Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda: 'O Ahura Mazda, most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the most deadly deed whereby a man offers up a sacrifice to the Daevas!'
Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is when a man here below, combing his hair or shaving it off, or paring off his nails, drops them in a hole or in a crack.
'Then by this transgression of the rites, Daevas are produced in the earth; by this transgression of the rites, those Khrafstras are produced in the earth which men call lice, and which eat up the corn in the corn-field and the clothes in the wardrobe.
'Therefore, thou, O Zarathushtra! whenever here below thou shalt comb thy hair or shave it off, or pare off thy nails, thou shalt take them away ten paces from the faithful, twenty paces from the fire, thirty paces from the water, fifty paces from the consecrated bundles of Baresma.
'Then thou shalt dig a hole, a disti [ten fingers] deep if the earth be hard, a vitasti [twelve fingers] deep if it be soft;thou shalt take the hair down there and thou shalt say aloud these victorious words: "For him, as a reward, Mazda made the plants grow up."
'Thereupon thou shalt draw three furrows with a knife of metal around the hole, or six furrows or nine, and thou shall chant the Ahuna-Vairya three times, or six, or nine.
'For the nails, thou shalt dig a hole, out of the house, as deep as the top joint of the little finger; thou shalt take the nails down there and thou shalt say aloud these victorious words:"The things that the pure proclaim through Asha and Vohu-mano."
'Then thou shalt draw three furrows with a knife of metal around the hole, or six furrows or nine, and thou shalt chant the Ahuna-Vairya three times, or six, or nine.
'And then: "O Asho-zushta bird! these nails I announce and consecrate unto thee. May they be for thee so many spears and knives, so many bows and falcon-winged arrows and so many sling-stones against the Mazainya Daevas!"
'If those nails have not been consecrated (to the bird), they shall be in the hands of the Mazainya Daevas so many spears and knives so many bows and falcon-winged arrows, and so many sling-stones (against the Mazainya Daevas).
'All wicked, embodiments of the Druj, are scorners of the judge: all scorners of the judge are rebels against the Sovereign:all rebels against the Sovereign are ungodly men; and all ungodly men are worthy of death.'
Back to Top