The Dabistán, or School of manners, Volume 1 (of 3) by Fani, Shea, and Troyer




Madame Veuve Dondey-Dupré,
Printer to the Asiatic Societies of London, Paris, and Calcutta,
46, rue St-Louis, Paris.




















The Memory




Etc., etc., etc.


Of the Preliminary Discourse.

I.—How the Dabistán first became known—its author—the sources of his information iii
II.—Discussion on the Desátir xix
Synopsis of the dynasties, religions, sects, and philosophic opinions treated of in the Dabistán.
I.—The first religion—the dynasties of Mahabad, Abad Azar, Shai Abad, Shai Giliv, Shai Mahbad, and Yasan lxvi
II.—The Peshdadian, Kayanian, Ashkanian, and Sassanian dynasties—their religious and political institutions lxxvii
III.—The religion of Zardusht, or Zoroaster lxxxiii
IV.—The religion of the Hindus cv
V.—Retrospect of the Persian and Indian religions cxx
VI.—The religion of the Tabitian (Tibetans) cxxv
VII.—The religion of the Jews ibid.
VIII.—The religion of the Christians cxxvi
IX.—The religion of the Muselmans cxxviii
X.—The religion of the Sadakiahs cxli
XI.—The religion of the Roshenians cxlv
XII.—The religion of the Ilahiahs cxlvii
XIII.—The religion of the Philosophers cliii
XIV.—The religion of the Súfis clxix
XV.—Recapitulation of the Contents of the Dabistán ibid.
I.—General appreciation of the Dabistán and its author clxxix
II.—Notice concerning the printed edition, some manuscripts, and the translations of the Dabistán clxxxviii


Of the Dabistán (vol. I.)

Introduction of the Author 1
Of the religion of the Parsian 4
I.—Tenets and ceremonies observed by the Sipasian and Parsian 5
Description of the worship rendered to the seven planets, according to the Sipasian faith 35
II.—Description of the Sipasian sect 87
III.—The laws of the Paiman-i-Farhang and the Hirbed Sár 147
Descriptions of the gradations of Paradise 150
Description of the infernal regions 152
IV.—An account of the Jamshapian sect 193
V.—The Samradian sect 195
VI.—The tenets of the Khodaiyan 201
VII.—The system of the Rádián ibid.
VIII.—The Shidrangián creed 203
IX.—The Páikárian creed ibid.
X.—The Milánián system 204
XI.—The system of the followers of Alár 206
XII.—The Shidanian faith 207
XIII.—The system of the Akhshiyán sect ibid.
XIV.—The followers of Zardusht 211
Account of the precepts given by Zardusht to the king and all mankind 260
The Sad-der, or “the hundred gates” of Zardusht 310
Enumeration of some advantages which arise from the enigmatical forms of the precepts of Zardusht’s followers 351
Summary of the contents of the Mah-zend 353
XV.—An account of the tenets held by the followers of Mazdak 372




§ I.How the Dabistan first became known—its author—the sources of his information.

It is generally known that sir William Jones was the first who drew the attention of Orientalists to the Dabistán. This happened five years after the beginning of a new era in Oriental literature, the foundation of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta by that illustrious man. It may not appear inopportune here to revive the grateful remembrance of one who acquired the uncontested merit of not only exciting in Asia and Europe a new ardor for Oriental studies, but also of directing them to their great objects—MAN and NATURE; and of endeavoring, by word and deed, to render the attainment of languages conducive to the required knowledge equally easy and attractive.

ivHaving, very early in life, gained an European reputation as a scholar and elegant writer, sir William Jones embarked[1] for the Indian shores with vast projects, embracing, with the extension of science, the general improvement of mankind.[2] Four months after his arrival in Calcutta,[3] he addressed as the first president of the Asiatic Society, a small but select assembly, in which he found minds responsive to his own noble sentiments. A rapid sketch of the first labors of their incomparable leader, may not be irrelevant to our immediate subject.

In his second anniversary discourse,[4] he proposed a general plan for investigating Asiatic learning, history, and institutions. In his third discourse, he traced the line of investigation, which he faithfully followed, as long as he lived in India, in his annual public speeches: he determined to exhibit the prominent features of the five principal nations of Asia—the Indians, Arabs, Tartars, Persians, and Chinese. After having treated in the two following years of the Arabs and Tartars, he considered in his sixth discourse[5] the Persians, and declared that he vhad been induced by his earliest investigations to believe, and by his latest to conclude, that three primitive races of men must have migrated originally from a central country, and that this country was Iran, commonly called Persia. Examining with particular care the traces of the most ancient languages and religions which had prevailed in this country, he rejoiced at “a fortunate discovery, for which,” he said, “he was first indebted to Mir Muhammed Hussain, one of the most intelligent Muselmans in India, and which has at once dissipated the cloud, and cast a gleam of light on the primeval history of Iran and of the human race, of which he had long despaired, and which could hardly have dawned from any other quarter;” this was, he declared, “the rare and interesting tract on twelve different religions, entitled the Dabistan.”[6]

Sir William Jones read the Dabistán for the first time in 1787. I cannot refrain from subjoining here the opinion upon this work, which he communicated in a private letter, dated June, 1787, to J. Shore, esq. (afterwards lord Teignmouth); he says: “The greatest part of it would be very interesting to a curious reader, but some of it cannot be translated. It contains more recondite learning, more entertaining vihistory, more beautiful specimens of poetry, more ingenuity and wit, more indecency and blasphemy, than I ever saw collected in a single volume;[7] the two last are not of the author’s, but are introduced in the chapters on the heretics and infidels of India.[8] On the whole, it is the most amusing and instructive book I ever read in Persian.”[9]

We may suppose it was upon the recommendation of sir William Jones, that Francis Gladwin, one of the most distinguished members of the new Society, translated the first chapter of The Dabistán, or “School of Manners,” which title has been preserved from due regard to the meritorious Orientalist, who first published the translation of a part of this work. The whole of it was printed in the year 1809, in Calcutta, and translations of some parts of it were published in The Asiatic Researches.[10] It is only at present, more than half a century after the first public notice of it by sir W. Jones, that the version viiof the whole work appears, under the auspices and at the expense of the Oriental Translation Committee of Great Britain and Ireland.

Who was the author of the Dabistán?—Sir William Jones thought it was composed by a Muhammedan traveller, a native of Kachmir, named Mohsan, but distinguished by the assumed surname of Fání, “the Perishable.”

Gladwin[11] calls him Shaikh Muhammed Mohsin, and says that, besides the Dabistán, he has left behind him a collection of poems, among which there is a moral essay, entitled Masdur ul asas, “the source of signs;” he was of the philosophic sect of Súfis, and patronised by the imperial prince Dara Shikoh, whom he survived; among his disciples in philosophy is reckoned Muhammed Tahir, surnamed Ghawri, whose poems are much admired in Hindostan. Mohsan’s death is placed in the year of the Hejira 1081 (A. D. 1670).

William Erskine,[12] in search of the true author of the Dabistán, discovered no other account of Mohsan Fání than that contained in the Gul-i-Râana, “charming rose,” of Lachmi Narayán, who flourished in Hyderabad about the end of the 18th or the beginning of the 19th century. This author informs us, under the article of Mohsan Fání, that “Mohsán, a viiinative of Kachmir, was a learned man and a respectable poet; a scholar of Mulla Yakub, Súfi of Kachmir; and that, after completing his studies, he repaired to Delhi, to the court of the emperor Shah Jehan, by whom, in consequence of his great reputation and high acquirements, he was appointed Sadder, ‘chief judge,’ of Allahabad; that there he became a disciple of Shaikh Mohib ulla, an eminent doctor of that city, who wrote the treatise entitled Teswich, ‘the golden Mean.’ Mohsan Fání enjoyed this honorable office till Shah Jehân subdued Balkh; at which time Nazer Muhammed Khan, the Wali, ‘prince,’ of Balkh, having effected his escape, all his property was plundered. It happened that in his library there was found a copy of Mohsan’s Diwán, or ‘poetical Collection,’ which contained an ode in praise of the (fugitive) Wáli. This gave such offence to the emperor, that the Sadder was disgraced and lost his office, but was generously allowed a pension. He retired (as Lachmi informs us) to his native country, where he passed the rest of his days without any public employment, happy and respected. His house was frequented by the most distinguished men of Kachmir, and among the rest by the governors of the province. He had lectures at his house, being accustomed to read to his audience the writings of certain authors ixof eminence, on which he delivered moral and philosophical comments. Several scholars of note, among whom were Taher Ghawri (before mentioned) and Haji Aslem Salem, issued from his school.” He died on the before mentioned date. “It is to be observed that Lachmi does not mention the Dabistán as a production of Mohsan Fání, though, had he written it, it must have been his most remarkable work.”

Erskine goes on to recapitulate some particulars mentioned in the Dabistán of the author’s life, and concludes that it seems very improbable that Mohsan Fání and the author of the Dabistán were the same person. In this conclusion, and upon the same grounds, he coincides with the learned Vans Kennedy.[13]

Erskine further quotes,[14] from a manuscript copy of the Dabistán which he saw in the possession of Mulla Firuz, in Bombay, the following marginal note annexed to the close of chapter XIV.: “In the city of Daurse, a king of the Parsis, of the race of the imperial Anushirván, the Shet Dawer Huryár, conversed with Amír Zulfikar Ali-al-Husaini (on whom be the grace of God!), whose poetical name was Mobed Shah.” This Zulfikar Ali, whoever he was, the Mulla supposes to be the author of xthe Dabistán. Erskine judiciously subjoins: “On so slight an authority, I would not willingly set up an unknown author as the compiler of that work; but it is to be remarked that many verses of Mobed’s are quoted in the Dabistán, and there is certainly reason to suspect that the poetical Mobed, whoever he may be, was the author of that compilation.”

“To this let it be added, that the author of the Dabistán; in his account of Mobed Serosh, says[15] that one Muhammed Mohsan, a man of learning, told him that he had heard Mobed Serosh give three hundred and sixty proofs of the existence of God. This at least makes Muhammed Mohsan, whoever he may be, a different person from the author of the Dabistán.”

I cannot omit adding the following notice annexed to the note quoted above: “Between the printed copy and Mulla Firuz’s manuscript before alluded to, a difference occurs in the very beginning of the work. After the poetical address to the Deity and the praise of the prophet, with which the Dabistán, like most other Muselman works, commences, the manuscript reads: ‘Mohsan Fani says,’ and two moral couplets succeed. In the printed copy, the words ‘Mohsan Fani says,’—which xishould occur between the last word of the first page and the first word of the second—are omitted. As no account of the author is given in the beginning of the book, as is usual with Muselman writers, Mulla Firuz conjectures that a careless or ignorant reader may have considered the words ‘Mohsan Fáni says’ as forming the commencement of the volume, and as containing the name of the author of the whole book; whereas they merely indicate the author of the couplets that follow, and would rather show that Mohsan Fani was not the writer of the Dabistán. This conjecture, I confess, appears to me at once extremely ingenious and very probable. A comparison of different manuscripts might throw more light on the question.”

Concerning the opinion last stated, I can but remark, that in a manuscript copy of the Dabistán, which I procured from the library of the king of Oude, and caused to be transcribed for me, the very same words: “Mohsan Fani says,” occur (as I have observed in vol. I. p. 6, note 3), preceding a rabaâ, or quatrain, which begins:

“The world is a book full of knowledge and of justice,” etc. etc.
These lines seem well chosen as an introduction to the text itself, which begins by a summary of the whole work, exhibiting the titles of the twelve chapters of which it is composed. As the two copies xiimentioned (the one found in Bombay, the other in Lucknow) contain the same words, they can hardly be taken for an accidental addition of a copyist. I found no remark upon this point in Mr. Shea’s translation, who had two manuscript copies to refer to. Whatever it be, it must still remain undecided, whether Mohsan Fani was there named only as the author of the next quatrain or of the whole book, although either hypothesis may not appear destitute of probability; nor can it be considered strange to admit that the name of Mohsan Fani was borne by more than one individual. I shall be permitted to continue calling the author of the Dabistán by the presumed name of Mohsan Fani.

Dropping this point, we shall now search for information upon his person, character, and knowledge in the work itself. Is he really a native of Kachmir, as here before stated?

Although in the course of his book he makes frequent mention of Kachmir, he never owns himself a native of that country. In one part of his narrative, he expressly alludes to another home. He begins the second chapter upon the religion of the Hindus (vol. II. p. 2) by these words: “As inconstant fortune had torn away the author from the shores of Persia, and made him the associate of the believers in transmigration and those who addressed their prayers to idols and images, and xiiiworshipped demons * * * *.” Now we know that Kachmir is considered as a very ancient seat, nay as the very cradle, of the doctrine of transmigration, and of Hinduism in general, with all its tenets, rites, and customs; and that from the remotest times to the present it was inhabited by numerous adherents of this faith; how could the author, if a native of Kachmir, accuse inconstant fortune for having made him elsewhere an associate of these very religionists with whom, from his birth, he must have been accustomed to live? The passage just quoted leaves scarce a doubt that the shores of Persia, from which he bewails having been torn, were really his native country.

When was he born?

He no where adduces the date of his birth; the earliest period of his life which he mentions, is the year of the Hejira 1028 (A. D. 1618):[16] in this year the Mobed Hushíar brought the author to Balik Nátha, a great adept in the Yoga, or ascetic devotion, to receive the blessing of that holy man, who pronounced these words over him: “This boy shall acquire the knowledge of God.” It is not stated in what place this happened. The next earliest date is five years later, 1033 of the Hejira (A. D. 1623).[17] xivHe says that, in his infancy, he came with his friends and relations from Patna to the capital Akbar-abad, and was carried in the arms of the Mobed Hushíar to Chatur Vapah, a famous ascetic of those days. The pious man rejoiced at it, and bestowed his blessing on the future writer of the Dabistán; he taught him the mantra, “prayer,” of the sun, and appointed one of his disciples to remain with the boy until the age of manhood. We have here a positive statement: in the year 1623 A. D., he was “in his infancy,” and carried “in the arms of his protector.” Giving the widest extension to these expressions, we can hardly think him to have been either much older or younger than seven or eight years: not much older, for being in some way carried in the arms of the Mobed; nor much younger, having been taught a hymn to the sun, and he might have been a boy of three years when he received the first-mentioned blessing from Balik Natha. We may therefore suppose him to have been born about the year 1615 of our era, in the tenth year of the reign of the emperor Jehangir. We collect in his work fifty-three dates relative to himself between the year 1618 and 1653. From 1627 to 1643, we see him mostly in Kachmir and Lahore, travelling between these two places; in 1643, he was at the holy sepulchre, probably at Meshhad, which appears to be the furthermost town to the West xvwhich he reached; from 1634 to 1649, he dwelt in several towns of the Panjab and Guzerat; the next year he proceeded to Sikakul, the remotest town in the East which he says he has visited; there he fell sick, and sojourned during 1653, at which epoch, if the year of his birth be correctly inferred, he had attained his thirty-eighth year. We have no other date of his death than that before stated: if he died in 1670, it was in the eleventh year of the reign of Aurengzéb, or Alemgir. Mohsan Fani would therefore have passed his infancy, youth, and manhood mostly in India, under the reigns of the three emperors, Jehangír, Shah Jehan, and Aurengzeb.[18] It was the state of religion, prevailing in those days in Hindostan that he describes.

From his earliest age he appears to have led an active life, frequently changing his residence. Such a mode of life belongs to a travelling merchant or philosopher, and in our author both qualities might have been united, as is often the case in Asia. Mohsan Fani, during his travels, collected the diversified and curious materials for the Dabistán; he observed with his own eyes the manners and customs of different nations and sects. He says himself at the conclusion of his work: “After having much frequented the meetings of the followers of the five xvibefore-said religions,” Magians, Hindus, Jews, Nazareans, and Muselmans, “the author wished and undertook to write this book; and whatever in this work, treating of the religions of different countries, is stated concerning the creed of different sects, has been taken from their books, and for the account of the persons belonging to any particular sect, the author’s information was imparted to him by their adherents and sincere friends, and recorded literally, so that no trace of partiality nor aversion might be perceived: in short, the writer of these pages performed no more than the task of a translator.” This declaration, even to a severe critic, may appear satisfactory. Sir William Jones called him[19] a learned and accurate, a candid and ingenious author. A further appreciation of Mohsan Fani’s character is reserved for subsequent pages. We can, however, here state, that he sought the best means of information, and gives us what he had acquired not only from personal experience, which is always more or less confined; not only from oral instruction, which is too often imperfectly given and received; but also from an attentive perusal of the best works which he could procure upon the subject of his investigation. Of the latter authorities which the author produces, some are known in Europe, and we may xviijudge of the degree of accuracy and intelligence with which he has made use of them. Of others, nothing at all, or merely the name, is known. This is generally the case with works relative to the old Persian religion, which is the subject of the first chapter, divided into fifteen sections.

The authorities which he adduces for this chapter are as follow:

1. The Amighistan (vol. I. pp. 15. 26. 42), without the name of its author.

2. The Desátir (vol. I. pp. 20. 21. 44. 65), an heaven-bestowed book.

3. The Darai Sekander (vol. I. pp. 34. 360), composed by Dáwir Háryar.

4. The Akhteristan, “region of the stars” (vol. I. pp. 35. 42).

5. The Jashen Sadah, “the festival of Sadah” (the 16th night of January) (vol. I. pp. 72. 112).

6. The Sárud-i-mastan, “song of the intoxicated” (vol. I. p. 76. vol. II. p. 136): this and the preceding work composed by Mobed Hushíar.

7. The Jam-i-Kai Khusro, “the cup of Kai Khusro,” a commentary upon the poems of Azar Kaivan, composed by Mobed Khod Jai (vol. I. pp. 76. 84. 119.)

8. The Sharistan-i-Danish wa Gulistan-i-binish, “the pavilion of knowledge and rose-garden of xviiivision” (vol. I. p. 77. 89. 109), composed by Farzanah Bahram.

9. The Zerdusht Afshar (vol. I. p. 77), work of the Mobed Serosh, who composed also:

10. Nosh Daru, “sweet medicine” (vol. I. p. 114); and

11. The Sagangubin, “dog’s honey” (vol. I. p. 114).

12. The Bazm-gah-i-durvishan, “the banquetting-room of the durvishes” (vol. I. pp. 104. 108), without the name of the author.

13. The Arzhang Mani, “the gallery of Mani” (vol. I. p. 131).

14. The Tabrah-i-Mobedi, “the sacerdotal kettle-drum” (vol. I. p. 123), by Mobed Paristar.

15. The Dadistan Aursah (vol. I. p. 131).

16. The Amízesh-i-farhang (vol. I. p. 145), containing the institutes of the Abadiah durvishes.

17. The Míhín farush (vol. I. p. 244).

18. The Testament of Jamshid to Abtin (vol. I. p. 195), compiled by Farhang Dostúr.

19. Razabad, composed by Shídab.

20. The Sányál, a book of the Sipasians (vol. II. p. 136), containing an account of a particular sort of devotion.

21. The Rama zastan of Zardusht (vol. I. p. 369 and vol. II. p. 136).

22. Huz al Hayat (vol. II. p. 137), composed by Ambaret Kant.

23. The Samrad Nameh, by Kamkar (vol. I. p. 201).

xixBesides other writings of Zertusht, in great number, which the author has seen.

These works are most probably of a mystical nature, and belong to a particular sect, but may contain, however, some interesting traditions or facts of ancient history. Of the twenty-three books just enumerated, a part of the third only is known to us, namely, that of the Desátir.

[1] In April, 1783.

[2] He landed at Calcutta in September, 1783.

[3] In January, 1784.

[4] Delivered in February, 1785.

[5] In February, 1789.

[6] The works of sir William Jones, with the life of the author, by lord Teignmouth, in 13 vols. Vol. III. p. 110. 1807.

[7] I shall hereafter give some explanations upon this subject.

[8] There appears in the printed edition no positive ground for the opinion above expressed; we find, however, frequent repetitions of the same subject, such as are not likely to belong to the same author; we know, besides, that additions and interpolations are but too common in all Oriental manuscripts.

[9] The Persian text, with the translation of the first chapter, appeared in the two first numbers of the New Asiatic Miscellany. Calcutta, 1789. This English version was rendered into German by Dalberg, 1809.

[10] These translations are mentioned in the notes of the present version.

[11] New Asiatic Misc., p. 87.

[12] Transactions of the Literary Society of Bombay, vol. II. p. 374.

[13] Transactions of the Literary Society of Bombay, vol. II. pp. 243-244.

[14] Ibid., pp. 375-376.

[15] See the present Transl., vol. I. pp. 113-114. A mistake is here to be pointed out: at p. 114, l. 11, the name of Kaivan has been substituted for that of Mobed Serosh.

[16] See vol. II. p. 137.

[17] See vol. II. p. 145.


Jehangír reigned from 1605 to 1628.
Shah Jehan — 1628 — 1659.
Aurengzeb — 1659 — 1707.
[19] The Works of sir W. Jones, vol. IV. pp. 16 and 105.

§ II.—Discussion on the Desatir.

This word was considered to be the Arabic plural of the original Persian word dostúr, signifying “a note-book, pillar, canon, model, learned man;” but, according to the Persian grammar, its plural would be dosturán, or dostúrha, and not desátir. From this Arabic form of the word an inference was drawn against the originality and antiquity of the Desátir; but this of itself is not sufficient, as will be shown.

Other readings of the title are Dastánir, in one passage,[20] and Wasátir[21] in two other places of Gladwin’s Persian text, and the last also in a passage of the printed edition.[22] The first is not easily accounted xxfor, and is probably erroneous; but the second is found in the index of the printed edition,[23] under the letter و, vau, and explained: “the name of the book of Mahabad;” it cannot therefore be taken for a typographical error, and is the correct title of the book, as I now think, although I formerly[24] preferred reading Desátir. It is derivable from the Sansrcit root वाश् wás, “to sound, to call,” and therefore in the form of wasátis or wasâtir (the r and s being frequently substituted for the visarga) it signifies “speech, oracle, precept, command.” It is also in connection with the old Persian word wakshur, “a prophet.” Considering the frequent substitution in kindred languages of ba for va, and ba for bha, it may also be referred to the root भाष bhasha, “to speak,”[25] which, with the prepositions pari and sam, signifies “to explain, expound, discourse.” Hence we read in the Commentary of the Desátir the ancient Persian word basátir[26] (not to be found in modern Persian vocabularies), which is there interpreted by “speculations,” in the following passage: xxi“the speculations (basátir) which I have written on the desátir.”

I shall nevertheless keep, in the ensuing Dissertation, the title Desátir, because it is generally adopted. Besides, in the Mahabádian text, the vau, و, frequently occurs for the Persian dál, د, thus we find وادن, wáden, for دادن, dáden, “to give;” and wárem, وارم, for dárem, دارم, “I have;” but I am aware that the two letters, so similar in their form, may be easily confounded with each other by the copyist or printer.

The extract from the Desátir contained in the Dabistán was thought worthy of the greatest attention by sir William Jones, as before mentioned; nay, appeared to him “an unexceptionable authority,” before a part of the Desátir itself was published in Bombay, in the year 1818, that is, twenty-four years after the death of that eminent man.

The author of the Dabistán mentions the Desátir as a work well known among the Sipasians, that is, the adherents of the most ancient religion of Persia. According to his statement, the emperor Akbar conversed frequently with the fire-adorers of Guzerat; he also called from Persia a follower of Zerdusht, named Ardeshir, and invited fire-worshippers from Kirman to his court, and received their religious books from that country; we may suppose the xxiiDesátir was among them. So much is positive, that it is quoted in the Sharistan chehar chemen, a work composed by a celebrated doctor who lived under the reigns of the emperors Akbar and Jehangír, and died A. D. 1624. The compiler of the Burhani Kati, a Persian Dictionary, to be compared to the Arabic Kamus, or “sea of language,” quotes and explains a great number of obsolete words and philosophic terms upon the authority of the Desátir: this evidently proves the great esteem in which this work was held. Let it be considered that a dictionary is not destined for the use of a sect merely, but of the whole nation that speaks the language, and this is the Persian, considered, even by the Arabs, as the second language in the world and in paradise.[27]

It is to be regretted that Mohsan Fani did not relate where and how he himself became acquainted with the Desátir. I see no sufficient ground for the supposition of Silvestre de Sacy[28] and an anonymous critic,[29] that the author of the Dabistán never saw the Desátir. So much is certain, that the account which he gives of the Mahabádian religion xxiiicoincides in every material point with that which is contained in that part of the sacred book which was edited in Bombay by Mulla Firuz Bin-i-Kaus.[30]

This editor says in his preface (p. vi): “The Desátir is known to have existed for many years, and has frequently been referred to by Persian writers, though, as it was regarded as the sacred volume of a particular sect, it seems to have been guarded with that jealous care and that incommunicative spirit, that have particularly distinguished the religious sects of the East. We can only fairly expect, therefore, that the contents should be known to the followers of the sect.” Mulla Firuz employs here evidently the term sect with respect to the dominant religion of the Muhammedan conquerors, whose violent and powerful intolerance reduced the still faithful followers of the ancient national religion to undergo the fate of a persecuted sect. But we shall see that the doctrine of the Desátir is justly entitled to a much higher pretension than to be that of an obscure sect.

Whatever it be, Mulla Firuz possessed the only xxivmanuscript of the work then known in Bombay. It was purchased at Isfahan by his father Kaus, about the year 1778, from a bookseller, who sold it under the title of a Gueber book. Brought to Bombay, it attracted the particular attention of Mr. Duncan, then governor of Bombay, to such a degree, that he began an English translation of the work, which was interrupted by his return to England. The final completion of the version was owing to the great encouragement which sir John Malcolm gave Mulla Firuz in consequence of the high opinion which sir William Jones had publicly expressed of the Dabistán, the author of which drew his account of the ancient Persian dynasties and religions chiefly from the Desátir. There is an interval of one hundred and thirty-three years[31] between the composition of the Dabistán and the fortuitous purchase of the manuscript copy of the Desátir, by Kaus in Isfahan; as it would be assuming to much to suppose that the latter is the same from which Mohsan Fani drew his information, we can but admit that the agreement of both, in the most material points, affords a confirmation of each respective text.

The great Orientalist Silvestre de Sacy, on reviewing the Desátir,[32] says: “We are in a manner xxvfrightened by the multitude and gravity of the questions which we shall have to solve, or at least to discuss; for every thing is here a problem: What is the age of the book? Who is its author? Is it the work of several persons; or the divers parts of which it is composed, are they written by one and the same author, although attributed to different individuals, who succeeded each other at long intervals? The language in which it was written, was it, at any epoch, that of the inhabitants of Persia, or of any of the countries comprised in the empire of Iran? Or is it nothing but a factitious language, invented to support an imposture? At what epoch were made the Persian translation accompanying the original text, and the commentary joined to this translation? Who is the author of the one and the other? Are not this translation and this commentary themselves pseudonymous and apocryphal books; or may not the whole be the work of an impostor of the latter centuries? All these questions present themselves in a crowd to my mind; and if some of them appear to be easily answered, others offer more than common difficulties.”

Well may a person, even with far greater pretensions than mine can be, hesitate to attempt the discussion of a subject which frightened the illustrious Silvestre de Sacy; but as the Desátir is one of the xxviprincipal sources from which the author of the Dabistán drew his account of the Persian religion and its divers sects—a considerable part of his work—I cannot dispense with presenting the subject in the state in which the discussions hitherto published, by very respectable critics, have left it. If I venture to offer a few remarks of my own upon it, it is only in the hope of provoking further elucidations by philologers who shall examine the Mahabadian text itself, and by arguments drawn from its fundamentals decide the important question—whether we shall have one language more or less to count among the relics of antiquity?

Instead of following the order in which the questions are stated above, I will begin by that which appears to me the most important, namely: “the language in which the Desátir is written, is it nothing but a factitious language invented to support an imposture?”

The forgery of a language, so bold an imposture, renders any other fraud probable; through a false medium no truth can be expected, nor even sought. But, in order to guard against the preconception of a forgery having taken place, a preconception the existence of which may, with too good a foundation, be apprehended, I shall first examine, as a general thesis, whether the invention of a language, by one individual or by a few individuals, is in itself probable xxviiand credible. I shall only adduce those principles which have received the sanction of great philologers, among whom it may be sufficient to name baron William Humboldt, and claim the reader’s indulgence, if, in endeavoring to be clear, I should not have sufficiently avoided trite observations.

Tracing languages up to their first origin, it has been found that they are derived from sounds expressive of feelings; these are preserved in the roots, from which, in the progressive development of the faculty of speech, verbs, nouns, and the whole language, are formed. In every speech, even in the most simple one, the individual feeling has a connection with the common nature of mankind; speech is not a work of reflection: it is an instinctive creation. The infallible presence of the word required on every occasion is certainly not a mere act of memory; no human memory would be capable of furnishing it, if man did not possess in himself instinctively the key, not only for the formation of words, but also for a continued process of association: upon this the whole system of human language is founded. By entering into the very substance of existing languages, it appears evident that they are intellectual creations, which do not at all pass from one individual to others, but can only emerge from the coexisting self-activity of all.

“— — That one the names of things contrived,
And that from him their knowledge all derived,
‘Tis fond to think.”[33]
As long as the language lives in the mouth of a nation, the words are a progressive production and reproduction of the faculty to form words. In this manner only can we explain, without having recourse to a supernatural cause, how millions of men can agree to use the same words for every object, the same locution for every feeling.

Language in general is the sensible exterior vestment of thought; it is the product of the intelligence, and the expression of the character of mankind; in particular it may be considered as the exterior manifestation of the genius of nations: their language is their genius, and their genius is their language. We see of what use the investigation of idioms may be in tracing the affinities of nations. History and geography must be taken as guides in the researches upon tongues; but these researches would be futile, if languages were the irregular product of hazard. No: profound feeling and immediate clearness of vivid intuition act with wonderful regularity, and follow an unerring analogy. xxixThe genesis of languages may be assimilated to that of works of genius—I mean, of that creative faculty which gives rules to an art. Thus is it the language which dictates the grammar. Moreover, the utmost perfection of which an idiom is susceptible is a line like that of beauty, which, once attained, can never be surpassed. This was the case with some ancient tongues. Since that time, mankind appear to have lost a faculty or a talent, inasmuch as they are no more actuated by that urgency of keen feeling which was the very principle of the high perfection of those languages.

Comparative philology, a new science, sprung up within the last thirty years, but already grown to an unforeseen perfection, has fixed the principles by which the affinities of languages may be known, even among the apparently irregular disparities which various circumstances and revolutions of the different nations have created. This would have been impossible, if there did not exist a fundamental philosophy of language, however concealed, and a certain consistency, even in the seemingly most irregular modification of dialect, for instance, in that of pronunciation. But, even the permutation of letters in different and the most rude dialects, has its rules, and follows, within its own compass, a spontaneous analogy, such as is indispensable for the easy and common practice of a society more or xxxless numerous. Thus sounds, grammatical forms, and even graphical signs of language have been subjected to analysis and comparison; the significant radical letters have been distinguished from the merely accidental letters, and a distinction has been established between what is fundamental, and what is merely historical and accidental.

From these considerations I conclude:

First—That the forgery of a language is in itself highly improbable;

Secondly—That, if it had been attempted, comparative philology is perfectly capable of detecting it.

Taking a large historical view of this subject, we cannot suppress the following reflection: The formation of mighty and civilized states being admitted, even by our strictest chronologers, to have taken place at least twenty-five centuries before our era, it can but appear extraordinary, even after taking in account violent revolutions, that of so multitudinous and great existences, only such scanty documents should have come down to us. But, strange to say, whenever a testimony has escaped the destruction of time, instead of being greeted with a benevolent although discerning curiosity, the unexpected stranger is approached with mistrustful scrutiny, his voice is stifled with severe rebukes, his credentials discarded xxxiwith scorn, and by a predetermined and stubborn condemnation, resuscitating antiquity is repelled into the tomb of oblivion.

I am aware that all dialectical arguments which have been or may be alleged against the probability of forging a language, would be of no avail against well-proved facts, that languages have been forged, and that works, written in them, exist. We may remember the example adduced by Richardson[34] of a language, as he said, “sufficiently original, copious, and regular to impose upon persons of very extensive learning,” forged by Psalmanazar. This was the assumed name of a an individual, whom the eminent Orientalist calls a Jew, but who, born in 1679, in Languedoc or in Provence, of Christian parents, received a Christian, nay theological education, as good as his first instructors, Franciscans, Jesuits, and Dominicans could bestow. This extraordinary person threw himself at a very early age into a career of adventures, in the course of which, at the age of seventeen years, he fell upon the wild project of passing for a native of the island of Formosa, first as one who had been converted to Christianity, then, as still a pagan, he let himself be baptized by a Scotch minister, by whom he was recommended to an English bishop; the latter, in his pious illusion, promoted xxxiiat once the interests of the convertor, and the fraud of the neophyte.[35] This adventurer who was bold enough, while on the continent, to set about inventing a new character and language, a grammar, and a division of the year into twenty months, published in London, although not twenty years old, a translation of the catechism into his forged language of Formosa, and a history of the island with his own alphabetical writing, which read from right to left—a gross fiction the temporary success of which evinces the then prevailing ignorance in history, geography, and philology. But pious zeal and fanaticism had changed a scientific discussion into a religious quarrel, and for too long a time rendered vain the objections of a few truly learned and clear-sighted xxxiiimen; until the impostor, either incapable of supporting longer his pretensions or urged by his conscience, avowed the deception, and at last became a truly learned good and estimable man.[36] We see this example badly supports the cause of forged languages.

In 1805, M. Rousseau, since consul-general of France at Aleppo, found in a private library at Baghdad a dictionary of a language which is designated by the name of Baláibalan, interpreted “he who vivifies,” and written in Arabic characters called Neshki; it was explained in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. The unknown author of the dictionary composed it for the intelligence of mysterious and occult sciences, written in that language. The highly learned Silvestre de Sacy had scarce been informed of this discovery, when he sought and found in the Royal Library, at Paris, the same dictionary, and with his usual diligence and sagacity published a short but lucid Notice of it.[37] What he said therein was sufficient for giving an idea of the manner in which this language participates in the grammatical forms of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. xxxivSilvestre de Sacy, as well as M. Rousseau, have left it uncertain whether the language be dead or living; by whom and at what period it was formed, and what authors have made use of it. The former adds, that some works written in Baláibalan are likely to be found in the hands of the Súfis of Persia.

This language deserves perhaps a further examination. All that is positive in the just-adduced statement of the two great Orientalists may be said of any other language, which is not original but composed, as for instance the English or the Dutch, of more than one idiom. We can but admit that, at all times an association of men for a particular purpose, a school of art, science, and profession may have, has, and even must have, a particular phraseology. Any modification of ancient, or production of new, ideas, will create a modified or a new language; any powerful influence of particular circumstances will produce a similar effect; this is a spontaneous reproduction, and not the intentional forgery of a language.

Such a forgery, even if it could remain undetected, which it cannot in our times, would but furnish a curious proof of human ingenuity, to which no bounds can be assigned; but the true and sole object of a language could never be attained by it; because, never would a great number of independent men be disposed, nor could they be forced, to adopt the xxxvvocabulary, grammar, and locutions of a single man, and appropriate them to themselves for the perpetual expression of their inmost mind, and for the exchange of their mutual feelings and ideas.[38] To effect this, is a miracle ascribed to the Divinity, and with justice; being the evident result of the Heaven-bestowed faculty of speech, one of the perpetual miracles of the world.

Of this a prophet must avail himself who announces to the world the important intelligence of a heavenly revelation. The great purpose of his sacred mission implies the widest possible proclamation of his doctrine in a language generally intelligible, which a forged language never can be. If, as was surmised,[39] the Desátir be set up as a rival to the Koran, it must have been written in a national language for a nation; the Persians owned as theirs the Mahabadian religion, the identical one which history, although not under the same name, attributes to them in remote ages, as will result from an examination of the doctrine itself.

Considering the knowledge required, and the difficulties to be overcome in forging a language in xxxvisuch a manner as to impose, even for a time, upon the credulity of others, we shall conclude that nothing less than direct proof is requisite for establishing such a forgery as a real fact. Now, what arguments have been set forth for declaring the language of the Desátir to be nothing else than “an artificial idiom invented to support an imposture?”

Silvestre de Sacy says:[40] “It is difficult indeed, not to perceive that the multiplied relations which exist between the Asmáni, ‘heavenly,’ and Persian languages are the result of a systematic operation, and not the effect of hazard, nor that of time, which proceeds with less regularity in the alterations to which language is subjected.”

I must apologise for here interrupting this celebrated author, for the purpose of referring to what nobody better than himself has established as a peremptory condition of existence for any language, and what he certainly never meant to deny, but may perhaps here be supposed to forget—namely, that a language is not “the effect of hazard,” and although “not the result of systematic combination,” yet, as an instinctive creation, shows surprising regularity, and that an evident rule predominates in the alterations which time produces in languages.

Silvestre de Sacy proceeds: “The grammar of the Mahabadian language is evidently, for the xxxviiwhole etymological part, and even (which is singularly striking) in what concerns the anomalous verbs, traced from (calquée sur) the Persian grammar, and as to the radical words, if there be many of them the origin of which is unknown, there is also a great number of them in which the Persian root, more or less altered, may be recognised without any effort.”

Erskine examined, without the least communication with the French critic, the Mahabadian language, and says:[41] “In its grammar it approaches very nearly to the modern Persian, as well in the inflection of the nouns and verbs, as in its syntax.” Norris[42] takes the very same view of it.

These highly respectable critics published their judgment upon the Mahabadian language before the comparison of several languages with the Sanscrit and between each other had been made by able philologers, creators of the new science of comparative philology. According to the latter, the proofs of the real affinity of language, that is, the proofs that two languages belong to the same family, are to be principally and can be properly deduced, from their xxxviiigrammatical system. Thus, for instance, the forms of the Greek and Latin languages are in several parts nearly identical with the Sanscrit, the first bearing a greater resemblance in one respect, the latter in another; the Greek verbs in mi, the Latin declension of some nouns appear, to use the expression of the illustrious author, “traced from each other (calqués l’un sur l’autre).” These two languages seem to have divided between them the whole system of the ancient grammar, which is most perfectly preserved in the Sanscrit. This language itself is probably, with the two mentioned, derived from a more ancient language; we meet in them three sisters recognised by their striking likeness. This, although more or less weakened and even obliterated in some features, remains upon the whole still perceptible in a long series of their relations: I mean in all those languages which are distinguished by the name of Indo-germanic, to which the Persian belongs.

But, in deciding upon the affinity of languages, not only the grammatical forms are to be examined, but also the system of sounds is to be studied, and the words must be considered in their roots and derivations. The three critics mentioned agree that the language of the Desátir is very similar to the Persian or Deri, not only in grammar, but also in etymology; a great number of the verbal and nominal xxxixroots are the same in both. This similarity would, according to comparative philology, lead to the conclusion that either the one is derived from the other, or that both proceed from a common parent; but nothing hitherto here alleged can justify the supposition of invention, forgery, or fabrication of the so-called Mahabadian language.

We continue to quote the strictures of Silvestre de Sacy: “There is however a yet stronger proof of the systematic operation which produced the factitious idiom. This proof I derive from the perfect and constant identity which prevails between the Persian phraseology and that of the Mahabadian idiom. The one and the other are, whenever the translation does not degenerate into paraphrase or commentary, which frequently happens, traced from each other (calqués l’un sur l’autre) in such a manner that each phrase, in both, has always the same number of words, and these words are always arranged in the same order. For producing such a result, we must admit two idioms, the grammar of which should be perfectly alike, as weil with respect to the etymological part as to the syntax, and their respective dictionaries offering precisely the same number of words, whether nouns, verbs, or particles: which would suppose two nations, having precisely the same number of ideas, whether absolute or relative, xland conceiving but the same kind and the same number of relations.”

If what we have already stated be not unfounded, the last quoted paragraph, which the author calls “a yet stronger proof of the systematic operations which produced the factitious idiom” must be acknowledged not to have the weight which he would attribute to it. If the Mahabadian and Persian be languages related to each other, “a perfect and constant identity of phraseology between them both,” if even so great as it is said to be, is not only possible, but may be fairly expected in the avowed translation of the Desátir into Persian. Such identity is most religiously aimed at in versions of a sacred text. Need I adduce modern examples of translations which, in point of phraseological conformity with their original, may vie with the Persian version of the Mahabadian text? The supposition that two nations have the same number of ideas, absolute or relative, is far from being absurd: it is really the fact with all nations who are upon the same level of civilisation; but the present question is of the writings of the same nation, which, possessing at all times a sort of government and religion fundamentally the same, might easily count an obsolete language of its own among the monuments of its antiquity.

On that account, we cannot see what the former xliarguments of the critic gain in strength by the addition: “that the perfect identity of conception falls in a very great part upon abstract and metaphysical ideas, in which such a coincidence is infinitely more difficult than when the question is only of objects and relations perceptible to the senses.”—A great similarity is remarked in all forms of thinking. Little chance of being contradicted can be incurred in saying, that the fundamental ideas of metaphysics are common to all mankind, and inherent in human reason. The encyclopedian contents of the Dabistán, concerning the opinions of so many nations, would furnish a new proof of it, were this generally acknowledged fact in need of any further support.

Silvestre de Sacy acknowledges that the Asmáni language contains a great number of radical words, the origin of which is not known. Erskine says:[43] “It is certainly singular that the language in which the Desátir is written, like that in which the Zend-Avesta is composed, is no where else to be met with. It is not derived from the Zend, the Pehlevi, the Sanscrit, Arabic, Turkish, Persian, or any other known language.” * * * * * * The basis of the language, and the great majority of words in it, belong to no known tongue. It is a mixture of Persian and Indian words. A xliifew Arabic words occur.” Norris[44] also found that a great part of the language appears to have little resemblance to any other that was ever spoken. A judgment, so expressed, might induce an impartial mind to ascribe originality to at least a part of the Asmáni language; which would naturally render the other part less liable to suspicion, inasmuch as it would have been not less difficult to execute, but less easy to conceal, a partial than a total forgery. Nevertheless it so happens that the dissimilarity from any other, as well as the similarity to one particular idiom, are both equally turned against the genuineness of the language in question: where dissimilarity exists, there is absolute forgery—where similarity, an awkward disguise!

Erskine continues: “The Persian system it is unnecessary to particularise; but it is worthy of attention that, among the words of Indian origin, not only are many Sanscrit, which might happen in a work of a remote age, but several belong to the colloquial language of Hindustán: this is suspicious, and seems to mark a much more recent origin. Many words indeed occur in the Desátir that are common to the Sanscrit and to the vulgar Indian languages (the author quotes thirty-four of them); many others might be pointed out. But the most remarkable class of words is that which xliiibelongs to the pure Hindi; such I imagine are the word shet, ‘respectable,’ prefixed to the names of prophets and others (twenty-four are adduced). Whatever may be thought of the words of Persian descent, it is not probable that those from the Hindustaní are of a very remote age; they may perhaps be regarded as considerably posterior to the settlement of the Muselmans in India.”

Strongly supported by the opinion of respectable philologers, I do not hesitate to draw a quite contrary conclusion from the facts stated by Erskine. It should be remembered that, in the popular or vulgar dialects are often found remains of ancient tongues, namely, roots of words, locutions, nay rules of grammar which have become obsolete, or disappeared in the cultivated idioms derived from the same original language. It was not without reason that the illustrious William Humboldt recommended to the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,[45] to examine, on behalf of general Oriental philology, the different provincial dialects of India. Even the gibberish of gypsies is not to be neglected for that purpose.[46]

Thus, if we are not greatly mistaken, the very xlivarguments alleged to show that the Mahabadian language is an invention or forgery, lead rather to a contrary conclusion. Duly sensible of the great weight of authority which opposes the result of my inquiry, I sought an explanation of the severe judgment passed upon the Desátir, and venture to surmise that it was occasioned by the certainly extravagant claim to a heavenly origin and incredible antiquity which has been attached to this work. Such pretensions, taken in too serious a light, can but hurt a fixed, if not religious, belief. Every nation acknowledges but one heavenly book, and rejects every other. Hence arises a very natural, and even respectable pre-conception against all that appears without the limits traced by religion, or mere early habit and adopted system. Thus a severe censure is provoked. To annihilate at once the impertinent pretension to a divine origin, all that ingenuity can suggest is brought forward to prove the book to be a fraudulent forgery; to strip it of the awful dignity of antiquity, it must by any means be represented as the work of yesterday. But error is not fraud, and may be as ancient as mankind itself; because credulous, a man is not the forger of a document. If the Mahabadian language is not that primitive idiom from which the Sanscrit, the Zend, and other languages are derived, it does not follow that it is “a mere jargon, fabricated with no great address to xlvsupport a religious or philosophical imposture;”[47] if it was not spoken in Iran long before the establishment of the Péshdadian monarchy, it does not follow “that it has at no time belonged to any tribe or nation on the face of the earth.”

However I may appear inclined in favor of the Desátir, I shall avoid incurring the blame of unfair concealment by adding to the names of the great critics above quoted, adverse to this work, the great one of William von Schlegel. I must avow it; the celebrated author declares the Desátir,[48] intimately connected with the Dabistán, to be “a forgery still more refined (than that of the Brahman who deceived Wilford),[49] and written in a pretended ancient language, but fabricated at pleasure.” As he, however, presents no arguments of his own, but only appeals in a note to the articles written by Silvestre de Sacy and Erskine, there is no occasion here for a further observation concerning this question. As to von Schlegel’s opinion upon the Dabistán, I reserve some remarks upon it for another place.

General arguments, opposed to general objections, may produce persuasion, but are not sufficient for establishing the positive truth concerning a subject xlviin question. It is necessary to dive into the Mahabadian language itself for adequate proofs of its genuineness. I might have justly hesitated to undertake this task, but found it already most ably achieved by baron von Hammer,[50] in whom we do not know which we ought to admire most, his vast store of Oriental erudition, or the indefatigable activity, with which he diffuses, in an unceasing series of useful works, the various information derived not only from the study of the dead letter in books, but also from converse with the living spirit of the actual Eastern world. This sagacious reviewer of the Desátir, examining its language, finds proofs of its authenticity in the nature of its structure and the syllables of its formation, which, when compared to the modern pure Persian or Derí, have the same relation to it as the Gothic to the English; the old Persian and the old Germanic idioms exhibit in the progress of improvement such a wonderful concordance and analogy as can by no means be the result of an ingenious combination, nor that of a lucky accidental coincidence. Thus, the language of the Desátir has syllables of declension affixed to pronouns, which coincide with those of the Gothic and Low German, but are not recognisable in the modern form of the Persian pronouns. This is xlviialso the case with some forms of numerical and other words. The Mahabadian language contains also a good number of Germanic radicals which cannot be attributed to the well-known affinity of the German and the modern Persian, because they are no more to be found in the latter, but solely in the Desátir. This has besides many English, Greek, and Latin words, a series of which baron von Hammer exhibits, and—which ought to be duly noticed—a considerable number of Mahabadian words, belonging also to the languages enumerated, are sought in vain in any Persian dictionary of our days! Surely, an accidental coincidence of an invented factitious language, with Greek, Latin, and Germanic forms would be by far a greater and more inexplicable miracle, than the great regularity of this ancient sacred idiom of Persia, and its conformity with the modern Deri. It is nevertheless from the latter that the forgery is chiefly inferred.

Moreover, the acute philologer, analysing the Mahabadian language by itself, points out its essential elements and component parts, that is, syllables of derivation, formation, and inflexion. Thus he adduces as syllables of derivation certain vowels, or consonants preceded by certain vowels; he shows certain recurring terminations to be syllables of formation for substantives, adjectives, and verbs; he sets forth particular forms of verbs, and remarkable xlviiiexpressions. All this he supports by numerous examples taken from the text of the Desátir. Such a process enabled him to rectify in some places the Persian translation of the Mahabadian text.

I can but repeat that my only object here is to present the question in the same state that I found it; and am far from contesting, nay, readily admit, the possibility of arguments which may lead to a contrary conclusion. Until such are produced, although not presuming to decide, I may be permitted to believe that the language of the Desátir is no forgery; I may range myself on the side of the celebrated Orientalist mentioned, who, ten years after the date of his review of the Desátir (ten years which, with him, are a luminous path of ever-increasing knowledge), had not changed his opinion upon the language of the Desátir, and assigns to it[51] a place among the Asiatic dialects; according to him, as it is more nearly related to the new Persian than to the Zand and the Pehlevi, it may be considered as a new intermediate ring in the hermetic chain which connects the Germanic idioms with the old Asiatic languages; it is perhaps the most ancient dialect of the Deri,[52] spoken, if not in Fars, yet in xlixthe north-eastern countries of the Persian empire, to wit, in Sogd and Bamian. When it ceased to be spoken, like several other languages of by-gone ages, the Mahabádian was preserved perhaps in a single book, or fragment of a book, similar in its solitude to the Hebrew Bible, or the Persian Zend-Avesta.

At what epoch was the Desátir written?

The epoch assigned to it, according to different views, is the sixth[53] or the seventh[54] century of our era, even the later time of the Seljucides, who reigned from A. D. 1037 to 1193. The latter epoch is adopted as the earliest assignable, by Silvestre de Sacy, who alleges two reasons for his opinion: the one is his belief that the new Persian language, in which the Desátir was translated and commented by the fabricator of the original or Mahabadian text did not exist earlier; the second reason refers to some parts of the contents of the Desátir. I shall touch upon both these questions.

It is useless to discuss what can never be ascertained, who the author of the Desátir was. But this work would be unintelligible without the Persian translation and commentary. Silvestre de Sacy lasks: “Are not this translation and this commentary, themselves pseudonymous and apocryphal books, and is not the whole, perhaps, the work of an impostor of the last century?” In answering this, I shall be guided by the baron von Hammer, who wrote his review of the Desátir before he had seen that of the Journal des Savans, but, after having perused the latter, declared that he had nothing to change in his opinion. Although the commentator, to whom the honor of being the inventor of the Mahabadian language is ascribed, follows in the main the ancient text word for word, and substitutes commonly a new for the obsolete form of the term, yet frequent instances occur (some of which baron von Hammer adduces) which prove that the interpreter did not clearly understand the old text, but in place of the true meaning gave his own arbitrary interpretation. The proper names even are not always the same. Besides—and this is most important—the doctrines contained in the Desátir and in the Commentary differ from each other. In the books of the first Mahabadian kings we find the fundamental ideas of the Oriental philosophy, such as it was before its migration from Asia to Europe; but in the commentary we perceive the development of the Aristotelian scholastic, such as it formed itself among the Asiatics, when they had, by means of translations, become acquainted with the liStagirite. We shall revert to this subject hereafter. Whatever it be—the discrepancies between the original text and the interpretation, as they would certainly have been avoided by the author of both, prove that they are the works of two different persons, probably with the interval of a few centuries between them.

The Persian translator and commentator is said to be the fifth Sassan, who lived in the time of the Persian king Khusro-Parviz, a contemporary of the Roman emperor Heraclius, and died only nine years before the destruction of the ancient Persian monarchy, or in the year 643 of our era. It must be presumed that the five Sassans, the first of whom was a contemporary of Alexander, 323 years before Christ, were not held to be immediate successors to each other, but only in the same line of descent; otherwise an interval of 946 years, from Alexander to Parviz, comprehending the reign of thirty-one Arsacides and twenty-two Sassanian princes, would be given to no more than five individuals, which absurdity ought not to be attributed to the commentary of the Desátir. In general, so common is it with Asiatics to deal with names of celebrity as if they were generic names, that it is very frequently impossible to be positive about the true author of a work. There appears in the present case nothing to prevent us from placing the translator and commentator liiof the Desátir (whether a Sassan or not) in the seventh century of our era.

The translation and commentary of the Desátir are written in what the best judges consider as very pure Persian, though ancient, without any mixture whatever of words of Arabic or Chaldean origin, and conformable to the grammatical system of modern Persian. But when was the latter formed?—As the opinion upon this epoch involves that upon the age of the composition itself, I shall be permitted to take a rather extensive historical view of this part of the question.

Setting aside the Mahabadian kings mentioned in the Desátir and Dabistán, we know that Gilshah, Hoshang, Jamshid (true Persian names) are proclaimed by all Orientalists as founders of the Persian empire and builders of renowned cities in very remote times. This empire comprised in its vast extent different nations, speaking three principal languages, the Zand, Pehlevi, and Parsi. Among these nations were the Persæ, “Persians,” properly and distinctively so called. We are informed by Herodotus[55] that there were different races of Persæ, of whom he enumerates eleven. Those who inhabited originally Fars, Farsistan, Persis,[56] a country liiidouble the extent of England, and gave their name to the whole empire, certainly spoke their own idiom, the Parsi or Farsi. A national language may vary in its forms, but never can be destroyed as long as any part of the nation exits; can we doubt that the Persians who, once the masters of Asia, although afterwards shorn of their power, never ceased to be independent and formidable, preserved their language to our days?

We may consider as remains of the oldest Persian language, the proper and other names of persons, places and things mentioned by the most ancient historians; now, a number of such words, which occur in the Hebrew Bible,[57] in Herodotus, and other Greek authors, are much better explained from modern Persian than from Zand and Pehlevi. In the Armenian language exist words common to the Persian, none common to the Pehlevi;[58] therefore, in very remote times Persian and not Pehlevi was the dominant idiom of the Iranian nations with whom the Armenians were in relation. More positive information is reserved for posterity, when the cuneiform inscriptions upon the monumental livrocks and ruins, to be found in all directions within the greatest part of Asia, shall be deciphered by future philologers, not perhaps possessing greater talent, but better means of information from all-revealing time than those of our days, who have already successfully begun the great work—Grotefend, Rask, St. Martin, Burnouf, Lassen, etc.

Let us now take a hasty review of a few principal epochs of the Persian empire, with respect to language, beginning only from that nearest the time, in which Persia was seen and described by Herodotus, Ctesias, and Xenophon, not without reference to the then existing national historical records. Khosru (Cyrus) the Persian King, placed by the Occidentals in the seventh century before our era,[59] having wrested the sceptre from the hands of the Medes, who spoke Pehlevi, naturally produced the ascendancy of his national idiom. This did not sink under his immediate successors, Lohrasp and Gushtasp. Although under the reign of the latter, who received Zardusht at his court in the sixth century B. C.,[60] the Zand might have had great currency, yet it certainly declined after Gushtasp, as his grandson Bahman, lvthe son of Isfendiar, favored the cultivation of the Parsi.[61] This language was perfected in Baktria (the original name of which country is Bákhter, “East,” an old Persian word) and in the neighboring Transoxiana; there the towns Bamian, the Thebes of the East, and Balkh, built by Lohrasp and sanctified by Gushtasp’s famous Pyræum, besides Merv and Bokhára, were great seats of Persian arts and sciences. The Parsi, thus refined, was dominant in all the royal residences, which changed according to seasons and circumstances; it was spoken at the court of the Second Dara (Darius Codomanus), and sounds in his own name and that of his daughters Sitára (Statira), “star,” and Roshana (Roxana), “splendor,” whom the unfortunate king resigned with his empire to Alexander.[62] This conqueror, intoxicated with power, endeavored to exterminate the Mobeds, the guardians of the national religion and science; he slew many, but dispersed only the majority. From the death of Alexander (323 B. C.) to the reign of Ardeshir Babegan (Artaxerxes), the founder of the Sassanian dynasty (200 A. D.), a lviperiod of more than five centuries is almost a blank in the Persian history; but when the last-mentioned king, the regenerator of the ancient Iranian monarchy, wishing to restore its laws and literature, convoked the Mobeds, he found forty thousand of them before the gate of the fire-temple of Barpa.[63] Ammianus Marcellinus, in the fourth century of our era attests, that the title of king was in Deri, “court-language,” yet the Pehlevi was spoken concurrently with it during the reigns of the first twelve Sassanian princes, until it was proscribed by a formal edict of the thirteenth of them, Bahram gor, in our fifth century. Nushirvan and Parviz, in the sixth century, were both celebrated for the protection which they granted to arts and sciences. We have on record a school of physic, poetry, rhetoric, dialectics, and abstract sciences, flourishing at Gandi sapor, a town in Khorasan: the Persian must have then been highly cultivated. We are now in the times of Muhammed; were they not Persian, those Tales, the charm of which, whether in the original or in the translation, was such, that the Arabian legislator, to counteract it, summoned up the power of his high-sounding heaven-inspired eloquence, and wrote a part of the Koran against them? If he himself had not named the Deri as the purest dialect of the Persian, what other language lviicould we believe he admired for its extreme softness so much as to say, that the Almighty used it when he wished to address the angels in a tone of mildness and beneficence, whilst he reserved the Arabic for command?[64] Such a fact, or such a tradition, presupposes a refined, and therefore long-spoken language. After Muhammed’s death, his fanatic successors attempted to bury under the ruins of the Persian empire even the memory of its ancient religion and language—but they did not succeed: the sacred fire was saved and preserved beyond the Oxus; it was rekindled in Baktria, that ancient hearth of Persian splendor; there poetry and eloquence revived, but could not raise their voices until princes of Persian origin became lieutenants of the Mohammedan khalifs. It was under Nasr, son of Ahmed the Samanian, in the beginning of our tenth century, that Rudigi rose, the first celebrated new Persian poet, but he found, he did not create the language, more than Homer created Greek, Dante Italian, or Spenser English. A great author, in whom the genius of his nation is concentrated, does no more than aptly collect into a whole the idiom which exists every where in parts, and elicit its pre-existing resources. Thus under his pen the language can appear to spring up with all its beauties—as lviiiMinerva, equipped in armour, sprung forth from the head of Jupiter.

Such being the historical indications relative to the Persian language, we cannot participate in the doubts of Silvestre de Sacy, nor find Erskine[65] just in disdaining even to make a comment upon the credibility of the hypothesis “that the Persian language was completely formed in the age of the latter Sassanians.” It would be rather a matter of wonder that the Parsi, related to the most ancient and most cultivated language in the world, should not have been much sooner fitted for the harmonious lays of Ferdusi!—a matter of wonder indeed, that the Persians, who taught the Arabs so much of their religion—heaven and hell, should have remained behind them in the refinement of their idiom!—that they, who could scoff at the Tazis as eaters of lizards, should not have possessed, in the seventh century, a language to contend with that people, who themselves possessed celebrated poets long before Muhammed![66]

lixIt is for ever regrettable that overpowering Muhammedism should have spoiled the original admirable simplicity of one of the softest languages in the world, by the intrusion of the sonorous but harsher words of Arabic, and imposed upon us the heavy tax of learning two languages for understanding one; but, as the translation of the Desátir is free from words of an Arabic or Chaldean origin, should we not fairly conclude, that it was executed before the Muhammedan conquest of Persia? So did Norris, and so Erskine—I can but think—would have done, if his judgment and penetration, usually so right and acute, had not been prepossessed by the idea of an imposture, which he had assumed as proved or self-evident, whilst this was the very point of contestation. Thus, “the very freedom from words of foreign growth, which the learned natives consider as a mark of authenticity, appeared to him the proof of an artificial and fabricated style.”

If even there are some Arabic words to be found in the text and the translation of the Desátir, this affords no fair inference that these works had not been composed before the Arabs conquered Persia, because those words might have come from Pehlevi, in which there is a mixture of Arabic, and there are also Persian words in the Koran; most naturally, lxas there subsisted from times immemorial relations between Persia and Arabia.

What I have said will, if I am not mistaken, sufficiently justify the conclusion, that the Persian idiom could in the seventh century have attained the regularity and form of the present Persian, such at least, as it appears in the Commentary of the Desátir, not without a very perceptible tincture of obsoleteness.

I need scarce remark that the title asmáni, “heavenly,” belongs exclusively to the superstitious admiration with which the Desátir is viewed. Nor are its fifteen books to be taken for sacred works of so many prophets who succeeded each other after such long intervals of time; yet nothing prevents us, as I hope to show, from believing some parts of them very ancient. Neither are these of the same antiquity. Thus, prophecies which are certainly interpolations made after the events, occur in them, not otherwise than in the Indian Puránas, the fundamental parts of which are nevertheless now admitted to be as ancient as the Vedas themselves. We find in the two last books of the Desátir are mentioned: the contest between the Abbasides and the descendants of Ali; the adoption of Muhammedism by almost the totality of Iran; inimical sects, and the power of the Turcomans superseding that of the Arabs; the latter parts must certainly lxihave been composed after the taking of Bagdád by Hulogu in 1258 of our era. The fifteenth book of the Desátir is probably apocryphal.

As to the doctrine of the Desátir, Erskine says:[67] “I consider that the whole of the peculiar doctrines, ascribed to Mahabad and Hoshang, is borrowed from the mystical doctrines of the Persian Súfis, and from the ascetic tenets and practices of the Yogis and Sanyasis, of India who drew many of their opinions from the Vedanta-school.” But this involves the great historical question, concerning the origin of Súfism and the whole Indian philosophy, which is by some (not without foundation) believed to have been spread throughout a great part of Asia. It is quite gratuitous, I may say, to regard them “as having had no existence before the time of Azar Kaivan[68] and his disciples in the reigns of Akbar and Jehanguir, and as having been devised and reduced into form between 200 and 300 years ago in the school of Sipasi-philosophers.” Nor can I admit as better founded the following insinuations of the same ingenious critic: “Nor shall I inquire whether many of the acute metaphysical remarks that abound in the commentary and the general style of argument which it employs have not rather proceeded from the schoolmen of the lxiiWest, than directly from the Oriental or Aristotelian philosophy.” To this may be answered: It is highly problematic, whether the translator of the Desátir ever knew any schoolman of the West, but it is certain that he, as an Asiatic and a Persian, knew the Oriental philosophy, the fundamentals of which were preserved in the first books of the Desátir, as we have already said; but the commentator could but participate in the modification, which the ancient doctrine had undergone in his age, after its return from the West to the East, in translations of Greek philosophical works into Asiatic languages. Thus, in the Desátir and its commentary—I borrow the words of baron von Hammer:—“We see already germinating the double seed of reason and light, from which sprung up the double tree of rational and ideal philosophy,”[69] which spread its ramifications over the whole world, and lives and flourishes even in our times.

The commentator was no ordinary man: living, as we may believe, in the first half of the seventh century, he possessed the sciences of his learned age; flourishing under the reign of king Khosru Parviz, who professed the ancient Persian religion in his letter to a Roman emperor of the East,[70] and lxiiitore to pieces Muhammed’s written invitation to adopt Islam[71]; in this yet unshaken state of national independence, the fifth Sassan preserved pure his creed and style from the influence of the Arabian prophet. The translator and commentator of the Desátir says of himself:[72] “I too have written a celebrated book under the name of Do giti, ‘the two worlds’, full of admirable wisdom, which I have derived from the most exalted intelligence, and in the eminent book of the famous prophet, the King of Kings, Jemshid, there is a great deal, concerning the unity which only distinguished Asceties (Hertasp) can comprehend, and on the subject of this transcendant knowledge I have also composed a great volume Pertú están, ‘the mansion of light,’ which I have adorned by lxivevidence deduced from reason, and by texts from the Desátir and Avesta, so that the soul of every man may derive pleasure from it. And it is one of the books of the secrets of the great God.”

This is a most important declaration. The commentator considered the Desátir and the Avesta as sources of delight TO ALL MEN. And he was right. The doctrine of the former work now under consideration is found every where, not denied either by the ancients or moderns; it is the property of mankind. As such, “it does not belong to any particular tribe or nation:” in which point, although in quite another sense, we agree with Erskine, but we may dissent from the learned author, when he taxes it to be “a religious or philosophical imposture, which needed the support of a fabricated language.” After careful examination, I must conscientiously declare, I discover no imposture aimed at by any artifice; there was no secret to be concealed; nothing to be disguised; the Mahabadian religion is as open as its temple, the vault of heaven, and as clear as the lights, flaming in their ethereal attitudes; its book is a sort of catechism of Asiatic religion; its prayer a litany of Oriental devotion, in which any man may join his voice.

Thus have I endeavored, to the best of my power, to exhibit faithfully what has hitherto been alleged for and against the authenticity of the book, lxvwhich is one of the principal authorities of the Dabistán. If the author of this latter work was, as the often-quoted ingenuous author supposes, “in strict intimacy with the sects of enthusiasts by whom the Desátir was venerated, and whose rule it was,” we may so much the more rely upon the truth of his account concerning such a religious association. If he professed the new religion, which the emperor Akbar had endeavored to found, as this was a revival of the ancient Persian religion, we may reasonably presume, that he would have searched, and brought to light writings concerning it which were concealed, neglected, or little known; he would have cautiously scrutinized the authenticity of the documents, and conscientiously respected the sacred sources of that faith, which, after a careful examination of all others, deserved his preference; nothing justifies the supposition, that he would forge any thing himself, or countenance, or not be able to detect, the forgery of others. However this be, Mohsan Fani’s character will be best known by the perusal of his work; after a rapid synopsis of its contents, to which I will now proceed, I shall be permitted to point out, as briefly as possible, some of the merits and defects conspicuous in his composition.

[20] See note, vol. I. p. 20.

[21] Ibid., p. 44.

[22] Calcutta edition, p. 30, line 6.

[23] See vol. I. p. 534.

[24] Ibid., p. 65.

[25] M. Eugène Burnouf, to whose most valuable judgment I had the pleasure to submit the question, prefers the derivation from bhásh, because this word in Zend would be wâsh, as the Zend w represents exactly the Sanscrit bh, which aspiration did not exist in the ancient idiom of Bactrian Asia. This sagacious philologer hinted at a comparison with the Persian usta, or awesta, upon which in a subsequent note.

[26] See the Persian text of the Dasátir, p. 377.

[27] Tableau de l’Empire ottoman, by M. d’Ohson, t. II. p. 70.

[28] Journal des Savans, février 1821, p. 74. The Persian passage which de Sacy quotes, and in which there is Destánir for Dasátir, is taken from the text published by Gladwin, and not from the printed Calcutta edition.

[29] See Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British India and its Dependencies, vol. VIII., from July to Dec. 1819, p. 357.

[30] The Desátir, or sacred writings of the ancient Persian prophets in the original tongue; with the ancient Persian version, and commentary of the fifth Sasan; published by Mulla Firuz Bin-i-Kaus. Bombay, 1818. Mulla Firuz is supposed to possess the only copy of the Desátir extant. He allowed sir John Malcolm to take a copy of it, which, by some accident, was lost by Doctor Leyden—(See Transact. of the Lit. Soc. of Bombay, pp. 342 and 349).

[31] Mohsan Fani marks the time of his composing the Dabistan (vol. II. p. 50) to be the year of the Hejira 1055 (A. D. 1645).

[32] See Journal des Savans, No. for January, 1821, p. 16.

[33] Lucretius, book V., Transl. of Dr. Creech:

“— — putare aliquem tum nomina distribuisse
Rebus, et inde homines didicisse vocabula prima
Desipere est.”
[34] Richardson’s Dictionary, preface, lxvii.

[35] This man, who never told his true name, was from the age of fifteen to seventeen a private teacher—then passed for an Irishman—went to Rome as a pilgrim with a habit stolen from before an altar where it was lying as a votive offering of another pilgrim—wandered about in Germany, Brabant, Flanders—indolent, abject, shameless, covered with vermin and sores—entered the military service of Holland, which he left to become waiter in a coffee-house in Aix-la-Chapelle—enlisted in the troops of the elector of Cologne. He acted all these parts, with those above-mentioned, before he was baptised under the name of George, by a Scotch clergyman, and, having learned English, passed over to England to be protected by Compton, the lord-bishop of London. At the expense of the latter, he studied at Oxford—became a preceptor—chaplain of a regiment—fell back into indolence, and lived upon alms.—(See A New and General Dictionary, London, 1798, vol. XII; and Vie de plusieurs Personnages célèbres des Temps anciens et modernes, par C. A. Walckenaer, membre de l’Institut, tome II. 1830.)

[36] This change took place in his thirty-second year—he learned Hebrew and became an honest man, esteemed by Samuel Johnson; he wrote eleven articles in a well-known work, the Universal History, and his own Life at the age of seventy-three years; the latter work was published after his death, which happened in his eighty-fourth year, in 1763.

[37] See Notices et Extraits des Manuscrits, vol. IX. pp. 365-396.

[38] I am here applying to the forger of a language what Lucretius, in continuation of his above quoted verses (p. xxx), urges against the belief that a single individual could ever have been the inventor of human speech.

[39] By Norris, Asiatic Journal, vol. IX., November, 1820, p. 430.

[40] Journal des Savans, February, 1821, pp. 69-70.

[41] See Transact. of the Lit. Soc. of Bombay, vol. II.: “On the Authenticity of the Desátir, with remarks on the Account of the Mahabadi Religion contained in the Dabistan,” by William Erskine, esq., p. 360.

[42] The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British India and its Dependencies, Novemb. 1820, p. 421 et seq.

[43] The work quoted, p. 360.

[44] The Asiatic Journal, November, 1820, p. 421 et seq.

[45] An Essay on the best means of ascertaining the affinities of Oriental languages, by baron W. Humboldt, in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. II. part I. p. 213.

[46] Colonel Harriot on the Oriental Origin of the Gypsies. Ibid., 518.

[47] Erskine, loco cit., p. 372.

[48] See Réflexions sur l’Étude des Langues asiatiques, adressées à sir James Mackintosh. Bonn, 1832, pp. 51-52.

[49] See Asiatic Researches, vol. VIII. Lond. ed. 8. p. 254.

[50] See Heidelberger Jahrbücher der Literatar Vom Jänner te Juni 1823, Nos 6. 12. 13. 18. 20.

[51] See Journal asiatique, tome XII. juillet 1833, pp. 24-26.

[52] Ibidem, pp. 20-21. Deri was spoken on the other side of the Oxus, and at the foot of the Paropamisus in Balkh, Meru, in the Badakhshan, in Bokhara and Bamian. The Pehlevi was used in Media proper, in the towns of Rai, Hamadan, Ispahan, Nehawend, and Tabriz, the capital of Azar bíján.—Beside the Deri and Pehlevi, Persian dictionaries reckon five other dialects, altogether twelve dialects, of ancient and modern Persian.

[53] Tholuck. Sufismus, sive Theosophia Pantheistica, p. 111.

[54] Norris, Asiatic Journal, November, 1820, p. 430.

[55] Clio, lib. I.

[56] In the Bible it is called Paras, or Faras, and reckoned as extensive as Great and Little Armenia, or as Hungary, Transylvania, Slavonia, Croatia, and Dalmatia together.—(See Gatterer’s Weltgeschichte IIter Theil, Seite 9.)

[57] In the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

[58] See Observations sur les Monumens historiques de l’ancienne Perse, par Étienne Quatremère. Journal des Savans, juin et juillet 1840, pp. 347-348.

[59] The Orientals place him in the tenth century B. C.

[60] According to Richardson (see the preface of his Dict., p. vi), the Farsi was peculiarly cultivated by the great and learned, above 1200 years before the Muhammedan era, i. e. above 600 years B. C., which epoch is commonly assigned to Gushtasp’s reign.

[61] See Hammer’s Schöne Redekünste Persiens, Seite 3 et seq.

[62] Strabo, who flourished in the beginning of the Christian era, and drew his information mostly from the historians of Alexander, refers probably to the time of the Macedonian conquest, when he says (xv. 2, § 8, fol. 724, edit. Cas.): that the Medians, Persians, Arians, Baktrians, and Sogdians spoke almost the same language. This probably was that of the then leading nation, the Persian.

[63] Hammer, loc. cit., p. 7.

[64] Works of sir W. Jones, vol. V. p. 426, Transactions of the Literary Society of Bombay, vol. II. p. 297.

[65] Loco cit., p. 363.

[66] See the preface to the most valuable work Le Divan d’Amro’lkais, par le baron Mac Guckin de Slane, Paris, 1837, pp. viii and ix. The learned author confirms that celebrated Arabian poems existed before the introduction of the Muhammedan religion, which, for a certain time, averted the Arabs from the cultivation of poetry and history. We shall here add (which would have been more appropriately placed in the note upon Amro’lKais, in vol. III p. 65, and will correct the same) that this poet (see loc. cit., p. xvi et seq.) flourished at an epoch anterior to Muhammed, and died probably before the birth of that extraordinary man.

[67] Loco citato, p. 372.

[68] See vol. I. pp. 87 et seq.

[69] Heidelberger Jahrbücher, loc. cit. Seite 313.

[70] The Dabistán (see Pers. text, Calcutta edit., p. 69, and English transl., vol. I. p. 145) quotes verses containing this profession, addressed by Khosru Parviz to a Roman emperor, whose name, however, is not mentioned. During the reign of this Persian king, two emperors ruled in the East, namely, Mauritius, whose daughter Parviz married, and Heraclius, by whom he was defeated towards the end of his life. I found it probable, but had no authority to assert (see vol. I. p. 145, note 2), that the above-stated profession was made to Mauritius; but those verses by themselves deserve attention, as they establish the adherence of Parviz to the religion of Hoshang, in contradiction to several historians, according to whom he adopted Christianity: this assertion seems founded upon his great attachment to the celebrated Mary, or Chirín, his Christian wife, and daughter of a Christian emperor, the said Mauritius.

[71] Muhammed, when informed of the ignominious reception which the Persian king gave to his letter and ambassador, said: “God will tear his empire, as he tore my letter, to pieces.”—(Herbelot.)

[72] The Desátir, p. 99.



Mohsan Fani exhibits the remarkable notions, dogmas, customs, and ceremonies of twelve religions, and their various sects, without giving more of their origin and genesis than the names of their founders. The very first principle of all religion is referred, by some, to a primitive Divine revelation; by others, to a natural propensity of the human mind to superstition. However this may be, history confirms the suggestions of psychology, that admiration was one of the principal sources of religious feelings; how should man not be struck with the glories of the sky? Therefore, the adoration of stars was one of the most ancient religions. It needed no prophet: it is “the poetry of heaven,” imprinted in eternal characters of fire upon the ethereal expanse. Prometheus, lxviienumerating the benefits which he bestowed upon untutored barbarians, says:[73]

“— — — At random all their works
Till I instructed them to mark the stars,
Their rising, and, a harder science yet,
Their setting.”[74]
According to all traditions, astronomy was one of the first sciences cultivated by men.[75] The stars not only occasioned the institution, but also served to announce the regular return, of religious feasts; thus they became, as called by Plato, “the instruments of time,” men were at once induced and taught by religion to count months and years. Astronomy, in her feast-calendars, consecrated upon an altar the first fruits of her labors.

Upon the star-paved path of heaven man was conducted to the sanctuary of the supreme Being. In general, the first feeling of “the Divine (το θεῖον),” seizing the human mind with its own supernatural power, elevated it at once above the material concerns lxviiiof the nether world; thus, sublime ideas of the Deity, the universe, and the immortality of the soul preceded the invention of many arts and sciences relative to the comforts of social life. This is confirmed by the account, contained in the Dabistán, of the most ancient religion of the Persians, which is founded upon transcendental ideas of the Divinity: “Except God himself, who can comprehend his origin? Entity, unity, identity are inseparable properties of this original essence, and are not adventitious to Him.” So the Desátir, with which the Dabistán generally so fully agrees, that we can scarce doubt that the author of the latter had the former before his eyes.

No sooner has man acquired the consciousness of mental freedom, than he endeavors to expand beyond himself the first vague feeling of the Divine; not satisfied to admire all exterior marvel, he desires to understand and to name its interior moving cause: this is something immaterial; it is a soul, such as acts in himself. Among the ancient Iranians, the “first creation of the existence-bestowing bounty” was the intellectual principle, called Azad Bahman, “the first intelligence;” he is also the first angel; from him other spirits or angels proceed. Every star, every heavenly sphere has its particular intelligence and spirit or angel. In the lower region, each of the four elements owns its particular lxixguardian; vegetables, minerals, animals have their protecting angels; the conservative angel of mankind is Farun Faro Vakshur. It is not without reason, that this religion was called “the religion of light.” As the supreme Being

“Sow’d with stars the heav’n thick as the field.”[76]
So also he peopled the vast extent with the “sons of light, the empyreal host of angels,” who not only moved and governed the celestial orbs, but also descended into the elemental regions to direct, promote, and protect his creation. Not a drop of dew fell without an angel. The Hindus and Greeks animated universal nature; the Persians imparadized the whole creation by making it the abode of angels. Hence demonology in all its extent. But, “among the most resplendent, powerful, and glorious of the servants who are free from inferior bodies and matter, there is none God’s enemy or rival, or disobedient, or cast down, or annihilated.” This important passage of the Desátir[77] I shall have occasion to refer to hereafter.

Human souls are eternal and infinite; they come from above, and are spirits of the upper spheres. If distinguished for knowledge and sanctity, while on earth, they return above, are united with the sun, and become empyreal sovereigns; but if the lxxproportion of their good works bore a closer affinity to any other star, they become lords of the place assigned to that star; their stations are in conformity with the degrees of their virtue; perfect men attain the beatific vision of the light of lights, and the cherubine hosts of the supreme Lord. Vice and depravity, on the contrary, separate souls from the primitive source of light, and chain them to the abode of the elements: they become evil spirits. The imperfectly good migrate from one body to another, until, by the efficacy of good words and actions, they are finally emancipated from matter, and gain a higher rank. The thoroughly-depraved descend from the human form to animal bodies, to vegetable, and even to mineral substances.

So far we see the well-known dogma of transmigration ingeniously combined with the Sidereal religion. Here is exhibited a singular system of heavenly dominion, maintained by every star, whether fixed or planetary, during periods of many thousand years. A fixed star begins the revolution, and reigns alone, the king of the cycle, during a millenium, after which, each of the fixed and planetary stars becomes its partner or prime-minister for a thousand years; the last of all is the moon, for a millenium. Then the sovereignty of the first king devolves to the star which was its first associate. This second king goes through the same course as lxxithe first, until this becomes for a thousand years his partner, and then his period is also past. The same is the course of all other stars. When the moon shall have been king, and all stars associated with it and its reign too past, then one great period shall be accomplished. The state of the revolving world recommences, the human beings, animals, vegetables, and minerals, which existed during the first cycle, are restored to their former language, acts, dispositions, species, and appearances; the world is renovated, that is to say, forms, similar to those which passed away, reappear. This system, copied from the Desátir,[78] expresses nothing else but the general vague idea of long heavenly revolutions, and periodical renovations of the same order of things in the nether world.

The Dabistán[79] adds a mode of computing as peculiar to the followers of the ancient faith: they call one revolution of the regent Saturn a day; thirty such days one month; twelve such months one year; a million of such years one fard; a million fard one vard; a million vard one mard; a million vard one jad; three thousand jads one vad; and two thousand vád one zád. To these I must subjoin salam, shamar, aspar, radah, aradah, raz, araz, biaraz, that is, lxxiieight members of a geometric progression, the first of which is 100,000, and the coefficient 100. But these years are revolutions, called farsals, of thirty common years each. There are besides farsals of Mars, Venus, Mercury, and the moon, a day of each being the time of their respective revolution.

I thought it necessary to repeat these extravagant numbers, because it is by them that the reigns of the first ancient dynasties are measured.[80] The first earthly ruler of the present cycle, who with his wife survived the great period to become the first ancestor of a new innumerable population, was Mahabada. This name seems of Sanscrit derivation.[81] In his reign we find traced the first ground-lines of all human societies; agriculture and the arts of life are invented; villages and cities organised; four classes of society established—priests, warriors, agriculturists, and tradesmen. The names of these classes are in the Dabistán much like those of the four lxxiiiHindu castes, but the Desátir and the Shahnamah have other denominations, belonging to an ancient Persian dialect,[82] for these divisions, which originated in the indispensable wants of a rising society. This institution connects itself with the principles of social morality: men are bound to each other by the laws of justice and mutual kindness, which is extended even to all innoxious creatures. To Mahabad the Desátir was sent, a celestial code, and his faith was maintained through the whole series of his fourteen successors; the number of whom reminds us of the fourteen Indian Manus; they are said to have reigned six hundred and six trillions of years.

To the Mahabadians succeeded Abad Azar, who soon withdrew from government, and devoted himself to solitude and piety. After him, the hitherto fortunate state of society changed into war, confusion, and anarchy. His son, Jai Afram, was called to the throne, and restored peace and order in the world, giving his name to a new dynasty. After this, four other princely families are named, that of Shai Abad, Shai Giliv, Shai Mahbul, and Yasan.[83] I shall not count the many millions of years during lxxivwhich they ruled; all that is said of their reigns appears nothing but a repetition of the first; a period of peace, order, and happiness is followed by war, disorder, and misery, until a revolution renews the state of things. Such traditions of a progress and regress in virtue and happiness, and of repeated changes from one condition to another, are not destitute of general truth. The moral is not, more than the physical world, exempt from revolutions. These, although their date cannot be determined, have left behind them undeniable traces, and without a reference to them, we could not explain so much of the strangeness, incoherence, and heterogeneity in the history of men and nature.

Thus I have slightly sketched the principal features of the religion which prevailed among the first Persian dynasties; these, not mentioned in other historical books, are we know peculiar to the Desátir and Dabistán, which appeared to sir W. Jones an unexceptionable authority for believing the Iranian monarchy “the oldest in the world.” Upon this, W. Erskine remarked:[84] “Shall I be forgiven for saying, that the history of letters seems to me scarcely to afford an instance of a more perverted judgment on historical evidence?” Silvestre de Sacy[85] too “banishes among the most absurd fables lxxvthe dynasties of the Mahabadians, and of their successors, which sir William Jones, and after him some other Orientalists, have too hastily adopted, and of which they would to-day blush, since their titles have been produced.” More recently, William von Schlegel[86] said: “It would be useless to conceal to the public that that learned man, endowed with talents so rare, was totally deficient in historical criticism:” This was inferred, because he had admitted, and used in some of his considerations, as genuine, a forgery of Wilford’s Pandit. Besides, “he received without diffidence, and even welcomed with enthusiasm, the traditions contained in the Dabistán, a modern Persian book, written with the intention to claim for Persia the pre-eminence over India with respect to the antiquity of religious revelations.”

As to “the intention” mentioned, I hope to be able to justify Mohsan Fani. With respect to the Mahabadian dynasties—the light recently acquired upon the ancient history of Persia, reflect rather favorably upon that part of sir William Jones’s opinion, that this country, in its wide extent, was once the original seat of many nations now settled in distant regions. So much, at least, may be considered as established: 1. that the limits of history are to lxxvibe removed further back than those before fixed; 2. that in the earliest times primitive nations, related by language to each other, had their origin in the common elevated country of central Asia, and that the Iranians and Indians were once united before their migration into Iran and India.[87] This great fact presents itself, as it were, upon the border of a vast abyss of unknown times.

For these a measure was sought. Hence we meet with extravagant, but perpetually recurring chronological statements. The Mahabadian ages are neither better nor worse, as to accuracy, than the Indian yugs, the Chaldean,[88] or other periods. In order to reduce them to their true value, we must consider them as nothing else than expressions of the ideas which the ancients entertained of the antiquity of the world and human society, in which they cannot be easily refuted, and at least are not absurd. Such ideas originated, when man, curious after his past, had long ceased to be a listless barbarian; but the earliest civilisation is a late product of slow-working time, the memory of which could have been preserved lxxviionly by monuments. The most ancient of these however are but recent in our historical knowledge, the limits of which are far from being those of antiquity. The duration of ante-historical empires, in printless but extensive spaces of times, escapes research and computation. As men, however, bear with impatience vague and loose ideas, the Persians, as well as other nations, determined the past by numbers formed from the multiplication of some astronomical periods known in early times, as has been observed:[89] this appears to me at once the whole truth and falsehood of those statements. In the utter impossibility to reconcile the discordant data of different nations, we must content ourselves to take up the general ideas and facts in which they all agree, whilst in the particulars they all differ. Thus, in laying down maps of countries little known, we are satisfied with tracing the general direction of some rivers and mountains, and abstain from topographical details.


Προμηθευς δεσμωτης,
— — — — ἄτης γνώμης τὸ πᾶν
Ἔπρασσον, ἔς τε δή σφιν ἀντολὰς ἐγὼ
Αστρων ἔδειξα, τάς τε δυσκρίτους δύσεις.
(v. 457-459).
[74] Transl. by Dr. Potter.

[75] Hyde, who did not know the Dabistán, says (p. 188): that a year, or calendar, of Median invention was introduced in Persia, before Jamshid, that is, according to Ferdusi’s not irrational chronology, earlier than 3429 before our era.

[76] Milton’s Paradise Lost, b. VII. v. 358.

[77] The book of Shet Shai Kiliv, v. 59. p. 56.

[78] Bombay edit. Engl. transl., pp. 19. 20.

[79] vol. I. p. 14. The Bombay Desátir does not mention the revolution of Saturn, and states differently the value of fard, mard, etc., etc.

[80] It is known that in India, and perhaps all over Asia, the number of ciphers not followed by a significative number, is indifferent, and indicates nothing else but magnitude. Thus the Hindus, to determine positively hundreds, thousands, etc., affix the required figure at the end: for instance, to determine 100 rupees to be given, they write 101.

[81] The word is perhaps a form of the Sanscrit Mahábodhi, “a great deified teacher.” In the Burhani Kati we find six significations attributed to the word Abad; these are: 1. cultivated; 2. praise and prayer; 3. exclamation of praise; 4. the name of the Kaba; 5. the name of the first Persian prophet; 6. good and beauteous.

[82] See vol. I. pp. 19-20.

[83] I have (see vol. I. p. 26, note 1) derived this name from the Sanscrit yas, “glory, honor.” In Burhan Katii it is interpreted by “what is convenient.”

[84] Loco cit., p. 342.

[85] Journ. des Savans, février 1821, p. 69.

[86] See Réflexions sur l’Étude des Langues orientales, loc. cit., p. 51.

[87] See the development of these ideas in Erdkunde von Carl Ritter, VIIIter Theil; IIIter Buch, West-asien Seiten 105-109, with reference to E. Burnouf Comment. sur le Yacna, pp. 461, 563.

[88] We may be here permitted to call to mind the eras of the Chaldeans, who, according to Berosus, Epigenes, Diodorus of Sicily, Abydenus counted 490,000, 720,000, 473,000, 463,763 years. They are said to have exhibited, before Alexander’s conquest in Asia, historical annals for 150,000 years.

[89] See p. lxvii.

§ II.—The Peshdadian, Kayanian, Ashkanian, and Sassanian Dynasties—their religious and political institutions.

After the four dynasties mentioned follows the Gilshanian, monarchy, founded by Gilshah, or Kayomers, lxxviii“the king or form of earth.”[90] We are now upon well-known ground, and hear familiar names of four races: the Péshdadian, Kayanian, Ashkaniun, and Sassanian, to which, altogether, the Dabistán attributes a period of 6024 years, differing considerably from that of other Asiatic chronologers.[91]

Sir William Jones was right when he declared,[92] that “the annals of the Péshdadi (or Assyrian) race must be obscure and fabulous; those of the Kayání family, or the Medes and Persians, heroic and poetic:” annals gathered from oral traditions can be but such as the great Orientalist characterises those of the mentioned dynasties. But it was in his younger years, before he had enlarged his views upon the history of mankind, that he fixed the origin of the Persian monarchy so late as 890 years before our era;[93] afterwards, in India, he refuted his former notions, and ranged more freely in the expanded fields of antiquity. I shall add that Ferdusi places the beginning of Gilshah’s reign 3529 years before Christ, an epoch which receives synchronical confirmation from our daily-increasing knowledge of the antiquity of China, India, Assyria, Egypt, and other states.

lxxixThe fundamental religion remains the same: a celestial volume called Payman-i-farhang, in perfect accord with the Mahabadian code, is transmitted to Kayomers. So the Dabistán: but, in the Desátir, the four books ascribed to the first four Mahabadian prophet-kings contain the purest deism, and although the foundation of astrolatry and demonolatry may be perceived in the cosmology of the first book, yet these did not form a positive worship, which develops itself in the seven planetary books of the seven subsequent Persian kings, to wit: Kayomers, Siamok, Hushang, Tahmúras, Jamshid, Feridun, and Menocheher. Under these monarchs, a particular worship was rendered to the seven planets, as to mediators between God and men; the description of the forms under which they have been adored, is not, to my knowledge, found in any other book but the Dabistán.

Superstition is certainly as ancient as human nature itself; it is impossible to fix the epoch at which particular opinions and practices originated, such as the eighty-four sitting-postures at prayer; the suppression of the breath for the abstraction of thought; the mystical and fantastical notions upon vision and revelation; and particularly the belief that a man may attain the faculty to quit and to reassume his body, or to consider it as a loose garment, which he may put off at pleasure for ascending lxxxto the world of light, and on his return be reunited with the material elements. All these matters are considered as very ancient.

We find in the Dabistán a curious account of Persian sects under different names, such as Abadians, Azur-Húshangians, Jamshaspians, Samradians, Khodaiyans, Radians, Shidrangians, Paikarians, Milanians, Alarians, Shidabians, Akshiyans. The founders of these sects are placed so far back as the reigns of Jamshid and Zohak. Individuals professing the particular creed of each of these sects were living in the time of the author of the Dabistán, who was personally acquainted with several of them, and imparts the information which he had himself received from their lips. He gives with particular care an account of the before-mentioned Azar Kaivan,[94] the chief of the later Abadíans and Azar-Hushangians. The doctrine of these sectaries contained peculiar notions about God’s nature and attributes, and the world; the latter was to some an illusion; God himself but an idea. To others, God was every thing, to be served alone without a mediator between him and mankind; the heavens and the stars were his companions. God was the sun—fire—air—water—earth; he was the essence of the elements: from every one of these divine principles lxxxithe heavens, stars, and the whole world proceeded. These were some of the fundamental principles of their metaphysical religion.

Their morality appears to have consisted in the acknowledgment of all natural virtues; piety, justice, charity, sobriety; wine and strong drinks were forbidden; above all a tenderness towards all living creatures was recommended; and the severity against those who slew innoxious animals was carried to such an excess, than even sons punished their fathers with death, and fathers their sons, for the slaughter of a sheep or an elk.[95]

Their political constitution appears from the earliest time to have been that of an absolute monarchy: this is the curse attached to Asiatics. The king was to be of a noble descent, and bound to acknowledge the Farhang-Abad, “code of Abad.” All dignities, military and civil, were hereditary from father to son. The royal court and inner apartments appear to have been regulated in much the same manner as they are still in Asia; his cup-bearers and familiar servants, as well as those of his sons, and other nobles, were always females.

The interior administration of cities and villages is sufficiently detailed in the Dabistán. An active police was established, with numerous spies and lxxxiisecret reporters, for the security of government. We are glad to find in such early times hospitals for the relief of the suffering, and caravansaras for the convenience of travellers. Moreover, post-stations of horses and messengers were distributed for the rapid communication of news, from all sides of the vast empire, to the monarch.[96]

Not a little care was bestowed upon the discipline and continual exercise of numerous armies. The military chiefs were distinguished by the magnificent decorations of their persons, horses, and arms, in which they prided themselves. They were bound to treat their soldiers kindly, nay, obliged to produce certificates, from their subordinates, of having behaved well towards them. An order of battle was prescribed, in which they were to encounter the enemy; no plunder after victory was permitted; they never slew, nor treated with violence, a man who had thrown down his arms and asked for quarter.

History may well be referred to religion, which is an ancient intellectual monument, living in the human soul from generation to generation. I have hitherto marked two religious periods: the first, that of the Desátir, through the Mahabadian dynasty; lxxxiiithe second, that of Paiman-í-Farhang, prevailing during the Pésh-dadi-race until the middle of the Kayanian reign; I now come to the third.

[90] The first word is pure Persian; the other may be derived from the Sanscrit kaya, “body, form,” and mrita, “earth.”

[91] See vol. I. p. 31, note 1.

[92] His Works, vol. III. the sixth Anniversary Discourse, p. 108.

[93] Ibid., vol. XII. p. 399.

[94] See page 63.

[95] See vol. I. pp. 181. 184.

[96] Parasang, Farsang, even in our days a Persian word, is found and determined as a lineal measure of distances in Herodotus, lib. II. V. and VI.

§ III.—The Religion of Zardusht, or Zoroaster.

All religions are said to have deviated from their primitive simplicity and purity, as men advanced in knowledge and civilisation. This is true but in a restricted and distinctive sense, and may be explained, even without yielding to our habit of considering that which is more remote and less known as holier than that which is nearer and better examined. Thus, we may admit that the impressions made upon men in the first stage of expanding reason are stronger and more vivid, the less they are distracted by simultaneous and correlative associations; one great idea is enough to fill their whole mind, and admits of no rival, of no commixture with any thing else; curiosity, versatility, luxuriancy of intellect are not yet known; constancy is a necessity in a small compass of ideas. We have already touched[97] upon the powerful effect which the early perception of the Divine produced upon man: but he soon circumscribed what was too vast lxxxivor his comprehension in a perceptible object—heaven, sun, fire, to which he offered his adoration; he wanted a visible type or image of the invisible Divinity; but, his means of formation being at first very confined, he contented himself with the most simple representation: he had a symbol, an idol in a grove or cavern, but not yet a Pantheon. Simplicity may be a mere restriction to one object or to few objects; purity, nothing else but homogeneity in good or bad, true or false; we shall not confound them with rationality, which may subsist with multiplicity and mixture. Thus, the adoration of one deified man, one great serpent, one huge stone, is by no means more rational than the worship of numerous generations of gods, the ingenious personification sof multiform nature, ever acknowledged as the genuine offspring of the happy marriage between intellect and imagination. In the absence of arts and riches, worship is rude and destitute of showy accessories. Afterwards, the development of the understanding widens the field of reasoning, the fertility of which may be attested more by the shoot of weeds than by the growth of fruits: error prevails over truth; the increase of manifold resources facilitates and prompts superfetation of exterior religion. Besides, the impressions, by which the first legislator attached his followers to his doctrine, are effaced by time; the first lxxxvtraditions, obscured, confused, and altered; faith is weakened, and an opening made for change in belief, practice, and morals. A change, merely as such, is considered as a corruption by the adherents of the old creed. Finally, revolutions, interior and exterior, deteriorate or destroy religion and civilisation.

These reflexions, with the explanation previously given as to the various notions of which the religions in Asia were composed, will clearly show that, in the course of ages, a reform of astrolatry, pyrolatry, and idolatry, the branches of Sabæism and Mezdaism, became desirable; and Zardusht, or Zoroaster, appeared.

In the notes placed at the bottom of the pages containing Mohsan Fani’s account of Zoroaster,[98] will be found some of the principal results of the investigations which have been made in Europe respecting this legislator. The name of Zoroaster was applied by some to the founder of Magism, or Sabæism; we know also, that he has been identified with many other prophets under different names, among whom is Abraham, called “the great Zardusht,” and Hom, of so extensive a celebrity, that his name is mentioned by Strabo as predecessor of Zoroaster. No wonder that the name of the latter occurs in more or less remote times. According to lxxxvithe Dabistán, he was born in Rai, a town in the province of Jebal, or Irak Ajem, the country of the ancient Parthians, and appeared as a reformer of religion, under the reign of Gushtasp, the fifth king of the Kayanian dynasty, by the Occidental historians generally identified with Darius Hystaspes. Although variously stated, this period is less subject to chronological difficulties than are many others; for, as Eastern and Western historians agree in the epoch of Alexander’s death (321 B. C.), we may from this, as from a fixed point, remount upwards to Gushtasp; we find, according to some Orientals, five reigns in 228 years,[99] and therefore that of the said king, beginning 549 years before our era, whilst, according to the Occidentals, there are ten reigns within 200 years, from Alexander’s conquest of Persia to Darius Hystaspes, whose reign commences in 521 A. D. The discrepancy of twenty-eight years is far from being unexampled, even in more known periods, and may in this case be most easily and plausibly adjusted.[100]

lxxxviiAccording to a wide-spread tradition, to which I shall have occasion to return, Gushtasp was instructed by Brahmans; pursuant to the Dabistán, his brother Jamasp was the pupil of the Indian Jangran-ghachah (Sankara acharya)[101]. This sage, as soon as he heard of Gushtasp’s listening to Zoroaster, wrote an epistle to dissuade the king from the adoption of the new creed; an interview took place at Balkh between the Persian and Indian sages, and the latter abandoned his religion upon hearing a nosk, or chapter of the Zand-Avesta.[102] This is the name of the work attributed to Zoroaster himself, a part of which was brought to Europe, in the year 1761, by Anquetil du Perron.

lxxxviiiThe author of the Dabistán mentions the Zand-Avesta, and declares the Mah-Zand to be a portion of the Desátir, and the Zand books in general conformable to the Mahabadian code. The fifth Sassan, the translator and commentator of the Desátir, in a passage above-quoted,[103] joins this work to the Avesta, and is said in the Dabistán to have made a translation of the code of Zardusht.

Great was the sensation caused among the learned of Europe at the first appearance of the works attributed to Zoroaster, published in French by Anquetil du Perron, in 1771. In a note of this volume[104] will be found the names of the principal authors who declared themselves for or against the authenticity of the Zoroastrian books. Among those who combated it, sir William Jones was most conspicuous. Seventy years have since elapsed, and a learned controversy may now be considered as settled, nay, entirely forgotten, in the course of a most eventful historical period. Nevertheless, the Desátir is so closely connected with the Zand-Avesta, that so much having been said of the one, the other should not be lightly discarded. The value and importance of the Dabistán rest chiefly upon the support of the two documents mentioned; on that account I may hope to be pardoned if I here venture to repeat lxxxixwhatever facts and arguments appear to me to have some bearing upon this work. But it was sir William Jones who then roused the whole learned public into lively attention, and, I dare presume, that the subject may by itself at all times excite considerable interest.

I shall quote the very words of lord Teignmouth concerning the French author before mentioned:[105] “Anquetil had published in three quarto volumes an account of his travels in India, the life of Zoroaster, and some supposed works of that philosopher. To this publication he prefixed a Discourse, in which he treated the university of Oxford, and some of its learned members and friends of Mr. Jones, with ridicule and disrespect. From the perusal of his works, Mr. Jones was little disposed to agree with Monsieur du Perron in the boasted importance of his communication; he was disgusted with his vanity and petulance, and particularly offended by his illiberal attack upon the university, which he respected, and upon the persons whom he esteemed and admired. The letter which he addressed to M. du Perron was anonymous; it was written with great force, and expresses his indignation and contempt with a xcdegree of asperity which the judgment of maturer years would have disapproved.”[106]

The letter alluded to contains most severe remarks, not only upon the Zand-Avesta, but also upon Oriental studies in general: these are blows so much more sensible to Orientalists, as they come from a friendly and most revered hand. Such was the ardor of a susceptible mind under the impression of having to vindicate the honor of his friends, that he forgot for a moment the wreath which he had already won in the career of Oriental literature; he had already composed his commentary upon Asiatic poetry, and translated from the original Persian the Life of Nadir-shah; he had then no presentiment of the glory which he was destined to acquire by collecting, under the Indian heaven, the lore of antique Asia. As his French letter, written in a very spirited and brilliant style, can never be read without causing a great impression, I shall be permitted to borrow from the writings of this celebrated author himself some reflexions, which I think necessary for placing in a right point of view Oriental studies in general, and in particular the contents of the Dabistán, inasmuch as these are in some parts founded upon the Zand-Avesta, and in other points of a nature similar to that so much ridiculed in that ingenious satire.

xciIf it were true, that Anquetil was wrong “to affront death for procuring us useless lights—if the writings of Zoroaster are a collection of galimatia—if enlightened Europe had no need of his Zand-Avesta, which he has translated to no purpose, and upon which he uselessly spent eighteen years, a time which ought to have been precious to him——”[107] then any similar attempts which have been or shall be made to procure, in Asia, and to publish ancient historical documents, are equally ridiculous and blamable. It is certainly not the founder of a new era in Oriental literature whom we hear in these words. Nobody knew better than he that, in Asia, the cradle of mankind, we must search for the most ancient documents to restore the lost history of mankind; and if all endeavors were to prove vain and useless, still the merit of having attempted the attainment of a most laudable purpose would remain. It is not unimportant to fix the limits which researches can reach, and beyond which nothing is to be gained; men are benefitted and enriched at once by the saving of time and trouble which preceding attempts teach; and by all the acquisitions which better directions render possible in a new and more profitable career. Should the bold navigators who strive to arrive at the pole never attain their aim, still would their xciiendeavors be worthy of praise; the smallest fragment of a rock, the slightest shoot of a plant, plucked off in the desert of eternal ice, in latitude eighty-eight, would at home be regarded with lively interest, and navigation have not a little gained in aid of other more fortunate undertakings.

But, who can like to read “puerile details, disgusting descriptions, barbarous words—Zoroaster could not have written such nonsense—either he had no common sense, or he wrote not the book which Anquetil attributed to him.”[108]

As much has been and may be said of the books attributed to other Asiatic legislators, who were nevertheless revered as sacred during many ages by numerous nations. Until we properly understand the ignorance and habitual ideas of Asiatics, we shall always remain ignorant of what is proverbially called the wisdom of the East. To appreciate the just value of the ancient codes of laws, we ought to represent to ourselves the primitive children of the earth, as Prometheus describes them:

“They saw, indeed, they heard; but what avail’d
Or sight, or sense of hearing, all things rolling,
Like the unreal imagery of dreams,
In wild confusion mix’d! The lightsome wall
Of finer masonry, the rafter’d roof
They knew not; but, like ants still buried, delved
Deep in the earth, and scoop’d their sunless caves.
Unmark’d the seasons chang’d, the biting winter,
The flow’r-perfumed spring, the ripening summer,
Fertile of fruits.”[109]
It will then be felt how important it was to break the savage under the yoke of seemingly puerile practices and customs. In a state which was not unaptly called “the infancy of man,” it was by no means absurd to ensure health by dietetical prescriptions, cleanliness by obligatory ablutions, and decency with convenience by a regulated dress; the koshti, “the girdle,” of Zoroaster was then not so unmeaning as it now appears to us. It was necessary to educate the moral sense by appropriate images, and to occupy conveniently, by fables, symbols, and mythical accounts, the first active faculty of the soul, imagination. Although those men who, as legislators, were elevated above their barbarous age, could in many points but partake in the general imbecility and ignorance of an infant state of society, they have nevertheless, among seemingly childish and absurd precepts, promulgated most luminous truths, better than which none have hitherto been known, even at the most advanced degree of civilisation. Any information above the common understanding of the age is justly called “a revelation,” and every nation has received some xcivfrom their prophets, by which we have all benefited.[110] We, the youngest sons of science, ought to keep a grateful and reverential remembrance of our elder brothers. Let it be a subject of regret that, by the maintenance of ancient institutions much longer than was required for their intended purpose, the intellectual growth of many Asiatic nations was stopped; thus they now appear made for their laws, whilst their laws were once made for them. After these and similar reflexions, we shall view Zoroaster’s hundred gates, and the remains of his twenty-one nosks, as venerable monuments of an antique civilisation, which ought never to be profaned by derision.

Upon the Zand language, in which Zoroaster’s laws were written, I refer to the great philologers of our days, who have examined it—Rask,[111] Bopp, Burnouf, Lassen, and others: it is one of the most important conquests made in archæology and philology, and this we owe to Anquetil. When xcvJones[112] treated with such severity the publication of this French author, he could not foresee that he should one day call forth to notoriety the Dabistán, which rests in great part upon the authority of the Desátir, and these very books to which he refused all authenticity. Mohsan Fani, one hundred and twenty years before Anquetil, derived his information probably from other copies of Zoroaster’s works, and knew nothing of Western authors, yet his statements agree with what the latter, before and after our era related, and most particularly with what the French discoverer published of that ancient philosopher. Can it be supposed that all these men of different nations, whose statements have thus coincided during the lapse of more than two thousand years, have “imposed upon themselves, or been imposed upon by others concerning the pretended laws of a pretended legislator?” Anquetil deserved a better name than that of “a French adventurer, who translated the books ascribed to Zoroaster, from the translation of a certain xcvigypsy at Surat, and his boldness in sending them abroad as genuine”[113] was not unsupported by judgment. If there was some folly and foppery to deride in a young man, who spoke of his lilly-rosy cheeks and elegant figure, there was no “imposture” to detect, and too much acerbity shewn in retorting thoughtless indiscretions, exaggerated into “invectives.”

Sir William Jones, when he published the strictures which his antagonist, from pride or moderation, never answered, was but in his twenty-fourth year and under the influence of youthful ardor. Eighteen years after, in a discourse, addressed to the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, in 1789, he spoke with more moderation of Anquetil as “having had the merit of undertaking a voyage to India in his earliest youth with no other view than to recover the writings of Zoroaster.” The illustrious president of that Society was not in the position to appreciate Anquetil’s whole character, and died too soon to become acquainted with the brilliant reputation which the youthful voyager acquired in his maturer years as a learned member of the French Academy of Letters, both in his own country and abroad.[114]

xcviiThe Dabistán informs us, that the Zand-books are of two kinds: the one, perspicuous and without enigmatical forms of speech, is called the Mah-Zand, “great Zand;” the second, abounding in enigmatic or figurative language, is entitled Kah-Zand, “little Zand.” The first, in most points speculative and practical, agrees with the Desátir; the second is intended to prevent philosophy falling into the hands of the ignorant, to whom an enigmatical veil is offered, whilst the sages know the true purport of the pure doctrine. To king Gushtasp, his brother Jamasp, his son Isfendiar, and to Bahman, the son of the latter, were attributed the interpretations of Zoroaster’s religious system, and many ingenious xcviiiparables which, for their moral sense, may be reckoned among the best specimens of this kind of popular instruction.

This true statement, contained in the Dabistan,[115] corrects the assertion of sir William Jones,[116] that Mohsan Fani affirms “the work of Zartusht to “have been lost.” The learned Orientalist evidently confounds the Mah-zand, which is said to be a portion of the Desátir, with the work of Zartusht. The writer of the Dabistán enumerates[117] the twenty-one nosks or books, of which the Zand was composed; he says:[117] “At present there are fourteen complete nosks, possessed by the Dosturs of Karman; the other seven being incomplete, as, through the wars and dissensions which prevailed in Iran some of the nosks have disappeared, so that, notwithstanding the greatest researches, the nosks have come into their hands in a defective state.” We find it expressly declared in the Dabistán, on the authority[118] of the Dostur who wrote the volume of the Sad dur, “the hundred gates,” that “the excellent faith has been received from the prophet Zartusht.” In a particular section, intitled Enumeration of some advantages which arise from the enigmatical xcixforms of the precepts of Zartusht’s followers, Mohsan not only adduces examples of Zartushtian allegories, but subjoins his own interpretations of them; yet he never affirms, nor even insinuates “the place of Zoroaster’s lost works to have been supplied by a recent compilation.” Nor can we assent to the view, which sir W. Jones takes of the modern literature of the Mobeds, “for whom,” he says,[119] “as they continued to profess among themselves the religion of their forefathers, it became expedient to supply the last or mutilated works of their legislator by new compositions, partly from their imperfect recollection, and partly from such moral and religious knowledge as they gleaned, most probably among the Christians with whom they had an intercourse.”

To settle our judgment upon this subject, we ought to recollect, that languages and precepts may be transmitted from generation to generation by oral instruction, which indeed was once the only possible mode during a long period of time. It was then that memory was so much stronger, as, destitute of all artificial assistance, it depended solely upon itself. We bought the advantage of writing by resigning somewhat of memorial energy; this was the evil, which, according to Plato, Thamus, the cEgyptian king, predicted to Theut, the inventor of writing. However this may be, it will appear founded upon reason and history, that religious creeds, which had once been the property of nations, are not easily eradicated by any force, or forgotten under any circumstances; they become living streams of ideas and sentiments, which run uninterruptedly through the ever-renewed races of man, even when these separate from a parent stock. Hence we find, in countries and among nations the most remote from each other, so many notions and customs, the origin of which is lost in the night of time. Shall I mention the Jews, who, throughout the whole world, repeat to-day the same words which they learned more than thirty-three centuries ago? With regard to the Guebres—sir W. Jones might have safely granted a little more confidence to his friend Bahman, his Persian reader, who always named with reverence Zartusht, whose religion he professed, in common with many so called Guebres. For these it was not necessary “to preserve Zoroastrian books, in sheets of lead or copper, at the bottom of wells near Yezd:”[120] this fact, ciwhich Bahman used to assert, shows the particular care which had once been taken to guard these sacred documents, the veneration for which most naturally prevented any falsification of their known contents.

We are confirmed, by the author of the Dabistán, that Zoroaster did not change the fundamentals of the ancient religion; only the dualism of the principles, good and bad, not existing, as I have remarked[121] in the Mahabadian religion, was either then first introduced, or only further developed; besides, we see the cycle of 12,000 years fixed, and divided into four periods of 3000 years each; we hear the promise of a Saviour to restore the empire of God promulgated, and the destruction of the world by fire announced: this is at the same time the epoch of the general resurrection, which is one of the most remarkable dogmas of the Zoroastrian religion.

Although this be not destitute of religious observances, yet we find scarce any painful austerity recommended. The twenty-fifth gate of Zoroaster contains the remarkable precept: “Know that in thy faith there is no fasting except that of avoiding sin: in which sense thou must fast the whole year.”[122] The ancient Mahabadian religion, although adulterated before, during, and after Zoroaster’s ciilife, seems to have never lost its grave character and solemnity. In the Zand-books known to us, no trace of temples, altars, or religious symbols exist. Herodotus knew of none; the fire-places were upon a desert place, or upon mountains; the fire upon the ground. Upon the Persian monuments which time has spared, upon the walls of the thousand-pillared palace of Isfahan, and upon those of the Royal tombs we see no idols, but priests and kings, performing the sacrifice of fire before their fervers, “ideals of virtue and sanctity,” and other actions rather of a political than religious character. The pyræa, round and concave, represented the vault of heaven. Nevertheles other accounts permit us to believe, that, by association with other nations; most likely by the introduction of sculpture, architecture, and painting; and, as the Dabistán expressly says, by the use of symbolical language: a superstitious worship of sacred places and symbolic images gained a great ascendancy.

This religion prevailed during the times of the Kayanian kings from Gushtasp to Dara the Second, during more than two centuries. After the conquest of Persia by Alexander, a political and religious revolution took place in this country, and extended to Greece, where, according to the commentary of the Desátir, the creed of the Gushaspians was introduced. This is declared to be a medium between ciiithe Illuminated and the Rationalists, perhaps the same which the Dabistán calls the faith of the Beh-dinians, “professors of the better religion.” So much is avowed by Philo, Plinius, and others—and we have reason to lay stress upon this avowal—that at one time the so called barbarians were reckoned to be more wise and virtuous than the Greeks. During the Ashkanian dynasty (from the third century B. C. to the end of the second after our era), the people conformed to the Kah-zand, that is, yielded to the superstition, which the figurative language was apt to suggest. Ardeshir, the first Sassanian, in the beginning of the third century A. D.; endeavored to re-establish the ancient religion; but, after his reign of forty years, the Kah-zand took and kept the ascendancy, until the Persian empire fell before the overwhelming power of the Muhammedans. The Mah-zand was lost during the domination of the intolerant invaders, Greeks, Arabs, and Turks; the Kah-zand still remains in some of its parts, whilst many others were lost in the successive disorders of the state.

The fifteenth and last section of the first chapter treats of Mazdak, who lived in the fifth century of our era. We are informed of the existence of a book, called Desnak, which the author of the Dabistán saw, and which contains the doctrine of this reformer. This was nothing else than the Zoroastrian civsystem about the two principles, Yezed, “God” or “light,” and Ahriman, “agent of evil” or “darkness,” with a few peculiarities which did not destroy the fundamental principles of the original religion. But, it was the ethical part of his doctrine which at first caused a great revolution, and at last the destruction of the teacher and his numerous disciples, Mazdak bade all men to be partners in riches and women, just as they are of fire, water, and grass; private property was not to exist; each man to enjoy or to endure, in his turn, the good and bad lots of this world. To this strange doctrine may be perhaps applied the saying of a great bishop (Bossuet): that “every error is but an abuse of some truth.” To prevent an excessive inequality of fortunes in society was the object towards which celebrated ancient legislators tended, and for which frequently wishes were expressed, reforms projected, and politico-philosophical romances[123] composed by well-meaning and respectable persons. It is therefore to a natural, but dangerous propensity of the human mind, that we ought to refer Mazdak’s bold and for some time too successful attempt, as well as all the doctrines of the same tendency, which before and after him were and will henceforth be proposed.

cvI have now terminated the general review of what the first chapter of the Dabistán, and the first volume of the English translation contain, concerning the most ancient dynasties, religions, and political institutions of Persia.

[97] See page 70.

[98] See vol. I. p. 211 et seq.

[99] See sir John Malcolm’s History of Persia. Ferdusi counts 304 years from Alexander’s death to the beginning of Gushtasp’s reign; but he assigns to the latter 120, and 112 to that of his successor Bahman Arjer, or Ardishir diraz (Artaxerxes longimanus). These two reigns might have comprised those of several others not mentioned by Ferdusi.

[100] The duration of the whole Kayanian dynasty is stated by the Orientals (see vol. I. p. 31, note 1 of this work) to be 704 years in 10 reigns; according to Occidental historians, it is only 380 years in 18 reigns. The first statement is evidently erroneous as to the small number of kings, but it is not decided that it is equally so as to the duration of the whole dynasty. The error is more likely to be in the list of the kings than in the whole period of their reigns. May I be permitted to refer to my discussion upon the chronology of the Rajatarangini (vol. II. p. 387)?

[101] Sir William Jones says (Works, vol. III. p. 128): “It was he (Zoroaster)—not as Ammianus asserts, his protector, Gushtasp—who travelled in India, that he might receive information from the Brahmans in theology and ethics.” This is not to be found in the edition of Calcutta, nor in the manuscript of the Dabistán which D. Shea and myself have seen.

[102] Mr. Eugène Burnouf, when he communicated to me his opinion upon the derivation of the word Wasátir (see p. xxii), adverted incidentally to that of the term Zand-Avesta, interpreted sometimes “the Zand and the Usta,” and said, that these words are found in perhaps a single passage of the books of Zoroaster, to wit, huzanth vacha vaidhya cha. These two words are applied to mantras (prayers), and seem to signify “which will give life,” or “which are salutary to towns and nations,” and “which are learned.” We recognise the Sanscrit sujantu and vidya.

[103] See page 66.

[104] See vol. I. p. 223.

[105] See Memoirs of the life, writings, and correspondence of sir W. Jones, in his Works, vol. I. p. 190, 8vo., ed., 1807.

[106] See works of sir W. J. vol. X. p. 403 et seq.

[107] See Works of Sir W. J., vol. X. p. 403 et seq.

[108] See works of sir W. J. pp. 413. 432. 437.

[109] De Potter’s Transl. of Æschylus, Prometheus chained. In the Greek origin. v. 447-456.

[110] Voltaire, whose genius sir W. Jones knew how to appreciate, said: “Glorifions-nous de ce que les vérités les plus importantes sont devenues des lieux communs pour les Européens, mais ne nous en moquons pas, et sachons avoir quelque reconnaissance pour les anciens legislateurs qui nous les ont, les premiers, appris.”

[111] See Transact. of the R. A. S. of Great Brit. and Irel., vol. III. part I. p. 524 et seq. Remarks on the Zand language and the Zand-Avesta. This able tract is chiefly a comment upon Erskine’s Memoir On the sacred book and religion of the Parsis, in the Transact. of the Lit. Soc. of Bombay, vol. II. p. 295.

[112] Sir W. J. says (see his Works, vol. III. p. 116) that, according to his conviction, the dialect of the Guebrs, which they pretend to be that of Zertusht, of which Bahman, a Guebr and his Persian reader, gave him a variety of written specimens, is a late invention of their priests. What language does he mean? certainly not that of the Zand-Avesta, of which he speaks in particular, and states (ibid., p. 118) “the language of the Zand was at least a dialect of the Sanscrit, approaching, perhaps, as nearly to it as the Prácrit, or other popular idioms, which we know to have been spoken in India two thousand years ago.”

[113] Sir W. J.’s Works, vol. V. pp. 414-415.

[114] Anquetil composed a number of Memoirs, read to the French Institut and preserved in their printed records. He published, in 1771, three quarto volumes upon his voyages to, in, and from India, and the Works of Zoroaster; in 1798, L’Inde en rapport avec l’Europe; in 1799, La Legislation orientale, ou le despotisme considéré dans la Turquie, la Perse et l’Indostane. An epistle which he placed before his Latin translation of Dara Shuko’s Persian Upanishad, and addressed to the Brahmans of India, contained, as it were, his religious and political testament. He declares his nourishment to have been reduced, like that of an abstemious ascetic, living, even in winter, without fire; and sleeping in a bed without feathers or sheets. His juvenile boast of “personal beauty” was expiated by total neglect of his body, left “with linen unchanged and unwashed;” his aspirations to “a vast extent of learning” had subsided into patient and most persevering studies. But, disdaining to accept gifts and pensions, even from government, he preserved his absolute liberty, and blessed his poverty, “as the salvation of his soul and body, the rampart of morality and of religion; a friend of all men; victorious over the allurements of the world” he tended towards the Supreme Being. Well may virtues so rare efface other human failings of Anquetil du Perron. He died, in his seventy-fourth year, in 1805.—(See Histoire et Mémoires de l’Institut royal de France. Classe d’Histoire et de Littérature anciennes, tome III. 1818.)

[115] See Transl., vol. I. pp. 351-353.

[116] Works, vol. III. p. 115.

[117] Transl. vol. I. p. 275.

[118] Ibid., p. 310.

[119] Loco cit., p. 117.

[120] Yezd, in central Persia, is the ancient Isatichæ of Ptolemy. It is celebrated on account of the fire-worship of Yezdan (or Ormuzd, as light), there practised, and as the last asylum of the adherents to Zoroaster’s religion, who fled before the Muhammedans. From thence the fire-worshippers sought a refuge in India, and settled in Diu, Bombay, and in the higher valleys of the Indus and the Ganges.

[121] See vol. I. p. 71.

[122] See vol. I. p. 321.

[123] For instance, the Utopia of Thomas Moore, the Oceana of Harrington, the Leviathan of Hobbes, etc., etc.

§ IV.—The Religion of the Hindus.

The theatre upon which the author of the Dabistán begins history from the remotest times, is Persia, without limitation of its extent, probably including Chaldæa. From thence he passes to India, he says little of any other country; nothing at all of Egypt. The delta of this most fertile land, as an alluvial formation of the great river Nile, was necessarily posterior to the existence of inland regions; still its claims to antiquity are very high and not unsupported, to a certain extent, by the best written testimonies and architectural monuments. If I here refer in a cursory manner to its eras,[124] it is to strengthen what was above remarked concerning the general belief of the great age of the world. The ancient religion of Egypt, although connected and cviconformable in many points with other Asiatic religions, is never alluded to by the author of the Dabistán, probably because in his time the Egyptians had lost even the memory of their ancient history, which very little attracted the curiosity of their masters, the Muhammedans, except perhaps by the medium of the Bible of the Jews, often quoted in their Koran.[125]

I cannot here omit briefly noticing the various opinions of several learned men concerning the comparative antiquity of the Magi, the Egyptian priests, and the Hindu philosophers. Aristotle[126] believed the Magi more ancient than the Egyptians; Diodorus of Sicily[127] believed the Hindus to have never sent nor received colonies, and invented every art and science; Lucian, Philostratus[128], and Eusebius[129] granted anteriority in philosophy to the Hindus over the Egyptians. In our times the learned abbé Mignot established in three Memoirs[130], that the Hindus cviiowed nothing to the Egyptians, and traced the true communications of the former with several nations of Asia and Europe. But sir W. Jones declared in 1785[131], as not ill-grounded, the opinion that Ethiopia and Hindostan were peopled or colonized by the same extraordinary race, or that the Ethiopians of Meroe were the same people as the Hindus. His opinion was reproduced under different forms by Hennel, Wilford, Forbes, Carwithen, among the English, and adopted by L. Langles among the French. I need not dwell upon this opinion, as the grounds upon which it rested are now considered as entirely destroyed. Sir W. Jones himself seems to have abandoned it in 1789,[132] as the Dabistán appeared to him to furnish an unexceptionable evidence, that the Iranian monarchy must have been the oldest in the world, although, he added, it will remain dubious to which of the three stocks, Hindu, Arabian, or Tartar, the first kings of Iran belonged; or whether they sprang from a fourth race, distinct from any of the others; He further states, that no country but Persia seems likely to have sent forth colonies to all the kingdoms of Asia, and that the three races (Indians, Arabs, Tartars) migrated from Iran as from their common country, “the true centre of population, of knowledge, of languages, and cviiiof arts; which, instead of travelling westward only, as it has been fancifully supposed, or eastward, as might with equal reason have been asserted, were expanded in all directions to all the regions of the world, in which the Hindu race had settled under various denominations.”

The second chapter of the Dabistán describes, in twelve sections, the religious systems and customs of the Hindus. It is a detailed account, given by a Persian who, as traveller and resident in India during about thirty years, had the best opportunities to collect right information; he shows himself acquainted with the canonical books of this nation; he quotes their Puránas, and other works less known.[133]

The Hindus are, among all nations, most particularly distinguished by a decided turn for metaphysics, which even tinctured the radicals of their language; they have labored more than others to solve, exhaust, comprehend, what is insolvible, inexhaustible, incomprehensible. To give a general notion of their metaphysical theology, I do not say cixto render it intelligible, would require an extensive treatise. We will now give a few characteristic and leading features of their systems as indicated in the Dabistán.

Some of their theological philosophers made incredible efforts to steer clear of anthropomorphism in their conceptions of the Divinity: their Brahm, in the neuter gender, has no symbol, nor image, nor temple; they generally profess the great principle of emanation of all existences from a common but unknown source. God is the producer of the beginning and end, exhibiting himself in the mirror of pure space. Creation is held to have proceeded from pure space and time. Other Hindu philosophers establish: 1. a primary, subtile, universal substance, undergoing modification through its own energy. This they call Mula Prakritti, “rudimental nature,” no production but the root of all, involving, 2. seven principles, which are productions and productive (that is, intellect, egotism, and five subtile elements); from these seven proceed: 3. sixteen productions (to wit, eleven organs and five gross elements); to these just mentioned twenty-four (namely, Nature, seven principles and sixteen productions); add, 4. the soul, which is neither a production, nor productive, and you have the twenty-five physical and metaphysical categories of the Sankhya philosophy.[134] This strikes us cxas a very specious methodical arrangement of an abstruse matter, which is not thereby in any degree rendered more intelligible.

We seem to understand something more when, as in the Vedenta philosophy, it is said of the truly-existing Being (God):[135] “that he has exhibited the “world and the heavens in the field of existence, but has nothing like an odor of being, nor taken a color of reality; and this manifestation is called Máya that is, ‘the Magic of God,’ because the universe is his playful deceit, and he is the bestower of imitative existence, himself the unity of reality. With this pure substance, like an imitative actor, he passes every moment into another form. He, manifesting his being and unity in three persons, separate from each other, formed the universe. The connexion of the spirits with the holy Being is like the connexion of the billows with the ocean, or that of sparks with fire.” This is pure idealism; but man will spontaneously break through the shadowy illusion, and grasp at some reality; the trinity of the Hindus became creation, preservation, and destruction (or renovation), the history of nature before their eyes.

I shall here remark, without attempting to explain, the striking contrast in the religion of the same nation between the most subtile metaphysic cxitheology and the grossest idolatry. In the latter, the symbolical representation prevails; it is known, that in its immoderate use they have entirely abandoned the normal proportions of the human form, and by the multiplication of members banished all fitness and beauty. Their plastic and graphic typification of an all-mighty, all-bestowing, and all-resuming God, with its three, four, five heads, so many and more arms, is repulsive; in their poetry he frightens us with innumerable mouths, eyes, breasts, arms, and legs, grinding between his teeth the generations of men, who precipitate themselves into his mouth like rivers into the ocean, or flies into fire.[136]

The psychology of the Hindus is not less abstruse than the rest of their metaphysics. We have already mentioned the soul among the twenty-five categories as neither a production nor productive. The Indian philosophers distinguish spirit and soul, that is, a rational soul and a mere sensitive principle. The first is supposed enveloped with a subtile, shadowy form of the most delicate material ether. Some hold the soul to be incased in three sheaths, the intellectual, the mental, and the organic or vital sheath.[137] According to different views the vital spirit is Máya herself, or an emanation of Máyá, cxiiin any case the illusive manifestation of the universe.

This ingenuous conception seems to have taken deep and complete possession of the Hindus; it dominates in their most subtile abstractions, and embodies itself in a thousand forms to their vivid and luxuriant imagination. The Saktians, a sect wedded to sensual materialism, represent Máyá as a Saktí or energy of Siva; she is “the mother of the universe;” “non-entity finds no access to this creator, the garment of perishableness does not sit right upon the body of this fascinating empress; the dust of nothingness does not move round the circle of her dominion; the real beings and the accidental creatures of the nether world are equally enamoured and intoxicated with desire before her.” Above the six circles, into which the Hindus divide the human body, is “the window of life, and the passage of the soul, which is the top and middle of the head, and in that place is the flower of the back of one thousand leaves: this is the residence of the glorious divinity, that is, of the world-deceiving queen, and in this beautiful site reposes her origin. With the splendor of one hundred thousand world-illuminating suns, she wears, at the time of rising, manifold odoriferous herbs and various flowers upon her head, and around her neck: her resplendent body is penetrated cxiiiwith perfumes of divers precious ingredients, such as musk, safran, sandal, and amber, and bedecked with magnificent garments; in this manner, she is to be represented.”[138] Thus we see the poetical imagination of the Hindus, playing, as it were, with abstruseness, materializing what is spiritual, and spiritualizing what is material.

Characteristic of and peculiar to the Hindus, are their conceptions relative to the states of the embodied soul, which are chiefly three: “waking, dreaming, and profound sleep.”[138] In these three conditions the soul is imprisoned, but it may, by virtue and sanctity, break the net of illusion, that is, acquire the consciousness of the illusion which captivates it, and know that, even when awake, man is dreaming: this is the triumph of his perfection.

Such, and other notions, in their development and application, form a system of metaphysics, in which excess and abuse of refined speculations lose themselves in obscurity, contradiction, and absurdity.

Among the Indian sectaries appear the Charvak, who, rejecting the popular religion, follow their own system of philosophic opinions.

Of Buddha and the Buddhists, we are disappointed to find so little in the Dabistán, except the important information that Vichnu, in order to destroy the demons cxivand evil genii, the agents of night, assumed the avatár of Buddha when ten years only of the Dwaparyug remained, that is, 3112 years before Christ. In the section on the tenets held by the followers of Buddha, these religionists are called Jatis or Yatis, a great number of whom are corn-traders and get their livelihood as servants; they are divided in several classes, and do not believe the incarnations of the deity; as to the rest, they have tenets and customs in common with other Indian sects, only distinguishing themselves by a great aversion to Brahmans, and an extreme care of not hurting animal life.

In the whole account, which the Dabistán gives of the various sects and doctrines of the Hindus, we can but remark a frequent confusion of Indian with Muhammedan notions and stories. Indeed, this work having been written in India at a time when, after a sojourn of more than seven centuries, about twenty millions of Muselmans appeared, as it were, lost in the midst of one hundred millions of Hindus, we cannot wonder that a mutual assimilation in opinions and customs took place among individuals of both religions. A remarkable instance of it presents itself in the person of Kabir, renowned in his time for sanctity. After his death, both the Hindus and Muhammedans claimed his corpse for funeral honors; monuments erected to him by each cxvparty exist in our days, with the proverbial precept which originated from this event:

“Live so as to be claimed after death to be burnt by Hindus, and to be buried by Muslims.”

The Indian Yogis, Sanyásis, and Vairagis are perpetually confounded with Muhammedan Durvishes, and Sufis, of whom hereafter.

We do not fail to meet with many traces of the ancient Persian astrolatry and pyrolatry among the Indians. Mohsan mentions the Surya-makhan (Sauras), “worshippers of the sun,” and periphrases, as addressed to that luminary, a Sanscrit prayer, which seems to be one of those called gayátri, the holiest verses of the Vedas, kept as mysterious by the Brahmans, and pronounced with the deepest sense of concentrated devotion. In our days, more than one gayátri has been made known.[139] We cannot doubt that (according to the poet)[140]—

“That vast source of liquid light, the ethereal sun, which perpetually laves heaven with ever-renewed brightness,”

was, from the remotest times, the object of adoration in India. The Dabistán mentions also the Chandra-bakhtra, “worshippers of the moon.” Even in our days we find the veneration for the cxvisun, the planets, and fire, openly practised by the Hindus. The worshippers of the latter elements called Sagníkas, are very numerous at Benares;[141] they keep many agni-hotras, “burnt-offerings,” continually blazing; they kindle, with two pieces of sacred wood, called sámi, a fire, never extinguished during their lives, for the performance of solemn sacrifices, their nuptial ceremonies, the obsequies of departed ancestors, and their own funeral pile. There are besides particular worshippers of the wind, water, earth, and the three kingdoms of nature. The latter are called Tripujas, “trinitarians.” We find also Manushya-bhakta, “worshippers of mankind,” who recognise the being of God in man, and believe nothing to be more perfect than mankind; like Channing, a famous American preacher of our days. In short, the worship of personified nature, in its utmost extent, is most evident in what we know of the Vedas, and never ceased to be the general religion of the Hindus.

Not without interest will be read in the Dabistán the account of Nanak,[142] the founder of the Sikh religion and domination. He is there represented as having been, in a former age, Janaka, sovereign of Mithila, and father of Sitá, the wife of Rama. The revolution effected by Nanak, in the middle of the cxviisixteenth century, proves that the Hindus are not quite so unchangeable in religion and customs as is generally believed. It is however to be remarked, that the Panj-ab, the country of the Sikhs, was always considered by the Brahmans as the seat of heterodoxy (probably Buddhism), and blamed for irregularity of manners. Mohsan’s account will be found to add confirmation and a few particulars to that given of Nanak, from the best sources—the generals sir John Malcolm, and John Briggs.

What will appear most valuable in this work is the description of various usages, some of which have never been described elsewhere. The most ancient customs are brought to recollection. Thus, we find stated, on the authority of Maha bharat, that widows could formerly take other husbands—married women, with the consent of their husbands, maintain intercourse with other men—several individuals, of the same race and religion, espouse one wife among them;—in ancient times there existed no such practice as appropriation of husband and wife; every woman being allowed to cohabit with whomsoever she liked; conjugal fidelity was only in later times made a duty. Much of what he describes may be seen, even in our days, in India, where all the degrees of civilisation which the Hindus ever attained, from the lowest to the highest, occur here and there within a small compass of cxviiicountry. So constant are they in good and bad! The whole of antiquity is still living in India, and Herodotus stands confirmed in what appeared most incredible in his narrative by the testimonies of Mohsan Fáni, the reverend abbe Dubois,[143] Ward, and others. The Persian author intersperses his account with anecdotes which characterise in the most lively manner individuals, sects, and tribes. If now and then we must avert our eyes from disgusting scenes of human degradation, more frequently we admire man, even in his errors, for the power and command of the mental over the physical part of his nature. The naked Yogi, who inflicts the most cruel tortures upon himself, wants but a better motive for being justly extolled as a hero of fortitude; death appears to him an habitual companion, into whose arms he sinks without fear; overpowered by malady, he buries himself alive.

We may be astonished at the number of unbelievers cxixamong the Hindus of whom we read, and at the licentiousness of their opinions, expressed with a strength which we should think carried to excess.[144] We perceive also that, in contradiction to common belief, in the midst of the seventeenth century, when the Dabistán was composed (1645 A. D.) a numerous class of Indians assumed the name of Muselmans, but it must be remarked, that the Hindus neither endeavor to make, nor easily admit, proselytes: because their religion depends much less upon creed, in which they are latitudinarians, than upon the fixed customs of their castes, the character of which, being derived from birth, cannot be transferred to strangers.[145] We shall see hereafter in what manner Hindus and Muhammedans may be confounded with each other.

So much of India being known in our days, we have the facility of trying the veracity and correctness of the Dabistán concerning this country. Its account will be found, I dare say, rather incomplete in the small compass in which so extensive a subject was inclosed, but not inaccurate in the greatest part of its various statements. Sir W. Jones[146] bears Mohsan Fani the testimony, “that his information concerning cxxthe Hindus is wonderfully correct.” Let us compare the account given by him with all that has been published about India by the best instructed Europeans before the foundation of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and we shall regret that the Dabistán was brought into notice so late. Whatever it be, the particular views of a Persian, through a medium of education, religion, and custom, so different from that through which we consider India, can but interest us by their novelty, and by themselves add something to our information about the character of Asiatics.

[124] According to Manetho, a high-priest of Heliopolis, the Egyptians counted 53,525 years; they saw twice the sun set where he now rises—they saw (as well as the Chaldeans) the ecliptic perpendicular upon the equator before 39,710 years. Herodotus (lib. II) attributes to them, more moderately, 15,882 historical years.

[125] The history of Joseph, Pharaoh, Moses in Egypt, is often referred to by Muhammed and his followers; they state that the Egyptian king professed a religion unlike that mentioned by Greek authors, with whom the Bible also disagrees. In general, monotheism is adverse to the examination of polytheistical systems, and seldom accurate in the representation of their tenets.

[126] Quoted by Diogenes Laertius, Prœm., p. 6.

[127] Lib. II. p. 113. edit. Wossel.

[128] Vita Apol. c. 6.

[129] Chron. lib. post., n. 400.

[130] Mémoires de Littérature de l’Académie royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, tome XXXI.

[131] Works, vol. III. p. 41.

[132] Ibid., pp. 111. 134.

[133] Such is the Jog-Vasishta, mentioned (vol. II. pp. 28 and 256) as a very ancient book. Sir W. Jones calls it one of the finest compositions on the philosophy of the Vedanta school; it contains the instructions of the great Vasishta to his pupil Rama. Lord Teignmouth says, that several Persian versions of this work exist, and quotes some passages of them, which, compared with the original Sanscrit, were found substantially accurate.

[134] See the detailed table of it, vol. II. p. 122.

[135] Vol. II. pp. 91-92.

[136] See Bhagavad-gita, vv. 16. 23. 28. 29. Schlegel’s ed.

[137] vol. II. p. 24.

[138] See vol. II. pp. 150-151.

[139] That which sir W. Jones quotes (see Works, vol. XIII. p. 367) is, perhaps, most to be depended upon.

[140] Lucretius, V. v. 282:

Largus item liquidi fons luminis, æthereus sol,
Irrigat assiduè cœlum candore recenti.
[141] Sir W. J., Works, vol. III. p. 127.

[142] Vol. II. pp. 246-288.

[143] See Mœurs, Institutions et Cérémonies des Peuples de l’Inde; par M. l’abbé J. A. Dubois, ci-devant missionnaire dans le Meissour. Paris, 1825. This work was first published in the English language, London, 1816. It had been translated from the author’s French manuscript, which lord William Bentinck, governor of Madras, purchased on the account of the East India Company, in 1807. This composition received the approbation of major Wilks, resident of Maissour, sir James Mackintosh, and William Erskine, Esq.; to which I am happy to add the most decisive judgment of the honorably-known Brahman, Ram Mohun Roy, whom I often heard say: “The European who best knew the Hindus, and gave the most faithful account of them, was the abbé Dubois.”

[144] See vol. II. p. 201.

[145] The celebrated Ram Mohun Roy had abandoned all the tenets, but remained as much as possible attached to the customs, of his Brahminical caste.

[146] His Works, vol. IV. p. 16.

§ V.—Retrospect of the Persian and Indian Religions.

I have endeavored to trace the most remarkable features of Persian and Indian religions from among those which are contained in the Dabistán. In them we recognise resemblances, and, in more than one point, even coincidences, which appear not merely taken from each other in the course of time, but rather originally inwoven in the respective institutions. This may be explained, partly by the general probability that nations, passing through the same stages of civilisation, might agree in several parts of religion, politics, and philosophy, and cxxichiefly by the fact, now generally admitted among the learned,[147] that in very remote times, a union of all the Arian nations, among whom the Persians and Indians are counted, existed in the common regions of central Asia. Sir W. Jones[148] goes so far as to say: “We cannot doubt that the book of Mahabad, or Manu, written in a celestial dialect, means the Veda.” William von Schlegel most ingeniously surmises,[149] “that the name of Zand may be but a corruption of the Sanscrit word chhandas, one of the most usual names of the Vedas.” The fourteen Mahabadians are to him: “Nothing else but the fourteen Manus, past and future, of the Brahmanical mythology.”[150] Thus we should have to thank Mohsan Fani for a confirmation of the above-stated historical fact; the Mahabadians were nothing else but Mahabodhis, in good Sanscrit, “great deified teachers;” he would have placed them, as did lately Burnouf, Lassen, and Charles Ritter, cxxiisomewhere on the highlands of Iran, and he invented nothing.

From the ante-historical dynasties descending to later times, let us consider that, according to respectable traditions,[151] there existed friendly and hostile relations between Iran and Persia in the time of the Iranian king Feridun, 1729 years before our era: he reconducted with an army a fugitive Indian prince, and rendered India tributary. Two other invasions took place under the Persian monarch Manucheher,[152] after which the Indians recovered their liberty. Under Kai Kobad[153] flourished Rustum, who ruled, beside other countries, Sejistan and Kabul, conquered the Panj-áb, and carried war into the bosom of Arya varta. This country was also attacked by Afrasiab, a Turan prince,[154] then possessor of Persia. Ferdusi’s Shah-namah indicates expeditions of Feramurs, a son of Rustum, to India, under the reign of Kai Khosrú. We arrive at the epoch of Gushtasp, who ordered the Indus to be explored, and cxxiiialthough he had not, as Herodotus asserts,[155] conquered the Indians, he entertained religious relations with that nation. After Alexander’s conquest of Persia, Sassan, the son of Dara, retired to Hind, where, devoted to the service of God, he died.[156] After a very obscure period of Persian history, Ardeshir, directed by a dream, brought an offspring of Sassan from Kabulistan to Istakhar. We cannot doubt that at all times a communication was open between Iran and India, where Bahram Gor married an Indian princess, and whence Nushirvan received a celebrated book and the game of chess. In our seventh century, the Muhammedan Arabians, driven by the spirit of conquest, turned their arms towards India, but stopped on the borders of the Indus. It was reserved to Muhammedan Moghuls, mixed with Persians, to establish in the midst of India an empire which, after eight hundred years, disjoined by various disorders, fell into the hands of the English.

This rapid sketch is perhaps sufficient to explain any mixture, fusion, and resemblance of Persian and Indian doctrines and institutions, if even we were not disposed to seek their fountain-head in the sacred gloom of the remotest antiquity. Whatever it be, in any case, it will no more be said, that the Dabistán cxxivwas written “with the intention to claim for Persia the pre-eminence over India, concerning the antiquity of religious revelations.”[157] In fact, Mohsan Fani never explicitly alludes to a comparative antiquity between the Persians and Indians, and implicitly acknowledges the anteriority of the Indian religion over the Zoroastrian, in a part of Persia at least, by relating that Gushtasp was converted from the former to the latter by Zardusht, by whom also the Indian sage, Sankhara atcharya, was vanquished.

After a more accurate examination, the resemblance between the said religions will be found to exist certainly in particular principles and tenets, but not at all in the general character or the spirit of these religious systems. Nothing can be more dissimilar than the austerity of Mezdaism and the luxuriancy of Hinduism in the development of their respective dogmas, and particularly in their worship, as was already observed.[158] We cannot however deny, that not a little of the similarity in the account of different religions belongs to the author of the Dabistán, who most naturally confounded the ideas of his own with those of more ancient times, and used expressions proper to his particular creed when speaking of that of others. Thus he employs cxxvvery often the term angels for that of divinities, and carries the mania of allegorising, so peculiar to the later Muhammedan Súfis, into his description of the Indian mythology. This sort of substitution, or these anachronisms of expression, are to be remarked in the narrative of other authors, praised for general correctness and veracity; I can here so much the more readily call to mind similar inaccuracies in the accounts which Greek historians, and in particular the philosophic Xenophon, gave of Persia, as I may add, that in many points they agree with our Mohsan Fani.

[147] See above, p. 76.

[148] His Works, vol. IV. p. 105.

[149] Loco cit., p. 69.

[150] Ibid., p. 51. Among the Persians is even found Behesht-i-Gang, and Gang-diz, “the Paradise,” and “the castle of Ganga” (Hyde, p. 170).—Mr. Julius Mohl says (Journal asiatique, mars 1841, p. 281): “Zohac is the representative of a Semitical dynasty, which in Persia took place of the Indian dynasty, and overthrew the entirely Brahmanical institutions of Jamshid.” We see the opinion that Hinduism once resided in Iran daily gaining ground.

[151] The History of Hindostan, etc., by Alex. Dow, 1768, t. I. p. 12 et seq. The same, by J. Briggs, 1829. Introd., ch. p. xiv. et seq.

[152] The Mandauces of Ctesias and of Moses of Chorene. He reigned, according to Ferdusi, B. C., from 1229-1109; according to our chronogers, from 730-715.

[153] The Arphaxad of the Hebrews; the Dejoces of Herodotus; the Arsæus of Ctesias; he is placed B. C. 1075 by the Orientals; 696 years by the Occidentals.

[154] All kings of Turan were called Afrasiáb.

[155] Lib. IV.

[156] See The Desátir, Engl. trans., p. 185.

[157] See before, p. 75.

[158] See page 102.

§ VI.—The Religion of the Tabitian (Tibetans).

The third chapter of the Dabistán treats of the religion of the Kera Tabitán (Tibitans). The author says that he received his information from a learned man of this sect by means of an interpreter, who did not always satisfy his inquiries; the little he says appears to belong to a class of Buddhistic Hinduism, and not to be destitute of truth.

§ VII.—The Religion of the Jews.

Then follows, in the fourth chapter, a short account of the religion of the Yahuds or Jews. The author derived his notion from a Rabbin converted cxxvito Muhammedism, and states nothing which was not really professed by one of the Jewish sects, which, in his summary narration, he does not distinguish. He gives a Persian translation of the first five chapters, and a part of the sixth chapter of the Genesis from the Hebrew original; a comparison of it with several other translations known in Europe, proves its general accuracy; I thought it not altother unimportant to point out the few variations which occur.

§ VIII.—The Religion of the Christians.

It is not without great interest that an European Christian will peruse the fifth chapter, in which a Persian treats of the religion of the Tarsas, that is, “Christians.” Mohsan Fani declares, that he saw several learned Christians, such as the Padre Francis,[159] highly esteemed by the Portuguese in Goa and in Surat. We can scarce doubt, that it was from that cxxviifather, or some other Roman Catholic missionary, that he received his information; as he portrays particularly the Roman Catholic doctrine, of which, in my opinion, he exhibits a more faithful idea than that which a great number of Protestants entertain, and are wont to express.

Every Christian may be satisfied with the picture of his religion, which, although contracted in a small compass, is nevertheless faithfully drawn by a foreign but impartial hand. Mohsan Fani, in seventeen pages of our translation, states only a few circumstances of the life of Jesus Christ, and a few dogmas relative to him as son of God, and the second person of the holy Trinity. In the account of seven sacraments, the eucharist is characterised in a manner which will not fail to attract attention.[160] Scarce any rites or ceremonies are mentioned; the greatest part of the statement relates to the moral precepts of Christianity, which presents an advantageous contrast with the many absurd and superstitious duties, with which other religions are encumbered. Thus, we find confirmed in the Dabistán that the cxxviiiPentateuch of the Jews and the Gospel of the Christians were both sufficiently familiar to Muhammedans who had any pretension to learning.

[159] Probably a Portuguese. From him Mohsan Fani might have received the information (see vol. II. p. 307) that an image of St. Veronica is preserved in a town of Spain, probably within the year 1641, before it was known in India that Portugal had freed itself from the domination of Spain, which event took place on the 1st December, 1640. On that account, the father spoke of the peninsular sovereign as still possessor of both kingdoms, and, instead of calling him king of Spain, styled him king of Portugal, from fond partiality for his native country. This remark was suggested to me by the learned viscount of Santarem.—(See Vol. II. pp. 307. 308, note 1.)

[160] See vol. II. p. 315. “The holiest of all the sacraments, as it presents the Lord Jesus under the form of bread, that it may become the power of the soul.” This definition was most likely not that which Mohsan Fani heard from father Francis, but the intelligent Persian might have understood that a strong and lively representation of an object is equivalent to its real presence, which latter words must have been those used, as orthodox, by a Roman Catholic priest.

§ IX.—The Religion of the Muselmans.

The author of the Dabistán, after having treated of the most ancient religions, passes to the comparatively modern religious system of Arabia. The Arabians, although frequently attacked, were never conquered by the Assyrians, Medians, Persians, or Romans; they maintained their political independance, but could not avoid nor resist the religious influence of nations with whom they were, during ages, in various relations. The ancient history of Arabia is lost, like that of many other nations; so much is known of their oldest religion, that it resembled that of the Persians and Hindus: it was the Magism or Sabæism; the stars were worshipped as idols from the remotest times; we read of antediluvian idols. At the time, which we now consider, that is the seventh century of our era, all the then existing religions seemed to be far remote from their original simplicity and purity;[161] idolatry was dominant, and Monotheism preserved and positively professed only in Judaism and Christianity, although cxxixlikewise corrupted by various kinds of superstition. Followers of both these religions were settled in Arabia, to which region the Jews fled from the cruel destruction of their country by the Romans; and the Christians, on account of the persecutions and disorders which had arisen in the Eastern church.

We see by what facts, circumstances, and notions Muhammed was acted upon, whilst nourishing his religious enthusiasm by solitary contemplation in the cavern of mount Hara, to which he was wont to retire for one month in every year. In his fortieth year, at the same age at which Zoroaster began to teach 600 years before Christ (according to some chronologers), Muhammed, as many years after the Messiah, assumed the prophetic mission to reform the Arabians. He felt the necessity of seizing some safe and essential dogmas in the chaos of Magian, Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian notions; broke all the figures of planets in the temple of Mecca, and declared the most violent war against all plastic, graven, and painted idols; he left undisturbed only the black stone, Saturn’s emblem before, and at the time when the Jewish traditions claimed it for Abraham, and even transported it to heaven. Muhammed preferred the latter to the more ancient superstition; as to the rest, he abhorred the prevailing idolatry of the Sabaians; and blamed the corruption cxxxof monotheism in the Jews and Christians. He felt in himself the powerful spirit, and undertook to re-establish the Touhid, “the unity and spiritualism of God;” he preached with enthusiastic zeal the Islam, “devotedness und resignation to God.”

But, in order to found and to expand the great and necessary truths, he knew no other means, but to attach the believers to his own person, and to accustom them to blind obedience to his dictates; he proclaimed: “There is no God but God, and Muhammed is his prophet;” he gave them the Koran, the only holy book, in which his precepts were as many commands proclaimed under the penalty of eternal damnation. In the Muhammedan all spontaneity is stifled; all desire, all attempt to be self-convinced is interdicted; every thing becomes exterior, the religious and civil Code but one.

Muhammed seemed not to know that religion cannot be the gift, as it is not the property, of any single man; it belongs to mankind. Any particular creed lives only by its inherent force, independently of the founder, who retires and leaves nothing behind him but his name as a mere distinction from that of another religion. Every individual action is of little avail, if it does not proceed from the free and pure impulse of the spirit, which must revive in all succeeding generations. This is acknowledged cxxxiin the Dabistán[162] by giving a very philosophic explanation of the expression prophetic seal, or “the last of prophets:” “That which is reared up by superior wisdom, renders the prophet’s knowledge vain, and takes his color; that is to say: if one hundred thousand prophets like himself realise in themselves the person of superior wisdom, they are possessors of the seal, the last prophets, because it is superior wisdom which is the seal, and they know themselves to be effaced, and superior wisdom existing.” Muhammed, although wise enough to connect himself with other prophets, his predecessors, pretended however to close the series, and to be the last of prophets, or “the seal of prophetism.”

Vain project! immediately after him violent contests arose,

“And discord, with a thousand various mouths.”
Thirty years after his death his family was dispossessed of the Khalifat. This passed to the Moaviyahs, who, residing in Damascus, kept it during 90 years, and then ceded it to the Abbasides, who established their seat at Baghdad. The impulse and development of the Islam was overwhelming during the one hundred and twenty years after the prophet’s death; the mighty spirit of conquest cxxxiihad arisen and was—I shall not say irresistible—but certainly badly resisted by the nations assailed. The Romans and Persians were then hard pressed themselves; on the West by the Goths, on the East by the Huns:—whilst the Greeks had sunk into general luxury and degeneracy; all feebly sustained the attack of hardy and active men, whose native habit of rapine and devastation was then exalted and sanctified by the name of religion, and continually invigorated by rich, splendid, and easy conquests. Thus, the khalifs, who were divided into two great lines, the before-mentioned Abbasides and the Fatimites, extended their empire within 600 years after Muhammed, not only over the greatest part of Asia, but also along the western shore of Africa, Egypt, Spain, and Sicily; threatening the rest of Europe.

After the first labors, came rest, during which the genius of the Arabs turned to persevering study, deep speculation, and noble ambition: this was the scientific age of the Arabs, which began in the middle of our eighth century, and was most conspicuous in the old seats of learning, Babylonia, Syria, Egypt, Persia, and India. But in the numerous schools rose violent schisms and bloody contests between philosophy and religion. In the mean time the khalifs, by becoming worldly sovereigns, had lost their sacred character, and were in contradiction with the principle of their origin. The cxxxiiicrusades of the Christians, by reviving their martial energy, maintained for some time the vacillating power of the Khalifs, but their vast and divided empire, assailed by Pagan nations, first in the West in 1211, and forty-seven years afterwards in the East, fell in 1258 of our era. Muhammedism however revived in the barbarous and energetic conquerors, Turks, Seljuks, Albanese, Kurds, Africans, who were drawn into its circle; and science was again cultivated in Tunis, Bulgaria, and India.

I thought necessary to draw this rapid historical sketch, because within its outlines is contained the account of the Muhammedan sects as given in the text of the Dabistán.

Mohsan Fani himself lived in the age of general decline of Muhammedism. He exhibits in the sixth chapter the religion of his own nation: we may expect that he will be true and accurate. He divides the chapter into two sections: the first treats of the creed of the Sonnites; the second, of that of the Shiâhs. These are the two principal sects of the Muhammedans, but divided into a number of others, exceeding that of seventy-three, which Muhammed himself has announced, and consigned, all except one, to eternal damnation. This one was that of the sonnah “the traditional law,” or Jamaât, “the assembly.” The Dabistán explains this religion in a manner which, to Muhammedans, might appear cxxxivsufficiently clear, in spite of digressions and want of order in the arrangement of the matter; but an European reader will desire more light than is afforded in the text, and feel himself perplexed to understand the meaning of frequent technical terms, and to connect the various notions disseminated in an unequal narrative—now too diffuse, now too contracted. The following are the principal features of the long account of Muhammedism contained in the Dabistán.

Immediately after the promulgation of the Koran, which followed Muhammed’s death, it became necessary to fix the meaning and to determine the bearing of its text. There was one theme in which all agreed: the grandeur, majesty, and beneficence of one supreme Being, the Creator, ruler, and preserver of the world, which is the effulgence of his power. This is expressed in the Koran in such a strain of sublimity as may unite men of all religions in one feeling of admiration. This excellence is an inheritance of the most ancient Asiatic religion. God can but be always the object of boundless adoration, but never that of human reasoning. Hence the Muhammedan sects disagreed about the attributes of God.

The residence assigned, although inconsistently with pure spiritualism, to the supreme Being was the ninth heaven; an eighth sphere formed the intermediate cxxxvstory between the uppermost heaven and seven other spheres, distributed among so many prophets, in the same manner as, in the Desátir, the seven prophet kings of the Péshdadian dynasty were joined to the seven planets which they, each one in particular, venerated. Numberless angels, among whom four principal chiefs, fill the universe, and serve, in a thousand different ways, the supreme Lord of creation. We recognisee the notions of the ancient Persian religion in this, and in the whole system of divine government.

Another subject of violent and interminable dispute was God’s action upon the nether world, principally upon mankind, or God’s universal and eternal judgment, commonly called predestination. This subject was greatly agitated by the Matezalas, Kadarians, Jabarians, and others; they disputed

“Of providence, foreknowledge. will, and fate,
Fix’d fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,
And found no end, in wand’ring mazes lost.”
Although this subject appears to be connected with the Zoroastrian doctrine of the two principles, “good and bad,” yet it has never been agitated with so much violence in so many particular ways by any religionists as by the Muhammedans.

It has already been observed that, according to tradition, the ancient Persian philosophy was cxxxvicarried in the reign of Alexander to Greece, and from thence, after having been recast in the mould of Greek genius, returned in translations to its original country. We find it expressly stated in the Dabistán, that Plato and Aristotle were acknowledge as the founders of two principal schools of Muhammedan philosophers, to wit, those of the Hukma ashrákín, “Platonists,” and the Hukma masháyín, “Aristotelian, or Peripatetics.” To these add the Súfí’s matsherâin, “orthodox Sufis,” who took care not to maintain any thing contrary to revelation, and exerted all their sagacity to reconcile passages of the Koran with sound philosophy. This was the particular profession of the Matkalmin, “scholastics.” These cede to no other philosophers the palm of mastering subtilties and acute distinctions. They had originally no other object but that of defending their creed against the heterodox philosophers. But they went further, and attacked the Peripatetics themselves with the intention to substitute another philosophy for theirs. It may be here sufficient to call to mind the works of three most celebrated men, Alfarabi, Ibn Sina (Avisenna), and Ghazali, whose works are reckoned to be the best specimens of Arabian and Muhammedan philosophy.[163] They contain three essential parts of orthodox cxxxviidogmatism: 1. ontology, physiology, and psychology; these together are called “the science of possible things;” 2. theology, that is, the discussion upon the existence, essence, and the attributes of God; as well as his relations with the world and man in particular; 3. the science of prophetism, or “revealed theology.” All these subjects are touched upon in the Dabistán, but in a very desultory manner. I shall add, that the author puts in evidence a sect called Akhbárín, or “dogmatic traditionists,” who participate greatly in the doctrine of the Matkalmin, and in his opinion are the most approvable of all religious philosophers.

The contest for the khalifat between the family of Ali, Muhammed’s son-in-law, and the three first khalifs, as well as the families of Moaviah and Abbas, a contest which began in the seventh century, and appears not yet terminated in our days—this contest, so much more violent as it was at once religious and political, occasioned the rise of a great number of sects. Much is found about Ali in the Dabistán, and even an article of the Koran,[164] published no where else relative to this great Muselman, which his adversaries are said to have suppressed. The adherents of Ali are called Shiâhs.

cxxxviiiThe Persians, after being conquered by the Arabs, were compelled to adopt the Muhammedan religion, but they preserved a secret adherence to Magism, their ancient national creed, they were therefore easily disposed to join any sect, which was more or less contrary to the standard creed of their conquerors, and bore some slight conformity, or had the least connection with, their former religion. They became Shiâhs.

Among these sectaries originated the particular office of Imám, whose power partook of something of a mysterious nature: the visible presence of an Imám was not required; he could, although concealed, be acknowledged, direct and command his believers; his name was Mahdi, “the director.” This opinion originated and was spread after the sudden disappearance of the seventh Imám, called Ismâil. His followers, the Ismâilahs, maintained that he was not dead; that he lived concealed, and directed the faithful by messages, sent by him, and brought by his deputies; that he would one day reappear, give the victory to his adherents over all other sects, and unite the world in one religion. More than one Mahdi was subsequently proclaimed in different parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe—always expected, never appearing—so that it became a proverbial expression among the Arabs to denote tardiness: “as slow as a Mahdi.” We recognize in this cxxxixan ancient idea of Zoroaster: he too was to reappear in his sons at the end of 12,000 years; rather late,—but mankind never tire of hope and expectation.

A creed, like that of the Ismâilahs, because founded upon something mysterious, vague, and spiritual, was likely to branch out in most extraordinary conceptions and practices. The Dabistán abounds with curious details about them. Their doctrine bore the character of duplicity: one part was manifest, the other concealed. Their manner of making proselytes was not open; they acted in the dark. They first induced the neophyte to doubt, then to despise his own creed, and at last to exchange it for apparently more sublime truths, until, after having sufficiently emboldened his reasoning faculty, they enabled him to throw off every restraint of authority in religious matters. We see in the Dabistán,[165] the degrees through which an Ismâilah was to pass until he believed in no religion at all.

A most remarkable sect of the Ismâilahs was that of the Almutians, so called from Alamut, a hill-fort in the Persian province of Ghilan. This fort was the seat of Hassan, a self-created Imám, and became the capital of an empire, perhaps unique in the history of the world.[166] An Imám, called by Europeans “the old man of the mountain,” without armies, or cxltreasures, commanded the country around, and terrified a great part of Asia by a band of devoted adherents, whom he sent about to propagate his religion, and to execute his commands, which were frequently the murder of his enemies. The executioners were unknown save at the fatal moment of action; mighty khalifs and sultans met with their murderers among their most intimate servants, or the guardians of their doors, in the midst of crowded public places or in the solitude of their secret bed-chambers. The Fedayis, so were they called, devoted themselves not only to the sacred service of their Imám, but hired their arm also for profane service to foreign chiefs, such as the Christian crusaders. Among Europeans, these Ismâilahs were known under the name of Assassins, which well answered their infamous profession, but is better derived from Hashishah[167], a sort of hemp, from which they extracted an intoxicating beverage for their frequent use. During one hundred and sixty years the Ismâilahs were the terror of the weak and the mighty, until they fell in one promiscuous slaughter, with the khalif of Islámism, under the swords of the ferocious invaders who, issuing from the vast steppes of Tartary, fell upon the disordered empire of the Muhammedans.

cxliThe Ismâilahs, and other sects connected with them, professed a great attachment to an Imám, whose lineage was always traced up to Ali through a series of intermediate descendants; but it belonged to the Ali-Ilahians to deify Ali himself, or to believe his having been an incarnation of God.

Another sect, the Ulviahs, also devoted to Ali, maintain that he was united with the sun, that he is now the sun, and having also been the sun before, he was for some days only united to an elemental body. Both these sects reject the Koran.

Here terminates the review of the second volume of the English Dabistán.

[161] See, in what sense, pp. 83-84.

[162] See vol. III. pp. 202-203. See also ibid., p. 229 and note 2.

[163] See upon this subject a recent very ingenious work: Essai sur les Écoles philosophiques chez les Arabes, et notamment sur la doctrine d’Algazzalí, par Auguste Schmölders, docteur en philosophie, Paris, 1842. Dedicated to M. Reinaud, member of the Institute of France, and professor of Arabic.

[164] See vol. II. p. 368.

[165] Vol. II. pp. 404-407.

[166] See vol. II. p. 433 et seq.

[167] See Mémoires géographiques et historiques sur l’Égypte et sur quelques contrées voisines, par Étienne Quatremère, vol. II. p. 504. 1811.

§ X.—The Religion of the Sadikiahs.

The third volume of this work begins with the seventh chapter, upon the religion of the Sadikiahs. It is generally known that, during the life of Muhammed, another prophet, called Musaylima, arose in the country of Yamáma, and dared offer to himself in a letter to the former as a partner of his sacred mission, but was treated as a liar. He had however gained a great number of followers, at the head of whom he was defeated and himself slain in a bloody battle against Khaled, a general of the first Khalif, the very same year as Muhammed’s death. We cxliifind in the Dabistán, what appears less generally known, that Musaylima’s sect, far from being entirely crushed after his fall, existed under the name of Sadikias in the seventeenth century of our era, and conformed to a second Faruk, or Koran, to which they attributed a divine origin, and a greater authority than to the first.[168]

Another account, not frequently met with, is contained in the eighth chapter of the Dabistán, concerning Vahed Mahmud, who appeared in the beginning of our thirteenth century, and is by his adherents placed above Muhammed and Ali. Among his tenets and opinions is to be remarked that of an ascending refinement or perfection of elemental matter, from the brute or mineral to that of a vegetable form; from this to that of an animal body; and thence progressing to that of Mahmud.[169] Further, the particular mode of transmigration of souls by means of food into which men, after their death, are changed; such food, in which intelligence and action may reside, becomes continually the aliment and cxliiisubstance of new successive human beings. We were not a little astonished to find these singular opinions agreeing with the information, which Milton’s archangel Raphael imparts to Adam, the father of mankind.[170]

“O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom
All things proceed, and up to him return,
If not depraved from good, created all
Such to perfection, one first matter all,
Indued with various forms, various degrees
Of substance, and in things that live, of life;
But more refin’d, more spirituous, and pure,
As nearer to him plac’d or nearer tending,
Each in their several active spheres assign’d,
Till body up to spirit work, in bounds
Proportioned to each kind. So from the root
Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves
More aery, last the bright consummate flower
Spirits odorous breathes: flow’rs and their fruit,
Man’s nourishment, by gradual scale sublim’d,
To vital spirits aspire, to animal,
To intellectual; give both life and sense,
Fancy and understanding; whence the soul
Reason receives, and reason is her being,
Discursive, or intuitive — — —.”
This sort of hylozoism is more expanded in a particular system of cosmogony of the same Vahed,[171] according to which the materials of the world existed from the very beginning, which signifies from the first appearance of afrad, “rudimental units.” We cxlivcan never think meanly of this opinion, when we find it coinciding with that of Leibnitz in our seventeenth century, contemporary of Mohsan Fani. According to the celebrated German philosopher,[172] there exists already an entirely organical preformation in the seeds of the bodies which are born, and all souls had always pre-existed in some sort of organized body, and shall after death remain united with an organic whole; because in the order of nature souls are not likely to exist entirely separated from any kind of body. In the eighteenth century Bonnet, a great physiologist, maintained,[173] that all was preformed from the beginning, nothing engendered; all organized bodies were pre-existing in a very small compass in the germs, in which souls may also pre-exist, these indestructible germs may sojourn in such or such a body until the moment of its decomposition, then pass, without the least alteration, into another body, from this into a third, and so on; each of the germs incloses another imperishable germ, which will be developed but in a future state of our planet, which is destined to experience a new revolution.

We see here the very same ideas, without any cxlvmutual communication, entertained in the East and the West, in ancient and modern times.

Vahed Mahmud combines his cosmogony with periods of 8000 years, eight of which form a great cycle of 64,000 years, at the completion of which the world is renovated. This sect is said to have been widely spread in the world; in Persia the persecution of Shah Abbas forced them to lie concealed.

[168] Vol. III. p. 1-11.

[169] The Druids, among the ancient Britons, believed the progressive ascent of the soul, beginning with the meanest insect, and arriving through various orders of existence at its human stage. The soul, according to its choice during terrestrial life, progressed, even after death, in good and happiness, or evil and misery; the virtuous could return to earth and become prophets among mankind: in which belief the ancient Britons agreed with the Indian Buddhists.

[170] Paradise Lost, V. v. 470-488.

[171] The Dabistán, vol. III. p. 17.

[172] See his Théodicée, édit. Amsterd. préface, pp. xxviii et seq.

[173] See La Palingénésie philosophique, ou Idées sur l’État passé et sur l’État futur des Êtres vivans, par C. Bonnet, de diverses Académies, Amsterd. 1769, vol. I. pp. 170. 198. 201. 204, etc., etc.

§ XI.—The Religion of the Roshenians.

The ninth chapter of the Dabistán introduces to us Mian Báyezid, who, born in the Panjáb, flourished in the middle of the sixteenth century under the reign of Humayún, the Emperor of India. At first a strict observer of Muhammedism, he abandoned afterwards the exterior practices of this religion, and, devoting his mind to contemplation, assumed with the character of a saint the title of a “master of light;” his followers were called Roshenians, or “enlightened.” His sayings, several of which are quoted in the Dabistán, express sound reason, pure morality, and fervent piety. In the spirit of his nation and time, and for self-defence, he took up arms against the Moghuls. His history and that of his sons is carried to the middle of the seventeenth century, the time of Mohsan Fani.

cxlviMuhammed was the permanent type of a prophet, in whom the religious and political character were united. The first Khalifs were all military chiefs and religious men; the Koran furnished the rules of foreign and internal policy, the final decision of every tribunal, the inciting exclamation to combat and carnage, and a prayer for every occasion. The founders of sects were frequently warriors, or, what in Asia is generally the same, highwaymen and plunderers of caravans; such was the just mentioned Miyan Bayezid, and many others. As possessors of empires, they preserved the austere habits of ascetics: they carried a sabre and a rosary, counted their beads and gave order for battle; emaciated by fasts, covered with a woollen mantle, sitting upon the bare ground, they disposed of empires and received the homage of millions of men.

The Mohammedans preserved their religion, as long as they were militant: because all states of mental excitement are apt to support each other. But, in solitary retirement, and in the precincts of schools, the doctrine of Muhammed was put to the test of reason: now began the struggle between religion and philosophy. Fearful to part at once with early impressions and national feelings, attempts to reconcile faith and reason were made; religious philosophers had recourse to allegory, in order to rationalize strange and absurd dogmas and cxlviipractices; for the literal they substituted a mystical sense; under arbitrary acceptations and interpretations, the foundation of the doctrine itself disappeared, or was confounded with some old dogma renewed, if not one entirely invented: in short, the Muhammedan religion appeared to have survived itself; its presumed period of one thousand years was believed to be completed under the reign of Akbar.

§ XII.—The Religion of the Ilahiahs.

Akbar was the greatest among the Moghul emperors of India. He began in his fourteenth year a reign environed by war and rebellion. After having vanquished all his enemies and established peace and security around him, he turned his attention to religion. He soon found it right to grant unlimited toleration to all religions in his empire. Called the “shade of God,” he took the resolution to realise in himself the otherwise vain title bestowed by slavish flattery upon all sovereigns of Asia, and to imitate, according to his faculties, him who bestows the blessings of his merciful providence on all creatures without distinction. This he declared to his fanatic son Jehangir, who did not conceal his discontent about the building of an Hindu temple in cxlviiiBenares: “Are not,” said Akbar, “five-sixths of all mankind either Hindus or unbelievers? If I were actuated by motives similar to those which thou ownest, what would remain to me but to destroy them all?”

The inquisitive emperor was acquainted with the religious history of the Persian empire; he surrounded himself with men of all religions—Muhammedans of all sects, Hindus, Jews, and Christians, as well as with philosophers free from superstition; he liked to question them all, and to encourage public polemical discussions in his presence. The Sonnites and Shiâhs reviled reciprocally the chief personages of their adherence, the three first khalifs and Ali; Muhammed himself was not more spared than his companions and successors. The errors of their doctrine, the vices of their character, and the irregularities of their conduct were freely exposed, severely blamed, and wittily ridiculed. If Muhammedism was treated in such a manner, other religions could not claim more indulgence. The dramatic form, which Mohsan Fani gives to the religious controversies, is certainly curious; we can scarce suppose his having known the dialogues of Lucian, nor is it in the least probable that a late French author ever saw the Dabistán and took from this book the idea of the twenty-first chapter of his celebrated work, entitled “Problem of religious cxlix“contradictions.”[174] The object aimed at by these three authors was the same; but their compositions differ from each other as much as the genius and character of the Greeks, French, and Persians, in whose language each of them respectively wrote. In whatsoever point Mohsan Fani may yield to the Greco-Syrian, or to the French author, he, certainly, I will venture to say, equals them in force, boldness, and sincerity; and perhaps surpasses either in pointed application of truth. His objections are not vague attempts of witticism with the intention to ridicule: they are special and serious, directed to real and patent falsehood or prejudice; he does not fence with imaginary shadowy adversaries, but he strikes a present and tangible foe; his style, never tainted by affectation, is plain and blunt, such as becomes a reformer combating popular superstition. The controversies, the scene of which is placed before the throne, or rather tribunal, of Akbar, obtain the imperial sanction: Muhammedism is condemned.

Indeed, the emperor abrogated several practices of that religion to which he had been devoted in his first years; he confined the cultivation of science, as taken from the Arabs, to astronomy, geography, medicine, and philosophy, and clwished to prevent the waste of life in futile and useless studies. At last, in the month of December, A. D. 1579, twenty-six years before his death, he substituted for the common profession of the Muhammedans the new: “There is no God but God, and Akbar his khalif (or deputy).” He received from a great number of Amirs and distinguished persons the voluntary agreement and consent to four conditions, namely, the sacrifice of property, life, reputation, and religion, by entering into the new religious pact, called Ilahi, “divine.” Moreover, he introduced in lieu of the former, a new era, to begin from the death of his father Huinayún, that is from the year of the Hejira 963, (A. D. 1555): it was to be called Ilahi; the months were regulated according to the mode of Irán, and fourteen festivals established in concordance with those of Zoroaster’s religion. It was to this ancient Persian creed, that he gave the preference, having been instructed in its sacred tenets and practices by a learned fire-worshipper who had joined him; and from books which were sent to him from Persia and Kirmán. He received the sacred fire, and committed it to the faithful hands of Abu’l fazil, his confidential minister: the holy flames of Zardusht blazed again upon the altars of Aria, and, after a separation of many centuries, Persians and Indians were reunited in a common worship.

cliAs a proof of Akbar’s expansive mind, directed to all subjects which may interest mankind, I shall mention his having sequestered a number of children, before they could speak, from all communition with the rest of society, in order to know whether they would form a language. After fourteen years of seclusion, it was found that they were dumb: “which made it evident,” says Mohsan Fani, “that language and letters are not natural to man—that language is of a long date and the world very ancient.”[175]

In the third section of the tenth chapter, the author treats of the influences of the stars upon the nether world, a very ancient superstition, common to most nations. Every master of fame is said to have worshipped particularly one of the stars; Akbar also received divine commands with regard to them. We find, in a digression of this section, curious historical details respecting the person of Jangis khan, his adoration of the celestial bodies, epilepsy, and singular superstition of combs. The great conqueror addressed to his sons the most cliiearnest admonitions to remain faithful to the religion of the stars, to which their fortune was attached; but fifty-three years after his death one of his successors and a great part of his nation embraced Muhammedism.

The fourth section of the tenth chapter contains important information upon the administration of India. Akbar was the first of the Moghul emperors who considered India as his native country, and directed his best efforts to the amelioration of its condition. Exalted to the highest rank, not only by his birth, but also by his personal acquirements; assisted, besides, by a train of devoted and enlightened servants, he could promise himself duration of the new religion, which he had fondly labored to found. In vain: it disappeared with him. Private persons, camel-drivers, and robbers, emerging from obscurity, such as Muhammed, and others before and after that Arabian leader, effected more than an emperor, with every possible advantage united in and around his person! Human intellect was perhaps then satiated with religion; its measure was full: it could not receive any more. In fact, after Muhammed a number of sects, but no new religion, arose: in this sense he may, with some appearance of truth, be called the last of prophets, or the Khátim, “the seal of prophetism.”

Akbar died in 1605 A. D., eight or ten years cliiibefore the birth of the author of the Dabistán. The latter passed his youth and manhood in India, under the reigns of that emperor’s son, Jehangir, and grand-son, Shah Jehan, and great-grandson Aurengzeb; and was in personal connection with the latter’s brother, the religious Darashukoh. Mohsan Fani had therefore good opportunities to be informed of the events of their days. The religion of the Ilahiahs is properly the last of which he treats; for what relates to the religions of the philosophers and Súfis, the subjects of the two last chapters, are rather selections of all creeds and opinions, than particular religions. It will be remembered that sir W. Jones supposed these two last chapters not to have been written by the author of the rest of the Dabistán, which I dare neither affirm nor deny.[176]

[174] Les Ruines, ou Méditations sur les Révolutions des Empires, par M. Volney, député à l’Assemblée nationale de 1789, Paris, 1791.

[175] Thus, our author coincides with lord Monboddo, who showed that language is the slow product of necessity among men linked in society. See his work Of the Origin and Progress of Language, with the motto of Horace:

“Mutum ac turpe pecus — — — —
Donec Verba quibus voces sensusque notarent
Nominaque invenere.”
[176] See note, p. 6, n. 2.

§ XIII.—The Religion of the Philosophers.

In the eleventh chapter, entitled “Of the religion of the Wise,” we find it repeated that Philosophers were divided into two great classes: “the Eastern and the Western.” The first are the Hushangians, teachers of the Greeks until the time of Plato and Aristotle; it is believed that their philosophy, clivmodified and refined, returned from Greece to Asia, and was received by the Muhammedan scholars to be adapted to their own creed. Then took place a singular mixture and confusion of Siderism, Judaism, Christianity, Muhammedism, and all sorts of philosophic opinions. The cosmology of the Hushangians was preserved. Seven special prophets, Ismâil, Jesus, Joseph, Enoch, Aaron, Moses, and Abraham, inhabit the seven heavens,[177] to begin from that of the Moon, which is the lowest, and rising upwards. If, in general, ten spheres are assumed,[178] they are made the dwellings of so many intelligences. These ideas, so clvancient, as we have seen, were not disowned by eminent men in much later times. The great Kepler, and after him Reaumur, believed that intelligences or souls directed the movements of celestial bodies. Philosophers, struck with the marvellous order of nature, were adverse to admitting any mechanism—the very name of which frightened them; they therefore called all occult powers souls or spirits. The same idea is adopted in morality: whatever is praiseworthy is angelic, whatever blamable, satanic. From goodness arises an angel; from badness, a Satan: so said the prophet. Such simple and truth-like ideas were either originally disguised under the vest of fiction; or existing traditions of various origin were afterwards more or less ingeniously interpreted as allegories. Thus, the ordinary names, expressions, tenets, traditions, and practices of the Arabian prophet received symbolic, allegoric, mystic interpretations. The Kabah (the square temple of Mecca), the holy centre of a living, circumambulating world, becomes an emblem of the sun; its famous black stone, hollowed by the kisses of the pious, represents Venus, the bright star on the borders of heaven; paradise, its milk, honey, wine, Tuba (tree of beatitude), Hur and Kasur (nymphs and palaces) allude to intellectual delights; hell, its Zakum (tree of nature), and torments, are explained as unavoidable consequences of depravity. clviSuch interpretations of the Muhammedans seem often to be like their bridge Sirat, which connects heaven and hell, sharp as a razor and thin as a hair. Transmigration, or rather reproduction, is admitted, although not easily reconciled with the resurrection of the same body. The blasts of the trumpet, and the whole scene of the resurrection lose their materialism in a sort of rational allegory. The other world is the destruction and renovation of nature at the completion and renewal of great periods of time, one of which comprised 360,000 solar years. Resurrection is “the wakening from the sleep of heedlessness;” whenever an intellect attained that degree of perfection, it has returned to its origin; it is restored to life; this indubitably happens when nothing material exists: for, “where there is no body, there is no death.”

After having treated in this way the great dogmas of religion, the Muhammedan philosophers found it not more difficult to rationalise every circumstance respecting their prophet, he who obeyed the voice of an invisible speaker. Did Muhammed really split the moon? Not in the least—splitting is penetrating from the exterior into the interior; the fissure of the moon typifies nothing else but the renunciation of the external for the internal, which is “the superior wisdom;” who possessed it more than the prophet (the peace of God be with him!) clviihe, the master of the lunar sphere? This, with the Orientals, is the seat of human intelligence and perfection.[179] One of their greatest scholars, or as they say “the learned of the world,” known to us under the name of Avisenna, undertook to give a reasonable account of Muhammed’s ascent to heaven, and framed a wonderful romance of mystic spiritualism. He terminates by explaining how the prophet, after his return from such a journey, could find his bed-clothes still warm: “He had travelled with his mind, and when he had completed his mental task, returned back to himself, and in less than an eye’s twinkling recovered his former state; whoever knows, understands why he went; and whoever knows not, looks in vain for an explanation.”

We may, not without interest, observe the natural process of the human mind in reviewing and reforming conceptions, the original form of which is not seldom entirely obliterated. The author of the Dabistán does more than satiate the most inquisitive clviiireader with allegoric, now and then very fanciful, interpretations, which he continues, not without repetitions of the same subjects, through the subsequent chapter, upon which I am about to touch. Mohsan Fani, here as elsewhere, fails not to adduce several philosophers of more ancient as well as of his own times. Among the latter is Hakim Kamran, whose free and sound opinions, about the origin of societies and the prophets regulating them, will be read with some interest; as will also the account of the books which Kamran read and explained, whence the state of literature of those times may be inferred.

[177] See (vol. I. p. 293, note 1) the seven heavens under particular names, as given in the Viraf-namah, and the explanation of them. The seven prophets above-named are somewhat differently distributed by other authorities. See the notes to Avisenna’s explanation of Muhammed’s ascent to heaven (vol. III. pp. 186. 189). I shall subjoin the distribution of the seven prophet-kings, according to the Desátir, and that of seven Jewish and Christian prophets, according to the notes just referred to:

Planets: According to
the Desatir. According to
Muhammedan Authorities.
Saturn, Inhabited by Gilshaw. Inhabited by Abraham.
Jupiter, — Siamok. — Moses.
Mars, — Hushang. — Aaron.
The Sun, — Tahmuras. — Idris.
Venus, — Jemshid. — Joseph.
Mercury, — Feridun. — Jesus, St. John.
The Moon, — Minocheher. — Adam.
[178] See the Cosmology of the Desátir, compared with that of the modern Orientals, vol. III. p. 143, note.

[179] According to the Occidental fabulists (see Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, canto XXXIV), the moon holds, in a strait valley between two mountains, all that mortals lose here below: fame, tears and sighs of lovers, lost time, futile designs, vain desires, ancient crowns, all instruments of deceit, treaties, and conspiracies, works of false coiners and knaves, the good sense of every body, is there bottled; all is there except folly, which remains below, and never quits the earth:

Sol la Pazzia non v’è poca, nè assai,
Chè stà quaggiù, nè se ne parte mai.
§ XIV.—The Religion of the Sufis.

We arrive at the last chapter, “Upon the Sufis;” the most abstruse of the twelve, but to which we are well enough prepared by the contents of the former.

Súfism, according to the Dabistán, belongs to all religions; its adherents are known, under different names among the Hindus, Persians, and Arabians; it appears to be nothing else but the rationalism of any sort of doctrine. It could never be the religion of a whole nation; it remained confined to the precincts of schools and societies.

clixIn the work before us we find it stated, that the belief of the pure Súfis was the same as that of the Ashrakians (Platonists): we know what the Muhammedans have made of it. According to the Imám Koshairi, quoted by Jâmi,[180] the Muselmans, after Muhammed’s death, distinguished the eminent men among them by no other title but that of “the companions of God’s apostle.” These were, in the second generation, called Tábáyún, “followers.” Afterwards the Islamites were divided into divers classes; those among them who particularly devoted themselves to the practice of religion, were named “servants of God,” which name was, after the rise of numerous sects, claimed by some from among all the different sectaries. It was then that the followers of the orthodox doctrine, in order to preserve the purity of their faith and the strength of their piety, assumed the name of Súfis, which name became celebrated before the end of the second century of the Hejira, that is, before the year 815 of our era. We may believe one of the greatest scholars of Muhammedism, Ghazáli, who ranged himself among the Súfis of his time towards the end of our eleventh century, when he declares that in their society he found rest in believing one God, the prophet, clxand the last judgment: this is the faith of the orthodox Súfis.

The assumption of any particular name carries men, who so distinguish and separate themselves from their fellows, much further than they themselves at first intended, particularly when the distinction and separation are founded upon vague and indeterminate notions of metaphysics. Under the impression, that there are secrets upon which their salvation depends, they will stretch reason and imagination to penetrate them. The Súfis are divided, according to their own phraseology,[181] into three classes: “the attracted, the travellers,” and “the attracted travellers;” the last of whom combine the qualities of the two former. I will class them here, with respect to their doctrine and manners, into five orders.

1. The religious Súfis, in general, are occupied with something beyond the limits of our natural consciousness; they exercise to the utmost their inward organ or inner sense, and acquire a philosophic imagination—

“The vision and the faculty divine.”[182]
Such was the prophetic gift of Muhammed, and as clxilong as they adhere to his sayings, they are the orthodox Súfis, whom I have already mentioned.

2. Another order endeavor to comprehend, to fix, and to explain the attributes of God; the holy object sanctifies their efforts; unattainable, it exalts their souls above themselves; incomprehensibility yields to the sacred power of self-intuition; mysterious darkness to celestial light; their intellect, no more terrestrial, “knows its own sun and its own stars;”[183] by continual mental excitement they produce in themselves (according to their own phraseology) a state of intoxication; in the full enjoyment of their liberty, they approach the Supreme Being, and finally fancy an intimate union with their Creator. These are the mystic Sufis.

Man, to express his most fervent adoration of the Divinity, uses the expressions by which he is wont to address the object of his most tender affections; he has but the fire of earth to kindle in sacrifice to heaven; and to elevate his soul to the Supreme Being, he makes wings of the most lively sentiments which he ever experienced, and can excite in himself. The intensity of inward feeling breaks loose in outward demonstrations, gesture, song, and dance—

“Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere
Of planets, and of fix’d, in all her wheels
Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
Eccentric, intervolv’d, yet regular,
Then most, when most irregular they seem.”[184]
Such in the poet’s eye is the dance of angels, but less refined must be that of mortals, and really one sort of it strangely contrasts with the usually grave deportment of bearded ample-robed Muselmans, from Muhammed, who gave the example, down to the Durvishes of our days, who, with frantic howls and vehement whirling motions, by ludicrous and unseemly exhibition, destroy the whole gravity of inward intention. Mohsan Fani adduces some instances of dancing, and quotes throughout his work verses of mystical poetry upon Divine love, in glowing expressions belonging to profane passion. It is known how equivocal in their meaning they appear in the works of Jelal eddin Rumi, Sâdi, Hafiz, and others.[185]

3. It was not always vehement enthusiasm which was nourished in the contemplation of one Supreme Being; mysticism, in Súfis of a milder character, became quietism: he to whom all things are one, who draweth all things to one, and seeth all things in one, may clxiiienjoy peace and rest of spirit. I have quoted the words of an English bishop, Jeremy Taylor, and might borrow similar passages from a more ancient Christian bishop, Synesius,[186] for expressing a sort of purely spiritual pantheism. But there is another, which seems not to exclude materialism: the great cause from which the infinite series of all material and spiritual existences originates, is enveloped, as it were, with the vest of the universe; never known as to its essence, but always felt in its manifestations; it is

“All in all, and all in every part.”[187]
In short, God is all, and all is God. This appeared not more incomprehensible, but less complicated than any other system to the pantheistical Súfis.

4. After excessive efforts to transcend the limits of his nature, the philosophic inquirer re-enters into himself, and coerces his futile attempts by the precept: “Know thyself.” Having, as it were, recovered himself, and feeling that every thing proceeds from the depth of his mind, he sees himself in every thing; heaven and earth are his own; “he demands from himself whatever he wishes;” for he is every thing; he finds the God whom he sought clxivin himself, in his own heart, and says, “Who knows himself, knows God.” This is religious psychology, the creed of the egotist class of Súfis.

It is a fact which appears incredible, but is too well attested for the admission of a doubt, that Súfis believed themselves to be gods, and adhered to their belief, amid torments, until death.[188] This psychological fact may be explained by considering that, according to Súfism, God is nothing else but an idea of the highest perfection; he, says our author, from whose sight both worlds vanished, who in the steps of right faith arrived at the rank of perfect purity, from truth to truth, became God; that is, he became one with his own idea of perfection, which cannot be disputed to him; his divinity is an illusion, but nothing else to him is the world; it is all and nothing, dependent upon his own creation and annihilation.

V. Transacting as it were directly with the Divine Being, the Súfis throw off the shackles of the positive religion; pious rebels, they neither fast nor make pilgrimages to the temple of Mecca, nay, they forget their prayers; for with God there is no other but the soundless language of the heart. From excess of religion they have no religion at all. Thus is confirmed the trite saying that “extremes meet.” “The perfection of a man’s state,” says Jami, “and the utmost degree to which saints may attain, is to be without clxvan attribute, and without a mark.” The most fervent zeal sinks into the coldest indifference about religion. The author of the Dabistán declares positively,[189] that “whoever says that the Muselmans are above the Christians, does not know the true Being.” But the whole creed of an emancipated (this is the name I give to one belonging to the fifth order of Súfis) uniting in himself the egotist, pantheistic, and mystical Súfi will be found in the following verses of Jelal-eddin Rúmi, before mentioned:

[190]“O Moslims! what is to be done? I do not know myself; I am neither Jew, nor Christian, nor Gueber, nor Moslim; I am not from the East nor from the West; nor from land nor sea; neither from the region of nature nor from that of heaven; not from Hind nor China; not from Bulgaria nor Irak, nor from the towns of Khorassan. I am neither water nor dust, wind nor fire; not from the highest nor deepest, neither self-existent nor created; I am not from the two worlds, no son of Adam, not from hell nor from heaven, nor paradise. He is the first, the last, the interior, the exterior; I know but him, Yahu! Yahu! Menhu! I looked up, and saw both worlds to be one; I see but one—I seek but one—I know but one. My station is without space, my mark without impression; it is not soul nor body; I am the soul of souls. If I had passed one single day without thee, I would repent to have lived one single hour. When one day the friend stretches out his hand clxvito me in solitude, I tread the worlds under my feet, and open my hands. O Shams Tabrizi,[191] I am so intoxicated here that, except intoxication, no other remedy remains to me.”

We know, by the preceding, what the Súfi is not; we shall now learn what he is.

“O Moslims! I am intoxicated by love in the world. I am a believer—an unbeliever—a drunken monk; I am the Shaikhs Bayazid, Shubli, Juneid, Abu Hanifa, Shafei, Hanbeli; I the throne and tent of heaven, from the dust up to the Pleyads; I am whatever thou seest in separation and enjoyment; I am the distance of two bows-length[193] around the throne; I am the Gospel, the Psalter, the Koran; I am Usa and Lat,[194] the cross, the Bál and Dagon,[195] the Kâbah, and the place of sacrifice. The world is divided into seventy-and-two sects, but there is but one God; the believer in him am I; I am the lie, the truth, the good, the evil, the hard and the soft, science, solitude, virtue, faith, the deepest pit of hell, the greatest torment of flames, the highest paradise, Huri, Risvan,[196] am I. What is the intent clxviiof this speech? Say it, O Shams Tabrizi! The intended meaning is: I am the soul of the world.”

After having sounded human nature in its depth, and viewed it in its various forms, the Muhammedan philosophers conceived a high idea of man in general, and call him insan kamil, “the perfect man.” He is the reunion of all the worlds, divine and naturaf, universal and partial; he the book, the pure, sublime, and venerable pages of which are not to be touched, nor can be comprehended, but by those who have thrown off the dark veils of ignorance. His soul is to his body what the universal soul is to the great world, which bears the name of “the great man.”

Sir William Jones refers,[197] for a particular detail of Súfi metaphysics and theology, to the Dabistán. These are given with a particular phraseology, for which it is not easy to find corresponding expressions in any European language; and which I have endeavored, to the best of my power, to explain in my notes. A particular signification is attached even to the most common terms, such as state, station, time, duration, existence, non-existence, possibility, presence, absence, testimony, sanctity, annihilation, etc., etc. Besides, we find particular divisions and classifications: different attributions clxviiiand names of the Deity, the unity of which is to be preserved in all; the division of spirits, prophetism, true and false miracles, revelation, inspiration; four sorts of mankind, as many of life and death; seven degrees of contemplative life, in each of which degrees the Súfi sees a different color; four lights of God; four sorts of manifestations, the sign of which is annihilation, called “the science,” or “positive knowledge.” Further we meet with a metempsychosis for the imperfect soul, and an appearance for the perfect; even with a geography of the invisible, the land of shades in the towns of Jabilkha, Jabilsa, and Barzah, etc., etc.; and, in addition, manifo I pinions of Asiatic philosophy.

Here should be pointed out how Muhammedan or other Súfis may be confounded with the Hindu Yogis or Sanyásis, although in reality distinguishable from each other. The Yajur veda, and other sacred books of the latter inculcate the precept that a man ought to acquire perfect indifference concerning the whole exterior world, and in all places to lay aside the notion of diversity. This is what a Yogi or Sanyasi endeavors to attain: he quits every thing, house, wife, children, even his caste; the world has no more right upon him than he upon the world. In this he agrees with the Súfi; but the latter generally aspires to the divine gift of inspiration, prophetism, mystical enthusiasm, whilst the common clxixstate of a Yogi is that of complete impassiveness or torpor.

It is only towards the end of the Dabistán that Mohsan Fani mentions particularly the Sabeans, whose religion was, from the very beginning of the work, treated of under different names of the ancient Persian religions, such as Yezdanians, Jamsaspians, etc., etc.

[180] See Journal des Savans, décembre 1821, pp. 721, 722, art. de Silvestre de Sacy.

[181] The Sálik, Mejezub, and Mejezub Salik. (See A Treatise on Sufism, or Muhammedan Mysticism, by lieutenant J. William Graham. In the Transact. of the Lit. Soc. of Bombay, vol. I. p. 99, 1811.

[182] Wordsworth.


“— — — Solemque suum, sua sidera norunt.”
Æneis, c. VI. v. 641.
[184] Milton’s Paradise Lost, V., v. 620-624.

[185] The two first give their name to the mystic and moral age; from 1203 to 1300; the third to that of the highest splendor of Persian lyrical poetry and rhetoric, from 1300 to 1397 of our era.—(See Schöne Redekünste Persiens Von Joseph Von Hammer, Wien, 1818.)

[186] He was born in Cyrene, in Africa, towards the end of our fourth century, and died, about 430, bishop of Ptolemais.

[187] Cowley.

[188] See vol. III. p. 291 n. 1.

[189] See vol. III. pp. 123 n. 4; 293 n.

[190] I follow the German translation of Baron von Hammer, loco cit., p. 189.

[191] Shams-eddin Tabrisi, whom Jelal-eddin names at the end of nearly all his lyric poems, is said to have been the son of Khuand Ala-eddin, chief of the Assassins (Ismâilahs). He gained a great celebrity as a Súfi and a saint. From Tabriz, from which town he took his surname, he came to Konia; there Jelal-eddin chose him for his spiritual guide, and remained attached to him all his life, which terminated A. D. 1262. Shams-eddin survived him. The tombs of the master and disciple, near each other in Konia, are even in our days objects of veneration to pious Muselmans.

[192] Ibid., p. 191,

[193] The distance to which Muhammed approached God in heaven.

[194] Two Arabian idols, the Dusares and Allitta of Herodotus.

[195] Syrian deities.

[196] The guardian of paradise.

[197] In his Treatise on the mystical poetry of the Persians and Hindus: vol. IV. of his Works, p. 232.

§ XV.—Recapitulation of the contents of the Dabistan.

Thus I have indicated the principal contents of the Dabistán. Considering the philosophic opinions touched upon, we may remark that truth, although in different times and places variously colored, veiled, sometimes mutilated, often running into falsehood, is nevertheless widely diffused, inasmuch as it reappears in the concurring declarations of the greatest thinkers of all times. Thus, among the notions of the Asiatics, we find implied the sense of the ἐντελέχεια (entelechia) of Aristotle, this untranslatable word,[198] which however can but signify “some continued clxxand perennial motion,[199] activity, moving force, perfection, principle of things”[200]—we find time and space, the necessary substrata of all our notions, as taught by the Kantians—the want of substantial reality in the objects of senses, maintained by the sceptics in general—the prototypes and ideas of the Pythagoreans and Platonists—the necessary connections of all things of the Stoics—the atomic doctrine of Moschus, Leucippus, Democritus, Empedocles, etc.—the universality of sensation and life of the Hermetites—the preformation and pre-existence of the soul, alleged by Synesius, Leibnitz, and others—the successive transformation, transmigration, gradual perfection of beings; the periodical renovation of the world professed by many Greek schools—the palingenesis of Bonnet—the one and the all of Parmenides, Plotinus, Synesius, Spinoza, not to omit the refined Egoismus of Fichte, etc., etc. I shall not proceed further in the enumeration of opinions ascribed in the Dabistán to different sects, and reproduced in the doctrine of clxxicelebrated ancient and modern philosophers of Europe. Who will realize that criterion of true philosophy indicated by the great Leibnitz, namely, that which would at once collect and explain the fragments of truth scattered through all, and apparently the most incongruous, systems?

This is perhaps the prize to be gained, not by one mortal, but by a series of generations, in a laborious task, so often interrupted and recommenced, but never abandoned. The struggle of the human mind is without term, but not without aim. We see two principal movers of human intellect—PHILOSOPHY and RELIGION. The one employs reason as a sufficient power for the solution of a solvable problem, which comprehends knowledge, morality, and civilisation. The other distrusts reason, and relies upon a supernatural power for the revelation of a secret, or for the word of an enigma, which relates to a destination beyond the bounds of this world. The philosopher, self-confident, is liable to error for various reasons; but always capable of correction and improvement, in the only possible way, that of self-activity, the virtuous exertions of his faculties towards attainable perfection in his whole condition. The religionist is exposed to deception by his gratuitous faith in superhuman guidance, and, if mistaken, is precluded from regress and improvement by his essential virtue, fidelity; clxxiithat is, the pious surrender of his soul to a spiritual and mystical sovereignty. The Dabistán shows us more religionists than philosophers; it is the school of sects, or rather that of inveterate superstition, with which, in spite of the correctives which human nature affords to its errors, the general character of the Asiatics remains stamped, from time immemorial to the present day.

Although the twelve chapters of the Dabistán bear the titles of as many religions, the author says himself, at the end of his work, that there are only five great religions—those of the Hindus, Persians, Jews, Nazareans, and Muselmans. He no where mentions the Egyptians nor the Chinese, apparently because, in his times and long before, no trace of the Egyptian religion existed, although it certainly had once occupied a great circle of influence, and because the Chinese creed was known to be Buddhism.

The five religions mentioned constitute indeed so many bases, upon which the whole creed of mankind has been, and remains founded. They comprise, in general, polytheism and monotheism. In all times and places, the religion of the “Enlightened” was distinguished from that of the “Vulgar;” the first as interior, being the product of universal reason, was every where nearly uniform; the second, as exterior, being composed of particular and arbitrary clxxiiirites and ceremonies, varied according to the influence of the climate, and the character, history, and civilisation of a people. But, in the course of time, no religion remained entirely the same, either in principle or form. Polytheism, by mere simplification, tended to monotheism; this itself, in its awful incomprehensibility, was modified according as it originated, or assumed its notions, from anthropomorphism, hylozoism, spiritualism, or pantheism. Nor did any religion remain simple and pure, as proceeding from only one principle; all religious ideas, elemental, sidereal, allegorical, symbolical, mystical, philosophical, and others were mixed, as well as all sorts of worship interwoven. It is now impossible to range in chronological order their rise and transition into different forms. Still the one or the other of these kinds predominated: thus physiolatry, or “the adoration of personified nature,” in India; astrolatry, or “the worship of stars,” in Arabia and Iran; none of the religions entirely disclaimed monotheism, which was positively and exclusively professed in Judaism, Christianity, and Muhammedanism.

Magism and the three last-named religions were founded or modified by holy personages, or prophets, that is, by individuals whose historical existence in more or less remote times is positively fixed; Hinduism alone acknowledges Manu as an ideal clxxivor mythological person, whose laws are however derived from Brahma himself. This may perhaps be assumed as a proof of its remotest antiquity; and India, having been less disturbed by invasions, and conquered in much later times by foreign nations, preserved its institutes complete in their originality. There is scarcely a tenet to be found in any other creed which does not, at least in its germ, exist in the Hindu religion.

It is most remarkable that, although men revered as divine messengers of religion have existed, still the works containing the heaven-sent doctrine are, either not at all or not incontestably, ascribed to them; and in any case devolved upon posterity in a more or less corrupted and mutilated state; so as to entail for ever an inexhaustible subject of dispute, a heavy task for belief, and severe trial of faith. If the Vedas are the best preserved, it is to no general purpose, inasmuch as they are the least known and most obscure. These facts the author of the Dabistán has set in full light, and says,[201] as it were to tranquillise mankind with regard to the multifarious inheritance of their prophets: “The varieties and multitudes of the rules of prophets proceed only from the plurality of names; and as in names there is no mutual opposition or contradiction, the superiority in rank among them is clxxvonly the predominance of a name. To this I subjoin another passage, although it occurs in connection with another subject:[202] “The time of a prophet is a universal one, having neither priority nor posteriority—neither morning nor evening:” that is, if I understand these words: As the same sun ever shines upon us, so shines the same wisdom of all times, incorruptible in its divine source.

If we take a rapid comparative view of the principal features of the five religions mentioned, we find emanation of all beings, intellectual and material, from one great source, to be the fundamental and characteristic dogma of Hinduism, established and developed in the most explicit and positive manner. The division of supernatural beings in good and bad is adopted in the five religions, but in Magism it is of a somewhat different origin: for Ahriman and his host are not rebellious or fallen good genii; they are an original creation. A primitive innocence and posterior corruption is generally believed; but by the Hindus as coming from riches and abundance, by the other nations as caused by seduction of the bad spirits. The destruction of mankind by a deluge is no part of the Persian creed; it occurs in the Indian as one of the past periodical renovations of the world, which are to be followed by others, and is also admitted by the Persians, whilst the Jews, clxxviChristians, and Muhammedans believe a deluge not very ancient, as a punishment of human depravity. Incarnations of the Deity for the benefit of mankind, are believed only by Hindus and Christians; to the latter belongs exclusively the dogma of a propitiatory sacrifice. Human souls, immaterial, have pre-existence according to the Vedas and the Zand-Avesta; in the first, as parts of the Divinity; in the latter, as created in their fervers, or “pre-established ideals” at the beginning of the world. Transmigration is taught in the sacred books of the Hindus and Persians. The immortality of the soul, reserved to future beatitude or damnation, is maintained generally, less positively, by the ancient Jews; the righteous are cheered by the prospect of the same heaven, the wicked threatened by the same punishments, which are held to be eternal by Christians and Muhammedans; the Hindus and Persians place the future life in a long series of purifications or purgatories, leading, howsoever late, finally to heaven, to which, according to the first, the most perfect only are admitted immediately after their terrestrial life, and are not to be born again, except by their own choice. The resurrection with the same body, and the last judgment, are among the most essential tenets of the Magi, Christians, and Muhammedans; the other world is vaguely represented among the ancient Hebrews. It is just to attribute to the Persians exclusively one clxxviiof the most beautiful personifications that was ever imagined:[203] the soul of the deceased meets at the bridge of eternity an apparition either of an attractive or repulsive form; “Who art thou?” asks the uncertain spirit, and hears the answer: “I am thy life.”

Although the variety and multitude of human conceptions may appear boundless, yet they may perhaps be reduced to a few fundamental principles. In general, there is one object common to all sorts of religion: this is to detach man from gross sensual matters, and to accustom him to hold converse with holy supernatural beings, guides to salvation, omnipresent witnesses of all his actions, remunerators of good, punishers of bad deeds; the belief in such beings, one or more, is in fact the most essential support of morality, which, being fixed in each individual, insures the peace and happiness of all. In short, the most important object of all religion is to ennoble, refine, and sanctify man’s inmost thoughts and feelings, as well as his exterior actions. No wonder, that the same virtues are recommended by all religions.

But, if these virtues be the same as to names, there is a great difference as to their practical application. Thus, the Hindus, tending excessively to the extinction of sensual propensities, and a contemplative clxxviiilife, destroy spontaneity, and produce apathy. The Persians recommend more practical virtues. Both nations, however, as well as the Jews and Muhammedans, are subject to a great number of dietetical and ritual observances, which divert them from useful activity, confine their practical sense, and render inert the innate perfectibility, the most precious prerogative of mankind. Among all the Asiatic nations, considered in this work, theocracy, that is, the junction of the religious and civil laws, doubles the power of despotism, and commands equally the spiritual and material, the present and the future world. The Western Christians were in the course of time fortunate enough to modify the Asiatic morals, to enlarge the circle of civilization, and to open to themselves a boundless prospect of progressive knowledge, morality, and happiness.

Finally, there is one idea common as an adjunct to the five religions of mankind. Common are their failings, common their sufferings, common is also their consolation—hope. Always regretting a purity, simplicity, and independence, supposed to have been lost in the past, because not to be found any where in the present, and never exempt from oppression, men look to the future, and listen gladly to the promise of universal reform and restoration to one rule, which each religionist says, will be his own, clxxixto be effected among the Hindus by Kalki, an incarnation of Brahma[204], among the other nations by the reappearance of their respective prophet, Messiah, Mahdi.

“And then shall come,
When the world’s dissolution shall be ripe,
With glory and pow’r to judge both quick and dead,
To judge th’ unfaithful dead, but to reward
His faithful, and receive them into bliss,
Whether in Heav’n or Earth, for then the Earth
Shall all be Paradise.”[205]
[198] Hermelaus Barbaro relates that, finding the interpretation of that word so difficult, he one night invoked the devil for assistance. The old scoffer did not fail to appear, but told him a word still more unintelligible than the Greek. Hermolaus at last brought forth the strange term perfectihabia, which, I think, nobody adopted.

[199] Cicero circumscribes the word: Quasi quandam continuatam motionem et perennem (Tusc. Quæst., I. 10). Budæus translates it efficacia.—(On this subject see Thesaurus Græcæ linguæ ab Henr. Stephano constructus, new edit., Paris, 1838.)

[200] Leibnitz (Op. t. II. p. II. p. 53; t. III. p. 321), after having said, that to the material mass must be added some superior principle, which may be called formal, concludes: “This principle of things, whether we call it entelechia, or ‘force,’ is of no matter, provided we recollect that it can only be explained by the notion of force.”

[201] Vol. III. p. 276.

[202] Ibid., p. 289.

[203] vol. I. p. 286.

[204] vol. II. p. 24, and Vishnu-purana, transl. of Wilson, p. 484.

[205] Milton’s Paradise Lost, XII. v. 458-464.

§ General appreciation of the Dabistan and its Author.

Mohsan Fáni collected in the Dabistán, as I hope to have shown by a rapid review of its principal contents, various important information concerning religions of different times and countries. His accounts are generally clear, explicit, and deserving clxxxconfidence; they agree in the most material points with those of other accredited authors. Thus, to quote one more instance, the accuracy of his topographic information relative to the marvellous fountain in Kachmir is in the main confirmed by that published by Bernier who had visited the country. Our author enlivens his text by interesting quotations from the works of famous poets and philosophers, and by frequent references to books which deserve to be known. I beg to mention the Tabsaret al âvam, “Rendering quick-sighted the Vulgar,” which he regrets not to have before his eyes. His whole work is interspersed with anecdotes and sayings, characteristic of individuals and sects which existed in his times. To what he relates from personal observation or other sources, he frequently adds reflections of his own, which evince a sagacious and enlightened mind. Thus, he exhibits in himself an interesting example of Asiatic erudition and philosophy.

The Dabistán adds, if I am not mistaken, not only a few ideas to our historical knowledge, but also some features to the picture which we hitherto possessed of the Asiatics. May I be permitted to quote a remarkable instance relative to the latter? We are wont to speak of the inherent apathy and stationary condition of the Muhammedans, as an effect of their legislation. Although this general idea clxxxiof their character and state be not unfounded, yet it is carried to such an exaggerated degree, that we think them incapable of progress. We may therefore be astonished to find in the work before us[206] a maxim such as this: “He who does not proceed, retrogrades,” and beside a declaration attributed to Muhammed himself: “He whose days are alike is deceived.” Our author, it is true, interprets it in the particular point of view of an orthodox Súfi, who thinks that there is a degree of mental perfection, beyond which it is impossible to rise: this was, he says, the state of Muhammed, the prophet, always the same, from which no ascent nor descent was possible, the perfection of unity with God, higher than whom nothing can be: the blackness beyond which no color can go. With the exception of these fits of mysticism, now and then occurring, it is just to say that Mohsan Fani most commonly leans to the side of progressive reform.

For the just appreciation of his work, I think it necessary to point out another opinion, which, very generally entertained, requires to be considerably modified: I mean that which attributes to the Muhammedans an unrestrained intolerance in religious matters. On that account, I beg to refer directly to the book, which to them always was the sacred source of all rules and precepts of conduct—the clxxxiiKoran. In this astonishing farrago of truth and falsehood, we find here and there a great extent of toleration. In fact, Muhammedism was eclectic in all the religious ideas of its time, Magian, Jewish, and Christian. Muhammed avowed himself to be “a man like every body;”[207] he did not pretend, that “the treasures of God were in his power,” nor did he say “that he knew the secrets of God, neither that he was an angel; no; he thought only to follow what was revealed to him,”[208] so much every body else may say and think, He professed his good-will to Christians, “as inclinable to entertain friendship for the true believers;[209] he exhorted his followers not to dispute, but in the mildest manner,[210] against those who have received the Scripture, and wished to come to a just determination between both parties, that they all worshipped not any but God.”[211]—“Abraham,” said he, “was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but one resigned unto God (Moslim); excellence is in the hand of God; he gives it unto whom he pleaseth.”[212]—Still more; the prophet seems to give a general license to the professors of every clxxxiiireligion to observe certain rites about which he prohibits all disputes;[213] nay, he declares: “If the Lord had pleased, verily, all who are in the earth would have believed in general. Wilt thou therefore forcibly compel men to be true believers? No soul can believe but by the permission of God.”[214]

Although the Arabian prophet and his followers too often gave by their conduct a strong denial to these principles, still the existence of them in the Koran was a sanction to all those who were disposed to profess them in words and actions. Such sentiments of religious toleration are in accordance with similar ones expressed in many Christian moral treatises, but in none of the latter do I remember to have read: “that the diversities of religions distributed among nations, according to the exigency of each, are manifestations of the divine light and power, and that these various forms, by which God’s inscrutable essence may be viewed by glimpses, are means of possessing eternal beatitude, whilst here below the acquisition of knowledge is sufficient to insure to mankind the enjoyment of concord, friendship, and agreeable intercourse.”[215]

These appear to be the maxims adopted by the clxxxivSúfis, and particularly by those among them who, under Akbar, professed to be Ilahians. The creed of this class exists in our days, although the name has not survived. To these we may suppose, if to any, Mohsan Fáni belonged. If we could agree with Erskine that “he was in strict intimacy with the sect of enthusiasts by whom the Desátir was venerated,” we should still be obliged to avow, that his enthusiasm had not in the least influenced his free judgment upon religious matters. His imagination although justly exalted by sublime notions of the Divinity, certainly appears now and then bewildered by the mysterious action of unknown causes; but on other occasions pointing out, in a satirical vein, so many follies, absurdities, and extravagances prevailing among mankind, he seems to laugh at all enthusiasm whatsoever, his own not excepted. In general, there breathes in his words a spirit of independence, which would command attention even among us in the accustomed circle of long-established liberty. His boldness in religious controversy startled even sir W. Jones so much that, in characterising it by the harsh term of blasphemy, the English judge appears for a moment ready to plead for the abettors of popular superstition, who stood confounded before the tribunal of the philosophic Akbar.

I shall however not conceal, that Mohsan Fani clxxxvsometimes paid tribute to the prevailing ignorance and inveterate prejudices of his time, and above all, to the sovereign power of early impressions; nor that, although in many respects he offers in himself an honorable exception to the general character of his countrymen, he now and then confounds himself with them. Thus, he was far from being above all popular superstition. The Asiatic, from the dawn of his reason, is nourished with the marvellous, trained to credulity, and prepared for mysticism, the bane of practical life; in short, he imbibes from his infancy a superstition from which he never frees himself, always prone to interpret every unusual phenomenon as a miracle. No sort of study enables him to correct his first impressions, or to enlighten his ignorance; natural history and experimental philosophy are not cultivated in Asia. If not an agriculturist, mechanic, tradesman, or soldier, he devotes himself to the intricacies of metaphysics, and very commonly to a contemplative life; he becomes an ascetic. Thus he knows no social life embellished by the refinement of mutual sympathy, nor the noble vocations of a citizen who lives—with more than one life in himself, in others, and in the whole community. Such being the general state of Asia, let us not wonder that Mohsan Fani believed some strange stories of miracles, and viewed with astonishment tricks of jugglers, which he relates clxxxviwith serious credulity, strangely contrasting with his usual good sense, sagacity, and judgment. Thus, he presents to us a man standing on his head with his heels in the air during a whole night; others restraining their breath many hours, and remaining immoveable during two or three days; he speaks of the miraculous effects of austerity, such as being in different places at the same time; resuscitating the dead; understanding the language of animals, vegetables, and minerals; walking on the surface of water, and through fire and air; commanding the elements; leaving and reassuming the body; and the like. But let us not forget that such stories were told elsewhere, and in Europe, even so late as the time in which the Dabistán was written.

Further, although generally moral and judicious in his sentences, grave and austere in his views, fervent and exalted in devout contemplation, our author now and then happens to use the language of ribaldry and indecency, which deserves serious reprobation. We shall however remark that taste, or the sense of propriety in words and expressions among Asiatics differs, as much as their general civilisation, from ours. From religious austerity they banished the elegant arts, as objects of sensuality; but, as they could not stifle this essential part of human nature, they only prevented its useful refinement; they clipt the delicate flower, but left clxxxviithe brute part of it: hence the grossness of their jokes, expressions, and images. “To sacrifice to the graces” is, among them, not understood at all, or thought an abomination. But they cannot be said to violate laws which they do not know; the offence which they give from want of taste and decency, is purely unintentional, and cannot with them have that evil effect which, among us, it would be likely to produce.

As to the general style of the Dabistán—it is only in the original text itself, that it can be justly appreciated. It will perhaps sufficiently appear from our translation that it distinguishes itself favorably among other Oriental works with which it may be compared. The diction is generally free from their usual bombast; it is commonly clear, and when obscure to an European reader, it is so on account of the strangeness and abstruseness of the matter treated. As to form—if judged according to the rules of Western criticism, the work of Mohsan Fani may be found deficient in the distribution and arrangement of matter; there are useless repetitions, incoherences, disorder, abrupt digressions, and excess, sonetimes of prolixity, at others of concision. Although we have reason to praise him for generally naming the source from which he drew his information, still we can but regret, now and then, his not sufficiently authenticating nor explaining the clxxxviiiparticulars which he relates. Thus we could wish him to have been more explicit concerning the Desátir. Upon the whole, we cannot accuse him of not having performed what, in his time and circumstances, was hardly possible, and what hitherto no Asiatic author has achieved. We ought to keep in mind how much, with respect to the perfection of literary publications, we owe solely to the art of printing, the practice of which, by its own nature, necessitates and facilitates a manifold revision and correction of the text, which otherwise could hardly take place. This alone sufficiently accounts for the frequent defects even of the best manuscript works.

Striking an equitable balance between faults and excellencies, and with particular regard to the abundance of curious, useful, and important information, I shall not hesitate to express my sincere persuasion, that the Dabistán was worthy of the eulogy bestowed by the great Orientalist who first brought it into public notice.

[206] Vol. III. p. 287.

[207] The Koran, ch. XVIII. v. 100.

[208] Ibid., ch. VI. v. 49.

[209] Ibid., ch. V. vv. 86. 88.

[210] Ibid., ch. XXIX. v. 45.

[211] Ibid., ch. III. v. 57.

[212] Ibid., vv. 61. 66. 67.

[213] Ibid., ch. XX. v. 66.

[214] Ibid., ch. X. vv. 99. 100.

[215] See Epilogue.

§ II.—Notice concerning the printed edition, some manuscripts, and the translations of the Dabistan.

It is well known, that the only printed edition of the clxxxixDabistán which exists is due to the press of Calcutta. At the end of the work will be found the Epilogue of the editor, Moulavi Nazer Ushruf, a learned Muhammedan gentleman of the district of Juanpur, who was for many years employed in judicial offices in the district of Burdwan, and in the court of Sudder Diwani Adawlet, in Calcutta. These particulars were communicated to me by the favor of the honorable gentleman whose name the said editor mentions in his Epilogue with encomium, the sincerity of which can certainly not be questioned: it was William Butterworth Bayley, at present director and chairman of the Honorable East India Company. It was he, a distinguished Persian scholar, who directed and superintended the edition of the Dabistán. Upon the strength of his authority I am enabled to add, that the printed copy was the result of a careful collation of several manuscript copies of this work. One was obtained from Delhi (as mentioned in the epilogue), and another from Bombay; two or three were in the possession of natives in Calcutta. Although these, as it is more or less the case with all manuscripts, procurable in India, were defective, yet we may believe the assurance given by the editor, that “the doubts and faults have been as much as possible discarded, and the edition carried to a manifest accuracy.” This is confirmed by the fact, that only a few discrepancies cxcfrom the printed edition were found in two other manuscripts, which were in England at the disposition of the late David Shea for the translation of the first part of the Dabistán. Nor did I find frequent deviations from the printed text in the copy which was transcribed for me in Calcutta from a manuscript, procured from the library of the king of Oude. Mutilated in many places, and imperfect as is this latter, it afforded me nevertheless a few acceptable readings. I was obliged to content myself with the assistance of this only manuscript for the translation, as several circumstances, among which was the lamented death of the earl of Munster, prevented me from obtaining the use of other manuscript copies. All circumtances considered, I do not hesitate to say, that the printed edition of the Dabistán is more correct than any of the manuscript copies which can be found; we have only to regret that its typography, owing to the then imperfect state of the Oriental press in Calcutta, is so irregular, as to be scarce entitled to any preference over the common sort of Persian manuscripts.

The English translation of the Dabistán was begun some time before the year 1835, by David Shea, one of the professors of Oriental languages at Hayleybury. He was in his early years distinguished in the university of Dublin for his classical attainments, and remained devoted to literature in all the various cxcicircumstances of his life. It was not for, nor in, India—the great object and school of English students—but in Malta, from peculiar inducement, that, by uncommon application, he acquired the Arabic and Persian languages. After his return to England, having been attached to the Hayleybury college—I should not fail to add to his eulogy by saying, that he had before won the kind interest and recommendation of sir Graves Haughton—and having become a member of the committee of the Oriental Translation Fund, he earned the applause of Orientalists in England, and on the continent of Europe, by his faithful and spirited translation of Mirkhond’s history of the early kings of Persia. Undertaking the translation of the Dabistán, he was undoubtedly preparing to himself a new success, the full realisation of which he was not permitted to enjoy; the last date in his manuscript copy, in which he was wont to mark the progress of his labor, was April 22, 1835. From this day he appears to have withdrawn his hand from the Dabistán, and too soon after—I shall be permitted to use the very words of the author whom he was translating:[216]

“He sought the stores of holy liberty,
A resting place on high, and soar’d from hence
Beyond the bounds of heaven, earth, and time.”
It was in the beginning of the year 1837 that I cxciiwas honored by the earl of Munster, the vice president of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, with the proposal of completing and editing the English Dabistán. Having already several years before been occupied with the same work whilst pursuing my Indian studies, I was so much the more prompted to accept the proffered honor. Engaged however as I then was in publishing my French translation of the first six books of the Rajatarangini from the Sanscrit, I could not begin the new work before 1841. This delay was the cause of my being deprived of the desired honor and satisfaction of presenting my translation to the earl of Munster, who while in the full enjoyment of life, welcomed with a benevolent interest every contribution, however small, to the general diffusion of Oriental history and literature; he had accepted in Paris my Dedication a short time before his death; it remains to me to consecrate, with a profound feeling of regret and veneration for departed worth, the English Dabistán to his memory.

I took charge of the manuscript copy of David Shea’s version, which had been carried to page 201 of the printed Calcutta edition.[217] In this there were only a few omissions to be supplied, and no other rectifications to be made but those which a second review would have suggested to my learned predecessor cxciiihimself; his notes, and those which I thought necessary to add, are marked each with the initials of our respective names.

If I found little to change, I had much to imitate in David Shea’s translation—his faithfulness and clearness. By faithfulness I understand not only expressing truly the sense, but also keeping unaltered the words, figures, images, and phrases of the original, as it is in them that the author’s national and individual peculiarity is manifested. This sort of faithfulness may roughen or hamper the phrase, destroy the elegance of style, and even offend good taste, but by it alone we shall not only know, as I have just observed, the genius of the foreign writer, but also satisfy the exigencies of philology, which is one of the main purposes of translations not undertaken as mere exercises of improvable eloquence.

An author will not employ more or other words than those he thinks necessary for being understood by readers of his own nation, religion, school; he writes, for instance, as a Muhammedan for Muhammedans, a Súfi for Súfis. But a translator must do his best for uniting faithfulness with clearness, the indispensable condition of any speech or writing; he must add what is required for illustrating the original text, and thus submit to a charge, now and then heavier than he can bear.

cxcivUnder the necessity of expounding the translation by notes, I was not actuated by the ambition of being new, but only by that of being as useful as my means permitted, that is, by endeavoring to spare the reader time and trouble to look for dates and biographical notices of the persons, the situation of the places, and the explanation of the technical terms which occur in the text. Orientalists know the difficulty of rendering in a European language the phraseology of the Asiatic theology and philosophy. The Dabistán presents, besides the Sanscrit, a confusion of Arabic and Persian technical expressions; some of them have a very comprehensive signification, and for the sake of clearness must be rendered by different terms in different places; other expressions have at times a particular sense, and are at other times to be taken in the common acceptation; the same terms must be translated by different words, and different terms by the same; finally, the matter treated of is frequently so abstruse in its nature that professed philosophers have not yet been able to agree upon some of the most important questions. I can therefore but apprehend that I may not have thoroughly understood, and must confess that I have not translated, to my own satisfaction, more than one passage relative to Indian doctrines, and to the Muhammedan scholastic philosophy.

The Sanscrit names and terms of Indian mythology, cxcvtheology, and philosophy are much corrupted by the Persian spelling; I have endeavored to restore them to their original forms. I thought it right to adduce in most cases the Sanscrit, Arabic, or Persian word at the same time in Roman as well as Devanagari, or Arabic characters, with its interpretation. I followed the rule proposed by sir William Jones for writing oriental words in Roman characters, as often as I took these words from a Sanscrit, Persian, or Arabic text; but from works written in a European language, I was generally obliged to copy the spelling of Oriental names: on which account, in my notes, a regretable inequality of orthography could not be avoided.

The Dabistán not only touches upon most difficult points of science and erudition, but also comprises in its allusions and references nearly the whole history of Asia. In observing this, I am necessarily at the same time pointing to the many deficiencies which will be found in my attempts to comment and illustrate so comprehensive and diversified a text. The best advantage which a man obtains at the termination of an arduous work, is to have enabled himself to make it better, if he could begin again; but he can but humbly submit to the decrees of an all-ruling power, which bestows upon each mortal only a certain measure of faculties and of time.

cxcviDesirous to fulfil my task to the best of my abilities, I did not neglect to consult every translation of any part of the Dabistán which had been published. I have already mentioned, in this preface,[218] that Gladwin edited the Persian text of a part of the first chapter with an English version which was worthy of his reputation as an excellent Orientalist. Every thing that came from the pen of the late doctor Leyden deserved attention. I had before my eyes his translation of chapter IX., on the religion of the Roshenian.[219] I did not neglect the abridged interpretation of the religious controversies held before Akbar, given in form of a dialogue by the learned and ingenious Vans Kennedy.[220] I perused with due regard the explanations which the illustrious Silvestre de Sacy furnished of some passages of the Dabistán[221] since this work became known to him in 1821, as well as the remarks cursorily made upon it by some Orientalists.

I did not fail also to profit by the advantages which my residence in Paris, and my connections cxcviiwith distinguished cultivators of Oriental literature, could afford me on behalf of my translation. It is my duty to acknowledge the services which I received from the kindness of M. Garcin de Tassy, professor of Hindostanee, whose intimate acquaintance with Arabic and Persian literature in general, and with Muhammedan theology in particular, is attested by several esteemed works which he has published. The many Arabic passages, disseminated in the Dabistán, have mostly been revised, interpreted, and referred to the Koran, by him. M. Eugène Burnouf, professor of Sanscrit, is never in vain consulted concerning that part of ancient philology in which he has acquired a most particular and eminent distinction. I also constantly experienced the most friendly readiness to tender me information, when required, in M. Julius Mohl and baron Mac Guckin de Slane, as well as in M. Reinaud, professor of Arabic, attached to the Royal Library, a most distinguished conservator and most complaisant communicator of the valuable manuscripts under his special charge. I beg these honorable gentlemen to receive my sincerest acknowledgments.

[216] See vol. I. p. 131.

[217] In the English transl. to vol. II. p. 85.

[218] P. vi.

[219] See As. Res., vol. XI. pp. 406-420; Calcutta quarto edit.; and vol. III. pp. 26-42 of this work.

[220] See Transact. of the Bombay Lit. Soc., vol. II. pp. 242-270, and vol. III. of this work, p. 50 et seq.

[221] See Journal des Savans, février 1821, Review of the Desátir; and December, 1821, and January, 1822, Review of Thulok’s work upon Súfism.

Pg 1
[222]In the name of the bountiful and merciful God.


“O Thou, whose name is the beginning of the book of the children of the school,
Thy remembrance is to the adult amongst the Sages the torch of their nightly retirement;
Without thy name the tongue fails the palate of the barbarians,
Although they know the language of Arabia;[224]
Pg 2
Having the heart in the body full of thy remembrance, the novice, as well as the adept, in contemplation
Becomes a supreme king of beatitude, and the throne of the kingdom of gladness.
Whatever road I took, it joined the street which leads to Thee;
The desire to know thy being is also the life of the meditators;
He who found that there is nothing but Thee, has found the final knowledge;
The móbed is the teacher of thy truth, and the world a school.”
Blessing without limit to the mighty Being, the Lord of existence, the rider upon the sun of the celestial sphere which is the eye-witness of his glory; to Him whose servant is Saturn, Baharam (Mars) the messenger, Jupiter the star, the herald of good fortune, Venus the slave; to Him who is the ornament of the throne of the empire of the faith, and the crown of divinity of the kingdom of truth.”


“The being to whom the holy God said:
If not thee, I would not have created the worlds;[226]
Pg 3
That primitive wisdom and that soul of the world;
That man of spirit, and that spirit of man.
Blessing be also to the Khalifs of the faithful, and to the Lords of the Imáns of the faith.”[227]
Rabaâi (quatrain).

“The world is a book full of knowledge and of justice,
The binder of which book is destiny, and the binding the beginning and the end;
The suture of it is the law, and the leaves are the religious persuasions;
The whole nation is formed of its disciples, and the apostle is the teacher.”
In this book, called “The Dabistan,” is contained something of the knowledge and faith of past nations, of the speeches and actions of modern people, as it has been reported by those who know what is manifest, and see what is concealed; as well as by those who are attached to exterior forms, and by those who discern the inward meaning, without omission, Pg 4and diminution, without hatred, envy and scorn, and without taking a part for the one, or against the other side of the question.

This work is composed of several chapters.

Chapt. I. treats of the religion of the Pársián.
Chapt. II. of the religion of the Hindus.
Chapt. III. of the religion of the Tabitían.
Chapt. IV. of the religion of the Yahud (Jews).
Chapt. V. of the religion of the Tarasás (Christians).
Chapt. VI. of the religion of the Muselmáns.
Chapt. VII. of the religion of the Sádakíah.
Chapt. VIII. of the religion of the Váhadiáh (Unitarians).
Chapt. IX. of the religion of the Rósheníán.
Chapt. X. of the religion of the Ilahíah.
Chapt. XI. of the religion of the Wise (Philosophers).
Chapt. XII. of the religion of the Súfiah.
[222] The words in italic are not in the Persian text.

[223] The five distichs are in the metre called هزج, “hazaj,” composed of the following feet: مفعول مفاعيل فاعيل فعولن. See M. Garcin de Tassy, author of the “Mémoire sur le système métrique des Arabes, adapté à la langue Hindoustani.” 1832.

[224] This distich contains the same idea as the following of Nizámi:

هر که نه گويا بتوخاموش به
هر چه نه ياد تو فراموش به
“It is better not to speak than to speak of another but thee; it is better to leave in oblivion what does not remind of thee.” Quoted in the “Rudimens de la langue Hindoustani,” by the author just mentioned (p. 16 and 25).

[225] The two distichs are in a metre, which is a variety of the hazaj, before mentioned, and is composed as follows: مفعول مفاعلن فعولن.

[226] This verse expresses the same idea as the following hemistich of the Arabic poem, called Borda, and composed by Sharf-eddin-al Búsíri:

لولاه لما تخرج الدنيا من العدم

“Without him the world would never have come forth from nothingness.” This is one of the celebrated traditions respecting Muhammed, contained in the following words:

لولاک ما حلقت الافلاک

“If it had not been for thee (Muhammed), the worlds would never have been created.” This encomiastic expression has been reproduced in several other poems, Arabic, Persian, and Hindostani. See upon this subject, “Les aventures de Kamrup,” p. 146-147, and “Les OEuvres de Wali,” p. 51-52, traduites de l’Hindoustani, par M. Garcin de Tassy.

[227] The manuscript of Oude has here: محسن فانی گوبه, “Mohsen Fáni says:” which would leave no doubt upon the name of the author of this book, if these words were not a mere addition of the copyist.

This chapter is divided into fifteen sections.

Sect. I. of the religious tenets and ceremonies of the Sipásíán.
Sect. II. of the distinguished men amongst the Sipásíán.Pg 5
Sect. III. of the ordinances contained in the book revealed to Abád.
Sect. IV. of the Jemsháspián.
Sect. V. of the Samrádíán.
Sect. VI. of the religion of the Khodáníán.
Sect. VII. of the tenets of the Rádîan.
Sect. VIII. of the religion of the Shídrangíán.
Sect. IX. of the belief of the Pykeríán.
Sect. X. of the tenets of the Miláníán.
Sect. XI. of the doctrines of the Aláríán.
Sect. XII. of the religious opinions of the Shídábíán.
Sect. XIII. of the religion of the Akhshíán.
Sect. XIV. of the belief of the Zerdushtián.
Sect. XV. of the doctrine of the Mazdakíán.

[228]Here commences the history of the tenets and ceremonies observed by the Sipásíán and Pársíán.

Among the Parsíán, called also the Iraníán, is a Pg 6sect styled the Yazadíán or Yazdáníán, Abádíán, Sipásíán, Hushián, Anushkán, Azarhóshangíán, and Azaríán. They believe it impossible for man, by the force of intellect, or the energy of spirit, to comprehend the exalted essence of the Almighty and Holy Lord. Entity, unity, identity, or all his divine attributes of knowledge and life, constitute the fountain of his holy essence. He is, in the most comprehensive sense, the paramount, omnipotent Lord over all things, whether considered collectively, or in the changes incident to their component parts. All his works and operations are in conformity to his exalted will: if he wills, he acts; if he wills not, he acts not; but works worthy of adoration are as inseparable from his honored essence, as his other glorious attributes of perfection.—Urfí of Shíráz thus expresses himself:

“Thy essence is able to call into being all that is impossible,
Except to create one like thyself.”
The first creation of his existence-bestowing bounty was the precious jewel of the intellectual principle, called Azad Bahman; the solar ray which constitutes the excellence of his august existence is from the essence of the light of lights. From the effulgence of Bahman, or the “First Intelligence,” proceeded another, along with the spirit and body of the Pure Ether or Crystalline Sphere. In like Pg 7manner from this second Serúsh[229] or “angel” there emanated three similar rays; so that every star in the universe, whether in motion or at rest, that is, every planet and fixed star, and also every one of the heavens, has its peculiar intellect and spirit.

They also believe that the heavens exceed the compass of numbers, and that the spheres are as many in number as the stars: also that every star has its own firmament, but that the movements of their spheres are in accordance with those of the zodiacal firmament.

In like manner, each of the four elements has its separate guardian, from the Nuristan (region of light), or the world of Intellects: which angel is styled Parvardigar or Parvardigar-i-Gunah; Dara or Dara-i-Gunah; and in Arabic, “Rab-un-naw” or “Lord of the species;” in the same manner, all their relations, or every species, has its peculiar regent from the Nuristan or ‘region of light.’—They regard the subsisting spirit of man, or the Pg 8reasonable human soul, as eternal and infinite. Sáid says thus:

“No sign of man or world appeared on the tablet of existence
When the soul breathed forth pursuant to thy will in the school of love.”
It is related in some of the esteemed records of this sect, that by eternal souls are meant, the spirits of the spheres: and that human souls are a creation, but eternal: also, that some human temperaments are so constituted, that souls from the upper world are conferred on them: whilst others are adapted for having attached to them souls abstracted from matter; that such appropriation is regulated by influence of the spheres, and is concealed from the sight of the most profound thinkers. They also say, when this immortal spirit attains to eminence in praise-worthy knowledge and belief, that is, pure faith and good works, that on leaving this lower body, it succeeds in uniting itself to the sublime uncompounded spirits: but should it not attain to this high, emancipation-bestowing degree, it is united to that sphere, in relation to which its acts were upright. If the habitual language were praise-worthy and the works performed meritorious, but it should not have attained to the rank of union with a sphere, it being then divested of corporeal elements, remains in the lower world with the similitude of a bodily form, and in consequence of its praise-worthy qualities, it enjoys in appearance the view of the nymphs, Pg 9palaces, and bright rose-bowers of paradise, and becomes a Zamíní-Serush, or ‘Terrestrial Angel.’ But if its words have been reprehensible,[230] and also accompanied with evil deeds, on deserting this material body, it obtains not another similarly constituted and is unable to reach the Shídastan or ‘the region of Light.’ Being thus separated from the primitive source, it remains in the abode of Elements, in the Hell of concupiscence and passion and the flames of remorse: ultimately it becomes the prey of malady, but does not obtain a higher mansion: the soul of such a description finally becomes an Ahriman, or ‘Evil Demon.’ If in a spirit destitute of praiseworthy conversation, the good actions preponderate,[231] but in consequence of the attachment of the heart to matter, or through ignorance, such a spirit attains not to the dignity of liberation, it removes from one body to another, until by the efficacy of good words and deeds, it is finally emancipated from body and gains a high rank. Sarábí thus says:

“The truly free, as soon as possible, disengages himself from body:
If he cannot extricate himself from skin, let him resign his doublet.”
Pg 10But if the spirit be prone to error, it descends successively from the human frame to the animal body: such are the doctrines of their distinguished men. Some however of this sect, in whose language all is metaphorical and figurative, assert, that sometimes the spirit, through excessive wickedness, becomes by insensible degrees connected with plants and vegetables; and frequently, by progressive gradations, becomes joined to mineral or metallic substances. According to this class of believers, there is an uncompounded soul in each of the three kingdoms of nature: and they acknowledge that every thing possesses a ray of existence emanating from Shíd Shídan, or ‘Effulgence of Light.’ One of the eminent men, agreeably to this view, has said:

“The soul is the marrow of certainty, the body its envelope:
In the robes of spirit contemplate the form of a friend (the Creator).
Whatever object bears the impress of existence,
Regard it as the reflexion of light, or his very self.”
They also hold that the world bears the same affinity to the Creator, as the solar light doth to the body of the sun; that it has existed from all eternity and will continue to all infinity. They maintain that, whatever exists in this world, or that of formation and evanescence, depends on the influence of the stars; also that astronomers and astrologers Pg 11have found out some few effects of the influence of the seven planets, but are ignorant of the natures and influences of the slow-moving or fixed stars. The possessors of Fardát and Fartáb, or those who are directed by inspiration and revelation, have laid down that every star, whether fixed or planetary, is regent during certain periods of several thousand years: one thousand years being assigned to each star, without the association of any other: on the termination of which, in the subsequent millennia, both the fixed and planetary stars are successively associated with it—that is, in commencing the series with a fixed star, we call the fixed star which is Lord of the Cycle, the First King; on the termination of the millennium appropriated to him, another fixed star becomes partner with the First King, which partner we style First Minister: but the supremacy and dominion of the period belong exclusively to the First King: on the termination of the second millennium,—the period of office assigned to the First Minister expires, and another star is associated with the First King; and so on, until the fixed stars are all gone through: on which Saturn becomes associated with the First King, and continues so during a thousand years, and so with the other planets, until the period of association with the moon arrives: then terminates the supremacy of the fixed star, named the First King, and his authority expires. Pg 12After the First King, the star associated with him in the second millennium, and which was called the First Minister, now attains the supremacy and becomes Lord of the Cycle, during which cycle of sovereignty we style him the Second King, with a thousand years appropriated to his special rule as before stated. In the following millennium another fixed star becomes his associate, as above mentioned, and goes through a similar course. When the period of the moon’s association arrives, the moon remains joined with the Second King during a millennium, on the completion of which, that fixed star, the term of whose sovereignty has passed away, and who commenced the cycle, under the style of First King, is associated with the Lord of the Cycle, styled the Second King; after which, the empire of the Second King’s star also terminates and becomes transferred to another: thus all the fixed stars in succession become kings, until they are all gone through, on which the principality and supremacy come to Shat Kaivan, or ‘the Lord Saturn,’ with whom in like manner the fixed stars and planets are associated for their respective millennia,—when the dominion comes to the Shat Máh, or ‘Lunar Lord,’ his period is ended as before stated, the cycle completed, and one great circle or revolution has been described.—On the expiration of this great period, the sovereignty reverts to the First King; the state of the Pg 13revolving world recommences; this world of formation and evanescence is renovated; the human beings, animals, vegetable and mineral productions which existed during the first cycle, are restored to their former language, acts, dispositions, species and appearance, with the same designations and distinctions; the successive regenerations continually proceeding on in the same manner. The prince of physicians, Abu Alí (whose spirit may God sanctify!) expresses himself to this purport:

“Every form and image, which seems at present effaced,
Is securely stored up in the treasury of time—
When the same position of the heavens again recurs,
The Almighty reproduces each from behind the mysterious veil.”
It is here necessary to remark, that their meaning is not, that the identical spirits of Abad, Kaiomors, Siáymak and Húshang shall be imparted to the identical material bodies long since abandoned, or that the scattered members of the body shall be reassembled and reunited: such sentiments, according to them, are absurd and extravagant: their real belief is this, that forms similar to those which have passed away, and bodies resembling the primitive ones, their counterpart in figure, property and shape, shall appear, speaking and acting exactly in the same manner. How could the exalted spirits of the perfect, which are united with angels, return back? They also maintain that men do not arise from their own species, without father or mother: but they affirm Pg 14that, as a man and woman were left at the commencement of the past cycle, so there shall two remain in the present cycle, for the continuance of the human race. For although the heavens are the sires of the three natural kingdoms or productive principles, and the elements their mother, yet this much only has been imparted to us, that man is born of man, and is not produced after any other fashion.

The followers of the ancient faith call one revolution of the regent Saturn, a day; thirty such days, one month; twelve such months, one year; a million of such years, one fard;[232] a million fard, one vard; a million vard, one mard; a million mard, one jád; three thousand jád, one vád; and two thousand vád, one zád.[232]—According to this mode of computation, the happiness and splendor of the Máhábádian dynasty lasted one hundred zád of years. They believe it impossible to ascertain the commencement Pg 15of human existence; and that it is not to be comprehended by human science: because there is no epoch of identical persons, so that it is absolutely impossible to form any definite ideas on the subject, which resembles an arithmetical infinite series. Such a belief also agrees with the philosophy and opinions of the Grecian sages.

From the authority of esteemed works, they account Máhábád the first of the present cycle; as in reality he and his wife were the survivors of the great period, and the bounteous Lord had bestowed on them so immense a progeny, that from their numbers, the very clefts of the mountains were filled. The author of the Amíghistan relates, that they were acquainted only to a trifling degree with the viands, drinks and clothing which through the bounty of God are now met with: besides, in that cycle there existed no organization of cities, systems of policy, conditions of supremacy, rules of authority and power, principles of Nushád or law, nor instruction in science and philosophy, until through the aid of celestial grace, joined to the manifold favors and bounties of God, the uncontrolled authority of Máhábád pervaded alike the cultivated region and the wild waste; the wide expanse of land and sea. Through divine illumination, in conjunction with his spiritual nature, the assistance of his guiding angel and the eyes of discernment; and also what Pg 16he had seen and heard in the past cycle, he meditated on the creation of the world: he then clearly perceived that the nine superior divisions, and the four lower elements, the subjects of existence, are blended and associated with distinct essences and accidents, so as to combine together opposing movements with contrary dispositions and natures: and that the aggregate of this whole indispensably requires a supreme bestower of connection, a blender and creator: also that whatever this bestower of relation wills, and this all perfect in wisdom does, cannot be destitute of utility and wisdom: Máhábád therefore dispatched persons to all quarters and regions of the world, to select from land and water all productions and medicinal plants held in esteem for their various properties; these he planted in a proper site, so that by the aid of the terrene and aqueous particles, the influence of atmospheric temperature, in conjunction with the sidereal energies, their powers of vegetation, nutritious qualities, and properties might be ascertained. At the time of promulgating this excellent purpose, the sovereign of the starry host entered in glory the mansion of Aries; and the rapidly-sketching painter of destiny drew forth the faces of the brides of the gardens (blossoms and flowers): then, through the efficacy of command, experiment, and examination, Máhábád extracted from the various flowers, fruits, Pg 17leaves and fibres, the different alimentary substances, medicinal compounds, viands and beverages. He next commanded all sorts of ores to be fetched from the mines and liquified in the furnace, so that the different metals concealed in them became visible. Out of iron, which combines hardness and sharpness, he formed warlike weapons for the brave; jewels, gold, silver, rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and chrysolithes, in which he observed smoothness and capability of polish, he assigned as decorations for kings, military chieftains, and matrons. He also ordered persons to descend into the deep waters and bring forth the shells, pearls, corals, etc. People were commanded to shear the fleece of sheep and other animals: by him also were invented the arts of spinning, weaving, cutting up, sewing and clothing. He next organized cities, villages, and streets; erected palaces and colonnades; introduced trade and commerce; and divided mankind into four classes. The first was composed of Hírbeds, Mobeds,[233] Pg 18ascetics, and learned men, selected for maintaining the faith and enforcing the sentence of the laws: these are also called Birman and Birmun;[234] that is, they resemble the Barínían or supreme beings, the exalted angels: they also style them Húristár.[235] The second class consists of kings and intrepid warriors, who devote themselves to the cares of government and authority, to the promotion of equity and the curbing of oppression; those they call Chatramán, Chatraman, and Chatrí:[236] this word Chatrí means a standard or distinction; as people of high rank have a Chatra,[237] or umbrella, to protect them Pg 19with its shade, which they call Sayah dar and Sayah ban; the people repose under the shade of the individuals of this class, who are also called Núristár.[238] The third class is composed of husbandmen, cultivators, artisans, skilful men, and mechanics; these are called Bás,[239] which is synonymous with Bisyár or numerous; as this class should far exceed in number all the others. Bás also means cultivation and improvement, results which altogether depend on this order—they are also styled Suristár.[240] The fourth class are destined for every kind of employment and service; they are called Súdín, Súdí, and Súd:[241] from them profit, indulgence, and ease accrue to society: they are also called Rúzistar.[242] He instituted these four classes,[243] the four elements of society, Pg 20and the sources of organization were completed; independence and want appeared; there were produced the gradations of ruler and subject; of lord and servant; discipline and authority; justice and knowledge; kindness and severity; protection of the Zindbar or kind treatment of innoxious creatures; destruction of the Tundbar or noxious animals; the knowledge of God and the ceremonies of his worship.

God also sent Abád a code called the Dasátir,[244] Pg 21in which are formed all languages and sciences. This work consisted of several volumes, containing a certain number for each dialect. In it was also the language called Asmání, or the Celestial, not a trace of which has remained in any of the languages spoken by the inhabitants of this lower world. Abád also assigned a language to every nation, and settled each in a suitable place: and thus were produced the Parsi, Hindi, Greek and such like.

According to this sect, authentic revelation is only obtained by the world of ecstacy or similitude, called Mánistán; but from the time of Máhábád, all the prophets who were sent were in accordance with his faith; not one of them being opposed to his law. After Máhábád, appeared thirteen apostles who, with him, were styled the fourteen Máhábáds: they were called by the common name of Abád, and acted on every occasion in conformity to their ancestor and his Celestial Code: and whatever revelation was made to them tended to corroborate the faith of Máhábád.[245] After them, their sons in due succession obtained sovereign power, after their fathers, and devoted themselves to justice. The followers of this Pg 22sect also believe that all the prophets and kings were selected from the heads of the most distinguished families.

Next to this dynasty, known as the Mahabadian, comes Abád Azád, who withdrew from temporal power and walked in the path of devotion and seclusion. It is recorded, that in their time, the realm was highly cultivated; treasures were abundant; lofty palaces, ornamented with paintings and exciting admiration; colonnades attracting the heart; the Mobeds celebrated, profoundly learned, worshippers of God, undefiled, equally eminent in good words and deeds; soldiers, well-appointed and disciplined, with corresponding trains of attendants and officers; mountain-resembling elephants; chargers like fragments of Alburz,[246] rapid in their course; swift-paced animals for riding; numerous camels and dromedaries; well-trained cavalry and infantry, and leaders who had experience in the world; precious stuffs; vases of gold and silver; thrones and crowns of great price; heart-delighting tapestries and gardens with other such objects, the like of which exists not at present, and were not recorded as being in Pg 23existence in the treasures or reigns of the Gilsháíán monarchs.

However, on the mere abandonment of the crown by Abád Azád, every thing went to ruin; so much blood was shed that the mills were turned by streams of gore; all that had been accomplished by the inventions and discoveries of this fortunate race was forgotten; men became like savage and ferocious beasts, and as in former times resumed their abodes in the mountain-clefts and gloomy caverns; those superior in strength overpowered and oppressed the weaker. At last some of the sages eminent for praise-worthy language and deeds, and who possessed the volume of Máhábád, assembled and went into the presence of Jai Afrám, the son of Abád, who, next his sire was the most undefiled and intelligent of men, and became one of the great Apostles: he passed his time in a mountain cave, far removed from intercourse with the world, and was styled Jai on account of his purity, as in the Abádí or Azárí language, a holy person is called Jai:[247] the assembled sages with one voice implored his justice, saying: “We know of no remedy for preserving the world from ruin, excepting the intercourse of thy noble nature with mankind.” They afterwards recited to him the Pg 24counsels, testamentary precepts, traditions and memorials of the Abádíán princes on the great merit of this undertaking. He did not however assent, until a divine command had reached him, when through the influence of revelation and the presence of the decree-bearing angel, Gabriel, he arose and assumed the high dignity, The realm once more flourished, and the institutes of Abád resumed their former vigor. The last of the fortunate monarchs of the Jaí dynasty was Jaí Alád, who also retired from mankind; when the dominion had remained in this family during one aspár of years. It is written in books of high authority that Jaí Afrám was called the son of Abád Azád, because next to his noble ancestor no individual possessed such great perfections: but in reality many generations intervened between them: besides, Jaí Afrám was descended from the sons of Abád Azád, so that there is a wide interval between Sháí Gilív and Jaí Abád: in like manner between Sháí Mahbúl and Yásán, and between Yásán and Gilsháhí there must have elapsed multiplied and numerous generations.

Those who would understand the doctrines of this faith must know, the process of numeration among this profoundly-thinking sect is as follows; by tens, hundreds and thousands: one salám equal to one hundred thousand; one hundred salám, one shamár; one hundred shámar, one aspár; one hundred aspár, Pg 25one rádah; one hundred rádah, one arádah; a hundred arádah, one ráz; a hundred ráz, one aráz; and a hundred aráz, one bíáraz.

Now that their system of computation has been explained, I shall proceed with their history. They say that when his attendants found not the auspicious monarch Jaí Alád, neither amongst his courtiers, nor in the royal apartments, or harem, nor in the house of praise, or place of prayer, the affairs of the human race fell once more into disorder: at length the sages and holy men went and represented the state of affairs to the praise-worthy apostle Sháí Gilív, son of Jáí Alád, who was then engaged in the worship of the Almighty. This prince, from his great devotion and unceasing adoration rendered to God, was called Sháí and Sháyí, that is a god and a God-worshipper: his sons were therefore styled Sháyián. When the sages had stated the case, the first Sháyíán prince, Sháí Gilív, having reflected on the cruelty practised towards the animal creation, arose, through the influence of a celestial revelation and Divine light, and sat in his illustrious father’s throne. After this happy dynasty came Sháí Mahbúl, when the Sháíyán empire had lasted one shamár of years.

After these came the Yásánián, so called from Yásán, the son of Sháí Mahbúl: this prince was exceeding wise, intelligent, holy and celebrated; the Pg 26apostle of the age: and being in every respect worthy of supreme power, was therefore called Yásán, or the meritorious and justly exalted.[248] His mighty sire having withdrawn from mankind, retired into seclusion, and there giving himself entirely up to the worship of God, the affairs of the human race again relapsed into disorder. Tradition informs us, that when these auspicious prophets and their successors beheld evil to prevail amongst mankind, they invariably withdrew from among them—as they could not endure to behold or hear wickedness; and sin had no admission to their breasts. When the chain of worldly repose had been rent asunder, Yasán, in obedience to a Divine revelation, seated himself on the throne of sovereignty, and overthrew evil. Of this happy dynasty the last was Yásán Ajám, when this admirable family had graced the throne during ninety and nine salám of years. The author of the Amíghistán says: “The years which I have mentioned are farsáls of Saturn: one revolution of the regent Saturn, which is allowed to be thirty years, they call one day; thirty such days, one month; and twelve such months, one year.” This is the rule observed by the Yezdánián, who write down the various years of the seven planets after this manner: Pg 27such is the amount of the saturnian farsál. This same system of computation is applied to the farsáls of Mars, Venus, Mercury and the moon, a day of each being the time of their respective revolutions: they at the same time retain the use of the ordinary lunar and solar months.

It is also to be observed that, according to them, the year is of two kinds; one the farsál, which is after this manner: when the planet has traversed the twelve mansions of the zodiac, they call it one day; thirty such days, one month; and twelve such months, one year; as we have before explained under Saturn. Similar years constitute the farsáls of the other planets, which they thus enumerate; the farsáls of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the sun, Venus, Mercury, and the moon: the months of the farsál they call farmáh; the days of the farmáh, farróz. The second kind of years is, when Saturn in the period of thirty years traverses the twelve mansions, which they call a saturnian karsál; the karmáh is his remaining two years and a half in each mansion,—Jupiter describes his period in twelve common years; this time they call the hormuzí karsál; and the hormuzí karmáh is his remaining one year in each mansion: and so with regard to the others. However, when we speak of years or months in the accounts given of the Gilsháíyán princes, solar and lunar years and months are always meant; day implies the Pg 28acknowledged day; and by month is meant the residence of the Great Light in one of the zodiacal mansions; and by year, his passing through the zodiac; a lunar month is its complete revolution, and traversing all the signs, which year and month are also called Tímúr.[249]

When Yásán Asám had abandoned this elementary body and passed away from this abode of wickedness, the state of mankind fell into utter ruin, as his son Gilsháh, who was enlightened in spirit, intelligent in nature, adorned by good deeds, feeling no wish for sovereign power, had given himself so entirely up to the service of God, that no one knew the retreat of this holy personage.—Men therefore, shutting up the eyes of social intercourse, extended the arm of oppression against each other; at once the lofty battlements and noble edifices were levelled to the ground; the deep fosses filled up; mankind being left destitute of a head, the bonds of society were broken; slaughter was carried to such excess, that numerous rivers flowed with currents of blood, streaming from the bodies of the slain: in a short time not a trace was left of the countless treasures and the boundless stores, the amount of which defied the computations of imagination. Matters even came to such an extremity, that Pg 29men threw off the institutes of humanity, and were no longer capable of distinguishing the relative values of precious stones, wares and commodities: they left not a vestige remaining of palaces and cities; but like ferocious and savage beasts, took up their dwelling in the mountain caverns.—Besides this, they fought against each other, so that the multitudes of the human race were reduced to a scanty remnant.

On this, Gilsháh[250] of exalted nature, in obedience to a revelation from heaven, and to the command of the ruler of the universe, became the sovereign of mankind: he restored the institutes of justice, and reassembled the members of his family, who, during his seclusion, had totally dispersed: on this account he was styled Abú-l-Bashr, or “the Father of the human race,” because with the exception of his family, the great majority of the others having fallen in their mutual contests, the survivors had adopted the pursuits and habitudes of demons and of wild beasts: Kaiomors, or Gilsháh, with his sons, then proceeded to give battle to the vile race, and disabled their Pg 30hands from inflicting cruelty on the harmless animals: all that we find in Histories of Kaiomors, and his sons fighting against demons, refers to this circumstance, and the systems of faith which sanction the slaughter of animals were all invented by this demon-like race. In short, the only true Ruler of the world transmitted a celestial volume to Kaiomors, and also selected for the prophetic office among his illustrious descendants, Siyámak, Húsháng, Tahmúras, Jemshíd, Farídún, Minucheher, Kai Khúsró, Zaratúsht, Azár Sásán the first, and Azár Sásán the fifth, enjoining them to walk in conformity with the doctrines of Máhábád and Kaiomors; so that the celestial volumes which he bestowed on those happy princes, all their writings and records were in perfect accord with the code of Máhábád: with the exception of Zaratúsht, not one of this race uttered a single word against the book of Abad: and even Zaratúsht’s words were, by the glosses of the Yezdániáns, made to conform to the Máhábádian code—they therefore style Zaratúsht, “Wakhshur-i-Simbari,” or the parable-speaking prophet.

The Gilsháían monarchs constitute four races; namely, the Peshdádían, Kaiánián, Ashkánián, and Sásáníán: the last of these kings is Yezdejird, the son of Sheriar: the empire of these auspicious sovereigns lasted six thousand and twenty-four years and five Pg 31months.[251] During their existence, the world was arrayed in beauty: Kaiomors,[252] Siyamak,[253] Húshang,[254] named the Péshdádián, Tahmúras,[255] surnamed the Enslaver of Demons, and Jemshid,[256] through celestial Pg 32revelations, Divine assistance, the instruction of Almighty God, unerring prudence, and just views, having followed in all things what we have recorded concerning Máhábád and his illustrious children, introduced the rules of Divine worship, the knowledge of God, virtuous deeds, purity of conduct, modes of diet, clothing, the rites of marriage, the observance of continence, with all kinds of science, letters, books, professions, solemn festivals, banquets, wind and stringed musical instruments, cities, gardens, palaces, ornaments, arms, gradations of office, the distinctions of the two sexes with respect to exposure and privacy, the diffusion of equity, justice, and all that was praiseworthy.

After these, the Gilsháiyán ruled, through divine inspiration and the communication of the Almighty added to their intelligence, so that the greater part of the splendor, pomp, and beauty we now behold in the world is to be attributed to this happy race: many however of the excellent institutions of this happy dynasty have fallen into disuse and a few only remain.

The following is the sum of the Sipásián creed: from the commencement of Máhábád’s empire to the Pg 33end of Yezdejird’s reign, the great majority, nay all the individuals of this chosen race, with the exception of Zokah,[257] were models of equity, characterized by justice and piety, perfect in words and deeds. In this holy family, some were prophets, all were saints, righteous and God-fearing persons, with realms and armies maintained in the highest order. They also acknowledge the apostles and princes prior to Gilsháh, from Máhábád to Yásán Ajám, as so eminently pious, that in no degree whatever did wickedness enter into their conversation or actions: nor did they at any time deviate from the Paymán-i-Farhang, or “Excellent Covenant,” which is the code of Máhábád, nor omit the performance of any duty; they also held that the stars are exceedingly exalted, and constitute the Kiblah[258] of the inhabitants of this lower world.

Pg 34In the time of Dáwir Háryár (the author of Daraí Sekander), who was of the Kaíánian race and a follower of the Yezdanian faith, some one said: “The prophets and faith are higher in dignity than the sun.” Dawir replied: “Where are now the forms and bodies of that description of men?” On which that person having stated the names of the cities and burial places of the prophets, Dawir rejoined: “During their whole lifetime, the form of no prophet or saint ever emitted light, even the distance of one day’s journey, and since they have been committed to the earth, not a single ray has been shed from their graves: and they are now so blended with the dust that not a trace of them is left!” The person then said: “the spirits of the prophets and saints are exceedingly resplendent.” Dawir retorted: “Behold what amount of light is diffused by the solar globe! whereas the bodies of your saints are destitute of splendor; therefore rest assured that his spirit is more resplendent than theirs.—Know besides, that the sun is the heart of the heavens: if he existed not, this world of formation and dissolution could not continue: he brings forth the seasons and the productive energies of nature; moreover, the prophets were not in the beginning, nor are they in existence Pg 35now: but the world endures, the seasons rejoice, and the people are gladdened: this much however may be conceded, that the prophets and saints are more exalted than the remainder of the human race.”—On hearing this, that person was silenced. Lastly, it is stated in the Akhtaristán, that the Sipásíán tenets were, that the stars and the heavens are the shadows of the incorporeal effulgences; on this account they erected the temples of the seven planets, and had talismans formed of metal or stone, suitable to each star: all which talismans were placed in their proper abode, under a suitable aspect: they also set apart a portion of time for their worship and handed down the mode of serving them. When they performed the rites to these holy statues, they burned before them the suitable incense at the appointed season, and held their power in high veneration. Their temples were called Paikaristan, or “image-temples,” and Shidistán, or “the abodes of the forms of the luminous bodies.”

Description of the worship rendered to the seven planets according to the Sipasian faith.—It is stated in the Akhtaristán, that the image of the regent Saturn was cut out of black stone, in a human shape, with an ape-like head; his body like a man’s, with a hog’s tail, and a crown on his head; in the right Pg 36hand a sieve; in the left a serpent. His temple was also of black stone, and his officiating ministers were negroes, Abyssinians and persons of black complexions: they wore blue garments, and on their fingers rings of iron: they offered up storax and such like perfumes, and generally dressed and offered up pungent viands; they administered myrobalam, also similar gums and drugs. Villagers and husbandmen who had left their abodes, nobles, doctors, anchorites, mathematicians, enchanters, soothsayers and persons of that description lived in the vicinity of this temple, where these sciences were taught, and their maintenance allowed them: they first paid adoration in the temple and afterwards waited on the king. All persons ranked among the servants of the regent Saturn were presented to the king through the medium of the chiefs and officers of this temple, who were always selected from the greatest families in Iran. The words Shat and Tímsar are appellations of honor, signifying dignity, just as Sri in Hindi, and Hazrat in Arabic.

The image of the regent Hormuzd (Jupiter) was of an earthy color, in the shape of a man, with a vulture’s[259] face: on his head a crown, on which were the faces of a cock and a dragon; in the right hand a turban; in the left a crystal ewer. The ministers of this temple Pg 37were of a terrene hue, dressed in yellow and white; they wore rings of silver and signets of cornelian; the incense consisted of laurel-berries and such like; the viands prepared by them were sweet. Learned men, judges, imans, eminent vizirs, distinguished men, nobles, magistrates and scribes dwelt in the street attached to this temple, where they devoted themselves to their peculiar pursuits, but principally giving themselves up to the science of theology.

The temple of the regent Bahram[260] (Mars) and his image were of red stone: he was represented in a human form, wearing on his head a red crown: his right hand was of the same color and hanging down; his left, yellow and raised up: in the right was a blood-stained sword, and an iron verge in the left. The ministers of this temple were dressed in red garments; his attendants were Turks with rings of copper on their hands; the fumigations made before him consisted of sandaracha and such like; the viands used here were bitter. Princes, champions, soldiers, military men, and Turks dwelt in his street. Persons of this description, through the agency of the directors of the temple, were admitted to the king’s presence. The bestowers of charity dwelt in the vicinity of this temple; capital punishments were here inflicted, and the prison for criminals was also in that street.

Pg 38The image of the world-enlightening solar regent was the largest of the idols; his dome was built of gold-plated bricks: the interior inlaid with rubies, diamonds, cornelian and such like. The image of the Great Light was formed of burnished gold, in the likeness of a man with two heads, on each of which was a precious crown set with rubies; and in each diadem were seven sárún or peaks. He was seated on a powerful steed; his face resembling that of a man, but he had a dragon’s tail; in the right hand a rod of gold, a collar of diamonds around his neck. The ministers of this temple were dressed in yellow robes of gold tissue, and a girdle set with rubies, diamonds, and other solar stones: the fumigations consisted of sandal wood and such like: they generally served up acid viands. In his quarter were the families of kings and emperors, chiefs, men of might, nobles, chieftains, governors, rulers of countries, and men of science: visitors of this description were introduced to the king by the chiefs of the temple.

The exterior of Nahid’s[261] (Venus) temple was of white marble and the interior of crystal: the form of the idol was that of a red man, wearing a seven-peaked crown on the head: in the right hand a flask of oil, and in the left a comb: before him was burnt saffron and such like; his ministers were clad in Pg 39white, fine robes, and wore pearl-studded crowns, and diamond rings on their fingers. Men were not permitted to enter this temple at night. Matrons and their daughters performed the necessary offices and service, except on the night of the king’s going there, as then no females approached, but men only had access to it. Here the ministering attendants served up rich viands. Ladies of the highest rank, practising austerities, worshippers of God, belonging to the place or who came from a distance, goldsmiths, painters and musicians dwelt around this temple, through the chiefs and directors of which they were presented to the king: but the women and ladies of rank were introduced to the queen by the female directresses of the temple.

The dome and image of the regent Tir[262] (Mercury) was of blue stone; his body that of a fish, with a boar’s face: one arm black, the other white; on his head a crown: he had a tail like that of a fish; in his right hand a pen, and in the left an inkhorn. The substances burnt in this temple were gum mastic and the like. His ministers were clad in blue, wearing on their fingers rings of gold. At their feasts they served up acidulous viands. Vizirs, philosophers, astrologers, physicians, farriers, accountants, revenue-collectors, ministers, secretaries, merchants, architects, tailors, fine writers and such like, Pg 40were stationed there, and through the agency of the directors of the temple, had access to the king: the knowledge requisite for such sciences and pursuits was also communicated there.

The temple of the regent Mah (the moon) was of a green stone; his image that of a man seated on a white ox: on his head a diadem in the front of which were three peaks: on the hands were bracelets, and a collar around the neck. In his right hand an amulet of rubies, and in the left a branch of sweet basil: his ministers were clad in green and white, and wore rings of silver. The substances burnt before this image were gum arabic and such like drugs. His attendants served up salted viands. Spies, ambassadors, couriers, news-reporters, voyagers, and the generality of travellers, and such like persons resided in his street, and were presented to the king through the directors of the temple. Besides the peculiar ministers and attendants, there were attached to each temple several royal commissioners and officers, engaged in the execution of the king’s orders; and in such matters as were connected with the image in that temple. In the Khuristar or “refectory of each temple,” the board was spread the whole day with various kinds of viands and beverages always ready. No one was repulsed, so that whoever chose partook of them. In like manner, in the quarter adjacent to each temple, was Pg 41an hospital, where the sick under the idol’s protection were attended by the physician of that hospital. Thus there were also places provided for travellers, who on their arrival in the city repaired to the quarter appropriated to the temple to which they belonged.[263]

It is to be observed, that although the planets are simple bodies of a spherical form, yet the reason why the above-mentioned images have been thus formed, is that the planetary spirits have appeared in the world of imagination to certain prophets, saints, and holy sages under such forms; and under which they are also connected with certain influences; and as they have appeared under forms different from these to other persons, their images have also been made after that fashion.

Pg 42When the great king, his nobles, retinue and the other Yezdanian went to the temple of Saturn, they were arrayed in robes of blue and black hues; expressed themselves with humility, moving with a slow pace, their hands folded on the breast. In the temple of Hormuzd (Jupiter), they were dressed in his colors, as learned men and judges. In that of Bahram (Mars) they were clad in the robes peculiar to him, and expressed themselves in an arrogant manner—but in the temple of the Sun, in language suitable to kings and holy persons; in that of Venus, they appeared cheerful and smiling; in the temple of Mercury they spoke after the manner of sages and orators; and in the moon’s, like young children and inferior officers.

In every private house there were besides images of the stars, a minute description of which is given in the Akhtaristan. They had also, in every temple, the spherical or true forms of the several planets.

There was a city called the royal abode or saráí, facing which were seven temples. On each day of the week, in the dress appropriated to each planet, the king exhibited himself from an elevated tabsar or window, fronting the temple of the planet, whilst the people, in due order and arrangement, offered up their prayers. For example, on Sunday or Yakshambah, he shewed himself clad in a yellow Pg 43kabá or tunic of gold tissue, wearing a crown of the same metal, set with rubies and diamonds, covered with many ornaments of gold from the tabsar, the circumference of which was embossed with similar stones: under this window, the several ranks of the military were drawn out in due gradation, until the last line took post in the kashúdzár or ample area, in which were posted soldiers of the lowest order. When the king issued forth, like the sun, from the orient of the tabsar, all the people prostrated themselves in adoration, and the monarch devoted himself to the concerns of mankind. The Tábsár is a place of observation in a lofty pavilion, which the princes of Hindustan call a jahrokah or lattice window: on the other days, the king appeared with similar brilliancy from the other Tábsárs. In like manner the king, on their great festivals, went in choice garments to the temples of the several images: and on his return seated himself in the Tábsár, facing the image of the planet, or, having gone to the Rózistán or Dádistán, devoted himself to the affairs of state. This Rozistan was a place which had no tábsár, where the king seated himself on the throne, his ministers standing around in due gradation.—The Dádistán was the hall of justice, where, when the king was seated, no one was prevented from having access to him: so that the king first came to the Tábsár, then to the rózistán, and lastly to the Pg 44Dádistán. Also on whatever day a planet moved out of one celestial house to another, and on all great festival days, the king went to the temple appropriate to the occasion. Each of the planetary forms had also its peculiar Tábsár, in the same manner as we have before stated concerning the royal Tábsár; and on a happy day, or festival, they brought the image to its Tábsár, The king went first and offered up prayer, standing in the Tábsár of the image, the nobles placed around according to their gradations, whilst the people were assembled in great multitudes in the Kashúdzár, offering up prayers to the planet.

According to what is stated in the Tímsár Dasátir,[264] that is, in the “Venerable Desátir,” the Almighty Creator has so formed the celestial bodies, that from their motions there result certain effects in this lower world, and, without doubt, all events here depend on the movements of these elevated bodies; so that every star has relation to some event, and every mansion possesses its peculiar nature: nay, every degree of each sign is endued with a distinct influence: therefore the prophets of the Lord, in conformity to his orders, and by great experience, Pg 45have ascertained the properties inherent in the degrees of each celestial mansion, and the influences of the stars. It is certain that whenever the agent does not agree with the passive, the result of the affair will not be fortunate; consequently, when the prophets and sages desired that the agency of the planet should be manifested advantageously in the world, they carefully noted the moment of the star’s entering the degree most suitable to the desired event: and also to have at a distance from that point, whatever stars were unfavorable to the issue. When all had been thus arranged, whatever was connected with the productive cause was then completed: they then bring together whatever is connected with causation in the lower world: thus all the viands, perfumes, colors, forms, and all things relating to the star, being associated, they enter on the undertaking with firm faith and sure reliance: and whereas the spirits possess complete influence over the events which occur in the lower world, when therefore the celestial, terrestrial, corporeal and spiritual causes are all united, the business is then accomplished. But whosoever desires to be master of these powers, must be well skilled in metaphysics; in the secrets of nature; and having his mind well stored with the knowledge of the planetary influences, and rendered intelligent by much experience. As the union of such qualifications is rarely or never found, the Pg 46truth of this science is consequently hidden from men. The Abadián moreover say, that the prophets of the early faith, or the kings of Farsistán and the Yezdánián, held the stars to be the Kiblah of prayer, and always paid them adoration, especially when a star was in its own house or in its ascendant, free from evil aspects; they then collected whatever bore relation to that planet, and engaged in worship, seating themselves in a suitable place, and suffering no one to come near them: they practised austerities; and on the completion of their undertaking, exhibited kindness to the animal creation.

In the year 1061 of the Hegira (A. D. 1651) the author, then in Sikakul of Kalang,[265] was attacked by a disease which no application could alleviate. An astrologer pronounced, that “the cause of this malady arises from the overpowering force of the regent Mars;” on which, several distinguished Brahmins assembled on the fourth of Zíkâdah (the 9th October) the same year, and having set out the image of Bahrám and collected the suitable perfumes, with all other things fit for the operation, employed themselves in reading prayers and reciting names; at last, their chief, taking up with great reverence the image of Mars, thus entreated: Pg 47“O illustrious angel and celestial leader! moderate thy heat, and be not wrathful: but be merciful to such a one” (pointing to me). He then plunged the image into perfumed water; immediately on the immersion of the image, the pain was removed.

In front of each temple was a large fire-temple, so that there were seven in all: namely, the Kaiwan-ázar, Hormuz-ázar, Bahrám-ázar, Hár-ázar, Nahíd-ázar, Tír-ázar, and Máh-ázar, so that each fire-temple was dedicated to one of the seven planets, and in these they burnt the proper perfumes. They assert that, during the flourishing empire of the early monarchs, several sacred structures, such as those of the Kâbah and the holy temple of Mecca;[266] Jerusalem; the burial-place of Muhammed; the asylum of prophecy, in Medina; the place of repose of Alí,[267] the prince of the faithful in Najf; the sepulchre of Imam Husain in Kerbela;[268] the tomb of Imam Pg 48Musa[269] in Baghdad;[270] the mausoleum of Imam Reza[271] in Sanábád of Tús; and the sanctuary of Alí in Balkh,[272] were all in former times idol and fire-temples. They say that Mahabad after having built a fire temple, called Haftsúr or seven ramparts, in Istakhar of Persia,[273] erected a house to which he gave the name of Abád, and which is at present called the Kâbah: and which the inhabitants of that country were commanded to hold in reverence: among the images of the Kâbah was one of the moon, exceedingly beautiful, wherefore the temple was called Máhgáh (Moon’s place) which the Arabs generally changed into Mekka. They also say that among the images and statues left in the Kâbah by Mahabad and Pg 49his renowned successors, one is the black stone,[274] the emblem of Saturn. They also say that the prophet of Arabia worshipped the seven planets, and he therefore left undisturbed the black stone or Saturn’s emblem, which had remained since the time of the Abadian dynasty; but that he broke or carried away the other figures introduced by the Koreish, and which were not formed according to the images of the stars. In most of the ancient temples of Persia they had formed the symbol of Venus in the figure of a Mihrab, or arch, like the altar of the mosques: consequently the present Mihrab, or altar, is that identical symbol: which assertion is also proved by the respect paid to Friday or the day of Venus.

Ibrahim (Abraham), the friend of God, pursued the same conduct; that is, he rejected the idols Pg 50which were not of the planetary forms: and the reverence paid by him to the black stone, according to ancient tradition, seems to prove that point. Isfendiar, the son of king Gushtasp[275] conformed also to this practice; nay Socrates the Sage, in like manner, forbad the people to worship any other forms except those of the planets, and commanded the statues of the kings to be removed. Moreover, the holy temple of Jerusalem, or Kundízh-húhkt[276] was erected by Zohak, and Faridun[277] kindled in it the holy fire. But long before Zohak’s time, there were several idol and fire temples in that place. In the same manner, they say, that when Faridoon turned his attention to the overthrow of Zohak, during his journey his brethren having hurled a rock at him, this revered prince, who was skilled and mighty in Pg 51all the extraordinary sciences, manifested a wonderous deed: he prayed to the Almighty that it might remain suspended in the air, so that the stone even to this day is known as Kúds Khalíl. They also say that in Medina,[278] the burial place of the prophet, there was formerly an image of the moon: the temple in which it was, they called Mahdínah, or the “Moon of Religion,” as religion is the moon of truth, from which the Arabs formed Medinah. They in like manner relate, that in the most noble Najf, where now is the shrine of Alí, the prince of the faithful, there was formerly a fire-temple called Farógh pírái (the decoration of splendor), and also “Nakaf,” or Na akaft (no injury), which is at present denominated Najf. Also at Karbalá, the place where the Imam Husain reposes, there was formerly a fire-temple called Mahyársur ilm[279] and Kar bala (sublime agency), at present called Karbela.

Also in Baghdad, where the Imam Musa reposes, was a fire-temple called Shet Piráyi (decoration): and in the place where rest the remains of the great Imam Abu Hanifah, of Kufah, was a temple called Húryar (sun’s friend): also in Kufah, on the site of the Pg 52mosque, was a fire-temple called Roz-Azar (the day of fire): and in the region of Tús, on the site of Imam Resa’s shrine, was a fire-temple called Azar Khirad (the fire of intellect)—it was also known by many other appellations, and owes its erection to Faridún.—Also when Tús, the son of Názar,[280] came to visit Azar-i-Khirad, he laid near it the foundation of a city which was called after his name.[281]—In Balkh, where is now the sanctuary of the Imam, formerly stood a temple called Mahin Azar (great fire), now known under the name of Nóbahár. In Ardebil,[282] the ancient Dizh-i-Bahman[283] (Bahman’s fort), Kai Khosrú, on reducing the citadel, constructed there a fire-temple called Azari-Káus,[284] which now serves as the burial place of the shaikh Sufi Ud-Din, the ancestor of the Safavean princes:[285] they also assert Pg 53that there were fire-temples in several parts of India: as in Dwaraka,[286] was the temple of Saturn, called Dizh-i-Kaivan (Saturn’s fort), which the Hindoos turned into Dwaraka: and in Gya also was an idol temple, called Gah-i-Kaivan, or “Saturn’s residence,” which was turned into Gya.[287]—In Mahtra also was an idol temple of Saturn, the name of which was Mahetar, that is the chiefs or mahetar resorted thither; which word by degrees became Mahtra.[288]—In like manner several places among Pg 54the Christians and other nations bore names which show them to have been idol-temples. When the Abadian come to such places, they visit them with the accustomed reverence, as, according to them holy places are never liable to abomination or pollution, as they still remain places of worship and adoration: both friends and foes regarding them as a Kiblah, and sinners, notwithstanding all their perverseness, pray in those sacred edifices. Rai Gópí Nath[289] thus expresses himself:

O Shaikh! behold the dignity of my idol-house;
Even when destroyed, it remains the house of God!
There is not on record a single word repugnant to reason from the time of Mahabad to that of Yasan Ajam; and if they have recourse to allegory, they then express its figurative nature. From these princes to the Gilshaiyan there are many figurative expressions, all of which they interpret. For example, they say that the tradition of Siamak being slain by the hand of a demon implies, that in successive battles, through ignorance of himself and God, he unwittingly destroyed this elementary body; thus, wherever, in the language of this sect, mention Pg 55is made of a demon, they always understand a man of that description, as has been explained in the Paiman-i-ferhang, or “Excellent Code.” They also maintain that, in some passages, the rendering the demons obedient, and slaying them, is a figurative mode of expressing a victory gained over the pleasures of sense, and the extirpation of evil propensities: in like manner, whatever is related about the appearance of angels to virtuous and holy persons, is the revelation and vision of good spirits, whilst in a state of sleep, transport, recovery from excess, or abstraction from the body; which states are truly explained in this work. They say that Zohak’s two serpents, do-mar, and ten fires (vices) or deh ak, imply irascibility and sensuality: the devil, his carnal soul, and in some places his disposition—the two pieces of flesh which broke out on Zohak’s shoulders in consequence of his evil deeds, appeared to the human race like serpents, the pain caused by which could only be alleviated by the application of human brains. They also say that the celebrated Simúrgh[290] (griffin) was a sage, who had retired from the world and taken up his peaceful abode in the Pg 56mountains: he was therefore called by this name, and was the instructor of Dastan, the son of Sám; so that Zál, through his instruction, attained the knowledge of the occult sciences. As to the current tradition about Kai-Káus attempting to ascend to Heaven, and his downfall, this occurred, according to them, during his sleep, and not when he was awake. Kai Nishín, his brother, who had retired from all intercourse with mankind, thus interprets the adventure of Káus: “The four eagles are the four elements; the throne, the predominating passions; the lance, their energy and impetuosity in the desire of sensual gratifications; the thighs of flesh, their various pursuits of anger, passion, lust, and envy; their ascent implies that they may be subdued by religious austerities, and by the aid of their energy be made the means of ascending to the world on high and the supreme Heaven; their fall, instead of reaching Heaven’s eternal mansions, intimates that if, even for a short period, we become careless about repressing evil propensities, and desist from the practice of mortification, the passions will return back to their nature, or wander from the eternal paradise, the natural abode of souls:” the hemistich, “during one moment I was heedless, and he was removed from me a journey of a hundred years,” is applicable to such a state.

Pg 57Rustam’s[291] bringing back Kai Káus to his throne from the forest into which he had fallen, means, his bringing back intelligence into the king’s soul, and turning him back from the desert (lit. meadow), of natural infirmity: Kai Kaus therefore, by direction of Kai Nishin, his younger brother, but his elder in purity of faith and good works, remained forty days in retirement, until in the state of sleep, through the awakening of his heart, he beheld this heavenly vision. They also assert, whatever modern writers have declared, relative to Khizr[292] and Iskander, having penetrated into the regions of darkness, where the former discovered the fountain of life immortal, means, that the Iskander, or the intellectual soul, through the energy of the Khizr, or Pg 58reason, discovered, whilst in the state of human darkness, the water of life, or the knowledge of the rational sciences, or the science which forms the proper object of intellect—as to what they say about Iskander’s returning back empty-handed, by that is meant, that to expect eternal duration in this evanescent abode being altogether absurd, he consequently could not attain that object, and therefore departed to the next world. What they record about Khizr’s drinking of that water, means, that the perfection of intellect exists not through the medium of body, and that reason has no need of body, or any thing corporeal, either as essence or attribute.

In some passages they interpret the tradition after this manner; by Khizr is meant the intellectual soul, or rational faculty, and by Iskander the animal soul, or natural instinct; the Khizr of the intellectual soul, associated with the Iskander of the animal soul, and the host (of perceptions) arrived at the fountain-head of understanding, and obtained immortality, whilst the Iskander of the animal soul returned back empty-handed.[293] It must be remarked, Pg 59that this sect explain after this manner, whatever transgresses the rules of probability, or cannot be weighed in the balance of comprehension; in short, all that is contrary to reason. They also say purification is of two kinds; the amighi or true, and the ashkari or apparent: the first consists in not defiling the heart with any thing; in not attaching it to the concerns of this treacherous world, emancipating it from all ties and prejudice, maintaining no connection with any object whatever, and washing away all bias from the soul. The Ashkari, or apparent, consists in removing to a distance whatever appears unclean; consequently this purification is effected with water which has undergone no change of color, smell, or taste: that is, which is free from bad color, smell, or taste; if otherwise, rose-water and such like are more to be commended. Ablution requires a kur, or a measure of lustral water; that is, according to them, the measure for a man, is that quantity into which he can immerge his head; for an elephant, a quantity proportioned to his bulk; and for a gnat, a single drop of water. They reckon it meritorious to recite the prayers and texts of the Shat Dasátír, relative to the unity of the Pg 60self-existent Creator, the great dignity of intelligence and souls, with the pains of the superior and inferior bodies; after which they repeat the benedictions of the seven planets, particularly on their days, and offer up the appropriate incense. The worshipper after this recites the praises of the guardian of the month, and those of the days of the month; for example, if it be the month of Farvardin,[294] the believer repeats benedictions on that angel, and then on each of the regents of the days of that month: particularly the regent of that day called by the same name as the month: which day is also regarded as a festival.[295] For instance, in the month of Farvardin, he utters benedictions on the angel Farvardin, who is one of the cherubim on whom that month is dependent; if it be the first day of the month, called the Pg 61day of Hormuz (the angel who superintends the first day of the month), the believers address their benedictions to Hormuz; and act in a similar manner on the other months and their respective days. According to them, the names of the months are called after the names of their lords; and the appellations of the days are according to the names of their respective regents: consequently, as we have said, the believer adores the lord of the month, and on festivals, pays adoration to the angel who is the lord of the month and the day.[296] According to the Abadian, although Pg 62in a month, the name of the month and of the day be the same, this coincidence makes not that day dependant on the month, but on the regent who bears the same name with him, consequently it is necessary to celebrate a festival. In the same manner, on the other days of every month, salutations are paid every morning to the regent of the day: also during the Sudbar, or the intercalary days, they offer up praises to their angels. They also regard the angels of the days as the ministers to the angels of the months, all of whom are subject to the majesty of the Great Light—in like manner the other stars (planets) have also angels dependent on them: they also believe that the angels dependent on each Pg 63star (planet) are beyond all number: and finally, that the angelic host belonging to the solar majesty are reckoned the highest order. Besides, on the period at which any of the seven planets passes from one zodiacal mansion to another, they make an entertainment on the first day, which they regard as a festival, and call it Shadbar,[297] or “replete with joy.” Every month also, on the completion of the lunar revolution, on ascertaining its reappearance from astronomical calculation, they make great rejoicings on the first day: there is in like manner a great festival when any star has completed its revolution, which day they call Dádram,[298] or “banquet decking.” Thus, although there is a festival every day of the week in some idol-temple or other, as has been before stated, relative to the day of Nahid, or Friday, in the temple of this idol: yet on the day of the Sun, or Yakshambah (the first day of the week), there was a solemn festival at which all the people assembled. In like manner they made a feast whenever a star returned to its mansion or was in its zenith.

Pg 64They believe it wrong to hold any faith or religious system in abhorrence, as according to them, we may draw near to God in every faith: also that no faith has been abolished by divine authority—they hold that, on this account, there have been so many prophets, in order to shew the various ways which lead to God. Those who carefully investigate well know, that the ways which lead to heaven are many; nay more than come within the compass of numbers. It is well understood, that access to a great sovereign is more easily attained through the aid of his numerous ministers; although one of the prince’s commanders be on bad terms with his confidential advisers, or even should all the chiefs not co-operate with each other; yet they can promote the interest of their inferiors: therefore it is not proper to say that we can get to the God of all existence by one road only. But the insurmountable barrier in the road of approaching God is the slaughter of the Zindíbar, that is, those animals which inflict no injury on any person, and slay not other living creatures, such as the cow, the sheep, the camel, and the horse: there is assuredly no salvation to the author of cruelty towards such, nor can he obtain final deliverance by austerities or devotions of any description. Should we even behold many miraculous works performed by the slayer of harmless animals, we are not even then to regard Pg 65him as one redeemed; the works witnessed in him are only the reward of his devotions, and the result of his perseverance in the practice of religious austerities in this world: and as he commits evil, he cannot be perfect in his devout exercises, so that nothing but suffering can await him in another generation (when born again): such an instance of an ascetic endued with miraculous powers is likened in the Shat Dasatir[299] to a vase externally covered with choice perfumes, but filled internally with impurities. They also maintain that in no system of faith is cruelty to innoxious animals sanctioned: and all human sanction for such acts proceeds from their attending to the apparent import of words, without having recourse to profound or earnest consideration—for example, by putting a horse or cow to death is meant, the removal or banishing from one’s Pg 66self animal propensities, and not the slaughtering or devouring of innoxious creatures. They state the later historians to have recorded without due discrimination that Rustam, the son of Dastan (who was one of the perfect saints), used to slay such animals: whereas tradition informs us, that the mighty champion pursued in the chase noxious animals only: what they write about his hunting the wild ass, implies that the elephant-bodied hero called the lion a wild ass; or “that a lion is no more than a wild ass when compared to my force.” In the several passages where he is recorded to have slaughtered harmless wild asses and oppressed innoxious creatures, and where similar actions are ascribed to some of the Gilsháíyán princes, there is only implied the banishment of animal propensities and passions: thus the illustrious Shaikh Farideddin ât´ár declares,

“In the heart of each are found a hundred swine;
You must slay the hog or hind on the Zanar.”[300]
They hold that, from the commencement to the very end, the chiefs of the Persian Sipásíán, far from slaughtering these harmless creatures, regarded as an incumbent duty to avoid and shun, by every precaution, the practice of oppression or destruction towards them: nay, they inflicted punishment on the perpetrators of such deeds. Although they esteem Pg 67the Gilsháíyán prophets, pontiffs, and princes, exceedingly holy personages, yet in their opinion, they come not up in perfect wisdom and works to the preceding apostles and sovereigns, who appeared from the Yassánián to the end of the Máhábádíán race.

They assert that some innoxious animals suffer oppression in this generation by way of retribution: for instance, an ox or a horse, which in times long past had, through heedlessness, wantonness, or without necessity, destroyed a man: as these creatures understand nothing but how to eat and drink, consequently when they obtain a new birth, they carry burdens, which is by no means to be regarded as an act of oppression, but as a retribution or retaliation for their previous misconduct. They are not put to death, as they are not naturally destructive and sanguinary: their harmless nature proves that they cannot be reckoned among the destroyers of animal life: so that putting them to death is the same as destroying an ignorant harmless man: therefore their slayer, though he may not receive in this world the merited punishment from the actual ruler or governor, appears in the next generation under the form of a ferocious beast, and meets his deserts. A great man says on this subject:

“In every evil deed committed by thee, think not that it
Is passed over in Heaven or neglected in the resolutions of time;
Pg 68
Thy evil deeds are a debt, ever in the presence of fortune,
Which must be repaid, in whatever age she makes the demand.”
They also hold the eternal paradise to be the Heavens; and regard the solar majesty as lord of the empyrean; and the other stars, fixed or planetary, as his ministers: thus a person who, through religious mortifications and purity of life, attains righteousness in words and deeds, is united with the sun and becomes an empyreal sovereign: but if the proportion of his good works bear a closer affinity to any other star, he becomes lord of the place assigned to that star: whilst others are joined to the firmament on high: the perfect man passes on still farther, arriving at the æthereal sphere, or the region of pure spirits; such men attain the beatific vision of the light of lights and the cherubinic hosts of the Supreme Lord. Should he be a prince during whose reign no harmless animals were slaughtered in his realms; and who, if any were guilty of these acts, inflicted punishment on the perpetrators of the crimes, so that no such characters departed this world without due retribution; he is esteemed a wise, beneficent, and virtuous king: and immediately on being separated from the elements of body, he is united with the sun: his spirit is identified with that of the majesty of the great light and he becomes an æthereal sovereign. Prince Siamak, the son of Kaiomors declares: “I beheld from first Pg 69to last all the Abádíán, Jyáníán, Sháíyán, and Yassáníán monarchs: some were cherubim in the presence of the Supreme Lord; others absorbed in the contemplation of the Light of Lights: but I found none lower than the sphere of the sun, the vicegerent of God.” On my asking them concerning the means of attaining these high degrees, they said: “The great means of acquiring this dignity consist in the protection of harmless animals, and inflicting punishment on evil doers.”

According to this sect, labouring under insanity, suffering distress on account of one’s children, being assailed by diseases, the visitations of providence, these calamities are the retribution of actions in a former state of existence. If a person should fall down or stumble when running, even this is regarded as the retribution of past deeds: as are also the maladies of new-born babes. But whatever happens to a just man, which is evidently unmerited, this is not to be looked on as retribution, but as proceeding from the oppression of the temporal ruler, from whom, in a future generation, the Supreme Ruler will demand an account.

According to their tenets, the drinking of wine or strong liquors to excess, or partaking of things which impair the understanding, is by no means to be tolerated: which may be proved by this reflexion, that the perfection of man is understanding, and that intoxicating Pg 70beverages reduce human nature, whilst in that state, to a level with the brute creation. If a person drink strong liquors to excess, he is brought before the judge to receive due castigation; and should he, during that state, do injury to another, he is held accountable for it, and is punished also as a malefactor.

Among this sect it is permitted to kill those animals which oppress others, such as lions, fowls, and hawks, which prey on living creatures: but whatever animals, whether noxious or innoxious, suffer violence from the noxious, duly receive it by way of retribution: when they slay the former, or noxious animals, that is regarded as a retribution, because in a former existence they were oppressive and sanguinary creatures: and in this generation the Almighty has given them over to other more sanguinary animals, that they might shed the blood of the sanguinary bloodshedder: so that when noxious creatures are slain, it is by way of retribution for having shed blood: the very act of shedding their blood proves them to have been formerly shedders of blood: it is not however allowed to put them to death until they become hurtful: for example, a young sparrow cannot, whilst in that state, commit an injury; but, when able to fly, it injures the insects of the earth; and, although this happens to the insects by way of retributive justice, yet their slayers Pg 71become also deserving of being slain, as in a former generation they have been shedders of blood. For instance, a person has unwittingly slain another, for which crime he has been thrown into prison; on which they summons one of the other prisoners to behead the murderer: after which the judge commands one of his officers to put the executioner to death, as, previous to this act, he had before shed blood unjustly. But if a man slay a noxious animal, he is not to be put to death, because that person taking into consideration the noxious animal’s oppression, has inflicted retribution on it: but if a brave champion or any other be slain in fighting with a noxious creature; this was his merited retribution; and it is the same if an innoxious animal be slain in fighting with a noxious creature: for example, in a past generation the ox was a man endued with many brutal propensities, who with violence and insolence forced people into his service and imposed heavy burdens on them, until he deprived some of them of life: therefore in this generation, on account of his ruling propensities, he comes in the form of an ox, that he may receive the retribution due to his former deeds, and in return for his having shed blood, should be himself slain by a lion or some such creature. But mankind are not permitted to kill the harmless animals, and these are not shedders of blood: and if such an act should Pg 72be inadvertently perpetrated by any individuals, destructive animals are then appointed to retaliate on them, as we have explained under the head of the ox.

The best mode to be adopted by merciful men for putting to death destructive creatures, such as fowls, sparrows, and the like, is the following: let them open a vein, so that it may die from the effusion of blood: there are many precepts of this kind recorded in the Jashen Sudah of the Móbed Hoshyár: but philosophers, eminent doctors, and durveshes who abandon the world, never commit such acts: it is however indispensably necessary that a king, in the course of government, should inflict on the evildoer the retaliation due to his conduct. The Móbed Hoshyár relates, in the Sarud-i-Mastán, that in the time of Kaíomors and Siamak, no animal of any kind was slain, as they were all obedient to the commands of these princes. So that one of the Farjúd, or miraculous powers possessed by the Yezdanian chiefs of Iran, from Kaíomors to Jemshíd, was their appointing a certain class of officers to watch over the animal creation, so that they should not attack each other. For instance, a lion was not permitted to destroy any animal, and if he killed one in the chase, he met with due punishment; consequently no creature was slain or destroyed, and carnage fell into such disuse among noxious animals, that they were all reckoned among the innoxious. Pg 73However, the skins of animals which had died a natural death were taken off, and in the beginning used as clothing by Kaíomors and his subjects: but they were latterly satisfied with the leaves of trees. Those who embrace the tenets of this holy race attribute this result to the miraculous powers of these monarchs, and some profound thinkers regard it as effected by a talisman; whilst many skilled in interpretation hold it to be an enigmatical mode of expression: thus, the animal creation submitting to government implies, the justice of the sovereigns; their vigilance in extirpating corruption and evil, and producing good. In short, when in the course of succession the Gilsháíyán crown came to Húshang, he enjoined the people to eat the superabundant eggs of ducks, domestic fowls, and such like, but not to such a degree that, through their partaking of such food, the race of these creatures should become extinct. When the throne of sovereignty was adorned by the presence of Tahmúras, he said, “It is lawful for carnivorous and noxious creatures to eat dead bodies:” that is, if a lion find a lifeless stag, or a sparrow a dead worm, they may partake of them. In the same manner, when Jemshid assumed the crown, he enacted: “If men of low caste eat the flesh of animals which die a natural death, they commit no sin.” The reason why people do not at present eat of animals which died in the course of Pg 74nature, is, that their flesh engenders disease, as the animal died of some distemper: otherwise there is no sin attached to the eating of it. When Jemshid departed to the mansions of eternity, Deh Ak,[301] the Arab, slew and partook of all animals indifferently, whether destructive or harmless, so that the detestable practice became general. When Faridún had purged the earth from the pollution of Zohák’s tyranny, he saw that some creatures, hawks, lions, wolves, and others of the destructive kind, gave themselves up to the chase in violation of the original covenant: he therefore enjoined the slaughter of these classes. After this, Jraj permitted men of low caste, that is the mass of the people, to partake of destructive creatures, such as domestic fowls (which prey upon worms), also sparrows and such like, in killing which no sin is incurred: but the holy Yezdanians never polluted their mouths with flesh, or killed savage animals for themselves, although they slew them for others of the same class. For example, the hawk, lion, and other rapacious animals of prey were kept in the houses of the great, for the purpose of inflicting punishment on other destructive animals, and not that men should partake of them: for eating flesh is not an innate quality in men, as whenever they slay animals for food, ferocity settles in their nature, and that aliment introduces Pg 75habits of rapacity: whereas the true meaning of putting destructive animals to death, is the extirpation of wickedness. The Yezdanians also have certain viands, which people at present confound with animals and flesh: for instance, they give the name of barah, “lamb,” to a dish composed of the zingú, or egg-mushroom; gaur, or “onager” is a dish made out of cheese: with many others of the same kind. Although they kill destructive animals in the chase, they never eat of them; and if in their houses they kill one destructive animal for the food of another, such as a sparrow for a hawk, it is done by a man styled Dazhkím, or executioner, who is lower than a Milar, called in Hindi, Juharah or “sweeper,” and in modern language Hallál Khúr, or one to whom all food is lawful. But the dynasty preceding Gilshah, from whom the Yezdanians derive their tenets, afforded no protection whatever to destructive animals, as they esteemed the protection of the oppressor most reprehensible. In the time of the Gilsháíyán princes, they nourished hawks and such like, for the purpose of retaliating on destructive animals; for example, they let loose the hawk on the sparrow, which is the emblem of Ahriman; and when the hawk grew old, they cut off his head and killed him for his former evil deeds. The first race never kept any destructive creatures, as they esteemed it criminal to afford them protection; and even their destruction Pg 76never took place in the abodes of righteous and holy persons.

Among the Sipasíyan sect were many exemplary and pious personages, the performers of praiseworthy discipline: with them, however, voluntary austerity implies “religious practices” or Saluk, and consists not in extreme suffering, which they hold to be an evil, and a retribution inflicted for previous wicked deeds. According to this sect, the modes of walking in the paths of God are manifold: such as seeking God; the society of the wise; retirement and seclusion from the world; purity of conduct; universal kindness; benevolence; reliance on God; patience; endurance; contentedness; resignation; and many such like qualities—as thus recorded in the Sarúd-i-Mustán of the Móbed Hushyar. The Móbed Khodá Jáí, in the “Cup of Kái Khusró,” a commentary on the text of the poem of the venerable Azar Kaivan, thus relates: “He who devotes himself to walking in the path of God, must be well-skilled in the medical sciences, so that he may rectify whatever predominates or exceeds in the bodily humours: in the next place, he must banish from his mind all articles of faith, systems, opinions, ceremonials, and be at peace with all: he is to seat himself in a small and dark cell, and gradually diminish the quantity of his food.” The rules for the diminution Pg 77of food are thus laid down in the Sharistan of the holy doctor Ferzanah Bahram, the son of Farhád: “From his usual food, the pious recluse is every day to subtract three direms, until he reduces it to ten direms weight: he is to sit in perfect solitude, and give himself up to meditation.” Many of this sect have brought themselves to one direm weight of food: their principal devotional practice turning on these five points: namely, fasting, silence, waking, solitude, and meditation on God. Their modes of invoking God are manifold, but the one most generally adopted by them is that of the Múk Zhúp: now in the Azanan or Pehlevi, Múk signifies “four,” and Zhúp “a blow;” this state of meditation is also called Char Sang, “the four weights,” and Char Kúb, “the four blows.” The next in importance is the siyá zhúp, “the three weights” or “three blows.” The sitting postures among these devotees are numerous; but the more approved and choice are limited to eighty-four; out of these they have selected fourteen; from the fourteen they have taken five; and out of the five two are chosen by way of eminence: with respect to these positions, many have been described by the Móbud Sarúsh in the Zerdúsht Afshár: of these two, the choice position is the following: The devotee sits on his hams, cross-legged, passing the outside of the right foot over the left thigh, and that of the left Pg 78foot over the right thigh; he then passes his hands behind his back, and holds in his left hand the great toe of the right foot, and in the right hand the great toe of the left foot, fixing his eyes intently on the point of the nose: this position they call Farnishin, “the splendid seat,” but by the Hindi Jogies it is named the Padma ásan,[302] or “Lotus seat.” If he then repeat the Zekr-i-Mukzhub, he either lays hold of the great toes with his hands, or if he prefer, removes his feet off the thighs, seating himself in the ordinary position, which is quite sufficient—then, with closed eyes, the hands placed on the thighs, the armpits open, the back erect, the head thrown forward, and fetching up from the navel with all his force the word Nist, he raises his head up: next, in reciting the word Hésti, he inclines the head towards the right breast; on reciting the word Magar, he holds the head erect; after which he utters Yezdan, bowing the head to the left breast, the seat of the heart. The devotee makes no pause between the words thus recited; nay, if possible, he utters several formularies in one breath, gradually increasing their number. The words of the formulary (Nist hesti magar yezdan, “there is no existence save God”) are thus set forth: “Nothing exists but God;” or, “There is no God, but God;” or, Pg 79“There is no adoration except for what is adorable;” or this, “He to whom worship is due is pure and necessarily existent;” or, “He who is without equal, form, color, or model.” It is permitted to use this formulary publicly, but the inward meditation is most generally adopted by priests and holy persons; as the senses become disturbed by exclamations and clamors, and the object of retirement is to keep them collected. In the inward meditation, the worshipper regards three objects as present: “God, the heart, and the spirit of his Teacher;” whilst he revolves in his heart the purport of this formulary: “There is nothing in existence but God.” But if he proceeds to the suppression of breath, which is called the “knowledge of Dam and Súmrad,” or the science of breath and imagination, he closes not the eyes, but directs them to the tip of the nose, as we have before explained under the first mode of sitting: this institute has also been recorded in the Surud-i-Mastan, but the present does not include all the minute details.[303]

Pg 80It is thus recorded in the Zerdúsht Afshár; the worshipper having closed the right nostril, enumerates the names of God from once to sixteen times, and whilst counting draws his breath upwards; after which he repeats it twenty-two times, and lets the breath escape out of the right nostril, and whilst counting propels the breath aloft; thus passing from the six Kháns or stages to the seventh; until from the intensity of imagination he arrives to a state in which he thinks that his soul and breath bound like the jet of a fountain to the crown of the head: they enumerate the seven stages, or the seven degrees, in this order: 1st, the position of sitting; 2d, the hips; 3d, the navel; 4th, the pine-heart; 5th, the windpipe; 6th, the space between the eyebrows; and 7th, the crown of the head. As causing the breath to mount to the crown of the head is a power peculiar to the most eminent persons; so, whoever can convey his breath and soul together to that part, becomes the viceregent of God. According to another institute, the worshipper withdraws from all senseless pursuits, sits down in retirement, giving up his heart to his original world on high, and without moving the tongue, repeats in his heart Yezdan! Yezdan! or God! God! which address to the Lord may be made in any language, as Hindi, Arabic, etc. Another rule is, the idea of the Instructor: the worshipper imagines him to be present and is Pg 81never separated from that thought, until he attains to such a degree, that the image of his spiritual guide is never absent from the mind’s eye, and he then turns to contemplate his heart: or he has a mirror before his sight, and beholds his own form, until, from long practice, it is never more separated from the heart, to which he then directs himself: or he sits down to contemplate his heart, and reflects on it as being in continual movement. In all these cases he regards the practices of the suppression of the breath as profitable for the abstraction of thought: an object which may also be effected without having recourse to it.

Another rule is, what they call ázád áwá, or the “free voice;” in Hindi Ánahid; and in Arabic Sáut Mutluk, or “the absolute sound.” Some of the followers of Mohammed relate, that it is recorded in the traditions, that a revelation came to the venerable prophet of Arabia resembling “the tones of a bell,” which means the “Sáut Mutluk:” which Hafiz of Shiraz expresses thus:

“No person knows where my beloved dwells:
This much only is known, that the sound of the bell approaches.”
The mode of hearing it is after this manner: the devotees direct the hearing and understanding to the brain, and whether in the gloom of night, in the house, or in the desert, hear this voice, which they Pg 82esteem as their Zikker, or “address to God.” Azizi[304] thus expresses himself:

“I recognise that playful sportiveness,
And well know that amount of blandishment:
The sound of footsteps comes to my ear at night;
It was thyself; I recognise the hallowed voice!”
Then having opened the eyes and looking between the eyebrows, a form appears. Some of those who walk in the path of religious poverty among the followers of Mohammed (on whom be benedictions!) assert that the expression Kab Kausain, “I was near two bows’ length,” alludes to this vision. Finally, if they prefer it, having closed the eyes for some time, they reflect on the form which appeared to them on looking between the eyebrows; after which they meditate on the heart; or without contemplating the form, they commence by looking into the heart; and closing both eyes and ears, give themselves up entirely to meditation on the heart, abandoning the external for the internal: Pg 83whoever can thus contemplate obtains all that he wants; but

“The anguish of my friend strikes at the portal of the heart;
Command them, O, Sháni! to purify the dwelling of the heart.”
Finally the searcher after the Being who is without equal or form, without color or pattern, whom they know and comprehend in the Parsi under the name of “Izad,” in Arabic by the blessed name of “Allah,” and in Hindi as “Para Brahma Náráyaran a,”[305] contemplates him without the intervention of Arabic, Persian, Hindi, or any other language, keeping the heart in his presence, until he, being rescued from the shadows of doubt, is identified with God. The venerable Maulaví Jami says on this head:

“Thou art but an atom, He, the great whole; but if for a few days
Thou meditate with care on the whole, thou becomest one with it.”
They hold that reunion with the first principle, which the Sufees interpret by evanescence and permanence, means not, according to the distinguished Ishrakian[306] or Platonists of Persia, that the beings of accident or creation are blended with him whose existence is necessary, or that created beings cease to exist; but that when the sun of the first cause manifests himself, then apparently all created beings, like the stars in the sun’s light, are Pg 84absorbed in his divine effulgence; and if the searcher after God should continue in this state, he will comprehend how they become shrouded through the sun’s overpowering splendor, or like the ecstatic Sufees he will regard them as annihilated: but the number of Sufís who attain to this state is exceedingly small, and the individuals themselves are but little known to fame. This volume would not be sufficient to enumerate the amount of those lights (precepts) which direct the pilgrim on his course, but the venerable Azur Kaiván has treated at large on this head in the Jám-i-Kai Khusró.

It is, however, necessary to mention that there are four states of vision; the first, Núníar,[307] or that which is seen during sleep: by sleep is meant that state when the subtile fumes arising from the food taken into the stomach mounting up to the brain, overpower external perceptions at the time of repose: whatever is then beheld is called in Farsi Tínáb, in Arabic Rúyá, and in Hindi Svapna.[308] The state beyond this dignity is Susvapna,[309] in Arabic Ghaib or “mysterious,” and in the popular language Pg 85of the Hindoos Sukhásváda[310] or Samádhi[311] (suspending the connexion between soul and body), which is as follows: when divine grace is communicated from the worlds on high, and the transport arising from that grace locks up external perceptions, whatever is beheld during that state is called Binab or “revelation:” but that state into which the senses enter, or Hóshwázhen, “a trance,” which is expressed in Arabic by Sahú or “recovering from ebriety,” and in Hindi by Jagrat,[312] “awaking,” and Pratyaya “evidence,”[313] means that state in which divine grace being communicated, without the senses being overpowered, it transports the person for the time being to the world of reality: whatever he beholds in this state is called Bínáb or Mâainah “reality.” The state higher than this is the power of the soul to quit the body and to return to it, which is called in Farsi Nívah-i-chaminah, in Arabic Melkát Khalâ-baden, and in Hindu prapura paroksha.[314]

They affirm that the bodies occupied by some souls resemble a loose garment, which may be put off at pleasure; so that they can ascend to the world Pg 86of light, and on their return become reunited with the material elements. The difference between Sahú and Khalâ is this: Sahú means, being absorbed in meditation on the communication of divine grace, so that, without a relaxation of the senses, the person may, for the time being, actually abide in the invisible world: whereas Khalâ means, that the individual, whenever he pleases, separates himself from the body and returns to it when he thinks fitting. The spiritual Maulavi thus says:

“Shout aloud, my friends! for one person has separated himself from the body;
Out of a hundred thousand bodies, one person has become identified with God.”
According to this sect there are seven worlds: the first is absolute existence and pure being, which they call Arang[315] or “divinity;” the second is the world of intelligences, which they call Birang or “the empyreal;” the third is that of souls, called Alrang or the angelic; the fourth that of the superior bodies, or Nirang; the fifth, the elementary or Rang; the sixth the compounds of the four elements, or Rang-a-Rang: but according to the Sufís all bodies, whether superior or inferior, are named Málk or region; the seventh is Sarang, which Pg 87is that of man or of human beings: but in some Parsi treatises they term these seven regions the seven true realities: however, if the author were to describe minutely the articles and ceremonies of this sect, their details would require so many volumes, that contenting himself with what has been stated, he now proceeds to describe some of their most distinguished followers of later times.

[228] Here begins the translation of David Shea.

[229] Serúsh or Serósh, is derived from the Zend, and signifies properly sí-roz, that is “thirty days, a month.” To the adorers of the stars, Serósh is the name of an angel who presides over the 17th day of the month; according to their religion, he is moreover the most active of the celestial spirits; as king of the earth, he passes every day and every night three times through his empire; his throne is the summit of the world; all light, all intelligence, he purifies and fertilizes the earth, blesses and protects mankind, strikes the evil spirits; in short, he is adored equal to the supreme being. (See Zend Avesta, par Anquetil du Perron, I. 2. P. pp. 80, 156, 228, 404, 415; II. 320, 330, 223, 235, 237).—A. T.

[230] The text given by Gladwin (see the New Asiatic Miscellany, vol. I. p. 93), and the manuscript of Oude, have no negative before خجسته; the sense would therefore be: “if his words had been plausible, but the deeds bad.” The edit. of Calcutta gives the sense as above.—A. T.

[231] Gladwin translates this passage as follows (ibid., p. 94): “If a deserving soul produces good words and deeds,” which is in accordance with the text he followed, and with that of the edit. of Calcutta; but Shea’s translation is justified by the manuscript of Oude, which has: بي پسنديده اقوال فرّخی افعال.—A. T.

[232] According to Gladwin, after باره once followed in a series by هزار the same word is to be always understood—thus يک هزار باره فردرا is not a thousand fard, but one million fard. This word is not in the Burhan:—I have therefore followed Gladwin’s authority. But in the Desátir, or “Sacred Writings of the ancient Persian Prophets in the original tongue,” published at Bombay in 1818, the following passage occurs in the commentary of the Vth Sasan (English transl. p. 36): “They call a thousand times a thousand years a ferd; and a thousand ferds, a werd; and a thousand werds, a merd; and a thousand werds, a jád; and three thousand jáds, a wád; and two thousand wads, a zád;” etc.—D. S.

[233] هيربد “Hirbed” (see Thomas Hyde, Veterum Persarum et Parthorum et Medorum Religionis Historia, Oxon ii. 1760, p. 369-372) was called a priest of the fire-worship; according to oriental authors, a priest of the ancient Persians was in general, called formerly مغ , ‘magh,’ or موغ ‘mogh,’ that is “excellent,” hence Magus, a Magian. The Magi are mentioned by Herodotus, and, according to Aristotle, were more ancient than the Egyptian priests. Clitarchus and Strabo, contemporaries, the one of Alexander, the other of Augustus, speak of the Magi. The latter says (lib. XV.): Εν δε τη Καππαδοκία, πολύ ἐστι το τῶν Μάγων φῦλον οἱ καὶ Πύρεθοι καλοῦνται· “In Kappadocia is a great multitude of Magi, called also Pyrethi.” (See Selden, De Dis Syris syntagma, Lipsiæ, 1662, p. 317, 318). An order superior to this class of priests was the موغ بد, ‘mógh bed,’ or موبد, ‘mobed,’ a ‘prefect, or judge of the Magi,’ of the learned priests, or of the worshippers of the sun, in a general sense, a wise man, adorer of the sun. A third order of Persian priests was called دستور, ‘dastur,’ or ‘superintendant.’ (See also Zend-Avesta, translated by Anquetil du Perron, t. II, pp. 516, 517, 553, 555.)—A. T.

[234] ब्रह्मन् “Brahman.”

[235] Gladwin “Mahuristar.” We read in the Commentary upon article 145 of the Desatir, English translation, p. 27: “In Pehlevi the Huristars are called Athurnâns—They are the Mobeds and Hirbuds whose duty is to guard the faith, to confirm the knowledge and precepts of religion, and to establish justice.”—A. T.

[236] क्षत्त्रः, क्षत्त्रियः, क्षत्त्री, ‘kshatra, kshatriya, kshatri,’ a man of the military class, from क्षद् to divide, or eat, rather from क्षेत्रं, kshétram, ‘field,’ which they are to protect. This last from क्षि, kshi, ‘to dwell.’

[237] छत्रं, ‘chhatraḿ,’ a parasol, an umbrella, from छद ‘chhada,’ to cover.—A. T.

[238] “The Núristárs in Pehlevi are named Rehtishtáran, and are the princes and warriors who are called to grandeur and superiority, and command, and worldly sway.” Comment. upon art. 145 of the Desatir, p. 27.—A. T.

[239] विश, वैश्य, ‘viś, vaiśya, ‘a man of the mercantile tribe,’ from विश, ‘viś,’ to enter.—A. T.

[240] “The Suristars in Pehlevi are denominated Washteryû´shán, and are devoted to every kind of business and employment.” Comment. upon the Desatir, p. 27.

[241] शुद्र, śudra, a man of the fourth or servile class, from शुच, such, to purify.—A. T.

[242] “The Ruzistars are in Pehlevi styled Hotukhshan, and are artisans and husbandmen.”—Comm. upon the Des.

[243] The names Huristar, Nuristar, Suristar, and Ruzistar, of the four classes of the people, are to be found in the Desatir (artic. 145, English translation, p. 27), from which work the author of the Dabistan is likely to have taken them, as various other information. As this division of a nation is undoubtedly suggested by the natural state of things, it has been attributed to more than one ancient king, and by Ferdúsi, in his Shah-namah, to Jemshid, under four denominations belonging to the ancient Persian language. These are as follows: 1ᵒ اموزيان, Amuzian; 2ᵒ نيساريان, Nisarian; 3ᵒ نسودی, Nasudi; 4ᵒ اهنو خوشی, Ahnu khushi, corresponding to the learned, the warriors, the husbandmen, and the mechanics. The first of these names, Amuzian, is easily recognised in the Persian اموختن, amokhten (Imp. اموز amuz), “to teach, to learn;” the second nisarian is the same with نيساری, nisari, the common Persian word for a warrior; the third, nasudi, is a Pehlevi noun (see Hyde, p. 437); the fourth, Ahnu´khu´shí, appears composed of اهنو, ahnu, “provisions, meat” (to be traced to आह्निक, ahnika, “daily work, food”), and of خوشی, khushi, “good, content,” or from خواستن khástan, “to ask.” Upon the four classes of the people see also History of the early kings of Persia, translated from the Persian of Mirkhond, entitled the Rauza-us-safa” by David Shea, p. 108-113.—A. T.

[244] The text of Gladwin has دستانير, destânir, the edition of Calcutta and the manuscript of Oude have Dasátir. The single volume published under that name at Bombay (see note page 14), if genuine at all, can be considered but as a very small part of the great work, said to comprehend all languages and sciences.—A. T.

[245] This faith is also called Fersendáj, and the great Ábád himself Ferzábád, and Búzúgábad, (Dasát., Engl. Transl., p. 27, 58, 187).—A. T.

[246] Burz, with the Arabic article Al-burz, is a mountain in Jebal or Irak Ajemi, not far distant from, and to the north of, the town Yezd in the province of Fars, where, from very remote times to our days, a great number of fire-temples existed. Alburz belongs to a fabulous region; this name is given to several mountains, among which the great Caucasus is distinguished from the tirah, or “little,” Alburz.—A. T.

[247] This word reminds of जिन, jina, or जैन, jaina, from जि, ji, ‘to conquer’ or ‘excel,’ a generic name of distinguished persons, belonging to the Jaina sect of Hindus.—A. T.

[248] This is evidently the Sanskrit word यशस्, yaśas, “fame, glory, celebrity, splendor,” and यशस्वान, yaśasvan, “famous, celebrated.”—A. T.

[249] Gladwin has نيمور, nimur; the edition of Calcutta and the manuscript of Oude have تيمور timur.—A. T.

[250] Gil-shah, “Earth-King,” also “the King formed of clay.” According to the Mojmil-al-Tavarikh (see Extracts from this work by Julius Mohl, Esq., Journ. Asiat., February 1841, p. 146), he was so called, because he governed the then not inhabited earth. Gil-shah is one of the names given to the first man or King; in the Desátir (pp. 70, 131) he is called Giomert, Gilshadeng; by others Kaiomars (see also Rauzat-us-Safa of Mirkhond, translated by D. Shea, p. 50).—A. T.

[251] This number differs considerably from the chronology of other Asiatics. Here follow the periods enumerated in the Epitome of the ancient History of Persia, extracted and translated from the Jehan Ara, by Sir Wil. Ouseley (p. 71-74).

Ruled mean of X different data years.
Peshádian 4 2531
Kaiánián 4 704
Ashkánián 11 352
Sásánian 7  500
Total 4087
As Yezdejird’s reign terminated 651 or 653 years of our era, the beginning of the Peshdádíán, according to the Dabistan, is placed 6024-651=5373 years before J. C.—A. T.

[252] Adopting the just computed period of 4087 years between Yezdegird and the 1st of the Péshdadíán, Kaiomars would have begun to reign 3436 years before Christ; according to the Shahnamah, it was 3529 years before our era; Sir W. Jones places him 890 years B. C. (see his Works, vol. XII, 8vo edit. p. 399).

[253] Síyamak the son of Gilshah or Kaiomors, was killed in a battle against the Divs.

began to reign years B. C. years B. C.
[254]Húshang 3499; 865
[255]Tehmúras 3469; 835
[256]Jemshíd 3429; 800
Jemshíd, also called Jermshár in the Desátir (pp. 88, 89), according to Ferdusi the son of Tehmúras, according to the Zend-Avesta the son of Viverghám, brother or son of Tahmúras. He, or rather his dynasty, ruled 700 years the Persian empire. He is believed to have been the first who amongst the Persians regulated the solar year, the commencement of which he fixed at the vernal equinox, about the 5th of April (see Zend-Avesta, by Anquetil du Perron, vol. II, p. 82). He is also distinguished by the epithet Sad-wakhshur, which signifies “hundred prophets;” to him is ascribed the book Javedan Khirad, “eternal intelligence,” which is said to have been translated into Greek, with other books, by order of Alexander (see Desátir, English transl. pp. 79, 153, 163).—A. T.

[257] Zohak, the son of a sister of Jemshíd, usurped the throne of his uncle and sovereign, according to Ferdusi, 2729 years B. C.; according to Helvicus, 2248; according to Jackson, 1964; but only 780 years B. C., according to Sir W. Jones who, in general, fixes the ancient Persian reigns much lower than other chronologers. Zohak is also called Pivar-asp, or Bivar-asp, from the circumstance of his always keeping ten thousand Arabian horses in his stables, for Bivar, says Ferdusi, from the Pehlevi, in counting means in the Dárí tongue, ten thousand (see Rauzat-us-safá, Translat., p. 123; and also Mojmel-al-Tavarikh). The empire which Zokah founded is identified by some historians with the Assyrian monarchy of Semiramis, or with a Semitic domination in general. It lasted, according to the Orientals, 1000 years; according to Ctesias, Diodorus Siculus, Justin and Syncellus 13 or 1400, according to Herodotus only 520 years.—A. T.

[258] Kiblah signifies that part to which people direct their face in prayer, the temple of Mecca to the devout Muhammedans; in a general sense, it means the object of our views or wishes.—A. T.

[259] The text has کرگس, Kerges, a bird, feeding on carcasses, and living one hundred years.—A. T.

[260] Bahram is also called Manishram (Desátir, Engl. transl. p. 79).

[261] Nahid appears also under the name of Ferehengíram (ibid., p. 90).

[262] Tir, also Temirám (ibid., p. 102).—A. T.

[263] It was from time immemorial to our days the practice of the Asiatics to refer the common affairs of life to the stars, to which they attribute a constant and powerful influence over the nether world. Thus Húmaiun the son of Baber, emperor of India (see the History of Ferishta, translated by general John Briggs, vol. II, p. 71) “caused seven halls of audience to be built, in which he received persons according to their rank. The first, called the palace of the Moon, was set apart for ambassadors, messengers and travellers. In the second, called the palace of Utarid (Venus), civil officers, and persons of that description, were received; and there were five other palaces for the remaining five planets. In each of these buildings he gave public audience, according to the planet of the day. The furniture and paintings of each, as also the dresses of the household attendants, bore some symbol emblematical of the planet. In each of these palaces he transacted business one day in the week.”—A. T.

[264] Gladwin has تيمار وساتير timar Vasátir, the manuscript of Oude تيمار دسيتير tímár dasyátir, the edition of Calcutta تيمسار دساتير, tímsár dasatir, which is the right reading, as the word “timsar” is explained in the index of obsolete or little known terms by these words: کلمهٔ تعظيم بمعنی “a word expressing respect.”—A. T.

[265] Cicacole, a town in the northern districts of the Coromandel coast, anciently named Kalinga, the ancient capital of an extensive district of the same name, lat. 18° 21′ N., long. 83° 57′ E.—A. T.

[266] The Muhammedans distinguish particularly two temples, or mosques: the first, the principal object of their veneration, is the Masjed al Haram, or “the Sacred mosque,” that is to say, the temple of Mecca, where is also the Kâbah, or “the Square-edifice,” built, as they say, by Abraham and his son Ismael. The second of the temples is the Masjed al Nabí, “the mosque of the Prophet,” who preached and is buried in it.—(Herbelot.)—A. T.

[267] Ali, the son of Abu Taleb, the cousin and son in law of Muhammed. Ali was assassinated in the mosque of Kufa, and buried near this town, in the province of Irak, the Babylonian, on the right bank of the Euphrates.—A. T.

[268] Kerbela is a district of Irak, the Babylonian, or of Chaldæa, not far from Kufa, and west of the town called Kaser Ben Hóbeirah. It is famous on account of the death and sepulchre of Hóssáin, the son of Ali, who was killed there, fighting against the troops of Yezid, son of Moavia, who disputed the khalifat with him.—A. T.

[269] Músa was the seventh of the twelve Imams whom the Shiites revere. He was born in the year of the Hegira 128 (745 A. D.), and died in 183 (799 A. D.).—A. T.

[270] Baghdad, a town in the province Irak Arabí.

[271] The Imam Reza was the eighth Imam of the race of Alí; he was called Alí Ben Mússa al Kadhem, before he received the title Reza or Redha (one in whom God is pleased) from the Khalif Almamúm, when the latter appointed him his successor, but survived the Imam, who died A. D. 818.—A. T.

[272] Balkh, a town in Khorasan, situated towards the head of the river Oxus, in lat. N. 36° 28′; long. 65° 16′.

[273] Persepolis, in Persia proper.

[274] For the black stone, consult Dart’s Antiquities of Westminster, vol. II, p. 12; Matthew of Westminster, p. 430.—D. S.

Stones, especially when distinguished by some particular form or colour, were in the most ancient times venerated as the only then possible monuments, consecrated to some respected person, or to some Divinity. Thus the ancient Arabians venerated a square stone as sacred (see Selden de Dis Syris, p. 291, 292). It is known that the Muhammedans bestow a particular veneration upon a black stone, which is attached to the gate of their mosque at Mecca (Herbelot, Bibl. orient. sub voce). It is evident that the followers of Muhammed, who is the prophet of a comparatively recent religion, appropriated to themselves more than one object and place of the most ancient veneration by merely changing its name, and attaching to it a legend in accordance to their own belief.—A. T.

[275] According to Ferdusi in his Shah-namah, Gushtasp (Darius, son of Hystaspes, 519 B. C.) was induced by Zerdusht to adopt a reformed doctrine which prescribed the adoration of fire, and was probably a purer sort of Sabæism, as practised by the most enlightened magi of very ancient times. Isfendiar, Gushtasp’s son, a zealous promoter of this religion, erected fire-temples in all parts of his empire (see also Rauzat-us-safa, Shea’s transl., p. 285).—A. T.

[276] The Persian text of Gladwin reads: کنکدژ “Gangdezh.”

[277] Faridun, the son of Abtin, restored the power of the Péshdádían according to Ferdusi, 1729 years B. C.; according to Sir W. Jones and other chronologers, 750 years before our era. Faridun, or rather his dynasty, reigned 500 years; according to the Boundehesh and the Mujmel-ul-tavárikh during the 500 years of Feridun, twelve generations intervened between Faridun, and Manutcheher, his grandson.—A. T.

[278] Medina signifies a town in general, but in particular that of Jatreb, in Arabia, in the province of Hajiaz, to which town Muhammed fled when obliged to abandon Mecca, on the 16th July, 622 of our era, which is the first year of the Hejira, “flight.”—A. T.

[279] The text of Gladwin reads. مه تازسوز علم “Mahtársúz ilm.”

[280] Názar is the eighth king of the Péshdadíán, placed by Ferdusi 1109 years B. C.; by the modern chronologers 715-708 B. C. He had two sons, Tús and Gustaham.

[281] The foundation of the town Tus, in Khorasan, is also attributed to Jemshíd.

[282] Ardebil, a town in the province called Azerbijan, which is a part of the ancient Media.

[283] Bahman, son of Isfendiar.

[284] Káus, the second king of the Kaían dynasty, whose reign began, according to Ferdusi, 955 years B. C.; he is supposed by western historians, to be Darius, the Mede, of the Greeks, and placed by them 600, 634-594 years B. C.—A. T.

[285] The Safavean dynasty began in 1499 A. D. by Shah-Ismail, who derives his origin from Musa, already mentioned as the seventh imam of the Muselmans. All his ancestors were considered as pious men and some as saints. The first of this family who gained a great reputation was Shaik Sufi Ud-din, from whom this dynasty takes the name of Sufaviah. His son was Sudder Ud-din. The monarchs of that time used to visit his cell. Timur asked him what favour he could bestow on him. The saint answered: “Set free all the prisoners whom thou hast brought from Turkey.” The conqueror granted this request, and the grateful tribes declared themselves the disciples of the man to whom they owed their liberty. Their children preserved the sacred obligation of their ancestors, and placed the son of the pious Eremite upon the throne of Persia. (Malcolm’s Hist. of Persia.)—A. T.

[286] Dwaraka, an ancient town, built by Krichna, destroyed by a revolution of nature; actually exists a town and celebrated temple of that name, in the province of Guzrat, situated at the S. W. extremity of the peninsula, lat. 22° 21′ N.; long. 69° 15′ E.

[287] “The true name is Gáyá, a town in the province of Bahar, 55 miles south from Patna, lat. 24° 49′ N.; long. 85° 5′ E. It is one of the holy places of the Hindus, to which pilgrimages are performed. It was made holy by the benediction of Vichnu, who granted its sanctity to the piety of Gáyá the Rájarchi; or according to another legend, to Gáyá, the Asura, who was overwhelmed here by the deities, with rocks. This place is also considered by some Hindus either as the birthplace or as the residence of Buddha, from which circumstance it is usually termed Buddha-Gáyá (Hamilt. E. I. Gazetteer. Wilson’s Dict. sub voce).—A. T.

[288] Mathura, a town in the province of Agra, situated on the east side of the Jumna, 30 miles N. E. by N. from the city of Agra, lat. 27° 32′; long. 77° 37′ E. This place is much celebrated and venerated by the Hindus, as the scene of the birth and early adventures of Krichna (Hamilt. Gazet.).—A. T.

[289] This is an entirely Indian name: Gópínath, “the lord of the cowherds’ wives,” a name of Krichna.—A. T.

[290] According to oriental Romance, the Si-murgh, or Enka, is endowed with reason. He acts a considerable part in the Shah-namah, as tutor to Zál, the father of Rustam. In the Kahermán Námah, this bird in a conversation with Kaherman, the hero, states that it has existed during many revolutions of ages and beings prior to the creation of Adam. It is called Si-murgh, as being equal in magnitude to thirty birds.—A. T.

[291] Rustam appears to be a personification of the heroic times of the Persians, the Medes and the Scythes. He was born under the reign of Manucheher, after the year 1299 B. C., and died under that of Gústasp, after the year 625 before our era; his existence comprises therefore 604 years. He was the lord of Sejestan, and extended his domination over Zabulistan and Kabul; but the circle of his actions comprehends a great part of Asia between the Indus, the Indian and the Caspian seas.

[292] Khizar is confounded by many with the prophet Elias, who is supposed to dwell in the Terrestrial Paradise, in the enjoyment of immortality. According to Eastern traditions, Khizr was the companion, vizir or general of the ancient monarch, named Zu-al-Kurnain, or “the Two-horned;” a title which was also assumed by Alexander the Great. According to the Tárikh Muntakhab, this prophet was Abraham’s nephew, and served as guide to Moses and the children of Israel, in their passage of the Red sea and the desert. The same author tells us, that Khizr lived in the time of Kai Kobad, at which time he discovered the fountain of life. (Herbelot).—A. T.

[293] Ferdusi in his Shah-namah narrates that: Secander was in search of the water of life, accompanied by Khizr. The prophet attained his purpose, but the king lost his way in the dark. The troops of the latter followed a mare running after her foal, until they found themselves in a place full of pebbles sounding beneath their feet, and heard a voice from heaven, saying: “Take, or leave, the stones; sorrow of the heart “awaits you in any case.” And so it happened. At day-break, the stones picked up were found to be precious rubies; all were grieved: the one for not having taken more, the others for not having taken any, of them.—A. T.

[294] Farvardin presides over the 19th day of the month, and over the first month of the year (Zend-Avesta, by Anquetil du Perron, II, p. 320-337). Hyde (p. 239) says: the first month, March, in the Jeláli-year (or the new Persian era of Jelaluddin) which first month was July in the old year, is called Farvardin, and he endeavours to derive this word from the modern Persian. Anquetil du Perron (I, 1re part. p. 493) rejects Hyde’s etymology, and says that Farvardin signifies in Zend “the Fervers (the souls) of the law.” Hyde himself seems to enter into this sense, in saying (p. 240): “Iste Angelus (Farvardin) creditur præesse Animabus quæ in Paradiso” (this angel is believed to preside over the souls who are in Paradise).—A. T.

[295] The Calcutta manuscript, translated by Gladwin, differs in this passage from the printed copy of Calcutta, 1224 of the Hejirah, A. D. 1809, and also from two excellent manuscripts: the Calcutta copy has been followed.—D. S.

[296] The most ancient year of the Persians (Hyde, p. 188, 189) appears to have been vague or erratic, its commencement varying through all the different seasons, or at least soon gave room to the vague Persian-Median civil year, to which was joined afterwards the fixed ecclesiastic year of Jemshed. Both these years lasted to the time of Yezdejerd, who made some considerable changes in the Persian calendar. This king being killed, after an interval of time, the fixed solar year, beginning in the middle of “pisces,” was introduced into Persia. The names of the ancient months and days appear to have come from the Medes, with their denomination, to the Persians; and even those invented by Yezdejerd were of Median origin. Here follows the order of months called Jelali (Hyde, p. 180).

I. Farvardin March.
II. Ardíbehist April.
III. Khordád May.
IV. Tir June.
V. Mardád (Amardad.
Anquetil du Perron) July.
VI. Shahrívar August.
VII. Miher September.
VIII. Abán October.
IX. Azar November.
X. Dái December.
XI. Bahman January.
XII. Isfandármend February.
The old Persian month was not divided into weeks, but every day had its particular name from the angel who presided over that day. Here follows the order of their names, according to Olugh Beigh (Hyde, p. 190):

I. Hormuzd.
II. Bahman.
III. Ardíbehist.
IV. Shahrívar.
V. Isfandármend.
VI. Khurdád.
VII. Murdád.
VIII. Dáíbáder.
IX. Azur.
X. Abán.
XI. Khur.
XII. Máh.
XIII. Tír.
XIV. Júsh or Gúsh.
XV. Dáíbamiher.
XVI. Miher.
XVII. Surúsh.
XVIII. Resh.
XIX. Farvardin.
XX. Bahrám.
XXI. Rám.
XXII. Bád.
XXIII. Dáíbadín.
XXIV. Din.
XXV. Ird, or Ard.
XXVI. Ashtád.
XXVII. Asamán.
XXVIII. Zámíád.
XXIX. Márásfand.
XXX. Anírán.
The names of the five additional days were as follows:

I. Ahnud-jah.
II. Ashnud-jah.
III. Isfandamaz-jah.
IV. Akhshater-jah.
V. Vahashtusht-jah.
Room is wanted for entering into further developments of this extensive subject.—A. T.

[297] The text of Gladwin has نيديار which has the same meaning.—A. T.

[298] The text of Gladwin has اورام Orám. The name is properly Uráman, a peculiar manner of chanting or reading Pahlavi poetry, which derives its name from a village in the dependencies of Kushgun, where its inventor lived.—D. S.

[299] Gladwin and Shea read Wasatir, but I cannot forbear from thinking, the right reading is dasátir; the و and the د being easily confounded with each other. The simile above quoted is not to be found in the Bombay edition of the Desátír, although the same precepts are stated therein (pp. 12, 13, 14). Here follows the passage (English transl. Comment. p. 45) about the Desátír itself: “There are two books of Yezdán. The name of the first is Dógítí, ‘two worlds,’ and this they call the ‘Great Book,’ or in the language of Heaven Ferz-Desatir, or the ‘Great Desátir,’ which is the great volume of Yezdán. And the other book is called Desátir, the doctrines of which Máhábád, and the other prophets from Màhábád down to me, have revealed. * * * * And in the heavenly tongue this is called Derick Desatir, ‘the Little Desátir,’ as being the Little Book of God.”—A. T.

[300] Zanar is called in India the brahminical, or in general, a religious thread; here is meant the mark of any unbeliever.—A. T.

[301] Zohak.

[302] पद्मासन

[303] These practices are evidently the same as those used among the Hindu devotees. The chapter upon the Hindus, which follows, will set forth the great conformity, nay, identity of Indian religions with the tenets and customs here ascribed to Persian sects. In the Desátir (English transl. Comment. pp. 66, 67) is a curious account of the postures to be taken standing, or lying, or sitting, on the ground before any thing that burns, and reciting the Ferz-zemiar, “great prayer,” to Yezdán, or another to Shesh-kákh, that is to say, to the stars and to the fire which yield light.”—A. T.

[304] عزيزی Azizi is supposed, by Mr. Tholuck (Sufismus, sive Theosophia Persarum Pantheistica) to be the name of the so long unknown author of Gulshen-raz, “the rose-bower of mystery.” Silvestre de Sacy (see Journal des Savants, décembre 1821, p. 719, 720), without absolutely rejecting this supposition, explains the word Azizi by “homme vertueux” in the verse upon which Mr. Tholuck founded his opinion. The true author of Gulshen-raz is now known to be Mahmud Shabisterí. See the Persian text with a German metrical translation of this poem, published in 1838 by the baron Hammer-Purgstall.—A. T.

[305] पर ब्रह्म नारायणः

[306] For Ishrakian, see pages 31 and 86 ad refutationem Alcorani.—D. S.

[307] In Gladwin’s Persian text, it is توتيار Tutiar; in the manuscripts consulted by Shea, in the edition of Calcutta, and in the manuscript of Oude نونيار nuniar.

[308] स्वप्न.

[309] सुस्वप्न, “good sleep.”

[310] सुखास्वाद, sukhásváda, “enjoyment.”

[311] समाधि, samádhi, “deep and devout meditation.”

[312] जाग्रत्, jagrat, “watching, being awake.”—A. T.

[313] प्रत्यय, pratyaya, “certainty.”—A. T.

[314] प्रपुरपरोक्ष, prapura-paròksha, “absent from the former body.”—A. T.

[315] The text of Gladwin has زارک “záreng;” the edition of Calcutta and the manuscript of Oude ارنک Arang; in the Desatir we find Lareng for the name of a divinity.—A. T.


Among the moderns, the chief of the Abadian and Azúrhúshangíán sects was Azar Kaiván, whose lineage is as follows: Azar Kaívan, the son of Azar Zerdusht, the son of Azar Barzín, the son of Azar Khurín, the son of Azar Ayin, the son of Azar Bahram, the son of Azar Nosh, the son of Azar Mihtar, the younger son of Azar Sásán, styled the fifth Sásán, the elder son of Azar Sásán, the fourth of that name, the younger son of Azar Sásán, the third of that name, the eldest son of Azar Sásán, or the second Sásán, the mighty son of Azar Sásán, or the first Sásán, the son of Darab the less, the son of Darab the great, the son of Bahmán, the son of Pg 88Isfendiar, the son of Gushtasp, the son of Lohrasp, the son of Arvand, the son of Kai Nishin, the son of Kai Kobad, the son of Zab, the son of Nauder, the son of Minuchehr, the son of Iraj, who was of the lineage of Feridun, the son of Abtin, who was of the lineage of Jamshid, the son of Tahmúras, the son of Húsheng, the son of Siamak, the son of Kaiomors, the son of Yásán Ajam, of the lineage of Yásán, the son of Shai Mohbul, of the lineage Shai Giliv, the son of Jaí Alad, of the lineage of Jai Afram, the son of Abád Azád, of the lineage of Mah Abád, who appeared with splendor in the beginning of the great cycle. The mother of Kaiván was named Shirín, a fortunate and illustrious dame descended from the lineage of the just monarch Nushirvan. Through eternal aid and almighty grace Azar Kaiván, from his fifth year, devoted himself to great abstinence in food, and watching by night. Salím thus expresses himself:

“Innate essence has no need of instruction;
How could an artist produce the image in the mirror?”
In the progress of his admirable voluntary mortification, the quantity of his daily food was reduced to one direm weight. On this point, the divine sage Sunái observes:

“If thou eat to excess, thou becomest an unwieldy elephant;
But if with moderation, thou becomest another Gabriel;
If any person should give way to excess in eating,
Rest assured that he is also vile to excess.”
Pg 89He abode in Khum during twenty-eight years, but removed in his latter days from the land of Iran into India: he remained some time in Patna, where, in the year of the Hegira 1027 (A. D. 1673), he took his flight from this lower elementary abode to the sphere of the mansions on high. Azízí observes:

“Whoever is wise, esteems this mortal coil the obstacle to union with God:
This life is the death of Durvishes: look on (the world of) reality as a friend.”
He continued eighty-five years united to the elements of body, during which time he never desisted from the practice of austerities. On this subject Hafiz of Shiraz observes:

“O! my heart, if thou once become acquainted with the lustre of austerity,
Like those who strike the smiling taper, thou canst give up thy head—
But thou longest after thy beloved and sparkling wine-bowl:
Abstain from such desire, for thou canst accomplish better things.”
Farzánah Bahrám relates in the Sharistan, that from the very commencement of his religious career, Azar Kaiván, having resolved on learning thoroughly the science and systems of the eminent sages of antiquity, on this, the distinguished philosophers of Hindustan, Greece, and Persia, having appeared to him in a vision, communicated all kinds of knowledge. He went one day to a college, where he answered every question that was proposed, and Pg 90gave the solution of every difficulty: he was therefore entitled Zu-l-ulum, or “the Master of Sciences.” Ali Sani Amir Saiyid Ali of Hamadan observes:

“If thou advance even one step from this abode of vain desire,
Thou mayest repose in the sanctuary of omnipotence;
And if thou perform ablution with the water of religious austerity,
Thou canst convert all the uncleanness of thy heart into purity;
This path however is only traversed by the active pilgrim,
How canst thou, the world’s idol, perform such a task?”
It is reported that Saiyid Hasan of Shiraz, who was styled “the sage, the embellishment of pure faith and works,” one day said thus: “On a certain day, two followers of the Sufís came into the presence of Azar Kaiván, and pursuing the path of opposition to the Master of Sciences, treated him not as one possessed of perfection. Their teacher, a man equally eminent in theoretical and practical science, who by dominion over the external world had established the relation of spiritual intercourse with the holy prophet, fell one night into a state of ecstasy, and beheld in his trance the effulgent perfection of the prophet, who said to him: ‘My son! tell thy disciples that through the assistance of the Only Wise and the Omnipotent, who is independent of all, Ali Kaiván is a completely perfect man, who has attained to the different degrees of spiritual dominion, by the practice of the seven cordial ejaculations, and varied mysterious illuminations, Pg 91visions, revelations, spiritual realities in his acts and attributes: moreover his evanescent existence, through grace predestined from eternity, has received the boon of divine nature; equally versed in special and general providence; unique in the true knowledge of things from inspection, not contented with the illumination of tradition; the most perfect master of the seekers after truth in matters of worship, seclusion, social intercourse, and whatever is meet and suitable to their state in all kinds of institutes and religious austerities. He is the true philosopher; the physician of the human race; the discipline of religion; the institute of the devout; the interpreter of events; the instructor of worship; the director of those who seek God, labouring diligently in the purification of souls; co-operating in the cleansing of hearts; the spiritual champion of the law; fighting the good fight of faith; the principle of truth; confirmed in the knowledge, source, and evidence of certainty; supported by divine aid in the fundamental points and collateral inductions. Let not thy disciples calumniate him, but esteem him a holy personage, and regard attendance on him as pregnant with happiness: do thou also approach his presence, and use every effort to conciliate his affection.’ The teacher having Pg 92during his ecstacy repeated this panegyric several times, I committed the words to writing, and on the holy man’s arising from his ecstatic trance, he summoned me and said: ‘Who in this city is Azar Kaiván? The prophet hath praised him exceedingly, and ordered me to go into his presence.’ I answered: ‘He has lately come hither from the direction of Istakhar:’ on which he replied: ‘Conduct me near him.’ I therefore accompanied him, but was ignorant of Kaiván’s residence. When we had proceeded some time, one of Kaiván’s disciples, by name Farhad, came near him and said: ‘The master (that is Kaiván) invites you, and has sent me to be your guide.’ When we came into his presence, my teacher had determined in his mind to salute him first, but was unable to obtain the priority, as Azar Kaiván had much sooner anticipated him in salutations in the Persian language, and afterwards addressed him in Arabic. We were struck with astonishment. My teacher then repeated what he had communicated to me concerning the vision, on which Kaiván commanded him ‘not to remove the veil of this mystery.’” The teacher, on his return, having called before him his two misguided disciples, recounted the perfections of Kaiván, and enjoined them to abstain from censuring the holy man. For as Sadi says:

Pg 93
“Respecting the thicket, imagine it not unoccupied,
A tiger may probably be couched there.”
Azar Kaiván mixed little with the people of the world; he shunned with horror all public admirers; and seldom gave audience to any but his disciples and the searchers after truth; never exposing himself to the public gaze. According to Shaikh Baha Uddin Muhammad of Amil,

“If thou have not guards in front and rear to keep off the crowd,
Aversion to mixing with crowds will be a sufficient safeguard to thee.”
Farzanah Bahrám relates in the Sharistan, that Kaiván expressed himself after this manner: “The connexion of my spirit with this body, formed of the elements, resembles the relation of the body to a loose robe; whenever I wish I can separate myself from it, and resume it at my desire.” The same author also thus relates of him, in the text of the Jam-i-Kai Khusró, wherein are recounted some of his revelations and spiritual communications:

“When I passed in rapid flight from material bodies,
I drew near a pure and happy spirit;
With the eye of spirit I beheld spirits:
My spirit was moving amidst kindred spirits:
In every sphere and star I beheld a spirit;
Each sphere and star possessed its peculiar spirit;
Thus in the three kingdoms of nature I beheld a common spirit,
As their spirit was mutually communicated to each other.
I attained the knowledge of all existences.
And was associated with the great Serósh Ramah.
[316]But when I reached a great elevation,
Pg 94
Splendor from the Almighty gave me light;
As the radiance increased this individuality departed;
[317]Even the angelic nature and the principle of evil disappeared:
God only existed, there was no sign of me
(or of my individual existence):
[318]I no longer retained intellect or recollection of spirit:
[319]I discovered all my secrets to be but shadows;
I then returned to the angelic intelligences,
And from these intelligences I came back to the spirit;
And thus at last to bodies also summoning me.
In this manner I became powerful, wise, and sublime,
Until I descended from that high degree—
Upon the road by which I had gone up, I returned to my body
With a hundred divine favours[320] deriving splendor from that assemblage;
The dignity of the Supreme Lord is too exalted
For intercourse with his servants to be worthy of him.
By his effulgence intellect becomes (illumined) like the earth or sun;
He is elevated too high for his servants to hold intercourse with him:
If the spirit receives illumination from him,
It becomes beside itself, and its speech is ‘I am without intellect’—
Pg 95
The world is a drop which proceeds from the ocean of his existence;[321]
What is the dropping dew? it is Himself (God);
Thou art not the dropping dew, but only a drop among the drops of it.
I know not what to say, as the result of all is deficiency:
Through love he confers bounties on his servants;
As it is proper to raise up the down-fallen
His love renders the mendicant a man of power.
The world is but a ray emanating from the sun of his face:
The just Creator addressed me in kind words,
And conferred on me the splendor of an Ized;
None but He can duly praise Himself,
As He cannot become the object of speech or hearing.”
Kaivan was master of noble demonstrations and subtile distinctions: one of the Moslem lawyers having asked him: “Why dost thou forbid thy followers from eating flesh, slaying animals, and injuring living creatures?” He thus replied: “The seekers of God are named the peculiar people of the Pg 96heart; and the heart itself, the true Kâabah: therefore, what is an abomination in the sanctuary formed of water and clay cannot a fortiori be suitable to the true Kâabah: that is, the eating of animals and the slaughter of living creatures. A great man says:

“I have heard that a sheep once thus addressed the butcher,
At the moment he prepared to cut off her head with his sword:
‘I now behold the retribution of every bush and bramble of which I tasted;
What then shall that person not experience who eats my fatted loin?’”
Kaivan also said: “If you think proper, keep your tenets secret wherever you happen to be, concealing them even from your brethren in the faith; as they, for the confirmation of their system, will make you publicly known.” Azizi also says:

“As long as thou canst, communicate not thy secret to thy friend;
For that friend has another; beware therefore of thy friend’s friend?”
Some one asked him: “In the schism of Abad Ansari, which faith shall I adopt, and whose arguments must I regard as true?” Azar Kaiván replied: “Remain in the same faith that, until the present time, God doeth as seemeth good to him; and for the time to come he will do whatever he thinks proper.” Urfi of Shiraz says,[322]

“Thy essence is able to call into being all that is impossible,
Except to create one like thyself!”
Pg 97He once said to a holy man: “The knowledge of evanescent objects is not properly knowledge, but bears the same relation to reality as the mirage of the desert to water: the searcher after which obtains nothing but an increase of thirst.” Shah Subhan says:

“Men favoured by fortune drink the wine of true knowledge;
They do not, like fools, quaff the dregs of infidelity;
The science acquired in colleges and by human capacity
Is like water drawn out of the well by a sieve.”
They once observed to Kaivan: “Notwithstanding the great exertions made by his highness the sincere and faithful Akbar, and the grand justiciary, the caliph Omar, and the possessor of the two lights, Osman, in the way of the faith proved by miracles, and their mighty labors in diffusing its institutes, the Shee-ites are opposed to these great personages?” He replied: “The mass of mankind are acted upon by time and place, in opposition to the seekers after truth. It is also to be observed that the people of Iran have adopted the Shee-ite faith; and as the above-mentioned great personages destroyed the fire-temples of that nation, and overturned their ancient religion, therefore rebellion and envy have remained in their hearts.”

Two learned men having a dispute concerning the superiority of the chosen Alí, “the Elect” (whose Pg 98face may God honor), over the two Shaikhs and the Lord of the two lights (Osmar), (upon all of whom be the mercy of the Almighty) having referred the dispute to Kaivan, he observed:

“All four are the four perfections of the prophetic edifice;
All four are the four elements of the prophets’ souls.”
“The distinction between the two exalted parties is difficult, as two of them claim supremacy on the celebrity (drum) of being fathers-in-law to the Arab founder of religion; and the other two are fitted for dignity, by being sons-in-law to the apostle of the Arabs. But whereas all things are objects of the Almighty’s regard, the excellent Alí, ‘the Lion of God,’ was esteemed so pre-eminent an object of divine favor among the Moslems, that want of faith and ignorance induced many to worship him as the true God, until this great personage openly disclaimed such a pretension. Also during the pontificate and caliphat of Sadik, ‘the faithful witness,’ the powerful Abubeker, ‘the separator,’ the grand Omar, and that of Zu-l-Narain, ‘the Lord of the two Lights,’ error misled many to such a degree, that they denied their authority, until these legitimate directors asserted their claims to that dignity.”[323]

Pg 99He returned an answer of a similar description in a dispute between a Jew, a Christian, and a Muselman, who were arguing about the superiority of their Pg 100respective prophets; some acknowledging Jesus as God, the others as the Son of God. One day as a Christian and Muselman were disputing with each Pg 101other, the former allowing the death of Jesus, and the latter believing him to be alive, Azar Kaivan said: “If a person who knew not the direction of a road which formed his destination, should in the course of his journey come to a dead body lying down, and a living person seated, from which of the two ought he to inquire his way?” As the disputants both replied, “from the living person;” he then said to the Muselman: “Adopt thou the faith of Jesus, as according to thy belief he is living.” He then added: “By life is meant the life of the rational soul: in this Mohammed and Jesus are on an equality; call your prophets the ‘eternal living:’ for life means not the perpetuity of this body fashioned out of the elements, which cannot accompany us beyond a hundred or a hundred and twenty natural stages (years).” Azizi says:

“If the domestic fowl should fly along with the fowls of the air,
It could not proceed in flight beyond the summit of the wall.”
A hermit once came into Zu-l-Ulum’s[324] presence; Pg 102he pronounced a panegyric on the opposition to sensual passions exhibited by pious Moslem believers: and then added: “There is no limit to the opposition to these passions: even the unbeliever through the practice of austerities finally becomes a Moslem.” He also added: “An exemplary unbeliever had become able to work miracles: a Shaikh went to him one day and asked: ‘By what route hast thou attained to this dignity?’ He replied, ‘By opposing the suggestions of the passions.’ On which the Shaikh answered: ‘Now turn to Islamism, as thy soul has admitted infidelity.’ On hearing which the unbeliever became a follower of Islamism.” Kaivan observed: “The Shaikh must have been an infidel, as his soul was still seeking after Islamism, or the true religion.” Urfi says:

“Lay aside the recollection of (these words) belief and unbelief, as they excite great disputes;
For according to our (supposed) bad doctrines, all persons think aright.”
A person once came to Zu-l-Ulum, and said: “I propose embracing the profession of a durvesh, and breaking asunder the chains which bind me to the world.” Kaivan replied, “It is well.” Some days after, he returned to Kaivan, and said: “I am at present engaged in procuring the patched tunic, cap, wallet, and other things necessary for Pg 103my profession.” Zu-l-Ulum observed: “The profession of a durvesh consists in resigning every thing and abandoning all manner of preparations, and not in accumulation of any kind.”

A merchant through penury having assumed the dress of hypocrisy, appeared in a Shaikh’s garb, and many persons devoutly regarded him as a holy man. He one day came before Kaivan and said: “Often have wretches plundered me on the road: it was however for a good purpose, in order that by embracing the life of a durvesh I might attain the great object of salvation.” Azar Kaivan replied: “Be not grieved, as thou art now plundering mankind by way of retaliation.”

“The society of Urfi pleases not the superior of our monastery;
Because the superior is a foe to the intelligent and Urfi to the stupid.”
At present some of Kaivan’s disciples, as far as the author’s acquaintance extends, are about to be enumerated.

Farzanah Kharrád, of the family of Mahbud, who had been the khan salar (royal table-decker or taster) to the equitable monarch Nushirvan,[325] and put to Pg 104death through the sorcery of a Jew and the calumnies of a chamberlain, as recorded in the Shah Namah of the king of poets, Ferdúsi, and in other histories: Kharrad joined himself to Kaivan in the bazar of Shiraz, and practised religious austerities for many years. Farzanah Khushi has often mentioned in conversation, and has also frequently repeated in the Bazm-gah-i-Durvéshán, “the Durvesh’s banquetting-room,” the following circumstance: “I one day beheld Kharrad and Ardeshir (a descendant of Ardeshir Babegan,[326] and one of Kaivan’s disciples), standing face to face and mutually opposing each other: whenever Ardeshir Pg 105wished to smite Kharrád with a sword, he appeared like a stone, so that when the sword came into contact with his body, it was instantly broken to pieces.”—In the year 1029 of the Hejirah (1620 A. D.) he became reunited to the pure uncompounded spirit. Buzurgi says:

“What is the soul? the seminal principle from the loins of destiny:
This world is the womb: the body its enveloping membrane:
The bitterness of dissolution, dame Fortune’s pangs of childbirth.
What is death? to be born again an angel of eternity.”
Farzanah Farshid wird was one of the Parsi village chieftains: his pedigree ascended to Farzanah Shedosh, who was one of the fifth Sassan’s[327] disciples. He also became attached to Azar Kaivan in the same place as Kharrad, and devoted himself to the service of the Almighty. Khushi relates as follows: “Farshid wird and Bahman used to stand facing each Pg 106other; every arrow which Bahman discharged against Farshid wird, he used to cut in two with his sword: and whenever the latter let fly an arrow, Bahman with activity and address threw himself to one side and avoided it. But this is still more wonderful: whenever Bahman shot off a musket, Farshid let fly one at the same instant, and ball met ball, so that they both remained unhurt: sometimes also when Farshid Wird shot off his musket, Bahman used to move rapidly on one side.” In the year 1029 of the Hejirah (A. D. 1619) he hurried away from this abode of the elements to the skies. The Khajah Hafiz speaking on this subject, says:

“He never dies whose heart is quickened with love divine;
But remains for ever stamped on the records of our eternal world.”
Farzanah Khíradmand was descended from Sám, the son of Narimán: he joined Zu-l-Ulum and gave himself up to religious austerities. Khushi thus relates: “I once beheld Khiradmand while standing face to face to Rustam (who was descended from Bahram Gur,[328] and was one of Kaivan’s distinguished Pg 107disciples), assume the form of a dragon, and shower out fire from his mouth, to such a degree that a strong palm was consumed by its violence.”

In three months after Bahman’s death, Khiradmand was restored to his original place. Buzurgi says:

The skilful and intelligent artist
Should have in this world two successive lives:
So that in one he might acquire experience,
Which he could carry into effect by another experiment.
Of these illustrious personages they have recorded many miraculous and mysterious deeds; such as, in the upper world, hiding the sun’s disk; causing him to appear at night; making the stars visible in the day-time: and in this lower world, walking on the surface of water; making trees productive out of season; restoring verdure to dried-up wood; causing trees to bow down their heads; also showing themselves between heaven and earth in the form of lightning; and such like: and, in the animated world, metamorphosing animals; rendering themselves Pg 108invisible to men; appearing under various shapes and forms: some of which wonders have been recorded in the Bazmgah-i-Durveshi Khushí. They relate that these great personages were to such a degree enabled to divest themselves of corporeal elements, that they quitted the body at pleasure: also that they had acquired from the court of Heaven the knowledge of all sciences whether known or occult, and consequently had the power of exhibiting such wonderful works; having rendered, by the efficacy of their austerities, elementary matter subject to themselves. The author of these pages beheld these four holy personages, Kharrad, Farshid wird, Bahman, and Khiradmand, in Patna, on which occasion they bestowed their benedictions, and imparted to him the glad tidings of the means of obtaining the great object, or final salvation. Shaikh Saadi says:

“It becomes the truly wise to pass every day in the exercise of holy zeal,
And to offer up prayers for the prosperity of durveshes.”
Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhad, was descended from Gudarz, the son of Hashwád. When Azar Kaivan had proceeded to Patna, in this sage’s latter days, Farzanah Bahram came from Shiraz and devoted himself to the practice of religious austerities. He was a man who had attained the highest degree of knowledge in logic, natural philosophy, the abstract sciences, and theology, which he had Pg 109most attentively studied as far as set forth and expounded by sound reasoning in the Parsi, Pehlevi, and Arabic: in practical and theoretical science he was unequalled; being profoundly skilled and a perfect philosopher in all the objects of science and morality: among the Moslem doctors, he had established the relations of external tuition with Khajah Jumál-Uddin Mahmúd, one of the disciples of the Mulla Jalál Dawani. Farzánah Bahrám is the polished author and compiler of the book entitled Sharístán-í-Dánish, wa Gulístán-í-Binish, “the pavilion of knowledge and the rose-garden of vision.” In the Sharistan, he thus tells us: “Through the aid of Azar Kaivan, I reached the invisible, the angelic, the empyrean worlds, and the seat of the Divinity, and attained to union with him through revelations of the fourfold kind—impressive, operative, attributive, and essential.” The Mobed Hoshyar relates: “I have heard Farzánah Bahrám relate as follows: I was one day standing in the presence of Azar Kaivan, and conceived in my heart the wish that he should tell me what occupied my secret thoughts. The venerable personage unfolded the secret thoughts of my heart, and afterwards said: ‘O, Farzanah! it is an easy matter for me to know the secrets of the soul; but then what purpose does thy tongue answer? in order Pg 110that thy tongue may not be useless, I shall for the future suffer thee to speak.’” He assumed the dress of a merchant, but people imagined it was for the purpose of concealment, and that he gave himself up to alchymy. In the year of the Hejirah 1034 (A. D. 1624), he ascended from this lower abode of darkness to the pavilions of light. The sage Sunái says:

“Wherever intellect and divine knowledge are found,
The death of body is the birth of soul.”
The Mobed Hoshyar is the author of the Sarúd-i-Mastán, “the songs of the intoxicated.” He was born at the port of Surat; he traced his pedigree to the invincible champion Rustam, the son of Zál, and was a man of exceeding bravery, heroism, and experience; perfect in generosity, sagacity, the termination of disputes, right reason, and sound experience. If his history were detailed at full length, it would become necessary to write another Shah Namah concerning his victory at Girdun, his defeat of Alí Yakah, and such like.[329]

In short he entered the service of the great philosopher Azar Kaivan and his eminent disciples, being associated with them in the doctrine of self-knowledge; from the commencement of night to the rise of the world-illuminating sun, he slept in the attitude Pg 111of Murdah Khasp. Now the terms Muráah Khab, Murdap Khasp, and Sáónós, are terms applied by the Sipásían to the following mode of sleeping: the devotee rests (having thrown his legs beneath him) on his knees, pressing to the ground both heels as far as the great toe: and applying the extremities of the knees to the earth, he keeps his seat on the same; he is then to lie on his back, keeping the points of his fingers on his head; after this, he is to look intently between the eye-brows, and carry into practice the Habs-i-dam, or imprisonment of the breath. The Durvesh Subahani, one of the great Sufees, used to say: “Such was the sleep of the prophets.” They also say: “The prophets of old used to sleep on their backs, with their faces directed towards the Heavens:” which is the same as the position before described. Hoshyar had attained to the power of suppressing the breath for one watch (three hours). Shaikh Saadi says:

“They who restrain the soul from sensual pleasures
Surpass in heroism both Rustam and Zál.”
Hoshyar was not scrupulous about what he ate; never turning away his face from whatever was set before him: he however most diligently shunned the practice of cruelty to living creatures, and avoided superfluities and excess of every description. Hafiz of Shiraz on this head says:

Pg 112
“Addict not thyself to cruel pursuits, and do whatever else thou pleasest;
As in our law there is no sin except that of cruelty.”
In the year of the Hejirah 1050 (A. D. 1640) he was delivered from the bondage of body in the capital named Akbar Abad.[330] The Mobed says:

“Truly the body is a narrow sepulchre which entombs every spirit,
When that tomb is entombed, thou beholdest a wall, that really is no wall;
When the tomb is entombed, the living spirit is freed from its prison.
Alas! O Mobed, the sovereign of the body knows of no restriction.”
The Mobed Hoshyar, who was conversant with the visible and invisible worlds, master of the esoteric and exoteric doctrines, was the interpreter of the Jashn-i-Sadah (the festival of Sadah),[331] from which work his superior talents are evident: he derived his descent from the sage Jamasp.[332] In the Pg 113year of the Hejirah 1036 (A. D. 1626) the author of this work met him in the delightful region of Kashnim. He used to support himself on the extremities of his fingers, so that his body came not into contact with the ground, in which position he continued from midnight until dawn. On the subject of penance Hafiz says:

“O, my heart! couldst thou but acquire a knowledge of religious austerity,
Thou wouldst be able to abandon women like smiling torches.”
The Mobed Sarósh, the son of Kaiván, the son of Kamkar, who was styled Namdár, or “the illustrious,” on account of the celebrity of his knowledge. The Mobed carried his lineage on the father’s side to the venerable prophet Zardúsht, and on his mother’s, to Jamásp the Sage. He was equally conversant with the theoretical and practical sciences; and was master of the languages of Arabia, Persia, and Hindustan; he had travelled over most of the habitable world; his nights were passed in prayer; his conduct was always pure. On coming into attendance on Kaiván, he was illuminated by the sun of his knowledge, and during his attendance on Farzanah Bahrám, the son of Farhád, he acquired the Arabic language. His age reached to sixty years; in short he was a saint elect, who in the course of his life never looked on a woman; his mouth was never polluted with animal food of any description; Pg 114he sought seclusion from the world, and limited himself to a small quantity of food.

“If thou didst but know the pleasure of abandoning pleasure,
Thou wouldst never more talk about the pleasures of sense.”
He is the author of many admired literary works and compilations; such as the Nosh Dárú, “sweet medicine;” the Sagangubín, “dog’s honey,” and the Zerdúsht Afshar, “the companion of Zerdúsht,” and such like. It was heard from an eminent doctor, named Muhammed Mahsan, who said thus: “I heard from him (Kaiván) three hundred and sixty proofs confirmatory of the existence of the Deity: but when I wished to commit them to writing, it was no longer in my power.” People relate all manner of miraculous stories about him; such as his creating what was not previously in existence; revealing secret matters, and concealing what was evident; the acceptance or fulfilment of his prayers; his performing a long journey in a short space of time; his knowledge of things hidden from the senses; and his giving a description of the same; his appearing at the same time in places far distant from each other; bringing the dead to life, and depriving the living of vitality; his being enabled to hear and understand the language of animals, vegetables, minerals, etc.; to produce food and wine without any visible means; to walk on the surface of water, also through fire and air; and such like. Pg 115The author met him in Kashmir in the year of the Hejirah 1036 (A. D. 1627).

Firrah Kárí, the attendant on the venerable Shídósh (an account of whom shall be soon given) was a person, whose essence was adorned with science and decorated by purity; the possessor of extraordinary probity and sound understanding, said thus: “I once received some injury from the peasantry of Achán, a district bordering on the public and sacred place of Kashmír: speaking of this to Yazdán Silái, a disciple attached to the Móbed Sarósh, I said ‘the people of Achán have grievously afflicted me,’ and stated to him the criminal conduct of this wicked set of men. He answered: ‘Do you wish that the Almighty should overwhelm with floods the cultivated grounds of these wretches?’ I replied ‘Certainly.’ It then began to rain so exceedingly, the loftiest and strongest-built houses were overthrown; from the overwhelming deluge ruin fell on their buildings and tilled grounds; and the fields of these men themselves were nearly destroyed by the waters at the very commencement.” The Maulavi Mânevi says:

“As long as the heart of the righteous comes not to affliction,
God never brings calamity on any people.”
The rains still continued, which Sarósh having Pg 116observed, he was exceedingly wroth with his disciple and reproved him; and that same day the rain ceased. Firrah-Kári used to say, “Mobed Sarósh was acquainted with the desires of my heart, and possessed power over men’s minds.” He also related the following story concerning him: “At the time of arriving in the caravanserai of Bálik, in the city of Tarkhan, the men of that place wished to act wickedly towards us, and practise oppression. I explained the nature of their conduct to the Mobed, on which he retired into a corner. That same night there appeared in the air men whose heads reached to the heavens, whilst their feet touched the earth. The people of the city were seized with consternation and desisted from oppressing us, and the merchants at the same time bestowed freedom on those who had been captives for many years.” The Mobed Húshyár relates: “Being in want of a few direms, I went to Yazdán Sitái, the disciple of the Mobed Sarósh; on this he stretched forth his hand, and taking up some broken pottery, formed twenty heaps of it: having breathed on these a few times, they all became gold Mohurs: these he put into my hands, and I disbursed them in the course of my ordinary expenses.” He also relates: “Yazdán Sitái constructed a house of such a kind that, when any one entered, he beheld Pg 117the sun; and when the holy man sat with his friends, he appeared as a crocodile coming to the river-bank, which was about to snatch away all present. He sometimes threw into the fire towels on which the flames had no effect: he frequently repeated something, stirring his lips, and so rendered himself invisible; he used sometimes to appear in the air, and used to say: ‘I am actually at rest, although I appear otherwise.’” Shidosh, the son of Anosh, said: “We were once seated near him when he placed a taper in a basin of water; there immediately appeared some peacocks turning towards the water, plunging their heads into it, and displaying all their beauty, whilst we remained in utter astonishment.” Shidosh also says: “I once beheld him disporting in the midst of a blazing fire.” Nay, the writer of these pages has seen him swallow fire. The Mobed Húshyár says: “He once exhibited a sight, so as to make a house appear filled with serpents and scorpions.” He used also to lay on the breast of a person plunged in sleep, something of such a nature as to make him return an answer to every question proposed to him. The Mobed Húshyár also relates: “I once beheld the Hakim (the Sage) Kamran of Shiraz, in the feast of joy and hospitality made for the reception of an Iraki friend, light a match: on this, all the Lulees[333] Pg 118then in the house stripped themselves naked and began to dance, whilst we looked on at a distance. The sage said: ‘This we have learnt from Yazdan Sitái: as I give no invitation to Lulees, and no others can be prevailed on to commit such indecency, I therefore tried the experiment on the party of them assembled in this place.’” Many other things of a similar nature are related concerning Yazdan Sitái.

Khoda Jói was a native of Herat, who had passed many years in the service of exemplary and holy men; he relates: “I once saw in a vision holy personages come around me and say: ‘Depart and seek a spiritual guide free from prejudice.’ During many years’ search I was unable to discover such a character; but having once seen in a dream, ‘that Azar Kaiván of Istakhar was one of that description:’ I went near him in company with Farzanah Khushi.”

Khoda Jói excelled in the knowledge of Parsi and Arabic; he avoided altogether animal food of every description; he could suppress his breath during four watches (twelve hours), and was in the habit of practising the Hubs-i-dam; he never slept at night, nor ate more than fifty direms weight of Pg 119food. He never gave utterance to a lie, and whatever he stated had reference to exalted objects and pursuits: even these were uttered only at the solicitation of his friends. He is the author of the volume entitled Jám-i-Kai Khusró, “the cup of Kai Khusró,” an admirable commentary on the poetic compositions of Azar Kaiván, and also containing his visions. He arrived in the delightful regions of Kashmir in the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A. D. 1631), where the author met him: in that same year this distinguished personage hastened from this abode of evanescence to the mansions of eternity. Hafiz of Shiraz says:

“O joyous day, when I depart from this abode of desolation;
I then seek my soul’s repose and follow the adored object:[334]
Fluttering about like a solar mote in the atmosphere of that lip,
Until I attain at last to the fountain-head of the radiant sun.”
The Mobed Khushi is the author of the Bazm-Gah (or “banqueting house”), in which treatise when describing the stations of Azar Kaiván’s illustrious disciples and most eminent followers, who are twelve in number; he enumerates them in this order: Ardashír, Kharad, Shiroíyah, Khiradmand, Farhad, Suhrab, Azádah, Bizhen, Isfendiar, Farshidwird, Pg 120Bahman and Rustam: the daily food of each of these individuals was much below ten direms weight: and they carried the austerities recommended by Kaiván to the utmost limit, so that no others of his disciples attained to the same rank as these twelve persons. Of Farhád, Farshídwird, and Bahman, some account has been given in the preceding part of this work.

In the Bazm-gah, Khushi thus states respecting himself: “In the days of my youth, it was my anxious desire to find a spiritual guide. I therefore had recourse to the eminent doctors of Iran, Turan, Room, and Hindustan; that is, to Moslems, Hindoos, Guebers, Christians, and Jews. They all said to me: ‘Quit thy present faith and pass over to us:’ but my heart felt no inclination to change of religion, to adopting another, and abandoning opinions, as they did not afford me sufficient light in the object of my pursuit.

“Whilst a person beholds not the water, why pull off his slippers?”
“Such is the language of the prejudiced; although each of these doctors praised himself as being free from its influence: I afterwards beheld, in a vision, a mighty river from which streams and canals issued forth, all of which after many windings returned back into the same great river, and were confined within its two banks. I abandoned the Pg 121great water, and in order to allay my thirst, directed my steps towards the rivulets in search of water: but as the banks of their channels were difficult of access through slime and mud, and carrying a bowl,[335] I could not reach the stream, and remained in great perplexity. At length my father came up and said: ‘Entreat God to conduct thee to the water.’ A voice then reached my ear: ‘This man has abandoned the river, and directed his face towards the rivulets.’ On my directing my steps towards the river, a blessed Angel said to me: ‘The great river is Azar Kaiván; the small rivulets are the doctors.’ I then knew that the slime and mud of the banks, the bowl, and the rivulets refer to prejudice and envy: therefore, being accompanied by Khoda Jói, I joined myself to Azar Kaiván, and discovered the object of my inquiries.” Hafiz of Shiraz observes:

“Whither can we turn our face from the high-priest’s threshold?
Happiness dwells in his abode, and salvation within that portal.”
Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhád, was called Bahram the Less: the Arzhang Máni (the gallery of Máni) is the production of his genius: he was in attendance on Zu-al-Ulum, but attained to communion Pg 122with God and to perfection, in the service of Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhad. In the year of the Hejirah 1048 (A. D. 1638) the compiler of these pages met with Bahram the Less, the son of Farhad, in the imperial city of Lahore, in perfect health, but in the same year that sage bade adieu to this world. He was a man who found repose in God, and avoided all intercourse with society: he was learned in all the theoretical and practical sciences, and eminently conversant with the languages of Arabia, Persia, Hindustan, and Europe: by him were translated into Persian, that is, into Parsi mixed with Arabic, the works of the Shaikh Ishrák Shuháb ud dín Maktúl, which treated of the Ishrakian tenets; his time was employed in transcribing books, from which source he was obliged to derive his scanty support. He never slept at night; in the year of the Hejirah 1048 (A. D. 1638) the author beheld him with Húshyár at Lahore; during the entire night, the writer of these pages sat in his presence, and from morn until evening Húshyár remained before him; whilst the above-mentioned Farzanah, seated on both knees, with his face to the east, never moved: people have witnessed in him many things of this description. They say that he used to remain seated two or three days after this fashion, neither eating bread nor drinking water; he never laid his back on the ground; his food consisted Pg 123of a small quantity of cow’s milk; his lips were never polluted with any other substance, and even this he swallowed at intervals of two or three days.

“Be thou as a goblet, free from the contamination of body,
Be thou earth in the footsteps of the pure.
As from this earth thou mayst come to dust,
Break through the dust, and attain the human nature.”
The Mobed Paristár, the son of Khurshíd, who was originally of Isfashán, assumed the elements of body in Patna; the Mobed, when a youth, was accepted by divine favour, and through the aid of the Almighty became one of the Yekánah Bín, or “seers of unity.” Having in his early years entered into the service of Azar Kaiván, he obtained a perfect sanctity through the society of his holy master’s disciples. He however devoted himself chiefly to the Mobed Sarósh: he was the author of the Taprah-i-Mobedi, or “the Sacerdotal Kettledrum.” In the year of the Hejirah 1049 (A. D. 1640) he came to Kashmir, where the author of this work was admitted into his society. From the nightfal until sunrise, the Mobed Paristár gave himself up to the Saráíst, which in the celestial language, or the Desatir, they call Faró, or “downward:” this rite, according to them, consists in elevating the feet in the air, and standing on the head; which position is called in Hindi Kapal Asan[336] Pg 124or “head-seat.” He of a sudden quitted the body and entered the bowers of Paradise. A Mobed has said:

“If thou be a wanderer upon the path of spirituality,
Fix not on the (external) robe, the motion of thy heart,
For nothingness will be the dwelling of thy body:
Although in reality thou continuest to move.”
The Mobed Peshkár, the son of Khurshíd, was also born in Patna, and one year younger than Perishtar (his brother). He became unrivalled during his age, in the Hindi chaunts and poems of that sect. He was the servant of the leader Azar Kaiván and his disciples, and whilst in the service of the Mobed Sarósh he attained the knowledge of God, and of himself, and he became eminently divested of prejudice and exempted from human infirmities: being totally unfettered by the bonds or chains of any sect whatever, and studiously shunning the polemic domains of prejudice: in short, the eulogium of one creed and the abhorrence of another, entered not into his system. He came to Kashmir with his elder brother, with the purpose of departing from thence to Kathay: he was noted for the imprisonment of the breath, concerning which the Mobed Húshíyár said: “He once suppressed his breath and plunged into the water, where he remained immersed during two watches (six hours), after which interval he again raised his head above the surface.”

Hemistich: “Wherever he may be, O God, guard him in safety!”
Pg 125Shídosh, the son of Anosh, descended from the prophet Zardusht by his father Anósh, who was styled Farhosh, “the splendor of intellect,” was one of the sincerely devoted disciples of Azar Kaiván: Zarbád was also descended from the same divine apostle Zardúsht, and finally became a man of opulence, although at the beginning of his career he only possessed the pangs of destitution. They both came one day into the presence of Azar Kaiván, and lamented the hardship of their forlorn state; on this Azar replied: “Proceed with a small stock to the quarter of sunrise, traverse the eastern borders, and dispose of it with speed towards the descending sun, as your condition, through this depressed site of difficulty will be changed into the means of affluence.” Nearly at the period of giving these instructions, Azar Kaiván having withdrawn from this earthly tabernacle, hastened to the resting-place of the spheres, and these two Jupiter-like stars, the unrivalled splendor of the world, set out as directed. At length, through the efficacy of Kaiván’s enlightened spirit, the state of these pilgrims continued to obtain an ascendancy, until they became possessed of great opulence. Hafiz says thus:

“They who by a look convert clay into the philosopher’s stone,
What great matter if they bestow a single glance on me.”
After this, Zarbádí sent to Patna an ancient servant, Farrah Kari by name, to conduct his daughter Pg 126to the musk-scented pavilion of Shídósh, the illustrious son of Anósh. After this event, Farrah Kari and Shídósh, proceeded from Patna on a commercial adventure, and formed the plan of setting out from Kashmir to Kashgar: they were however obliged to remain some time in Kashmir: but on the first moment of moving from Patna, there arose in the breast of Shídósh an anxious wish for attaining the knowledge of himself, the investigation of his ancient abode, ascertaining his natural light, and exploring the march of the invisible world: as from the very first, this bright Jupiter, through the entreaty of Kaivan (Saturn) had directed his steps to the region of atoms and the abode of elements of the celestial and terrestrial parents: consequently, when Kaivan had abandoned this bodily frame, he sat down with his disciples,

“Choose thou companions who are better than thyself,
In order that thy understanding and faith may increase.”
He consequently devoted himself to religious exercises, listening in the first place to the voice called in Persian âzád ává “the independent voice,” in Arabic, saut-i-mutluk, or “the absolute sound;” and in Hindi, anáhid. When he had duly practised this rite, he directed his eyes, opened wide between the eyebrows, which in Hindi they call terátuk, until the blessed form of Kaiván was clearly manifested: he next contemplated that form, until it actually was Pg 127never more separated from him; he at last reached the region of intellect, and having passed through the six worlds, arrived in the seventh, and in this state of entrancement obtained admittance to the Almighty presence; so that, during this abstraction from self, the annihilation (of every thing human) and the eternity (of the spiritual) was joined to his existence. Sâdi says:

“O youth! enter thou this very day into the path of obedience,
For to-morrow the vigor of youth comes not from the aged man.”
One morning at the dawn of day he said thus to the author of the Dabistan: “Yesterday in the gloom of night, directed by the light of spirit, I departed from this external body, and arrived at the mysterious illumination ever replete with effulgence: the chamberlain of truth removed from before me the curtains, so that on quitting this mortal nature and leaving the visible world, I traversed the angelic sphere. The supreme independently-existing light of lights became revealed in all the impressive, operative, attributive, and essential radiance of glory: this state of imaginary being disappeared, actual existence was clearly witnessed.” Hafiz says:

“The perfect beauty of my beloved is not concealed by an interposing veil;
O Hafiz, thou art the curtain of the road: remove away.”
Pg 128Shidósh, though far removed from receiving pleasure by dainty food, still appeared always in magnificent dresses: his audience always diffused the fragrance of perfume; he even clad in handsome dresses his head domestic servants, and other dependents, nay his very porter and doorkeeper. He used to say: “My state proceeds from the splendor of Azar Kaiván’s aid: to feel contempt for such a capital would be highly improper; and not to make use of it would be an abomination before my benefactor; for otherwise, I derive no pleasure from fine raiment.” As to his abstinence in point of food, and his shunning of female society, what has been mentioned is sufficient on these heads. Shidosh Bihin was a youth of a finely proportioned person, and beautiful countenance; the following was the rule observed by him: he never attached merit to any strange creed, but endeavoured to divest himself altogether of prejudice, and maintained very little intercourse with the generality of mankind: when he formed an intimacy, on the first day he testified only a small degree of warmth; he exhibited greater attention on the second; so that he daily made greater advances in the path of friendship; progressively increasing his love and affection: as to what has been stated relative to his displaying no great degree of warmth on the first interview, the same proportion obtained when he shewed a decrease Pg 129of warmth to some; that same would be reckoned very great in any other. He always asserted, that in the society of friends, their intercourse must not be separated from meditation on God, as whatever is, is but a radiancy emanating from the sun of his essence: the visible and invisible of the world being only forms of that existence. Rafiah says:

“If angels and demons be formed from one principle,
The husbandman, the spring, the seed, and the field must be the same:
What has his unity to dread from the plurality of the human race?
Although you tie the knot a hundred-fold, there is only a single cord.”
Shidosh was seized with so severe an illness in Kashmir, that his case surpassed the art of the physician: as Urfi says:

“What physician can there be, if the Messiah himself be taken ill?”
All the people about Shidosh were disconsolate, but he remained cheerful of heart, and in proportion as the symptoms became more aggravated, his cheerfulness increased, and he frequently recited these couplets from Hafiz:

“O joyous day, when I depart from this abode of desolation,
Seeking the repose of my soul, and setting out in search of my beloved:
Dancing like a solar mote around the atmosphere of her lips,
Until I reach the fountain-head of the radiant sun.”[337]
On the day of his departure from this temporary halting-place to the eternal mansion of repose and the exalted seat of happiness, his disconsolate friends Pg 130and affectionate domestics were deeply afflicted; but Shidosh retained his cheerfulness and thus addressed them with an expression of delight: “I am not grieved at this disease of body, why then do you grieve? nay ought you not to wish that I, having quitted this gloomy abode of phantasy, should hasten to one beyond the confines of space, and the mansions of intellect may become united to the truly existent and independent (first cause).” The Maulavi Mânavi says thus:

“If death be a human being, say to him, ‘draw near,’
That I may closely fold him in a fond embrace.
From him I extort by force eternal life,
Whilst he but snatches from me the Durvish’s party-colored dress.”
He then lifted up his hands and directing his face to heaven, the Kiblah of prayer, recited the following blessed couplets front the Sahifah al Auliya, “volume of the Saints,” written by the Imam Muhammed Nur Baksh.

“Whether we are directors or guides[338]
Still do we want to be guided, on account of the infancy of our steps.
We are but solitary drops from the ocean of existence,
However much we possess of divine revelation and proof.
I am far from the great reservoir of drops,
Convey me, O God, to the boundless ocean of light!”
Pg 131On reciting these lines he closed his eyes. The Shaikh Abúlfaiz Faiyazi says on this subject:

“The drop became a fountain, and the fountain grew into a river,
Which river became reunited to the ocean of eternity.”
This event occurred in the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A. D. 1629): his affectionate friends expressed their grief in the following manner:

“Thy brilliant hues still exist in the parterre,
Thy fragrance still survives in the jessamine;
The sight of thee is put off to the day of resurrection;
It is well: but it forms the theme of many a tale.”
The author also in his elegy on Shídósh thus expresses his grief:

“Since Shídósh departed from my sight
That which was a receptacle of eyes became a receptacle of rivers;
Had my eyes been a channel, they would have become a river-bed:
The resting place of the bird was the paradisian sphere:
From this lowly nest he departed to the nest on high.
He was truly free and sought no stores except those of holy freedom.
He abandoned his body to corporeal matter, and his spirit joined the spiritual region.
His soul was united to the sublime being, the creator of souls,
Soaring beyond the limits of heaven, earth, and time.”
If the author attempted to describe the learned and pious Abádíyán who were seen in the Dadistan Aursah,[339] this treatise would never be brought to a conclusion; he now therefore proceeds to mention Pg 132some others, who though professing a faith different from the Yezdánián or Abadíyán, yet walked according to the institutes of Kaiván’s disciples, and attained their great object, the knowledge of God: and although this class is too numerous to be fully described, a few of the eminent personages are now about to be mentioned.

Mahummed Alí, of Shiraz was the fellow-student of Shah Futtah Allah, and he traced his family to Azar Kaiván: he however attained perfection through the society of Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhád, and had also traversed the seven climes. A thief came to his house one night, on perceiving whom Muhammed Alí pretended to fall asleep on his carpet, so that the robber might not suppose him to be awake, and continue his pursuits without apprehension. The robber searched the house carefully, but as all the effects were concealed in a secure place, he was unable to get at them. On this Muhammed raising his head, said to him: “I laid myself down to sleep, that thou mightst accomplish thy desires, whereas thou art in despair: be no longer uneasy.” He then arose and pointed out the place where all the things were stored away: in consequence of this generous proceeding, the robber abandoned his infamous profession, and became a virtuous character.

Muhammed Said of Isfahan was a Saiyid descended Pg 133from Husain, who attained his great object through Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhad. He once said to the author: “The first time I obtained the honor of admittance to the audience of the distinguished Farzanah, he rose up on seeing me, and showed the proper respect due to an honorable person, directing me to be seated on the most distinguished couch. Some time after, entered a naked Fakir, but Farzanah Bahram moved not from his place, but pointed him to a seat in the slipper-repository. I felt this scruple; surely the highest distinction is due to the Durvish. Farzanah then turning his face to the wall, which was ornamented with paintings, said: ‘O, lifeless figure, thou art seated on high; but external form confers not distinction; but Durvishes enjoy a rank, when their bodies are under the control of their souls,[340] and their souls united with the supreme object of love; even in this assembly they are seated with me in my heart.’ On hearing this, I turned into the right road.” In the year of the Hejirah 1045 (A. D. 1634), he abandoned this elemental frame in Lahore.

Ashur Beg Karamanlu is also one of those who obtained the gift of spiritual intelligence through Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhad, notwithstanding Pg 134the total absence of regular studies: by the exertion of his innate powers, he, like the other Yekanah Bin “seers of one God,” attained communion with God. In the year of the Hejirah 1048 (A. D. 1636) the author conversed with him in Kashmir, and inquired into the nature of his intercourse with Bahram. He answered: “I went by way of experiment to Farzanah, and he thus directed me: ‘Whether alone or in a crowd, in retirement or in public, every breathing which issues forth must proceed from the head; and on this point there must be no inattention.’ He also said: ‘Guard the internal breath as long as thou canst, directing thy face to the pine-formed heart, until the invocation be performed by the heart in the stomach; also thy invocation should be thus: ‘God! God!’ Meditate also on this sentiment: ‘O Lord! none but thou forms the object of my desire!’ When I had duly practised this, and found its impressive influence, then from the bottom of my heart I sincerely sought God. After some time he enjoined me to practise the Tawajjah-i-Talkín, ‘turning to instruction:’ that is: ‘keep thy soul in the presence of God, divested of letters and sounds, whether Arabic or Persian, never removing thy mind from the ‘pine-formed heart.’ By conforming to these instructions, I have come at last to such a state, that the world and its inhabitants are but as a Pg 135shadow before me; and their very existence as the appearance of the vapor of the desert.’”

He was truly a man who had entirely withdrawn from all external employments and concerns; never mixing with the people of the world. If a person deposited food before him, he took only the quantity he thought proper, and gave away the remainder; he never polluted his hand with money in gold, silver, or copper; and he frequently passed two or three days altogether without food and never requested any thing.

Mahmud Beg Timan, so called from the Timan tribe of Arang in Lahore, joined himself also to Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhad, and as the precepts of that sage were entirely congenial to his mind, he commenced his religious profession under him, and became one of the Yekanah Bin, “seer of one God,” and “knowing God:” thus without the aid of books he attained to the knowledge of the Lord, and notwithstanding the absence of written volumes, discovered the actual road. In the year of the Hejirah 1048 (A. D. 1637), whilst in Kashmir, coming out of his cell one day, he saw before him a wounded dog, moaning piteously; as the animal was unable to move, he therefore sold the only two objects he possessed, his carpet for prayer and his rosary, with the proceeds of which he purchased remedies for the dog. That same year, he said to Pg 136the author: “On the first day of turning my heart to the mental invocation of God, I had scarcely performed it ten times, when an evident influence was manifested: at the moment of the first part, called nafi, of the sentence, my human existence disappeared; at the time of the second, called asbat, a determined sign of divine grace became visible: my sentence was this: ‘There is no God, but God.’”[341] After this manner, several of this sect, by the diligent practice of faith, attained to the knowledge of God.

Musa and Harun were two Jews, to whom Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhad, gave these names: they were distinguished by a profound knowledge of their own faith, and highly celebrated among the Rabbins, who are a particular sect of Jewish teachers. On their introduction into Bahram’s society, they were fascinated by his manners, and through his system of faith acquired the knowledge of themselves. They applied themselves to commerce, and neither in buying or selling did a falsehood proceed from their lips, as is the custom of merchants. They have thus recorded: “To whomsoever Bahram, the son of Farhad, uttered a single word about the Pg 137path of religion, he became immediately fascinated by his manner: also whoever beheld him felt an attachment to him; even the hardened infidel who approached him, humbled himself, and we have often witnessed such events: for example, the Mulla Muhammed Sáid of Samarkand, who was our intimate friend, through excess of prejudice hurried once to revile him: at that moment, Bahram had retired from Lahore into a burying-ground: when the Mulla approached, he found himself irresistibly impelled to run forward and laid his face on Bahram’s feet: and on Bahram’s addressing a few words to him, immediately embraced his faith. I afterwards questioned the Mulla about the exact nature of this conversion from infidelity, and he replied: ‘I no sooner beheld him than I fell at his feet; and when he addressed a few words to me, I became enraptured with him.’ The Mullah always styled Bahram ‘the plunderer of hearts.’”

One day the author asked Musa, “is Kasun thy brother?” he replied, “people say so.” I then asked, “who is your father?” he answered, “our mother knows that.”

Antun Bushuyah Wávaraj[342] was a Frank, zealous in the Christian faith, and also possessed of great Pg 138property; through divine aid, he conceived an attachment to the society of Durvishes, and for the purpose of acquiring knowledge held frequent conferences with them: through his having discovered the path pointed out by the son of Furhad, he altogether resigned his worldly concerns, assumed the profession of a Kalander,[343] and denied himself the use of clothes: Farzanah always called him “Messiah.” He used to appear perfectly naked, and never wore clothes either summer or winter: he abstained altogether from animals of every description: he never solicited any thing, but if a person brought food or drink before him, if it were not animal food, he would eat part of it. One day, although an evil-disposed person smote him so that his limbs were wounded, yet he never even looked at his oppressor; when his persecutor had departed, I, the author, came up as the people were speaking of the injury inflicted on him; on my enquiring the particulars from himself, he replied: “I am not distressed for my own bodily suffering, but that person’s hands and fists must have suffered so much.” The Imam Kali Warastah, “the humble,” says:

“If the thorn break in my body, how trifling the pain!
But how acutely I feel for the hapless broken thorn!”
Pg 139Ram Bhót, a Hindu, was a learned Brahmin of Benares; on joining the son of Farhad, he desisted altogether from his former rites, and began to follow the path pointed out by Bahrám. The Mobed Hoshyar says: “I have often heard wonderful stories concerning him; a person named Muhammed Yakub was so ill, that the physicians having given up all hopes of his cure, his relations, in their affliction, had recourse to an ignorant woman who reckoned herself a skilful personage: I went one day near Ram Bhót, and found him reposing his head on his knee, on which this reflection passed across my mind: ‘if Ram Bhót be one of the elect, he can tell whether Muhammed Yakub is to remain or pass away.’ He raised up his head, and looking on me with a smile, said: ‘God only knows the hidden secrets; however, Muhammed Yakub is not to depart: in another week he will be restored to health.’ And truly the thing came to pass as he had declared.” Through his guidance Ram Chand, a Kshatri, one of the chiefs of the Sahan Sakal, adopted the faith: and through the instruction of these two individuals, many of their tribe embraced the independent faith as promulgated by the son of Farhad. The word Sah[344] in Hindi is applied to “a possessor or powerful person,” and Pg 140the Sahkal[345] are a division of the Kshatri, an Indian cast or tribe. In reality, if the writer attempted to enumerate the numbers of different nations who zealously adopted the doctrines and ritual of Bahram, this work would become exceedingly prolix; he must therefore resist from such an undertaking. The author of these pages has heard from Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhad, as stated on the authority of Farzanah Bahram, the son of Farhad, that one day the Shaikh Bahá-ud-din Mohammed Amali, who was a Mujtahad, “a champion,” of the sectaries of Alí, came near Kaiván and obtained an interview: having thus become acquainted with Kaiván’s perfection and wisdom, he was exceedingly rejoiced and happy, and recited this tetrastich:

“In the kâbah and the firetemple the perfect saint performed his rounds,
And found no trace of any existence (save that of God);
As the splendor of the Almighty sheds its rays in every place,
Knock thou either at the door of the kâbah or the portals of the temple.”
After this interview, he became the diligent follower of Kaiván, and resorted to the disciples of the Master of all Sciences.

Mir Abulkasim Fandaraski also, through his intercourse with Kaiván’s disciples, became an adorer of the sun, refraining from cruelty towards all living Pg 141creatures. It is well known that being once asked: “Why dost not thou in obedience to the law go on the pilgrimage to Mecca?” He replied: “I go not on this account, as I must there slaughter a sheep with my own hand.” At present the author proceeds to describe with the pen of truth a summary of the institutes of the Amézish, “intercourse,” held by the Abadian Durveshes with society. Those who adopt this rule call it the Amèzish-i-Farhang, or “the intercourse of science,” and Mèzchar, or “Stranger’s remedy.” When a stranger to their faith is introduced to one of their assemblies, far from addressing harsh observations to him, they pass eulogiums on his tenets, approve whatever he says, and do not omit to lavish on him every mark of attention and respect: this conduct proceeds from the fundamental article of their creed, as they are convinced that in every mode of belief, its followers may come to God: nay, if those of a different faith should present them a request respecting some object about which they disagree, that is, solicit some act by which they may approach God, they do not withhold their compliance. They do not enjoin a person to abandon his actual profession of faith, as they account it unnecessary to give him useless pain of mind. Moreover when any one is engaged in concerns with them, they withhold not their aid from his society and support, but practise towards Pg 142him to the utmost extent of their ability, whatever is most praiseworthy in this world and the next: they are also on their guard against indulging in sentiments of prejudice, hatred, envy, malice, giving pre-eminence to one faith above another, or adopting one creed in preference to another. They also esteem the learned, the Durvishes, the pure of life, the worshippers of God in every religion, as their trusty friends; neither styling the generality of mankind wicked, nor holding worldly-minded persons in abhorrence: they observe, “what business has he who desires not this world’s goods to abhor the world?” for the sentiment of abhorrence can proceed from the envious alone. They neither communicate their secrets to strangers, nor reveal what another communicates to them.

A person named Mihráb was among the disciples who followed the son of Farhad, in the year of the Hejirah 1047 (A. D. 1637); the author, who was then in Kashmir, thus heard from Muhammad Fál Hasîrî: “I once beheld Mihráb standing in the high road, at the moment when a Khorasánian, seizing on an old man by force, obliged him to labor for him without recompense, and placed a heavy burden on his head: at this Mihráb’s heart so burned within him, that he said to the Khorasánian, ‘Withdraw thy hand from this old man, that I may bear the burden whithersoever thou Pg 143desirest.’ The Khorasánian was astonished, but Mihráb, without paying any farther attention to this, took the poor man’s load on his head, and went along with his unjust oppressor, and on his return from that person’s house showed no symptoms of fatigue. On my observing to him, ‘This oppressor has heaped affliction on a holy priest and judge like thee!’ he replied, ‘What could a helpless person do? the load must be conveyed to his house, and he was unable to place it on his shoulders, as it was unbecoming for him; nor was he able to give money (which is difficult to be procured) in payment of his labour: he of course seized on some one to perform his work. I applaud him for granting my request, and feel grateful to the old man for complying with my wishes, suffering me to take his place, and transferring his employment to myself.’”

Hafiz of Shiraz thus expresses himself:

“The heavens themselves cannot remove the weight confided to us;
The lot of labour fell to my hapless name.”
Máh Ab, the younger brother of the above Mihráb, was seen by the compiler of this work in attendance on the son of Farhad, and in the year of the Hejirah 1048 (A. D. 1638) he thus heard from the Mulla Mahdi of Lahóre: “Bahram having one day sent him on some errand to the bazar, he happened to pass by the house of a person in the service of Pg 144Alim Uddin of Halsub, styled Wazir Khan; the soldier was then chastising his slave, saying: ‘Thou hast fraudulently sold one of my captives.’ Máháb coming near the soldier, said to him: ‘Withdraw thy hand from this slave, and accept me in place of him who has run away.’ Nay, this request was so importunately urged, that the soldier finally accepted the offer and desisted from beating his slave. However, when the soldier had discovered Máháb’s spiritual gifts, he permitted him to return home, but Máháb would not quit him. A week after this event, Farhad said in my presence, ‘I know not where Máháb is;’ on which, resting his head on his knees, he directed his heaven-contemplating attention to the subject, and the instant after, raising up his head, said: ‘Máháb is in the service of a certain soldier, and has voluntarily resigned his person to servitude.’ He forthwith proceeded to the soldier’s abode and brought back Máháb.” Many similar transactions are recorded of these sectaries. Muhammed Shariz, styled Amir ul Umra,[346] a Shirazi by descent, thus says:

“Through auspicious love we make perfect peace in both worlds,
Be thou an antagonist, but experience nothing but love from us.”
Pg 145It is to be observed that Halsub is a place in one of the districts of the Parjab.

A short notice of the Amîzesh-i Farhang, or institute of the Abadíyah Durveshes, having been thus given, we next proceed to describe with the pen of truth the chiefs and rulers of that religion. But it is always to be borne in mind that the faith of the princes of Persia, whether of the Abadian, Jaian, Shaian, Yesani-an, nay of the Peshdadian, Kaianian, Ashkanian, and Sassanian dynasties was such as has been described; and although the system of Zardusht obtained the pre-eminence, yet they have by means of glosses reconciled his faith with that professed by Abad, Kaiomars, and the system of Húshang, called the Farhang Kesh or “excellent faith;”[347] they regarded with horror whatever was contrary to the code of Abád, which they extolled by all means in their power, as Parviz the son of Hormuz,[348] in his Pg 146answer to the Roman emperor, thus expresses himself:

“We feel no shame in professing our ancient faith,
No other creed in this world can compete with that of Húshang.
The whole object of this code consists in promoting justice and love:
And contemplating the numbers of the celestial spheres.”
They give Máhábád the names of Azar Húshang, A Húshang, Húshang, and A Hosh. It is also recorded, that the Almighty bestowed on the princes of Ajam[349] prudence, sagacity, and perfection of intellect, whereby their theories were connected with practical results, and their words quite in harmony with their deeds, so that their rule over this revolving world for so many thousand years was entirely owing to the efficacy of the above-mentioned principles and covenants.

[316] Edit. of Calcutta: در و چون بسی برتری يافتم In one manuscript: وچون بسی برتری يافتم. In the manuscript of Oude: درون چون بسی برتری يافتم. The first is best.

[317] Edit. of Calcutta and the manuscript of Oude have: سروشی بتابيد آهرمنی. Two other manuscripts: سروشی نپايدء و آهرمنی. The latter seems to be the better reading.

[318] Edit. of Calcutta and the manuscript of Oude: فراموش; two other manuscripts, مرا هوش—the better reading by far.

[319] Two manuscripts have ز between خود and سايه; the edit. of Calcutta and the manuscript of Oude have خود سايه.

[320] The text has:

بدان ره که رفتم شدم سوی تن
بعد ايزدی فره زان انجمن
Izedi means any thing given for God’s sake, or as one’s due; here it seems to signify a divine gift. يزد, ايزد, ized, also يزدان, yezdan, is the name of God, and may be derived from ईश, ísa, “to possess power,” ईष, ísha, “to give,” इष, isha, to wish, or according to Hyde (p. 159), from يشتن, ishten, “supplicare, intercedere.” Ized is also light, purity; it is the name of good spirits, created for the good of the world, and appointed to protect individuals.—A. T.

[321] In the Gulshen raz, a poem quoted in our note p. 82, this idea is expressed in several verses, of which the following:

جهان از عقل و نفس و چرخ و اجرام
جون يک قطره دان زاغاز و انجام
“The world, which is composed of intellect, soul, heavens, and bodies,
Know them to be as a drop from beginning to end.”
Room is wanted for quoting, as a curious coincidence with this image, four beautiful strophes of Klopstock, from his ode “Die Frühlingsfeyer,” the Festivity of Spring.—A. T.

[322] This verse has already been quoted, page 6.

[323] Allusion is here made to the four immediate successors of Mohammed; these were Abubeker, Omár, Osman, and Alí.

The first who took the title of khalif, that is “lieutenant of the Prophet,” was Abdallah, better known by the name of ابو بِکْر, Abúbeker, “Father of the Virgin,” so called because Aíshá, his daughter, was the only one of Mohammed’s wives who had not been before married to another man. He was also distinguished by the title of صديق sadik, or “the faithful witness,” given to him because he, the first Muselman after Mohammed’s preaching, attested the miracle of the Prophet’s ascension to heaven. It was he who collected the verses of the Koran, which were written upon separate leaves, into one volume, called Almoshaf, “the book by excellence,” the original text of which was deposited in the hands of Hafsat, daughter of Omar and widow of Mohammed. After a reign of two years and three months, he died in the year 13 of the Hejira, 634 A. D., not without having named his successor.

This was Omar Ben al-Khetab, known under the title of فاروق, fárúk´, “the separator,” so called by Mohammed, because he had separated the head from the body of a Muselman who, not satisfied with the decision which the Prophet had given in a law-suit, came to submit the case to Omar’s revision. Under Abubeker’s khalifat, Omar acted as chief of justice, or chancellor. As khalif he was the first who took the title of امير ألمومنين, Emir al-Mu´mením, “prince or commander of the faithful,” which title devolved to all his successors. He conquered Syria, Chaldæa, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Egypt, and built the town of Bassora at the mouth of the Tigris, in order to prevent the Persians from taking the route to India by the gulph of Persia. After a reign of ten years he was killed by the hand of a Persian slave, who, having complained of his master’s cruelty to him, did not receive the expected redress. Omar, a judge cruel but just, would not fix the right of succession upon his son, but wishing to keep the khalifat elective, named six persons, called اهل الشوري, ahel al-shurah, “people of council,” who should choose a khalif among themselves.

Among these were Osman and Ali. After a hard contest between these two competitors, the former, supported by his four colleagues, was proclaimed khalif at the end of the year 23, or the beginning of 24 of the Hejira, 643 or 644 A. D. Osman Ben Affan was called by his partisans ذو النورين, zo ul naráin, “the possessor of two lights,” because he had married Rakíah and Omm al Kachúm, both daughters of Mohammed, whose prophecy was supposed to be the source of light diffused over his whole posterity. Osman published the Koran such as it was in the original text, deposited (as was before said) in the hands of Hafsat, one of Mohammed’s widows, and he caused all copies, differing from this one, to be suppressed. The domination of the Mohammedans was established and extended, to the east, in Khorassen and in Upper Asia; to the west, over the whole northern coast of Africa and even a part of Spain, during this khalif’s reign, which, after eleven years, terminated by his violent death in an insurrection which took place against him in Egypt.

The Egyptians offered the government to Ali. As before mentioned, he was one of the six persons named by Omar as fit for the khalifat, which Ali claimed as his right, being the cousin-german and son-in-law (husband of Fatima, the eldest daughter) of Mohammed, and thus the head of the family of the Hashemites, who were distinguished by the name of “the house of the Prophet.” After Osman’s death, Ali was by his party proclaimed the head of the Muselmans. His title was اسد الله الغالب, assad allah al-ghaleb, “the lion of God, the victorious.” Possessed of great learning, he composed several celebrated works in prose and in verse, although he had to sustain a continual struggle with the adverse party. He was assassinated in Kufa, in the year 40 of the Hejira, 660 A. D. After him, his sons Hassan and Hossain (see note 3, pp. 47-48) fell victims to Moavia, a relation of Osman, and the mortal enemy of the whole race of Ali. The contest between these two parties was, after the death of their chiefs, carried on by their numerous adherents, and, connected as it is with some difference in their religious opinions and rites, continues to our days. Ali is acknowledged the head of the شيعة, Shiâts, which word means in general “a troop, a party,” but is particularly applied to those who believe that the Imamat, or the supreme dignity over the Muselmans, belongs by right to Alí and his descendants, who call themselves Aladiliats, or “the party of the just.” Opposed to them are the Sonnites, so called from the Arabic word sonnat, which signifies “precept, rule,” or the orthodox faith of Muselmans, comprehending the traditional laws relative to whatever has not been written by the great legislator (see Herbelot, sub voc.).—A. T.

[324] Zu-l-Ulum, “master of sciences,” was a title of Kaiván.

[325] Nushirvan, called by the Arabs Kesra, by the Persians Khosru, is reckoned by some authors the 19th (by others the 20th) Persian king of the Sassáníán dynasty, which, according to different opinions, was composed of 31, 30, or 29 princes, and lasted 527, 500, or 431 years. Nushirvan reigned from 531 to 579 after J. C. He was called “the just:” from the outside of his palace to his room was drawn a chain, by the motion of which he could have notice of any complainant who wanted redress. He was victorious in the east and west of Asia; he destroyed the prophet Mazdak (of whom see hereafter, section XV); he brought from India to Persia the fables of Pilpay, called Anvarí Sohíli, “the Canopian lights,” and a game similar to chess. During his reign Mohammed was born. Nushirvan’s favorite minister, Buzerg-Mihr, called also Buzer-Jmihr, was famous for virtue and wisdom; about both these personages a great number of marvellous and fabulous accounts forms the matter of favorite poems in the East.—A. T.

[326] Ardeshir Babegan was the first king, and founder of the IVth dynasty of Persian kings, called the Sasssáníáns, or the Khosroes. His father was Sassan, a descendant of another Sassan, the son of Bahman Isfendiar, the 6th king of the IId Persian dynasty, called the Kayánian. The latter Sassan was reduced to a low station, having become the shepherd of Babek, a wealthy man, whose daughter he married;—he had by her a son named Ardeshir, who took the name of his maternal grandfather (which is to be noted as an Indian custom): hence he was called Babegan. He is identified with the Artaxerxes of the Greeks, a contemporary of the Roman emperor Commodus (A. D. 180-193). The epoch of his reign is one of the most uncertain points of Persian history. It may be fixed from the year 200 to 240 of the Christian era.—A. T.

[327] The 5th Sassan, above mentioned, is said to be the last of fifteen Persian prophets, the first of whom was Mahábad, and the 13th Zoroaster. The fifth Sassan lived in the time of Khosru Parviz, who reigned, the 21st or 22nd king of the Sassáníáns, from 591 to 628 of the Christian era. We read in the Persian preface of the Desatir, that five years after the death of Khosru Parviz (that is in the year 634), the Persian empire being shaken by the conquests of the Arabs, the fifth Sassan translated the Desatir. The English preface of the same work states, that “he died only nine years before the destruction of the ancient Persian monarchy,” or nine years before 652, which would be in the year 643 of our era. It appears from the Desatir (English transl. p. 192), that the fifth Sassan, not less than his father, the fourth Sassan, was attached to the king Parviz, of whom he says (ibid. p. 202): “From the wickedness of mankind did it arise that such an angel-tempered king was taken from the Hirtasis (Persia).”—A. T.

[328] Bahrám Gur (Varanes V), the son of Yezdejird badkar (the iniquitous), was educated out of Persia. After the death of his father, the throne having been given to Kisra, a stranger, Bahram came to dispute the crown, which he proposed should be placed between two famished lions, and belong to him who should seize it there. Kisra accepted the proposal, but would not attempt the first to snatch what he already possessed. Bahram then, after having killed the fierce animals, took and kept the prize with universal applause. He was the 13th (or 14th) king of the Sássáníans. After having repulsed an invasion of the Turks, and secured his empire, he left Persia, and travelled in disguise to India in search of adventures; by a series of daring actions, he gained a great reputation, and the hand of an Indian princess, with whom, after two years of absence, he returned to Persia. Fortunate in war against Greeks and Arabians, he lost his life in a hunting party, after a reign of 23 (some say 18) years, which is placed from 420 to 438 of our era.—A. T.

[329] This passage is very obscure—the occurrences here mentioned must have been local.—D. S.

[330] Akbar Abad (Akbar’s town) was Agra.

[331] Sadah is the name of the 16th night of the Persian month Bahman (the 11th of the year, January). This night is solemnized by fires lighted in towns and in the fields (Herbelot).—A. T.

[332] Jamasp, a great priest of the religion of Zoroaster, and supposed author of a Persian work upon the great conjunctions of the planets, and upon the events which they produce. This work was translated into Arabic by Lalí, in the year 1280 of our era. According to the Shah-namah and to some historians, Jamasp was the brother of Gustasp, the Vth Persian king of the Péshdadían dynasty (Herbelot). In the book Múgjizat Farsi (see Hyde, Prefatio), Jamasp is the VIth of ten Persian prophets, who are enumerated as follows: I. Feridun; II. Alexander; III. Anushirvan; IV. Baheramgor; V. Rustam; VI. Jamasp; VII. Buzurgjmihr; VIII. Barbud; IX. an anonymous sculptor of the beautiful horse Shabdiz, which had belonged to king Parviz; X. Ferhad, a celebrated architect, enamoured of Shírín, the wife of Parviz.—A. T.

[333] The Lulees in Persia and in other parts of Asia are women of the same description as the dancing girls in India, devoted to pleasure, and exercising their art of pleasing at all festivals, public and private.—A. T.

[334] These verses of Hafiz, p. 56, edit. of Calcutta, are again quoted, p. 6, of the same edit.; but instead of ازپی جانام; which occur in the first of these pages, we find in the last درپی جانام; which last reading was adopted.—A. T.

[335] چمچمہ chamchamah, “a skull,” answers to कपाल kapála, which signifies skull, and a skull-like bowl, in which beggars receive alms.—A. T.

[336] कपाल आसन.

[337] These verses have been quoted before, page 119.

[338] Mahdí, “guide,” in the original is perhaps an allusion to the name of the twelfth and last Imam of the race of Alí. The Persians believe that he is still living, and will appear with the prophet Elias at the second coming of Jesus Christ, and will be one of the two witnesses mentioned in the Apocalypse (Herbelot).—A. T.

[339] The printed copy reads داد ستان اورسه, and the manuscripts داد ستان داورشه and داد ستان داورسه, the MS. of Oude has داد ستان سُه داور.

[340] The printed copy reads درپای جان, the MSS., with that of Oude, have درپای ما جان.

[341] This corresponds to the Arabic: la ila hah illilla; the first part of which, la ila hah, “there is no God,” is called nafi, “negation;” the other part, illi la, “but God,” is called asbát, “confirmation.” To which is added: Mohammed resul ulla, “Muhammed is his prophet.”—A. T.

[342] The two MSS. read Antun pashutah dakardaj; the MS. of Oude, Anton pashuyah.

[343] A Kalander is a person of religious pretensions, a sort of durvish not generally approved by the Muhammedans—(Herbelot).

[344] Perhaps सहस् sahas, “strength, power, light.”—A. T.

[345] Perhaps सकुल sakula, “having a family.”—A. T.

[346] Amir signifies “commander, chief, prince.” This title was once borne by sovereigns, but in the course of time was changed for that of Sultan, it remained a title given only to princes, their sons. Amir ul Omra signifies “the commander of commanders” (Herbelot).—A. T.

[347] The Persians pretend to have (see my note, p. 32, and Hyde, Prefatio) a book more ancient than the writings of Zoroaster, called Jávídán Khirid, “the eternal wisdom,” which treats of practical philosophy, and the author of which is supposed to have been Húshang.—A. T.

[348] Khosro Parviz was the grandson of Nushirvan, mentioned in our note, page 105, as contemporary of the fifth Sasan, the translator and commentator of the Desatir. Parviz, soon after having taken possession of his father’s throne, was driven out of Persia by a fortunate usurper, called Bahram Ju´bín, and took refuge in the court of the Greek emperor Mauritius, from whom he obtained not only protection, but also the hand of his daughter named Mary by some, and by others Shírin, and a powerful army to recover the kingdom of Persia. According to Eben Batrik (see Herbelot), it was after having been restored to his sovereignty, that he sued for marriage with the daughter of Mauritius, who answered that he could not grant his daughter, unless the Persian monarch adopted the Christian faith. The verses in the text seem to refer to this circumstance, but express at the same time a strong attachment of Parviz to the ancient religion of his country, whilst, according to the Arabian author just quoted, this prince apostatised, in spite of his opposing grandees, for the sake of the beautiful Shirín, for whom he had conceived an irresistible passion. Mauritius, his father-in-law, having been put to death, with all his children except one son, Parviz endeavoured to replace this remaining son upon the throne of his father. At first successful against Phocas, he was defeated by Heraclius, the successor of the Greek emperor; he lost all his conquests, his reputation, his liberty, and at last his life, by a parricide, his son and successor, Shiruyah or Sirocs.—A. T.

[349] Ajem includes all Asia except Arabia. The Arabians, as formerly the Greeks, call the inhabitants of all countries except their own, Barbarians; but here, and elsewhere, the author takes Ajem for Persia.—A. T.

Pg 147
The third section of the Dabistan explains the laws of the Paímán-i-Farhang (excellent covenant) and the Hirbed Sár (the pure Highpriest).

The Paiman-i-Farhang is the code of Máhábád, of which many translations have been made; one of them is that made by Faridun, the son of Abtin: another; that of Buzurg-Mihr[350] for the use of Nushirvan, the son of Kobad; some extracts from these have been given in the present work. The Yazdanian, “godly,” who are also called Sahi Kesh, “flourishing faith,” and Sipásî, “adorers,” maintain that the most exalted of the prophets, the mightiest of kings, and the sire of the human race which exists in this cycle was Máhábád, whom they also call Azar Hushang, “the fire of wisdom.” They also say that it is thus recorded in the code of this venerable personage, which is the word of God; and that moreover, this mighty prince has himself expressly announced that the Divine Essence, which has no equal, is totally devoid and divested of all form and figure; incapable of being the object of Pg 148conception or similitude: also that the tropes of the most eloquent orators, the illustrations of the most enlightened and profound geniuses, are utterly unable to convey a clear idea of the light, which has neither perceptible color nor sign: the sublime speculations of the learned and the discriminating understandings of the sage are too feeble to comprehend the substance of the pure essence of that light, which is without equal, quality, color, or model: also that all existences have proceeded from the bounty and wisdom of the Almighty, and are consequently his creation: that not a single atom in this world, nor even the motion of a hair on the body of a living creature escapes his knowledge: all which propositions are proved by evident demonstrations deduced from various premises, and accompanied by excellent commentaries, the enumeration of which this abridged treatise cannot admit. Also that the cognizance of the self-existent God extends alike to the most minute particles of matter and the entire universe.

Description of the great Angels of the first order.—In the code of the great apostle Máhábád it is thus stated; the work of God is above the power of the tongue, and infinitely exceeds the calculations to which the inhabitants of this lower elemental world have recourse: the operations of the Eternal are from eternity to eternity: they assign the name Pg 149of Bahman[351] to the first Angel whom the Almighty invested with the mantle of existence, and through the medium of whom it was communicated to others. The planets, fixed stars, and heavens have each their peculiar conservative Angel; also the four elements below the lunar sphere have four conservative Angels, and in like manner all productions connected with them: for example, in minerals there are many precious stones, such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds of every kind, which are under the dominion of their good, munificent, protecting Angel: and so on with respect to all species of vegetable and animal productions. The name given to the conservative angel of mankind is Farun Faro Vakhshúr.[352]

Pg 150Description of the second order of Angels.—The code of Máhábád states that the second rank is assigned to the Angels connected with bodies: that is, every heaven and every star has a simple uncompounded spirit, bare of matter, as it is neither a body nor material: also that all living beings in the world have an uncompounded soul.

Description of the third order of Angels.—It is stated in the code of Máhábád, that angelic beings of the third rank are the same as the superior and inferior bodies. The superior bodies are those of the sphere and the stars; and the inferior the four (guhar) elements. The most noble of all bodies are those of the sphere.

Description of the gradations of Paradise.—The code of Máhábád states thus: “In the Mînú or ‘azure heaven’ there are many gradations, we shall first enumerate the gradations of Paradise in this lower world. The first gradation consists of minerals, such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and the like; the second of vegetation, such as plane trees, cypress, gardens, etc.; the third of animals, such as the Arab horse, the camel, and such like; the fourth consisting of selected individuals amongst men, such as princes and those connected with that class, persons in the enjoyment Pg 151of health, the contented, and such like; all which gradations they call Mînú Sár, ‘celestial abode,’ and Bîst Lád,[353] that is, Feróden feró, ‘the low foundation.’” In these states there is a retrospect; for example, there is one man who in relation to his deeds gradually descends to the animal state; whilst the terrene particles of virtuous men’s bodies change either to the vegetable state or that of the choicest minerals, however without the existence of an incorporeal soul in either of them. On ascending from this state, the change is called Lim Sar, or “dwelling on high;” the first is the lunar step; for in the soul of the exalted moon are the forms of all those beings into which the elements enter. A person on arriving there remains in it, becoming the regent of all the lower world, and in proportion to his knowledge and the habits resulting from his laudable qualities, assumes a better form. On arriving at a higher rank than this, he finds augmented delight as far as the solar step; for the sun is the Pirah-i-Yazdan, or “the ornament of God,” that is, the viceroy of the Lord and sovereign of the stars, whose gracious influence pervades both high and low. On leaving this and passing through the various gradations to the empyreal heaven, every step becomes more delightful and excellent. On Pg 152ascending beyond the great sphere, he arrives at the curtain[354] of the great Angels and contemplates the Lord of the light of lights surrounded by angels: no state can surpass the beatitude and glory of this gradation, which is called the Mînúiván Mînú, or “heaven of heavens.”

Description of the infernal regions.—The code of Máhábád states thus: Hell is situated under the sphere of the moon:[355] the first step consisting of minerals in mis-shapen masses, or stones without worth; of plants, thorny and vile and poisonous herbage; of living creatures, such as ants, serpents, and scorpions; and of men labouring under indigence, sickness, feebleness, ignorance, and disgrace: in this step man is punished for whatever evil actions he has committed, and escapes not without due retribution. However, the severest gradation of the infernal regions is that of mental anguish, which is appropriated to the irreligious philosophers, for when his elemental body is dissolved, they do not assign him another; so that he finds not his way to heaven, but remains in the lower elemental world, consumed by the flames of anguish: besides, in consequence of his detestable qualities, his tormentors pounce Pg 153upon him in the shape of serpents, scorpions, and other such plagues. This state they denominate Puchán-i-Púch, or “the hell of hells.”

The code of Máhábád also states, that whatever occurs in this elemental world proceeds entirely from the planets; so that their adoration, next to that of the Almighty, becomes an indispensable duty: for these luminaries approach near the palace of the Almighty, and the chiefs of the court of eternity. In this world, whoever draws near the seat of grandeur, must have a friend to sound his praise, which is a measure much to be commended. The person who undertakes a journey cannot do without a guide, and he who goes to a city where he has no friend, meets with difficulty: consequently, the worship tendered to these dignities is much to be commended. The stars are truly many in number, but amidst these multitudes, the influences of the seven planets are the most evident: also of all the starry hosts the sun is the sovereign lord. It is therefore necessary to form seven images, and to raise that of the sun above the others; the temples built by the Abadîán princes were open on all sides, so that when the sun shone they were exceedingly bright in the interior; not like the Hindoo idol-temples, in which they walk about with lamps, even in the day time: the roofs of the Abadîán temples were also rather elevated. The emperors and princes are Pg 154individuals of the most select description, on which account the king should find repose in the fourth sphere, which is one of the solar regions. As it is evident that the stars are set by God for the due government of the world, in like manner it is clear that it is not every individual indiscriminately who attains to the regal dignity, but only a royal personage, not opposed to the Farhang-Abád, or the law of Azar Húshang: as otherwise he would be undeserving of the supreme power. Of the qualifications indispensably requisite in a monarch, the first is conformity to the faith above described, and firmness in adhering to it. In the next place, if on the side of both parents, which means Hasab va Nasab, “accomplishments and genealogy,” he were of royal descent, it would be more advantageous: the meaning of royal birth is to be the possessor of the kingdom of justice; if every external qualification be united with the supreme power, it is much more agreeable, so that the king should not say, “I am more excellent than my father, and he than his ancestors:” on the contrary, he styles his father “highly distinguished,” and his grandfather “far superior.” Moreover, if any one should praise him on this account, he should order that person to be chastised. Azizi, “a distinguished man,”[356] has said: “The following is what Pg 155we mean by this principle; that as one sire is superior to another, if a son should imagine himself the greater, then each child would reckon himself superior to his father, and there would then be no acknowledged ruler.”

A king must also be provided with a distinguished mathematician as prime minister, to whom the calculators and astronomers should be subject; in every city there should be an astronomer or surveyor; and an Arshiya,[357] or accountant, should act as vizir, one well versed in the amount of rents paid by the Rayas; he must also have commissaries; and as there are attached to every city many villages and hamlets, the king’s private property, to which the local director attends, that officer is called the Vizhak. Also with every vizir, whether absent or present, there should be two Ustuwars or supervisors, and two Shudahbands, or recorders of occurrences; the same rule is to be observed with all administrators, and the Samán Sálár, or head steward, the chief reporters and inspectors should also be each accompanied by two Ustuwars and two Shudahbands. Dustoor, or prime minister, means the person to whose department the public revenue is attached: the copies of the registers of all the vizirs should be regularly kept at the seat Pg 156of government, as well as the papers of the Shudahbands.

The king also requires military commanders, in order that they may keep the soldiers in due discipline. The first dignity consists of the chiefs of a hundred thousand cavalry; the second, of the commanders of thousands; the third, of the commanders of hundreds; the fourth, of the rulers over tens; and the fifth, of those accompanied by two, three, four, or five persons. Thus in this assemblage every ten persons have an officer and every hundred a Sipahdar, called in the popular language of Hindustan Bakhshi, “pay-master,” in that of Iran, Lashkar Navîs, or “army-registrar,” and in Arabic, Ariz, or “notary:” a similar arrangement must be observed in the infantry. In like manner, when the military in regular succession are in attendance on the king, there is at court a Bárnîgárî, or “registrar,” to set down those who are absent as well as those present; in the popular language of India this officer is styled Chauki Navîs, or “register keeper;” they are accompanied by a Shudahband, an Ustuwar, and sentinels, so that they may not go to their homes nor give way to sleep until their period of duty is terminated: there are also different sentinels for day and night. It is also so arranged that there should be always four persons together on each watch, two of whom may indulge in sleep Pg 157whilst the other two remain awake. In every city where the king is present there ought to be a Shudahband, to report to the king whatever occurs in the city: the same rule should be observed in the other cities also: this functionary they call, in India, Wakia-Navis, “news-writer.” There should also be a Shahnah, or “intendant of police,” styled Farhang-i-roz, “registrar of the day,” who is to conduct all affairs with due prudence, and not suffer people to inflict injury on each other. He is to have two Shudahbands and an Ustuwar or “confidential secretary.” In like manner, among the troops of the great nobles there must be two Shudahbands; and in all provinces a Shahrdar, or governor; and in every city a Bud-andoz, or collector-general, a Sipah-dar, that is a Bakhshi, and an intendant of police, or Shahnah; it is to be noted that among the Yezdánían, a Kázî and Shuhnah were the same, as the people practised no oppression towards each other. The Shudahband, the Návand (writer), and the Rávand (courier), or those who conveyed intelligence to the king, had many spies set over them secretly by his majesty, and all those officers wrote him an account of whatever occurred in the city. If the Sipahdars did not give the men their just dues, these officers called them to account: also if a superior noble acted in a similar manner towards his inferiors, they instituted an inquiry into his Pg 158conduct: they also took note of the spies; so that if any secret agent made himself known as such, he was immediately dismissed. If any one kept the due of the soldier or of the cultivator, in the name of the king, and did not account for it, they inflicted chastisement on him. The officers were obliged to delineate the features of every one employed in the cavalry or infantry, and also to furnish a representation of his horse, and to give the men their regular pay with punctuality. Previous to the Gilsháhian dynasty, no one ever branded the king’s horses, as this was regarded as an act of cruelty towards the animal: most of the soldiers also were furnished with horses by the king, as the sovereigns of Ajem had many studs. On the death of a horse, the testimony of the collectors and inspectors was requisite. Every soldier who received not a horse from the king, brought his own with him: they also took one out of twenty from the Rayas. However, under the Sassanian princes, the Rayas requested “to take from them one out of ten:” and as this proposition was accepted, it was therefore called Baj-i-hamdastani, or voluntary contribution, as having been settled by the consent of the Rayas.

The Omras and the great of the kingdom, near and far, had not the power to put a guilty man to death; but when the Shadahband, “recorder,” brought a case before the king, his majesty acted Pg 159according to the prescriptions of the Ferhang-abad, unless in the case of executing a dangerous rebel, when, from sparing him until receiving the king’s will, a great evil would arise to the country.

They laid down this royal ordinance: that if the king sent even a single person, he was to bring back the head of the commander of a hundred thousand; nay, that person never turned aside from the punishment. For example, when such a commander in the time of Shah Máhbúl had put an innocent man to death, the prince sent a person who was to behead the criminal on a day on which the nobles were all assembled: and of this there are innumerable examples. Also in the time of Shah Faridún, the son of Abtin, the son of Farshad, the son of Shá-î Gilîv, a general named Máhlád was governor of Khorosan: and he having put to death one of the village chiefs, the Shudahbands reported to the king all the public and private details of the fact, on receiving which the king thus wrote to Máhlád: “Thou hast acted contrary to the Farhang Abad.” When Mahlád had perused the king’s letter, he assembled the chief men of the province, and sending for the village chieftain’s son, put a sword in his hand that he might cut off his head: the son replied: “I consent to pass over my father’s blood.” Máhlád, however, would not agree to this, and insisted so earnestly, that the young man cut off his Pg 160head, which was sent to the court. The king greatly commended this conduct, and according to his usual practice conferred Máhlád’s office on his son. In the same manner, the Moghúls submitted implicitly to the commands of the Lord strengthened by the Almighty, that is, to Jenghiz Khan;[358] and the tribes of Kazl-Básh[359] were equally obedient to Ismail Safavi during his reign. But the kings of Ajem were averse to the infliction of capital punishments, so that until a criminal had been declared deserving of death, according to the Abádían code, the order for his execution was not issued.

The kings and chieftains of Iran never addressed harsh language to any one; but whenever a person deserved chastisement or death, they summoned the Farhangdar, or “judge,” and the Dad-sitani, or “mufti;” on which, whatever the code of Farhang-abad enjoined in the case, whether beating with rods or confinement, was carried into effect: but the beating and imprisonment were never executed Pg 161by low persons. Whatever intelligence was communicated by spies was submitted to a careful examination, in which they took great pains; and that unless reports made by two or more spies coincided, they carried nothing into execution. The princes and young nobles, like all others, began by personal attendance on the king: for example, the routine of Hash-o-bash, or “presence and absence” at court, was enjoined them in rotation, that they might better understand the state of humbler individuals: they even attended on foot, that they might more easily conceive the toils of the foot-soldier.

Bahzad the Yasanian, in one of his marches having proceeded a short distance, alighted from his horse,[360] on which a distinguished noble, named Naubar, thus remarked: “On a march it is not proper to remain satisfied with so short a journey.” On this, Bahzad Shah, leaving the army in that place, said to the commander Naubar, “Let us two make a short excursion.” He himself mounted on horseback, and obliged the other to advance on foot. They thus traversed mountain and plain, until Naubar became overpowered by fatigue, on which Bahzad said: “Exert thyself, for our halting place is near;” but he having replied, “I am no longer able to move,” the king rejoined; “O oppressor! as Pg 162thou art no longer able to proceed, dost thou not perceive that those who are on foot experience similar distress from performing too long a march?”

“Thou, who feelest not for the distress of others,
Meritest not to be called by the name of man.”
The military, in proportion to their respective ranks, had assigned to them costly dresses, vigorous steeds with trappings and saddles inlaid with precious stones, equipments, some of solid gold and silver, and others plated with gold or silver, and helmets. The distinguished men were equally remote from parsimony and profuseness. The nobles of Ajem wore a crown worth a hundred thousand dinars of gold: the regal diadem being appropriated to the king. All the great Amirs wore helmets and zones of gold; they also had trappings and sandals of the same. When the soldiers set out on an expedition, they took with them arms of every description, a flag and a poignard;[361] they were habituated to privations, and entered on long expeditions with scanty supplies: they were never confined within the enclosure of tents and pavilions, but braved alike the extremes of heat and cold. In the day of battle, as long as the king or his lieutenant stood at his post, if any one turned his back on the foe, no person Pg 163would join him in eating or drinking, or contract alliance with him, except those who like himself had consigned their persons to infamy and degradation. Lunatics, buffoons, and depraved characters found no access to the king or chieftains.

On the death of a person who had been raised to dignity, his post was conferred on his son, or some one of his legitimate connections adequate to its duties; thus no innocent person was ever deprived of office, so that their noble families continued from the time of Sháî Kilîv to that of Sháî Mahbul. When king Khusró, the son of Faridún, the son of Abtin, the son of Forzad, the son of Shái Kiliv, had sent Gurgin[362] the son of Lás to a certain post, that dignity remained in his family more than a thousand years; and when, in the reign of the resplendent sovereign, king Ardeshir, Madhur the descendant of Gurgin had become a lunatic, the king confined him to his house, and promoted his son Mábzád to the government; and similar to this was the system of Shah Ismail Safavi. But if an Amir’s son were unfit for governing, he was dismissed from office, and had a suitable pension assigned him. Nay, animals, Pg 164such as the cow, ass, and horse, which were made to labor when young, were maintained by their masters in a state of ease when they grew old; the quantity of burden which each animal was to carry was defined, and whoever exceeded that limit received due chastisement. In like manner, when any of the infantry or cavalry grew feeble, infirm, or old, although he might not have performed effective service, they appointed his son to succeed him; and if the latter was not yet of mature age, they settled on him a daily allowance from the royal treasury. But if he had no son, they assigned him during his life such an allowance as would keep him from distress, which allowance was continued after his decease to his wife, daughter, or other survivors. Whatever constitutes the duty of a parent was all performed by the king; if, in the day of battle, a soldier’s horse fell, they bestowed on him a better and finer one. It has already been said that most of the cavalry horses were supplied by the king, and the military were at no expense save that of forage. If a soldier fell in battle, they appointed the son with great distinction to his father’s post, and also conferred many favors on his surviving family; they also greatly exerted themselves in teaching them the duties of their class, and in guarding their domestic honor inviolate: as, in reality, the king is the father, and the kingdom the common mother. Pg 165In like manner, when a soldier was wounded, he received the greatest attentions. Similar notice was taken of workers in gold and of merchants who had failed and become impoverished, their children being adopted by the government: so that, within the circuit of their dominions, there was not found a single destitute person. The Sardár of each city took cognizance of every stranger who entered it: in the same way, all friendless travellers were received into the royal hospital, where physicians gave themselves up to the curing of the sick: in these there were also Shudahbands to take care that none of those employed should be backward in their respective offices. The blind, the paralytic, the feeble, and destitute were admitted into the royal hospital, where they passed their time free from anxiety. Now the royal Bîmárastán, or hospital was a place in which they gave a daily allowance to the feeble and indigent: thus there were no religious mendicants or beggars in their dominions; whoever wished, embraced a Durvesh’s life and practised religious austerities in a monastery, a place adapted for every description of pious mortifications: a slothful person, or one of ill repute, was not permitted to become a Durvesh, lest he might do it for the purpose of indulging in food and sleep: to such a character they enjoined the religious exercises suitable to a Durvesh, which, if he performed with zeal, it was Pg 166all well; but, otherwise, he was obliged to follow his inclinations in some other place.

The king had also confidential courtiers, well skilled in the histories of the righteous men of olden time, which they recited to his majesty. There was also an abundance of astrologers and physicians, so that, both in the capital and in the provinces, one of each, agreeably to the royal order, should attend on every governor; and their number was such in every city, that men might consult them on the favorable and unfavorable moments for every undertaking.

In every city was a royal hospital, in which were stationed physicians appointed by the king; there were separate hospitals for women, where they were attended by skilful female physicians, so that the hospitals for men and women were quite distinct. In addition to all this, the king stands in need of wise Farhangs, “judges,” well versed in the decisions of law and the articles of faith, so that, aided by the royal influence and power, they may restrain men from evil deeds, and deliver the institutes of Farhang, “the true faith,” to them.[363] The king also requires writers to be always in his presence. Pg 167A great Mobed must be acquainted with all sciences; a confidential courtier, conversant with the narratives and histories of kings; a physician, profound in medical science; an astrologer in his calculations of the stars; an accountant, accurate in his accounts; and a Farhangí, or lawyer, well versed in points of law: moreover, the study of that portion of the code contained in the Páiman-i-Farhang, or in the “covenant of the Farhang,” is incumbent on all, both soldiers, Rayas, and those who practise the mechanic arts, and on other people. In like manner, persons of one rank were not wont to intermeddle with the pursuits of another: for example, that a soldier should engage in commerce, or a merchant in the military profession: on the contrary, the two employments should not be confounded, so that one should at the same time be a military man and a servant, or in any employment; and having become a commander, should again take up the trade.

They also permitted in every city such a number of artificers, conductors of amusements, merchants, and soldiers as was strictly necessary; to the remainder, or surplus, they assigned agricultural occupations; so that, although many people may know these arts, yet no more than is required may be occupied with them, but apply themselves wholly to the cultivation of the soil. If any officer made even a trifling addition to the import on any business which Pg 168brought in a revenue to the king, so far from its being acceptable, they, on the contrary, ordered that ill-disposed person to be severely punished.

The king gave audience every day: but on one day of the week in particular, he acted as Dádsitán, or “Mufti,” when every person who was wronged had access to the sovereign; also, once a year, he gave a general audience, when everyone who pleased came into his presence; on this occasion, the king sat down at table with the Ráyás, who represented to him, without the intervention of another, whatever they thought proper.

The sovereign had two places of audience; one the Rózistán, or “day-station,” in which he was seated on an elevated seat; which place they also called the Tábsár, or “place of splendor;” around which the nobles and champions stood in their respective ranks; the other was the Shabistán, or “night station,” which had also an elevation, on which the king took his seat. Men of distinction stood on the outside; those of royal dignity were at the door; and next the king was a company standing with weapons of war in their hands. Every one, indiscriminately, had not the privilege of laying his hand on the royal feet; some only kissed the slipper and walked around it; others, the sleeve of the royal mantle which fell on the throne: that person must be in high favor at court who was permitted to kiss Pg 169the king’s feet, or the throne, or perform a circuit around it.

As a brief account has been given of the exterior place of reception, and of the Rózistán, or “day station,” we now proceed to write a few particulars concerning the interior place of reception, or the secret night station, or the Harem, which is also called the “golden musk-perfumed pavilion.” In the code of Azar Húshang, or Máhábád, it has been thus laid down: whatever be the number of the king’s women, there must be one superior in dignity to all the rest: her they style “the Great Lady;” but she possessed not such absolute power that the right of loosing or binding, inflicting the bastinado, or putting to death within the night station should be conferred on her: or that she could put to death whomsoever she pleased without the king’s consent, a power quite opposed to law.

The Shudahbands also report to the royal presence all the transactions of the Great Princess and of the night station, just as they transmit accounts of those persons who live out of its precincts. If the king’s mother be alive, the supremacy is of course vested in her, and not in the Great Princess. Salárbárs, or “ushers with silver maces,” Jádárs, or “superintendants of police,” Gáhnumás or Shudahbands, astrologers and such like professions, were also met with in the interior residence.

Pg 170Of these women and princesses not one had the smallest degree of authority over the rest of their sex who lived outside of the precincts, nor did they possess the power of issuing any order whatever; nay they seldom made mention of them in the royal Rozistan; neither were they called by any fixed title; nor, without urgent necessity, did they ride out in public.

The king also, on visiting the interior apartment, is not wont to remain long with the women; nor do they ever entertain any wishes which have not reference to themselves; such as the mode of speaking when enjoining an officer to perform some service, or increasing the dignity of the great warriors. The same system was followed by every Amir in his own house; but in the dwelling of every Amir, whether near or remote, there was an aged matron or Atuni, deputed on the king’s part, with the office of Shudahband, to report the exact state of affairs to the Great Princess, or to send from a distance a written report for being brought before the king.

To the king’s Harem, or to that of an Amir, no males had access, except boys not come to maturity, or eunuchs; but criminals only were qualified for the latter class, who were never after admitted to any confidential intimacy; and no individual in their empire was allowed from motives of gain to have recourse to that operation.[364]

Pg 171Every year, on certain occasions, on some great festivals, the wives of the Amirs waited on the Great Princess, and the women of the city came to the general levee; but the king never saw these women, as on such days he did not enter the musk-perfumed pavilion, but departed to some other place, so that his eyes might not fall on a strange female. The motives of the ladies’ visit to the king was this: that if any were oppressed by their husbands, it might be reported to the king, who after proper investigation was to enjoin the punishment awarded by the court of justice.

The great king partook not of reason-subduing strong drinks, as he was a guardian, and as such should not be in a state of helplessness; on which account not one of those kings who were styled guardians ever polluted his lips with wine or other intoxicating beverage before the Gilshaiyan dynasty. The cup-bearers of the king’s sons and other nobles were always females, and these were Pg 172called Bádeks:[365] no beardless males were admitted to the feast: even eunuchs were excluded from the banquets of the Gilshaiyan princes, and they were waited on by beardless youths under ten years of age; and at the time of taking wine even they were not allowed to be present. The ancients, or those previous to the Gilshaiyan dynasty, had appointed seasons for drinking wine, which occurred when the physicians prescribed it for the removal of some infirmity, on which occasions they conformed to the above-mentioned rules. If any one, and the king in particular, labored under a malady the cure of which could only be effected by wine, and the invalid should be altogether reluctant to the drinking of it, in that case, as the cure was confined to the use of wine, the patient was obliged to comply with the prescription: for things forbidden under other circumstances, become lawful when taken for medicinal purposes: but with this reservation, that no injury should accrue to any innoxious animal.

Along the roads frequented by travellers in this realm, there were many caravansaries, between every two of which were posted sentinels, so that the voice of a person reached from one to the next. In every halting-place was a Shudahband, a physician, and a Tîmárî; and the inns were also constructed Pg 173near each other. Now a Tîmárî is one appointed by the king to protect the helpless, such as persons of tender years and the infirm. Aged women brought out from the Haram all the requisite supplies (for these establishments), which they transferred to aged men, by whom they were conveyed to the attendants.

The soldiers’ wives were not without employment, such as spinning, sewing, and in various works, the making of house-furniture, riding, and in the management of the bow they were as able as men; they were all formed by discipline and inured to toil.

It is evident to all the world that, notwithstanding the extent of their realms was so exceedingly great and spacious, yet in consequence of these arrangements, the kings were necessarily informed of every event which occurred: in addition to what has been stated, pursuant to decrees influential as those of Heaven, villages were erected at every stage and halting-place, at each of which the king’s horses were picketted, and men appointed whom they called Ravand, or “couriers.” When the Shudahband day by day delivered the report of whatever had occurred into the hand of a courier, the one near the city delivered it into the custody of another, and so on, from the couriers of the stage to those of the villages, until the report reached the capital. The Pg 174king observed the same system in corresponding with the Umras; at one time appointing an individual who was with great caution to communicate the royal despatches without entrusting them into the hands of another; a courier of this description mounted at every stage the king’s post-horses which were picketted at the different halting-places until he completed his object: this description of courier they call Nuwand; the Umras also despatched Nuwands to the king’s court; but the couriers belonging to royalty or the nobility were not empowered to seize any individual’s horse, or practise oppression, as they would in that case meet with due retaliation: there were besides, at the different villages, persons stationed as guards, who were liable to be called to account if a traveller suffered oppressive treatment from any quarter. Shadahbands also were there. Azar Húsháng, that is, Máhábád, thus enjoined: “Let there be no exactions practised towards the Rayas: let him afford what he well can, and nothing more;” they therefore only took such an amount as maintained both soldiers and rayas in tranquillity.

All the king’s devoted servants entertained this belief, that the performance of whatever was agreeable to the king was attended with advantage in both worlds; also that the royal command was the interpretation of the word of God, and that it was highly Pg 175praiseworthy to meet death in the path of obedience to the Great King: nay, they accounted death, with the prospect of royal approbation, which is the bestower of paradise, as far superior to life; but he must be a king who acts in conformity with the Paiman-i-Farhang, or “excellent code.” In short, the system of inquiry was such, that the inspectors used to question the soldiers, whether they were satisfied or not with their chief.

With respect to keeping guard, it was thus settled; that out of the four persons acting in concert with each other, two went to sleep and the other two stood up armed; again, when the sleepers arose the others went to rest; and on the expiration of the night, other troops came to keep watch: the night sentinels, however, did not depart but by order of their officer. These inspected the men three times during the night. In that manner each person had, every week, one day’s watch: and when they retired from keeping guard, proclamation was made to this purport by the king’s command: “If any have cause of complaint against their inspector or chief, let them not keep it concealed.”

In like manner every month the inspectors, whether near or remote, looked into the state of the military; if they found any individual, without sufficient cause, deficient in the requisites for service, they ordered him to be punished, unless he adduced Pg 176a satisfactory excuse and testimony; in which case they accepted his reasons: and if they proceeded from overpowering necessity, they had regard to it.

To whomsover they had assigned land, Jaghir or Mukásá, they gave daily or monthly pay with the greatest punctuality, never permitting any deficiency to occur.

If any were deficient in the performance of duty, for example, being absent one watch without sufficient cause, besides inflicting the due punishment, they deducted the pay of that watch, but not of the whole day. When, for some good reason, he applied for a furlough, he obtained it.

The prime minister was obliged to institute an inquiry into any affair of which he got the necessary information. The Rais sufid, “chieftain,” must produce a Khushnúdí namah, or “a certificate,” purporting that he had given the due to his people, and that they were satisfied with him; also that whatever revenue had been received was delivered over to the inspector, in the presence of the Anim and Shudahband: the inspectors also produced, in the royal presence, certificates stating that they had practised no oppression towards the military: and although the spies made a report of all particulars every week, still the king inquired besides of the soldiers, as to the truth of this approbation.

Pg 177The Yazdaníans never attempted a thing mentioned with abhorrence in the Farhang code, in which every fault had its fixed punishment. When any one was convicted of a crime, the king’s near attendants never made intercession for him: for example, pursuant to this code, and by the king’s command, the son inflicted punishment on the father, and the father on his son, so that even princes of the blood had not the power of breaking this law; if they were guilty of injustice, the kings themselves inflicted the allotted punishment: for example, Jai Alád had a son called Húdah, whom he himself beheaded for having put to death the son of a villager. The king’s devoted servants raised themselves to distinction by their excellence and exertions to obtain praise and titles: whoever swore falsely by the royal family was expelled from all intercourse with them.

There were peculiar places assigned for the combat of elephants, lions, and other wild beasts, the backs and sides of which places were so elevated, that people might behold from every part, without the possibility of sustaining injury from the elephants and other wild animals: the king being all the while seated on a lofty throne. They never created embarrassments in bazars or populous places with furious elephants or fierce lions, but kept them in remote situations and secure places such as before-mentioned, from whence they could easily remove them. Pg 178It is recorded that, in the time of Shírzád Shah, the Yassánian, an elephant having broken out of the place where he was tied up, killed some one; on which the king, in retaliation for the deed, put the elephant to death, and also inflicted capital punishment on the elephant-keepers and the door-keepers of the elephant-stables, who had left the door open. The king never listened to tales of fiction, but solely to true statements: the military and the rayas also never averted their necks from executing the king’s commands: and if a traveller invoked the king’s name and entered into any house, the inmates not only washed his feet, but even drank the water in which they performed the operation, as a sovereign remedy, and sedulously showed all due attentions to their guest.

On the day of battle, the soldiers were drawn up in right, centre, and left columns, an arrangement which they never violated in any engagement: as when once dissolved, the restoration of that combined order would be impossible: when the troops had been arrayed in this manner, they gave the enemy battle; and in proportion to the necessity, the bazar, or “market” of assistance followed them: even after victory they observed the same arrangement.

On the day of triumph, when the enemy fled and the foe dispersed, the entire army did not give themselves Pg 179up to plunder; but the king appointed for the service a certain detachment, accompanied by Shudahbands and Binandahs, or inspectors and supervisors, whilst the rest of the army remained prepared for battle and ready to renew the engagement; not one of them raising the dust of plunder or departing to their homes, lest the enemy, on discovering their dispersion in pursuit of plunder, might return and gain the victory. When they had made themselves masters of the spoil, the king ordered them to set apart the choicest portion for the indigent and the erection of religious foundations: he next distributed an ample share to the men proportioned to their exertions; after which he gave each of his courtiers a portion; and he lastly conferred a suitable portion on the great officers; but no part of this division entered into the account of the allowances settled on the military class: last of all, the king drew the pen of approbation over whatever was worthy of the royal majesty. Some of the ancient kings and all the princes of the remote ages, far from taking any part of the spoil to their own share, even made good every injury which happened to the army in executing the royal orders, as the loss of horses and such like.

After the victory, they never oppressed the helpless, the indigent, merchants, travellers, or the generality of the inhabitants, and the Rayas. Those Pg 180who were guilty of such acts were, after conviction, punished. They divided among them whatever the enemy had in their flight left on the field of battle: but whatever in the different realms belonged to the conquered prince and his near connexions, they submitted to the royal pleasure. They never slew or offered violence to the person who threw down his arms and asked for quarter.

This class of the obedient followers of the Azar Hushang code were styled Farishtah, “angelic;” Surúsh, “seraphic;” Farishtah manish, “angel-hearted;” Surúsh manish, “seraph-hearted;” Sipásí, “adorers;” Sahí dín, “upright in faith;” and Zanádil, “the benevolent;” opposed to whom are the Ahriman, the Dîvs, and the Tunádil, or “fierce demons.”

The Divs are of two kinds; the one class subject to the king of the angels, who, through fear of that prince, have been compelled to desist from injuring animated beings; the second kind consists of Dîvs in the realms of other kings, who break through the covenants of the law, and slay animals: these in truth are no other than wolves, tigers, scorpions, and serpents.

They record that in the time of Ardeshír, the son of Azád, the son of Babegán, the son of Nushirván, there was a Jaiyanian champion by name Farhád, the son of Alád, who were both ranked among the Pg 181distinguished leaders: Alád, when in a state of intoxication, having slain a sheep with his sword, his son Farhád, on ascertaining this, made him pass under the sharp-edged scimitar; the people held him in detestation, and said: “Thou shouldst have sent thy father to the king.” He replied, “My father had committed two criminal actions; the first, in taking so much wine as to lose his senses; the second in destroying a sheep. Although it would have been proper to send him to the king, I could not suffer any delay to intervene in punishing his crimes: at present I confess myself guilty of transgressing the Abadián code, for not submitting the details of this affair to the king.” He then ordered himself to be put in chains, and brought in that state before the king: but his majesty drew the pen of forgiveness over his crime, and elevated the apex of his dignity.

Moreover it was necessary to drink wine in a secret place, as they inflicted due punishment on whoever was found intoxicated in the public bazar. In truth, permission to drink wine was only given in cases of malady, as from the time of the very ancient sovereigns of the Mahabad dynasty, until that of Yássán Ajam, no person partook of wine or strong drinks, except the invalids who were ordered by the physicians to have recourse to them; and even they partook of them according to the established Pg 182rules: but among the ancient kings, i. e. from Kaiomars’ to Yezdagird, they at first indulged secretly in wine for the purpose of sensual enjoyment, under color of conforming to medical ordinances. At last matters terminated in this, that wine was openly produced at the banquets, and the champions in attendance on the king partook of it; but it was not permitted to be drunk openly in the bazars or streets.

The king gave audience every day, being seated on an elevation, that is a Tábsár, or elevated window: in the same manner he took his seat in the Roz-Gáh, which is a place where, on his rising from the Tábsár, he seated himself on a throne: on which occasion the nobles in attendance were drawn out in their proper gradations: note, that by giving audience is meant, turning his attention to the concerns of mankind. Every decree issued by the king from the rozistán or shabistán of the interior or exterior, was transcribed by the Shudahband and again submitted to the royal presence, and when its promulgation was ratified, it was laid before his majesty a second time.

Whenever a traveller entered a caravanserai or city, the secretaries of the place, in the presence of witnesses and notaries, made out a statement of his wealth and effects, which they gave him; and the same at the time of sale; so that if he should afterwards Pg 183declare that his stock had been diminished or some part had been abstracted, they could ascertain its value and quantity: there was also a fixed price assigned to every commodity and article, and also a certain rate of profit prescribed to each vendor.

The following was their mode of hunting: the army being drawn out in array, in right, centre, and left columns, the nobles and eminent warriors took their several posts according to rank, and during a period of forty or fifty days formed a circle around both mountains and plains. If the country abounded in wood, they formed the whole of it into well secured piles: the king then directed his steps towards that quarter, and his train by degrees drove in the game, keeping up a strict watch that no beast of prey should escape out of the circle: on this the king, his sons, and relations dispatched with arrows as many as they could; after this the king, surrounded by the most distinguished courtiers, sat on a throne placed on an eminence, formed of strong timbers so fastened together that no animal could get up there: the generals, and then the whole of the soldiery charged into the centre, so that not a trace remained of ferocious animals, that is, of lions and such noxious creatures: they next counted the numbers of the slain, and having piled them in one place, formed a hillock of their carcases. If they discovered a harmless animal amongst the slain, they ordered Pg 184vengeance to be inflicted on its destroyer, and cast his body among those of the ferocious animals.

They record that in the reign of Yássán, the son of Sháh Mahbúl, an elk had been slain by some tyrannically-inclined person, on beholding which the father of the insane criminal, with the ruthless sword, immediately dissevered his son’s head from his shoulders. Also in the reign of Núshirvan, the fortunate descendant from the Sháíyán dynasty, at one time whilst in the pursuit of game, an arrow shot intentionally from the bow of a noble champion named Fartúsh, wounded a deer so that it fell dead: his son, Ayín Túsh, was perfectly horror-struck, and in retaliation with an arrow pinned his father’s body to that of the slaughtered deer; so that, in future, there should be no infringement of the Farhang law.

As soon as a lofty mound had been formed of slaughtered noxious creatures, which either walk, fly, or graze, then by the king’s command a Mobid ascended the eminence and said: “Such is the recompense of all who slay harmless creatures; such the retribution which awaits the destroyers of animals free from crimes.” He then said to the harmless creatures: “The equitable king of kings, in order to destroy the noxious animals which cause you so many calamities, has come forward in his own precious person, and taken vengeance for the misdeeds of these wicked creatures: now depart in Pg 185peace; behold the vengeance inflicted on your sanguinary foes; and commit no sin before the protector of your species.” They then left a road open for the innoxious animals to escape and hasten to their mountains and deserts. This kind of hunting they called Shikár-i-dád or Dád-shikár; i. e.: “the hunt of equity,” or “the equity-hunt.” The royal governors also in their respective provinces adopted a chase of the like description. Whenever the sovereign was of such a character as not to deviate from the Farhang code, if any person declined rendering allegiance to the prince chosen by him for his successor, that person was immediately destroyed by the people.

In the reign of Sháh Gilív, a champion having beheld in a vision, that the king had raised to the throne one of the princes who met not his approbation, immediately on awaking put himself to death. Sháh Gilív, on hearing this, said to the son of the deceased: “When a person is awake, rebellion is to be abhorred; but not in a state of sleep, as it is then involuntary.”

Also in the reign of Bahman, the son of Isfendiar, the son of Ardashír, the son of Azad Shai,[366] one of the Pg 186generals, Bahram by name, governor of Khorasan, having made arrangements for revolt and rebellion, the soldiers on learning his designs put him to death, and offering up his flesh after the manner of the Moslem sacrifice, divided it and ate of it, saying, “He is a noxious animal.”

In the same reign, a champion, by name Gilshásp, saw in a trance that he had rebelled against Bahman: on relating the dream to his soldiers, they for answer drew forth their swords and shed his blood, saying: “Although there is no blame to be attached to the vision, yet he is the genius of evil for publishing it abroad.”

Ayín Shakíb, a Móbed, who saw in a vision that he was uttering imprecations against Ardíshír, the son of Babagán, the son of Azád the Jaiyánían, immediately on awaking cut out his tongue: such was their devotedness to their kings.

They moreover say, in the case of every prince who was adorned with sound doctrine, good works, and noble descent; who promoted the interests of the military and the happiness of the Ráyás, and who never deviated from the covenant of the law; that when any one proved refractory to his commands, that person’s life and property were confiscated with justice. The kings made trials of their sons’ capacities, and conferred the royal dignity on whichever was found the most deserving; not Pg 187making the one king whom they regarded with the greatest natural affection. They also said: “Sovereign power becomes not the monarch who transgresses this blessed law; neither should any prince give way to the disposition to deviate in the slightest degree from any of its covenants, lest from their esteeming one branch of the law as of no importance, they might regard the whole as of trifling obligation.” The adorable and almighty God so gave his aid to these praise-worthy sovereigns that they decked the bride of dominion with the ornaments of equity, benevolence, and impartial justice. Merchants, travellers, and scholars moved about in perfect security; during their reigns there existed no annoyance from the payment of tolls, customs, and other exactions; and in the caravanserais was neither rent nor hire.

The kings had the covenants of the law transcribed, which they always kept near them, and had read over to them daily by some confidential courtier: on great festivals they were communicated to the military and the rayas, with strong injunctions to store them up in their recollection. The Umras also pursued the same system, and recited the law to their dependants. In like manner, the princesses of the Shabistán, “night-apartment,” observed the same rule.

They moreover say that every prince who, through Pg 188the suggestions of his own mind or of his minister’s, adopted any measures except in conformity to this law, bitterly repented of it.—Jai Alad has said: “Whoever in the king’s presence utters a word contrary to the covenants of the law, or persuades him to do so; the king may rest assured that the object of that person is to throw the kingdom into confusion.”

When the Yezdáníán princes and rulers gave audience, there lay before them a book, a scourge, and a sword; the book contained the covenants of the law; and every affair which was submitted to them being considered according to the view taken of it in the book, they then gave a decision.

In the royal dynasty which preceded the Gilsháíán kings, there was no violation whatever of this code; but under later princes some disorder crept into its observance. They also say, that whenever they violated the commands, decrees, maxims, rules, and decisions of this covenant, they became associated with regret and repentance. Whenever a sovereign sustained any injury, it arose principally from inattention to this standard; and whenever a monarch lived in prosperity, it proceeded from his scrupulous observance of the most minute details of this code. The ancient sovereigns, that is, the Abádíán, the Jaiyán, the Shaiyán and the Yassánían, who are the most renowned of kings, never lost sight of the Farhang Pg 189Abád, that is, they did every thing according to its dictates: this code they also called Hirbud Sár, or “sacerdotal purity.” During this period no enemy arose, and no foe obtained the supremacy; the military and the rayas enjoyed undisturbed repose. Amongst the Gilsháíyán kings, Hushang, Tahmúras, Faridun, Minuchahar, Kaikobád, Kaikhusró, Lohorasp, Bahman, Ardashir Babágán, and the others, had this code transcribed in secret characters, which they employed as mental amulets and spiritual charms. Náshirván also, having procured a transcript of this law, kept it by him. Although all the sovereigns conformed to this rule, yet none observed it in so high a degree as the ancient sovereigns of the Abádíán, Jaiyán, Shaiyán, and Yassáníán dynasties: as in the belief held by the Yazdanians, or “theists,” their dignity so far transcends that of the Gilsháíyáns, that we can institute no comparison between them. The Gilsháíyán princes also exerted themselves to prevent the slaughter of harmless animals; although the people did not pay the same respect to their orders as to those of the ancient sovereigns, yet, as compared with their successors, people were more exact in the performance of duty than in later periods.

They say that Rustam,[367] the son of Zaul, at the moment Pg 190of abandoning the robes of mortality, having heaved a deep sigh, the king of Kabúl said to him: “O Rustam! art thou alarmed at death?” the hero replied: “God forbid! for the death of the body is to the spirit the bestowing of life; and the issuing forth under the sphere is the being born from the maternal womb; when the cloud of the body is removed, the sun of spirit shines more resplendently: but my grief proceeded from this reflection, that when Kaús commanded Tús to put me to the ignominious death of the gibbet,[368] I refused to submit to the punishment. Although Kaús, Pg 191in violation of the Farhang code, had passed a sentence opposed to the decisions of Mahabád, and even the interests of Kaús were ultimately advanced by my rebellious conduct, I am at present afflicted on that account, lest, perhaps, any thing opposed to the Farhang code may have proceeded from me. In like manner Isfendiar was slain by my hand,[369] and I refused to be put in chains; although it became him not to exact compliance, nor was it in accordance with the Farhang code.” Dastan (Zaul) also lived in regret, Pg 192saying: “Why did I utter a word in opposition to Kai Khusran, on the day when he chose Lohorasp as his successor, although my sentiments were expressed by way of counsel?”[370] When Bahman, the son of Isfendiar, made preparations for laying waste Sistan, notwithstanding the people urged Dastan to give the invaders battle, he approved not of it, but said: “Never more will I break through the Farhang code.” He then came on foot into the presence of Bahman, by whose orders he was thrown into chains: but he finally attained the king’s unbounded esteem, and was released; whilst his son Faramarz, contrary to the Farhang code, gave the king battle, and, being taken prisoner, suffered the ignominious death of the gibbet:[371] his son was Pg 193also put to death on the same account. The implicit obedience of the son Minufarad to Kobad,[372] the father of Nushirvan, is also well known; although that prince was not strictly entitled to obedience according to the Farhang covenant, yet the devotedness of his subjects is highly celebrated.

[350] Buzurg-Mihr was the celebrated minister of Nushirvan (see note, p. 104).

[351] Azad Bahman is called by the Sipasian (see p. 6) the precious jewel of the intellectual principle. In the Zand-books and in the Bun-Dehesh, he is invoked as created by Ormuzd, and as one who is to conduct the heavens; he presides over the eleventh month of the year and the second day of the month; he is the king of the luminous world; the other angels repose under his guard; he is the principle of the intelligence of the ear, given by Ormuzd; the father of the purity of the heart; the Ized of peace who watches over the people; he aids in the distribution of the waters, and in the production of herds and other riches; it is he who receives the souls of the just at their entrance into heaven, congratulates them on their happy arrival, and clothes them with robes of gold.—Zend-Avesta, I, pp. 81, 134, 416, 418; II, pp. 75, 100, 144, 152, 316, and elsewhere. According to the Desátir (English transl. p. 63) Bahman is the first of the numberless created angels.—A. T.

[352] Vakhshúr signifies “prophet” in the old Persian language. According to the Desátir (edit. of Bombay, English transl., p. 79), Sadvakhshúr is an epithet of Hoshang, signifying “one hundred prophets.” by a mistake ascribed, as well as the work Javidan Khirid, to Jemshid, in my note, pp. 31 and 32.—A. T.

[353] The manuscripts read نيالاد, the manuscript of Oude reads: تلبہ لا; neither word is found in any dictionary.

[354] The manuscripts read پرده, which appears the best reading; the manuscript of Oude has, like the edit. of Calcutta, برده.

[355] The manuscripts, with that of Oude, read ماه, the edition of Calcutta, باد.

[356] It is not decided whether “Azizi” here and elsewhere is a proper name, or the attribute of a person.

[357] “Arshiya”—the manuscripts read “Arsmai;” the manuscript of Oude has از سمای.

[358] Jenghis Khan, “the king of kings,” was the name assumed by Temuz Khin, a Moghul, when he had succeeded in uniting under his own and sole domination the various tribes of the Turks. He was born in the year 1162 and died in 1228 of our era. His history is sufficiently known and belongs not to this place.—A. T.

[359] Kazl-básh signifies in the Turkish language “red head,” a name given by the Turks to the Persians, since they began to wear a cap of that colour enveloped by a turban with twelve folds in honour of the twelve Imams. This happened in the year 1501, under the reign of their king Ismáil Sûfi, already mentioned, note 6, pp. 52, 53.—A. T.

[360] Intending to put an end to the march.

[361] درفش و سوزن signify also a bodkin and a needle.

[362] Gurgin, in the Shahnamah, is called the son of Mélad, and was one of the principal chieftains under the reign of Khusro. Gurgin’s character does not figure advantageously in the history of Pézshen and Munizshá, one of the most interesting episodes of Ferdusi’s historical poem.—A. T.

[363] The manuscript translation of D. Shea reads in this place: “These officers are called Sámór, or the Char Ayín Farangi, “the four institutes of law:” which words are not in the printed edition of Calcutta, but are probably in the two manuscripts which he had before his eyes.—A. T.

[364] It cannot be denied that the Persians, in very remote times, practised castration, and especially upon youths distinguished by their beauty (Herod. lib. VI). They are even accused of having been the first among whom this infamous practice and the name of eunuchs originated (Steph. de urbibus. Donat. in Eunuchum, act. I, scen. 2). Ammian. Marcell. (lib. XIV) attributes it, however, to Semiramis. (See upon this subject Brissonius, de Regio Persarum principatu, p. 294, 295.) The passage in the text permits us to believe that this cruel operation was a dishonouring punishment, generally abhorred, and particularly restricted by severe laws among the Persians.—A. T.

[365] It may be recollected that the interior service in the palace of an Indian king was of old always performed by females.—A. T.

[366] Bahman, son of Isfendiar and successor of Gustasp, is also named Kái Ardashír, diraz-dost and identified with the Artaxerxes μακροχειρ (longimanus) of the Greeks. He is placed 505 years before our era. He reigned 112 years, according to the Shah-namah.—A. T.

[367] Rustam, who in the Shah-namah, during a period of six centuries, appears rather a generic name, or a representative of the Medo-Persian heroism than a particular individual, Rustam is reckoned the fifth of the ten Persian philosophers enumerated in our note, page 112. Hence Rustam’s philosophical reflexions. In general, we see frequently in the Persian historical accounts the characters of kings, heroes, ascetics, and philosophers confusedly blended in the same persons.—A. T.

[368] At the time that a great army of Turanians commanded by Sohrab overrun Persia, Rustam, the ruler of Sistan, was summoned by Káús, his liege, to repulse the invaders. Rustam, although willing to obey, having spent some days in feasting, appeared later than his sovereign expected, who, in a fit of rage, after having severely rebuked him for his tardiness, condemned him to an ignominious death. Gív, one of the principal chiefs, and friend of Rustam, was charged with the execution, but, refusing to do what he felt impossible, he was sentenced to share the fate of the great hero, and Tus, a chief mentioned in the text, received the order to execute the mandate upon both. A reconciliation however took place between the king and his powerful vassals, whose united efforts were required against the Turanians. It was in the course of this war that Rustam slew his son Sohrab, without knowing him, and without supposing him at the head of the Turanian army: this is the subject of one of the most celebrated episodes of Ferdusi’s Shah-namah.—A. T.

[369] Isfendiar, the son of Gushtasp, several times mentioned in the course of this work, adopted, like his father, and zealously propagated, Zoroaster’s religion, which caused a new war between the Persians and Turanians. Arjasp, the sovereign of Túr, having invaded Persia, Isfendiar was called to the assistance of his father, who promised the throne to him if he repulsed the invaders; but, delivered from danger by his son’s successful exertions, Gushtasp, unwilling to fulfil his promise, readily listened to suggestions about the treacherous designs of Isfendiar whom he emprisoned. Arjasp, profiting by this event, marched to Balkh, killed Lohrasp, the father of Gushtasp, carried off the two daughters of the latter, whom he defeated in a battle and pent up in a fortress. Isfendiar, called out from his prison, routed the Turanian army and released his father. Moreover, he rescued his two sisters (one of whom was his wife) from captivity, by taking the strong residence of Arjasp, whom he killed with his own hand. He was not even then to enjoy the well-deserved reward, but charged with the most perilous expedition to bring Rustam in chains before the throne of his discontented liege. In vain did the hero just mentioned proffer his willingness to submit to any terms of submission except that of being enchained; nothing less than this was insisted upon: a combat became necessary, in which Isfendiar reduced his great antagonist to have recourse to the miraculous aid of Simurgh (see note, p. 55); by this alone Rustam was enabled to kill Isfendiar in a renewed combat.—A. T.

[370] Káí Khusró, after a glorious reign of sixty years, resolved to resign the crown. He assembled in a plain all his chiefs and the people of Iran. After a magnificent festival of seven days, he proclaimed his final determination; divided the empire among several chiefs, and appointed Lohrasp the successor of his sovereignty. This choice met with some opposition on the part of the aged Zaul (see Rauzat-us-Safa, Shea’s transl., p. 263), and although this chief yielded to the sovereign will, yet he never paid homage to the new king; and a pernicious misunderstanding remained between the descendants of both parties. It may be remarked that Káí Khusró’s abdication is quite Indian. According to Ferdúsi, it was towards the mountains of India, called Amajal, that Káí Khusró bent his steps, accompanied by a number of his chiefs, the most ancient of whom he soon dismissed, whilst others followed him further, although warned by him of an impending storm of snow which was to bury them all. He suddenly disappeared, and they were never heard of. This reminds of more than one similar event in Indian history.—A. T.

[371] This account agrees with the Shah-namah, according to which Bahman, in order to revenge the death of his father (see note last but one), invaded Sistan and took Zaul with all his treasures. It was then that Farámars, the son of Rustam, encountered the Persians in a battle: he was defeated, taken prisoner, and hanged. According to the Rauzat-us-Safa (see Shea’s transl., p. 340), Bahman, on reaching Zabulistan, heard of Rustam’s death; his son Farámans fell, and Zaul was taken prisoner.—A. T.

[372] Kobad, the Cabades or Cavades of the Greeks, the eighteenth king of the Sassanians, ruled 43 years in Persia from 488 to 531, A. D., not ingloriously within and without his empire, from which he was however driven on account of the support which he gave to the new and dangerous doctrine of the prophet Mazdak, about whom see section XV of this chapter. Kobad recovered the throne by the assistance of the Tartar prince Hestial (see Ferdusi’s Shah-namah), or (see Herbelot) by that of the nations, called Haïathelah, who inhabit the countries of Kandahar, Thibet, and Barantolah.—A. T.

The fourth section of the Dabistan contains an account of the Jamshaspian sect. The Yekanah-binan, “seers of unity,” also called the Jamshaí, who form another great body of the Parsees, are the followers of Jamshasp, the son of Jemshid, the son of Tahmúras: in their speech there is much that is enigmatical, and endless subtilty. Jamshasp never invited any one to follow his tenets, but he was of such exemplary life and so great a sage, that the Pg 194people bore him great affection, and wrote down his sayings, until by degrees great numbers voluntarily adopted them as articles of faith. According to them, the world has no external existence; they hold that whatever exists is God, and that naught exists besides him: a holy man has said:

“Every eye which is directed to the primitive nature,
Unless tinged with the collyrium of divine light,
Whatever it beholds in the world, except thy face,
Is but the second image of distorted vision.”
They hold that all the intelligences, souls, angels, heavens, stars, elements, the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms exist within his knowledge, and are not external to it: which sentiment king Jamshid explained to Abtin, saying: “Know, O Abtin, that the Almighty conceived in idea the first intelligence; in like manner the first intelligence conceived three objects, namely, the second intelligence, the soul of the upper sphere, and the body of the same heaven: in like manner, the second intelligence conceived three objects, and so on in succession to the elements and their combinations: and this is exactly as when we form an idea of a city, with its palaces, gardens, and inhabitants, which in reality have no existence external to our imagination; so that, consequently, the existence of this world is of the same description.” The Abadian regard these sayings as enigmatical, although Pg 195Jamshid composed many philosophical works, which the Yekanah Binan admit without any commentary: many of the Parsees adopt this creed, and particularly the ascetics of that class. The belief of these sectaries is illustrated by the following tetrastich from Subahani:

“The sophist, who has no knowledge of intellect,
Asserts that this world is altogether an optical illusion,
In truth, the world is an illusion; however,
Certainty is for ever displaying her effulgence there.”
On this subject they have composed various works, the most celebrated of which is, the “Testament of Jamshid addressed to Abtin,” compiled by Farhang Dostoor. Shídah, Suhráb, Mízan, and Jamshásp, who, under the profession of mercantile pursuits, travelled along with Shídósh, the son of Anósh, were of the Yekanah Binan sect.

The fifth section of the Dabistan describes the Samrádián sect.—In common language Samrád means imagination and thought; and the sects thus named are of many descriptions; the first is that of the followers of Fartósh, who lived about the commencement of the Serpent-shouldered Zohak’s reign: Fartósh followed mercantile pursuits, and his faith was as follows: this elemental world is merely idea; the remainder, the heavens, the stars, and the simple uncompounded beings actually exist. Pg 196The holders of this opinion are called the Fartoshíán.

The second are the Farshídíyah, so called from Farshíd, the son of Fartósh: he asserted that the heavens and the stars are also ideal, and that the simple uncompounded beings only have actual existence.

The next are the Farírajíyah, so called from Faríraj, the son of Farshid: his opinion was that the simple uncompounded beings, that is, intelligences and souls, also have no existence, which is the attribute of the necessarily self-existent God alone, and that all besides is ideal, appearing only to exist in consequence of the essence of that sole existence.

The next are the Faramandíyah, thus named from Faramand, the disciple of Faríraj: he says, if any person exists, that person knows that the elements, heavens, stars, intelligences, and souls are the Almighty; and what people call the necessarily self-existent God has no being, although we, through imagination (idea), suppose him to exist; which he certainly does not. According to the testimony of the sage Amr Khaiam:

“The Creator in this aged world is as a vase,
Which is internally water and externally ice;
Resign to children this trifling about infidelity and faith;
Remove from the place where God is only a letter.”
They said to him: “How dost thou prove this idea?” he answered:

“By means of the solar light we can see: but where is the sun?”
Pg 197Thus, according to them, the Almighty is only an idea of the imagination: the people of this sect are now mixed up with the Moslems, and go about in the garb of the faithful: according to them a person named Kámkár, one of the ascetics of this sect, who lived in the reign of sultan Mahmud of Ghiznah,[373] composed a poetical treatise, and compiled narratives, proofs, and revelations conformable to his tenets; assigning to his faith a superiority over all other systems, after this manner: that, whatever devout persons have recorded in their respective creeds concerning the existence of God, the greatness of the empyreal sphere, the extent of the angelic world, or concerning paradise, hell, the bridge of judgment, the resurrection of the dead, the interrogatory and reply,[374] the appearing before God, the rejection of tradition, eternity, and the creation of the world, is all correct in this creed; as all becomes evident to the idea of their professor through the existence of idea; with respect to which they thus express themselves: “by means of idea, they Pg 198behold the ideal.” In proof of his system, he farther says: “Self cannot be ignorant of self.” But in truth they are ignorant of their own identity, and understand not in what “self” consists: some of them maintain, that the being called man and endowed with voice and speech, is an incorporeal essence joined to the body; the relations of thought and action resulting merely from its entrance or descent into body: notwithstanding this principle, they differ greatly among themselves respecting the eternity and creation of their own souls. In like manner, some have also denied the simple uncompoundedness of the intellectual soul, and have spoken largely against that doctrine; consequently, as they are unacquainted with their own identity, what can they know about the heavens, stars, intelligences, and God? and it becomes not that one should know nothing about himself, but that he exists not. Kámkár, in his treatise, has collected many amusing anecdotes respecting the Samrádián sect, of which the following is an instance: a Samradian once said to his steward: “The world and its inhabitants have no actual existence; they merely have an ideal being.” The servant, on hearing this, took the first favorable opportunity to conceal his master’s horse, and when he was about to ride, brought him an ass with the horse’s saddle. When the Samrádián asked, “Where is the horse?” the servant replied, Pg 199“Thou hast been thinking of an idea: there was no horse in being.” The master answered, “It is true:” he then mounted the ass, and having rode for some time, he suddenly dismounted, and taking the saddle off the ass’s back, placed it on the servant’s, drawing the girths on tightly; and having forced the bridle into his mouth, he mounted him and flogged him along vigorously. The servant, in piteous accents, having exclaimed: “What is the meaning of this conduct?” the Samrádián replied: “There is no such thing as a whip; it is merely ideal; thou art only thinking of some illusion:” after which the steward repented and restored the horse.

In another tale it is recorded that a Samrádián, having obtained in marriage the daughter of a wealthy lawyer, she, on finding out her husband’s creed, proposed to have some amusement at his expense. One day the Samradian brought in a bottle of pure wine, which during his absence she emptied of its contents and filled it up with water; when the time for taking wine came round, she poured out water instead of wine into a gold cup which was her own property. The Samrádián having observed, “Thou hast given me water instead of wine,” she answered, “It is only ideal; there was no wine in existence.” The husband then said: “Thou hast spoken well; present me Pg 200the cup, that I may go to a neighbour’s house and bring it back full of wine.” He therefore took out the gold cup, which he sold, and concealing the money, instead of the gold vase brought back an earthen vessel full of wine. The wife, on seeing this, said, “What hast thou done with the golden cup?” he replied, “Thou art surely thinking about some ideal golden cup:” on which the woman greatly regretted her witticism.

As to those sectaries who assert that the world exists only in idea, the author of this work saw several in Lahore, in the year of the Hejirah 1048, A. D. 1637. The first was Kám Jóí, who composed the following distichs on Faríraj:

“Thou knowest that every thing is ideal,
If the Almighty has given thee illumination!
The mention even of ideality proceeds from idea;
The very idea itself is nothing more than ideal.”
It is to be noted that Samrád and Samwád are applied to fancy or idea. Ismail Sufi, of Ardistan[375] has poetically expressed himself to the same purport in what is styled the mixed Persian:

“I am about to mention something although remote from reason;
Listen carefully: but if not, mercy still awaits thee:
This world is ideal; and ideality itself is but idea:
This existence which I call ideal, that likewise is idea.”
Pg 201The second person treated of in the Samrad Namah of Kámkár was Nék Khoy; the third was Shád Késh; and the fourth, Máhyár: they were all engaged in commercial pursuits, and styled Moslem or true believers.

[373] Mahmud, the son of Sebekteghin, was the first monarch of the dynasty of Ghiznah, the foundation of which had been laid by his father. During a reign of 33 years (from 997 to 1030, A. D.) he made twelve expeditions to India, and established his domination in the western part of this country, out of which he possessed a still greater empire, which to the north-west extended over the whole of Persia, and was limited on the north-east by the river Oxus.—A. T.

[374] See about it hereafter the sixth chapter, which treats of the religion of the Musulmans.

[375] Upon Ismail Sofi, see note p. 52, 53. Ardistan or Ardastan is a town of the province called Icbal, or Persian Irak, 36 leagues distant from Ispahan.—A. T.

The sixth section of the Dabistan describes the tenets of the Khodaiyan.—This sect are followers of Khodádád, a Mobed, who lived during the decline of Jemshid’s power and the usurpation of Zohak. Khodádád held intelligences and souls to be simple uncompounded beings, and the stars and heavens to be the companions of God; each of which, in proportion to its proximity to the Almighty beyond other created beings, is so much more elevated in dignity: notwithstanding which we are not to account any being, whether the simple uncompounded or material, as a mediator or promoter between us and God; neither is there any occasion for prophets, because through the medium of reliance, the seeking out of God is attained, and we are to serve God alone. Among those who held these opinions in Lahore, in the year of the Hejirah 1049 (A. D. 1639) were seen Kamus and Fartúsh, both merchants.

The seventh section of the Dabistan describes the system of the Rádíán.—The chief of this sect was Rád Gúnah, one of the eminently brave, a lion-like Pg 202hero, who, to beneficent acts and abstinence from cruelty to animals, joined the dignity of knowledge; he enjoyed distinguished honor and rank about the end of Jamshíd’s reign and the commencement of Zohák’s usurpation: his opinion is, that God is the same as the sun, whose bounty extends to all beings; and that the fourth heaven, by reason of its constituting the true centre of the seven heavens, is the seat of his glory and as his essence is pure good, his place must also be regarded as a proof of his goodness: besides this, his grace extends alike to all bodies, whether superior or inferior: moreover, as the heart, which is the sovereign of the body, is settled in the midst of the breast, such is also the rule and custom observed by renowned princes to fix the seat of government in the centre of their realms, so that their bounty as well as severity may be equally extended over the whole community; and, by such a measure, the repose of the people and the due regulations of the Rayas may be promoted. He asserted that the spirit of the heavens, the stars, and the three kingdoms of nature proceed from the solar spirit, and that their bodies return to the light of his body; that is, the virtuous return to him or some of the stars approximating to his glory, whilst sinners remain in the elemental world. He at first communicated these opinions secretly to his friends, but promulgated them fearlessly during the Pg 203reign of Zohák. In the year of the Hejirah 1052 (A. D. 1642), the author, whilst journeying from Panjab to Kabul, met at the station of Ráwal Bundí two persons of this creed, and whose names were Hormuzd and Tírah Késh, who were skilled in all arts, abstinent, and remote from hurting any living being.

The eighth section of the Dabistan treats of the Shídrangíán creed.—Shídrang, a champion of Iran, who in battle was regarded as the acknowledged chief of the marshallers of armies, and joined profound knowledge in science to bravery in the field, always turned away most studiously from doing injury to the creatures of God. He appeared about the middle of Zohák’s reign, and soothed the serpents between the usurper’s shoulders. Shídrang unceasingly invited the people to adopt his faith, and had many followers: he maintained that Khoy and Manish, “disposition and constitution” or nature, to be God; according to his system, the state of man and other animals resembles that of herbage, which, when scattered about or dissolved, grows up again. A merchant, named Píl Ázár, who belonged to this sect, was met by the author in Kashmir in the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A. D. 1631).

The ninth section explains the Paikárián creed.—Paikár Pg 204was a virtuous sage from Iran, who appeared about the middle of Zohák’s reign. He thus addressed his disciples: “The Almighty is the same as fire, from the effulgence of which stars have been formed, and the heavens from its smoke; as fire is both hot and dry, from its heat proceeded the air, which is hot and humid; and from the humidity of the air came water, which is cold and humid; also from the coldness of water proceeded the earth, which is cold and dry; and from these conjointly came the compound productions, both perfect and imperfect.” Two individuals of this sect, Paikár Pazhuh and Jahan Navard, who were unequalled in drawing out astronomical tables, painting, and inlaying, were met by the writer in the year 1059 (A. D. 1649) in Gujarát, in the district of Panjab.

The tenth section of the Dabistan explains the Míláníán system.—Mílán was one of the brave champions of Iran and contemporary with Paikár; he exhorted many people to adopt his faith, which was as follows: “The air is the truly self-existent God, as it is both hot and humid; from its heat proceeded fire, and from its humidity, water; from the effulgence of fire came forth the stars; from its smoke the heavens (as before mentioned); and from the frigidity of water proceeded the Pg 205earth.”[376] One of this sect was Rohám, who passed under the designation of a draughtsman; he was in truth a painter possessed of European skill; the hand of Bahzad[377] and the finger of Mani,[378] who never remained Pg 206long in one place. In the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A. D. 1630) the author beheld him in Kashmir, in the house of Shídosh.

[376] Vitruvius (who lived shortly before J. C.) says (I. iv. Præf.): Thales Milesius omnium rerum principium Aquam est professus, Heraclitus Ignem, Magorum sacerdotes, Aquam et Ignem. As to the earth proceeding from the frigidity of water, we read in Macrobius (In Somno Scip. I. 1) what follows: “Terra est sicca et frigida: aqua vero frigida et humecta est; hæc duo elementa, licet sibi et per siccum humectumque contraria sint, per frigidum tamen commune junguntur.”—A. T.

[377] Bahzad was a celebrated painter.

[378] In the Desátír (English transl., pp. 188, 1889) it is stated that Mani came into Iran during the reign of Ardeshir, and made himself notorious by curious paintings and a new doctrine which he exhibited: he permitted the killing of harmless animals, and forbade all intercourse with women. After a controversy upon these two points with the king Shapur, he was driven out of the court, and then lapidated and torn to pieces by the people of the town. According to Sharistani, Mani was the son of Fáten or Fater; according to Mohammed Ben Ishak, his father was Fettak Ben Ebi Berdsâm. He was born about the year 240 of our era, but his birthplace is differently stated to have been in Persia, in Babylonia, in Nishapúr, in Khorossan. He is reputed as a learned man, as will be shewn in a subsequent note. He appeared at the court of king Shápur, the son of Ardeshir Babegan, but inhabited chiefly Turkistan. As a painter, he exhibited a set of pictures, called ارتنگ, artang; or ارژنگ, arzhank; or ارچنگ مانی, archang Máni, which he said he had brought from heaven, where he pretended to have dwelt, whilst in reality he was concealed in a cavern during one year. The baron Hammer Purgstal suggests that the artang might have been a banner or ensign, upon which astronomical or cabalistical figures were represented, and which the Mongols and Buddhists used to call Máni (see Jahrb. der Lit., for April, May, June, 1840, p. 28). Máni was besides a skilful musician, and inventor of a musical instrument, called âu´d by the Arabs, chelys by the Greeks. He was put to death by order of king Bahram, the son of Hormuz, about the year 278; by some authors his life and death are placed later.—See about Máni, Hyde, pp. 282, 290, and Beausobre, Histoire critique de Manichée.—A. T.

The eleventh section describes the system of the followers of Álár.—Alar was a native of Iran, celebrated for his extensive knowledge, who lived in reputation and dignity about the end of Zohák’s reign, under whose command he distinguished himself in the erection of forts and other architectural works. His belief was, that God is the same as water, from the ebullition of which proceeded fire; from the fire came forth the heavens and the stars (as before stated); from the humidity of water proceeded the air, and from its frigidity, the earth. To this sect belonged Andarímán, who was well skilled in the management of the bow, archery, wielding the lance, horsemanship, and other military accomplishments; he gave instructions in these sciences to the sons of great men, in which occupation he passed his life. In the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A. D. 1630) the author met him in Kashmir at the house of Shidosh. To this sect also belonged Mílád, who possessed consummate skill in writing, and was held in great respect by men of high station: he was in truth Pg 207unequalled in the recitation of histories, the narration of stories and romantic tales. The author enjoyed his society also in Kashmir.

The twelfth section treats concerning the Shidabian faith.—Shádíb who lived about the end of Zohák’s reign, was an eminent physician of Iran, held in great estimation by nobles and princes. He maintained that the self-existent lord is the same with the earth, from the dry propensity of which was produced fire; and from fire the heavens and stars, as before mentioned; from its frigidity proceeded water; from the humidity of which was formed the air; and when the four elements were mixed together, the three kingdoms of nature were then manifested. The physician Mihrán was also of this sect. In the year 1018 of the Hejirah (A. D. 1638) the author joined him, and travelled in his society from Lahore to Kashmir. Among those who held these tenets was one named Khákí, who followed the profession of a merchant and possessed great wealth: him the author met in Lahore. In that same year and in the same place, he became acquainted with a young man named Shír, who excelled in writing the Nishki and Taalik characters, and was one of the chosen followers of Shídáb.

The thirteenth section describes the system of Pg 208the Akhshíyán sect.—The Mobed Akhshí was by origin a Persian, possessed of great knowledge, and full of kindness towards the creatures of God; he was contemporary with Shídáb, and promulgated his sentiments openly, inviting all men to embrace his faith: he maintained God to be the essence of the elements; so that when people say, “God is not visible,” this implies the elemental essence, which presents no form to the sight; when they assert the ubiquity of God, they style that the essence, as he is every where under his fourfold form; their proposition of all things excepting God being perishable, means that the elements admit of change, but that their essence remains for ever in the same state. They hold the sun to be the source of fire and of the other stars, such as the falling and shooting stars, comets with tails, etc. One of those sectaries was a person named Shídáb, whom the author met in the costume of a merchant, in Kashmir in the year of the Hejirah 1040 (A. D. 1631), and from whom he heard what has now been written, and which was partly recited out of the book of Akshí. The same Shídáb, called also Shams-ud-dîn, or “the sun of faith,” composed a treatise entitled Rázábád in proof of his system, which he demonstrated by texts of the Koran and the traditions. According to these sectaries, which became known after the Radiyán, there is no resurrection nor return to life but after Pg 209this manner: the seminal principle being derived from food, when the body of a living creature is dissolved, it becomes grass and constitutes the food of some other animal: as to future rewards and punishments, they enter not into the faith or practice of this sect: their paradise consists in having fine raiment, in carousing, riding, sensual enjoyments, and such like pleasures, which alone they esteem the chief good; torment, according to them, consists in being separated from such objects: however, the founders and followers of this faith carefully avoid all kind of cruelty towards living creatures.

According to them, intercourse with daughters, sisters, mothers, maternal aunts, and their children is allowable;[379] as there can exist no antipathy between Pg 210the source and what is derived from it: no degree of relationship in their opinion should be a bar to the intercourse of the sexes: nay, on the contrary, it is highly to be commended, as the nearer the degree of consanguinity, the greater will be the friendship between the parties.[380] They however regard adultery as highly criminal, unless the husband should willingly sacrifice his wife’s honor. They in fact maintain that marriage between any two parties, however nearly related, is perfectly allowable if the parties agree among themselves. They also regard the ceremonial ablutions enjoined by the law as absurd and unnecessary.[381] They also say, that men assume a particular nature by means of laws and institutions, and on that account regard good as evil, and evil as good. When they desire to make a sacrificial offering, they kill some harmless animal and count it not a foul crime. Nay, some religionists who partake of swine’s flesh, scrupulously avoid that of cows, and vice versâ. Whoever shall appeal to the intelligence, which is the gift of God, will be convinced that our discourse is true; that is, all we Pg 211have narrated from the fifth chapter to the present. The professors of this belief are mixed up with the Muhammedans, and travel about under that mask, assuming the name of true believers, but having a distinct appellation for their peculiar creed; they are scattered over Iran and Turan, remote from and averse to the fire-worshippers.

[379] According to Philo and to Diogenes Laertius, the Persians used to marry their mothers and sisters. Alexander abolished these incestuous marriages (see Brisson, p. 290). We know from Herodotus (I: 111) that Cambyses married his sister Atossa. According to Strabo, the law permitted the Magians union with their mothers. Plutarch, in the life of Artaxerxes, relates that this king took to wife his two daughters Atossa and Amestris; but his mother Parysatis (Pari-dokht, “daughter of a fairy”), at the very time she was engaging him to marry the first of his daughters, said that he must, in doing so, place himself above the laws of the country. Zoroaster, in the Zand books, recommends but the marriages between the children of brothers and sisters as actions deserving heaven. We observe that the author of the Dabistan speaks here only of a particular sect, the custom of which might have been attributed to the whole nation of the Persians, but without sufficient foundation. This is confirmed by the ancient tradition mentioned by Agathius (l. 11), who says, that Ninus killed his own mother Semiramis, because she had proposed to him an unnatural connection with her. For this same reason, according to the author just quoted, Artaxerxes is said to have discarded from him with great indignation his mother Parysatis, although he did not decline the marriage with his two daughters.—(See Hyde, p. 421.)—A. T.

[380] The translation of this passage of the original text is not, and ought not to be, literal, as the author’s expressions are here such as an European reader would hardly think suitable to common decency.—A. T.

[381] The same observation is also applicable to this passage.—A. T.

The fourteenth section of this chapter of the Dabistán treats of the followers of Zardúsht.[382]—Farzanah Pg 212Bahram, the son of Farhad, the Yazdanian, thus relates in the Sharistan: The Behdín sages relate, that the Almighty, on creating the holy spirit of Zardúsht, Pg 213attached it to a tree, when he commenced the creation of contingent beings in the highest starry heavens: this signifies the primary intellect, which is as a tree, the leaves and fruits of which are all contingent existences; and their assertion concerning the spirit of Zardúsht being attached to it, means that his intellectual soul is a ray of the primary intellect, the perfections of Zardúsht being also an effulgence proceeding from that same tree. The Mobed Sarúsh, the Yazdánián, relates: “The teachers of the Behdín faith have thus said: The father of Zardúsht had a cow which went forth every morning to the pasture: having one day come accidentally to some trees, the fallen leaves of which had become dried up, she partook of them, and after that occurrence, never fed on any other provender except the Pg 214withered leaves of that grove. Zardúsht’s father partook of the milk supplied by this cow, and the influence of it being communicated to his wife Dughduyah, she conceived Zardúsht.”[383] The object of the above narrative is to show, that by eating the green foliage, the vegetable spirit is afflicted; for which reason the cow fed only on dry leaves, so that no injury could result to any spirit whatever: although, in fact, the vegetable spirit is incapable of receiving either pleasure or pain, it also shows, that unless a cow be milked, she feels great pain in the udder, whilst, at the time of milking, no pain ensues from the operation; also, that the Almighty formed his prophet’s body out of milk, which in its essence implies no injury to any living creature. This much being premised, Zaratusht Bahram, a Mobed of the religion of Zardusht,[384] says: When the world had been thrown into confusion by the wicked, and was entirely at the mercy of the demon, God willed to raise up a prophet of an exalted dignity, which the Pg 215family of Faridun was alone worthy of filling. In those days lived a man, by name Purshásp, the son of Patirásp, descended from Faridun;[385] and his wife’s name was Doghduyah, a virtuous matron, who was also of the family of Faridun. These two persons were selected by the Almighty as the shells for enclosing the pearl of Zardusht. When five months of Doghduyah’s pregnancy had elapsed, she one night beheld in a dream her house enveloped in a dark cloud, which concealed the splendor of the sun and moon; and from this cloud were raining down the noxious and rapacious creatures of earth and air; the boldest of these animals having rent open Doghduyah’s womb, took out the infant, which he held in his talons, and the other wild beasts gathered around him. Doghduyah in her alarm wished to cry out, but Zardusht prevented her, saying: “the just God befriends me; entertain no apprehensions.” She consequently held her Pg 216peace. That instant she beheld a shining mountain which descended from heaven and rent the black cloud asunder; on which the noxious animals began to fly away. When the mountain approached nearer, there came forth from it a youth shining all over, bearing in one hand a luminous branch, and in the other the volume sent by the just God. He next hurled that volume towards the beasts, on which they all departed from the house, excepting three; a wolf, a lion, and a tiger: the youth then smote these with the luminous branch, so that they were consumed by fire; after this, taking Zardusht, he restored him to his mother’s belly, and said to her: “Fear not! grieve not! for God himself is thy son’s guardian: this honored child shall be the prophet of the just God!” The youth then disappeared, and Doghduyah awaking, rose up that gloomy night, and hastening to a neighbouring seer who was skilled in the interpretation of dreams, related her vision.[386] The interpreter answered: “Through this sun-resembling child, the world shall be filled with thy fame; depart, and bring hither the calculation of thy nativity for my inspection.” She performed his command; and the interpreter on examining it said: “During three Pg 217days keep this secret concealed from all; return hither on the fourth day, and receive the answer to thy demands.” She did so; and on the fourth day came to the astrologer, who smiled on beholding her, and having carefully considered the sidereal influences, turned to the interpretation of the dream, saying: “The night on which thou beheldest that vision, the unborn child had completed five months and twenty-three days; on his issuing forth to the couch of existence, his illustrious name shall be Zardusht; by him shall the enemies of the faith be destroyed; but they will previously oppose him in battle, and put in practice every hostile measure; from the evil doers thou shalt feel much affliction, such as thou didst witness from the wild beasts of the vision.

“At last victorious and rejoiced in heart thou shalt become,
And through this unborn child feel all a mother’s joy.
Next thou beheldest a youth descending from the sixth heaven with the glittering branch of a tree; that was Farrah-i-Izad, ‘the splendor of God,’ the warder of evils from thy son; the written volume in his hand is the emblem of the prophetic office, by which he is to obtain the victory over all foes; the three wild beasts which remained behind are the type of a powerful evil-disposed enemy, who by wiles will endeavour to destroy Zardusht, but who shall be finally discomfited; Pg 218and there shall be a prince to promulgate the faith: through his might shall Zardusht become sovereign of this world and the next. O Doghduyah! paradise is the recompense of obedience to Zardusht, and hell is the reward of those who avert the face from him. Would to heaven that I could live in the days of his mission, to exhibit my zeal for his eminent dignity.” Doghduyah then said to the interpreter and astrologer: “How hast thou found out the circumstance of the exact period of my pregnancy?” To this he replied: “Through the power of knowledge of the stars, and the perusal of ancient records, which give an account of his auspicious existence.” Doghduyah, on her return home, told this event to Purshasp, that he might communicate it to Patírasp; on which both parents joined in praising the Almighty. Zaradusht, on issuing forth into the abode of existence, laughed aloud at the moment of his birth,[387] so that the women of the neighbourhood who were there assembled heard the sound of his laugh, and even his father, Purshasp,

“Said to himself, he must surely be an emanation of God,
All, with the exception of him, weep on coming into the world.”
Pg 219He then gave him the name of Zaratusht,[388]

“Thus the dream-interpreter’s word was verified.”
All the women became jealous at the laugh of Zaradusht, and this wonderful occurrence was spread abroad, until it came to the hearing of Darán Sarún, the king of that region, who gloried in the practice of magic and the worship of Ahriman. He had information of the appearance of Zaratusht, and it was known from the historians and astronomers that he will reveal a better religion and destroy that of Ahriman. He therefore hastened to the pillow of Zaradusht, and commanding him to be taken out of the cradle, and putting his hand to his sword, prepared to cut off the child’s head; but that instant his hand was dried up, so that he left the house in pain and affliction; on which all the magicians and worshippers of Ahriman (the only worship which prevailed at that time) became quite alarmed. The magicians then formed a mountain of wood, naphtha, and sulphur, and having set it on fire, threw into the midst of it Zaradusht, whom they had by force taken from his father, and hastened with this intelligence to their king: but, through the aid of God,

“The devouring flame became as water,
In the midst of which slumbered the pearl of Zardusht.”
Pg 220On learning this, Zaradusht’s mother hurried to the desert, and taking her honored son out of the embers, bore him secretly home. After many days, when the account of his deliverance was published abroad, the magicians, evil spirits, and demons again bore Zardusht away, and threw him into a narrow place, a thoroughfare for the passage of oxen, that he should be exposed to be bruised and trampled under foot. Through the goodness of God, a powerful cow came in front, and, standing still, took Zardusht between her fore feet, and drove off with her horns whatever cow came in that direction: when the whole had passed, she also went to join them; and Doghduyah, after great search, having discovered her honored son, took him home: when this intelligence came to Dúransarún, he commanded them to expose Zardusht in a far narrower defile through which horses were to pass; but, owing to divine aid, a mare advanced before the others, and standing at the child’s head kept a strict watch over him, and Doghduyah, after encountering great hardship, bore her fortunate offspring home. On learning this occurrence, Dúransarún ordered persons to repair to the dens of the ravening wolves, and having slaughtered their cubs, then expose Zardusht in the same place, in order that the dams out of revenge might tear him to pieces. At night, when the troop of wolves returned to their lairs, Pg 221they beheld their cubs slaughtered and weltering in blood, and at the same time finding an infant crying out, they all hurried towards him; the chief wolf and the boldest of them, having rushed on to devour Zardusht, his mouth became as sewn up: at this miracle the wolves were altogether alarmed, and seated themselves like so many nurses around the infant’s head; at the same time there also came two sheep from the mountain region, which applied their teats filled with milk to the lips of Zardusht: thus the sheep and the wolf lay down in one place. With the morning dawn, his mother, after anxious seeking and searching, came to that frightful place, raised up the exalted prophet, and having poured out her gratitude to God, proceeded with exultation to her home.[389] The magicians, on hearing this miracle, became quite despondent; they assembled to devise some remedy, and formed a council for the purpose of deliberating, when a celebrated magician named Purtarúsh and Parantarúsh[390] said to them: “Zardusht is not to be destroyed by your plans, for God befriends him, and the angel Far-i-Izad ‘the splendor of God,’ is ever with him. Bahman Pg 222(who is the same as Jabriîl) has borne Zardusht to the presence of the Almighty; and God having imparted to him the knowledge of all the secrets of existence, sends him forth as a prophet. A just sovereign will co-operate with him in promulgating his faith, and every vestige of enchanters and Deeves shall be cut off from the earth.” The father of Zardusht said one day to Partarúsh: “Give me some account of Zardusht’s star and its rise; tell me also why he laughed at the time of his birth”. Partarúsh replied: “Thy son Zardusht is to be a chief, as all the happy spheres afford him aid; this offspring of auspicious career will conduct the creatures of God in the true way; promulgate the Zandavasta;[391] destroy the demon Pg 223and enchanters, and finally king Gushtasp shall embrace his faith.” This announcement gave great delight to Purshasp.

Pg 224At this time there lived an aged saint named Barzinkaroos, of profound experience and clear discernment; this sage having come to the house of Purshasp, Pg 225entreated that he might be allowed to bring up Zardusht, and acquire glory by his education. Purshasp consented to this proposal, and entrusted the infant to the holy sage.

Pg 226When Zardusht had attained his seventh year, Purtarush, the chief of the magicians, came along with Duransanun to the child’s abode; and made Pg 227so great a display of enchantments, terrific, and fearful sights, that all the people fled out of the house; but Zardusht, through the aid of God, felt no alarm and moved not, so that the magicians went away filled with affright and disappointment. After some time Zardusht became ill, at which news all the magicians were greatly delighted; their chief Partarósh came, with enchantments and medicine mixed up with mina,[392] to Zardusht’s pillow and said: “The swallowing of this medicine will render thy body tranquil and deliver thee from pain.” The illuminated mind of Zardusht saw through the machination, and taking the medicine from him, poured it on the ground, and at the same time telling him about the mina mixed up with the portion, said:

“Shouldst thou in a different guise conceal thy violence,
I can again recognise thee, O thou full of deceit!
Thy description is furnished to me by that God
Through whose command the world is preserved.”
The magicians consequently again returned back mortified at the results of their wicked plot. They say that in those times they accounted no system superior to that of magic, and that the demon held public intercourse with persons of that class so that they obtained it from Iblis without the intervention of enchantment.

“Mankind then praised the foul demon,
As they now do the God of purity.”
Pg 228Nay, Purshásp, the father of Zardusht, followed that path; one day having invited Duránsarún, Párántárúsh, and many more magicians to a feast, he made the suitable arrangements, and when the repast was ended, he said to Párántárúsh, the chief of the magicians: “Through the excellence of enchantment, whereby our hearts are gladdened and our necks exalted, thy noble person at this period is the spiritual guide of all magicians.” Zardusht, being indignant at this speech, said to his father: “Abandon this erroneous way, and turn to the faith of God: hell must finally be the abode of magicians and enchanters.” These words greatly incensed Purtarúsh, who replied: “Of what consequence art thou before thy father! The intelligent of the earth, and the great men of the habitable world dare not address such insolence to me! Art thou not afraid of me? Dost thou not know me? For this thy insolence I shall spread amongst mankind such calumnies and lies respecting thy creed, that thou must remain in obscurity. What is thy power that, without courtesy, thou darest slight my dignity!

“May thy name be more degraded than that of all other men!
May no desire of thy heart be ever accomplished!”
Zardusht replied: “O son of earth! the lie thou utterest respecting my creed will render thyself before God and man the butt of censure: in retaliation Pg 229I shall tell, nothing but truth concerning thee, and overpower thee by just arguments and proofs.

“By order of the righteous God’s messenger,
I shall turn thy empire upside down.”
All who were present, as well as the magicians, remained in astonishment at such a stripling’s great intellect, so that Párántárúsh left the house and hastened home, covered with confusion and disgrace: that night he fell sick, and his people also being attacked by illness at the same time, were hurried along with him to the house of retribution.[393]

When the honored age of Zardusht had reached the fifteenth year, he attached not his heart to this place of sojourn, neither did he set any value on the world or its concerns: but fleeing away from wrath and the pleasures of sense, he with pious fear labored night and day in the service of God; wherever he found any one hungry, thirsty, naked, or helpless, he bestowed on them food, raiment, and the needful supplies; his piety and sincerity were consequently renowned amongst all people, although he withdrew from the public gaze.

When he had reached the age of thirty, he directed his face towards Iran, in company with several men Pg 230and women and some of his own relations; in the course of this journey, they came to a large expanse of water, on which there was not a boat to be found:[394] as it is not meet for women to expose their persons, particularly before strangers, he became anxious about the means of taking them over in the presence of their fellow travellers; he therefore poured out his distress before the God of justice, entreating from him a passage over that wide expanse of water; after which, by the order of the Almighty, he crossed over, with his companions and relations, in such guise that the soles of their feet only were moistened by the water; finally, in the end of Isfandarmaz,[395] on the day of Anírán, which is the last day of every solar month, he reached the confines of Iran. At that period the people of Iran held a great festival at which were assembled both high and low, and therefore Zartusht took his course to that quarter. At night, whilst alone in some halting place, through his enlightened spirit he beheld, in a vision, a mighty army[396] advancing from Bactria, or the West, which from hostile motives blocked up his road on every side; in the same place he beheld another army coming from Nimroz, or “mid day,” and when both Pg 231armies came to close quarters with the sword, the Bactrian or Western troops were put to the rout. The examiner of the vision thus interpreted it: “When Zardusht, having been taken into the presence of God, should discover all the mysteries of creation, that afterwards, on his return from heaven, to promulgate the Dínbahí, or ‘true faith,’ the Dîvs and Magicians, having found out his intentions, would with all expedition make war against him. Mizumah,[397] the angel who attends the servants of God, on learning this will promote the better faith, and in consequence the Asta va zand will be read with a loud voice, and through this the demons and magicians shall be dispersed and flee away.” On the interpretation of the dream, he hastened to the festival, inspired with great delight.

When he had returned from the banqueting-place, he set out about the middle of Ardíbihist,[398] on the Dímihr, the fifteenth day of every solar month, and came to a deep, broad, and extensive water, named Dábatí,[399] in the Astawasta; there recommending Pg 232himself to the Lord, he stepped into the water, which at first rose up to the calf of his legs, then to his knees, waist, and finally to his neck; which event was thus interpreted; “the division of the water into these four portions signifies, that in nine thousand years the Dínbahí, ‘the true faith,’ shall be four times renewed; the first time by the agency of Zardusht, who was sent to promulgate the Bahdín; the second by Hushídar; the third by Hushídarmáh; and the fourth by Sarsásh; all four descendants from Zardusht.”

When the prophet had gained the opposite shore, he washed his person as pure as his soul, and putting on undefiled garments, engaged in prayer.[400] That very day, Bahman, the mightiest of the angels, (whom the Muhammedans call Jabriel) came robed in light to Zardusht, and having asked his name, Pg 233said: “What dost thou most desire in this world?” Zardusht having answered, “I have no desire but that of pleasing God; my heart seeks after nothing but righteousness; and my belief is that thou wilt guide me to do what is good:” then Bahram replied “Arise! that thou mayest appear before God; entreat from his Majesty whatever thou desirest, from his bounty he will return thee a profitable answer.” Zardusht then arose, and according to Bahram’s order shut his eyes for an instant; on opening them he found himself in the bright empyreal, where he beheld an assemblage through whose effulgence his shadow became visible: from that assemblage to the next, was a distance of twenty-four paces; and also another assemblage of beings formed of light waited on by virgins of paradise. The angels gathered around Zardusht and warmly greeted him, pointing him out to each other, until the honored son of Espintaman[401] came before God, to whom with joyous heart and trembling body he addressed the prayers of supplication. It is necessary to observe here, that the Báhidínian, “believers of the eternal doctrine,” unanimously maintain that Bahman assumed the human figure, and that Zardusht ascended to the heavens in his Pg 234elemental body; but, according to the creed of the intelligent Abádián, the matter is thus stated: “By the coming of Bahman in the human form and his speaking like a mortal, is meant that the true essence of man is uncompounded and simple, not a body nor any thing material; and that, under such a quality, that is, uncompoundedness, he manifested himself to Zardusht; and his saying ‘close thy eyes,’ is figurative, and implies the eradication of the attachments and darkness of the elemental body; when he thus became a simple uncompounded existence, he arrived at the heavens styled the ‘eternal empyrean;’ the first company of angels signifies the souls on high, and the second, the existence of the celestial intelligences; the interrogatories addressed to him by the angels imply, that when the soul leaves the upper world, it descends into this lower abode to encounter wanderings and calamity; but when, by the attractive influence of Bahman and through the energy of intelligence, it returns on high, the angels feel delight on the occasion. He next ascended to the world of simple uncompounded beings, and came near God; the delight experienced by Zardusht signifies, the freedom from alarm and fear enjoyed in that pure world; and his bodily tremor is emblematic of the effulgence of the divine Majesty.” He then asked of the God of Pg 235justice: “Which of thy servants on earth is superior to the rest?” God thus answered: “The righteous professor of righteousness; secondly, he who to righteousness joins generosity and liberality, walking unceasingly in the way of righteousness and withdrawing from evil; thirdly, he who is friendly to fire and water, to all living and animated beings; for man, by the knowledge and practice of this precept, delivers himself from hell and attains to union with the eternal paradise. O, Zardusht! whichever of my servants in this transitory sojourn of existence practises oppression and cruelty towards my creatures, and averts his head from obedience to my commands, repeat thou to such this warning: that unless he desist from rebellion, he shall dwell in hell to all eternity.” Zardusht again asked: “O most just God, impart to me the names of the Amshásfands,[402] that is, of the angels the most acceptable in thy presence; gladden me by their names and sight; cause me to hear their discourse; and graciously enable me to discern the impious Ahriman,[403] who Pg 236turns not to good through his evil nature; give me power to behold the good and evil of this world, and its termination; the effect of the revolving sphere, with the successive production of modes or the reappearance of things.” When he had thus laid before the Almighty the secret wishes of his heart, he received this answer: “I am Pg 237the author of good; the benevolent and the beneficent; I neither do evil, nor enjoin it to be committed. I consent not to wickedness, neither do I bring calamity on my creatures: evil and wickedness belong exclusively to Ahriman. It is, however, incumbent on me to keep in hell to all eternity the troops of Ahriman in reward for their deeds: the ignorant only assert that I am the “author of evil.”[404] The Almighty then made Zardusht acquainted with the celestial revolutions and the motions of the stars, and their good and evil influences; he also showed him paradise filled with light, angelic nymphs, palaces, and Amshásfands; communicating to him at the same time the knowledge of all mysteries, and teaching him all sciences, so that he knew every thing from the commencement of existence to the end of time; he likewise showed him Ahriman in the gloom of hell, who, on beholding Zardusht cried aloud: “Turn away from the faith of God, that thou mayest obtain all thy desires in this world.”[405]

Pg 238When the Lord had thus instructed Zardusht, he beheld a mountain of flaming fire, which at the command of God he traversed without any injury to his person; they next poured molten brass on his guileless, silver-like bosom, and not a single hair of his body was touched; they next opened his stomach, and taking out all the intestines again replaced them, on which the wound immediately closed without leaving a vestige of the incision behind. The just God then said to Zardusht: “Thou hast passed over the mountain of fire, and hadst thy stomach rent open; therefore tell mankind whoever turns away from the Dínbahí, ‘pure faith,’ and passes over to Ahriman, in the same manner shall the blood of his body be poured out; he shall dwell in the fire, and never attain to the joys of paradise. Again, the molten brass, which on contact with thy breast became congealed like ice, causing thee no injury, is a sign that the nation, at the suggestion of Ahriman, will turn away from the faith; and also that when the Dínbahí shall be promulgated in the world, the high Mobed shall gird his loins to give them battle.

“The heart of mankind was harassed with doubt,
However thou knowest this brass was but a sign;
It is therefore meet that Azarbád, the son of Márasfand,
Should impart to each individual counsel of every kind;
This molten brass he should pour on his breast,
From which no injury shall result to him.
Pg 239“So that, on beholding this miracle, all mankind with heart and soul will follow the right true road.”

After this, Zardusht asked of the God of justice: “In what manner shall thy worshippers celebrate thy praise and what is to be their Kiblah?” The Lord answered: “Tell all mankind that every bright and luminous object is the effulgence of my light; at the time of worshipping me, let them turn to that side, in order that Ahriman may flee from them; in the world there is no existence superior to light, out of which I have created paradise, the angelic nymphs, and all that is pleasant, whilst hell was produced out of darkness.

“Wherever thou art, and in whichever of the two abodes,
Dost thou not perceive that either place is formed out of my light?”
Having thus taught Zardusht the Avesta and the Zand, he said to him: “Recite this celebrated volume to king Gushtasp, that through it he may obtain wisdom; tell him also to attain a perfect knowledge of me; no one should ever call me the worker of injustice; command the Mobeds and all mankind to separate themselves from demons and magicians.”

“Zardusht then enlarged on the praises of the Almighty Lord.”
When the prophet’s desires and purpose had been thus completely attained, he was met on his return Pg 240by the Amshásfand Bahman, the protector and chief of the sheep, who said to him: “To thee I deliver the sheep and all herds; tell the Mobeds, sages, and all men to guard them well; prohibit them from putting to death calf, lamb, young sheep, or any other quadruped, as men derive great benefits from them:

“We must never be guilty of excess in slaughter.”
“I received these flocks from the Almighty, and now accept them from me; account not my words as unimportant, but inculcate obedience to them on young and old:” on which Zardusht accepted the trust. The Mobed Sarush used to say: “The Yezdanians maintain that, when Bahman forbade the killing of young quadrupeds, he well knew it to be equally wrong to slay the old; first, because in their youth, although they rendered many services, they received no wages for their labor; and secondly, in old age they produce young animals; consequently, where Zardusht in some passages holds it lawful to slay animals, but without committing excess; by the precept is meant, the expulsion of animal qualities from our existence; and by avoiding excess is meant, that we should gradually banish all vile propensities from ourselves, such as eating to excess, which is an animal quality, but which cannot be discontinued at once; it Pg 241therefore becomes necessary to lessen the quantity of food gradually, as stated by us under the head of the Sáhí Keshán.”

After Bahman, the Amshásfand Ardebihist[406] coming forward, said to Zardusht: “O accepted of God! bear from me this message to king Gushtasp, and say to him: ‘To thee have I delivered whatever relates to fire. Let there be suitable places of great splendor in every city for the general worship; appoint stated times and Hirbuds, or ‘ministers’ for the purpose of adoration; because that light is an emanation of the divine effulgence. Dost thou not perceive how every thing stands in need of fire, which requires only wood from the human race?’

“Its body apprehends not death nor the decrepitude of age,
When thou layest wood within the influence of its sphere.
“Such is its property to indicate the truth, that if thou burn perfumes it diffuses fragrance among the assembled people: from unpleasant odors a correspondent effect ensues; it also banishes the affliction of cold. As fully as God hath delivered it to me, do I now give it in charge to thee! Whoever Pg 242turns away from my counsel and advice becomes the captive of hell, and incurs the displeasure of God.”

When Zardusht had departed from Bahman, the Amshásfand Shahrivar came forward and said to him: “On thy arrival from the upper to the lower world, tell men to furbish and polish up their arms, and always to keep them in good order and readiness; in the day of battle let them not quit their posts, but display heroic exertion and not resign their post to any other.”

Asfandármaz then coming forward, after many benedictions said to Zardusht: “This is the command of the Almighty to mankind, let them keep the earth pure, and remove blood, pollution, and dead bodies to some uncultivated place.

“Among princes, that sovereign is by far the best
Who exerts himself to improve the face of the earth.”
When Zardusht had departed thence, Khúrdád advanced, and with benedictions thus addressed him: “To thy charge I assign all waters of running streams, rivers, water-courses, rivulets, wells, and all besides; say thou to mankind:

“Through water is the body of every creature maintained in life;
Through it the face of every tract and region is kept in bloom.
“Let them keep dead bodies far removed from it, and let them not defile it with blood or any dead Pg 243carcass, as the food dressed with such water furnishes an unwholesome repast.”

Murdád next came forward and said to Zardusht: “Let not men heedlessly destroy the vegetable productions of the earth or pluck them from their place:

“As these form the delight of both man and beast.
“Also, O prophet of God! send Mobeds around the whole country, and appoint a wise person in every city to communicate these tidings to all men: let them understand the Avesta, and bind around their waist the zone, which is a sign of the pure faith and constancy in it, and let them endeavor to keep the four substances (elements) undefiled:

“Out of the four elements has the body of every animal
Been composed by the supreme and just Lord:
It is therefore necessary to keep them undefiled,
Accounting them among the choice blessings of God.”
It is to be remembered that the conference of all these angels with Zardusht was a revelation and message from God; but there was a more transcendent dignity in this fact, that the Almighty himself addressed Zardusht without the intervention of angels, and imparted to him the mysteries of all that exists.[407]

Pg 244Zardusht having thus obtained from God the accurate knowledge of all mysteries, drew near this elemental world, whilst the magicians and demons, with a dreadful host, blocked up his road; after which the chief enchanter and the head of the demons and his host thus addressed Zardusht: “Keep the Avesta and Zand concealed; thy incantation, fraud, and artifice make no impression on us: if thou knowest us, thou wilt turn away from such practices.” On hearing this, Zardusht recited aloud one chapter of the Avesta and Zand; when these sounds reached the demons, they hid themselves under ground, and the magicians trembled; a part of the enchanters died on the spot, and the remainder implored for mercy.

The Mobed Surúsh, the Yezdánian, has been heard to say: “It is recorded in the treatise of Míhín Farúsh that, according to the doctors of the pure faith, when Zardusht had thus obtained the victory over the demons, and was proceeding to an interview with the great king Gushtasp, there happened to be two oppressive and infidel kings in his road; these Zardusht invited to adopt the pure faith and turn away from their evil practices; but they heeded not Pg 245his words, he therefore prayed to God, and there began to blow a mighty wind, which lifted up these two kings on high and kept them suspended in the air; the people who came around were astonished on beholding this sight; the birds also from every quarter of the sky flocked around the two kings, and with beaks and talons tore off their flesh until their bones fell to the ground.[408]

Zaratusht, the son of Bahram, says, that when Zardusht after his victory arrived at the court of the great king Gushtasp, he called on the name God, and then sought access to the sovereign.[409] He beheld the first rank, composed of the grandees and champions of Iran and other regions, standing around; and above these two ranks of sages, philosophers, and learned men, who took precedence of each other in proportion to their knowledge, for this great king was exceedingly attached to men of science; he next beheld the monarch of the world seated on a lofty throne, and his brows encircled with a costly crown: on which Zardusht in eloquent language recited the praises of the king.

Farzánah Bahram, the son of Farhad, of the Yazdanian Pg 246sect, relates thus in the Sháristán: “The doctors of the pure faith say, that when Zardusht entered into king Gushtasp’s assembly, he held in his hand a blazing fire which caused him no injury; he then transferred that fire to the king’s hands, which in like manner remained unhurt; he afterwards gave it into the hands of others and still no trace of burning appeared; he next lay down, and ordered molten brass to be poured on his bosom four different times: although the molten metal came on his breast, no bodily injury resulted from it.”[410] Zaratusht, the son of Bahram, adds: The sovereign of Iran having thus ascertained the dignity of the prophet of the human race, addressed him with terms of earnest affection, and ordering a chair to be brought, placed him in front of the royal throne, above the two ranks of the philosophers. Zardusht, agreeably to the king’s command, having taken this seat, manifested to all the assembly the precious diamonds of his intellectual stores. The sages and eminent men of the exterior circles on his right and left entered on the path of controversy, but were finally refuted, Pg 247one after another. They say that on this day thirty of the sages seated on his right, being unable to withstand the arguments of Zardusht, bore testimony to his knowledge and truth; and in like manner thirty of the wise men on his left were overpowered and convinced. When such sages, who had not their equals in the seven climates, had been thus confuted, the illustrious prince called the prophet of the Lord into his presence, and for further conviction questioned him on various sciences and the traditions of old; and having received conclusive answers on all these points he was struck with amazement. The great king therefore assigned to the prophet of the just Lord a dwelling adjacent to his own palace, and the philosophers departed home with afflicted hearts. During the whole night they read over books with each other, and concerted with each other how they might, the following morning, conduct the argument and controversy with Zardusht; whilst the prophet of the Lord on coming to his house, according to his custom, desisted not until morning from acts of worship and praise. The following day, when Zardusht and the philosophers assembled around the king, whatever the sages advanced which was not strictly conformable to truth, Zardusht produced a hundred arguments, both theoretical and practical, to invalidate the assertion; and if they demanded a proof of whatever he himself Pg 248advanced, he adduced a hundred convincing demonstrations. Gushtasp accordingly increased the dignity of the Lord’s prophet, and inquired his name, lineage, and native city; to which questions Zardusht returned the meet answer, and said: “O great king, to-morrow is the day of Hormuz, or the first of the month; command the chiefs of the military to assemble and all the philosophers to appear, that I may reduce all to silence, as I have done this assembly, and give answers which will dumbfound them; after which I shall execute the commission with which I am entrusted.”

Gushtasp issued the requisite order, and they all returned home with this agreement. Zardusht, from inclination and habit, continued in supplication to the Lord; and the wise men said to each other: “This stranger has twice degraded us wise men, taken away our reputation, and obtained favor with the king:” they therefore conferred with each other how they could most effectually oppose Zardusht and refute his arguments.

“With this understanding each retired to his own abode,
And through anxiety not one of them slept all that night.”
On the third day, the nobles, doctors, and wise men assembled around the king, and Zardusht also advanced into the company: although the sages and learned men had mutually combined to confound him by argument, they were all finally refuted. Pg 249When the philosophers were no longer able to utter a word, the superior personages gave place to Zardusht, on which the prophet of the Lord loosed his tongue and said to Gushtasp: “I am the envoy of the Lord the Creator of the heavens, earth, and stars; the disinterested bestower of daily food to his servant: he who has brought thee from non-existence into being and made kings thy servants, has sent me to thee.” Then taking the Avesta and Zand out of a case, he added: “This volume God has given to me, and sent me forth to the human race with the commandments named Astawazand, which require implicit obedience; if thou wilt conform to the commands of God, in like manner as he has made thee sovereign of the world, he will also make thee eternally happy in futurity and paradise; but if thou avert the head from his command, thou incurrest the displeasure of the just God; the foundation of thy greatness shall be rent, and thou shalt finally become a denizen of hell.

“Adopt no line of conduct through the suggestion of a Div.
From this time forward listen to my commands.”
The great king replied: “What proof dost thou adduce, and what miracle dost thou perform? exhibit them, that I may instantly diffuse thy faith over all the world.” Zardusht said: “One of my decisive proofs and miraculous works is Pg 250this volume, on once listening to which thou shalt never more behold demon or magician: this volume contains the mysteries of both worlds, and clearly expounds the revolutions of the stars: there is no being in existence an account of which is not found in this book.” The king then commanded: “Read me a section of this heavenly volume.” Zardusht having read one chapter, Gushtasp not feeling a full conviction, said to him: “Thou hast urged a bold suit; but precipitancy in such an affair is by no means proper; I shall devote some days to exploring the nature of the Zand-Avesta: but in the mean time come thou hither as usual.” Zardusht then

“Returned to the house assigned him by the king.”
The enraged philosophers also came out and took counsel with each other about slaying Zardusht. The following morning, when Zardusht left the house to go to the king’s palace, he delivered the key of his apartment to the king’s porter; but the philosophers so deluded this man, that he gave up the key secretly to them; on which they opened the door of the prophet’s apartment, and having put into bags unclean things which they had collected, such as blood, hair, a cat’s head, a dog’s head, dead men’s bones and the like, placed them under his pillow, and having locked the door, gave the key back to the porter, previously obliging him to swear Pg 251to keep the matter altogether secret; after this they went to the palace, where they beheld Zardusht seated near the king, who was engaged in reading the Zand-Avesta,

“Lost in amazement at the characters and words.”
The philosophers said: “The Zand-Avesta is altogether magic, and this man is a wizard, who by force of spells has produced an impression on thy heart, in order to bring evil and confusion all over the world; but be not thou the wizard’s ally.” On hearing this, Gushtasp ordered persons to repair to Zardusht’s house and make a careful examination; they went and immediately brought before the king whatever they found in the house, whether eatables, carpets, dresses, clothes-bags, etc., all which they opened in the king’s presence; on this, the talons, hair, and such like impurities, which had been hidden there by the philosophers, were exposed to view. The king was greatly enraged, and said to Zardusht: “This is thy magic practice.” The prophet of the Lord being quite astonished, replied: “I have no knowledge of these things; let his majesty inquire the particulars from the porter.” The porter on being summoned, said: “Zardusht closed his door, and not even wind had access to it.” The king became quite indignant and said to Zardusht: “They have not brought these sacks from heaven and hid them Pg 252under the pillow.” In his rage he threw away the Avesta-Zand, and sent Zardusht in chains to prison: there was also a porter appointed to give him a fixed allowance and keep strict watch. Zardusht remained in chains both day and night, the porter bringing him daily a loaf of bread and a pitcher of water; and one whole week passed in that manner.

They relate that Gushtasp had a royal steed called the “Black Charger,” which the great king mounted on the day of battle:

“When, mounted on this charger’s back, he advanced to the fight,
The result of the combat terminated in victory.”
One morning at dawn, the master of the horse beheld the Black Charger without fore or hind feet, which he saw were drawn up into his belly; in great haste he announced this event to the sovereign of the world. Gushtasp in great affliction hurried to the stable, summoning thither the veterinary surgeons, physicians, and learned men, all of whom exerted themselves in remedies and applications without any benefit resulting from their exertions. Through grief the king partook not of food that day, and the military were sorely afflicted. Zardusht, who in consequence of the general mourning had not received his allowance before evening, became hungry; when the evening had passed, the porter came and brought the provisions, stating at Pg 253the same time what had befallen the Black Charger; on this the prophet of the Lord said to him: “To-morrow tell the king that I can set this affair to rights.” The next morning the porter conveyed the prophet’s message to the king, on which orders were given to bring Zardusht into the royal presence. This favorable intelligence having been communicated to Zardusht, the prophet entered into a warm bath, and after ablution, on appearing before the king, he uttered benedictions on the sovereign of the world. Gushtasp then assigned him a place near himself, and having explained the state of the horse, added:

“If thou be truly a prophet sent from the Lord,
Thou canst easily restore this horse to perfect health.”
Zardusht replied: “If thou wilt, O king, engage to perform four things, thou shalt again behold the charger’s fore and hind legs.” The king said: “I accept the conditions: what is the first?” Zardusht replied: “Let us all repair to the Black Charger’s bed.” On arriving there he said to the king: “Make thy heart and tongue of one accord: utter with thy tongue and repeat with thy heart, that without doubt, suspicion, or equivocation, I am a prophet and apostle sent from God.” The king having agreed to this, the prophet of the Lord addressed his petitions to the God of justice, and then rubbing with his hand the horse’s right forefoot, Pg 254it straightway came out, on which the king and the soldiery loudly applauded the holy man.

After this, he said to the king: “Command the heroic Isfendiar to enter into a covenant with me that he will gird up his loins to promulgate the faith of the Lord.” The prince was not averse, and entered into a solemn engagement; on which the apostle prayed to the Lord until the right hind leg came out.

He then said to the great king: “Send an Ustawar and an Amin along with me to the great queen Kitábún, in order that she may enter into the true faith.” The king having assented, Zardusht on coming into the king’s golden apartment thus addressed queen Kitábún: “Mighty princess! the Lord has expressly selected thee to share the couch of Gushtasp and to be the mother of Isfendiar. I am the Lord’s prophet sent by him to the king: therefore adopt the pure faith.” On this the great queen with heart and soul attached herself in sincerity to the prophet: after which Zardusht prayed, so that the other hind leg came out.

He then said to the king: “Now send for the porter; it is proper to inquire of him who it was that conveyed this stuff of magical preparation to my house.” The king summoned the chamberlain and questioned him in a threatening tone, saying: “If thou wilt confess the truth, thou savest Pg 255thy life; but otherwise, thou shalt have thy head under thy feet.” The treacherous chamberlain implored pardon, and related all the particulars of the bribery and delusion practised by the philosophers’ friends. Gushtasp was exceedingly indignant, and ordered the four philosophers to be hanged. Zardusht then recited the prayers taught him by the Almighty, so that the other forefoot came out, and the swift charger stood on his legs. The sovereign of Iran kissed the prophet’s head and face, and leading him to the throne, seated him near himself; he also requested pardon for his sin and gave back the prophet’s goods.[411]

The doctors of the pure faith also record, that king Lohrasp and Zerir, brother to Gushtasp having fallen into so violent a malady, that the physicians in despair desisted from all attendance on them, but having been restored to health through the prayers of Zardusht, they adopted the pure faith.[412]

Zaratusht the son of Bahram relates: One day Pg 256Zardusht, having come into the king’s presence, he thus addressed the prophet of the Lord: “I desire to obtain four things from God; it is therefore meet that the prophet should request them: first, that I should behold my own state in the next world; secondly, that in the time of conflict no blow should make any impression on me, so that I may be able to diffuse the true faith; thirdly, that I may know thoroughly the mysteries of good and evil in this world; fourthly, that until the day of judgment my spirit may remain united to my body.” Zardusht replied: “I will entreat the Lord to grant these four wishes:

“But it is necessary that out of these four wishes
Thou shouldst implore one only for thyself:
Choose three wishes for three different persons:
That I may entreat them from the righteous Creator;
He will not confer on any one person these four gifts,
Because that person might say: ‘I am the supreme Creator.’”
The king having agreed to this, Zaratusht at the time of evening prayer went to his house, repeated the praises of the Almighty, entreating from him the accomplishment of the king’s desires, and lay down in the act of adoration: in this state God showed him in a vision that the king’s petition was granted. At dawn of day the king was seated on his throne; Zardusht appeared in the royal presence and came to his place; in a moment after, the king’s chamberlain entering in great trepidation, said: “There are Pg 257four terror-striking, awe-inspiring horsemen at the door:

“Never before have I beheld horsemen of such a kind.”
The king asked of Zardusht: “Who are these persons?” but he had scarcely done speaking before all the four horsemen dressed in green, completely armed, of majestic port, drew near the throne; these four cavaliers were of the number of those angels who are nearest the just God, and are of the great Amshasfands, namely, Bahman,[413] Ardibahist,[414] Azarkhurdad,[415] and Azargushtásp,[416] who thus addressed the king: “We are angels and the envoys of God. The Dispenser of justice thus declares: ‘Zardusht is my prophet, whom I have sent to all the inhabitants of the earth; attend well to him; if thou devote thyself to his way, thou art delivered from hell. Never inflict pain on him; and when thou obtainest thy desires, avert not thy head from his commands.’”

King Gushtasp, although in magnanimity immovable as mount Alburz, yet through the majesty Pg 258of the angels and their awful presence, fell senseless from his throne: on recovering himself he thus addressed the righteous Lord:

“I am the lowest of all thy servants,
And have girt up my loins to execute thy orders.”
When the Amshásfands heard this answer, they departed; and the military, on learning this wonderful occurrence, were all assembled: the king also, trembling all over, apologized to Zardusht:

“Thy command sits upon my soul;
My spirit is like the son of the Lord;
My body, soul, and wealth are all to thee devoted,
By order of the just and glorious Creator.”
The prophet of the Lord replied: “May good tidings ever attend thee! I have entreated from the Almighty the completion of thy desires, and my prayer has been granted.” Zardusht then ordered that for the purpose of the Yashtan-i-darún,[417] that is, “the recitation and breathing out of prayer,” they should make ready in an inner Pg 259apartment wine, sweet perfumes, milk, and a pomegranate; and over these he performed Yasht, or “the recitation of prayers,” in a low voice, out of the Avesta and Zand; after this ceremony they gave Gushtasp some of the hallowed wine, on the mere tasting of which he became insensible and rose not up for three days: in that interval his spirit ascended to heaven, and there beheld the celestial nymphs, their palaces, progeny, and attendants; the blessings of paradise; the different gradations of rank among the virtuous, and the grade reserved for himself.

The prophet next presented to Bishutan[418] some of that hallowed milk, on drinking of which he was delivered from the pangs of death and obtained eternal life. Some of the Yezdánian doctors hold, that by eternal life is implied the knowledge of one’s own essence and soul, which never admit of decay; milk is also mentioned, as it constitutes the food of children, and science is the food of spirit; on which account they have likened science to consecrated milk. He next gave Jamasp[419] some of the hallowed perfume, through the efficacy of which universal science shed its lustre on his heart; so that, from that very day of his existence, whatever was to come to pass until the day of judgment was clearly comprehended Pg 260by him in all its details. He then gave one grain of the hallowed pomegranate to Isfendiar, who on eating it instantly became brazen-bodied, and his frame grew so hard that no blow could make an impression on it.

When the great king awoke from his vision, he broke out into praise and adoration; after which he called for Zardusht, to whom he related what he had witnessed, and commanded all men to receive the pure faith; then, being seated on his throne, he ordered the prophet of the Lord to recite some sections of the Zand in his presence. On hearing the Avesta, the demons fled and concealed themselves under the earth. The great king next commanded that in every city the Mobeds should attend to the observance of fire, erecting domes over it, and keeping stated festivals and times.

Account of the precepts given by Zardusht to the king and to all mankind.—The prophet Zardusht, having read to the king some sections concerning the greatness and majesty of the Almighty, said to him: “As thou hast adopted the ways of God, the joy of paradise is to be thy portion; but he who abandons that way is hurried off to hell by Ahriman, who feels delighted, and on making the capture says to his victim: ‘Because thou hast abandoned the ways of God, therefore art Pg 261thou fallen into hell.’ But the just God is liberal to his servants, and has sent me to them, saying: ‘Communicate my covenant to all created beings, that they may abandon their perverse ways.’ I am his prophet, sent to thee that thou mayst guide mankind to the right road; as the final result of persevering in the way of God is the attainment of paradise; and the retribution of devotedness to Ahriman is hell. He moreover commanded me: ‘Say thou to mankind, if ye adopt the pure faith, then shall paradise be your place; but if ye receive it not, you follow the institutes of Ahriman, and hell shall be your abode.’ The several demonstrations of Zardusht and his wondrous works are to you an abundant proof of the truth of his faith. Know also that at first he sought the world; but finally regarded wife, children, and relations as strangers to himself; he has moreover attained to such perfect faith, that the king and the mendicant are the same in his sight. He has enjoined me nothing more than this: neither has he given me permission to be your intercessor or to entreat from him remission of your sins: for protection extended to the evil doer is itself criminal, and the chastisement of evil deeds is true religion: he enjoined me also to entertain hope of his favor from my words and deeds.”

Pg 262
“Look to your acts and words, for they produce their sure effect,
The same seed that people sow, such the harvest they shall reap.”
It is also expressly stated in the glorious Koran to the same purport:[420] “On the very day when the spirit (Gabriel) and the angels shall be ranged in their order, nobody shall speak except him to whom the Merciful will permit it, and who will say nothing but what is just.” In another place it is declared:[421] “Truly thou canst not direct whomsoever thou lovest; but God will direct whomsoever he pleases.” It is also recorded in the traditions, that the asylum of prophecy (on whom be blessings!) said to the beautiful Fatima: “O Fatima! fear nothing, for thou art the prophet’s daughter; perform good works! again I say, perform good works!” He also proposed this additional proof! “Not one of the eminent, eloquent, learned, or wise men of the world can produce a composition which in the least resembles the volume I have sent down; if they are able let them declare it; but as they are unable, let them confess that this is the voice of God: a similar statement has also been made in the divine words of the Koran: ‘produce ye a chapter resembling it.’ Again of the many prophets who appeared on earth, all were ignorant Pg 263of future events except Zardusht, who, in the Zend-Avesta, clearly expounded whatever was to come to pass until the day of judgment, whether good or evil.”

“Concerning kings inspired by truth, religion, and justice,
There are minute details if thou wilt call them to mind:
The names of all he has consigned to lasting fame,
Their every act and deed, whether just or unjust alike.”
Moreover no prophet, save Zardusht, bestowed in the presence of God benedictions on the military class whose hearts were rightly affected towards him.

“To the follower of his faith he said, if to the true believers
Thou doest good, then good shall result to thee.”
But above all he has said: “God has commanded me: ‘Say thou to mankind they are not to abide in hell for ever; when their sins are expiated, they are delivered out of it.’”

It is generally reported that Zardusht was of Azarbadgán[422] or Tabruz; but those who are not Beh-dinians, or “true believers,” assert, and the writer of this work has also heard from the Mobed Torru of Busáwári, in Gujurat, that the birth-place and distinguished Pg 264ancestors of the prophet belong to the city of Rai.[423]

A Mobed has transcribed as follows from the Avesta and Zand,[424] when the Amshásfand Báhmán, pursuant to God’s command, had borne the prophet Zardusht to heaven, he thus entreated of the Almighty: “Close the door of death against me: let that be my miracle.” But the righteous Lord replied: “If I close the gates of death against thee, thou wilt not be satisfied; nay, thou wouldst entreat death from me.” He then gave Zardusht something like honey, on tasting of which he became insensible; like one in a profound sleep has visions, he became acquainted with the mysteries of existence, clearly perceiving the good and evil of whatever is in being; nay, he knew the number of hairs on the sheep, and the sum of the leaves on a tree. When his senses were restored, the Almighty asked him: “What hast thou seen?” He answered: Pg 265O supreme ruler! I beheld in hell, along with Ahriman, many wealthy persons who had been ungrateful in this world; and I found in the supreme paradise many persons, rich in gold and silver, who had worshipped the Lord and been grateful to him. I moreover saw in hell many who were eminent for wealth, but who were childless; and many an indigent Durvesh, the father of many children, in the enjoyment of paradise. I saw moreover a tree with seven branches,[425] the shadow of which extended far and wide; one branch of gold, the second of silver, the third of copper, the fourth of brass, the fifth of tin (or lead), the sixth of steel, the seventh of mixed iron.” The Lord then said to his prophet: Pg 266“The tree with seven branches is the series of events in the world, in which agitation arises from seven sources through the revolution of the spheres; the first or golden branch typifies the way and attraction by which thou hast come to my presence and attained the prophet’s office; the second or silver branch signifies that the great sovereign of the age shall receive thy system of faith, and that the demons shall hide themselves in dismay; the third or copper branch is the period of the Ashkanian kings.

“He who is not a true believer
Holds in abhorrence the pure in faith.
The great stock of fortune shall at this time
Be torn piecemeal and scattered all over the world.
“The fourth, or the branch of brass, typifies the reign of Ardashir, the son of Sássán, who shall adorn the universe with the true faith and reestablish the pure institutes; the people will embrace the faith through the force of demonstration: they will pour molten copper and brass on the breast of Arzabad, and his person shall receive no injury. The fifth, or leaden branch is the reign of Báhrám Gor, during which mankind will enjoy repose.

“When mankind are in the enjoyment of happiness,
Ahriman is grieved beforehand at this prosperous state.
“The sixth branch, or that of steel, is the reign of Nushirwan, through whose equity the aged world Pg 267shall be restored to youth; and although Mazdak of corrupt heart shall pursue his designs, yet will he be unable to do any injury to the pure faith. The seventh branch, or that of mixed iron, is emblematic of the time when the period of a thousand years verges to its end,[426] and the royal dignity falls to Mazdakin, and no respect remains to the pure faith; then a people clothed in black, oppressors of the poor, without title, reputation, or merit, friends to tumult and wickedness, fraudulent, hypocritical, and deceitful, bitter of heart like aloes, with honied tongue, traitors to bread and salt, ungrateful, speakers of falsehood, alike building the most magnificent mansions and fond of ruined caravansarais, seeking the ways of hell, having conspired together will destroy the fire-temples, and turn to themselves the spirit of the inhabitants of Iran. The sons and daughters of the nobles shall fall into their hands, and the Pg 268children of the virtuous and mighty become their attendants: nay, this race shall make a covenant-breaker king over them:

“That person among them obtains both power and rank,
Whose career is directed to the production of misery.
“When this millennium comes to a termination, the clouds shall mostly appear unattended by rain; the rains not fall in their season; heats predominate; the water of rivers be lessened; few cows or sheep be left remaining; and men despicable in figure, small of stature, weak in form, shall then be met with.

“The speed of the horse and the rider shall suffer diminution,
And no productive energy remain in the bosom of the sown field.”
“Men shall gird the sacred zone in secrecy, and drag on a dishonored existence, forgetting altogether the Náúroz and the festival of Farvardin.[427]

Pg 269
“The mouth of Safandármuz shall be opened wide,
And the hidden treasures cast forth and exposed to view.”
“An evil-disposed rapacious host of Turks shall come to Iran, and force away the crown and throne from its chieftains. O, Zardusht! communicate these tidings to the Mobeds, that they may impart them to the people.” Zardusht replied: “How shall the professors of the true faith be able to perform their worship?” to which this answer was given: “When the second millennium commences, mankind shall behold more calamity than was witnessed in the times of Zohák and Afrasiáb; and when that period is terminated, there will not be found any one of the least merit among the professors of the true faith.

“From every quarter they shall prepare to assail Iran,
With their chargers’ hoofs they shall lay it waste.”
Zardusht said: “O righteous Ormuzd! after so much toil, abridgment of life and long-protracted suffering shall not the professors of the true faith find some intercessor; and how can discomfiture overtake those clothed in black vestments?” The Almighty answered thus: “Pain is not to last for ever; when the black ensign is displayed, a host arrayed in red vestments and helmets shall come forth from the formidable room; and the land of Khorasan be desolate by flood and vapor; the earth shall tremble and the cultivated fields be Pg 270laid waste; Turk, Rúmite, and Arab encounter each other; and the borders of Turan be made a wilderness by Turks, Persians, and Hindoos; the sacred fire be borne to Dushkhargar, or ‘the mountainous region;’ and, through invasions, Iran become one scene of desolation.” The prophet then said: “O, Lord! however short the duration of this people may be, they will surely destroy life; how then shall these wicked be exterminated?” To which he received this answer: “The standard of an army arises out of Khorasan, and then Hoshidar is separated from his mother; when he arrives at the age of thirty, he will follow the ancient mode of faith, and become sovereign of Hindustan and China; he shall have a son of the Kaianian race, named Bahram and entitled Hamawand, but whom his nation will call Shapur: on the birth of that illustrious child, the stars shall drop down from heaven; and his father pass away from this world in the month of Aban and the day of Baud.[428] When this son has attained twenty-one years of age, he shall march in every direction with a numerous host, and proceeding with his troops to Balkh and Bokhara, advance into Iran Pg 271with the armies of India and China. A man professing the good faith in the mountain region will then exert himself, and bringing up an army from Khorasan and Sistan, come to the aid of Iran:

“From Kishtí Duwál, Roome, and Firingstan,
From demons clothed in black, like piebald wolves.”
“Three mighty battles shall then ensue, which will render Persia the land of mourning; after which will arise an exalted avenging prince who shall obtain the victory. In those days a thousand women shall not be able to find one man; and if they should perchance behold one, they shall be filled with astonishment. When those times are come to an end, I shall send Serósh towards Jerusalem and summon Bishutan, who will issue forth with a company of one hundred and fifty virtuous men, and duly perform Yasht, or ‘prayer,’ on which Ahriman will engage in battle with them; but, on hearing the sound of the Hadokht and the Ashtawazand, the partizans of Ahriman shall flee out of Iran. A prince, Báhrám by name, shall then ascend the throne, bring back the sacred fire, and restore the institutions of ancient times, and the seed of the wicked shall then be exterminated: finally, when Bishutan beholds every thing duly arranged, he will return with royal pomp to his own palace.”

Pg 272The Mobed Azar Khirad relates in his book that the Zand contains twenty-one Nosks, or “parts,” every Nosk having a particular name in Zand and Parsi according to the following list:[429] Yathá, Ita, Ahu, Pg 273Wíría, Alartúsh, Nadar, which they call in Arabic Búfastál, and in Parsi Favaímasíhan. This Nosk treats of the stars, constellations, order of the Pg 274heavens, the aspects, the good and evil influences of the heavenly bodies, and such like topics. The other Nosks are: the Ashád, Chíd, Hashú, Wankawísh, Pg 275Wazda, Mankahú, Sítanú, Nan, Ankahísh, Marzái, Khashar, Machá, Ahrá, Ayám, Darkúbíú and Astarám: all the sciences are contained in the Zand, but some are mentioned enigmatically and by way of allusion. At present there are fourteen complete Nosks possessed by the Dostúrs of Karman, the other seven being incomplete, as through the wars and dissensions which prevailed in Iran some of the Nosks Pg 276have disappeared, so that, notwithstanding the greatest researches, the Nosks have come into their hands in a defective state.

Zaratusht Báhrám, the son of Pazhdú, relates that, at the time of the promulgation of the pure faith in Iran, there lived in India a sage of profound learning, named Jangrangháchah,[430] whose pupil Jamasp[431] had been during many years, a circumstance which procured him great distinction. On being informed of Gushtasp’s conversion, he wrote an epistle to the great king, to dissuade him from the profession of the pure faith. By the king’s command, this sage came to Iran to hold a disputation with Zardusht, who said to him: “Listen to one Nosk of this Asta which I have received from God, Pg 277and attend to its interpretation.” Upon this, at the illustrious prophet’s command, one of his disciples read a Nosk in which God said thus to Zardusht: “On the promulgation of the pure faith, there shall come from Hindustan a wise man, named Jangrangháchah, who will ask thee questions, after such and such guise, the answers to which are after this manner, thus answering all his questions:

“By this same Nosk his condition was improved,
And the answer to each question was correctly given.”
When he heard the solutions of his questions he fell from his chair, and on recovering his senses adopted the pure faith. The prophet Sásán the Fifth, in his select commentary on the Dasátir and the interpretation of the code of Zardusht, relates, that when Isfendiar had promulgated the pure faith, the eminent sages of Greece dispatched a learned man, named Niyátús,[432] to interrogate the prophet of Pg 278the Lord concerning the exact nature of his tenets. Gushtasp, having assigned him an audience on a most auspicious day. this distinguished Greek, on Pg 279beholding the face of Zardusht, said: “From this face, knowledge, sagacity, and science are manifest as the properties of a mind so formed; and this is not the physiognomy of one who utters falsehoods.” He then asked him concerning the moment, day, month, and year of his birth, which being communicated by Zardusht, Niyátús observed: “Under such a horoscope, a person of weak intellects cannot be born.” He next questioned him concerning his food, sleep, and mode of life, which being also explained, Niyátús added: “From this rule of life he cannot be an impostor.” The prophet of the Lord then said to him: “Keep in thy heart whatever thou desirest to inquire about, and utter it not with thy tongue; as the Almighty has acquainted me with it, and for my sake has sent me his word in this chapter relative to these matters.” On this, one of the prophet’s disciples read to Niyátús, out of a single chapter, all that was laid up in the noble envoy’s breast, and whatever he Pg 280was commissioned to enquire about, at the desire of the eminent men of Greece.

The Fifth Sásán, in like manner, relates that when the report of Jangrangháchah’s having adopted the faith was published abroad, a sage, by name Byásá,[433] Pg 281came from India to Iran; and the sages of every country being assembled, pursuant to the great king’s command, Biyása thus addressed the prophet Pg 282of the Lord in the presence of all: “O, Zardusht! in consequence of thy answers and unfolding of mysteries to the wise Jangrangháchah, thou art accounted a true prophet. I have besides heard of innumerable miracles performed by thee. Know that I also, in my own country, am reckoned as one who is unequalled both in the theoretical and practical sciences. I now hope that thou wilt disclose the secrets which I have kept pent up in my bosom, and have never in any manner transferred from the page of my heart to the lip: some people tell us that the genii impart knowledge of this kind to the worshippers of Ahriman: however if thou canst unfold all these secrets, I shall turn to thy faith.” The prophet of the Lord said: “Long before thy arrival, the God of purity made all known to me.” He then recited a Simnad, “chapter,” which the Lord had sent down on those subjects; in which was specified whatever was in Byása’s heart, with the answer attached to it; after which Byása listened to the word of God, and having made profession of the pure faith, returned Pg 283to Hindustan. It is to be remarked that the two Simnad which contain the answers to the eminent envoy of the Greeks and the sage Byasa do not form a part of the Astawazand, but constitute a portion of the Desátir,[434] or of the celestial volume, in the language of which a chapter is styled a Simnad.

Moreover, Zaratusht Báhrám thus relates concerning the account of heaven and hell given by Ardaiviráf.[435] It is recorded that, when the power of Ardeshir Babagan was firmly established, he assembled around him forty thousand virtuous Mobeds and Dustars, out of which number he selected four thousand; of those thus selected he set apart four hundred, who knew by heart the greater part of the Asta; of these four hundred he again chose out forty learned doctors; and from these he selected seven unblemished sages, equally free from mortal and venial sins, whom he thus addressed: “Let whichever of you is able divest himself of body, and bring us intelligence concerning heaven and hell.” These righteous men made answer: “For such a purpose Pg 284there is required a man who from the age of seven upwards has not committed sin.” After which these sages selected from amongst them one, named Ardai Viráf,[436] whom they knew to be possessed of this excellence, and, accompanied by the great king, they all repaired to Azar Khúrdád, which was a fire-temple; having there prepared a golden throne for Ardai Viráf, the forty thousand professors of the faith performed Yazash, that is, recited prayers according to the prescribed mode. Ardáiviráf, having drunk a cup of hallowed wine which he received from the Dustur, lay down on his couch and did not arise before the expiration of a week; his spirit, through the efficacy of the divine word, having been separated from the body, those six Dustúrs all the while standing around his pillow. On the eighth day Ardáí, arising from sleep, ordered a scribe to be brought, who should commit to writing all his Pg 285words; and he thus spoke:[437] “When I fell asleep, Sirushi, who is called also Surúsh Ashú, or Ashú simply, or ‘the Angel of paradise,’ came near. Having made my salám, I explained the motives of my coming to the other world. He took my hand and said: ‘Ascend three steps.’ I obeyed, and arrived at the Chanyud Pul, or ‘the straight bridge of judgment’ (the sarát of the Muhammedans). The accompanying Angel pointed me out the road, when I beheld a bridge finer than a hair and sharper than a razor, and strong, and its length was seven-and-thirty rasans, or cords.[438] I beheld Pg 286a spirit just parted from the body in a state of tranquillity; on its arrival at the bridge of judgment, a fragrant gale came from mid-day or the east, out of which issued forth a beautiful nymph-like form, the like of which I never before beheld. The spirit asked her: ‘Who art thou of such surpassing beauty?’ She replied: ‘I am the personification of thy good deeds.’

“I then saw Mihr Ized,[439] at whose side were standing Pg 287Rash Rast[440] and Sarúsh Ized holding a balance in his hand, and angels assembled around them. Now Mihr Ized is the angel whose province it is to number and estimate people in regard to rewards and punishments. Rash is his minister of justice and the lord of equity; and Sarúsh is the lord of messages and the master of announcements. To these I made my salam which they returned, and I passed over the bridge.[441] Several spirits then Pg 288appeared who addressed me affectionately; Báhmán next appeared and said to me: ‘Come on, that I may show thee the Gah-i-zarin’ (or golden place, which is the same as the celestial throne). I proceeded with him to a beautiful throne, where I beheld the spirit before mentioned, whose deeds were personified by a beauteous form, with the Ashwan, or ‘pure spirits,’ and the inhabitants of paradise around him, with the spirits of his relations rejoicing as on the arrival of a long-absent traveller from his abode; then Báhmán took his hand and brought him to a place worthy of him. When I had proceeded a little onwards, I beheld a lofty portico, where by order of Surúsh I addressed my prayers towards the place of God, and my sight became darkened through the effulgence of light. Surúsh again brought me back to the bridge of judgment, around which I beheld a number of persons standing with folded hands. I asked: ‘Who are those persons?’ Surúsh answered: Pg 289‘These are the weak in faith, who remain in this state until the day of judgment: if they possessed an additional particle of virtue, equal in weight to one of the hairs of the eyelash, they would be relieved from this calamity.’ I then beheld another assemblage like unto shining stars. Surush said: ‘This is the Satra Payah,[442] (or the sphere of the fixed stars); in these are a people who with all their wealth observed not the Gítí Kharíd[443] (the purchase of the other world) and the Naú Roz (or the festival of the new year.)’ He next brought me to the Máh Páyah (or lunar sphere), where I beheld spirits resplendent as the moon. The angel said: ‘this Máh Páyah is also one of the spheres of paradise, in which are those who have performed every kind of meritorious act and deed, except observing the Naú Roz.’ He then conducted me to the Khúrshíd Páyah (or solar sphere) where I beheld Pg 290spirits exceedingly bright, radiant as the sun. The angel said: ‘In the solar sphere are the persons who have observed the Gítí Kharíd and the Naú Roz.’ At his command, I then addressed my prayers to the Warakt and Khurah-i-Yazdan, or ‘light of the Almighty:’ perception and intellect, through the effects of terror and overpowering awe, began to flee from me; a voice, however, from which I obtained renovated energy, came to my hearing: there was then some oil[444] given me to drink out of a golden cup: I partook of it and found it of an incomparable taste: they told me that it was the food of the people of paradise. I next beheld Ardi Behést,[445] to whom I made my salam. He said to me: ‘Place on the sacred fire wood free from moisture.’ Surush then bore me off to Kurutaman, or ‘paradise,’[446] in the light of which I became bewildered in astonishment: Pg 291I knew none of the precious stones of which it was composed. The angels, by the command of the Almighty, took me round every part of it. I next came to a place where I beheld an illustrious assemblage enveloped in Khurah, that is, ‘radiance and pomp.’ Surúsh Ashir said: ‘These are the spirits of the munificent and noble-minded.’ After this I saw a great multitude in all magnificence. Surúsh explained to me: ‘These are the spirits of all who have observed the Naú Roz.’ Next them I beheld an assemblage in the enjoyment of all magnificence and happiness. Surúsh observed: ‘These are the spirits of just princes.’ After this I beheld blessed spirits in boundless joy and power. Surush explained: ‘These are the Dustúrs and Mobeds: my duty is to convey that class to this honor.’ I next beheld a company of women rejoicing in the midst of great pomp. Surúsh Ashú and Ardibahést observed: ‘These are the spirits of women who were obedient to their husbands.’ I then beheld a multitude of majestic and beautiful persons, seated along with angels. Surúsh said: ‘this class consists of Hírbuds and Mobeds, the attendants on fire-temples, and the observers of the Yasht and Yazisht of the Amshasfands.’ After these I saw an armed assemblage in a state of the highest joy. Surúsh informed me: ‘These are Pg 292the spirits of the champions who fought in the ways of God, maintaining their country and the husbandmen in a state of prosperity and tranquillity.’ I next beheld a great assemblage in the enjoyment of all delight and gladness. Surúsh observed: ‘These are the spirits of the slayers of the Khurástár (or noxious animals).’[447] After this, I witnessed a people given up to sporting and happiness. Surush observed: ‘These are the spirits of the husbandmen, over whom Safándarmuz is set; he consequently presides over this class, as they have propitiated him by their acts.’ I next beheld a great company surrounded by all the appliances of enjoyment. Surúsh said: ‘These are the spirits of shepherds.’ After this, I beheld great numbers in a state of repose and joy, and the elemental principles of paradise standing before them. Surúsh observed: ‘These are the heads of families, friends to building, who have improved the world by gardens and water-courses, and held the elements in reverence.’ I next came to another class, endowed with prophet-like radiance, of whom Surúsh remarked: ‘These are the spirits of Jádóngóis.’ By Jádóngóis is meant one who solicits money from the wealthy Pg 293to promote the way of the Lord, and who expends it on noble foundations and holy indigent persons.

“What can I say concerning the black-eyed nymphs—the palaces, offspring, and attendants—the drinks and viands?—any thing like which I know not of in this elemental world.[448]

“After this Surúsh and Ardibehést, taking me Pg 294out of paradise, bore me off to behold the punishments inflicted on those in hell. First of all, I beheld a black and gloomy river of fetid water, with weeping multitudes falling in and drowning. Surúsh said: ‘This water is collected from the tears shed by relatives on the death of a person; and those who are drowning are they whose relatives, after their death, break out into mourning, weeping, and tears.’ I next proceeded towards the bridge of judgment, where I beheld a spirit rent from the body, and mourning for its separation: there arose a fetid gale, out of which issued a gloomy figure, with red eye-balls, hooked nose, hideous lips, teeth like columns, a head like the kettle of a minaret,[449] long talons, spear-like fangs, snaky locks, and vomiting out smoke. The alarmed spirit having asked, ‘Who art thou?’ he answered, ‘I am the personification of thy acts and deeds.’ On saying this, he threw his hands around the spirit’s neck, so that his lamentations came to the bridge of judgment, which is sharper than a razor: on this the spirit having gone a little way with great difficulty, at last fell into the infernal regions. I then followed him, accompanied by Súrush and Ardibehest: our road lay through snow, ice, storms, intense cold, Pg 295mephitic exhalations, and obscurity, along a region full of pits: into these I looked, and there beheld countless myriads of spirits suffering tortures. They all wailed bitterly, and the darkness was so thick that one was unable to perceive the other, or to distinguish his lamentation: three days such punishment is equal to nine thousand years, and the same calculation applies to the other pits, in all of which were serpents, scorpions, stinging and noxious creatures: whatever spirit falls into them

“Was stung by one and torn by another,
Was bit by this, and pierced by that.”
“Surúsh having taken me below, I there beheld a spirit with a human head and serpent-like body, surrounded by many demons who were applying the torture to his feet, and smiting him in every direction with hatchets, daggers, and maces, whilst noxious creatures were biting him on all sides. Surúsh observed: ‘This was a man of vile passions.’ I next saw a woman who held in her hand a cup filled with blood and corrupted matter; demons kept striking her with clubs and spears until she swallowed the nauseous draught, on which they instantly replaced a similar bowl in her hands. Surúsh remarked: ‘This woman, whilst laboring under periodical illness, approached the elements, of fire and water.’ I Pg 296then beheld a man wailing piteously, whose head they were scalping with a poniard: Surúsh said: ‘This was a shedder of innocent blood.’ I next saw a man who was forced to swallow blood and corrupted matter, with which they were continually supplying him. The demons in the mean time tortured him, and placed a heavy mountain on his breast: Surúsh stated this to be ‘The spirit of a dissolute man, who seduced the wives of other men.’ After this, I beheld a spirit weeping through hunger and thirst; so intense was his craving, that he drank his own blood and devoured his own flesh. Surúsh stated: ‘This is the spirit of one who observed not the Báj[450] when partaking of food,’” (Báj is a rite practised by orthodox Parsees before meat, as has been explained under the head of banquet) “‘and who on the day of Aban[451] partook of water, fruit, and bread, so that the angels Khurdád and Murdád were displeased with him.’ I next beheld a woman suspended by her breasts and noxious creatures falling on her. Surúsh said: ‘this is a woman who deserted her husband and went after another man.’ I Pg 297then saw a great multitude of spirits, furiously assailed by rapacious animals and noxious creatures. Surúsh stated thus: ‘These are persons who adopted not the Kashti[452] or sacred cincture as worn by professors of the excellent faith.’ I next beheld a woman hung up, with her tongue protruding from the hind part of the neck. Surúsh observed: ‘This is a woman who obeyed not her husband, and replied to him with harsh answers and opposition.’ I then saw a man eating with a ladle the most noxious things, of which if he took too small a portion, demons smote him with wooden clubs. Surúsh observed: ‘this is the spirit of one who betrayed his trust.’ I after this Pg 298beheld a man hung up, surrounded by seventy demons, who were lashing him with serpents instead of scourges; and meanwhile the serpents kept gnawing his flesh with their fangs. Surúsh Ashú said: ‘This is a king who extorted money from his subjects by torture.’ I next beheld a man with wide-opened mouth and protruding tongue,

“With serpents and scorpions covered all over,
The one lacerating with fangs, the others lashing with their tails.
“Surúsh said: ‘This was a tale-bearer, who by his lies caused dissension and strife among mankind.’ After this I saw a man, every ligature and joint of whose body they were tearing asunder. Surúsh said: ‘This person has slain many four-footed animals.’ I next beheld a man exposed to body-rending torture, concerning whom Surúsh said: ‘This was a wealthy, avaricious man, who employed not his riches for the useful purposes of either world.’ I then saw a person to whom were offered all sorts of noxious creatures, whilst one foot was free from all kind of suffering. Surúsh said concerning him: ‘This is the spirit of a negligent person, who did not in the least attend to the concerns of the world or the world to come. As he once passed along the road, he observed a goat tied up in such a manner that it was unable to get at its food: with that foot he Pg 299tossed the forage towards the animal, in recompense of which good act that foot is exempt from suffering.’ I next beheld a person whose tongue was laid on a stone, and demons kept beating it with another. Concerning him Surúsh observed: ‘This person was an habitual slanderer and liar, through whose words people fell into mischief.’ I then saw a woman whose breasts the demons were grinding under a millstone. About her Surúsh observed: ‘This woman produced abortion by means of drugs.’ I next beheld a man in whose seven members worms had fixed themselves. Concerning him Surúsh said: ‘This person gave false witness for money, and derived his support from that resource.’ After this I saw a man devouring the flesh of a corpse and drinking human gore. Surúsh observed: ‘This is the spirit of one who amassed wealth by unlawful means.’ I afterwards beheld a great multitude with pallid faces, fetid bodies, and limbs covered with worms. About these Surúsh Ashú observed: ‘These are hypocrites of satanic qualities, whose hearts were not in accordance with their words, and who led astray the professors of the excellent faith, divesting themselves of all respect for religion and morality.’ I next saw a man the members of whose body hell-hounds were rending asunder. Concerning him Surúsh Pg 300said: ‘This man was in the habit of slaughtering water and land dogs.’ I next beheld a woman hurled into snow and smitten by the guardians of fire. About her Surúsh said: ‘When this woman combed herself, her hairs fell into the fire.’ After this I beheld another woman tearing off with a poniard the flesh of her own body and devouring it. Surush said: ‘This is an enchantress who used to fascinate men.’ Next her I saw a man whom the demons forced by blows to swallow blood, corrupted matter, and human flesh. Concerning him Surúsh said: ‘This man was in the habit of casting dead bodies, corrupted matter, nails, and hair into fire and water.’ I afterwards beheld a person devouring the flesh and skin of a dead body. Surúsh said: ‘This person defrauded the labourers of their hire.’ I next beheld a man with a mountain on his back, whom with his load they forced through terror into the midst of snows and ice. Surúsh observed: ‘This was an adulterer, who took the wife from her husband.’ I afterwards saw a number of ill-fated persons up to their necks in ice and snow, before each of whom was a cup filled with gore, and hair, and impurities, which, through terror of blows and clubs, they were obliged to swallow. Surúsh observed: ‘These are persons who used warm bathing along with the Batardeen (or the enemies of the Pg 301faith) washing their bodies and heads in such unclean and polluted baths.’ I then beheld a person groaning under the weight of a mountain. Concerning him Surúsh said: ‘This man laid heavy taxes on the people, established evil ordinances, and oppressed mankind.’ Next him I beheld one digging up a mountain with his fingers and nails, whilst the superintendent kept smiting him with a viper. Surúsh said: ‘This is a man who by violence seized on the lands of others:’

“As long as this earth and place continue to exist,
So long, by way of retribution, shall this spirit be thus employed.
I afterwards saw a man the flesh of whose shoulders and body they were scraping off with a comb of iron. Concerning him Surúsh said: ‘This man was an egregious violator of promises and breaker of engagements.’ I then beheld a great multitude whose hands and feet they were smiting with bludgeons, iron maces, and such like. Concerning these Surúsh observed: ‘This class is composed of promise-breakers and the violators of covenants, who maintained friendship with Darwands,[453] or those hostile to the faith.’ Pg 302Surúsh, Ashú, and Ardibehest then led me from that abode of misery to Girutuman, ‘the seat of supreme bliss,’ or ‘paradise on high,’ which is called ‘the heaven of heavens.’ On beholding the light and splendor of the righteous Lord, I became entranced, and this spirit-reviving voice reached my ears: ‘Through thy virtuous words and actions, which have been conformable to the excellent faith, joined to the co-operation and energy of intellect, though hast resisted all the demons which infest the body, and hast therefore attained to this rank.’ Surúsh then taking me by the hand, said: ‘Communicate to mankind all thou hast heard.’ He next took me down to paradise, where several spirits received me and said: ‘Reveal these mysteries to our relations, that they may beware of sin.’ I next came to the lunar mansion, where they addressed me in the same manner. I afterwards reached the starry mansion with the same two companions, and here also the spirits advanced to receive me, saying: ‘Counsel our relations to make Yasht and Yazisht (to pray in a low murmuring tone at meal-time) and to cleave firmly to the festival of the Naú Roz, and the girding of Pg 303the cincture; had we observed these rites, we should not have remained in this mansion, but gone on to Paradise.’ It appears to follow from what has been stated, that the starry mansion or zodiacal sphere is below that of the moon; the Yezdanians however say, that the starry mansion signifies the mansion of the spirits who below the lunar sphere are not exempted from sufferings, but are attached to the bodies of the virtuous by means of the zodiacal signs.[454]

“I next came to Chínawad Pul (the bridge of judgment) where many spirits thus addressed me: ‘Tell men to leave sons behind them in the world, or otherwise they must, like us, remain here.’

“We behold paradise in distant perspective,
But are far removed from its enjoyment.”
“Another company of spirits said: ‘Let not men look at the wife or mate of another; and let them hold up none to suspicion: otherwise they must remain here like us, until our injured enemy comes hither from the world: if he be propitiated, we may be delivered.’

Pg 304“Surúsh and Ardibehest then brought me to the lower world and bade me adieu.”[455]

When the scribe had written down all the words of Ardi Viraf, he read them over to the great king, who thereupon duly promulgated the excellent faith, and sent Mobeds to all the borders of Iran.

After (the death of Ardashir) appeared the Mobed Azarbad,[456] the son of Marasfand (whose lineage by the Pg 305father ascended to the prophet Zardusht, and by his mother to king Gushtasp), from whom king Shapur (the son of Ardeshir) and the military having demanded a miracle in proof of the faith, the forty thousand wise men were again assembled.[457] Azarbad, having performed his ablutions, lay down before this great assemblage, whereupon they poured nine Pg 306mans of melted brass upon his bared breast, but, through the divine glory, his person received no injury. On beholding this, all those who before had been unbelievers, embraced the faith. From the time of Azarbád the Dustúrs of all succeeding kings were of his lineage.[458]

The professors of the excellent faith and the Moslem historians agree, that in Kashmir or Kashmar,[459] a place celebrated for female beauty, a dependency of Naishapur, there was formerly a cypress[460] Pg 307planted by Zardusht for king Gushtasp, the like of which was never seen before or since, for beauty, height, or straightness: mention of this tree having been made at the court of Mutawakkal[461] when he was engaged in building the Sarman raï, or Samarah[462] palace in the Jâafriyah,[463] the Khalif felt a great desire to behold it: and as it was not in his power to go to Khorasan, he wrote to Abdallah Táhir Zavalimin, “possessor of happiness,” to have the tree cut down, fastened on rollers, and sent to Baghdád. When intelligence of this came to the people of the district and the inhabitants of Khorasan, they assembled at the foot of the tree, imploring for mercy with tears and lamentations, and exhibiting a scene of general desolation. The professors of the excellent faith offered the governor fifty thousand dinars to spare the tree, but the offer was refused. When the Pg 308cypress was felled, it caused great detriment to the buildings and water-courses of the country; the birds of different kinds which had built their nests on it issued forth in such countless myriads as to darken the air, screaming out in agony with various tones of distress: the very oxen, sheep, and other animals which reposed under its sheltering shade, commenced such piteous moans of woe that it was impossible to listen to them. The expense of conveying the trunk to Baghdad was five hundred thousand dinars; the very branches loaded one thousand and three hundred camels. When the tree had reached one station from the Jaafriyah quarter, on that same night, Mutawakkal the Abasside was cut in pieces by his own guards,[464] so that he never beheld the tree. Some Muhammedan writers state the circumference of the trunk at twenty-seven táziáynah, each a cubit and a quarter long, and also that fourteen hundred and fifty years had elapsed from the time of its being planted to the year 232 of the Hejirah (846, A. D.).[465] Pg 309The Behdínians say that Zardusht brought with him from paradise a branch which he planted at the gate of the fire temple of Kashmir, and which grew up into this tree: but some sages maintain that, according to the intelligent, this tradition signifies: 1. that there is in vegetables a simple uncompounded soul; and 2. that paradise is the world of beings of that class. Some Yezdanians say that Zardusht prayed the superintending lord of cypress-trees, whom they call Azrawán, to nourish carefully the offspring of this shoot. They also relate, on the authority of a holy Hakim, “doctor,”[466] who said: “I saw the Lord of the cypress, and he declared: ‘I have given orders to slay Mutawakkal for the crime of cutting down this tree.’” Muhammed Kuli Salim also says:

“No person wishes to see his own nursling enfeebled.
Water and fire are ever at enmity with chips and leaves.”
The Behdínians maintain that Ahriman is the production of Time; and that the angels, heavens, and stars (always) were, and will (for ever) be: but that the three kingdoms of nature are a creation. Also that the period of the present creation is twelve thousand years, at the expiration of which comes the resurrection, when God will raise up all mankind and render this elemental world a glorious Pg 310paradise, and annihilate Ahriman, his worshippers, and hell itself. The Dustúr Shah Zadáh says, in the volume of the Sad Der, or “the hundred gates,”[467] the excellent faith has been received from the prophet Zardusht, the son of Purshasp, the son of Khajarasp, the son of Hujjús, the son of Asfantaman: on him the Almighty graciously bestowed the Avesta and Zand, and through divine knowledge he comprehended all things from eternity to infinity. This is the hundred-gated city constructed from the world of truth, that is, the celestial volume.

“The mighty, through means of the Asta, Zand, and Pazand,
Have constructed on its outside a hundred gates.
Behold what a system of belief Zardusht has introduced,
In which a hundred gates give admission to his city of Faith.”
Gate the first is the belief and acknowledgment of Zardusht’s prophetic character; for when the spirit on the fourth night (after quitting the body) Pg 311comes to the bridge of Chinavad, where Mihr Ized and Rash Ized take account of its actions, in the Kirfah, or “good deeds” exceed the sins by one hair’s point, they bear the spirit off to paradise, but always on the condition of having professed the faith of Zardusht.

Gate the second. It is necessary to be ever vigilant, and always looking on a trifling sin as one of magnitude, to flee far from it; because, if the virtuous deeds exceed the sinful acts by even the point of one of the hairs of the eye-lashes, the spirit goes to paradise; but should the contrary be the case, it descends to hell.

Gate the third. The pursuits of a man should be of a virtuous tendency; because, whilst thus engaged, if he be overpowered by robbers or foes, he shall receive fourfold in paradise; but if he be slain in any vain pursuit, it is the retribution due to his acts, and hell is his abode.

Gate the fourth. A man must not despair of God’s mercy; for Zardusht says: “I beheld one whose body, with the exception of one foot, was entirely in hell; but that foot was outside. The Lord said: ‘This person, who ruled over thirty-three cities, never performed good deeds; but having one day observed a sheep tied up at a Pg 312distance from her food, he with this foot pushed the grass near her.’”[468]

Gate the fifth. Let all men exert themselves to observe the rites of Yasht,[469] and the Naú Roz,[470] and if they cannot themselves perform these duties, let them purchase the agency of another.

Gate the sixth. Let men know that the meritorious works are six in number: 1. the observance of the Gahambara, or “six periods of creation;” 2. that of the Favardigan, or “five supplementary days of the year,” with that of Yashtan, “or praying in a low murmuring voice at meals;” 3. propitiating the spirits of thy father, mother, and other relations; 4. offering up supplications to the sun three times every day; 5. offering up prayers to the moon three times every month, that is, the beginning, middle, and last day of the moon; 6. offering up supplications in due form every year.

Pg 313Gate the seventh. When sneezing comes on, repeat the entire of the forms called Ita ahu virio,[471] and the Ashem Vuhu.

Gate the eighth. Be obedient to the Dustúrs and give them one-tenth of thy wealth; as that is a most meritorious work, or Kirfah.[472]

Pg 314Gate the ninth. A person should avoid all practices not sanctioned by the laws of nature, and must look on them as accursed: let all those found guilty of such deeds be put to death. This description of criminals are equally guilty with the usurper Zohak, and Alkus,[473] and Sarúrak,[474] and Afrasiab, and Turbaraturas.[475]

Gate the tenth. It is incumbent on every man and woman to tie on the Kashti.[476] By Kashti is meant a woollen cincture girded round the waist, in which they make four knots: the first to signify the unity of God; the second, the certainty of the faith; the third, that Zardusht was the prophet of God; the fourth to imply, “that I will to the utmost of my power ever do what is good.”

Gate the eleventh. Keep the fire burning, and let it not consume any thing impure.

Pg 315Gate the twelfth. Let not the shroud of the deceased be new, but let it be clean and old.

Gate the thirteenth. The good man gives joy to the spirits of his father and mother, by celebrating the Darun miezd[477] and the Afernigán,[478] or “funereal Pg 316“repasts.” The Darun is a prayer recited in praise of the Almighty and of Azar: when they breathe out prayers in a murmuring tone over viands, they are Pg 317said to be Yeshtah. Afrinigan also means one of the twenty Nosks of the Zand.

Gate the fourteenth. Let them repeat the Ita Ahu three times over the collected nail-parings, and having each time drawn a circular line around them, let earth be poured on them with the shears, or let them be taken to some mountain.[479]

Gate the fifteenth. Whatever pleasing object meets the true believer’s sight, he repeats over it the name of God.

Gate the sixteenth. In the house of a pregnant woman keep the fire in without ceasing; and when the child is born, let not the lamp be extinguished during three days and nights.

They say that, on the birth of the prophet Zardusht, there came fifty demons with the design of slaying him; but they were unable to do him any injury as there was a fire kept up in the house.

Gate the seventeenth. On arising from sleep, Pg 318bind the Kashti, without doing which enter upon no pursuit whatever.

Gate the eighteenth. Let the tooth-pick, after having been used, be concealed in a wall.

Gate the nineteenth. They give their son and daughter in marriage at an early period; as the person who has no son cannot pass over the bridge of Chinavad; let whoever is in that state adopts some one; if he should not find it feasible, it will then be incumbent on his relations and the Dustúr to fix on a son for him.

Gate the twentieth. They esteem husbandry the best of all professions, and regard the husbandman with respect and honor.

Gate the twenty-first. It is meet to give good viands to the professors of the pure faith.

Gate the twenty-second. At the time of eating bread it is necessary to perform Váj:[480] and at the Pg 319time of Maizad and Afrinigán to keep the lips closed; the true believer repeats the entire of the Esha âad avizmidi three times, and then eats bread; and when he washes his mouth, he repeats Ashem Vuhu four times, and the Ita ahu virio twice. It is to be remarked, that Wáj or Váj is the Barsom,[481] which consists of small twigs of the same length, without knots, taken from the pomegranate, tamarisk, or Pg 320Hum; these they cut with a Barsomchin, or knife with an iron handle. Having first washed the knife carefully, they recite the appointed prayers, after which, having cut off the Barsom with the Barsomchin, they wash the Barsomdan, or Barsom-holder, into which they put these small twigs. At the time of worship, whilst reading the Zand, and during ablution or eating, they hold in their hand a few of these twigs, according to the number required in each of these actions.

Gate the twenty-third. The wealthy man bestows alms on the indigent Durvesh; he also practises Jadongoi[482], which consists in this, whatever donations the Behdínians make to the fire-temples, or to deserving objects, are by that person caused to be expended in the manner desired.

Gate the twenty-fourth. Beware of sin, particularly the day on which thou eatest flesh, as flesh-meat is the nutriment of Ahriman. If, after partaking of meat thou committest sin, whatever sins the animal has committed in this world shall be imputed to thee: for example, the kick of the horse, and the goring of the ox with his horns.

Pg 321Gate the twenty-fifth. Know that in thy faith there is no fasting, except that of avoiding sin:[483] in which sense thou must fast the whole year, and not remain hungry from morn until night, and style that fasting. Thou must endeavor to keep thy members free from sin, and there will be then no occasion to keep the lips closed against meat and drink; but it is altogether necessary to keep them closed against uttering any evil speech.

Gate the twenty-sixth. As soon as a child is born let them cause it to taste milk.

Gate the twenty-seventh. When going to bed, repeat the forms which commence with the Ita; that is, repeat to the end the Itá Ahu Viríyo, the Eshim Vahu, etc., etc.; repenting of thy sins of sight and hearing, known and unknown, committed or meditated, and imploring forgiveness; also, when thou Pg 322turnest from one side to the other, repeat the whole of the Eshim.

Gate the twenty-eighth. When thou enterest into a covenant either with one of the pure faith or an unbeliever (Durwand), break it not, but maintain it inviolate.

Gate the twenty-ninth. When the believer’s son attains the age of fifteen, the father appoints a Dustúr for his guidance, without whose direction and counsel he does nothing; for no good work is acceptable to God, unless the Dustúr be satisfied; he truly possesses such dignity in the sight of God, that he can remit one-third of any person’s sins. Note, that the title of Dustúr is given to a spiritual director, or one skilled in the faith of Zaratusht.

Gate the thirtieth. When any undertaking occurs, and thou knowest not whether engaging in it be good or sinful, desist, and defer the enterprise until thou hast consulted the Dustúr.

Gate the thirty-first. The believer undertakes nothing on his own experience merely, without previously investigating its nature through his Dustúr, his relation, and the experience of the intelligent.

Gate the thirty-second. Whoever studies the Avesta must learn to read it in the exact words: he Pg 323must also meditate on it continually; for should it depart from his memory, he is guilty of sin. In ancient times, whoever had learned the Avesta and forgotten it, was not permitted to join the congregation, until he had again made himself master of it: nay, they threw bread before him as they would to dogs.

Gate the thirty-third. It behoves a man to be liberal, showing favor to the Arzan, or deserving objects, for this only is profitable.

Gate the thirty-fourth. The religious pour not out water at night, particularly towards the Wakhtar, or “east;” but should it be indispensable, the believer, at the time of throwing it out, repeats the form of words commencing with the Ita, as far as enjoined. Neither does he draw water from the well at night; but when there is an inevitable necessity for it, he recites the formula of the Ita, as enjoined in their books. They seldom drink water at night; but if it be unavoidably necessary to drink, they fetch water from the well: moreover, they never pour out much water.

Gate the thirty-fifth. When they eat bread, they lay by three morsels for the dogs, and never ill use these animals.

Gate the thirty-sixth. When a cock crows out Pg 324of season, they kill him not, but bring another to his aid, for the fowl having seen a Darji (demon) or some approaching calamity, gives notice of it.[484]

Gate the thirty-seventh. If in any place a person who is destitute of fear should deposit a Nisa, or “carcase” under ground, expose and bring it forth.

Gate the thirty-eighth. It is by no means meet to slay animals in profusion, as every hair of theirs will in the other world be as a sword to the destroyer’s body: but the slaughter of sheep is by far the most criminal; for they are of the Sardah,[485] or “primary genus.” This prohibition includes the goat, the kid, and the lamb; the cow and the horse; also the crowing cock, which during that time is as a drum: nay, it is equally improper to slay the cock which crows not; but should it be indispensably necessary to kill him, it will be proper to tie his head (that is, to perform the rite of Yashtan over his head).[486]

Pg 325Gate the thirty-ninth. When thou art about to wash the face, join thy lips, and recite once the formula of the Ashim Vuhu as far as is prescribed; then wash thy face; and when thou shavest, recite the prayer of the Kimna and Mazda[487] as far as the appointed place.

Gate the fortieth. Whoever performs Barashnom[488] must be good in word and deed, for otherwise Pg 326he is deserving of death. Whoever comes to the age of fifteen and performs not this rite, renders whatever he lays his hand on impure like himself. Note, that Barashnom signifies the purification of one’s self by prayer.

Gate the forty-first. On the arrival of the Farvardigán, the believer performs the Darún Yezd, Yazish, and Afrín during ten days. The Farvardigán are five damsels which spin, weave, and sew celestial garments: their names are Ahnavad, Ashnavad, Isfintamad, Kukhashatar, Vahshúshpúsh.[489] Farvardigan[490] Pg 327is the name of the five supplementary or intercalary days of the Persian year. When the spirit quits this world it is naked; but whoever has duly performed the Farvardigán obtains from them royal robes and celestial ornaments.

According to the Yezdánián, these five damsels signify wisdom, heroism, continence, justice, and intellect;[491] and in other passages they call them the five senses.

Gate the forty-second. The true believer must beware of associating with those of a different faith; let him not drink out of the same cup with them. If an unbeliever pollute a cup made of brass, it must Pg 328be washed three times: but if it be of earth, it cannot become pure.

Gate the forty-third. Keep up the fire in thy house, and at night light it up.

Gate the forty-fourth. Shew honor to thy instructor, father, and mother; as otherwise in this world distress shall be thy portion; and in the next, hell.

Gate the forty-fifth. A woman, in her periodical illness, must not direct her eyes to the heaven or the stars; to running water or a Mindáshú; that is, a pure or celestial man. She is to drink water out of any vessel except one of earth. When she eats bread, her hand is to be folded in the sleeve of her dress,[492] and she is to wear a veil on her head.

Gate the forty-sixth. Refrain from Hamiyál, which means calumny, treachery, and adultery: for if the woman’s husband forgive not the adulterer, he cannot, whatever may be his good works, behold the face of paradise.

Gate the forty-seventh. The believer must slay the Kharástár, or “noxious creatures.” Of these it is most meritorious to destroy water-frogs, serpents, scorpions, flies, and ants. According to the Pg 329tenets professed by the true believers, that is, the Yazdáníán and Abadián, it is a meritorious work to destroy any creature which is injurious to animal life or oppressive to the animal creation: but the destruction of any creature which is not injurious to animal life, is not only improper, but the unjust oppressor draws down retribution on himself. The Yezdáníán maintain, that whenever in ancient records the slaughter of a harmless animal is mentioned, the expression is used in an enigmatical sense.

Gate the forty-eighth. It is not proper to walk barefooted.

Gate the forty-ninth. Repent without ceasing: for unless attention be paid to this, thy sin accumulates every year, and becomes more aggravated. If, which God forbid! thou commit a sin, go before the Dustúr; and if thou find him not, to the Hírbud (or minister attending on the sacred fire); and if thou meet him not, repair to some professor of the pure faith; and if thou find not such a one, declare thy repentance before the majesty of the great light. In like manner, at the moment of departing from this world, let a man declare his contrition, and if he be unable, let his son, relative, or those present, perform this rite of penance at that time.

Pg 330Gate the fiftieth. When a son or daughter attains the age of fifteen, it becomes necessary to bind the sacred cincture about the waist, as this forms the bond of duty.

Gate the fifty-first. If a child should die, from the first day of its decease during a space of seven years, “without the expression of grief, recite the Darún of its angel.” On the fourth night after its decease, it is necessary to recite with Yasht, the Darún, or prayer of the angel Surúsh. Note, Yasht is the name given to one of the twenty-one Nosks of the Zand,[493] which is recited for the souls of the deceased: this they also repeat in the Gahanbars: Nosk also signifies a part or section.

Gate the fifty-second. When thou placest on the fire a cauldron for dressing food, it must be of a large size, and two thirds of it without water, so that when it boils, the water may not fall over on the fire.

Gate the fifty-third.[494] When they remove fire Pg 331from one place to another, they lay it apart for a short time, until its place becomes cool; having taken care not to leave it heated, they bear the fire to its destined place.

Gate the fifty-fourth.[495] The true believers wash the face every morning with the Ab-í-zúr, or “water of power,” and afterwards with pure water.[496] After this they recite the formula of the Kimna va Mazda,[497] and then wash the hands; this rite they call Pavaj; but if they wash not the hands in the Ab-í-zúr, their recitation is not accepted.

Pg 332Gate the fifty-fifth. The faithful instruct their sons in the knowledge of religion, and hold in high honor the Kirbud who teaches them.

Gate the fifty-sixth. On the return of the day of Khurdád in the month of Farvardín (the 6th of March), they collect in one place a portion of all the fruits they can find. The true believers then continue to offer them up and to pray over them, repeating the praises of the Lord, in order that their condition may be improved that year; as on this day the angels give nutriment to mankind. When any one has thus prayed, the Amshaspand Khurdád makes intercession for him: this prayer is synonymous with Khusnuman.[498]

Gate the fifty-seventh. Whenever any one sets out on a journey, he must celebrate once the Darún Yeshté. In ancient times, when they set out on an excursion of even twelve parasangs, they performed the same ceremony.[499]

Pg 333Gate the fifty-eighth. If any one have not a son, let him adopt one; and let the adopted son regard him as a father.

Gate the fifty-ninth. Whoever has performed the rites of Yasht and Naú-Roz, cannot immediately after celebrate the Darún Yeshté: he first prays mentally to Ormuzd, and eats bread; and then performs the rites of mental prayer and the Darun.

Gate the sixtieth. It is improper, whilst in an erect posture, to make water; it is therefore necessary to sit down (stoop) and force it to some distance, repeating the Avesta mentally. The religious man is then to advance three paces, and repeat once Pg 334the formula of the Yethá áhú viríyo and the Eshem Vahu, as far as prescribed. On coming out, he is to repeat the Eshem once; the formula of the Homoctanne twice; that of the Hokhshéthrôtemâé three times, and that of the Yethá, etc., four times; and to repeat to the end the formula of the Etha aad iezmede.[500]

Gate the sixty-first. Slay not the Hujjah or weasel, for it is the destroyer of serpents.

Gate the sixty-second. Kill not the water-dog, or otter, but if thou perceive him far out of the water, take him back to his river.[501]

Pg 335Gate the sixty-third. The believer performs during his life the rites which ensure his salvation: the propitiation of the Ized Surúsh is a sacred duty; it is therefore advisable that every person should perform it duly in his own life-time.[502]

Gate the sixty-fourth. When any one departs from this world, the survivors during three days propitiate Surúsh, light a fire for the deceased, and recite the Avesta: as the spirit of the deceased remains there three days, it is therefore necessary to offer up three Darúns to Surúsh Ized. On the fourth night, recite one of them to propitiate Rash and Astad (the angels of the 18th and 26th days of every month); another for that of the other heavenly beings; along with the fourth Darún produce complete dresses, the best and most splendid in thy power. These they style Ashudád, or heaven-bestowed.[503]

Pg 336Gate the sixty-fifth. Women are not enjoined to perform any of these Niyayish, except that they should go three times into their husband’s presence, and inquire what his wishes may be. They must never, either by night or day, avert the face from their husband’s command: which obedience on their part is serving God.[504]

Pg 337Gate the sixty-sixth. The pure faith springs from this belief, that God has delivered us from affliction (in the world to come): and should circumstances occur to any believer which would necessarily lead him to apostatize from the true faith, let all exert themselves to the utmost to aid him, so that he may remain unshaken in the true religion.

Gate the sixty-seventh. Believers never utter a falsehood, although through it they might attain to worldly eminence.

Gate the sixty-eighth. They make truth their profession, and remain free from the degradation of Goyastah (or Gogestah).[505]

Gate the sixty-ninth. The believers beware of any intercourse with a courtesan or unchaste woman, Pg 338also of voluntary degradation (connivance) and adultery. For when a libertine engages in improper correspondence with a woman, she becomes an abomination to her husband; and if, after proof of her misconduct, the husband resume his intimacy with such a wife, he then becomes a Rúspi, or utterly contemptible.

Gate the seventieth. If any one steal property to the amount of one direm, they take from the thief two direms, cut off the lobes of his ears, inflict on him ten blows of a stick, and dismiss him after one hour’s imprisonment. Should he a second time commit a similar act, and steal to the amount of a direm, they make him refund two, cut off his ears, inflict twenty blows, and detain him in prison two hours: should he after that steal three direms or two dangs, they cut off his right hand; and if he steal five hundred direms, they put him to death.

Gate the seventy-first. Beware of open and secret sin: abstain from bad sights and thoughts. Offer up thy grateful prayers to the Lord, the most just and pure Ormuzd, the supreme and adorable God, who thus declared to his prophet Zardusht: “Hold it not meet to do unto others what thou wouldst not have done to thyself: do that unto the people which, when done to thyself, proves not disagreeable to thyself.”

Pg 339Gate the seventy-second. Direct the Hirbud to sanctify for thee an oblation or Darún once every day: if not he, then thyself. It is to be observed that Yazish has the sense of Yashtan; also that Darún (the first letter with Zemma) means a prayer in praise of the Lord and of fire, which being recited by the professors of the pure faith, they breathe over the viands; whatever has been thus breathed over they call Yashtah: for Yashtan signifies the reciting of a prayer.

Gate the seventy-third. Let women perform the rites of oblation in the month of Aban (the 8th month), so that they may be purified from their illness and attain paradise.

Gate the seventy-fourth. Beware of committing adultery; for when the wife of a stranger has been four times visited by a strange man, she becomes accursed to her husband: to put such a woman to death is more meritorious than slaying beasts of prey.

Gate the seventy-fifth. A woman during her illness is not to look at the fire, to sit in water, behold the sun, or hold conversation with a man. Two women, during their illness, are not to sleep in the same bed, or look up to heaven. Women in this state are to drink out of leaden vessels, and not to lay their (bare) hands on bread. The drinking-vessel Pg 340is to be half-filled with water, and not filled up to the brim. They are to fold their hand in the sleeve of their mantle and then lay hold of the vessel: they must not sit in the sun. On the birth of a child, the infant is to undergo ablution along with the mother.

Gate the seventy-sixth. A fire is not to be lighted in a situation exposed to the sun’s rays: also place not over the fire any thing through the interstices of which the sun may shine. But before the time of Mah Abád it was held praiseworthy to light a fire in face of the great luminary for the purpose of making fumigations.

Gate the seventy-seventh. They show the Nisa or dead body to a dog, at the moment the person gives up the soul:[506] and again when they convey it to the burial-place. When removing the body, the Pg 341bearers fasten their hands together with a cord, so that it comes to all their hands and keeps them close to each other; they bear the body along in perfect silence; and if the deceased be a woman advanced in her pregnancy, there are then four bearers instead of two. According to the precepts of Mah Abád, if the woman be pregnant, they are to extract the fœtus and bring it up: the same holds good respecting all animals. Finally, when the professors of the pure faith have conveyed the corpse to the Dad Gah, or “place for depositing the dead,” the bearers wash themselves and put on fresh garments.

Gate the seventy-eighth. It is necessary to beware of (contact with) the wooden frame on which the dead body has been carried or washed; also of that on which any one has been hung; or one touched by a woman during her illness.

Gate the seventy-ninth. If, during a malady, the physician prescribe the eating of any dead animal, let the patient comply without repugnance and partake of it.

Gate the eightieth. A dead body is not to be committed to water or fire.[507]

Pg 342Gate the eighty-first. If any one force a professor of the pure faith to partake of the flesh of a dead body, or even throw it at him, he must perform the Barashnom and recite the Patet Iran. Note: that is, he must repent, and implore pardon, and exert himself in good works, that he may escape going to hell.[508]

Gate the eighty-second. If any animal partake of a dead body, it continues unclean during a whole year.[509]

Gate the eighty-third. Nothing should be given (to the unworthy) unless through dread of the oppressor: that is, if believers apprehend not danger from the sinner, and do not entertain alarm at his power of doing them injury, they are not to give him any thing.

Gate the eighty-fourth. In the morning, on arising from sleep, rub thy hands with something, then thrice wash thy face, thy arms from the wrist Pg 343to the elbow, and thy foot as far as the leg; reciting the Avesta at the same time. If the believer cannot find water, he is then permitted to use dust.

Gate the eighty-fifth. When the husbandman introduces water for the irrigation of his own fields, he carefully observes that there be not a dead body in the stream.

Gate the eighty-sixth. A woman after parturition must during forty days beware of using vessels of wood or earth, and is not to cross the threshold of the house. She is then to wash her head: during all this time her husband is not to approach her.

Gate the eighty-seventh. If a woman be delivered of a dead child previous to four months’ gestation, as it is without a soul, it is not to be regarded as a dead body; but should this occur after the term of four months, it is then to be looked on as a dead body, and to be conveyed to burial with the usual ceremonies.

Gate the eighty-eighth. When a death occurs, the people of the house and the relatives of the deceased are to abstain from meat during three days.

Gate the eighty-ninth. It is incumbent on the professors of the true faith to be liberal, generous, and munificent; for God hath declared: “Paradise is the abode of the liberal.”

Pg 344Gate the ninetieth. Reciting the Eshem Vehu[510] is attended with countless merits: it is necessary to do this at the time of eating bread, of going to sleep, at midnight, on turning from one side to the other, and at the time of rising up in the morning.

Gate the ninety-first. You must not put off the good work of to-day until the morrow, for God declared thus to Zardusht: “Putting off the duties of this day until the following, brings with it cause of regret. O Zardusht! no one in the world is superior to thee in my sight. For thy sake I have even created it;[511] and princes earnestly desire to diffuse the true faith in thy life-time. From the age of Kaíomars to thine, three thousand years have elapsed;[512] and from thee to the resurrection is a period of three thousand years: thus I have created thee in the middle, as that point is most worthy of admiration. Moreover I have rendered obedient to thee king Gushtasp, the wisest Pg 345and most prudent sovereign of the age; whose eminence arises from science and perfect morals, not merely from high birth and lineage. I have also given thee a volume such as the Avesta, and in like manner a perspicuous commentary on it. Expect not that, after thou hast passed away, others will perform good works for thee. Know that Gokhastah or Ahriman has expressly appointed two demons, named Tardiness and Procrastination, for putting off the performance of good works to a remote and future period.”

Gate the ninety-second. Whatever is polluted by a dead body must be purified by Pávyáb water according to this rule: gold once; silver twice; tin and copper thrice; steel four times; stone six times; earthen and wooden vessels must be thrown away. Pávyáb signifies to wash with certain forms of prayer.[513]

Gate the ninety-third. Shew vigilant attention to the fire of Adar Behrám, and to his attendant (genii); light up the fire every night and cast perfumes into it.

Note: Var (Adar) Behrám[514] is the name of the Pg 346angel, the lord of victory, and the bestower of triumph.[515]

Gate the ninety-fourth. The Gáhámbars, which are six in number, must be observed, because the Almighty created the world in six periods or times, the commencement of each period having a particular name; in order to celebrate each of which commencements, they pass five days in festivity and rejoicing. According to the statement in the Zand, the righteous Hormuzd created the whole world in the space of one year.

The first Gáhámbar is called Mídúyzaram, as on the day Khúr (the 11th of the month) Ardibehisht, God commenced the creation of the heavens, which was terminated in forty-five days.

The second Gáhambár, called Midyúshaham, began on the day of Khúr, in the old month of Tir, in sixty Pg 347days from which God completed the creation of the waters.

The third Gáhambár, Pitishahím, commences on the day of Ashtád (the 26th) of the old Shahrivár, in seventy-five days from which God terminated the creation of the earth.

The fourth Gáhambár, called Ayad sahrím, begins on the Ashtád of the old month of Mihr, in thirty days from which the creation of all plants and trees was completed.

The fifth Gahambar, named Mídyárím, begins on the Miher of the old month Ardí (November); God created from this day, in eighty days, all the animals.

The sixth Gahambar, Hamshpata mihdim,[516] beginning on the day of Ahnavad, the first of the five intercalary or surreptitious days, reckoning from which the Almighty terminated the creation of the human race in seventy-five days. Tradition thus ascribes to Jemshid the origin of the festival of the Gáhambár. Pg 348In the Sad-Dár we find it recorded, that the demon one day came to Jemshid’s palace, and the king, as usual, sent him to the kitchen to satisfy his hunger. The demon having devoured all that was there, and also swallowed up whatever they brought him beside, was still unsatisfied. On beholding this, Jemshid cried out to the Lord, and the most righteous God sent the angel Behrám (or Jabrael) to say thus to the king: “Slaughter the red ox, on which pour vinegar, rue, and garlic; take it when boiled out of the cauldron, and serve it up to the demon.” When they had done thus, the demon having tasted one morsel of it, fled and disappeared, from which day they instituted the festival of the Gáhambár.

The Abádiyán say, with respect to the creation, that the actions of God are not circumscribed by time. It must however be acknowledged that Jemshid first established this festival. In the first Gáhambár, Jemshid, by the command of the Almighty, began to depict on the ceiling of his palace the representation of the heavens, which undertaking was finished in forty-five days. Secondly, on the Khúr of Tír he was commanded by the Lord to introduce water into his palace, gardens, city, and cultivated grounds, which work was completed in the course of sixty days. Thirdly, on the Ashtád of Shahrivár, by order of the Almighty (whose name be glorified!) he cleared the surface of the grounds and palace, Pg 349and embellished them exceedingly; he levelled the place of exercise in front of his palace, built houses, and laid out in due order the city and its streets; all which was completed in seventy-five days. Fourthly, on the Ashtád of Mihr, he began to ascertain the properties of all vegetable productions, and completed the embellishment of his garden, and terminated the entire in thirty days. He next, on the day of Mihr in the month of Dáí, collected all species of animals in his garden and assigned their suitable employments to each: to the ox and the ass to carry burdens; to the horse to serve for riding, and so forth; which arrangements were completed in seventy days. Lastly, on the day of Ahnavad, he summoned mankind to appear in his presence, and assigned them their respective occupations; the details of which were finished in the course of seventy days. He then proclaimed: “The Lord has created all these things through me;” and commanded five days to be set apart for rejoicing at the beginning of each Gáhambár. As to the tradition of the demon’s appearing and eating up whatever he found, it is thus explained: by the demon is meant, the depraved sensual appetite, which loves to eat, sleep, shed blood, and such like, and is never satiated with such pursuits; but when the spiritual Jemshid prayed to the Lord, the Jabriel of intellect came with this divine communication: “Slay the sensual Pg 350appetite (which is typified by the ox), that is, indulge it not in the excesses it demands; next apply to the cauldron of the body the vinegar of abstinence, the garlic of reflection, and the rue of silence; then serve up a portion of this food to the Satan-like propensities, that the demon may flee away.” On doing this, he was delivered from the presence of the evil one. Such was the enigma propounded to the people by Zardusht respecting the Gáhambár, and such the solution of it as given by the Abádián professors, who have interpreted in a similar manner the whole of Zardusht’s discourses, which were couched under this enigmatical form.

Gate the ninety-fifth. When any one does good to another, the latter should not forget his benefactor’s goodness.

Gate the ninety-sixth. The believers make Níyáyish to the sun three times every day: they also perform the same to the moon and to fire.

Gate the ninety-seventh. They weep not after the deceased, as the tears thus shed are collected and form a barrier before the bridge of Chinavad, or “of judgment,” and prevent the deceased from passing: but, on reading the Vasta and Zend, they can pass over.[517]

Pg 351

Gate the ninety-eighth. Whoever comes into the presence of the Dustúrs, Mobeds, or Kirbuds, listens to what they say, and rejects it not although painful to him.

Gate the ninety-ninth. The professor of the true religion ought to understand thoroughly the characters of the Avesta and the Zend.

Gate the hundredth. The Mobeds must not instruct a stranger in the Pehlevi language; for the Lord commanded Zardusht, saying: “Teach this science to thy children.”

Enumeration of some advantages which arise from the enigmatical forms of the precepts of Zardusht’s followers.—The substance of the venerable Zardusht’s precepts is contained in enigmas and parables, because with the mass of society, fabulous narrations, though revolting to reason, excite stronger impressions. In the next place, if it were proposed to communicate to an ignorant person the idea of the existence of the necessarily existing God, independent of cause, he could not understand the Pg 352proposition; and if we speak to him concerning the uncompoundedness of intelligences, the immateriality of souls, the excellence of the sphere and stars, he becomes overwhelmed in perplexity and amazement; being utterly unable to comprehend spiritual delights or tortures, or discover the exact truth; whilst the precepts enforced by the figurative expressions of the law come within the understanding of high and low, so that they are profited thereby, and the explanation of the law is attended with a good reputation both in this world and the next. The select few undoubtedly comprehend the nature of certainty, religious abstraction, and philosophy, although the vulgar, in general, hold these in abhorrence: it therefore becomes necessary to clothe the maxims of philosophy in the vestments of law, in order that all classes of society may derive their appropriate advantages from that source: these observations being premised, it is to be remarked, that some Yazdanian professors express themselves after this manner:—The book of the Zend is of two kinds; the one perspicuous and without enigmatical forms of speech, which they call the Mah Zand, or “Great Zand;” the second, abounding in enigmatical and figurative forms of speech, is called the Kah Zand, or “Little Zand.” The Mah Zand contained the precepts of the law promulgated by the venerable Máhábád, such as the volume of Azar Pg 353Sassán, and the Mah Zand was lost during the domination of strangers, particularly the Turks and Greeks: the Kah Zand still remained, but much of it was also lost in other subsequent invasions.

Summary of the contents of the Mah Zend.—It entitles the supreme Lord, Aharmuz, and acknowledges the existence, immateriality, and uncompoundedness of his essence; accounting Bahmán the Great, the first-created being, who is also called Farvardín the Great, and looked upon and styled pure and uncompounded; from him was derived Ardibehesht the Great, along with the sublime soul and body of the empyrean heaven; from Ardibehesht the Great proceeded Khurdád the Great; from him Tír the Great; from him Murdád the Great; from him Shahrívar the Great; from him Mihr the Great; from him Abán the Great; from him Azar the Great; and from him Dai the Great; these are the lords of the heavens, and after Farvardin the Great, are accounted as the months as well as the heavens collectively. In all other points, speculative and practical, such as the protection of harmless creatures and the destruction of noxious animals, it agrees with the Dasátir. During the Ashkanian dynasty, the people conformed to the Kah Zend, but as Ardeshir was obedient to the second Sasán, he, in compliance with the Dasátir and Mah Zend, studiously avoided Pg 354the destruction of harmless animals: for the Mah Zand is a portion of the Dasátir. After him, others adopted the Kah Zand. But Nushirvan, under the guidance of the contemporary Azar Sasán, although conforming to the Dasátir and Mah Zand, was during the whole of his life innocent of the crime of slaying harmless animals; his successors however followed the precepts of the Kah Zend, until the fifth Sasán,[518] having uttered imprecations against the people of Iran, they became the victims of privation and wretchedness.

The professors of the Abadíán faith say that Ahriman was produced by Time: they also say that the angels and the heavens have existed, exist, and will continue to exist.[519] Moreover the belief of the Azar Pg 355Húshengíáns or Yazdaníáns is, that although the faith of Zardusht prevailed universally from the time of Gushtasp to that of Yezdejird, yet that the different intervening princes glossed it over and made it agree with the Azar Hushengíán or Mahabadíán system, so as never to sanction the destruction of animal life; and as they held the words of Zardusht to be figurative, they never put them in practice literally when they contradicted the Azar Hushengíán faith, but invariably glossed them over.

Pg 356This statement proves that Ardeshir Babegan and the other Sasáníán princes showed great reverence to the Azar Sasáníán family and paid them implicit obedience, as being truly the ministers and worshippers of the Lord; they besides accounted them as the legitimate sovereigns, regarding themselves merely as their lieutenants: in short, when the Azar Sasáníáns ceased to reign, they exercised the government in their stead. However the Azar Sasáníáns followed no faith except that of Máhábád, receiving no other without the requisite glosses, and attaching no esteem whatever to the external import of Zardusht’s precepts: that is, regarding his words as true, but holding their external import as figurative. The Behdiníáns also maintain that such was the system adopted by the kings of old, particularly by Dárá, Dáráb, Bahmán, Isfendiár, and Lohrásp.

The present seems the proper time for stating some of the enigmatical sayings ascribed to the Magians or followers of Zardusht, as philosophy is guarded by such expressions from falling into the hands of the ignorant, whilst the sages thereby attain their object.

It is well known that according to their system the world had two creators, Yazdan (the Lord), and Ahriman: but the Lord having entertained this evil thought, “Perhaps an antagonist may rise up to oppose me,” Ahriman was produced, from that Pg 357thought.[520] In some places it is mentioned that God was alone, and gloom having come over him, he entertained an evil suspicion, on which Ahriman was produced. They say that Ahriman, who was outside the world, on looking through a small aperture, and beholding the Lord surrounded with glory and majesty, bore him envy and raised up wickedness and corruption. God then created the angels to be his host, and with them fought against Ahriman; but being unable to destroy him, they made peace with each other on this condition; that Ahriman should remain in the world during a definite period; and on his departure it should become the abode of unalloyed good.[521] Pg 358Jamásp, the venerable sage, says thus: “It is to be remarked that ‘world’ is a metaphorical expression for body; and ‘God,’ for the aspiration of the spirit; ‘Ahriman,’ for the physical temperament; ‘the evil thought,’ the habitual bias of the soul to material objects; by ‘the wickedness and corruption of Ahriman, and his war,’ are implied the domination of the sensual passions over spirit; and what they said of ‘the terrestrial world,’ means the same; by ‘the creation of angels,’ the existence of praiseworthy qualities and perseverance in pure morals, with the subjugation of the senses by means of religious austerities, for the senses constitute the gratuitous foes of the heart; by ‘peace,’ is signified the impossibility of expelling by one effort the evil propensities which are the armies of Iblis; that is, excess and extravagance are to be avoided, and the path of moderation followed; the circumstance of ‘Ahriman’s remaining in the world for a definite period,’ means the ascendancy and supremacy of the bodily passions, particularly in early years, and before arriving at mature reflection, and even during other periods of this mortal Pg 359life, in certain constitutions; ‘the departure of Ahriman from the world’ implies voluntary death, or religious austerities, or compulsory death, which is the natural decease; when the soul has by such means been emancipated, it finds itself adorned with perfections and attains to its particular sphere or bliss without alloy.”

They have said: “Darkness besieged Light and imprisoned it; on which event the angels having come to the assistance of Light, Darkness demanded help from Ahriman, its source; but the angels having overcome the prince of Darkness, gave him a respite until the appointed hour and the predestined death.” As to Darkness having arisen from the evil thought of Light, the venerable sage Jamasp says: “The interpretation of this tradition is the same as that of the preceding; as thus: The soul is a precious substance, formed from light; its darkness, the bodily passions; its confinement and imprisonment, the dominion of the passions over that luminous essence, which drag down the souls of the wicked to the desolation of the lower world; the assistance of angels, is the obtaining of grace and power through elevation of mind, proceeding from illumination from on high, and the ascent of the spirit to the world of intellect; delay or respite implies the continuance of the passions until the period of Pg 360natural death; and the corrupt thought the bias of the soul to material objects.”

Dáwar Haryár, the author of the Dáráí Sekandur, having once questioned the author concerning the enigmatical meanings attached to the words God and Ahriman, received this answer: “Light is the same as existence, and darkness signifies non-existence; God is therefore light or existence, and Ahriman is darkness or non-existence. When it is said that Ahriman is opposed to God, the meaning is, that God is existence, the opposite to which is non-existence.”

They say that the creation and production of diseases, serpents, scorpions, and such like is an abominable act, originating with Ahriman, which Jamásp thus explains: “It is evident that diseases, such as ignorance, folly, pride, negligence, noxious creatures, (such as) anger, lust, strong passions, concupiscence, calumny, envy, malignity, covetousness, treachery, fraud, and the like, arise not from spirit, but from the elemental constitution.” They have also said: “An angel is the agent of good, and Ahriman the agent of evil; and that God is exempt from both these acts; which the celebrated sage Jamásp thus explains:—By angel is implied spirit and the agent of good; which, if it overcome the senses, engages man in virtuous words and acts, which are styled ‘good.’ Ahriman, Pg 361or Satan, in this place means the desires inherent in the constitution of the senses, which, on obtaining the victory over spirit, attract it towards the pleasures of sense, thus making it forget its original abode; which is denominated ‘evil:’ and as the Almighty has given his creatures free will, neither are their good or evil deeds to be imputed to him.” This saying: That the soul of him who has done evil, having determined on flight through fear of divine wrath, plunges downwards, is thus explained by the sage Jamasp: “By ‘sinner’ is understood one whose essence is defective; by ‘descent,’ turning away from the superior to corporeal attachments; by ‘resolving on flight,’ the strong desires of passion, through the suggestion of body, until the entire departure of divine grace.”

Thus far extend the illustrations of the sage Jamásp. But that the scope of Zardusht is couched under allegories agrees with the declaration made by the great Bahman, the son of Isfendiár, the son of king Gushtásp, who says: “Zardusht once said to me: ‘My father and mother delivered me to nurses, who dwelt in a place far remote from the city of my birth; with these I remained many a long year, until I quite forgot my father, mother, and native town. Suddenly this thought came over my mind—Who are my parents, Pg 362and where the place of my birth?—I struggled hard until I returned naked and bare the way by which I had come; and having gained my house and beheld my father and mother, I returned again to the place where my nurses dwelt. As the dress worn by the people of this country was on my person, I shall therefore remain here until this dress is worn out, and then depart, in order that it may not be said—He was unable to perform his office and has run away, leaving our despised garments.’”

Bahman, the son of Isfendiár, thus says: “All that Zardusht uttered was enigmatical: the ‘city and native place’ are the angelic world; by ‘father,’ is meant the primary intelligence; and by ‘mother,’ the universal soul; ‘the nurses,’ this lower world and junction with body; ‘forgetting the original abode,’ attachment to the elements of body; ‘recalling it to memory,’ implies the struggle towards that direction; ‘the arriving there,’ means religious austerities; ‘the state of nakedness,’ the divesting one’s self of bodily attachments; ‘the returning back to the nurses,’ means resuming the body; ‘that it may not be said that he was alarmed at the performance of duty, and ran off, leaving his clothes behind; I shall not therefore depart from hence, until these clothes be worn out;—the performance of duty,’ signifies the amassing of the Pg 363capital of knowledge, true faith, and good works; by ‘the clothes being worn out,’ is implied the separation of the bodily members; that is, I will remain here as long as the body lasts, and after its dissolution return to my native place.”

Prince Isfendiár, the son of king Gushtásp, also tells us: “Zardusht once said to me: ‘A number of persons once left their native place for the purpose of acquiring wealth, that on their return they might pass their time in pleasure and enjoyment. On arriving at the city of their destination, some of them amassed wealth; some devoted themselves to wandering about the place and contemplating the beauties with which it abounded; whilst others remained altogether inactive. When the time of packing up came, the king of that people said—Depart from hence, that another set may arrive, and obtain their portion, as you have done.—On which all these people went out, some provided with stores for the journey; some without any provision; a few on horseback; a multitude on foot; a wide desert lay before, and a toilsome road, through rocks and prickly thorns, devoid of cultivation, destitute of water and shade. Those who were on horseback and furnished with provisions passed over, and having reached their native city, gave themselves up to joy and gladness; Pg 364those who were on foot, and had provided stores for the journey, after experiencing many ups and downs, at last, with extreme difficulty, reached their halting place, where they passed their time in a state of happiness proportioned to their gains, although, on instituting a comparison between themselves and those inhabitants and dignified persons who had acquired opulence by commercial pursuits, they feel pangs of regret; but those who came out of the city without any kind of conveyance or stores, and thinking that without supplies they could reach their native place, when they had gone some little distance, became wearied and unable to proceed through weakness, and fatigue from walking, want of provisions, the difficulties of the road, distress, the sun’s overpowering heat, and the gloom of night; they were forced by necessity to turn back to the city, where they had been; but other merchants had in the meantime taken possession of the houses, dwellings, shops, and apartments which they formerly occupied: they were thus reduced to a state of destitution, and had no resource left but that of working for hire or turning mendicants, pursuits which they adopted.’”

Isfendiar says: “‘The city from which they departed for the purposes of commerce’ is the angelic world; Pg 365that to which they came with the design of accumulating wealth’ is the lower world; ‘the houses, shops, etc.,’ signify the human body; ‘the people of the city’ are the animals, vegetables, and minerals; ‘the king,’ the elemental nature; ‘what the merchants have amassed’ are their words and deeds; ‘what others have collected’ is devotion without knowledge; ‘the inactive’ are those whose only “pursuits were sleep, sensual gratification, etc.; ‘the exclamation of the king’ is Death, who expels them from the mansions of body; ‘the deserts and mountains,’ the extremes of heat and cold; ‘the equestrians’ are those who unite the speculative and practical; ‘the pedestrians, who were furnished with some provisions’ are those who adore God, but neither knew themselves nor the Lord; ‘they who are without provisions or conveyance’ are those destitute of knowledge and good works, who being unable to reach the angelic world, return in despair to the elemental world, forfeiting the rank they once possessed.”

The sage Shah Nasir Khusran says on this head:

“When any one travels this road for that important purpose,
He takes at least a loaf of bread under his arm:
How then canst thou, who hast no store, proceed up the mount,
From the centre of darkness to the zenith of Saturn?”
In some other parables of Zardusht, which are here noticed, he speaks thus: “When the travellers, Pg 366in consequence of the want of stores and fatigue of walking, return back to the king’s city, not finding their former beautiful mansions, they settle themselves in caverns or lanes, hiring themselves as labourers or subsisting on alms.”

Esfendiar says: “By this is understood, that when they quit this mortal frame, they cannot reach the world on high, owing to their want of knowledge and good works; being thus rejected, on their return to the elemental world, they cannot obtain human bodies, but are invested with the forms of the brute creation.” As this parable nearly resembles what has been heretofore mentioned, it is unnecessary to describe it more in detail.

“When thou departest from the inn of the body, there is no other storehouse;
Why dost thou not therefore procure supplies for the road in this place of sojourn?”
Isfendiar also records: “Zardusht once said: ‘Two persons of one house were partners, and were both possessed of great capital; they said:—We have gained a sufficient stock of wealth in the world, and live and dress in a manner suitable to our great riches; we now only want some beloved object, that our existence may be more blissful: therefore, to attain our desire, it will be necessary to undertake a journey. They Pg 367directed their course to a city, the inhabitants of which were famed for beauty and gracefulness; on arriving there with the caravan, one of the partners gave himself up to traversing the gardens, and was so absorbed in admiring the beauties of the city, that he attended to no business whatever, whilst the other partner obtained a mistress of exquisite beauty. All of a sudden the garden-door was closed.’”

Isfendiar says “Záíd and Amru[522] may serve as an example of the two friends; ‘the capital and stock,’ the original world; ‘the city of beauteous persons,’ this world; ‘the desirable beloved object,’ good works; ‘the rapacious animals, reptiles, and beasts’ are anger, lust, excessive desire, hatred, envy, concupiscence, malignity, and avarice; ‘the herbage and gardens’ are sloth and pride; ‘the garden-door,’ the dakhmah (or sepulchral vault); ‘the urn,’ the grave, or the place of burying the dead; ‘shutting the garden-door’ the moment of death.”

His reasons for enumerating the urn, dakhmah, and grave are, that according to the faith of Azur Húshang, or Máhábád, they sometimes put the body of the deceased into a jar of aqua-fortis, as among them the body is deposited indifferently either in the dakhmah or the jar: but the sepulchre is in use Pg 368among the people of Room, and the funeral pile among those of Hindustan.

King Gushtásp also relates the following parable of Zardusht: “A certain man delivered his son to a preceptor, saying: ‘Within such a time teach this boy the accomplishments necessary for a courtier.’ The boy, however, through a fondness for pleasure, sport, and amusements, was unwilling to give himself any trouble, and was slow in learning any thing; he however every day secretly brought from home sweetmeats and agreeable objects, as his tutor had a great inclination for such enjoyments. When the preceptor’s time had passed in this manner, and his pupil had become habituated to revelling, sensual pleasures, and enjoyments, the tutor at last fell dangerously indisposed through these excesses, and laid himself down on the bed of death. His pupil well knew he had no other place left, and that he must return to his parents, so that when his master fell sick, he became sensible of his own state. Through dread of his father, shame of his mother, the disgrace of ignorance, and a sense of contrition, he went not near them, but pined in melancholy and wandered about in obscurity.”

This parable has been thus explained by Gushtásp: “‘The preceptor’ signifies the five senses; ‘the son,’ the immortal spirit; ‘the father,’ the universal Pg 369intelligence; ‘the mother,’ the universal soul; ‘the sweetmeats and mistresses,’ worldly enjoyments; ‘the indispensable necessity of the immortal spirit,’ that it should, through the senses and the common reflection which is their instructor, attain the objects of intellect and amass provisions for its return, so that it may become the associate of the only true king. If this purpose be not effected, it of course feels terror at the death of the body. When it has become thus biassed to sensual pleasures and devoid of all goodness, on being separated from the body, although still possessed of sufficient energy for mounting on high, yet through shame and confusion, it feels no desire of arriving there and beholding its parents, soul and intellect.”

The venerable Húryár once said to the author: “I have seen the following narrative in the Ramazastán of Zardusht: ‘The prime minister to the sovereign of the world had so many sons, that their number surpassed all computation; these he first sent to a place of education, where, along with the children of Rayas (cultivators), they might attain knowledge. If the minister’s sons became intelligent, the Dustúr summoned them to his presence, and enrolled them among the king’s confidential servants; but if they remained without science, they were not regarded as the Pg 370Vizir’s sons, but classed among the Rayas; were not permitted to come into his presence; and were cut off from all share in their father’s inheritance.”

The author replied: “It occurs to me that, by ‘the king of the world,’ is meant the supreme God without equal; by ‘vizir,’ the primary intelligence; and by ‘the sons of the vizir,’ the souls endowed with reason; by ‘school,’ the elemental world, and the bodies formed of the elements; and by ‘the children of the common people’ the corporeal senses and passions.”

When the immortal spirits have acquired knowledge in this place of education, their father, “Universal Intelligence,” brings them near himself, and advances them to the rank of holding intercourse with the Lord of Eternity: but the souls which do not acquire knowledge in this school are not allowed access to the world of uncompounded beings, the abode of the Universal Intelligence, and remain banished from the presence of the Creator of the world; so that they make no advance from the material bodies of this abode of the elements, which hold the rank of Rayas, but are excluded from all share in the inheritance of the primary intelligence or the acquisition of knowledge.

Zardusht has also said: “In the upper regions there exists a mighty ocean, from the vapors of Pg 371which a great mirage appears in this lower world: so that nothing save that illusion subsists here; exactly as nothing besides that ocean exists in the world on high.”

The revered ruler of Húryár, having asked the author the meaning of this parable, received this answer: “‘The mighty ocean’ means the absolute essence and pure existence of God; ‘the mirage’ implies contingent existences, which in truth exist not, but appear to do so, through the inherent property of God’s absolute existence; according to this view, he has said: ‘From the vapors of that ocean has arisen the mirage.’”

It is recorded in the books composed by Zardusht’s followers, and also in the ancient histories of Iran, that at the period of Arjásp’s second invasion of Balkh, king Gushtasp was partaking of the hospitality of Zál, in Sistan, and Isfendiar was a prisoner in Dazh Gambadán; and that Lohorásp, notwithstanding the religious austerities he performed through divine favor, laid aside the robes of mortality in battle, after which the Turks took the city. A Turk named Turbaratur, or Turbaraturhash, having entered Zardusht’s oratory, the prophet received martyrdom by his sword. Zardusht, however, having thrown at him the rosary (Shumar Afin, or Yád Afráz) which he held in his hand, there proceeded Pg 372from it such effulgent splendor, that its fire fell on Turburatur and consumed him.[523]

[382] If the claims to originality and antiquity of the language in which the Desátir is written were admitted, we should have (pp. 146, 147, Engl. transl.) Hertushád or Hertúrásh, as the first and true name of the Persian prophet who followed immediately Kái Khusro. In Zand, upon which language we are now better informed, the true name of this legislator of the Persians is Zerethoshtró, or Zarathustra, which signifies “star of gold;” of this was formed in the Pehlevi language the name of Zaratesht or Zaratosht, and in Farsi that of Zardúsht or Zaradusht. The Greeks have changed the original Zand name, either by removing the “th” in the middle of it, and thus making it Zereoshtró, Zoroastrés; or by omitting the final syllable “tro,” whence it became Zaratos, Zabratos, Zaradas, Zarasdés, Zathraustés; we find, moreover, Zoromasdrès, Azonaces, and Nazaratús. The most ancient mention of the name of Zoroastrès, in Greek books, is to be found in the works of Plato, and dates therefore from the fourth century before our era. The original word has been translated by ἀστροδύτης, “he who sacrifices to the stars;” by ἀστροδέατης “he who contemplates the stars;” and by “living star.” These interpretations relate to the character of a priest and of an astronomer, generally attributed to Zoroaster, who is also believed to have been the inventor of magic; this word was originally taken in a sense very different from that which has been given to it in later times, and can be referred to the name of Magi, or Mobeds (see note, p. 17), well known to Herodotus in the fifth century B. C. These Magi are represented as the teachers and priests of a most pure philosophy and religion, the origin of which is placed by the Desátir and the Dabistán in the most remote and ante-historical times of the Máhábádiáns. It may therefore appear less surprising to find in Pliny’s Natural History (I. xxx. c. 1. 2.) Zoroaster placed, pursuant to the authority of Aristotle and Eudoxus, 6000 years before the death of Plato, and, conformably to Hermippus, 5000 years before the Trojan war. The last date is repeated by Plutarch (lib. de Is. et Osir.). Diogenes Laertius says: “Hermodoros, a Platonic philosopher, counts 5000 years from the establishment of the Magi to the destruction of Troy.” According to Suidas, a Zoroaster lived 500 years before the Trojan war; if the number 500 had been erroneously substituted for 5000, which is admissible (see M. de Fortia d’Urban, Mathématiciens illustres, p. 354), we should have the agreement of all these creditable authors just mentioned, from the fourth century before, to the twelfth century after, our era, in fixing the age of Zoroaster and the establishment of the Magi, 6352 or 6194 years B. C.

The epocha of the Magi (putting aside that of the Máhábádiáns) has also been taken for that of Tahmuras and Jemshid, that is, 3460 or 3429 years B. C. According to other accounts (collected in the Hist. Diction. of Moreri, Bayle, etc., etc.), a Zoroaster ruled the Bactrian empire in the times of Ninus, the Assyrian king, 2200 years B. C.; vanquished by the latter, he desired to be consumed by the fire of heaven, and exhorted the Assyrians to preserve his ashes as a palladium of their empire; after he had been killed by lightning, his last will was executed. Some historians (see Herbelot sub voce) admit a Zerdúsht in the age of Feridún, 1729 years B. C. Several other learned men concur in placing him much later, few below the sixth century before our era.

In the utter impossibility to decide upon so many conflicting statements, there is perhaps no better means of reconciling them all, than concluding that Zoroaster having, in the course of ages, become a generic or appellative name for sages, prophets, and kings professing and promoting a certain religion or philosophy, this name could be applied to several individuals who appeared at different times, and in different countries of Asia. Hence we explain in the various accounts a plurality of Zoroasters, and an identity of several personages with one Zoroaster; he has indeed been supposed to be the same with Japhet, Ham (Heemo), Zohak, Nimrod, Buddha, Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, Balâam, etc., etc. Whatever it be, the Dabistán treats in this chapter of the Zardúsht, who appeared under the reign of Gushtasp, king of Persia, upon whose epocha too our chronologers are not unanimous.

Independently of the Dasátir, written originally in a particular language, the Persians have Zand books which they attribute to the last Zoroaster himself. Except these works, the age of which is a subject of dispute, they have no written records of their great legislator prior to the ninth or tenth century of our era, and these are the poems of Dakiki and Ferdusi. The latter narrates, in his Shah-nameh, the history of Zerdúsht under the reign of Gushtasp. We have besides a Shah nameh naser, or a Shah-nameh in prose, composed by some one of the Magi (Hyde, p. 324). The Zardusht-nameh, and the Changragatcha-nameh are Persian poems, the epocha of which, according to Anquetil du Perron (Zend-Avesta, t. I. pp. 6, can scarcely be fixed farther back than the fifteenth century.—A. T.

[383] This is also related in Mirkhond’s Runzat-us-Safa (Shea’s transl., p. 286).—A. T.

[384] Zaratúsht-Bahram is the author of the Zaratúsht-namah before-mentioned (see Hyde, p. 332). The epoch of this work is uncertain, according to the opinion of the dostúrs of India; yet the author of it informs us, in the 2nd chapter, that he has translated it into Persian from the Pehlvi under the dictation of a Mobed skilled in this language; and in the last chapter in which he names himself he says that he composed the Zaratusht-namah in the year 647 of Yezdegerd, which answers to 1276 of our era (see Zend-Avesta, t. I. 2. P. p. 6).—A. T.

[385] According to Cedrenus, an author of the eleventh century, Zoroaster descended from Belus or Nimrod: this king is, by some authors, identified with Zohák, who married two daughters of Djemchid, from whom also Faridun descended; on account of this relationship, Zoroaster’s origin may without contradiction be referred to Belus and to Faridun. In the Desâtir, the name of his father is Heresfetmád. According to the authority of the book Sad-der (see Hyde, p. 316), Patirásp, the grandfather of Zoroaster, descended from Hitcherasp, who sprung from Tchechshúnesh, and this from Espintaman, or Sad-yuman; who is therefore the third ancestor of the prophet: nevertheless this last is often called simply Espintaman, or also Sapetman; which word, according to Anquetil du Perron (t. I. 2. p. 9), signifies “excellent.”—A. T.

[386] The same dream is related in the Zardusht-namah (c. 3 and 4), as well as in the work of Henry Lord (p. 451), quoted by Anquetil du Perron (Zend-Avesta, t. I. 2. P. p. 11).—A. T.

[387] The tradition of this appears to be widely spread, not only in the East but also in the West, as it is mentioned by Pliny (H. N. I. vii. c. 16), with the addition of one wonderful particular, namely, that Zartusht’s brain palpitated so much as to repel the hand laid upon his head, a presage of future science. Solinus (c. 1) relates the same fact. Zoroaster is proverbially known as the first child who laughed on being born.—A. T.

[388] See note, p. 211. This name has also been supposed a mere corruption of ازر دوست, azer dóst, that is, “a friend of fire” (see Hyde, who rejects it, p. 314).—A. T.

[389] The same circumstances of the child’s dangers and miraculous escapes are related in the Zardusht-namah (c. 7-11), and in Changrégatha-namah (c. 2).—A. T.

[390] In the Zardusht-nameh, the name of the magician is Turberatorsh.—A. T.

[391] The edition of Calcutta reads generally ژند, zhand; we shall keep the more familiar name, زند, zand. We find also Avesta-zand, and simply Asta and zand.

Herbelot has interpreted this name of Zoroaster’s writings by “the book of life.” Hyde thought (p. 336) that Zand Avesta was properly Zand va Esta, or Zand u Esta, and Zand, an Arabic word signifying “igniarium, focile, pixis ignaria,” joined to the Hebrew-Chaldaic word Eshta, or Esta, “ignis,” and explained the whole name by “igniarium” and “ignis,” or “tinder and fire.” According to Anquetil du Perron (Zend-Avesta, t. II. p. 423), zand signifies “living,” and Avesta, “word;” therefore Zand-Avesta, “the living word;” which was anciently the law of the countries limited by the Euphrates, the Oxus, and the Indian ocean (ibid., t. I. p. xiv). This law or religion is still professed by the descendants of the Persians who, conquered by the Muhammedans, have not submitted to the Koran; they partly inhabit Kirman, and partly the western coast of India, to the north and south of Surat. It is besides now decided by the investigations of the above-named author, and by those of Kleuker, Rask, as well as by those of Messrs. Eugene Burnouf, Bopp, Lassen, and other philologers, that Zand was an ancient language derived from the same source as the Sanskrit; it was spoken before the Christian era, particularly in the countries situated to the west of the Caspian sea, namely in Georgia, Iran proper, and Azerbijan (the northern Media). Moreover the Pa-zand denotes a dialect derived from the Zand, or a mixed Zand, similar to the Rabbinic language of the Jews (Z.-Av., t. II. pp. 67, 68).

It is generally known that Anquetil du Perron brought, in the year 1762, from Surat in India, and deposited in the Royal library of Paris, several Zand, Pehlvi, and Persian works, which, according to his opinion, were partly the original works written by Zoroaster himself, partly translated, or at least derived from original works of the Persian prophet. These writings, namely The Vendidad, in Zand and Pehlvi, were brought about the year 1276, by the Dostur Ardeshir, from Sistan to Guzerat, and there communicated to the Parsees, who made two copies of them; from these come all the Vendidads, Zand and Pehlvi, of Guzerat. These works, parts of which only existed in England, were then for the first time translated into an European language, and published in French by Anquetil. Examined as monuments of an ancient religion and literature of the Persians, they have been differently appreciated by learned men, and their authenticity denied by some, among whom the most conspicuous are sir William Jones, Richardson, and Meiners, and defended by others, by none with more zeal than John Frederic Kleuker, who not only translated Anquetil’s Zand-Avesta into German, in three volumes, but in an appendix of two volumes (all in quarto) commented and discussed with great judgment, sagacity, and erudition, all that relates to the Zand-books attributed to Zoroaster. Here follow, as shortly as possible, the principal results of his laborious investigations:—testimonies of the existence of works attributed to Zoroaster are found in Greek authors who lived before our era. It was in the sixth century B. C. that the Persian religion and philosophy became known in Europe by Hostanes, the Archimagus who accompanied Xerxes in his expedition against Greece. In the fourth century B. C., Plato, Aristotle, and Theopompus show a knowledge of Zoroaster’s works. In the third century B. C., Hermippus treats expressly of them, as containing not less than 120,000 distichs. Soon after the beginning of the Christian era, works attributed to Zoroaster are mentioned under different names by Nicolaus of Damascus, Strabo, Pausanius, Pliny, and Dion Chrysostomus. St. Clement of Alexandria, in the third century, was not unacquainted with them. Later, the Gnostics made a great use of the oriental cosmogony and psychology as derived from Zoroaster. The testimony of Eusebius establishes that, in the fourth century, there existed a collection of sacred works respecting the theology and religion of the Persians. It was mostly the liturgical part of them that was spread about, mixed with notions relative to the magical art. The empress Eudokia of the fifth, and Suidas of the twelfth, century, attribute to Zoroaster several books, four of which treat of nature, one of precious stones, and five of astrology and prognostics. So much and more can be gathered from Greek and Latin works about the writings of the Persian legislator.

The records of the Muhammedans concerning them begin only in the ninth century, by Muhammed Abu Jafar Ebn Jerir el Tabari (Hyde, 317-319), according to whom Zoroaster wrote his revelations upon 12,000 cow-skins (or parchment folios). Abu Muhammed Mustapha, in his life of Gushtasp, says: “Zoroaster wrote the just-mentioned work in 12 tomes, each of which formed a bullock’s load.” Both authors say that the Persian king deposited these books, magnificently ornamented, in Istakhar. By several other authors, from the ninth to the seventeenth century, it is positively established that the books of the Zand-Avesta existed in all the centuries in which the Muhammedans had intercourse with the disciples of Zartusht. Works composed by the latter are: the Bun-Dehesh, the Viraf-nameh, the Sad-der Bun-Dehesh, the Ulemai-Islam, the Ravacts (that is, the correspondence between the Dosturs of Persia and India since the fifteenth century), the Zaratusht nameh, the Changragachah namah, and the history of the flight of the Parsees to India. In all these works breathes the spirit of the strongest conviction that authentic works of Zartusht have, although not entirely, yet partly, been preserved to later days. This conviction is common to a numerous nation, who adhere to their sacred books as to the inappreciable inheritance of their forefathers. The generality of this sentiment is attested by several respectable and intelligent European travellers in the East, such as Henry Lord, Gabriel de Chinon, J. B. Tavernier, D. Sanson, the chevalier Chardin, and others.

The name of Zand-Avesta belongs, among the books published by Anquetil, exclusively to those the original of which is truly Zand; these alone are canonical; they are five in number, all theological, for the most part liturgical, namely: 1. the Izechné, “elevation of the soul, praise, devotion;” called also the little Avesta; 2. the Vispered, “the chiefs of the beings there named;” 3. the Vendidad, which is considered as the foundation of the law (these three are called together the Vendidad Sadé, “to combat Ahriman”) 4. the Yeshts Sades, or “a collection of compositions and of fragments, more or less ancient;” 5. the book Siroz, “thirty days,” containing praises addressed to the Genius of each day: it is a sort of liturgical calendar. These are the Zand-books existing in our days; the originals of them are said by the learned Foucher to have been composed under the reign of Gushtasp, whom he places before the time assigned to Darius Hystaspes, whilst Anquetil and other modern authors identify under these names a king of Persia, who lived about the middle of the sixth century before our era. We may reasonably believe that the Zand-books were written at a time when the Zand was a living, nay the dominant language, in those countries where these books first appeared; that is, in Georgia, in Iran, and in Azerbijan. Now, if it be admitted that the Zand was in these countries quite a dead language already, under the Ashkanian dynasty of Persia (the Arsacides), the first of whom, Aghush, began to reign 310 years B. C., it will follow, that the Zand-books were written long before that time, that is, most likely at least, so early so the sixth century before the Christian era.

Besides the original Zand-books, Anquetil translated also from the modern Persian the Bun-Dehesh. This is a collection of treatises upon several points, ranged under 34 sections—a sort of encyclopædia, theological, cosmological, historical, and political. This work is written in Pehlvi, and believed to be the translation of a Zand original no more to be found in India. It is the most ancient of the modern works of the Parsees, and was written probably about the seventh century of our era.

What may confirm us in the opinion that these books, still in the hands of the Parsees, are truly derived from much more ancient works is, that their contents agree in a great number of principal points with the doctrine attributed to the Magi and to Zoroaster by ancient Greek authors, of whom the later Parsees had certainly not the least knowledge, whilst their Zand-books contain the names of the first and most ancient kings of the Medes and Persians, and no other but those, of whom the Greeks knew nothing. No king and no private person, after Gushtasp and Zoroaster, are mentioned in the Zand-books.

Sixty years had elapsed since the publication of the Zand-Avesta by Anquetil, when M. Eugène Burnouf undertook a revision and commentary of that part of the Zand-works which the first had translated and published, under the Pehlvi name of Iseshné, and which, in Zand, is entitled Yasna. Among the manuscripts which Anquetil had brought from India was a Sanskrit translation, made towards the end of the fifteenth century by a Dostur called Neriosengh, probably from a Pehlvi version of a Zand original. M. Eugène Burnouf, to give a better interpretation of the Zand text, not only availed himself of the double translation, executed by Neriosengh and Anquetil, but also, independently of both, applied the principles of comparative philology to the analysis of many Zand-words, the true signification of which he fixed, and by various judicious observations, interspersed in his commentary, threw light upon the geography, history, and religion of ancient Persia. He published in 1833 the first volume of his work, under the title “Commentaire sur le Yasna:” he had before (1829) published the lithographed Zand text of it in one folio volume. In 1836 appeared, at Bombay, a lithographed edition of the same Zand text.”—A. T.

[392] Mina, semen virile.

[393] The quarrel between Zartusht and his father, and the death of the head magician, as well as what preceded—these facts are related nearly in the same manner in the Zerd. Nam., ch. 12-15.—A. T.

[394] Anquetil du Perron states that this expanse of water was the river Araxes (t. 1. 2. P. p. 19).

[395] The month of February, the last month of the year.—A. T.

[396] Anquetil du Perron, quoting the Zerd. Nam., c. 18, says, an army of serpents, perhaps tribes of Nâgas, which came from the North.—A. T.

[397] Mediomah, cousin to Zardusht, the first who embraced the law; he meditated on it profoundly, published and practised it: he confers happiness on cities.—D. S.

[398] April, the second month of the year.—A. T.

[399] Dabati, the name given, in Parsi works, to the Caspian sea.—D. S.] Anquetil du Peron says (t. 1. 2. P. p. 21) that he passed the Cyrus on his way to the Caspian sea.—A. T.

[400] Anquetil du Peron says here, quoting H. Lord, that Zardusht retired to the mountains for consulting the Supreme Being, and adds in a note that, according to the Vendidad, it was upon the mount Alborz that he consulted Hormuzd (t. 1. 2. P. p. 22). The geographical situation of this mountain has been indicated in the note at p. 22; but by the religion of the Parsees it is placed in the supernatural world, to which Zoroaster was transported, as related above. The sacred Alborz is the first of mountains; it attained its first elevation in fifteen years, and took eight hundred years to complete its growth; it rose up from the middle of the earth to the region of the first light, the delightful abode of Mithra, of whom hereafter; the sun and the moon depart from and return to this mountain every day (see Zend-Av., t. II. pp. 206, 207, 214, 357, 361, 364, and elsewhere).—A. T.

[401] See note, p. 215. Zardusht is called the son of Espintaman. The edition of Calcutta reads Askiman; the manuscript of Oude, Askatamán.—A. T.

[402] The Amshásfands are the six first celestial spirits after Ormuzd. Their name is derived from the Zand-words emeshe, “immortal,” and sepente, “excellent, perfect.”—A. T.

[403] It is generally acknowledged that Ahriman was the author of evil, opposed to Ormuzd, the creator and promoter of every good; but different opinions are entertained upon the origin of these two mighty beings. According to the most ancient doctrine, both were the productions of a primordial cause, which is called Zaruam akarenê, “the boundless time.” The Zand-books, as well as Shahristani and the Ulemi Islam, make Ahriman anterior to Ormuzd, that is to say, in plain language, “the evil was before the good.” These two were, however, not distinguished from each other before Ahriman had become jealous of Ormuzd, for which he was condemned by the great creator Time to dwell in the abode of darkness for twelve thousand years. It was then only that Ormuzd saw with horror his deformed and frightful adversary, and to oppose the effects of his existence created, within three thousand years, a celestial region and a celestial people. Ahriman, long time ignorant of what was preparing against him, had scarce perceived the light of Ormuzd, when he ran to destroy it, but, amazed at its beauty, fled back to hell, where he hastened to produce a host of evil beings. In vain did Ormuzd offer reconciliation to Ahriman, and even a partnership in the priesthood of the boundless time; the fiend rejected all terms of peace, and war began to rage between them (see Zend-Av., t. II. pp. 345, 347.)

According to the books of the Parsees and of the Muhammedans who give an account of their doctrine, Ahriman is bad by nature: nor do the more ancient Zand-books say that he ever was good; yet the explanation given about this mysterious being can but involve contradictions in more than one respect. He alone is able to resist Ormuzd, of whom his existence is entirely independent; he is the king of the beings which he has created, and which Ormuzd cannot annihilate; nor can the latter prevent the effects of the power by which his enemy destroys the people of the just, and banishes the moral good from the earth.

An account of Ahriman’s origin, somewhat different from this, will be seen hereafter in the Dabistán.—A. T.

[404] These sentiments agree singularly with the following passage of Plato: Των μεν αγαδων αλλον ουδενα αιτιατεον, των δὲ κακων αλλ’ αττα δει ζητειν τα αιτια, αλλ’ ου τον Θεον (De Republica). “The author of good is God alone; but the author of evil any thing else rather than God.”—A. T.

[405] According to the Zardusht-nameh quoted by Anquetil (t. I. 2. P. p. 24) Zardusht delivered from hell a person who had done good and evil. This person, believe some Parsees, was Jamshid who, towards the end of his life, wished to be adored as a God. Others say it was Gersh-asp, a famous warrior, who suffered in hell for having struck the sacred fire.—A. T.

[406] Ardibehest (see pp. 61. 62.) presides over the second month of the year, and the 3d, 8th, 15th, and 23d day of the month; he is pure, beneficent, endowed by Ormuzd with great and holy eyes; he grants health, and eloquence to men, productions to the earth, and grandeur to the world; he drives away the Dívs and all evils (Zend-Av., II, pp. 69. 153. 154. 159. 316. and elsewhere).—A. T.

[407] Zoroaster, according to the concurring account of several authors, retired from the world and lived in a cavern of the mountain Alborz, or in the mountains of Balkhan. According to the Rauzat us Sufa (Shea’s transl., p. 286) it was in the mountains near Ardebil, a city of Azarbijan (the ancient Media). This cavern is said to have been consecrated by him to Mithra. Pliny states (H. N. l. xi. c. 42), the prophet lived 20 years in deserts, upon cheese so tempered that he should not feel the effects of age. This was probably before he appeared at the court of Gushtasp.—A. T.

[408] This miracle is not recorded in Anquetil’s life of Zoroaster.—A. T.

[409] Not receiving immediate access to the king, the prophet split the upper part of the apartment where Gushtasp was, and descended through the opening (Anquet., Vie de Zoroastre, p. 29). This was in the year 549 B. C. (ibidem), after the 30th year of Gushtasp’s reign (Hyde, p. 323).—A. T.

[410] To these miracles add that related in the Shah nameh naser, quoted by Hyde (p. 324): Zoroaster planted before the king’s palace a cypress-tree, which in a few days grew to the height and thickness of ten rasons (measure undetermined), and upon the top of it he built a summer-palace.—A. T.

[411] All those particulars about Zoroaster’s imprisonment, and about his release after the cure effected by him upon the king’s charger are, with little variation, related in the Shah-nameh naser (see Hyde, 325, 327), and in the Zerdusht nâmah (Anq. du Peron, t. I, 2. P. p. 325-327).—A. T.

[412] This cure of Lohrasp is touched upon by Anquetil in his life of Zoroaster (p. 53), but not that of Zerir; Hyde mentions neither; but the conversion of king Lohrasp and of his relations is generally admitted.—A. T.

[413] See p. 149. note.

[414] See pp. 61. 62. 241. note.

[415] See pp. 61. 62. Khordad is the sixth Amscháspand; he presides over the third month of the year and the sixth day of the month; he is a chief of years, months, days, and of time in general; he grants and aids intelligence; he causes pure water to run through the world if man lives holily; he is taken for water itself; he gives what is sweet to eat (Zand-Avesta, I. 2. P. pp. 81. 103. II. pp. 69. 97. 153. 157. and elsewhere).—A. T.

[416] See pp. 61. 62. The name of the angel is simply Azar.

[417] Yasht, a Zand word, may be referred to the Sanskrit इष्त्व ishtva, the participle of यज् yaj, “to venerate.”

The Darun is an office celebrated particularly for the sake of a king, or of the Dostur of Dosturs, in honor of celestial beings of different names and classes (Zend-Av., t. II. p. 73). Darun is also a little cake in the shape of a crown piece, which the priest offers to the Ized-Dahman, who blesses the creatures, the just man, and having received from the hands of the Serosh the souls of the just, conducts them to heaven (ibid., t. I. 2. pp. 86. 172).—A. T.

[418] Bishutan, according to some authors was the brother, according to the Shah-nameh, a confidential friend, of Isfendiar.—A. T.

[419] Jamasp, the brother and minister of Gushtasp.—A. T.

[420] Chapt. LXXVIII. v. 38.

[421] Chapt. XXVIII. v. 56.

[422] According to Abulfeda, quoted by Hyde (p. 315), Zoroaster was born in ارمی or ارميه, in Armi or Armia, the most western town of Azarbijan (the Media of the Greeks), in the Gordian mountains, which accounts for the surname of Median, or Persian, or Perso-Median, which different authors have given to him. Other historians affirm that he came from Palestina.—A. T.

[423] Raí is the most northern town of the province Jebal, or Irak Ajem, the country of the ancient Parthians.—A. T.

[424] Anquetil says (Zend-Av., 2 P. p. xviii.): “The Bahman Yesht Pehlvi, rather the epitome than the translation of the true Báhmán Zand, may be called the Apocalypse of the Parsees. It presents, in the form of a prophecy, an abridged history of the empire and of the religion of the Persians, from Gushtasp to the end of the world.” That part of the Dabistán which follows, said to be transcribed from the Zand Avesta by a Mobed, may be presumed to be taken from the true Báhmán Yesht Zand; still these prophecies are undoubtedly compositions of later times interpolated in the original works.—A. T.

[425] It is mentioned in the Situd gher (the 2nd Nosk of the Zend-Avesta) that Zoroaster, having demanded immortality, Ormuzd showed him a tree of four branches: the first of gold, this indicated the reign of Gushtasp; the second of silver, that of Ardeshir Babegan; the third of brass, that of Nushirvan, and the troubles excited by Mazdak; the fourth of iron mixed with other metals, the destruction of the Persian empire. According to the Báhmán Jesht Zand, Ormuzd refusing a second demand of immortality made by Zoroaster, pours into his hands a few drops of water, after the drinking of which he is during seven days and nights filled with divine intelligence, and sees all that passes upon the seven kechvars, or “districts of the earth.” He sees a second tree, having seven branches of metal, which indicate seven epochas and the events belonging to them; the first branch, which is of gold, designates the reign of Gushtasp. Zoroaster then no more desires immortality. Ormuzd announces to him, moreover, the war which Arjasp will make upon Gushtasp.—(Zend-Av., t. I. 2. P. note, pp. xviii. xix)—A. T.

[426] The author of the Báhmán Yasht (ibid., Notices, p. xix) describes in copious details the woes which are to afflict the world, during the influence of the iron branch:, he speaks of the march of armies, of physical convulsions, of the diminished productions of nature, of the conquests made by Arabs, Greeks, Turks, Chinese, and Christians. All this misery is to end on the arrival of king Báhrám Varjavand, who is to re-establish the ancient Persian empire: by the successive mission of the three sons of Zoroaster, who are to convert the world and confirm their divine mission by working miracles. Sosiosh is to restore purity to the world: during this prophet’s millennium the resurrection is to take place.—D. S.

[427] The Náúroz, is the first day of the year, a great festival, the institution of which is ascribed to the earliest times. It lasts six days, beginning on the day of Ormuzd of the month Farvardin (March); this is the little Náúroz, and it ends on the day of Khordad (an Amshasfand who presides over the sixth day of the month), called the great Náúroz. It was on this day, they relate, that Ormuzd created the world and what it contains; that Káiomers triumphed over Eshem, the demon of envy, wrath, and violence, the enemy of Serósh, and the most powerful of the Dívs; that Mashia and Mashiáná, the first man and woman, came forth from the earth, and that several great events of the ancient history of the Persians took place, such as Gushtasp’s embracing Zoroaster’s faith: it is finally on that day that the general resurrection is to follow (Zend-Av., t. II. p. 574.)—A. T.

[428] The month of Aban is the month of October, and the angel of that name, who is the Ized of the water, presides over the tenth day of the month.

Baud is the twenty-second day of the month.—A. T.

[429] This list is incorrect; it should begin by stating that the Nosks are twenty-one in number, according to the number of words in the Yatha ahu virio—but the ignorance of the transcriber has converted the three first words of a short prayer into the three first Nosks of the Zend-Avesta.—D. S.

According to several Parsee doctors, seven of these Nosks, or rather náskas, treated of the first principle, of the origin of beings, of the history of the human race, etc.; seven treated of morals and of civil and religious duties; and seven of medicine and astronomy. The Pehlvi books and some Persian works mention three other Nosks, which are to complete the Avesta at the end of this world (Zand-Av., t. I. 1. P. p. 479).

Here follows a list of the Nosks according to a translation made by Anquetil from the Persian Ravaet of Kamah Berch (see Mémoires de l’Acad. des Inscript. et des B.-L., t. xxxviii. p. 239-254.) I have abridged the explanation of each Nosk; the contents of several of them are much alike, and the miscellaneous matters in them all confusedly stated.

I.—The first Nosk, called Setud-yesht, “Nosk of prayer or praise,” has 33 chapters.

II.—The second, named Setud-gher, “Nosk of prayer and praise,” has 22 chapters, and treats of the purity of actions, of collections for the poor, of the concord which is to subsist between relations.

III.—Vehest Mantsre, “heavenly word,” has 22 chapters. It discourses on faith, on the strict observation of the law, and on the propensities of the heart. Mention is made of the qualities of Zardusht, and of the pure people and pure actions which have existed before him.

IV.—Bagh, “happiness, light, or garden,” in 21 chapters, states the substance and the true meaning of the law, God’s commands with respect to obedience, fidelity, justice, purity of actions, the means of guarding against Satan, and of going into the other world.

V.—Dóazdah Hamast, the twelve Hamasts, that is, “means or things produced at the same time.” This book, in 32 chapters, speaks of the bad people of the upper and nether world, of the nature of all beings, of the whole creation of God, of the resurrection, of the bridge Chinavad, and of the fate after death.

VI.—Nader, “the excellent, the rare.” This book of 35 chapters is assigned to astronomy, to the influences of the stars upon the actions of men; it corresponds with the Arabic work Buftal (Bufastál); its Persian name is Favameshian (Favaímasíhan); that is, by means of this science future events are known.

VII.—Pajem means perhaps “small animal, or retribution.” This book, in 22 chapters, gives an account of quadrupeds; of actions permitted or not; what animals may be killed or eat, what not; what may be killed for the use of the Gahanbars, that is, the six festivals in the year instituted in commemoration of the first creation of the world in 365 days; and about regulations relative to these festivals, to meritorious acts and gifts.

VIII.—Reteshtai, “the Nosk of warriors or of chiefs.” The subjects of this book form 50 chapters, 13 of which only have survived the time of Alexander; they are: the orders of the king, the obedience of the subjects, the conduct of the judges, the foundation of towns, and the various things and animals created by God.

IX.—Beresht, “execution of orders, or supremacy.” This book, of 60 chapters, 12 of which only remain after Alexander, treats of kings and judges; of the reciprocal relations of the governors and the governed; of the occupations prescribed to the different classes and professions of men; of useful knowledge; of the vices of men; and such like things.

X.—Kesesrob, perhaps “agreeable word.” This book, at first of 60 chapters, of 15 only after Alexander’s conquest, discourses upon the soul, science, intellect, natural and acquired; upon morality, and the consequences of its being observed or violated.

XI.—Veshtasp, Veshap, once of 60, but after Alexander of 10 chapters only, contains an eulogy upon the government of Veshtasp (Gushtasp), upon his having adopted, observed, and propagated Zardusht’s laws.

XII.—Khesht, “brick, or little lance, or agriculture.” This book, in 22 chapters, discusses six subjects relative to religion, policy, morals, cultivation, political economy, and administration of justice. In the fifth part are stated the four venerable classes of men, which are the kings and chiefs, the warriors, the cultivators, and the tradesmen.

XIII.—Sefand, “excellent,” inculcates in 60 chapters the observation of moral and religious duties, and the faith in the miracles of Zardusht.

XIV.—Jeresht, “he does;” this book, of 22 chapters, treats of the birth and the destination of man.

XV.—Baghantast, “the Yesht of the fortunate,” contains in 17 chapters the praise of God, of the angels, and of the man who approaches God and is thankful for the benefits which he receives from above.

XVI.—Niaram means, perhaps, “I do not seek my advantage.” This book, of 54 chapters, teaches the good employ of one’s fortune, and the advantages of a good behaviour towards God and men.

XVII.—Asparam, may signify “the ties, the book by excellence, the dawn, the heaven, perfect, plant, leaf.” It treats in 64 chapters of the Nerengs, that is of the powers, faculties in different acceptations; here of the powers of good actions, and of liturgical ceremonies.

XVIII.—Davaserujed, “he who offers the extreme expedient, or who speaks of it,” of 65 chapters, shows the knowledge of men and animals; how the latter are to be taken care of; how travellers and captives are to be treated.

XIX.—Askaram, “I discover, explain, make known, teach publicly,” in 53 chapters, explains the obligation, the best establishment and limitation of laws and regulations.

XX.—Vendidad, “given for the repulsion of the Dîvs,” of 22 chapters, forbids all sorts of bad, impure, and violent actions.

XXI.—Hadokht, “the powerful Has,” that is, “words of phrases of the Avesta,” in 30 chapters, exhibits the manner of always performing many miracles, pure works, and admirable things.

Of all these Nosks, not one, except the Vendidad, has been preserved complete, and the names of three only, namely, the Setud-yesht, the Vendidad, and the Hadokht, are mentioned in the different Zand-books still extant. This shows that, at different times, changes in the forms of the written liturgy have taken place, and that the names, superscriptions, and divisions of the writings have been arbitrarily treated by different Dostúrs, without any change in the contents.

The names of the Nosks given by Hyde (343, 345), partly from the dictionary Farhang Ichangiri, partly from other sources not mentioned, are not correct nor rightly explained.

Three additional Nosks are to be brought into the world by three posthumous sons of Zoroaster. See in a subsequent note their miraculous origin and actions.

The Persian text of another Notice upon the Nosks, somewhat more complete than that published by Anquetil in Roman letters, has been edited by Messrs. Julius Mohl and Olshausen, of Kiel (see Fragmens relatifs à la Religion de Zoroastre, extraits des manuscrits persans de la Bibliothèque du Roi, 1829).—A. T.

[430] शङ्कराचर्य “Sankara acharya,” upon whose age different opinions are entertained.

[431] According to another tradition Gushtasp himself had travelled in India, and had been instructed by the Brahmans. In the Desátir (English transl., Comment, pp. 185, 186), we read that, when Sekander conquered Iran, Sásán, the son of Darab, went to India, where he practised the worship of Yezdan in a cavern, and where he died. He left a son named Jivánasp, who is known as the second Sásán, equal to his father, and who took his abode in Kabulistan. Ardeshir (the son of another Sásán, of the Kayanián race, a relative of the Saint), admonished by a dream, went to Kabulistan, and by his entreaties prevailed upon the second Sásán to follow him to Istakhar, where Ardeshir erected, for the habitation of the saint, an immense monastery adorned with figures of the stars, and having fire-temples on its different sides. These and other traditions afford the inference that, in early times, a religious intercourse had taken place between India and Persia.—A. T.

[432] In the Desátir (English translat., p. 120) the Greek philosopher is called Tútíanush. We are at a loss even to guess at the Greek to whom these names may be applied. We may however remember that St. Clement of Alexandria places Pythagoras about the 62nd Olympiad, or about 528 years B. C., and says that he was a zealous follower of Zoroaster, and had consulted the Magi. Jamblicus, in his life of Pythagoras (cap. 4) states, that this philosopher was taken prisoner by Cambyses and carried to Babylon, where, in his intercourse with the Magi, he was instructed in their modes of worship, perhaps by Zoroaster himself, if Zabratus and Nazaratus, mentioned as his instructors by Diogenes and Alexander, can be identified with the Persian prophet. Now, the long reign of Lohrasp (of 120 years) is supposed by some chronologers to comprehend the reigns of Cambyses and of Smerdis. Upon this uncertain chronological ground, Pythagoras may be placed in the times of Gushtasp, to whom, as was before said, Foucher with others assigns an epocha more remote than that of Darius Hystaspes of the Greeks. It is known that Alexander, by the conquest of Persia, accomplished, to a certain degree and for a certain time, his glorious project to connect the East with the West; an open intercourse took place between the Asiatics and the Greeks, whose language was widely spread in Asia. The Macedonian conqueror is there generally believed to have been the son of Darab (Darius), and the brother of Báhmán Isfendiar. He received, says the Desátir (p. 123), from the hands of his Persian spouse Pari-dokht Roshenak (Parysatis Roxana), “the bright daughter of the fairy,” a book of Zardusht addressed to him, and forming a part of the Desátir. Alexander ordered the Persian books to be translated into Greek, called the Nurakhi language, in the Desatir, in which is also said (p. 124): “Hence the sect of Internal Illumination will arise among the Nurakhis, as well as that of Reason.” To this passage the Commentary subjoins: “The sect of Gúshtaspians of Iran and Yunán is a medium between the Illuminated and the Rationalist. When Sekander came to Iran, he found that the Gúshtaspians of Iran were the better and wiser; and he found that they had such power that, when they pleased, they left the body, which they treated as a garment. And besides them he saw another class of men in Irán, who, by means of reason and meditation (nurnu´d) discovered the real nature of things as they actually exist; and there was no such class of men in Yunán. Having collected all their books, he translated them into the Yunáni and Rúmi tongues. He then gave his prime minister (Dostur) and teacher the title of the chief Mobéd and Sage, and made him the head of the Nirnúdis. From this time forward the sect of Rationalists prevailed among the Yunanis and Rúmis.” Alexander’s prime minister is supposed by the Asiatics to have been Aristotle; we know that this philosopher had an accurate knowledge of Zoroaster’s doctrine. Although the history, religion, and science of the Asiatics have certainly not been neglected by the inquisitive Greeks, Alexander’s companions, among whom was Callisthenes, a relation of Aristotle, yet we find in the western histories no particular notice corroborating the account just quoted of the Desátir. Unfortunately we may be more positive about the destruction of ancient monumental works in Persia by the son of Philip; it is for having burnt the Nosks that he is said by the Persians to be burning in hell (see Anquetil, vol. II. p. 338).—A. T.

[433] व्यास, “Vyasa,” a sage of that name occurs in the chapter upon the Hindus and elsewhere.

In the Desátir, published at Bombay, there is “the book of Shet the prophet Zirtu´sht” (Engl. transl., pp. 116-145), in which the interview between Hertushád, son of Hereofetmad (Zortu´sht), the Yúnan philosopher and the Indian sages is related.

Here ends the principal part of the historical account which the Dabistán gives of Zoroaster’s life. I shall add, according to Anquetil (Zend-Av., t. I. 2. P. pp. 60-62), a summary account of its principal events in chronological order.

Anquetil supposes Zoroaster born 589 years B. C. At the age of 30 years he goes to Irán, through which country he only passes. He disappears then to the eyes of the Persians during ten years. His followers say that he was transported before the throne of God. It was in this interval of time that he terminated several works which he had perhaps already begun upon mount Alborz, or in Chaldæa. The mountains afforded him retirement. The twenty years which he is said to have passed in the deserts were, probably, from his twentieth to his fortieth year.

At this age he appeared before Gushtasp, in Balkh, and at this very time Hystaspes, father of Darius, may have reigned in Bactria. Zoroaster performed miracles during ten years: this is the period of his mission. After his first miracles, his reputation having spread afar, Changragháchah came to meet him. This Brahman treats him in his letter to Gushtasp as a young man, and well might an old man, such as Changragháchah was, have so called a man of forty years. It is also to this time that Anquetil refers what is said about the cypress-tree which Zoroaster planted before the Atesh-gadah, or the fire-temple, of Kichmar in Khorassan. Isfendiár was then very young, because about twenty-eight years later his elder son was not yet married; and Darius, 540 years B. C., might have been ten years old.

At the age of sixty-five years, Zoroaster delivered in Babylon lessons of philosophy, and counted Pythagoras among his disciples; Cambyses, according to the Greeks, filled then the throne of Persia. Three years afterwards, the legislator returned from Chaldæa for establishing the worship of the cypress, which lasted eight years. Persia had then acknowledged Darius, the son of Hystaspes, as king.

After these eight years, Zoroaster advised the war against Turan. He was very old. The Shahnamah calls him pír, “old.” Gushtasp, victorious over the Turaniáns, heaps every honor upon him, and he dies, some time after, at the age of seventy-seven years, in the interval of time which elapsed between the expedition of Gushtasp and the invasion of the Turaniáns. Báhmán, the eldest son of Isfendiar, was able to carry arms, and Darius, 512 B. C., might have been thirty-eight years old.

As to the posterity of Zoroaster—he had been successively married to three wives. With the first he had one son and three daughters; with the second two sons; it is not certain whether he had any offspring with his third wife, called Húó, the niece of Jamasp—the Zand-books however say, that she brought him three sons, who are to appear about the end of the world.—A. T.

According to Zand and Parsee writings, the birth and actions of these sons will be equally miraculous. Zoroaster, having visited Húó three times on her going to bathe, the germs remained in the water. The Izeds (or genii) Nerioseng and Anahid were charged with their custody, until the period when three virgins bathing in the same water, should receive these germs in succession, and bring into the world the three sons of Zoroaster.

The first is named Oshederbámi. He is to appear at the commencement of the last millennium of the world, and to arrest the sun’s course during ten days and nights; and as Zoroaster converted one of the four portions of the human race, he is to convert the second to the law, and give them the 22nd Nosk.

The second posthumous son is Oshedermáh. He is to appear four hundred years after Oshederbámi, and to arrest the sun’s course during ten days and nights; he is also to bring the 23rd Nosk of the law, and to convert the third portion of the human race.

The third is named Sosiosh. He shall appear at the end of ages, arrest the sun’s course during thirty days and nights, bring the 24th Nosk of the law, and the whole world is to embrace the faith of Zoroaster: after this comes on the resurrection.—(Zend.-Av., t. I. 2. P. pp. 45, 46).—D. S.

[434] In the Desátir (English transl. p. 126) he is called Biras.—A. T.

[435] Ardai Viráf or Arda Viráf or Virasp, also simply called Viraf or Virasp, was, about the year 200 of our era, one of the most zealous followers and defenders of Zoroaster’s religion, which, under Alexander the Great and the other kings of Persia, had lost its first authority (see Hyde, pp. 278, 279). Arda Viraf is mentioned in one of the Yeshts Sades, or prayers called Dup Néreng, which are recited when perfumes are thrown into the fire (Zend-Av., t. II, p. 53).—A. T.

[436] In the Shah nameh Naser it is stated, in the life of Ardashir Babegan (see Hyde, p. 280) that this king, abolishing several regulations of Alexander the Great, granted toleration to followers of the faith professed by Gushtasp, and wishing to re-establish Zoroaster’s religion, demanded from its Mobeds miracles, which they performed. The king, satisfied by these proofs, not only adopted their tenets himself, but obliged all others to do the same. In the life of Shapur it is said, in the book quoted, that, when Ardashir was inaugurated in the government, he demanded from the chiefs of the Magi miracles, after the performance of which Ardai Viráf, during a whole week, supporting by arguments the truth of his religion, brought also forward all that relates to hell and heaven. Some believed; others doubted or denied: the number of the last was 80,000.—A. T.

[437] The Revelations of Ardái Viraf are said to have been originally written in Zand. There exists a Viraf nameh in Pehlvi, probably of the fourth century of our era; works of this name are found in modern Persian in prose and in verse. Anquetil mentions a Viraf nameh in verse, composed A. D. 1532, by Káús, Herbed of Náusari, and another by Zardusht, son of Báhrám (Zend-Av., t. I. 2. P. not. pp. ix. x. xxx. xxxii). Translations of this work have also been made into Sanskrit and the Hindu language of Guzerat. An English translation of the Ardai-Viraf Nameh, by T. A. Pope, appeared in 1816. The translator says in his preface (p. xiii): that the Revelations of Ardai Viraf appear to be the same work that is mentioned by Richardson as the work of Ardeshir Babegan, which having been improved by Nushirvan the Just, in the sixth century, was sent by him to all the governors of provinces, as the invariable rule of their conduct. Pope examined for his work three versions in the modern Persian: the first in prose, by Nushirvan Kermani; the second in verse, by Zardusht Biram (Báhrám); the third in prose, by the same (ibid., p. xiv).—A. T.

[438] رسن, rasan is a linear measure, the exact value of which could not be ascertained. According to common belief of the Muhammedans, this bridge appears of different shapes; to the good, a straight and pleasant road of thirty-seven fathoms in breadth; but to the wicked it is like the edge of a sword, on which they totter and fall into the abyss below. According to the translation of Pope (p. 11), when Ardai Viráf found himself close to the bridge, it appeared to him to be a broad and good road.—A. T.

[439] Mihr Ized is the same as Mithra. He is the most active champion against Ahriman and the host of evil genii; he has one thousand ears and ten thousand eyes; a club, a bow, arrows, and a golden poniard in his hand; he traverses the space between heaven and earth; he gives light, that is the sun, to the earth; he directs the course of water, and blesses mankind with progeny and the fruits of the field: the earth receives from him its warriors and virtuous kings; he watches over the law, and maintains the harmony of the world. After death, he not only grants protection against the attacks of the impure spirits, but assigns heaven to the souls of the just. It is there that he appears in the celestial assembly of holy Fervers surrounding the throne of Ormuzd (see Zend-Av., t. II. pp. 204. 205. 222. 223. 256. and in other places).

Mithra is by some authors identified with Ormuzd himself, and with the sun; but it results from Anquetil’s investigations that, in the religion of the Persians, he is distinct from both and subordinate to Ormuzd.

He occupies a much higher rank in the religious system of the Chaldæans and the Arabs, who first venerated Mithra. It is now established beyond any doubt, by a good number of authentic monuments, that in later times the religion and worship of Mithra has been greatly developed in dogmas, symbols, and a system of mysteries relating to cosmology, astronomy, and physiology: in the first centuries of the Christian era, this religion appears to have been spread, not only over Asia, but also over a great part of Europe. This subject has been very learnedly treated at great length in modern works of too great celebrity to require mentioning here.—A. T.

[440] Rashné-rast, an Ized, who presides over the 18th day of the month; he is the Ized of righteousness, which he bestows; he sees every thing from afar, destroys the thief and the violent, and takes care of the earth; it is he to whom Ormuzd has given a thousand forces and ten thousand eyes, and who weighs the actions of men upon the bridge which separates the earth from heaven.—(Zend-Av., t. I. 2. P. pp. 82. 131.; II. pp. 218. 219. 223).—A. T.

[441] In Pope’s translation of the Viráf-nameh we find (pp. 13-15) what follows: “When Serósh Ized laid hold of my arm, we proceeded to the top of the bridge, one side of which appeared in full splendor of light and the other in total darkness, when I heard a strong and extraordinary noise which, on looking forwards, I perceived to come from a dog, that was chained with a collar and chain of gold, near the light side of the bridge.—I asked the angels: ‘Why is the dog here?’—to which Serósh Izad replied: ‘He makes this noise to frighten Ahriman, and keeps watch here to prevent his approach; his name is Zering Goash (Cerberus?) and the devils shake at his voice; and any soul that has, during its residence in the lower world, hurt or ill used or destroyed any of these animals, is prevented by Zering Goash from proceeding any further across the bridge; and, Ardai Viraf, when you return again to the world, as one of the first duties, enjoin the taking care of these animals.” According to the Vendidad Sadé (Zend-Av., t. I. 2. P. p. 418), the souls, strong and holy, who have done good works, shall, at their passage over the bridge Chanivad, be protected by the dog of the herds. On that account the Persian kings had (see Brissonii de Reg. Pers. princip. libri tres, l. I. p. 157) at their table a particular meal prepared for the dog. The Parsees in our days have great regard for dogs. Immense numbers of these animals are fed by those people, though not admitted into their houses.—A. T.

[442] Printed copy reads تير پايه, tir páyah.

[443] The Gítí Kharíd is called the gift of two rupees, which a man is obliged to give once in his life to a Mobed or a priest, in order that he may perform, during five or eight days, a religious ceremony for the sake of the donor, who is purified by it. This purification is substituted for another more expensive rite, called the Náuzódí, which a Parsee is bound to perform when fifteen years old, and which, on the part of the Neophyte, requires a considerable knowledge of religious doctrine, prayers, and ceremonies. He who during his life has not made Yesht, nor the Gítí Kharíd, nor the present of a dress to the Pure, shall, after the resurrection, appear naked (Zend-Av., t. II. pp. 34. 553. 554).—A. T.

[444] The Parsees mention in their books a very agreeable oil, called Mediozerem, which is the beverage of the blessed in heaven, and it is, they say, from the name of this oil that one of the six yearly festivals sacred to the memory of the creation is called Gáhamber Mediozerem (Zend-Av., t. II. p. 394. note).—A. T.

According to the Ardai Viraf Nameh, translated by Pope, Lond., 1816 (p. 22) Ardai received a lozenge to eat, which buried in oblivion all that had passed in the other world, and turned his thoughts to God alone.—D. S.

[445] Ardibehest, see p. 241, note.

[446] In the manuscript, Garjishman; in the Ardai Viráf Nameh, Geroosman.—D. S.

[447] We might almost imagine this tenet as the origin of accounting the Grecian Hercules a God, from this ancient testimony of veneration for the destroyers of lions, hydras, etc.—D. S.

[448] The Viraf-nameh, a sort of Persian “Divina Commedia,” contains, in Pope’s translation, a description much more detailed than here, and even prolix, of Viraf’s journey in the other world. We there read of seven heavens, namely: the Hamestan, the Sitar-payah, the Mah-payah, the Khordad-payah, the Gerúshman, the Azar Róshní, and the Ana Gurra Roshní. In the last (pp. 38-39), in the centre of a building, on a throne was seated Zartusht, and by his side were standing his three sons, named Assad Avaster, Ozvar túr, and Khurshid chehár; attending on the prophet were Jemshid and other kings, among whom was Gushtasp and some sages, not without Changragácha, the converted Brahman. These seven heavens have been very ingeniously referred by M. Felix Lajard (see Mémoire sur les deux bas-reliefs mithriaques qui ont été découverts en Transylvanie, pp. 49 et seq.) to a passage which Origenes has preserved to us, from a treatise of Celsus against the Christians. This philosopher, speaking of certain mysteries among the Persians, mentions seven doors, which are of lead, tin, brass, iron, mixed metal, silver, and gold, corresponding in their order to the heavenly bodies, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, the moon, and the sun; above the last is an eighth door, most likely the heavenly Alborz, “the region of the primordial light (see note, p. 232).” We learn from the Boun-Dehesh, the Zardúsht-nameh, and other works, that the ascension of the souls was effected through the five planets which, in the mysterious ladder of Celsus, are placed before the moon and the sun, who himself rests upon mount Alborz. M. F. Lajard makes use with great sagacity of the passage of Celsus, in support of his explanation of the mithriacal monuments which are the subjects of his learned Memoir.—A. T.

[449] In which food is given to the poor.—A. T.

[450] Báj, or Váj, signifies in general religious silence, or an inarticulate murmuring of prayers. This is practised before eating, and is to be followed by an inviolable silence during the repast. See Hyde, p. 352, and Anquetil du Peron, II. p. 598.

[451] Aban is the Ized of water, and presides over the tenth day of the month. Anq. du Per., I. 2. P. p. 132; II. 318. 328.—A. T.

[452] Kashti is a girdle commonly of wool or of camel’s hair, consisting of seventy-two threads, to go at least twice round the body, say, about ten feet in length. The breadth depends upon the thickness of the threads. It is tied about the saderé, which is a sort of white shirt, worn immediately upon the skin, with short sleeves, open above and commonly not passing the hips. This girdle was worn by the Parsees from time immemorial. They pretend that Jemshid, being instructed by Hom, the primitive legislator, invented the Kashti. Before the time of Zoroaster, it was worn indifferently as a scarf, or wrapped round the head. The monuments of Persepolis exhibit persons wearing the Kashti. Not to wear it in the fifteenth year is a great sin; the day on which it is taken for the first time is a festival, and daily prayers are prescribed before putting it on, and frequent ceremonies are connected with it (Zend-Av., t. II. pp. 529). Nothing can be right or good that is done without the Kashti: “ungirt, unblessed” (Hyde, p. 376). We have here a striking example how a custom originally suggested by simple convenience, to be girt, or to be ready, accingere se, acquires by religious prescription an importance far beyond its intended use and purpose.—A. T.

[453] Darwands, the production of Ahriman: this word means: 1. the Darong, or “evil spirits, who appear under the human form;” 2. the worshippers of Ahriman; 3. the spirits of the damned. After the resurrection, they shall be anew precipitated into hell, to be punished there during three days and nights; after which the great and small mountains of the earth shall be dissolved and flow over its surface in rivers of metal; the Durwands will be forced to pass through this molten ocean, and being thus purified from all sin become eternally blessed.—D. S.

[454] In this sentence D. Shea found the manuscripts and the printed copy to differ greatly, but the manuscript of Oude agrees with the latter, which therefore the editor thinks himself justified in following, although there must remain a doubt about the author’s meaning having been perfectly expressed.—A. T.

[455] The account of Ardai Viraf’s vision of the other world can but remind us of what Plato relates (Respubl., t. x) of Hero, the son of Armenius, a Pamphilian by origin: viz., when this man had been killed in battle, and when, on the tenth day, the dead bodies were in a state of decomposition, he alone was preserved and carried home to be buried, and on the twelfth day, being placed upon the funeral pyre, he gave signs of life, and, resuscitated, he related what he had seen in the other world. Upon this we may reflect, that the name of Arda, which occurs as a part of many Persian names, may be referred to the Sanskrit ऊर्ध ûrdha, “elevated;” Ardashir is perhaps ऊर्ध शिरः úrdhaśiras, “elevated head;” ऊर्द्दर úrddara, signifies “a hero, a champion; from ऊर्ज úrja, to be strong: which would give nearly the sense of Plato’s αλκιμου του ανδρος, “of the strong man,” as he characterises Hero. This observation gains perhaps some relief, by connecting it with a passage of St. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. I. V. sect. xiv.), in which he interprets by Zoroaster the name of Hero, and quotes a passage from a work in which this supposed Zoroaster relates of himself what Plato states of Hero. The work mentioned by St. Clement, much known in the first centuries of our era, might have been composed by a Neo-platonic who transposed the fable from Hero to Zoroaster. Hero, certainly not Zoroaster, may with more probability be assimilated to one of his zealous followers, Ardai Viraf, who lived in the second century of our era.—A. T.

[456] According to the concurrent testimony of Persian records, Azarbad, the son of Maresfand, was the thirtieth descendant from Zoroaster. Twenty-nine generations, at four to a century, make 725 years; to this add forty for the probable age of Azarbad at the time of his assuming the prophetic mission: if from the sum 765 we subtract 240, that is, the epocha of king Shapúr, under whom Azarbad lived, there will remain 525, the time of Zoroaster before Christ. Four generations are here assigned to a century, because, according to Zoroaster’s law, marriage is an act of religion, and children are the steps or ladders for ascending to heaven: the observance of this precept must have tended to multiply the generations in the legislator’s family (Rauzet-us Safa, Shea’s transl., p. 280).

The following quotation from the Shah-nameh naser (Hyde, p. 280) may here find place, in addition to my note, p. 284: When king Shapúr heard of the great uncertainty still prevailing among a considerable number of men about the truth of Zoroaster’s religion, he demanded a solution of the great question from the principal priests, among whom Azarbad rose and offered to satisfy him: “I will,” said he, “further develop Ardai Viraf’s account of hell and heaven, and sit naked from head to foot, whilst eighteen pounds of melted brass are poured upon my body; if the least particle of it be hurt, the prophet’s words are false; they are true, if I receive not the least injury.” No harm ensued to him from the trial made upon his person, and all believed.—A. T.

[457] The reading of the manuscript and printed copy is exceedingly defective in this passage: it has been restored according to historical notices: Pope’s translation has (p. 99) “forty thousand souls have seceded from our holy faith,” instead of “the forty thousand wise men were again assembled.”—D. S.

[458] The Viraf nameh terminates by these words: “The Masdian religion became more firmly established than ever, and continued in all its purity until the Mahomedan conquest dispersed its votaries, and forced those who persevered in it to abandon the tombs of their ancestors, and to fly for refuge to distant countries. A small number fled to, and were kindly received on, the shores of western India, and the present Parsees of Bombay and Surat are their descendants.” That is to say, it was a short time after Yezdejerd’s death that, persecuted by the Muhammedans, a number of Persians, to preserve their ancient religion, fled to Kohistan, from whence after a century they descended to Ormuz on the Persian gulf, and after a stay there of fifteen years landed at Diu on the Indian coast. Nineteen years later they established themselves in the Guzerat; thence, after the lapse of three hundred years, they dispersed to the north and south of Surat. They had been five centuries in India when they fought with the Indians against the Muhammedans, and were again obliged to fly before the enemies of their faith. They maintained themselves, however, in different places of the province of Aurungabad. Having gradually increased in numbers to about 150,000 families (in 1816), they live dispersed in villages from Diu to Bombay, in which place about 24,000 of them reside (Zend Av., t. I. 1. P. p. cccxviii; and Pope’s Engl. transl. of the Viraf-nameh, p. 118).—A. T.

[459] Káshmar, Kishmar is the name of a town in the country of Tirshez, in Khorasan or in Bactria (Hyde, p. 332).

[460] Upon the cypress, see notes pp. 236, 280. According to the Ferhang Jehangiri and the Burhani Kati, Zardusht planted two cypress-trees; one in the town just mentioned, and the other in the town of Farúmad, or Ferúyad, or Ferdíd, which is in the country of Tus. The Magi believe, he planted these trees by means of two shoots brought by him from paradise.—A. T.

[461] He was the tenth Khalif of the Abbassides, and began to reign in the year of the Hejira 232, A. D. 846.—A. T.

[462] Samarah is a town in Chaldæa, from which the Samaritan Jews have their name, and which was for some time the seat of the Muselman empire (Herbelot).—A. T.

[463] Jâafriyah is a town in the Arabian Irak, so called from its builder, Jâfar, the original name of the khalif who assumed the title of Matavakhel al Allah, “he who confides in God.”—A. T.

[464] He had then reigned fourteen years and two months. The Turks were excited to murder him by his own son Montassar, in the town of Makhuriah, on the very spot where Khosru Parviz had been put to death by his son Shiruyah (Siroes)—(Herbelot).—A. T.

[465] According to the above statement, the tree would have been planted 604 years before our era, that is, about the time of Gushtasp, king of Persia, if the years above stated be taken for solar years; but if for lunar (that is for only 1408 solar) years, the epoch of the plantation of the cypress would be 562 years B. C., and 548, if the computation be referred to the end of Mutawakhal’s life.—A. T.

[466] Hakim Mirtas, in the text, may be a proper name.—A. T.

[467] The Sad-der naser (in prose) is an abridgment of practical and ceremonial theology, called Sad-der, or “one hundred doors,” because the hundred chapters of which it is composed are like so many doors leading to heaven. Some Parsees think that the original was written in Pehlvi. It is positively said in the beginning of this treatise that it has been drawn from the law: which proves that it makes no part of the Zend-Avesta (Zend-Av., t. I. 2. P. Notices, pp. xxix. xxx).

The Sad-der nazem (in verse) was versified by a Persian called Shahmard, the son of Malek Shah, and terminated in the month of Isfendermad (February) of the year 864 from the installation of Yezdejerd, 1495 A. D., and brought from Kirman to India by the Dustúr Pashutan Daji. This work has been translated into Latin by the learned Hyde (ibid., p. xxxiv). The Dabistan gives only a short abstract of it.—A. T.

[468] See p. 298, where the same tale occurs.

[469] Yasht (see note, p. 258) signifies with the Parsees in general prayers accompanied by efficacious benedictions, but is here used to imply the panegyrics of several celestial spirits, in which are enumerated their principal attributes and their relation to Ormuzd and his productions, as distributors of the blessings which this secondary principle spreads over nature, and as declared enemies of Ahriman and his ministers. According to the Parsees, each Amshasfand and Ized had a peculiar Yasht; but of all these compositions there only remain in the Zand eighteen which are authentic, and a small part of the Yasht of Bahman.—D. S.

[470] Upon the Naú Roz, see note, p. 268.

[471] These are two short forms of prayer, like our collects, which are frequently repeated in the Parsee litanies. The Ita ahu virio, as translated by Anq. du Peron, runs thus: “It is the desire of Ormuzd that the chief of the law should perform pure and holy works: Bahman bestows abundance on him who acts with holiness in this world. O, Ormuzd! thou establishest as king whoever consoles and nourishes the poor.” The Ashem Vuhu thus: “Abundance and paradise are reserved for him who is just and pure: he is truly pure who is holy and performs holy works.”—D. S.

[472] Kirfah means: 1. a good work; 2. a merit which absolves from sin. The author of the Dabistán has so abridged this Der that it is deemed proper to give it at length according to Hyde’s translation: “It is manifest, from the principles of religion, that we must concede due authority to the Dustúr and must not deviate from his commands, as he is the ornament and splendor of the faith. Although thy good works may be countless as the leaves of the trees, the grains of sand, the drops of rain, or the stars in the heavens, thou canst gain nothing by them, unless they be acceptable in the sight of the Dustúr: if he be not content with thee, thou shalt have no praise in this world: therefore, my son, thou shalt pay to the Dustúr who teaches thee the tithe of all thou possessest (wealth and property of every kind, gold and silver). Therefore thou, who desirest to enjoy paradise to all eternity, pay tithes to the Dustúr; for if he be satisfied with thee, know that paradise is thine; but if he be not content with thee, thou canst derive no portion of benefit from thy good works; thy soul shalt not find its way to paradise; thou shalt have no place along with angels; thy soul can never be delivered from the fiends of hell, which is to be thy eternal abode: but pay the tithes, and the Dustúrs will be pleased with thee, and thy soul shall get to paradise without delay. Truly the Dustúrs know the religion of all men, understand all things, and deliver all (faithful) men.”—D. S.

[473] Hyde (p. 454) has “Malkus, whose enchantments brought on the deluge.”

[474] Sarúregh, according to Hyde (ibid.), “by whom (in the time of Sâm) the world suffered oppression and injury.”

[475] “Túr-Brátur (otherwise Túri-Brátrush or tresh), that villanous and obscene man, who destroyed Zardusht in that religion which he supported by his zeal.”—(Hyde, ibid.). This name is perhaps a variation of Parántárush (see p. 228).—A. T.

[476] See note, p. 297.

[477] The terms Miezd and Darun require some farther illustration: the following is from the Zend-Avesta, vol. II. p. 534. The Miezd, that is, meats previously blessed and then eaten, either during or after the service; flowers, fruits, especially pomegranates and dates; rice, fragrant seeds, and perfumes; milk; the small cakes called Darun; the branches of the Hom and its juice, called Perahom; the roots of trees, particularly the pomegranate tree. The roots are cut, the milk, and in general all these offerings, are prepared with ceremonies described at great length in the Ravaets, or “ritual treatises.” These offerings, and the sacred implements, which are twenty-six in number, constitute the thirty-three objects as specified by Zoroaster in the latter part of the first Ha of the Izechné, vol. I. P. II. p. 87: “I invoke and laud all the mighty, the pure Dustúrs who have thirty-three objects around and near the Havan (the vase for holding the Perahom): they are pure, according to the ordinance of Zaradusht, who was instructed by the Supreme Lord himself.” The Daruns are small cakes of unleavened bread, nearly the form and thickness of a crown piece: there are two or four of these offered, according to the nature of the service. The Darun on which they place a little dressed meat is called Darun Fusesté, or “offered bread.”—D. S.

[478] The Afirgans, or Afernigáns, are the prayers and benedictions recited during the Gahanbar or the last ten days of the year, and on the anniversary of deceased parents or relations: but the service on the third night after the decease is not to be neglected, as in that case the soul of the deceased would remain without protection until the resurrection. On the third night, at the Oshen Gah, or midnight, there are four services; one for each of the angels, Rashin Rast, Ram Izad, and Surush, the fourth in honor of the Ferouers of holy personages. In this last service are recited nine Kardés, or portions of the Vispared, and four dresses, fruits, and cheese are laid by for the officiating priest, along with the Darun.

The word Vispered admits of two meanings: 1. “the knowledge of “every thing,” Vispé Khirad;” 2. “all the chiefs,” Vispé Rad. The latter meaning seems more analogous to the Vispered, as it begins by invoking the chiefs of all beings—such as the first of the heavens, the first of the earth, the first of aquatic creatures, etc. Zoroaster is supposed to have repeated to the Brahmin Chingégratch this Vispered, which begins thus: “I invoke and laud the first of the heavens, the first of the earth, the first of aquatic beings, the first of terrestrial beings, the first of brilliant and intelligent beings, the holy, pure, and great Chingégrâtchás;” and it ends with “I invoke and laud the bull exalted on high, who makes the herbage to grow in abundance; this bull, the pure gift, who has given (being) to the pure man.” The Vispered is divided into twenty-seven Kardés, or “sections,” and probably formed part of the Baghantást of the fifteenth Nosk of the Avesta. It is recited by day, as well as the Izeshneh (Yazishnah), and with a Barsom, or “bundle, of thirty-five branches of trees.

Izeshné (Yazishnah) means a prayer setting forth the greatness of the personage thus addressed. It is composed of seventy-two Há, which the Parsees divide into two parts: the first part contains twenty-seven Há, addressed to Ormuzd and his creation; the second contains prayers addressed to the Supreme Being; it speaks of man, of his wants, of the several genii charged to protect him, etc. The word Há, which signifies a portion of the Izeshné, is derived from the Zend Hâetîm, or Hâtarim, portions. From Hâtaum is also formed “Had,” which signifies “measure, limit.” The Izeshné probably formed part of the Setud-yesht, the first Nosk of the Avesta, or of the Setud-gher, the second Nosk. The Izeshné is performed at the Gah Havan, or “sunrise;” when, recited by itself without other prayers, the Izeshnéh Sadah is read with the same ceremonies as the Vendidad Sâdeh, excepting that the Barsom, or “sacred bundle of twigs” [see hereafter, p. 319], consists then of only twenty-three branches. The Vendidad and Vispered cannot be recited without the Izeshné, and the Barsom for these two offices consists of thirty-five branches.

The term Sâde means “pure,” or the text without a translation.

The two works, the Izeshné and Vispered, joined to the Vendidad, the twentieth Nosk of the Avesta, form the Vendidad Sadé, which the Mobeds are obliged to recite every day, commencing at the Gâh Oshen, or “midnight,” or before day-break, so that it may be finished before sunrise.

Purifications, ordinances, marriages, in short all the ceremonies of the law, depend on the due celebration of this office.—D. S.

[479] Lest demons or wizards should take them away and use them in their enchantments.—D. S.

[480] Upon Váj, see note, p. 296.

In this translation, the reading of the manuscript has been followed as being the most simple: there seems however something omitted. Annexed is the form of prayer recited in Váj, which means mental recitation: it is taken from Anquetil du Perron:


Etha aad avirmede.—“Ormuzd is king: now I make Izeshné to Ormuzd the giver of pure flocks, the giver of pure waters, of pure trees, the giver of light, of earth, and of every kind of good.” This is to be recited once.

Eshem Trihu.—“Abundance and paradise are reserved for the just and undefiled person; he who does heavenly and pure works.” To be recited three times.


Ethu ahu Virio.—“It is the desire of Ormuzd that the chief (of the law) should perform pure and holy works. Bahman gives (abundance) to him who acts with holiness in the world. O Ormuzd! thou establishest as king whoever comforts and nourishes the poor.” To be repeated twice.

Eshem vuhu.—“Abundance and paradise, etc.” To be repeated once.

Ehmarestchi.—“Mayest thou remain always effulgent with light! may thy body be always in good condition! may thy body ever increase! may thy body be ever victorious! may thy desires, when accomplished, ever render thee happy! mayest thou always have distinguished children! mayest thou live for ever! for length of time! for length of years! and mayest thou be received for ever into the celestial abodes of the holy, all radiant with light and happiness! enjoy a thousand healths, ten thousand healths.”

Kereba mezada.—This form of prayer shall be quoted hereafter.

Eshem Vuhu.—“Abundance and paradise, etc.” To be repeated once.

The commentator on this gate has evidently confounded Váj or Váz with the Barsum; this mistake is not to be attributed to the author of the Dabistán.—D. S.

[481] Strabo, observes Anquetil (Zand-Avesta, p. 532), alludes to the Barsom, where he says of the Magi: τὰς δὲ ἀπωδὰς ποιουνται πολὺν ῥαβδων μυρικίνων λεπτων δέσμην κατέχοντες· “They make their prayers a long time, holding a bundle of slender twigs of tamarisk in their hands” (Geog., lib. XV. p. 733).—D. S.]

[482] See pp. 292-3.

[483] Anquetil du Perron says (Zend-Avesta, t. II. p. 601): “Of all the religions known, that of the Parsís is perhaps the only one in which fasting be neither meritorious nor even permitted. The Parsí, on the contrary, believes to honor Ormuzd by nourishing himself well: because the body, fresh and vigorous, renders the soul stronger against the bad genii; because the man, feeling less want, reads the word with more attention, and feels more courage for performing good works; consequently several celestial spirits are especially charged with watching over the welfare of man: Rameshné, Kharom, Khordád, and Amerdád give abundance and pleasures to him, and it is the last of the Izeds mentioned who produces in the fruits the taste and flavor which lead men to apply them to that use for which Ormuzd has created them.”—A. T.

[484] The cock is an animal held in great esteem by the Parsees, who are enjoined to keep one in their houses; Bahrám (Mars) appears under this form (Zend-Avesta, t. II. pp. 290. 602). The cock is called a Persian bird, and, according to Athenæus, cocks came first from Persia (see Hyde, p. 412).—A. T.

[485] In the fifth period of eighty days were created the 282 Sardah, or genera of birds and animals, viz.: 110 of birds and 172 of animals (Hyde, Rel. Vet. Pers., p. 164).—D. S.

[486] According to Hyde’s translation of the Sad-der (p. 471): caput ejus expiare oportet, “an expiation is to be performed over his head.”—A. T.

[487] Mezda or Maz-dao, in Zand, according to Rask, means “God;” Bohlen and Mr. Bopp believe that this word is of the same family as the Sanskrit mahat, “great;” M. Eugene Burnouf, in a learned discussion, justifies the interpretation “multiscius” given of this word by Neriosengh (see Commentaire sur le Yacna, pp. 70-77).—A. T.

The form of prayer called Kimna va Mazda is probably the same as the Kereba Mazda (Zend-Avesta, t. II. p. 6), which is as follows: “Grant, O Ormuzd, that my good works may efface my sins; grant joy and content to my purified soul! give me a share in all the good works and holy words of the seven regions of the earth! May the earth enlarge itself! may the rivers extend their courses! may the sun ever rise on high! may such be the portion of the pure in life, according to the wishes which I make.”—D. S.

[488] For yarshanom, which is in the manuscripts and in the edition of Calcutta, read Barashnom. This is the name of one of the four sorts of purifications prescribed to the Parsees; that called the Barashnom of nine nights, is believed the most efficacious. It is performed in a garden or in a retired place, where a piece of ground 90 feet in length and 16 feet in breadth is chosen for it, and, after having been cleaned and surrounded by a narrow ditch and a hedge, covered with sand. Therein, after the celebration of ceremonies during one or three days, a Mobed traces a number of furrows or trenches, called Keishs, and forms several heaps of stones according to prescribed rules; he prepares a beverage of ox’s urine and water mixed with other sacred liquids: this the person to be purified drinks in sacred vases, then enters into the Keishs, accompanied by Mobeds and a dog; there he strips, and receives on his body wine poured over him, and washes himself with that given him by the Mobed. During prayers recited by the purificator and himself, he passes over several heaps of stones, his right hand on his head and his left upon the dog, and is then rubbed with dust; in his progress over other heaps of stones, he washes himself several times with water. This done, the purified person goes out of the trenches, and performs other ablutions with water before he dresses and puts on the Koshti, or “girdle.” The individual who takes the Barashnom remains separated from other men during nine days, and at the end of the third, sixth, and ninth night, he washes himself with a prescribed quantity of wine and water, and is subject to other ceremonies. This is a very short abstract of the ceremonies practised in our days; in the Vendidad Sadé, other very minute particulars and prayers are given for the performance of purification, the usages of which have in the course of time undergone some changes. See a completely detailed account of these rites of purification in Anquetil’s elaborate work, Zend-Avesta, t. I. 2. P. pp. 353-367, and t. II. pp. 545-548, with a plan of the place upon which the Barashnom is performed.—A. T.

[489] According to Olugh Beigh (Hyde, p. 190), the name of the five supplementary days of the Persian year of 360 days are as follows: Ahnavád, Ashnavád, Isfendamád or Máz, Vahshat or Vahást, and Hashúnesh or Hashtuvish (see also p. 62. n.).—A. T.

[490] According to Anquetil (Zend-Avesta, II. p. 575) the name of the five supplementary days is Farvardians, that is, “the days of the Fervers of the law:” on these days, as the Persians believe, the souls of the blessed and those of the damned come to visit their relations, who receive them with the greatest magnificence in their houses, purified and adorned for the occasion.

In the composition of the name Farvardigán, appears to have entered the word Gáhs, which denotes also the Epagomenes, and five female Izeds, or angels, who have formed, and preserve, the bodies, and are occupied in heaven to weave garments for the just (Zand-Avesta, I. 2. P. p. 221).—A. T.

[491] It may be recollected that, during the short period of the French Republic, the year was of twelve months, each of thirty days, with the addition of five supplementary days, called by some Sansculotides; these were festivals, consecrated, the 1st, to Virtue; the 2nd, to Genius; the 3rd, to Labour; the 4th, to Opinion; and the 5th, to Recompense; every fourth or leap-year, there was a 6th day, devoted to the Revolution.—A. T.

[492] The manuscript reads: “Let her eat bread at night, having wrapped up the hand in her sleeve and over that a towel.”—D. S.

[493] Yasht is not found among the names of the Nosks enumerated in the note, pp. 272-275.—A. T.

[494] Every city and village must have the tree called Aderán, or Aderán Sháh, or “the chief of fires.” Ader is the Pá-zend of Ateré, which signifies fire; which word, in Parsee writings, means the several fires which showed themselves to mankind under different forms, and also their presiding genii; whilst Atesh signifies the common fire. When a kitchen fire has been used three times, the Parsees are bound to take it to the Aderán: the other fires must be taken thither on the expiration of seven days, on the day of Ader and those of his co-operating genii. The fire Aderán itself is taken once every year, or at least every three years, to the fire Behram, which is the result of one thousand and one fires, taken from fifteen different kinds of fire. In strictness there should be an Ader Behrám in every province, and according to some Dustúrs, in every city. On the expiration of a certain period, they take the ashes of the Behrám, Aderán, and other fires into the fields, and strew them over the cultivated grounds. It requires a ceremonial of thirty days to prepare the Behrám fire (Zend-Avesta, t. II. p. 531).—D. S.

[495] The Parsees use for their purifications seven things: plain water; Padiav water; water of power, or ab-í-zúr (according to Hyde, golden water) Yeshtí water; earth; Noreng gomez, or ox’s urine; and Noreng gomez yeshtá. They must take care to have the plain water and the earth free from all kind of impurity.—D. S.

[496] Padiav means “what renders or is rendered (pure) like water.” To impart this quality to water, the officiating priest puts it in a large vase, out of which he fills a smaller vessel; he afterwards pours out some of the water three times from the smaller into the larger vessel, accompanying each act with certain forms of prayer, on which the water becomes Padiav.—D. S.

[497] See note, p. 325.

[498] According to Anquetil Du Perron, Khushnuman signifies one who is pleased or favorable: this name is given to a short prayer, or collect, which contains the principal attributes of the being to whom it is addressed: there are two kinds of it, the greater and the less: in the former, after every attribute they repeat: “I offer thee Izechné,” or “I praise and magnify thee;” in the latter form this is only repeated after the enumeration of all the attributes.—D. S.

[499] See note, p. 315, Hyde translates Darún yeshtén, by “expiatory banquet:” but according to Anquetil (Zend-Avesta, t. I. 2. P. p. 237) the Darún Yeshté is a Parsi office, which begins thus:

“With the Barsom raised over the Zúr, I address in prayer the great Ormuzd, brilliant in light and glory; also the Amshaspands; and thee, O Fire! son of Ormuzd!

I address in prayer the wood and the perfumes!
…. thee, O Fire, son of Ormuzd!
…. the pure, the chiefs who walk in dignity in this world!
I make Khushnuman; I address my prayer to Ormuzd, to the Amshaspands, to the pure Surúsh, to the Fire of Ormuzd, the great, the exalted, the holy!

I pray to the holy, pure, and great Vendidad given to Zoroaster!
…….. Gahs.
…….. Gahanbars, or the six periods of creation.—
…….. Years and laud them.”
Darun yeshté also signifies “Festival Darúns,” or banquets preceded by the recitation of the Izeshné, the Vendidad, and the Darun, for which the officiating priest receives a new dress. This bears out Hyde’s translation.—D. S.

[500] The forms Jethá ahú viríyo, Eshem Vehu, and Jetha âúd Jezmídé have been given under Gate 22.—The Homoctenaum is a short prayer: “To think with purity, to act with purity, to perform and execute it, to teach others the same, such is my undertaking. I teach the same to men: may it turn to my good!” The Hockhshéthrôtemâé: “The king who is pure and elevated as I am, I will give him his desires; of him I, Ormuzd the holy and heavenly, will take peculiar care.—” The printed copy reads for Jétha âad Jezmédé, the words اهم بريم يزمندی ايتا اهو. But as one manuscript reads Jétha âád Jezmédé, it has been retained. The Hemoctaum and Hokhshéthrôtemâé are also conjectural, as the two manuscripts and printed copy present different readings. In the latter these are read Homesham and Hochastar.—D. S.

[501] In the Vendidad Sadé (Zend-Avesta, t. I. 2. P. p. 386) we find: “The world is engendered from water; and at present there are in the water two primeval aquatic dogs and thousands of their females which produce by copulation thousands of their species. To smite these aquatic dogs causes all good things to be parched up; from that city or place shall depart all that is sweet to the taste: wholesome viands, health, longevity, abundance, rain, the source of good, the profusion of temporal blessings; also whatever grows on the earth, such as grain and pasturage.”—D. S.

[502] In page 564, Zend-Avesta, t. II. we find: “The Parsees who are desirous of leading happy lives, and of having children who do them honor, must employ four priests to repeat the Izeshné during three consecutive days and nights: this rite is called the Zindeh Ravan, or ‘verifier of the soul (at the moment of death).’”

Surúsh, or Surúsh Ized, performs a most important part in Parsee mythology (see note, p. 7).—D. S.

[503] According to Anquetil du Perron, the following are some of the ceremonies practised on such occasions. On the approaching departure of the soul from the body, they perform the Sag-díd (the dog-saw) by presenting a dog before the dying person, and that the animal may be induced to look at him, they throw some bits of bread or meat near the person. Without doubt Bardesanes, in Euseb. præp. Evan. lib., p. 277, alludes to this custom where he says: “All the Medes expose the dying, whilst yet breathing, to dogs which have been carefully trained for that purpose;” and in like manner (Euseb. præp. Evang., l. I. p. 11-12), where he says: “Among the Hyrcanians and Caspians, some exposed persons whilst yet alive to birds of prey and dogs; others only the deceased: but the Bactrians exposed old people whilst yet alive to dogs.” (See hereafter the note to Gate 77.)

The Parsees believe that, immediately after death, the soul, like a feeble new-born infant, flutters during the first day around the place where the person died; on the second, around the Keshé, or place in the Dakhmé where the body is deposited; and on the third around the Dakhmé or Parsi burying-place; on the fourth, near the bridge of Chinavad, where he is interrogated by Mithra and Rashné Rast, who also weigh his actions. During the three first days, they celebrate the Surúsh Yasht, the Surúsh Darún, the Patet Mokhtat (of souls), and the Surúsh Afergan. Patet signifies a general confession of all sins a person may have committed. Afergáns and Afrins are prayers in the form of thanksgivings accompanied with supplications and benedictions. On the third night, at the Gah Oshen, they celebrate four Daruns: the first in honor of Rashné Rast; the second of Raon Ized; the third of Surúsh, with six Darúns, three large and three small; and the fourth in honor of the Ferouers of the Saints: with this last they place four dresses, along with fruits and cheese, all of which are for the officiating priest.—D. S.

[504] The Niyayish is an humble and submissive form of prayer, of which there are five, addressed to five Izeds, and containing their panegyrics: the sun, Mithra, the moon, the female Ardouisur, and the fire Behrám. Amongst the attributes of Ardouisur are: making females prolific, pure, giving them happy child-births, supplying milk, etc. The great Vorôokeshé makes every thing grow and exist in those places where it flows, and whither it bears the element of water, from the source Ardouisur of a thousand channels and a thousand arms, each of which extends to a journey of forty days as performed by a well-mounted horseman.—D. S.

[505] According to Hyde’s version Gojestah, or Gosakhtah, became the devil, because he lapsed from the truth and lessened it. When he saw he had to contend against the truth, he fell prostrate in astonishment during a thousand years, and dared not venture to approach the world, but remained groaning and trembling in his own place. I cannot find this tradition in the Zend-Avesta, according to which, Bomasp is the demon of falsehood. On the authority of Gate 91, I prefer reading Gokhastah to Kusastah, or “the broken.” Hyde (p. 180) mentions that the Indo-Persians reckon Gegjesta Ghanáminu the immediate minister of Ahriman.—D. S.

[506] According to an ancient custom which is observed even in our days, the mouth of a dying Parsí is applied to that of a dog, who is to receive the man’s last breath. This custom may have occasioned the belief that the Persians let dogs devour their sick and dying. So says Herodotus (l. III.); Strabo (l. XI.) names the Bactrians and Sogdians as feeding for this purpose certain dogs, whom they call “buriers of the dead;” Cicero (Tusc., l. XLV) mentions the same of the Hyrcanians. Certainly, different customs prevailed in different times among the numerous nations who inhabited the vast empire of Persia: hence may be explained the various and sometimes contradictory accounts of ancient authors whose affirmation, denial, and silence, with respect to a particular fact, may however, in many instances, with equal truth but with due restriction, be applied to particular places and epochs.—A. T.

[507] The Parsis, from the most ancient to our times, neither bury nor burn their dead, but expose them to be devoured by birds and wild beasts. They fear to pollute the earth and the fire, which they hold sacred. It is, however, well established that they built formerly very magnificent sepulchres for kings and eminent men, to whom probably the privilege of such monumental graves was confined.—A. T.

[508] The readings in the manuscript and printed copy are both erroneous; therefore Yarshanom, Pituft Irash, and Tipat Barash have, on the authority of Anquetil Du Perron, been changed into Barashnom, and Patet Iran.

[509] Among the animals, cows, sheep, and fowls are particularly specified.—D. S.

[510] For Eshem Vehu, see Gate 22.

[511] The same is said of Mohammed, see note, p. 3.

[512] If the epoch of Kaíomars be adopted according to Ferdusi, 3529 B. C., that of Zoroaster would be = 529 years before our era. In the Mojmel al Tavarikh (IVth chapter, upon the chronology of the philosophers and some kings of Rúm) it is stated that, since Zoroaster appeared, 1700 years had elapsed to the time of the author, who wrote in the year 1530 of the Hejira, or A. D. 1126; therefore Zoroaster would have lived 574 years B. C. If the 1700 years be taken for lunar years, the epoch would answer to 522 before the Christian era.—A. T.

[513] For Pávyáb, or according to Anquetil du Perron, Padiav water, see Gate 54. This word may perhaps be derived from the Sanskrit पू pú, “to purify;” पवित्र pavitra, “pure;” पवित्रं pavitram, “water, rain, cleansing in general, a sacrificial implement.”—A. T.

[514] For Adar Behrám, or the fire of Behram, see note on Gate 53. Instead of Var Behrám and Vār Behrām of the manuscript, and Varcháram of the edit. of Calcutta, Adar Behrám has been adopted on Hyde’s authority.—D. S.

[515] Bahrám is the most active of the Izeds, the king of all the beings; with a celestial body, receiving his glory and splendor from Ormuzd, he presides over the 20th day of the month; he bestows health and victory, and combats the Dívs. He appears under the form of a young man of fifteen years, and under those of different animals; that of a cock has already been mentioned (see note, p. 324); he appears besides as a bull, a horse, a camel, a ram, a he-goat, a lamb. He is also identified with the planet Mars, and acts a great part in the ancient history of Persia. See Zand-Avesta, t. I. 2. P. pp. 83. 86. 91; t. II. pp. 98. 287. 289. 290. 294. 321. 356. and in other places.—A. T.

[516] The Calcutta edition reads Pímasídím; the above agrees nearly with the name given by Anquetil, which is Hamespethmédem. The other names of the Gahambars, according to the spelling of that author, are, from the first to the fifth, as follow: Medïozerem, Medïoshem, Peteschem, Eïathrem, and Médïarem. The statement relative to these six festivals, as contained in the Afrín of the Gahambar Zend-Avesta, t. II. pp. 82-87) coincides with that of the Dabistán. Ormuzd himself holds out remunerations to those who rightly celebrate each of these days, and condign punishments to those who neglect the prescribed observances.—A. T.

[517] In the Ardi Viraf nameh we read, that the river of hell, most black and frigid, is made of the tears of those who mourn for the dead; to the surviving friends silence and pious mussitation in remembering the merits of the dead are recommended.—A. T.

[518] See note, p. 105.

[519] Nothing existed before the first principle began the work of creation; this principle is called in the Bun-Dehesh Zaruam akarené, “the boundless time;” that is, “sine extremitatibus anterioribus et posterioribus.” Distinct from it is “the long time,” which is said to be created by God, and not “self-existing” as the first. Among the productions of this first principle, some are “self-creating,” such as Ormuzd and Ahriman (see note, pp. 235-236); others act only upon what exists already, such as the three substances—the primordial light, the primordial water, and the primordial fire. This is the doctrine expressed in Zand, Pehlvi, and the most ancient Persian books. The above statement about the eternal existence of the heavens seems therefore not in accordance with it. The Abádians or the Kaiomarsiáns acknowledged the good principle under the name of Yezdan, and the bad principle under that of Ahriman; but they believed that the first only was from eternity, and not the last; or in other terms, that light only was eternal and darkness created. The cosmogony of this sect was the same as that related in the Bun-Dehesh, or as that of Zoroaster; it is briefly as follows: The primordial bull was the principle of all irrational creatures as well as of the human race. According to the Izeshné and the Bun-Dehesh, the primitive man came forth from the side of the bull; he was called in Zand gaya mereta, and in Pehlvi gayo mard; a word compounded of gaya, “bull or life,” and of mĕrĕta, “mortal,” or “man;” hence came Gayomars, or Kaïomars, the name of a most ancient Persian king (see note, p. 29). From the seed of Gayomard sprung a tree which was shaped like two men, and the fruit of which comprised ten different species of men; from these two bodies came the twins Meshia and Meshiané, man and woman, the ancestors of mankind. Although created for happiness, they were seduced by Ahriman, and averted from the adoration of Ormuzd; they wandered in the wilderness, were addicted to hunting, clad in skins of animals, and their posterity peopled the earth.

But Ormuzd did not forsake his creatures. In order to emancipate them from the rule of Ahriman, he destined to them his word, the law of Zartusht, who always existed, but his feruer, that is, “the ideal of his perfection,” was to be produced by Zardusht’s fire.

He was to be preceded by Hom, the first apostle of the law, whom Jemshid followed. This king and prophet erected but few fire-temples; mankind venerated the elements and the stars, not without a number of evil genii, and a gross superstition began to prevail. For opposing this and renewing the primitive law, Zardusht appeared.—A. T.

[520] It appears quite conformable with true psychology to derive the origin of the evil spirit from jealousy, as was said in the note at p. 236, or from apprehension, doubt, suspicion, or envy, as above.—A. T.

[521] According to the Boun Dehesh (Zend-Avesta, t. II. pp. 347-348), Ormuzd will during three thousand years move alone; during three other thousand years, his operations will be blended with those of his adversary; the subsequent three thousand years will belong to Ahriman; and in the last three, completing the period of twelve thousand years, the author of evil shall disappear; and at the resurrection of the dead and the renewal of the bodies—previous to which event are to appear the three posthumous sons of Zoroaster (see note, pp. 281-282)—the world shall be without evil during all ages.

The ultimate fate of Ahriman is stated in the Vendidad Sadé Izeshné and Vispered, as follows (Zend-Avesta, t. I. 2. P. p. 169): “That unjust, that impure being, who is a Div but in his thoughts; that dark king of the Darwands, who understands nothing but evil; he shall, at the resurrection, recite the Avesta, and not only himself practise the law of Ormuzd, but establish it even in the habitations of the Darwands.” Moreover it is said (Zend-Avesta, t. II. pp. 415-416), that Ahriman, that lying serpent, shall at the end of ages be purified by fire, as well as the earth be freed from the dark abode of hell; Ormuzd and Ahriman, accompanied by all the good and evil genii, shall sing the praises of the author of all good.”—A. T.

[522] Záíd and Amru are two names which grammarians use in giving an example for any two individuals, such as may be said A. and B.—A. T.

[523] The author of the Dabistán names no other famous teachers or sectaries of Magism, after the death of Zoroaster, besides Ardai Viraf, Azarbád, and Mazdak: he treats of this last in particular in the subsequent section, previously to which we cannot omit adverting to Mani or Manes, whose name occurs in this book but once occasionally, as that of a painter (see note, p. 205). He is however much more reputed as the founder of a new doctrine, called from him Manichæism, which spread its ramifications widely through the Christian world. According to several authors, Mani was a Christian priest, and pretended to act the part of Paraclet, the announced successor to Jesus Christ; according to Khondemir, he endeavored to substitute himself for Mohammed, to whom that prophecy respecting a Paraclet was applied by the Muselmans. However it be, Mani’s Enghelion, or Gospel, has not been preserved, nor any other work written by himself; the books of his followers too, such as could be found, were burnt. His religion is stated to have been a mixture of Magism, Brahmanism or Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianism; Shahristani, often quoted in this work, and Mohammed Ibn el Nedim el Werrak, author of the Fehrist (a history of literature), agree in representing his doctrine as a branch of Magism with some Christianism ingrafted upon it.

The two points attributed to Mani by the commentator of the Desátir, namely, the permission to kill harmless animals, and the prohibition of sexual intercourse, belong rather to the ethical or practical, than to the theological, part of his religion, which distinguished itself by particular dogmas and opinions relative to the duality of principle, good and bad, light and darkness, involving other metaphysical questions. These, we know, were common to other religions in all times. Before Manes, Christian sects combined the said principles with the dogmas of their religion: so did the followers of Basilides, Marcion, Bardesanes, Valentius, and others. These, as well as after them the disciples of Manes, happen to be not seldom confounded with the Gnostics, which name was applied to different sectaries, chiefly Neo-platonics, from the earliest to later times of Christianism. The Manichæans rejected the Old Testament entirely, and partly the New, which they interpreted according to their opinion. They disputed about the nature of Jesus, and modified Christian theology; they believed a region inhabited by God and the pure spirits, prior to the creation; a world, created of an eternal and self-existing matter; ten heavens and eight earths; two empires, the one of light and the other of darkness; the last, ruled by the great Lord, called “matter;” demons with material souls and bodies; the soul no part of the divinty, but united with the body to govern it; two souls in every man; the propagation of souls; a transmigration of souls into animals; the stars, and every thing in nature, even the stones, animated; the rotundity of heaven and of the earth; antipodes; and other theses too many to be all enumerated in this place. They had besides particular rites of worship, from which the veneration of the sun, the moon, and other stars, was not excluded; they were averse to matrimony, and generally austere in their manners. See about this extensive subject the Mémoires of the learned Abbé Foucher, in the Hist. de l’Acad. Royale des Insc. et Belles-Lett., t. xxix, and the work quoted, Hist. crit. de Manichée, by Beausobre.—A. T.

The fifteenth section gives an account of the tenets held by the followers of Mazdak.—Mazdak Pg 373was a holy and learned man, contemporary with king Kobad; his religion was extensively diffused, but he was at last put to death by the illustrious Nushirvan; his tenets were as follow: from the commencement without beginning, the world had two creators; the agent of good, Yazdan, “God,” or “light;” and the agent of evil, Ahriman, or “darkness.” The supreme God is the author of good, and from him proceeds nothing but good; consequently, intelligences, souls, heavens, and stars are his creation, in all which Ahriman has no share whatever; the elements and their combinations Pg 374are, in like manner, the productions of the Lord; the influence of fire imparts warmth to those stricken with cold; the breathing of the winds gives coolness and ease to those consumed by heat; the water satisfies those parched with thirst; the earth is the place of ambulation. In like manner, their combinations, such as gold and silver among minerals; the fruit-bearing trees among vegetables; the ox, horse, sheep, and camel, of animals; the pious and beneficent among mankind, are his creation: but the consuming of animals by fire; the destruction of living creatures by the sultry simoom (wind); the foundering of ships in floods; the cutting bodies asunder by iron, or their being pricked by thorns; rapacious and noxious animals, such as lions, tigers, scorpions, serpents, and the like, are all the works of Ahriman; and as he has no share in the empyreal heaven, they style it Behisht; but as he possesses a joint authority in the elemental world, opposition has consequently arisen, and no form subsisting in it is possessed of permanent duration. For example: the Almighty bestows life, and Ahriman puts to death; life is the creation of God, death that of Ahriman; God produced health, Ahriman, pain and disease; the Bestower of blessings created paradise, Ahriman, hell; the worship of the Lord is therefore most meet, as his kingdom is immense; and Ahriman has no power, except in the elemental Pg 375world; in the next place, the spirit of every one devoted to God ascends on high, but that of Ahriman’s servants abides in hell. Wisdom therefore requires the man of intelligence to separate himself from the Ahrimans; for although the author of evil may afflict such a person, yet on being delivered from the body, his soul ascends to Heaven, whither Ahriman has not the power of coming.

In some parts of the Desnad,[524] Mazdak says: “Existence arises from two principles or sources, Shíd and Tár,” i. e.: ‘light’ and ‘darkness,’ which he afterwards interprets to mean God and Ahriman. He afterwards says: “The works of light result from choice, but those of darkness from accident; light is endued with knowledge and sensation, darkness is ignorant; the mixture of light and darkness is accidental, and the disengagement of light from darkness is also accidental, and not the result of choice; whatever is good in this world is an advantage emanating from light, whilst evil and corruption arise from darkness; when the parts of light are separated from darkness, the compound becomes dissolved, which means resurrection.” Again, he says in the same volume: “There are three roots, or principles: water, fire, and earth; when these are blended Pg 376together, the tendency to good or evil arising from their mixture is also accidental; whatever results from their purest parts tends to good, and whatever is derived from their grosser parts tends to evil.” He says in the same volume: “God is seated on a throne in the world, the source of all things, just as kings are on the throne of sovereignty in the lower world. In his presence are the four energies, namely, Bázkushá, or ‘power of discrimination;’ Yáddah, or ‘power of memory;’ Dáná, or ‘faculty of comprehension;’ and Surá, or ‘gladness;’ in like manner as the affairs of royalty turn on four persons: “the Supreme Pontiff, the principal Hirbud, the commander in chief of the forces, and the master of the revels. And these four persons conduct the affairs of the world through the agency of seven others, inferior to them in rank, namely, chieftain, administrator, Banúr,[525] Dairván (head of a monastery), agent, Dostúr, and slave; which seven characters comprehend under them the twelve Rawání, or ‘orbits’ of spirits, namely: the speaker, giver, taker, bearer, eater, runner, grazer, slayer, smiter, comer, goer, and abider. Whatever man unites in himself the four energies, the seven agents, Pg 377and the twelve qualities, becomes in this lower world like a creator or protector, and is delivered from all kinds of embarrassment.”

It is also stated in the same volume: “Whatever is not according with the light and agrees with darkness, becomes wrath, destruction, and discord. And whereas almost all contentions among mankind have been caused by riches and women, it is therefore necessary to emancipate the female sex and have wealth in common: he therefore made all men partners in riches and women; just as they are of fire, water, and grass,” In the same volume we find: “It is a great injustice that one man’s wife should be altogether beautiful, whilst another’s is quite the contrary; it therefore becomes imperative, on the score of justice and true religion, for a good man to resign his lovely wife for a short time to his neighbour, who has one both evil and ugly; and also take to himself for a short time his neighbour’s deformed consort.”

Mazdak has also said: “It is altogether reprehensible and improper that one man should hold a distinguished rank, and another remain poor and destitute of resources: it is therefore incumbent on the believer to divide his wealth with his coreligionist; and so taught the religion of Zardusht, that he should even send his wife to visit Pg 378him, that he may not be deprived of female society. But if his coreligionist should prove unable to acquire wealth, or show proofs of extravagance, infatuation, or insanity, he is to be confined to the house, and measures adopted to provide him with food, clothing, and all things requisite: whoever assents not to these arrangements is consequently a follower of Ahriman’s, and they get contributions from him by compulsion.”

Farhád, Shíráb, and Ayin Hoshpúyár adopted this creed; besides these, Muhammed Kúlí the Kurd, Ismail Bég, the Georgian, and Ahmadai of Tiran (a village near Ispahan) possessed this faith. From them it has been ascertained, that the followers of Mazdak do not at present assume the dress of Gebers, but practise their religion secretly among the Muhammedans. They also showed the author the volume of Mazdak, called the Desnad, written in old Persian, which Ayin Shakib, the grandfather of Ayin Hosh, translated into popular Persian. Farhod was a man of great intelligence, and assumed the name of Muhammed Said Beg among the Muhammedans: Shirab went under the name of Shir Muhammed, and Ayin Hosh under that of Muhammed Akil; and as they were eminent in their peculiar science, they possessed the volume called the Desnád. Such is the detailed account of the Parsi systems, agreeably to the promise made in the beginning of this work, Pg 379into which not a single one has been admitted which has not either been taken from their own books, or heard from the followers of the respective creeds, as their enemies have, from hostile motives, falsely ascribed to them various erroneous doctrines.[526]

[524] Desnad, the volume which contains the doctrines of Mazdak.—D. S.

[525] A word not in the dictionaries; if derivable from बाण bána, “an arrow,” it may signify “an archer, head-archer;” if from बाणी bání, “speech,” it may be “a speaker, an orator.”—A. T.

[526] This first chapter of the Dabistán, here finished, represents the Sabæismus, or the worship of the heavenly bodies, and the formation of society by a race of kings, called the Máhábádiáns, who were succeeded by the Péshdádiáns, and other known dynasties of the Persian kings. We see laid down the principal features of Asiatic monarchies which have been preserved from times immemorial to our days. The Dabistán, it is true, blends the ideas of more recent epochs with those of the highest antiquity, and introduces sects of later times, the origin of which he traces back to the times of Abád, Húshang, and Zohák. It is however clear, that a very ancient religion prevailed in Asia, consisting of two principal points: the first was the adoration of the Creator of all good, whose unity was acknowledged very early by the enlightened class of men; the second point was the detestation of the author of all physical and moral evil. This religion inculcated purity of thoughts, words, and actions, and a tender regard for animal life; not without a great number of liturgical rites, dietetical observances, and other regulating customs in private and public. We may comprise under the general name of “Magismus” the fourteen religions mentioned in this chapter, the last but one of which, namely, that of Zardusht, appears to have been but a new systematic arrangement, not without a partial reform, of the old general religion of Asia, which has also been attributed to a more ancient Zardusht.

The duality of principle (good and bad) seems to come home to the common feeling of mankind; but it implies metaphysical questions about the creation, anteriority, posteriority, derivation and duration of light and darkness, about which the different sects are divided by their dogmas and opinions. That of the Zardushtiáns derived from God light and darkness, and considered the last as a shadow inseparable from the body. Zardusht was a dualist, inasmuch as he adopted light and darkness, as two eternal principles opposed to each other, and also inasmuch as he taught two immediate authors of good and evil, who were independent of, and absolutely contrary to, each other: but he was an unitarian, inasmuch as he subordinated these authors to the eternal decrees of the Supreme Being, who to him was the only principle of the universe, with respect not only to its original creation, but also to all its physical and moral accidents.

Although subdivided into sects, Zardusht’s religion appears to have been dominant, until the forcible introduction of Muhammedanism among the Persians, and zealously supported by the preaching of four wise men, called Sásán, who lived from 240 to 643 of the Christian era.

Here follow the principal epochs of the Zardushtián religion from the time of Gushtasp to the end of the ancient Persian monarchy:

I. Gushtasp from 652 to 505 B. C. Then lived Zardusht.
II. Alexander — 337-323 id.  The First Sásan (Desátir, pp. 185. 186).
III. Ardeshir Babegan — 200-240 A. D. Arda Viraf.
IV. Shapur II. — 240-271 id.  Arzabad, the son of Marasfand, Sásan II. (Desát, p. 188.)
V. Bahram, the son of Hormuzd — 272-276 id.  Mani.
VI. Kobad — 488-531 id.  Sásan III. Mazdak.
VII. Khosru Parvis — 591-628 id.  The Fourth and the Fifth Sásan.
VIII. Yezdejerd — 632-652 id.
—A. T.



P. 31 (note) last line. Instead of “He,” read “Hushang.” This part of the note, to begin from “Hushang,” ought to have been placed higher up, at the beginning of the last paragraph, before “Jemshid,” also called “Jemshar.”

P. 57 (note) l. 5. Instead of “assumed by,” read “given to.”


Printed by Madame Ve Dondey-Dupré, 46, rue St-Louis, au Marais.

Transcriber’s Note
This book was written in a period when many words had not become standardized in their spelling. Words and names have multiple spelling variations, inconsistent hyphenation and inconsistent accent marks. Misspelled words in English, Greek, Persian and Sanskrit were left unchanged. Accent marks for transliterations of Persian and Sandskrit were standardized with accents placed above vowels, and letter s; a high comma precedes aspirated consonant h.

Duplicate words were removed. Obvious printing errors, such as upside down, backwards, or missing letters, and letters in the wrong order, were corrected. Spaces were added or removed between words, as appropriate. Quotation marks and parentheses were adjusted to standard usage. Missing stops were added to abbreviations and ends of sentences. Missing commas were added between items in lists. Commas were changed to stops at ends of sentences.

Footnotes were numbered sequentially and were moved to the end of the section in which they occurred. Anchors for footnotes 69, 85, 192, 364, 479, 482, 489 are missing in the original; for 69, 85, 364, 482, 489, anchors were added where they likely belong. Location for anchor 192 could not be determined. There are two anchors to footnotes 117, 138, and 232. Tables within footnotes 251 and 253 were aligned to display better in e-publications.

Noted, not changed:

The word “ibid” occasionally is not in italics.
For consistency, paragraph number V., should be 5., page clxiv
The word “sir” is occasionally lower case as a title.
Dots were used instead of ditto marks in footnote 499.
Page cite in footnote 105 should be 134, not 190, as printed.
Page cite in footnote 460 should be 246, not 236, as printed. Link to correct citation provided.

Removed extraneous comma between “latter formed” on page lii.
Changed semicolon to full stop after “East India Company,” page clxxxix.
Changed colon to semicolon after the word “completed,” page 20.
Changed colon to semicolon in the series of phrases in the quotation on page 150.
Changed stop to to colon, third paragraph, 196.