proceed to an assembly of the spirits!'
  12. As much as Vohuman walked on in nine steps, Zartosht did in ninety steps, and when he had gone ninety steps farther than him, he saw the assembly of the seven archangels.
  13. When he came within twenty-four feet of the archangels, he then did not see his own shadow on the ground, on account of the great brilliancy of the archangels; the position of the assembly was in Iran, and in the direction of the districts on the bank of the water of the Daitya.
  14. Zartosht offered homage, and spoke thus: 'Homage to Ohrmazd, and homage to the archangels!' and he went forward and sat down in the seat of the inquirers.
  15. As to the asking of questions by Zartosht, he inquired of Ohrmazd thus: 'In the embodied world which is the first of the perfect ones, which the second, and which the third?'
  16. And Ohrmazd replied thus: 'The first perfection is good thoughts, the second good words, and the third good deeds.'
  17. Zartosht also inquired thus: 'Which thing is good, which is better, and which is the best of all habits?'
  18. And Ohrmazd replied thus: 'The title of the archangels is good, the sight of them is better, and carrying out their commands is the best of all habits.'
  19. Afterwards he demonstrated the duality of the original evolutions (bun gashtano), and the divergence in each control, and spoke thus: 'Of those spirits, he who was wicked preferred the practice which is iniquitous (Ahriman's desire was for the practice which is iniquitous), and the spirit of righteousness, the propitious (Ohrmazd) prefers righteousness.'
  20. Specially he demonstrated the divergence in each control of the exhibitors of light, and he spoke thus: 'Neither our thoughts, nor desires, nor words, nor deeds, nor religion, nor spiritual faculties agree; he who is loving light, his place is with the luminaries; and he who is loving darkness is with the dark ones.'
  21. On the same day also, his omniscient wisdom appeared three times: as regards the same first questions, it pointed out the sky in great light and splendor, and in its exhibition of the prevention of darkness, at the sight of which it becomes an opposing existence as regards that darkness.
  22. And it exhibited its own appearance proportionally to the sky, when it kept its head at the summit of the sky, ifs feet at the bottom of the sky, and its hands reached to both sides of the sky; the sky also kept it covered, in the manner of a garment.
  23. The six archangels were manifest by their similar stature (ham-bashnih), in such manner that it is obvious each one successively is apparently one finger's breadth shorter than the other.
  24. The archangels exhibited three kinds of achievement (pasakhtan) for the religion; first, by means of fires, and Zartosht walked three steps on them, with the words, 'good thoughts, good words, and good deeds,' and was not burnt; and secondly, hot metal is poured on to his chest, cooled thereby, and, grasping it with his hand, he held it for the archangels.
  25. Ohrmazd spoke thus: 'After the establishment of the pure religion, when a dispute occurs in the religion, those who are thy disciples will pour it on to a spiritual lord, they will take it up with the hand, and will thoroughly believe in him who is over the whole embodied existence.'
  26. The third was cutting with a knife, and the vital parts (ahvon) becoming visible, which are inside the abdomen. with a flowing forth of blood; and, after the hands are rubbed over it, it became healed.
  27. And this is pointed out, namely: 'Thy and thy co-religionists' accepting of the pure religion is, as to the steadfast in other religions, such that, through such-like burning of fire, pouring of hot metal, and through an operation with a sharp instrument, there is no perversion from the good religion.'


Chapter 22: His conferences with the archangels

  1. About the seven questionings (7-frashnoih), with reference to religion, of the seven archangels, which occurred in seven places.
  2. For the occurrence of the first questioning, that of Ohrmazd, the person of Zartosht, who was the upholder of Ohrmazd, came out to a conference on the bank of the water of Daitya.
  3. For the occurrence of the second, which is Vohuman's, five animals out of the five species which are the worldly tokens of Vohuman, have come with Zartosht to a conference on Hugar and Ausind; and on that day also, before their coming out to the conference, their tongues are fully liberated and spoke with human words.
  4. And among the rest is a fish of one species, Arzuva by name; of those in burrows (khanoigano) are the white ermine and white marten; of the flying creatures (vayan-dagan) is the Karshipt, a bird like a species of water-fowl; of the wide-travelers (farakhvo-raftarano) is the hare which is showing wild beasts the way to the water; and of those suitable for grazing (carako-arjanigan) is the white ass-goat; with human words they also accepted the religion from Ohrmazd.
  5. With the chieftainship of the five species they are entrusted, so that the like animals also, with their own voices, and as much as their knowledge is capable, shall recount the powerfulness of the religion.
  6. And freedom from assault, exemption from persecution, and proper maintenance of the five species of animals, were prescribed by him to Zartosht with seemingly very awful admonition.
  7. For the occurrence of the third questioning, which is Ardwahisht's, the spirits of the fires have come out with Zartosht to a conference at the Tojan water; and, in that questioning, care for the proper maintenance of the Warharan fire, and the propitiation of all fires, is explained to him.
  8. For the occurrence of the fourth questioning, which is Shahrewar's, the spirits of the metals have come with Zartosht to a conference at Sarai, a settlement on the Mivan; and he was fully admonished about various proper preservations of the metals, and as to not producing warlike accouterments of gold.
  9. For the occurrence of the fifth questioning, which is Spandarmad's, the spirits of the regions, frontiers, stations (austaman), settlements (rudastakan), and districts, as many as were desirable, have come out with Zartosht to a conference where there is a spring (khanigo-ae) which comes out from the Asnavad mountain, and goes into the Daitya, like those of Sataves who is blowing the Pairigs.
  10. And Zartosht was also thus admonished by her, about the care and propitiation of the earth: that each district is to be entrusted to a faithful testifier (gokas-i vavar), each settlement to a judge acquainted with the law, each station to an officiating priest (magopato = mobed) of just intentions, and each frontier to a pure priestly authority (rado); over all is proclaimed the councilor of the spirits, the supreme priest (magopatano magopato), and through him the sovereignty of Ohrmazd is provided.
  11. For the occurrence of the sixth questioning, which is Hordad's, the spirits of seas and rivers have come with Zartosht to a conference at the Asnavad mountain, and he was told about the care and propitiation of water.
  12. For the occurrence of the seventh questioning, which is Amurdad's, the spirits of plants have come out with Zartosht to a conference on the precipitous bank of the Dareja, on the bank (bar) of the water of Daitya, and different places; and he was informed about the care and propitiation of plants.
  13. The seven questionings are explained within the length of these winters, which are of five months, and within ten years.


Chapter 23: Dates of conversions, births, and deaths

  1. On the completion of revelation, that is, at the end of the ten years, Maidok-mah, son of Arastai, became faithful to Zartosht.
  2. Afterwards, on having obtained his requests, he came back to the conference of Ohrmazd, and he spoke thus: 'In ten years only one man has been attracted by me.'
  3. And Ohrmazd spoke thus: 'There will be days when so few are not attracted by you, who are themselves the occasion of the resurrection of the world; when, apart from Dahak [Zohak], the beneficence of the formation of the renovation of the universe attracts every one besides, and the impenitence of Dahak [Zohak] is destroyed.'
  4. When he came out from the presence of Ohrmazd, with the same paradox, he thereby indicated his religion as complete to Spandarmad through his intelligence.
  5. In the two years after that, the Kavigs and Karbs of Vishtasp, in the manner of opponents (hamestaranih), propounded thirty-three inquiries (khvastako) to him, so that by command of Vishtasp he became the explainer of those thirty-three inquiries.
  6. Of the thirty-three habits of iniquity, come for opposition to the religion of the sacred beings, of the declaration, by revelation, of those thirty-three indications of fetters; and of the restraint of the thirty-three iniquitous practices by the thirty-three best good works, there are statements in revelation.
  7. Including the acceptance of the religion by Vishtasp from Zartosht, after the redemonstration of its judicially multiform prophecy and spiritual character, which are looked into through the evidence of three speakers about them, the archangels who, with worldly manifestation, have become apparent unto Vishtasp and his councilors and mighty ones; they are Vohuman, Ardwahisht, and the Burzin-Mihr fire.
  8. About the reward which existed before the beneficence of Zartosht, and its being seen how, through guidance by Ohrmazd, it is demonstrated by him to those of the world, so that Maidok-mah is attracted in the tenth year in the forest of reedy hollows (kanyastano veshako) which is the haunt of swine of the wild-boar species (khazura-i varazo gas); in the twentieth year the Kavig who is son of Kundah is attracted; in the thirtieth year the Khyons arrive, who make an incursion (vardako) into the countries of Iran, owing to the Kavigs, those who are more of their own race; and in the fortieth year Vohunem, son of Avaroshtar, is born.
  9. In the forty-seventh year Zartosht passes away, who attains seventy-seven years and forty days in the month Ardwahisht, on the day Khur; and for eight rectified (vehicako) months, till the month Dadvo and day Khur, he should be brought forward as to be reverenced.
  10. In the same month Ardwahisht, in the sixty-third year, Frashostar passed away, and in the sixty-fourth year Jamasp, the same as became the priest of priests after Zartosht; in the seventy-third year Hangaurush, son of Jamasp; in the eightieth year Asmok-khanvato, and also in the eightieth year Kabed-us-spae, who is called also Akht the wizard, is killed.
  11. Of the six great upholders of the religion there are the two daughters of Zartosht, whose names are Freno and Srito, with Aharubo-stoto, son of Maidok-mah, and another three, who are renowned for their religion for a hundred years, who are Vohunem that is born in the fortieth year of the religion, Seno is afterwards born and passes away in the two-hundredth year, and as to his hundred-discipledom, it exists day and night till the three-hundredth year.
  12. Afterwards the religion is disturbed and the monarchy is contested (jangiaito).
  13. About the three customs (dado) which Zartosht prescribed as the best: -- The first of them is this: 'Do not go without others, except with magisterial authority (apatkar radiha);' the second is: 'Though they shall proceed unlawfully as to you, consider your actions lawfully beforehand;' and the third is: 'Next-of-kin marriage, for the sake of the pure progress of your race, is the best of the actions of the living, which are provided for the proper begetting of children.'

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