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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 7 : Purity laws

I.

1
Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: 'O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! When a man dies, at what moment does the Druj Nasu rush upon him?'

2
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Directly after death, as soon as the soul has left the body, O Spitama Zarathushtra! the Druj Nasu comes and rushes upon him, from the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras.

3
'On him she stays until the dog has seen the corpse or eaten it up, or until the flesh-eating birds have taken flight towards it. When the dog has seen it or eaten it up, or when the flesh-eating birds have taken flight towards it, then the Druj Nasu rushes away to the regions of the north in the shape of a raging fly,with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras.'

4
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If the man has been killed by a dog, or by a wolf, or by witchcraft, or by the artifices of hatred, or by falling down a precipice, or by the law, or by calumny, or by the noose, how long after death does the Druj Nasu come and rush upon the dead?

5
Ahura Mazda answered: 'At the next watch after death, the Druj Nasu comes and rushes upon the dead, from the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the foulest Khrafstras.'

II.

6
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?


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 he 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.

8
'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.

9
'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.'. . . 'Those clothes shall serve for their coverings and for their sheets.'. . .

III.

10
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What part of his bedding and pillow does the Druj Nasu defile with corruption,infection, and pollution?

11
Ahura Mazda answered: 'The Druj Nasu defiles with corruption,infection, and pollution the upper sheet and the inner garment.'

12
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can that garment be made clean, O holy Ahura Mazda! that has been touched by the carcass of a dog or the corpse of a man?

13
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It can, O holy Zarathushtra!' How so? 'If there be on the garment seed, or blood, or dirt, or vomit,the worshippers of Mazda shall rend it to pieces, and bury it under the ground.

14
'But if there be no seed [on the garment], nor blood, nor dirt, nor vomit, then the worshippers of Mazda shall wash it with gomez.

15
'If it be leather, they shall wash it with gomez three times,they shall rub it with earth three times, they shall wash it with water three times, and afterwards they shall expose it to the air for three months at the window of the house. 'If it be woven cloth, they shall wash it with gomez six times,they shall rub it with earth six times, they shall wash it with water six times, and afterwards they shall expose it to the air for six months at the window of the house.

16
'The spring named Ardvi Sura, O Spitama Zarathushtra! that spring of mine, purifies the seed of males, the womb of females,the milk of females.'

17
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?

18
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, or by an Asnatar, or by a Rathwishkar, or by a Sraosha-varez, or by any priest, warrior, or husbandman.

19
'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.

20
'Ahura Mazda, indeed, does not allow us to waste anything of value that we may have, not even so much as an Asperena's weight of thread, not even so much as a maid lets fall in spinning.

21
'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.

22
'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!'

IV.

23
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can he be clean again who has eaten of the carcass of a dog or of the corpse of a man?

24
Ahura Mazda answered: 'He cannot, O holy Zarathushtra! His burrow shall be dug out, his heart shall be torn out, his bright eyes shall be put out; the Druj Nasu falls upon him, takes hold of him even to the end of the nails, and he is unclean thenceforth,for ever and ever.'

V.

25
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can he be clean again, O holy Ahura Mazda! who has brought a corpse with filth into the waters, or unto the fire, and made either unclean?

26
Ahura Mazda answered: 'He cannot, O holy Zarathushtra! Those wicked ones it is, those Nasu-cutters, that most increase spiders and locusts; those wicked ones it is, those Nasu-cutters, that most increase the grass-destroying drought.

27
'Those wicked ones it is, those Nasu-cutters, that increase most the power of the winter, produced by the fiends, the cattle-killing,thick- snowing, overflowing, the piercing, fierce, mischievous winter. Upon them comes and rushes the Druj Nasu she takes hold of them even to the end of the nails, and they are unclean, thenceforth,for ever and ever.'

VI.

28
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the wood be made clean, O holy Ahura Mazda! whereunto Nasu has been brought from a dead dog, or from a dead man?

29
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It can, O holy Zarathushtra!'How so?'If the Nasu has not yet been expelled by the corpse-eating dogs, or by the corpse-eating birds, they shall lay down, apart on the ground, all the wood on a Vitasti a all around, if the wood be dry; on a Frarathni all around, if it be wet; then they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean.

30
'But if the Nasu has already been expelled by the corpse-eating dogs, or by the corpse-eating birds, they shall lay down, apart on the ground, all the wood on a Frarathni all around, if the wood be dry; on a Frabazu all around, if it be wet; then they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean.

31
'Thus much of the wood around the dead shall they lay down, apart on the ground, according as the wood is dry or wet;as it is hard or soft; they shall sprinkle it once over with water,and it shall be clean.'

32
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the corn or the fodder be made clean O holy Ahura Mazda! whereunto Nasu has been brought from a dead dog, or from a dead man?

33
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It can, O holy Zarathushtra!' How so?'If the Nasu has not yet been expelled by the corpse-eating dogs, or by the corpse-eating birds they shall lay down, apart on the ground, all the corn on a Frarathni all around, if the corn be dry on a Frabazu all around, if it be wet; then they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean.

34
'But if the Nasu has already been expelled by the corpse-eating dogs, or by the corpse-eating birds, they shall lay down, apart on the ground, all the corn on a Frabazu all around, if the corn be dry; on a Vibazu all around, if it be wet then they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean.

35
'Thus much of the corn around the dead shall they lay down, apart on the ground, according as the corn is dry or wet;as it is sown or not sown; as it is reaped or not reaped; [asit is beaten or not beaten]1; as it is winnowed or not winnowed;[as it is ground or not ground]2; as it is kneaded [or not kneaded]3;they shall sprinkle it once over with water, and it shall be clean.'

Continued...

VIIa.

36
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a worshipper of Mazda want to practice the art of healing, on whom shall he first prove his skill? on worshippers of Mazda or on worshippers of the Daevas?

37
Ahura Mazda answered: 'On worshippers of the Daevas shall he first prove himself, rather than on worshippers of Mazda. If he treat with the knife a worshipper of the Daevas and he die;if he treat with the knife a second worshipper of the Daevas and he die; if he treat with the knife for the third time a worshipper of the Daevas and he die, he is unfit for ever and ever.

38
'Let him therefore never attend any worshipper of Mazda;let him never treat with the knife and worshipper of Mazda, nor wound him with the knife. If he shall ever attend any worshipper of Mazda, if he shall ever treat with the knife any worshipperof Mazda, and wound him with the knife, he shall pay for his wound the penalty for willful murder.

39
'If he treat with the knife a worshipper of the Daevasa nd he recover; if he treat with the knife a second worshipper of the Daevas and he recover; if for the third time he treat with the knife a worshipper of the Daevas and he recover; then he is fit for ever and ever.

40
'He may henceforth at his will attend worshippers of Mazda;he may at his will treat with the knife worshippers of Mazda,and heal them with the knife.

VIIb.

41
'A healer shall heal a priest for a blessing of the just;he shall heal the master of a house for the value of an ox of low value; he shall heal the lord of a borough for the value of an ox of average value; he shall heal the lord of a town for the value of an ox of high value; he shall heal the lord of a province for the value of a chariot and four.

42
'He shall heal the wife of the master of a house for the value of a she-ass; he shall heal the wife of the lord of a borough for the value of a cow; he shall heal the wife of the lord of a town for the value of a mare; he shall heal the wife of the lord of a province for the value of a she-camel.

43
'He shall heal the heir of a great house for the value of an ox of high value; he shall heal an ox of high value for the value of an ox of average value; he shall heal an ox of average value for the value of an ox of low value; he shall heal an ox of low value for the value of a sheep; he shall heal a sheep for the value of a piece of meat.

44
'If several healers offer themselves together, O Spitama Zarathushtra! namely, one who heals with the knife, one who heals with herbs, and one who heals with the Holy Word, let one apply to the healing by the Holy Word: for this one is the best-healing of all healers who heals with the Holy Word; he will best driveaway sickness from the body of the faithful.'

VIII.

45
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long after the corpse of a dead man has been laid down on the ground,clothed with the light of heaven and beholding the sun, is the ground clean again?

46
Ahura Mazda answered: 'When the corpse of a dead man has lain on the ground for a year, clothed with the light of heaven,and beholding the sun, then the ground is clean again, O holy Zarathushtra!'

47
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long after the corpse of a dead man has been buried in the earth, is the earth clean again?

48
Ahura Mazda answered: 'When the corpse of a dead man has lain buried in the earth for fifty years, O Spitama Zarathushtra!then the earth is clean again.'

49
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How long after the corpse of a dead man has been laid down on a Dakhma,is the ground, whereon the Dakhma stands, clean again?

50
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Not until the dust of the corpse,O Spitama Zarathushtra! has mingled with the dust of the earth.Urge every one in the material world, O Spitama Zarathushtra!to pull down Dakhmas.

51
'He who should pull down Dakhmas, even so much thereof as the size of his own body, his sins in thought, word, and deed are remitted as they would be by a Patet; his sins in thought,word, and deed are undone.

52
'Not for his soul shall the two spirits wage war with one another; and when he enters Paradise, the stars, the moon,and the sun shall rejoice in him; and I, Ahura Mazda, shall rejoice in him, saying: " Hail, O man! thou who hast just passed from the decaying world into the undecaying one!"'

55
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Where are there Daevas: Where is it they offer worship to the Daevas: What is the place whereon troops of Daevas rush together, whereon troops of Daevas come rushing along? What is the place whereon they rush together to kill their fifties and their hundreds, their hundreds and their thousands, their thousands and their tens of thousands,their tens of thousands and their myriads of myriads?

56
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Those Dakhmas that are built upon the face of the earth, O Spitama Zarathushtra! and whereon are laid the corpses of dead men, that is the place where there are Daevas, that is the place whereon troops of Daevas rush together;whereon troops of Daevas come rushing along; whereon they rushtogether to kill their fifties and their hundreds, their hundreds and their thousands, their thousands and their tens of thousands,their tens of thousands and their myriads of myriads.

57
'On those Dakhmas, O Spitama Zarathushtra! those Daevas take food and void filth. As you, men, in the material world,you cook meal and eat cooked meat, so do they. It is, as it were,the smell of their feeding that you smell there, O men!

58
'For thus they go on reveling, until that stench is rooted in the Dakhmas. In those Dakhmas arise the infection of diseases,itch, hot fever, naeza, cold fever, rickets, and hair untimely white. On those Dakhmas meet the worst murderers, from the hour when the sun is down.

59
'And people of small understanding who do not seek for better understanding, the Gainis make those diseases grow stronger by a third, on their thighs, on their hands, on their three-plaited hair.'

IX.

60
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?

61
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;'

62
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?

63
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;-

64
'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.'

65
O Maker of the material word, thou Holy One! What is the food that the woman shall first take?

66
Ahura Mazda answered: 'Gomez mixed with ashes, three draughts of it, or six, or nine, to send down the Dakhma within her womb.

67
'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.'

68
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?

69
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 nineholes, and thus shall she be clean.'

70
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! But if fever befall her unclean body, if these two worst pains, hunger and thirst, befall her, may she be allowed to drink water?

71
Ahura Mazda answered: 'She may; the first thing for her is to have her life saved. From the hands of one of the holy men,a holy faithful man, who knows the holy knowledge, she shall drink of the strength-giving water. But you, worshippers of Mazda, fix ye the penalty for it. The Ratu being applied to, the Sraosha-varezbeing applied to, shall prescribe the penalty to be paid.'

72
What is the penalty to be paid?Ahura Mazda answered: 'The deed is that of a Peshotanu: two hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, two hundred stripes with the Sraosho-charana.'

X.

73
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the eating-vessels be made clean that have been touched by Nasu from a dog, or Nasu from a man?

74
Ahura Mazda answered: 'They can, O holy Zarathushtra!'How so?'If they be of gold, you shall wash them once with gomez,you shall rub them once with earth, you shall wash them once with water, and they shall be clean.'If they be of silver, you shall wash them twice with gomez,you shall rub them twice with earth, you shall wash them twice with water, and they shall be clean.

75
'If they be of brass, you shall wash them thrice with gomez, you shall rub them thrice with earth, you shall wash them thrice with water, and they shall be clean.'If they be of steel, you shall wash them four times with gomez, you shall rub them four times with earth, you shall wash them four times with water, and they shall be clean.'If they be of stone, you shall wash them six times with gomez,you shall rub them six times with earth, you shall wash them six times with water, and they shall be clean.]'If they be of earth, of wood, or of clay, they are unclean for ever and ever.'

XI.

76
O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Can the cow be made clean that has eaten of the carcass of a dog, or of the corpse of a man?

77
Ahura Mazda answered: 'She can, O holy Zarathushtra! The priest shall not, within a year, take from her either milk or cheese for the libation, nor meat for the libation and the Baresma. When a year has passed, then the faithful may eat of her as before.'

XII.

78
Who is he, O holy Ahura Mazda! who, meaning well and desiring righteousness, prevents righteousness? Who is he who, meaning well, falls into the ways of the Druj?

79
Ahura Mazda answered: 'This one, meaning well and desiring righteousness, prevents righteousness; this one, meaning well,falls into the ways of the Druj, who offers up water defiled by the dead and unfit for libation; or who offers up in the dead of the night water unfit for libation.'

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-- Fargard 7 --





 
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