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English translation of
Holy Zend Avesta - Fragments

English translation by James Darmesteter, Dhalla, B. N. Dhabhar,
L. Mills, J. H. Peterson, C. Bartholomae
taken from http://www.avesta.org/avesta.html

Hadhokht Nask

1
Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: 'O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One!'What is the only word in which is contained the glorification of all good things, of all the things that are the offspring of the good principle?'

2
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is the praise of Holiness (Asha: the Ashem Vohu), O Spitama Zarathushtra!

3
'He who recites the praise of Holiness, in the fullness of faith and with a devoted heart, praises me, Ahura Mazda; he praises the waters, he praises the earth, he praises the cattle, he praises the plants, he praises all good things made by Mazda, all the things that are the offspring of the good principle.

4
'For the reciting of that word of truth, O Zarathushtra! the pronouncing of that formula, the Ahuna Vairya, increases strength and victory in one's soul and piety.

5
'For that only recital of the praise of Holiness is worth a hundred khshnaothras of the beings of Holiness, when delivered while going to sleep, a thousand when delivered after eating, ten thousand when delivered during cohabitation, or any number when delivered in departing this life.'

6
'What is the one recital of the praise of Holiness that is worth ten others in greatness, goodness, and fairness?'

7
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is that one, O holy Zarathushtra! that a man delivers when eating the gifts of Haurvatat and Ameretat, at the same time professing good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, and rejecting evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds.'

8
'What is the one recital of the praise of Holiness that is worth a hundred others in greatness, goodness, and fairness?'

9
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is that one, O holy Zarathushtra! that a man delivers while drinking of the Haoma strained for the sacrifice, at the same time professing good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, and rejecting evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds.'

10
'What is the one recital of the praise of Holiness that is worth a thousand others in greatness, goodness, and fairness?'

11
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is that one, O holy Zarathushtra! that a man delivers when starting up from his bed or going to sleep again, at the same time professing good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, and rejecting evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds.'

12
'What is the one recital of the praise of Holiness that is worth ten thousand others in greatness, goodness, and fairness?'

13
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is that one, O holy Zarathushtra! that a man delivers when waking up and rising from sleep, at the same time professing good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, and rejecting evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds.'

14
'What is the one recital of the praise of Holiness that is worth this Karshvare of ours, Hvaniratha, with its cattle and its chariots, without its men, in greatness, goodness, and fairness?'

15
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is that one, O holy Zarathushtra! that a man delivers in the last moments of his life, at the same time professing good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, and rejecting evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds.'

16
'What is the one recital of the praise of Holiness that is worth all that is between the earth and the heavens, and this earth, and that luminous space, and all the good things made by Mazda at are the offspring of the good principle in greatness, goodness, and fairness?'

17
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is that one, O holy Zarathushtra! that a man delivers to renounce evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds.'

1
Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: 'O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One!'When one of the faithful departs this life, where does his soul abide on that night?'Ahura Mazda answered:

2
'It takes its seat near the head, singing the Ushtavaiti Gatha and proclaiming happiness: "Happy is he, happy the man, whoever he be, to whom Ahura Mazda gives the full accomplishment of his wishes!" On that night his soul tastes as much of pleasure as the whole of the living world can taste.'

3
-'On the second night where does his soul abide?'

4
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It takes its seat near the head, singing the Ushtavaiti Gatha and proclaiming happiness: "Happy is he, happy the man, whoever he be, to whom Ahura Mazda gives the full accomplishment of his wishes!" On that night his soul tastes as much of pleasure as the whole of the living world can taste.'

5
-'On the third night where does his soul abide?'

6
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It takes its seat near the head, singing the Ushtavaiti Gatha and proclaiming happiness: "Happy is he, happy the man, whoever he be, to whom Ahura Mazda gives the full accomplishment of his wishes!" On that night his soul tastes as much of pleasure as the whole of the living world can taste.'

7
At the end of the third night, when the dawn appears, it seems to the soul of the faithful, one as if it were brought amidst plants and scents; it seems as if a wind were blowing from the region of the south, from the regions of the south, a sweet-scented wind, sweeter-scented than any other wind in the world.

Continued...

8
And it seems to the soul of the faithful one as if he were inhaling that wind with the nostrils, and he thinks: 'Whence does that wind blow, the sweetest-scented wind I ever inhaled with my nostrils?'

9
And it seems to him as if his own conscience were advancing to him in that wind, in the shape of a maiden fair, bright, white-armed, strong, tall-formed, high-standing, thick-breasted, beautiful of body, noble, of a glorious seed, of the size of a maid in her fifteenth year, as fair as the fairest things in the world.

10
And the soul of the faithful one addressed her, asking: 'What maid art thou, who art the fairest maid I have ever seen?'

11
And she, being his own conscience, answers him: 'O thou youth of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, of good religion, I am thy own conscience!'Everybody did love thee for that greatness, goodness, fairness, sweet-scentedness, victorious strength and freedom from sorrow, in which thou dost appear to me;

12
'And so thou, O youth of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, of good religion! didst love me for that greatness, goodness, fairness, sweet-scentedness, victorious strength, and freedom from sorrow, in which I appear to thee.

13
'When thou wouldst see a man making derision and deeds of idolatry, or rejecting (the poor) and shutting his door, then thou wouldst sit singing the Gathas and worshipping the good waters and Atar, the son of Ahura Mazda, and rejoicing the faithful that would come from near or from afar.

14
'I was lovely and thou madest me still lovelier; I was fair and thou madest me still fairer; I was desirable and thou madest me still more desirable; I was sitting in a forward place and thou madest me sit in the foremost place, through this good thought, through this good speech, through this good deed of thine; and so henceforth men worship me for my having long sacrificed unto and conversed with Ahura Mazda.

15
'The first step that the soul of the faithful man made, placed him in the Good-Thought Paradise;'The second step that the soul of the faithful man made, placed him in the Good-Word Paradise;'The third step that the soul of the faithful man made, placed him in the Good-Deed Paradise;'The fourth step that the soul of the faithful man made, placed him in the Endless Lights.'

16
Then one of the faithful, who had departed before him, asked him, saying: 'How didst thou depart this life, thou holy man? How didst thou come, thou holy man! from the abodes full of cattle and full of the wishes and enjoyments of love? From the material world into the world of the spirit? From the decaying world into the undecaying one? How long did thy felicity last?'

17
And Ahura Mazda answered: 'Ask him not what thou askest him, who has just gone the dreary way, full of fear and distress, where the body and the soul part from one another.

18
'[Let him eat] of the food brought to him, of the oil of Zaremaya: this is the food for the youth of good thoughts, of good words, of good deeds, of good religion, after he has departed this life; this is the food for the holy woman, rich in good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, well-principled and obedient to her husband, after she has departed this life.'[[3]]

19
Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: ' O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One!'When one of the wicked perishes, where does his soul abide on that night?'

20
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It rushes and sits near the skull, singing the Kima Gatha (Y46), O holy Zarathushtra!'"To what land shall I turn, O Ahura Mazda? To whom shall I go with praying?"'On that night his soul tastes as much of suffering as the whole of the living world can taste.'

21
-'On the second night, where does his soul abide?'

22
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It rushes and sits near the skull, singing the Kima Gatha, O holy Zarathushtra! "To what land shall I turn, O Ahura Mazda? To whom shall I go with praying?" 'On that night his soul tastes as much of suffering as the whole of the living world can taste.'

23
-'On the third night, where does his soul abide?'

24
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It rushes and sits near the skull, singing the Kima Gatha, O holy Zarathushtra! "To what land shall I turn, O Ahura Mazda? To whom shall I go with praying?" 'On that night his soul tastes as much of suffering as the whole of the living world can taste.'

25
At the end of the third night, O holy Zarathushtra! when the dawn appears, it seems to the soul of the faithful one as if it were brought amidst snow and stench, and as if a wind were blowing from the region of the north, from the regions of the north, a foul-scented wind, the foulest-scented of all the winds in the world.

26-32
And it seems to the soul of the wicked man as if he were inhaling that wind with the nostrils, and he thinks: 'Whence does that wind blow, the foulest-scented wind that I ever inhaled with my nostrils?'

33
The first step that the soul of the wicked man made laid him in the Evil-Thought Hell;The second step that the soul of the wicked man made laid him in the Evil-Word Hell;The third step that the soul of the wicked man made laid him in the Evil-Deed Hell;The fourth step that the soul of the wicked man made laid him in the Endless Darkness.

34
Then one of the wicked who departed before him addressed him, saying: 'How didst thou perish, O wicked man? How didst thou come, O fiend! from the abodes full of cattle and full of the wishes and enjoyments of love? From the material world into the world of the Spirit? From the decaying world into the undecaying one? How long did thy suffering last?'

35
Angra Mainyu, the lying one, said 'Ask him not what thou askest him, who has just gone the dreary way, full of fear and distress, where the body and the soul part from one another.

36
'Let him eat of the food brought unto him, of poison and poisonous stench: this is the food, after he has perished, for the youth of evil thoughts, evil words, evil deeds, evil religion after he has perished; this is the food for the fiendish woman, rich in evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds, evil religion, ill-principled, and disobedient to her husband.

37
'We worship the Fravashi of the holy man, whose name is Asmo-hvanvant; then I will worship the Fravashis of the other holy Ones who were strong of faith.

38
'We worship the memory of Ahura Mazda, to keep the Holy Word. 'We worship the understanding of Ahura Mazda, to study the Holy Word.'We worship the tongue of Ahura Mazda, to speak forth the Holy Word.'We worship the mountain that gives understanding, that preserves understanding; [we worship it] by day and by night, with offerings of libations well-accepted.

39
'O Maker! how do the souls of the dead, the Fravashis of the holy Ones, manifest themselves?'

40
Ahura Mazda answered: 'They manifest themselves from goodness of spirit and excellence of mind.'

41
Then towards the dawning of the dawn, that bird Parodarsh, that bird Kareto-dasu hears the voice of the Fire.

42
Here the fiendish Bushyasta, the long-handed, rushes from the region of the north, from the regions of the north, speaking thus, lying thus: 'Sleep on, O men! Sleep on, O sinners! Sleep on and live in sin.'

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-- Fragments 4 --





 
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