Dadestan-i Denig Index
Dadestan-i Denig ('Religious Decisions')
Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East, volume 24,
Oxford University Press, 1880.
- As to the eighty-fourth question and reply, that which you ask is thus:
As to a gift for the ceremonial which they do not reduce, and while they give
it in excess, in what manner is then its great advantage, and how and in how
many modes is it possible to occur?
- The reply is this, that the advancement of the ceremonial of the sacred
beings is by so much as the gift is more fully given; and the great advantage
of the good work is more, and its reasons many, therefrom. 3. The desire of
this wealth, which has come for the sake of the good work, is an experience
of the comfortable living of the angels, by whom the solemnizers are aggrandized,
and is proper apart from its great judiciousness; to diminish it is improper.
- When the gift for the ceremonial is abundantly given, the performers of
the ceremonial, who, with much trouble annoying them, have solemnized the
Avesta and chanted the hymns (Gathas), and obtain the stipend of their solemnizing
from the remuneration of the solemnization, are living comfortably, thriving,
and blessed. 5. And also the undertakers of all the religious rites who, by
means of the hope of rightful religion, render one certain as to the way to
the distant awful place, and tempt the longers for righteousness into the
religion, undertake all the religious rites and ceremonial of the sacred beings
for the sake of the stipend of proper diligence.
- And reasoning thought is cognizant as regards the advantageousness due to
the undertakers and solemnizers of all the religious rites, and a great stipend
is more obtained and observed for them than for any other profession. 7. The
sons, too of priests and disciples strive for the words prayed, and are more
eager for their prayers; and many, likewise, shall engage for all the religious
rites, and become more diffusive of the religion (dino balishniktar); and,
in like manner, the proper, more attainable, and more propitious path of the
good for saving the soul becomes wider.
- As to the eighty-fifth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: What
is possible to become the harm of a gift that is reduced?
- The reply is this, that since those things are to be properly given which
are for the religious rites of the ceremonial, and are the consideration of
the undertakers of all the religious rites, and are also the stipend of some
solemnizers, both are living comfortably by the ceremonial. 3. The sons of
the disciples who wanted approval for the words prayed, become so much the
more to be ordered and to be accepted; and the ceremonial of all the religious
rites becomes more progressive.
- So, moreover, when they go to undertake the well-operating activity of the
ceremonial for a diminution of remuneration and gift, and owing to undertaking
and ordering again, by way of routine (pavan dor ras), they do not request
so much stipend, it is as though they should buy my linen and should sell
it again for their own payment (dadano). 5. As to the performers of the ceremonial,
likewise, who have to acquire approval with much trouble and words prayed,
and obtain a remuneration which, for the soul even, is as little for the ceremonial
as though one were annoyed -- whereby living is difficult -- they become sorry
for enduring the trouble, owing to lukewarmness (afsurdo-minishnih) in the
same profession. 6. And even the sons of the disciples shall sell linen for
wages, and they rejoice that it is possible to learn other callings with less
pains; and thus they make them become lukewarm and meditating retreat (avazahang)
from the words of fresh paragraphs continually prayed, from the approval requested
of the learned (azan), and from all the religious rites they should undertake
for the contented.
- As to those, moreover, who, through fervent-minded undertaking of what is
ordered, request less for all the religious rites, and have not obtained even
that which is due to them, it is not even as though they ordered of them for
the fiends. 8. And the disgrace, too, of the orderers of good works of lukewarmness
is the exaltation of the profession of the disciples; and its deficient progress
becomes the paralysation of the ceremonial of the sacred beings for saving
the souls of the good from the deadly one (mar).
- As to the eighty-sixth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: How
is it good when they give a gift for the ceremonial?
- The reply is this, that as it is necessary, so that the ceremonial of the
sacred beings may be more advanced, and such wealth may more come on to the
good work, for the proper stipends of the undertakers and solemnizers -- that
they may become less lukewarm as regards the accompanying proprieties, and
thereby diligent in performing them -- and there is not in it an express connection
manifested with different work, and with that which has proceeded from so
many previous good people, I deem the introduction of it more expressly better.
- As to the eighty-seventh question and reply, that which you ask is thus:
As family householders we of the good religion of Iran, before each celebration
of all the religious rites with holy-water which they have provided in the
land of Pars, have then always given for it a gift of 400 dirhams, or 350
dirhams at least. 2. And now if we should be needy, when we deduct something
from the 400 dirhams, or from the 350 dirhams, of the gift for them, they
would then not accept it from us, and speak thus: 'Less than 400, or than
350, dirhams we do not accept.' 3. But there are needy men who always come
to us themselves and speak thus: 'For 350 dirhams we will always twice conduct
all the religious rites and ceremonial with holy-water such as those which
you have always ordered before for 400; only order us.' 4. Would a needy one,
apart from the priestly men who always say that they are not, be authorized,
- The reply is this, that the priest to whom your predecessors have given
a gift of 400 or 350 dirhams, for all the religious rites with holy-water,
it is proper to consider particularly virtuous and faithful, when there is
nothing else about him, on account of which he is otherwise. 6. A celebration
of all the religious rites with holy-water, in which they shall use four pure
animals -- and just according to the teaching of the high-priests they present
to every single fire from one animal and one holy-water -- and the offering
of holy-water unto the fire whose holy-water if is, and bringing it on to
another fire apart from that holy-water, and the ceremonial cleansing of the
holy-water they maintain by agreement in thy name, the superiors solemnize
with approval, faithfully, and attentively; and the remuneration of 350 dirhams
would be a balancing of when they conduct the religious rite at the place
of undertaking it, and when it is undertaken as regards a distant district.
- In Artakhshatar-gadman, within my memory, they who would accept less than
300 dirhams for it made a memorandum (farhang), to keep in remembrance that
350 dirhams for all the religious rites performed was to be the rule declared
by those of the religion in Artakhshatar-gadman. 8. Likewise, the glorified
Atur-frobag, son of Farakhuzad, who was the pre-eminent leader of those of
the good religion, decided in the same manner.
- And now, too, they always conduct those rites which are without holy-water
for 150 dirhams, or even for 120 dirhams; and the reason of it is the neediness
of the disciples who, owing to that need, and in hope of obtaining more employment,
always diminish their demands, and through deficient remuneration always become
more needy, more importunate, and more moderate in desiring remuneration;
and, in the course of the employment of resources and requesting the charge
of all the religious rites, the labor and endurance of discipleship are exhausted.
- And as to him who undertakes to conduct all the religious rites twice for
350 dirhams, if he be properly working and thoroughly reliable for the 350
dirhams which are always given him for the ceremonial of all the religious
rites -- just like those who would always undertake them once -- and all the
religious rites are conducted and secured twice, on account of the merit due
to the continuous ceremonial of the sacred beings it is more authorisedly
ordered of those who solemnize all the religious rites twice. 11. But as to
him who would undertake all the religious rites twice for 350 dirhams, but
is not able to conduct them unless he puts to it some of his own wealth, so
that the progress may be acceptable to him as they conduct them through repetition,
he should not undertake them owing to the reasons written in
another chapter of ours, since it tends much more to neediness.
- And more like unto the ancient skeptics (vimanako) have become the disciples,
among whom disagreement and enmity are produced, as is written in the same
writing (khadu-gun namako); and, owing to admonishing words, these become
enviousness and maliciousness unto the disciples, and trouble and disagreement
less becoming among you and more contentious about you. 13. And at the time
in which a great stipend existed, they contended with him through whose greatness
and abundance of stipend their conflict was caused, one with the other, through
envy; and now, too, they always squabble about his deficient stipend, by which
they will tempt them, on account of its inadequacy, for the sake of a way
for preserving life, as was shown by my metaphor
in the other chapter. 14. When those who, through need of employment in
the rites of religion, or the recitations which are its wisdom, would at once
produce enmity, and the friends of religion, are for each of two sides, it
is important to look; to the procuring of forgiveness, kind regards, and the
progress of the elect (pasandakano) in the duty of the faithful.
- As to the eighty-eighth question and reply, that which you ask is thus:
When a man resolves within himself thus: 'In the summer time I will go into
Pars, and will give so much money for the high-priesthood, on account of the
fires and other matters which are as greatly advantageous,' though he himself
does not come into Pars, but sends the money according to his intention, or
in excess of it, unto the high-priests -- so that he is like the great who
send in excess of that unto the high-priests -- that, as the benefit is greater
which is more maintained, they may provide for the fires of every kind and
other matters, is then his proceeding of sending to Pars, for that purpose,
a sin, or not?
- The reply is this, that if his coming be indispensable for the design he
would undertake, then it is indispensable for him to accomplish his own mental
undertaking; but in suffering which is excited and not avoidable, when there
is really no possibility of his traveling himself, any one whom he sends in
his place, more particularly on that account, is not acceptable by the approval
of the angels who have realized the affliction in his good thought, but the
good work is to be eagerly well-considered. 3. Good gifts, and every office
(gas) about good works which it is possible to perform, are what are commendable
in the well-housed man that is not able to work himself; they are avoidable
by him when not of good race, and are not indispensable for him whenever the
good work is not announced. 4. When able to manage it himself it is better;
and when otherwise, his appointment of a faithful person over its preparation,
and his accomplishment of the work of selector are expedient.
- As to the eighty-ninth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: Who,
and how many are they who are without the religion (adinoih), but are made
immortal, and for what purpose is their immortality? 2. Where is the place
they, each one, possess sovereignty, and in the place where they possess sovereignty
are there people of the good religion of every kind, or how are they; are
there sacred fires [Warharan fires] and appointed worship, or how is it; and
for what purpose is each one of sovereignties?
1. 'Those who are without death' -- Peshotan K.
Anklesaria (PKA), Henning Memorial Volume, p. 12.
- The reply is this, that the immortal rulers of the region of glory, Khwaniras,
are said to be seven: one is Yavisht-i Friyan; the Avesta name of one is Yakhmayushad
[Ashem-yahmai-ushta], son of the same Friyan ; the name of one is Fradhakhshto,
son of the Khumbiks [Av. Fradakhshti Khunbya]; the name of one is Ashavazang,
son of Porudakhstoih [Av. Ashavazdang the Pourudhakhshtiyan]; one is the tree
opposed to harm; one is Gopatshah; and one is Peshyotanu, who is called after
1. PKA: 'Hamfriyân'
- The reign of Gopatshah is over the land of Gopato, coterminous with Eranwej,
on the bank (bar) of the water of the [River] Daitya; and he keeps watch over
the ox Hadhayas, through whom occurs the complete perfection of primitive
man . 5. The reign of Peshotan is in Kangdez, and he resides in the illustrious
Kangdez which the noble Siyavash formed through his glory, he who is called
the erratic youth of the illustrious Kayanians. 6. And through his powerful
spirit  arose increase of cultivation and the ruler Kay Khosraw among the
highest of the mountains in the countries of Iran and Turan; the purity of
the sacred fire [Atash Warharan] of great glory and the recital of the liturgy
[manthra] exist there, and the practice of religious rites (dino) is provided.
 7. The custom, also, of him (Peshotan) and his companions and coadjutors
(ham-bar), in the appointed millenniums, is the great advancement of religion
and good works in other quarters likewise. 
1. PEA: 'complete satiation of all mankind,' that
is to say, all mankind will be resurrected and made immortal.
2. PEA: 'Peshotan's lordship (is) in Kangdez. There he resides in the brilliant
Kangdez which is called the settlement of noble and illustrious Syaush,
son of Kaus. The movement in Kang is arranged by spiritual, powerful glory.'
3. PEA: 'the chanting of the Manthra and the propagation (lit. working)
of the religion.'
4. PEA: 'Also in his war has been arranged the glory (which will
be) co-helper and companion at the time of the final millennium.'
- But, secondly, as to the whereabouts of the places which are theirs -- just
like his -- of which there is no disquisition by me, this also is even owing
to my not remembering. 
1. PKA: 'Even in those other territories there
is much propagation of religion and meritorious deeds, but where is its
exact location and what is its nature is not envisaged by me and not even
recollected by me.'
- As to the ninetieth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: From
what is the sky made, and with what is it prepared?
- The reply is this, that the sky is a dome (gardun), wide and lofty; its
inside and whole width and boundaries (akhyakiha), besides its material existence,
are the stone of light, of all stones the hardest and most beautiful; and
the grandeur of its spirit and even its internal bow [rainbow] are like those
of mighty warriors arrayed. 3. And that material of the sky reached unto the
place where promise-breaking words exist, and was without need of preparation;
as it is said of places such as those -- where wisdom is a witness about them
-- that that which is not even itself a place, and its place does not yet
exist, is without need of any preparing.
- The light is for existing things, and they cherish a faculty (niyuih) of
motion also of two kinds, that causing motion and that of movables; as mobility
is mentioned about thought [spirits?] and immobility about material things.
5. Immovables are not moved, while movables are moved by their power of movement;
and those movables, that way causing motion, are afterwards themselves a moving
secret cause of motion, and then a cause of motion is not moving the movable,
since it is not incapable of causing motion secretly by movement of itself.
6. Just as the force (kunishno) of a movement exists and does not become a
force; only then it is declared by wisdom, that the causers of motion have
been the causing of motion by force before movement, and, being unmoved, they
are subsequently made to move by the force; later on, the causers of motion
have to cause motion, by their power of causing motion, in the non-causers
of motion, from which it is certain though the force of a movement exists
it does not become a force; but, finally, that which is prepared with a source
of activity, before force, becomes unmoved.
- Natures without need of the trouble of a preparer are distinguished from
such; where movement occurs through every force, the championship of a position
(gah) not made to move -- except, indeed, of that whose force, when it is
unmoved by other force, is its own -- is unmoving and thirstless. 8. It was
restored immovably when there was an approach to the sky of that actual contender
for the place, the fiend, and the sky was shaken by him; for connected with
the sky were arranged so many possessors of all resources, dignified (afrankid)
by their own all-powerful position and that well-operating, mighty, undrawn
bow, righteous and well-discoursing (hu-fravakhsh), and many good spirits,
gloriously cooperating for the preparation of the sky. 9. For that which was
not even itself a place, when it is thus henceforth really a place, is in
want of preparing; and, in the preparation of that visible place, with the
material of the sky is mingled that triumphing, powerful spirit who made its
existence a seeking for principle and seeking for intention, drawing up from
below and drawing down from above, so that through that seeking for principle
it becomes a concord, the resting-place of united champions, and unadmonishable
through that power of seeking for intention; such as this it is if, indeed,
it be the will of him, the creator of all goodness.
- And it is said summarily that the sky was shaken in the period of disturbance
and restored with trouble; and, if the guardian spirits [Farohars] are in
freedom from disturbance through the glory of the creator, when there is not
even a place for it prepared by themselves, and their nature and own strength
are approving the trouble of preparation, it is not moved, except by the creatures
of his will, a will which is subduing.
- As to the ninety-first question and reply, that which you ask is thus: Of
waters and rivers, and whatever water is good, is Arduisur the greatest (mas),
or some other water or good river; and, again, where is the place of Arduisur?
- The reply is this, that it is the water of Arduisur; and what has gushed
from Arduisur is as large a mass as all the water in the world except the
Arvand [i.e. Tigris]; within the wide-formed ocean it is dominant over the
thousand cascades (pashan) and thousand lakes of the waters, and its place
is most renowned throughout the spheres. 3. There flows the water of Arduisur
in a forest, the source of all seeds, whereby the species which plants possess
are assimilated (aedunagido) by it, and healing existences of all kinds are
mingled with it from medicinal plants. 4. The abundant power of the coming
of healing to the purifying water is like the nature of the existences which
it acquires, and then the nature which it thus acquires for its own the water
draws up by the power which is drawing water to itself.
- The water of Arduisur is on Alburz, and flows even to the summit of the
star station during the coming of the healing of purification, even unto Hukhir
the lofty, all-gorgeous and brilliant; thence its flowing is effected into
the lake of a summit to Alburz, Mount Aus-hindum [Av. us Hindvad], which is
in the middle of the wide-formed ocean. 6. And from that flowing of waters
that destined river, the utter destruction of every night, comes on in the
light of a dawn; by the sprinkling of spray (pash-pashano) it extends through
the seven regions [keshwars] of the earth, and from it arise the growth of
their plants and the coming of the healing of purification; that which is
called a drop (srishk) of the primeval creatures being a particle (aham) of
water of the bulk of a horse.