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English translation of
Holy Zend Avesta - Vendidad

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

Fargard 5 : Purity laws

I

1
There dies a man in the depths of the vale: a bird takes flight from the top of the mountain down into the depths of the vale,and it feeds on the corpse of the dead man there: then, up it flies from the depths of the vale to the top of the mountain:it flies to some one of the trees there, of the hard-wooded or the soft-wooded, and upon that tree it vomits and deposits dung.

2
Now, lo! here is a man coming up from the depths of the vale to the top of the mountain; he comes to the tree whereon the bird is sitting; from that tree he intends to take wood for the fire. He fells the tree, he hews the tree, he splits it into logs, and then he lights it in the fire, the son of Ahura Mazda. What is the penalty he shall pay?

3
Ahura Mazda answered: 'There is no sin upon a man for any Nasu that has been brought by dogs, by birds, by wolves, by winds,or by flies.

4
'For were there sin upon a man for any Nasu that might have been brought by dogs, by birds, by wolves, by winds, or by flies,how soon all this material world of mine would be only one Peshotanu,bent on the destruction of righteousness, and whose soul will cry and wail! so numberless are the beings that die upon the face of the earth.'

5
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Here is a man watering a corn-field. The water streams down the field; it streams again; it streams a third time; and the fourth time, a dog, a fox, or a wolf carries some Nasu into the bed of the stream: what is the penalty that the man shall pay?

6
[Repeat st. 3.]

7
[Repeat st. 4.]

8
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Does water kill? Ahura Mazda answered: 'Water kills no man: Asto-vidhotu binds him, and, thus bound, Vayu carries him off; and the flood takes him up, the flood takes him down, the flood throws him ashore;then birds feed upon him. When he goes away, it is by the will of Fate he goes.'

IIb.

9
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Does fire kill? Ahura Mazda answered: 'Fire kills no man: Asto-vidhotu binds him,and, thus bound, Vayu carries him off; and the fire burns up life and limb. When he goes away, it is by the will of Fate he goes.'

III.

10
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If the summer is past and the winter has come, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do? Ahura Mazda answered: 'In every house, in every borough,they shall raise three rooms for the dead.'

11
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How large shall be those rooms for the dead? Ahura Mazda answered: 'Large enough not to strike the skull of the man, if he should stand erect, or his feet or his hands stretched out: such shall be, according to the law, the rooms for the dead.

12
'And they shall let the lifeless body lie there, for two nights,or for three nights, or a month long, until the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the earth.

13
'And as soon as the birds begin to fly, the plants to grow, the hidden floods to flow, and the wind to dry up the earth, then the worshippers of Mazda shall lay down the dead (on the Dakhma),his eyes towards the sun.

14
'If the worshippers of Mazda have not, within a year, laid down the dead (on the Dakhma), his eyes towards the sun, thou shalt prescribe for that trespass the same penalty as for the murder of one of the faithful; until the corpse has been rained on, until the Dakhma has been rained on, until the unclean remains have been rained on, until the birds have eaten up the corpse.'

IV.

15
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Is it true at thou, Ahura Mazda, seizest the waters from the sea Vouru-kashawith the wind and the clouds?

16
That thou, Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the corpses? that thou, Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the Dakhmas? that thou,Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the unclean remains? that thou,Ahura Mazda, takest them down to the bones? and that then thou,Ahura Mazda, makest them flow back unseen? that thou, Ahura Mazda,makest them flow back to the sea Puitika?

17
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is even so as thou hast said, O righteous Zarathushtra! I, Ahura Mazda, seize the waters from the sea Vouru-kasha with the wind and the clouds.

18
'I, Ahura Mazda, take them to the corpses; I, Ahura Mazda,take them down to the Dakhmas; I, Ahura Mazda, take them down to the unclean remains; I, Ahura Mazda, take them down to the bones; then I, Ahura Mazda, make them flow back unseen; I, Ahura Mazda, make them flow back to the sea Puitika.

19
'The waters stand there boiling, boiling up in the heart of the sea Puitika, and, when cleansed there, they run back again from the sea Puitika to the sea Vouru-kasha, towards the well-watered tree, whereon grow the seeds of my plants of every kind by hundreds,by thousands, by hundreds of thousands.

20
'Those plants, I, Ahura Mazda, rain down upon the earth, to bring food to the faithful, and fodder to the beneficent cow;to bring food to my people that they may live on it, and fodder to the beneficent cow.'

V.

21
'This is the best, this is the fairest of all things, even as thou hast said, O pure [Zarathushtra]!' With these words the holy, Ahura Mazda rejoiced the holy Zarathushtra:'Purity is for man, next to life, the greatest good, that purity,O Zarathushtra, that is in the Religion of Mazda for him who cleanses his own self with good thoughts, words, and deeds.'

22
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! This Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Zarathushtra, by what greatness, goodness,and fairness is it great, good, and fair above all other utterances?

23
Ahura Mazda answered: 'As much above all other floods as is the sea Vouru-kasha, so much above all other utterances in greatness,goodness, and fairness is this Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Zarathushtra.

24
'As much as a great stream flows swifter than a slender rivulet,so much above all other utterances in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Zarathushtra. 'As high as the great tree stands above the small plants it overshadows,so high above all other utterances in greatness, goodness, and fairness is this Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Zarathushtra.

25
'As high as heaven is above the earth that it compasses around,so high above all other utterances is this Law, this fiend-destroying Law of Mazda. '[Therefore], he will apply to the Ratu, he will apply to the Sraosha-varez; whether for a draona-service that should have been undertaken and has not been undertaken; or for a draona that should have been offered up and has not been offered up; or for a draona that should have been entrusted and has not been entrusted.

26
'The Ratu has power to remit him one-third of his penalty:if he has committed any other evil deed, it is remitted by his repentance; if he has committed no other evil deed, he is absolved by his repentance for ever and ever.'

Continued...

VI.

27
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If there be a number of men resting in the same place, on the same carpet,on the same pillows, be there two men near one another, or five,or fifty, or a hundred, close by one another; and of those people one happens to die; how many of them does the Druj Nasu envelope with corruption, infection, and pollution?

28
Ahura Mazda answered: 'If the dead one be a priest, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the eleventh and defiles the ten. 'If the dead one be a warrior, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the tenth and defiles the nine. 'If the dead one be a husbandman, the Druj Nasu rushes forth,O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the ninth and defiles the eight.

29
'If it be a shepherd's dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the eighth and defiles the seven. 'If it be a house-dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra!she goes as far as the seventh and defiles the six.

30
'If it be a Vohunazga dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the sixth and defiles the five. 'If it be a Tauruna dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the fifth and defiles the four.

31
'If it be a porcupine dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the fourth and defiles the three. 'If it be a Gazu dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra!she goes as far as the third and defiles the two.

32
'If it be an Aiwizu dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! she goes as far as the second and defiles the next. 'If it be a Vizu dog, the Druj Nasu rushes forth, O Spitama Zarathushtra!she goes as far as the next, she defiles the next.'

33
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If it be a weasel,how many of the creatures of the good spirit does it directly defile, how many does it indirectly defile?

34
Ahura Mazda answered : 'A weasel does neither directly nor indirectly defile any of the creatures of the good spirit, but him who smites and kills it; to him the uncleanness clings forever and ever.'

35
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If the dead one be such a wicked, two-footed ruffian, as an ungodly Ashemaogha,how many of the creatures of the good spirit does he directly defile, how many does he indirectly defile?

36
Ahura Mazda answered: 'No more than a frog does whose venom is dried up, and that has been dead more than a year. Whilst alive,indeed, O Spitama Zarathushtra! such a wicked, two-legged ruffian as an ungodly Ashemaogha, directly defiles the creatures of the good spirit, and indirectly defiles them.

37
'Whilst alive he smites the water; whilst alive he blows out the fire; whilst alive he carries off the cow; whilst alive he smites the faithful man with a deadly blow, that parts the soul from the body; not so will he do when dead.

38
'Whilst alive, indeed, O Spitama Zarathushtra! such a wicked,two-legged ruffian as an ungodly Ashemaogha robs the faithful man of the full possession of his food, of his clothing, of his wood, of his bed, of his vessels; not so will he do when dead.'

VII.

39
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! When into our houses here below we have brought the fire, the Baresma, the cups,the Haoma, and the mortar, O holy Ahura Mazda! if it come to pass that either a dog or a man dies there, what shall the worshippersof Mazda do?

40
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Out of the house, O Spitama Zarathushtra!shall they take the fire, the Baresma, the cups, the Haoma, and the mortar; they shall take the dead one out to the proper place whereto, according to the law, corpses must be brought, to be devoured there.'

41
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! When shall they bring back the fire into the house wherein the man has died?

42
Ahura Mazda answered: 'They shall wait for nine nights in winter,for a month in summer, and then they shall bring back the fire to the house wherein the man has died.'

43
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! And if they shall bring back the fire to the house wherein the man has died,within the nine nights, or within the month, what penalty shall they pay?

44
Ahura Mazda answered: 'They shall be Peshotanus: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraosho-karana.'

VIII.

45
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If in the house of a worshipper of Mazda there be a woman with child, and if being a month gone, or two, or three, or four, or five, or six, or seven,or eight, or nine, or ten months gone, she bring forth a still-born child, what shall the worshippers of Mazda do?

46
Ahura Mazda answered: 'The place in that Mazdean house whereof the ground is the cleanest and the driest, and the least passed through by flocks and herds, by the fire of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the faithful;'

47
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How far from the fire? How far from the water? How far from the consecrated bundles of Baresma? How far from the faithful?

48
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Thirty paces from the fire; thirty paces from the water; thirty paces from the consecrated bundles of Baresma; three paces from the faithful;-

49
'On that place shall the worshippers of Mazda erect an enclosure,and therein shall they establish her with food, therein shall they establish her with clothes.'

50
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What is the food that the woman shall first take?

51
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Gomez mixed with ashes, three draughts of it, or six, or nine, to send down the Dakhma within her womb.

52
'Afterwards she may drink boiling milk of mares, cows, sheep,or goats, with pap or without pap; she may take cooked milk without water, meal without water, and wine without water.'

53
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long shall she remain so? How long shall she live thus on milk, meal, andwine?

54
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Three nights long shall she remain so; three nights long shall she live thus on milk, meal, and wine.Then, when three nights have passed, she shall wash her body,she shall wash her clothes, with gomez and water, by the nine holes, and thus shall she be clean.'

55
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long shall she remain so? How long, after the three nights have gone, shall she sit confined, and live separated from the rest of the worshippers of Mazda, as to her seat, her food, and her clothing?

56
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Nine nights long shall she remain so:nine nights long, after the three nights have gone, shall she sit confined, and live separated from the rest of the worshippers of Mazda, as to her seat, her food, and her clothing. Then, when the nine nights have gone, she shall wash her body, and cleanse her clothes with gomez and water.'

57
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can those clothes,when once washed and cleansed, ever be used either by a Zaotar,or by a Havanan, or by an Atare-vakhsha, or by a Frabaretar, or by an Abered, or by an Asnatar, or by a Rathwishkar, or by a Sraosha-varez,or by any priest, warrior, or husbandman?

58
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Never can those clothes, even when washed and cleansed, be used either by a Zaotar, or by a Havanan,or by an Atare-vakhsha, or by a Frabaretar, or by an Abered, orby an Asnatar, or by a Rathwishkar, or by a Sraosha-varez, or by any priest, warrior, or husbandman.

59
'But if there be in a Mazdean house a woman who is in her sickness, or a man who has become unfit for work, and who must sit in the place of infirmity, those clothes shall serve for their coverings and for their sheets, until they can withdraw their hands for prayer.

60
'Ahura Mazda, indeed, does not allow us to waste anything of value that we may have, not even so much as an Asperena's weightof thread, not even so much as a maid lets fall in spinning.

61
'Whosoever throws any clothing on a dead body, even so much as a maid lets fall in spinning, is not a pious man whilst alive,nor shall he, when dead, have a place in Paradise.

62
'He makes himself a viaticum unto the world of the wicked,into that world, made of darkness, the offspring of darkness,which is Darkness' self. To that world, to the world of Hell,you are delivered by your own doings, by your own religion, O sinners!'

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-- Fargard 5 --





 
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