Excerpts from the Original Electronic Text at the web site of Avesta.
The Bundahishn, which means "the Creation," is one of the great Pahlavi texts, Zoroastrian sacred literature written in the middle-Persian language. It was probably compiled in the eighth and ninth centuries, though it reflects ancient Zorastrian (and pre-Zorastrian) teachings.
- In the name of the creator Ohrmazd.
- The Zand-akas ('Zand-knowing or tradition-informed'), which
is first about Ohrmazd's original creation and the antagonism
of the evil spirit, and afterwards about the nature of the creatures
from the original creation till the end, which is the future existence
(tanu-i pasino). 2. As revealed by the religion of the Mazdayasnians,
so it is declared that Ohrmazd is supreme in omniscience and goodness,
and unrivaled in splendor; the region of light is the place of
Ohrmazd, which they call 'endless light,' and the omniscience
and goodness of the unrivaled Ohrmazd is what they call 'revelation.'
3. Revelation is the explanation of both spirits together; one
is he who is independent of unlimited time, because Ohrmazd and
the region, religion, and time of Ohrmazd were and are and ever
will be; while Ahriman in darkness, with backward understanding
and desire for destruction, was in the abyss, and it is he who
will not be; and the place of that destruction, and also of that
darkness, is what they call the 'endlessly dark.' 4. And between
them was empty space, that is, what they call 'air,' in which
is now their meeting.
- Both are limited and unlimited spirits, for the supreme is
that which they call endless light, and the abyss that which is
endlessly dark, so that between them is a void, and one is not
connected with the other; and, again, both spirits are limited
as to their own selves. 6. And, secondly, on account of the omniscience
of Ohrmazd, both things are in the creation of Ohrmazd, the finite
and the infinite; for this they know is that which is in the covenant
of both spirits. 7. And, again, the complete sovereignty of the
creatures of Ohrmazd is in the future existence, and that also
is unlimited for ever and everlasting, and the creatures of Ahriman
will perish at the time when the future existence occurs, and
that also is eternity.
- Ohrmazd, through omniscience, knew that Ahriman exists, and
whatever he schemes he infuses with malice and greediness till
the end; and because He accomplishes the end by many means, He
also produced spiritually the creatures which were necessary for
those means, and they remained three thousand years in a spiritual
state, so that they were unthinking and unmoving, with intangible
- The evil spirit, on account of backward knowledge, was not
aware of the existence of Ohrmazd; and, afterwards, he arose from
the abyss, and came in unto the light which he saw. 10. Desirous
of destroying, and because of his malicious nature, he rushed
in to destroy that light of Ohrmazd unassailed by fiends, and
he saw its bravery and glory were greater than his own; so he
fled back to the gloomy darkness, and formed many demons and fiends;
and the creatures of the destroyer arose for violence.
- Ohrmazd, by whom the creatures of the evil spirit were seen,
creatures terrible, corrupt, and bad, also considered them not
commendable (burzishnik). 12. Afterwards, the evil spirit saw
the creatures of Ohrmazd; there appeared many creatures of delight
(vayah), inquiring creatures, and they seemed to him commendable,
and he commended the creatures and creation of Ohrmazd.
- Then Ohrmazd, with a knowledge of which way the end of the
matter would be, went to meet the evil spirit, and proposed peace
to him, and spoke thus: 'Evil spirit! bring assistance unto my
creatures, and offer praise! so that, in reward for it, ye (you
and your creatures) may become immortal and undecaying, hungerless
- And the evil spirit shouted thus: 'I will not depart, I will
not provide assistance for thy creatures, I will not offer praise
among thy creatures, and I am not of the same opinion with thee
as to good things. I will destroy thy creatures for ever and everlasting;
moreover, I will force all thy creatures into disaffection to
thee and affection for myself.' 15. And the explanation thereof
is this, that the evil spirit reflected in this manner, that Ohrmazd
was helpless as regarded him, therefore He proffers peace; and
he did not agree, but bore on even into conflict with Him.
- And Ohrmazd spoke thus: 'You are not omniscient and almighty,
O evil spirit! so that it is not possible for thee to destroy
me, and it is not possible for thee to force my creatures so that
they will not return to my possession.'
- Then Ohrmazd, through omniscience, knew that: If I do not
grant a period of contest, then it will be possible for him to
act so that he may be able to cause the seduction of my creatures
to himself. As even now there are many of the intermixture of
mankind who practice wrong more than right. 18. And Ohrmazd spoke
to the evil spirit thus: 'Appoint a period! so that the intermingling
of the conflict may be for nine thousand years. For he knew that
by appointing this period the evil spirit would be undone.
- Then the evil spirit, unobservant and through ignorance, was
content with that agreement; just like two men quarreling together,
who propose a time thus: Let us appoint such-and-such a day for
- Ohrmazd also knew this, through omniscience, that within these
nine thousand years, for three thousand years everything proceeds
by the will of Ohrmazd, three thousand years there is an intermingling
of the wills of Ohrmazd and Ahriman, and the last three thousand
years the evil spirit is disabled, and they keep the adversary
away from the creatures.
- Afterwards, Ohrmazd recited the Ahunwar thus: Yatha ahu vairyo
('as a heavenly lord is to be chosen'), &c. once, and uttered
the twenty-one words; He also exhibited to the evil spirit His
own triumph in the end, and the impotence of the evil spirit,
the annihilation of the demons, and the resurrection and undisturbed
future existence of the creatures for ever and everlasting. 22.
And the evil spirit, who perceived his own impotence and the annihilation
of the demons, became confounded, and fell back to the gloomy
darkness; even so as is declared in revelation, that, when one
of its (the Ahunwar's) three parts was uttered, the evil spirit
contracted his body through fear, and when two parts of it were
uttered he fell upon his knees, and when all of it was uttered
he became confounded and impotent as to the harm he caused the
creatures of Ohrmazd, and he remained three thousand years in
- Ohrmazd created his creatures in the confusion of Ahriman;
first he produced Vohuman ('good thought'), by whom the progress
of the creatures of Ohrmazd was advanced.
- The evil spirit first created Mitokht ('falsehood'), and then
Akoman ('evil thought').
- The first of Ohrmazd's creatures of the world was the sky,
and his good thought (Vohuman), by good procedure, produced the
light of the world, along with which was the good religion of
the Mazdayasnians; this was because the renovation (Frashegird)
which happens to the creatures was known to him! 26. Afterwards
arose Ardwahisht, and then Shahrewar, and then Spandarmad, and
then Hordad, and then Amurdad.
- From the dark world of Ahriman were Akoman and Andar, and
then Sovar, and then Nakahed, and then Tairev and Zairik.
- Of Ohrmazd's creatures of the world, the first was the sky;
the second, water; the third, earth; the fourth, plants; the fifth,
animals; the sixth, mankind.
- On the formation of the luminaries.
- Ohrmazd produced illumination between the sky and the earth,
the constellation stars and those also not of the constellations,
then the moon, and afterwards the sun, as I shall relate.
- First he produced the celestial sphere, and the constellation
stars are assigned to it by him; especially these twelve whose
names are Varak (the Lamb), Tora (the Bull), Do-patkar (the Two-figures
or Gemini), Kalachang (the Crab), Sher (the Lion), Khushak (Virgo),
Tarazhuk (the Balance), Gazdum (the Scorpion), Nimasp (the Centaur
or Sagittarius), Vahik (Capricorn), Dul (the Water-pot), and Mahik
(the Fish); 3. which, from their original creation, were divided
into the twenty-eight subdivisions of the astronomers, of which
the names are Padevar, Pesh-Parviz, Parviz, Paha, Avesar, Beshn,
Rakhvad, Taraha, Avra, Nahn, Miyan, Avdem, Mashaha, Spur, Husru,
Srob, Nur, Gel, Garafsha Varant, Gau, Goi, Muru, Bunda, Kahtsar,
Vaht, Miyan, Kaht. 4. And all his original creations, residing
in the world, are committed to them; so that when the destroyer
arrives they overcome the adversary and their own persecution,
and the creatures are saved from those adversities.
- As a specimen of a warlike army, which is destined for battle,
they have ordained every single constellation of those 6480 thousand
small stars as assistance; and among those constellations four
chieftains, appointed on the four sides, are leaders. 6. On the
recommendation of those chieftains the many unnumbered stars are
specially assigned to the various quarters and various places,
as the united strength and appointed power of those constellations.
7. As it is said that Tishtar is the chieftain of the east, Sataves
the chieftain of the west, Vanand the chieftain of the south,
and Haptoring the chieftain of the north. 8. The great one which
they call a Gah (period of the day), which they say is the great
one of the middle of the sky, till just before the destroyer came
was the midday (or south) one of the five, that is, the Rapithwin.
- Ohrmazd performed the spiritual Yazishn ceremony with the
archangels (amahraspand) in the Rapithwin Gah, and in the Yazishn
he supplied every means necessary for overcoming the adversary.
10. He deliberated with the consciousness (bod) and guardian spirits
(farohar) of men, and the omniscient wisdom, brought forward among
men, spoke thus: 'Which seems to you the more advantageous, when
I shall present you to the world? that you shall contend in a
bodily form with the fiend (druj), and the fiend shall perish,
and in the end I shall have you prepared again perfect and immortal,
and in the end give you back to the world, and you will be wholly
immortal, undecaying, and undisturbed; or that it be always necessary
to provide you protection from the destroyer?'
- Thereupon, the guardian spirits of men became of the same
opinion with the omniscient wisdom about going to the world, on
account of the evil that comes upon them, in the world, from the
fiend (druj) Ahriman, and their becoming, at last, again unpersecuted
by the adversary, perfect, and immortal, in the future existence,
for ever and everlasting.
- On the rush of the destroyer at the creatures it is said,
in revelation, that the evil spirit, when he saw the impotence
of himself and the confederate (ham-dast) demons, owing to the
righteous man, became confounded, and seemed in confusion three
thousand years. 2. During that confusion the arch-fiends of the
demons severally shouted thus: 'Rise up, thou father of us! for
we will cause a conflict in the world, the distress and injury
from which will become those of Ohrmazd and the archangels.'
- Severally they twice recounted their own evil deeds, and it
pleased him not; and that wicked evil spirit, through fear of
the righteous man, was not able to lift up his head until the
wicked Jeh came, at the completion of the three thousand years.
4. And she shouted to the evil spirit thus: 'Rise up, thou father
of us! for I will cause that conflict in the world wherefrom the
distress and injury of Ohrmazd and the archangels will arise,'
5. And she twice recounted severally her own evil deeds, and it
pleased him not; and that wicked evil spirit rose not from that
confusion, through fear of the righteous man.
- And, again, the wicked Jeh shouted thus: 'Rise up, thou father
of us! for in that conflict I will shed thus much vexation on
the righteous man and the laboring ox that, through my deeds,
life will not be wanted, and I will destroy their living souls
(nismo); I will vex the water, I will vex the plants, I will vex
the fire of Ohrmazd, I will make the whole creation of Ohrmazd
vexed.' 7. And she so recounted those evil deeds a second time,
that the evil spirit was delighted and started up from that confusion;
and he kissed Jeh upon the head, and the pollution which they
call menstruation became apparent in Jeh.
- He shouted to Jeh thus: 'What is thy wish? so that I may give
it thee.' And Jeh shouted to the evil spirit thus: 'A man is the
wish, so give it to me.'
- The form of the evil spirit was a log-like lizard's (vazak)
body, and he appeared a young man of fifteen years to Jeh, and
that brought the thoughts of Jeh to him.
- Afterwards, the evil spirit, with the confederate demons,
went towards the luminaries, and he saw the sky; and he led them
up, fraught with malicious intentions. 11. He stood upon one-third
of the inside of the sky, and he sprang, like a snake, out of
the sky down to the earth.
- In the month Frawardin and the day Ohrmazd he rushed in at
noon, and thereby the sky was as shattered and frightened by him,
as a sheep by a wolf. 13. He came on to the water which was arranged
below the earth, and then the middle of this earth was pierced
and entered by him. 14. Afterwards, he came to the vegetation,
then to the ox, then to Gayomard, and then he came to fire; so,
just like a fly, he rushed out upon the whole creation; and he
made the world quite as injured and dark at midday as though it
were in dark night. 15. And noxious creatures were diffused by
him over the earth, biting and venomous, such as the snake, scorpion,
frog (kalvak), and lizard (vazak), so that not so much as the
point of a needle remained free from noxious creatures. 16. And
blight was diffused by him over the vegetation, and it withered
away immediately. 17. And avarice, want, pain, hunger, disease,
lust, and lethargy were diffused by him abroad upon the ox and
- Before his coming to the ox, Ohrmazd ground up the healing
fruit, which some call 'binak,' small in water openly before its
eyes, so that its damage and discomfort from the calamity (zanishn)
might be less; and when it became at the same time lean and ill,
as its breath went forth and it passed away, the ox also spoke
thus: 'The cattle are to be created, and their work, labor, and
care are to be appointed.'
- And before his coming to Gayomard, Ohrmazd brought forth a
sweat upon Gayomard, so long as he might recite a prayer (vaj)
of one stanza (vichast); moreover, Ohrmazd formed that sweat into
the youthful body of a man of fifteen years, radiant and tall.
20. When Gayomard issued from the sweat he saw the world dark
as night, and the earth as though not a needle's point remained
free from noxious creatures; the celestial sphere was in revolution,
and the sun and moon remained in motion: and the world's struggle,
owing to the clamor of the Mazendaran demons, was with the constellations.
- And the evil spirit thought that the creatures of Ohrmazd
were all rendered useless except Gayomard; and Astwihad with a
thousand demons, causers of death, were let forth by him on Gayomard.
22. But his appointed time had not come, and he (Astwihad) obtained
no means of noosing (avizidano) him; as it is said that, when
the opposition of the evil spirit came, the period of the life
and rule of Gayomard was appointed for thirty years. 23. After
the coming of the adversary he lived thirty years, and Gayomard
spoke thus: 'Although the destroyer has come, mankind will be
all of my race; and this one thing is good, when they perform
duty and good works.'
- And, afterwards, he (the evil spirit) came to fire, and he
mingled smoke and darkness with it. 25. The planets, with many
demons, dashed against the celestial sphere, and they mixed the
constellations; and the whole creation was as disfigured as though
fire disfigured every place and smoke arose over it. 26. And ninety
days and nights the heavenly angels were contending in the world
with the confederate demons of the evil spirit, and hurled them
confounded to hell; and the rampart of the sky was formed so that
the adversary should not be able to mingle with it.
- Hell is in the middle of the earth; there where the evil spirit
pierced the earth and rushed in upon it, as all the possessions
of the world were changing into duality, and persecution, contention,
and mingling of high and low became manifest.
- This also is said, that when the primeval ox passed away it
fell to the right hand, and Gayomard afterwards, when he passed
away, to the left hand. 2. Goshorun, as the soul of the primeval
ox came out from the body of the ox, stood up before the ox and
cried to Ohrmazd, as much as a thousand men when they sustain
a cry at one time, thus: 'With whom is the guardianship of the
creatures left by thee, when ruin has broken into the earth and
vegetation is withered, and water is troubled? Where is the man
of whom it was said by thee thus: I will produce him, so that
he may preach carefulness?'
- And Ohrmazd spoke thus: 'You are made ill, O Goshorun! you
have the illness which the evil spirit brought on; if it were
proper to produce that man in this earth at this time, the evil
spirit would not have been oppressive in it.'
- Forth Goshorun walked to the star station (payak) and cried
in the same manner, and forth to the moon station and cried in
the same manner, and forth to the sun station, and then the guardian
spirit of Zartosht was exhibited to her, and Ohrmazd said thus:
'I will produce for the world him who will preach carefulness.'
5. Contented became the spirit Goshorun, and assented thus: 'I
will nourish the creatures;' that is, she became again consenting
to a worldly creation in the world.
- Seven chieftains of the planets have come unto the seven chieftains
of the constellations, as the planet Mercury (Tir) unto Tishtar,
the planet Mars (Warharan) unto Haptoring, the planet Jupiter
(Ohrmazd) unto Vanand, the planet Venus (Anahid) unto Sataves,
the planet Saturn (Kevan) unto the great one of the middle of
the sky, Gochihar and the thievish (dujgun) Mushpar, provided
with tails, unto the sun and moon and stars. 2. The sun has attached
Mushpar to its own radiance by mutual agreement, so that he may
be less able to do harm (vinas).
- Of Mount Alburz it is declared, that around the world and
Mount Terak, which is the middle of the world, the revolution
of the sun is like a moat around the world; it turns back in a
circuit owing to the enclosure (var) of Mount Alburz around Terak.
4. As it is said that it is the Terak of Alburz from behind which
my sun and moon and stars return again. 5. For there are a hundred
and eighty apertures (rojin) in the east, and a hundred and eighty
in the west, through Alburz; and the sun, every day, comes in
through an aperture, and goes out through an aperture; and the
whole connection and motion of the moon and constellations and
planets is with it: every day it always illumines (or warms) three
regions (karshwar) and a half, as is evident to the eyesight.
6. And twice in every year the day and night are equal, for on
the original attack, when it (the sun) went forth from its first
degree (khurdak), the day and night were equal, it was the season
of spring; when it arrives at the first degree of Kalachang (Cancer)
the time of day is greatest, it is the beginning of summer; when
it arrives at the sign (khurdak) Tarachuk (Libra) the day and
night are equal, it is the beginning of autumn; when it arrives
at the sign Vahik (Capricorn) the night is a maximum, it is the
beginning of winter; and when it arrives at Varak (Aries) the
night and day have again become equal, as when it went forth from
Varak. 7. So that when it comes back to Varak, in three hundred
and sixty days and the five Gatha days, it goes in and comes out
through one and the same aperture; the aperture is not mentioned,
for if it had been mentioned the demons would have known the secret,
and been able to introduce disaster.
- From there where the sun comes on on the longest day to where
it comes on on the shortest day is the east region Sawahi; from
there where it comes on on the shortest day to where it goes off
on the shortest day is the direction of the south regions Fradadhafshu
and Widadhafshu; from there where it goes in on the shortest day
to where it goes in on the longest day is the west region Arezahi;
from there where it comes in on the longest day to there where
it goes in on the longest day are the north regions Wourubareshti
and Wourujareshti. 9. When the sun comes on, it illumines (or
warms) the regions of Sawahi, Fradadhafshu, Widadhafshu, and half
of Xwaniratha; when it goes in on the dark side, it illumines
the regions of Arezahi, Wourubareshti, Wourujareshti, and one
half of Xwaniratha; when it is day here it is night there.
- On the conflict of the creations of the world with the antagonism
of the evil spirit it is said in revelation, that the evil spirit,
even as he rushed in and looked upon the pure bravery of the angels
and his own violence, wished to rush back. 2. The spirit of the
sky is himself like one of the warriors who has put on armor;
he arrayed the sky against the evil spirit, and led on in the
contest, until Ohrmazd had completed a rampart around, stronger
than the sky and in front of the sky. 3. And his guardian spirits
(farohar) of warriors and the righteous, on war horses and spear
in hand, were around the sky; such-like as the hair on the head
is the similitude (anguni-aitak) of those who hold the watch of
the rampart. 4. And no passage was found by the evil spirit, who
rushed back; and he beheld the annihilation of the demons and
his own impotence, as Ohrmazd did his own final triumph, producing
the renovation of universe for ever and everlasting. . .
- On the nature of men it says in revelation, that Gayomard,
in passing away, gave forth seed; that seed was thoroughly purified
by the motion of the light of the sun, and Neryosang kept charge
of two portions, and Spandarmad received one portion. 2. And in
forty years, with the shape of a one-stemmed Rivas-plant, and
the fifteen years of its fifteen leaves, Matro [Mashye] and Matroyao
[Mashyane] grew up from the earth in such a manner that their
arms rested, behind on their shoulders (dosh), and one joined
to the other they were connected together and both alike. 3. And
the waists of both of them were brought close and so connected
together that it was not clear which is the male and which the
female, and which is the one whose living soul (nismo) of Ohrmazd
is not away. 4. As it is said thus: Which is created before, the
soul (nismo) or the body? And Ohrmazd said that the soul is created
before, and the body after, for him who was created; it is given
into the body that it may produce activity, and the body is created
only for activity;' hence the conclusion is this, that the soul
(ruban) is created before and the body after. 5. And both of them
changed from the shape of a plant into the shape of man, and the
breath (nismo) went spiritually into them, which is the soul (ruban);
and now, moreover, in that similitude a tree had grown up whose
fruit was the ten varieties of man.
- Ohrmazd spoke to Mashye and Mashyane thus: 'You are man, you
are the ancestry of the world, and you are created perfect in
devotion by me; perform devotedly the duty of the law, think good
thoughts, speak good words, do good deeds, and worship no demons!'
7. Both of them first thought this, that one of them should please
the other, as he is a man for him; and the first deed done by
them was this, when they went out they washed themselves thoroughly;
and the first words spoken by them were these, that Ohrmazd created
the water and earth, plants and animals, the stars, moon, and
sun, and all prosperity whose origin and effect are from the manifestation
of righteousness. 8. And, afterwards, antagonism rushed into their
minds, and their minds were thoroughly corrupted, and they exclaimed
that the evil spirit created the water and earth, plants and animals,
and the other things as aforesaid. 9. That false speech was spoken
through the will of the demons, and the evil spirit possessed
himself of this first enjoyment from them; through that false
speech they both became wicked, and their souls are in hell until
the future existence.
- And they had gone thirty days without food, covered with clothing
of herbage (giyah); and after the thirty days they went forth
into the wilderness, came to a white-haired goat, and milked the
milk from the udder with their mouths. 11. When they had devoured
the milk Mashye said to Mashyane thus: 'My delight was owing to
it when I had not devoured the milk, and my delight is more delightful
now when it is devoured by my vile body.' 12. That second false
speech enhanced the power of the demons, and the taste of the
food was taken away by them, so that out of a hundred parts one
- Afterwards, in another thirty days and nights they came to
a sheep, fat and white-jawed, and they slaughtered it; and fire
was extracted by them out of the wood of the lote-plum and box-tree,
through the guidance of the heavenly angels, since both woods
were most productive of fire for them; and the fire was stimulated
by their mouths; and the first fuel kindled by them was dry grass,
kendar, lotos, date palm leaves, and myrtle; and they made a roast
of the sheep. 14. And they dropped three handfuls of the meat
into the fire, and said: 'This is the share of the fire.' One
piece of the rest they tossed to the sky, and said: 'This is the
share of the angels.' A bird, the vulture, advanced and carried
some of it away from before them, as a dog ate the first meat.
15. And, first, a clothing of skins covered them; afterwards,
it is said, woven garments were prepared from a cloth woven in
the wilderness. 16. And they dug out a pit in the earth, and iron
was obtained by them and beaten out with a stone, and without
a forge they beat out a cutting edge from it; and they cut wood
with it, and prepared a wooden shelter from the sun (pesh-khur).
- Owing to the gracelessness which they practiced, the demons
became more oppressive, and they themselves carried on unnatural
malice between themselves; they advanced one against the other,
and smote and tore their hair and cheeks. 18. Then the demons
shouted out of the darkness thus: 'You are man; worship the demon!
so that your demon of malice may repose.' 19. Mashye went forth
and milked a cow's milk, and poured it out towards the northern
quarter; through that the demons became more powerful, and owing
to them they both became so dry-backed that in fifty winters they
had no desire for intercourse, and though they had had intercourse
they would have had no children. 20. And on the completion of
fifty years the source of desire arose, first in Mashye and then
in Mashyane, for Mashye said to Mashyane thus: 'When I see thy
shame my desires arise.' Then Mashyane spoke thus: 'Brother Mashye!
when I see thy great desire I am also agitated.' 21. Afterwards,
it became their mutual wish that the satisfaction of their desires
should be accomplished, as they reflected thus: 'Our duty even
for those fifty years was this.'
- From them was born in nine months a pair, male and female;
and owing to tenderness for offspring the mother devoured one,
and the father one. 23. And, afterwards, Ohrmazd took tenderness
for offspring away from them, so that one may nourish a child,
and the child may remain.
- And from them arose seven pairs, male and female, and each
was a brother and sister-wife; and from every one of them, in
fifty years, children were born, and they themselves died in a
hundred years. 25. Of those seven pairs one was Siyamak, the name
of the man, and Nasak of the woman; and from them a pair was born,
whose names were Fravak of the man and Fravakain of the woman.
26. From them fifteen pairs were born, every single pair of whom
became a race (sardak); and from them the constant continuance
of the generations of the world arose.
- Owing to the increase (zayishn) of the whole fifteen races,
nine races proceeded on the back of the ox Sarsaok, through the
wide-formed ocean, to the other six regions (karshwar), and stayed
there; and six races of men remained in Xwaniratha. 28. Of those
six races the name of the man of one pair was Tazh and of the
woman Tazhak, and they went to the plain of the Tazhikan (Arabs);
and of one pair Hooshang was the name of the man and Guzhak of
the woman, and from them arose the Airanakan (Iranians); and from
one pair the Mazendarans have arisen. 29. Among the number (pavan
ae mar) were those who are in the countries of Surak, those who
are in the country of Aner, those who are in the countries of
Tur, those who are in the country of Salm which is Arum, those
who are in the country of Seni, that which is Chinistan, those
who are in the country of Dai, and those who are in the country
of Sind. 30. Those, indeed, throughout the seven regions are all
from the lineage of Fravak, son of Siyamak, son of Mashye.
- As there were ten varieties of man, and fifteen races from
Fravak, there were twenty-five races all from the seed of Gayomard;
the varieties are such as those of the earth, of the water, the
breast-eared, the breast-eyed, the one-legged, those also who
have wings like a bat, those of the forest, with tails, and who
have hair on the body. . . .
- On the evildoing of Ahriman and the demons it says in revelation,
that the evil which the evil spirit has produced for the creation
of Ohrmazd it is possible to tell by this winter; and his body
is that of a lizard (vazagh) whose place is filth (kalch). 2.
He does not think, nor speak, nor act for the welfare (nadukih)
of the creatures of Ohrmazd; and his business is unmercifulness
and the destruction of this welfare, so that the creatures which
Ohrmazd shall increase he will destroy; and his eyesight (chashm
michihsn) does not refrain from doing the creatures harm. 3. As
it says that, 'ever since a creature wag created by us, I, who
am Ohrmazd, have not rested at ease, on account of providing protection
for my own creatures; and likewise not even he, the evil spirit,
on account of contriving evil for the creatures.' 4. And by their
devotion to witchcraft (yatuk-dinoih) he seduces mankind into
affection for himself and disaffection to Ohrmazd, so that they
forsake the religion of Ohrmazd, and practice that of Ahriman.
5. He casts this into the thoughts of men, that this religion
of Ohrmazd is naught, and it is not necessary to be steadfast
in it. 6. Whoever gives that man anything, in whose law (dad)
this saying is established, then the evil spirit is propitiated
by him, that is, he has acted by his pleasure.
- The business of Akoman is this, that he gave vile thoughts
and discord to the creatures. 8. The business of the demon Andar
is this, that he constrains the thoughts of the creatures from
deeds of virtue, just like a leader who has well-constrained (sardar-i
khup afsardo); and he casts this into the thoughts of men, that
it is not necessary to have the sacred shirt [sudre] and thread-girdle
[kusti]. 9. The business of the demon Savar, that is a leader
of the demons, is this, that is, misgovernment, oppressive anarchy,
and drunkenness. 10. The business of the demon Naikiyas is this,
that he gives discontent to the creatures; as it says, that should
this one give anything to those men whose opinion (dad) is this,
that it is not necessary to have the sacred shirt and thread-girdle,
then Andar, Savar, and Naikiyas are propitiated by him. 11. The
demon Taprev is he who mingles poison with plants and creatures,
as it says thus: 'Taprev the frustrater, and Zairich the maker
of poison.' 12. All those six, it is said, are arch-fiends of
the demons; the rest are cooperating and confederate with them.
13. This, too, it says, that] should one give [anything to] a
man who says [that it is proper to have one boot], and in his
law walking with one boot [is established, then] the fiend Taprev
is propitiated [by him].
- The demon-Taromat [is he who] produces disobedience; the demon
Mitrokht is the liar (drojan) of the evil spirit; the demon Arashk
('malice') is the spiteful fiend of the evil eye. 15. Theirs are
the same appliances as the demon Eshm's, as it says that seven
powers are given to Eshm, that he may utterly destroy the creatures
therewith; with those seven powers he will destroy seven of the
Kayanian heroes in his own time, but one will remain. 16. There
where Mitrokht ('falsehood') arrives, Arashk ('malice') becomes
welcome, [and there where Arashk is welcome] Eshm lays a foundation,
and there where Eshm has a foundation, many creatures perish,
and he causes much non-Iranianism. 17. Eshm mostly contrives all
evil for the creatures of Ohrmazd, and the evil deeds of those
Kayanian heroes have been more complete through Eshm, as it says,
that Eshm, the impetuous assailant, causes them most.
- The demon Vizaresh is he who struggles with the souls of men
which have departed, those days and nights when they remain in
the world; he carries them on, terror-stricken, and sits at the
gate of hell. 19. The demon Uda is he who, when a man sits in
a private place, or when he eats at meals, strikes his knee spiritually
on his back, so that he bawls out [and looks out, that chattering
he may eat, chattering] he may evacuate (ried), and chattering
he may make water (mezed), so that he may not attain [unto the]
- The demon Akatash is the fiend of perversion (nikirayih),
who makes the creatures averse (nikirai) from proper things; as
it says; that whoever has given anything to that person (tanu)
whose opinion (dad) is this, that it is not necessary to have
a high-priest (dastur), then the demon Eshm is propitiated by
him. 21. Whoever has given anything to that person whose opinion
is this, and who says, that it is not necessary to have a snake-killer
(mar-van), then Ahriman, with the foregoing demons, is propitiated
by him; this is said of him who, when he sees a noxious creature,
does not kill it. 22. A snake-killer (maro-gno) is a stick on
the end of which a leather thong is provided; and it is declared
that every one of the good religion must possess one, that they
may strike and kill noxious creatures and sinners more meritoriously
- Zarman is the demon who makes decrepit (dushpad), whom they
call old age (pirih). 24. Chishmak is he who makes disastrous
(vazandak), and also causes the whirlwind which passes over for
disturbance. 25. The demon Vareno is he who causes illicit intercourse,
as it says thus: 'Vareno the defiling (alai).' 26. The demon Bushasp
is she who causes slothfulness; Sej is the fiend (druj) who causes
annihilation; and the demon Niyaz is he who causes distress.
- The demon Az ('greediness') is he who swallows everything,
and when, through destitution, nothing has come he eats himself;
he is that fiendishness which, although the whole wealth of the
world be given up to it, does not fill up and is not satisfied;
as it says, that the eye of the covetous is a noose (gamand),
and in it the world is naught. 28. Push is the demon who makes
a hoard, and does not consume it, and does not give to any one;
as it says, that the power of the demon Az is owing to that person
who, not content with his own wife, snatches away even those of
- The demon Nas is he who causes the pollution and contamination
(nisrushtih), which they call nasai ('dead matter'). 30. The demon
Friftar ('deceiver') is he who seduces mankind. 31. The demon
Spazg ('slander') is he who brings and conveys discourse (milaya),
and it is nothing in appearance such as he says; and he shows
that mankind fights and apologizes (avakhshined), individual with
individual. 32. The demon Arast ('untrue') is he who speaks falsehood.
33. The demon Aighash is the malignant-eyed fiend who smites mankind
with his eye. 34. The demon But is he whom they worship among
the Hindus, and his growth is lodged in idols, as one worships
the horse as an idol. 35. Astwihad is the evil flyer (vae-i saritar)
who seizes the life; as it says that, when his hand strokes a
man it is lethargy, when he casts it on the sick one it is fever,
when he looks in his eyes he drives away the life, and they call
it death. 36. The demon of the malignant eye (sur-chashmih) is
he who will spoil anything which men see, when they do not say
'in the name of God' (yazdan).
- With every one of them are many demons and fiends cooperating,
to specify whom a second time would be tedious; demons, too, who
are furies (khashmakan), are in great multitude it is said. 38.
They are demons of ruin, pain, and growing old (zvaran), producers
of vexation and bile, revivers of grief (nivagih), the progeny
of gloom, and bringers of stench, decay, and vileness, who are
many, very numerous, and very notorious; and a portion of all
of them is mingled in the bodies of men, and their characteristics
are glaring in mankind.
- The demon Apaosh and the demon Aspenjargak are those who remain
in contest with the rain. 40. Of the evil spirit are the law of
vileness, the religion of sorcery, the weapons of fiendishness,
and the perversion (khamih) of God's works; and his wish is this,
that is: 'Do not ask about me, and do not understand me! for if
ye ask about and understand me, ye will not come after me.' 41.
This, too, it says, that the evil spirit remains at the distance
of a cry, even at the cry of a three-year-old cock (kuleng), even
at the cry of an ass, even at the cry of a righteous man when
one strikes him involuntarily and he utters a cry. 42. The demon
Kundak is he who is the steed (barak) of wizards.
- Various new demons arise from the various new sins the creatures
may commit, and are produced for such purposes; who make even
those planets rush on which are in the celestial sphere, and they
stand very numerously in the conflict. 44. Their ringleaders (kamarikan)
are those seven planets, the head and tail of Gochihar, and Mushpar
provided with a tail, which are ten. 45. And by them these ten
worldly creations, that is, the sky, water, earth, vegetation,
animals, metals, wind, light, fire, and mankind, are corrupted
with all this vileness; and from them calamity, captivity, disease,
death, and other evils and corruptions ever come to water, vegetation,
and the other creations which exist in the world, owing to the
fiendishness of those ten. 46. They whom I have enumerated are
furnished with the assistance and crafty (afzar-homand) nature
- Regarding the cold, dry, stony, and dark interior of mysterious
(tarik den afraj-pedak) hell it says, that the darkness is fit
to grasp with the hand, and the stench is fit to cut with a knife;
and if they inflict the punishment of a thousand men within a
single span, they (the men) think in this way, that they are alone;
and the loneliness is worse than its punishment. 48. And its connection
(band) is with the seven planets, be it through much cold like
Saturn (Kevan), be it through much heat like Ahriman; and their
food is brimstone (gandak), and of succulents the lizard (vazagh),
and other evil and wretchedness (patyan).] . . .
- On the nature of the resurrection and future existence it
says in revelation, that, whereas Mashye and Mashyane, who grew
up from the earth, first fed upon water, then plants, then milk,
and then meat, men also, when their time of death has come, first
desist from eating meat, then milk, then from bread, till when
they shall die they always feed upon water. 2. So, likewise, in
the millennium of Hoshedarmah, the strength of appetite (az) will
thus diminish, when men will remain three days and nights in superabundance
(sirih) through one taste of consecrated food. 3. Then they will
desist from meat food, and eat vegetables and milk; afterwards,
they abstain from milk food and abstain from vegetable food, and
are feeding on water; and for ten years before Soshyant comes
they remain without food, and do not die.
- After Soshyant comes they prepare the raising of the dead,
as it says, that Zartosht asked of Ohrmazd thus: 'Whence does
a body form again, which the wind has carried and the water conveyed
(vazhid)? and how does the resurrection occur?' 5. Ohrmazd answered
thus: 'When through me the sky arose from the substance of the
ruby, without columns, on the spiritual support of far-compassed
light; when through me the earth arose, which bore the material
life, and there is no maintainer of the worldly creation but it;
when by me the sun and moon and stars are conducted in the firmament
(andarvai) of luminous bodies; when by me corn was created so
that, scattered about in the earth, it grew again and returned
with increase; when by me color of various kinds was created in
plants; when by me fire was created in plants and other things
without combustion; when by me a son was created and fashioned
in the womb of a mother, and the structure (pishak) severally
of the skin, nails, blood, feet, eyes, ears, and other things
was produced; when by me legs were created for the water, so that
it flows away, and the cloud was created which carries the water
of the world and rains there where it has a purpose; when by me
the air was created which conveys in one's eyesight, through the
strength of the wind, the lowermost upwards according to its will,
and one is not able to grasp it with the hand out-stretched; each
one of them, when created by me, was herein more difficult than
causing the resurrection, for it is an assistance to me in the
resurrection that they exist, but when they were formed it was
not forming the future out of the past. 6. Observe that when that
which was not was then produced, why is it not possible to produce
again that which was? for at that time one will demand the bone
from the spirit of earth, the blood from the water, the hair from
the plants, and the life from fire, since they were delivered
to them in the original creation.'
- First, the bones of Gayomard are roused up, then those of
Mashye and Mashyane, then those of the rest of mankind; in the
fifty-seven years of Soshyant they prepare all the dead, and all
men stand up; whoever is righteous and whoever is wicked, every
human creature, they rouse up from the spot where its life departs.
8. Afterwards, when all material living beings assume again their
bodies and forms, then they assign (bara yehabund) them a single
class. 9. Of the light accompanying (levatman) the sun, one half
will be for Gayomard, and one half will give enlightenment among
the rest of men, so that the soul and body will know that this
is my father, and this is my mother, and this is my brother, and
this is my wife, and these are some other of my nearest relations.
- Then is the assembly of the Sadvastaran, where all mankind
will stand at this time; in that assembly every one sees his own
good deeds and his own evil deeds; and then, in that assembly,
a wicked man becomes as conspicuous as a white sheep among those
which are black. 11. In that assembly whatever righteous man was
friend of a wicked one in the world, and the wicked man complains
of him who is righteous, thus: 'Why did he not make me acquainted,
when in the world, with the good deeds which he practiced himself?'
if he who is righteous did not inform him, then it is necessary
for him to suffer shame accordingly in that assembly.
- Afterwards, they set the righteous man apart from the wicked;
and then the righteous is for heaven (garothman), and they cast
the wicked back to hell. 13. Three days and nights they inflict
punishment bodily in hell, and then he beholds bodily those three
days' happiness in heaven. 14. As it says that, on the day when
the righteous man is parted from the wicked, the tears of every
one, thereupon, run down unto his legs. 15. When, after they set
apart a father from his consort (hambaz), a brother from his brother,
and a friend from his friend, they suffer, every one for his own
deeds, and weep, the righteous for the wicked, and the wicked
about himself; for there may be a father who is righteous and
a son wicked, and there may be one brother who is righteous and
one wicked. 16. Those for whose peculiar deeds it is appointed,
such as Dahak [Zohak] and Frasiyav of Tur, and others of this
sort, as those deserving death (marg-arjanan), undergo a punishment
no other men undergo; they call it 'the punishment of the three
- Among his producers of the renovation of the universe, those
righteous men of whom it is written that they are living, fifteen
men and fifteen damsels, will come to the assistance of Soshyant.
18. As Gochihar falls in the celestial sphere from a moon-beam
on to the earth, the distress of the earth becomes such-like as
that of a sheep when a wolf falls upon it. 19. Afterwards, the
fire and halo melt the metal of Shahrewar, in the hills and mountains,
and it remains on this earth like a river. 20. Then all men will
pass into that melted metal and will become pure; when one is
righteous, then it seems to him just as though he walks continually
in warm milk; but when wicked, then it seems to him in such manner
as though, in the world, he walks continually in melted metal.
- Afterwards, with the greatest affection, all men come together,
father and son and brother and friend ask one another thus: 'Where
has it been these many years, and what was the judgment upon thy
soul? hast thou been righteous or wicked?' 22. The first soul
the body sees, it inquires of it with those words (guft). 23.
All men become of one voice and administer loud praise to Ohrmazd
and the archangels.
- Ohrmazd completes his work at that time, and the creatures
become so that it is not necessary to make any effort about them;
and among those by whom the dead are prepared, it is not necessary
that any effort be made. 25. Soshyant, with his assistants, performs
a Yazishn ceremony in preparing the dead, and they slaughter the
ox Hadhayosh in that Yazishn; from the fat of that ox and the
white Haoma they prepare Hush, and give it to all men, and all
men become immortal for ever and everlasting. 26. This, too, it
says, that whoever has been the size of a man, they restore him
then with an age of forty years; they who have been little when
not dead, they restore then with an age of fifteen years; and
they give every one his wife, and show him his children with the
wife; so they act as now in the world, but there is no begetting
- Afterwards, Soshyant and his assistants, by order of the creator
Ohrmazd, give every man the reward and recompense suitable to
his deeds; this is even the righteous existence (ait) where it
is said that they convey him to paradise (Wahisht), and the heaven
(garothman) of Ohrmazd takes up the body (kerp) as itself requires;
with that assistance he continually advances for ever and everlasting.
28. This, too, it says, that whoever has performed no worship
(yasht), and has ordered no getig-kharid, and has bestowed no
clothes as a righteous gift, is naked there; and he performs the
worship (yasht) of Ohrmazd, and the heavenly angels provide him
the use of his clothing.
- Afterwards, Ohrmazd seizes on the evil spirit! Vohuman on
Akoman, Ardwahisht on Andar, Shahrewar on Savar, Spandarmad on
Taromat who is Naunghas, Hordad and Amurdad on Tairev and Zairich,
true-speaking on what is evil-speaking, Srosh on Eshm. 30. Then
two fiends remain at large, Ahriman and Az; Ohrmazd comes to the
world, himself the Zota and Srosh the Raspi, and holds the Kusti
in his hand; defeated by the Kusti formula the resources of the
evil spirit and Az act most impotently, and by the passage through
which he rushed into the sky he runs back to gloom and darkness.
31. Gochihar burns the serpent (mar) in the melted metal, and
the stench and pollution which were in hell are burned in that
metal, and it (hell) becomes quite pure. 32. He (Ohrmazd) sets
the vault into which the evil spirit fled, in that metal; he brings
the land of hell back for the enlargement of the world; the renovation
arises in the universe by his will, and the world is immortal
for ever and everlasting.
- This, too, it says, that this earth becomes an iceless, slopeless
plain; even the mountain, whose summit is the support of the Chinwad
bridge, they keep down, and it will not exist.
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Return to the History Department.