Page images

make it a point to dislike food and drink. But such men should think deeply on the text of the Vendîdâd, and should bear in mind that no one in this world has brought with him a document exempting him from death; sooner or later every one has to die.


I (Ardâ Vîrâf) also saw the souls of women whose heads were cut off and separated from the body, and the tongue ever kept crying.

And I asked thus: "Whose souls are those of these ?"

Srôsh the pious and Atarô the angel, said thus ; "These are the souls of those women, who in the world, made much lamentation and weeping, and beat the head and face."


Afterwards, Srôsh the pious and Âtarô the angel took hold of my hand, and I (Ardâ Vîrâf) went thence onwards. I came to a place and I saw a great river which was gloomy as dreadful hell; on which river were many souls and guardian angels; and some of them were not able to cross, and some crossed only with great difficulty, and some crossed easily.

And I asked thus: "What river is this? And who are these people who stand so distressed?"

Srôsh the pious, and Atarô the angel, said thus: "This river is the many tears which men shed from the eyes as they make lamentation and weeping for the de parted. They shed those tears unlawfully, and they swell to this river. Those who are not able to cross over, are those for whom, after their departure, much

*By Erwad Sheheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha.

+ Translated by Martin Пaug, Ph. D., assisted by E. W. West, Ph. D.

lamentation and weeping were made; and those who

cross more easily are those for Speak forth to the world thus. world, make no lamentation and

whom less was made. "When you are in the weeping unlawfully; for

so much harm and difficulty may happen to the souls of your departed."

[ocr errors]


It is said that when Sohrab, the youthful son of Rustam, the hero of world-wide renown, was slain by the hands of his own father, whatever consolation was given to the father by the people, failed to produce any effect on him. Day and night with the name of Sohrab constantly on his lips, he sorrowed over his demise. Once it happened that a woman taking a pitcher of water on the head was going along the road. Rustam happened to strike against her, whereupon the pot fell down on the ground and was broken into pieces. For this the woman grieved intensely, and insisted upon Rustam's repairing the selfsame pot, and making it entire again. Rustam offered her a golden pitcher instead, if she liked. But the woman said, "No! I want the very same pot." "Hast thou lost thy senses, said Rustam. "An earthen vessel that is once broken cannot be made entire again." Instantaneously the woman took him at his word, and retorted, "Rustam ! Have not you also lost your senses? Is it possible that your bemoanings and bewailings will ever bring the dead Sohrab to life again?" These words had their effect upon Rustam, and renouncing his grief, he began to attend to his duties.

[ocr errors]


* Translated by Martin Haug, Ph. D., assisted by E. W. West, Ph. D.

† By Erwad Sheheriarji Dadabhai Bharucha.

According to the law of Zarathustra, the husband was bound to be faithful to his wife, and to take tender care of her. The wife was bound to worship her husband every morning. The child was required to submit absolutely to its parents.*


O ye brides, and bridegrooms, husbands and wives, I say to you these words: Live with one mind; do together all your religious duties with purity of thought; live towards each other with truth, and by these (things) with certainty you shall be happy.


Know ye, that both of you have liked each other, and are therefore thus united. Look not with impious eye on other people, but always make it your study to love, honour and cherish each other as long as both of you remain in this world. May quarrels never arise between you, and may your fondness for each other increase day by day. May you both learn to adhere to truth, and be always pure in your thoughts as well as actions, and always try to please the Almighty, who is the lover of Truth, and Righteousness. Shun evil company, abstain from avarice, envy and pride, for that is the road to destruction. Think not of other men's property, but try industriously and without any dishonest means, to improve your own. Cultivate friendship between yourselves, and with your neighbours, and among those who are known to be good people. Hold out a helping hand to the needy and poor. Always respect your parents, as that is one of the first duties enjoined upon you. May success crown all your efforts. May you be blessed with

*From The Origin and Development of Religious Belief.

children and grand-children. May you always try to exalt the glory of the religion of Zoroaster, and may the blessings of the Almighty descend upon you.




When you were young and infirm, your parents took care of you. They nourished you with milk in your infancy, and now that you are grown up, they give you food and clothing. Besides your school-fees are paid, and books for study are purchased by them. When you become ill, you know what an amount of pains they took to make you recover, It behoves you, therefore, not to fail to return the kindness of such good parents. Act always according to their orders, and willingly execute what they bid you to do. Accept cheerfully what things are given you by them, and rest contented, with as much. food and drink as are allowed by them. If you see other children eating more dainty food or wearing more costly clothes, you ought not to demand such things from your parents; for they may perhaps be poor, and you should consider how they can procure you those expensive things. In case your parents have grown old, or have for any other reason become debilitated, it is your duty to work very hard for supplying them with whatever they want. You should love your parents, and should not cause any pain or uneasiness to them.

If by your conduct you ever give satisfaction to your parents, God will make you happy in every respect. -" ZOROASTRIAN RELIGIOUS ETHICS


• From The Parsees; their history, manners, customs and re

ligion, by Dossabhai Framji.

† By Erwad Rustamji Ratanji Dadachanjina.

Sensible parents teach their offspring from their very infancy to practise truthfulness and obedience, to cultivate the habit of honesty, to practise philanthropy, to revere their elders, to be just and fair in their dealings, to work diligently and to have faith in religion; and the consequence of this is that the children live a life of joy and cheerfulness. It is the special duty of children thus brought up and trained to endeavour their utmost to supply all proper needs of their parents and to render them happy in every way.


I (Ardâ Vîrâf) also saw several souls whose chests were plunged in mud and stench and a sharp sickle ever went among their legs and other limbs; and they ever called for a father and mother.

And I asked thus: "Who are these souls? and what sin was committed by them, whose souls suffer so severe a punishment? "

Srôsh the pious, and Âtarô the angel, said thus: "These are the souls of those wicked who, in the world, distressed their father and mother; and asked no absolution and forgiveness from their father and mother in the world.'


Question. What are those things by which man isblessed and benefited?


To do virtuous deeds, to give in charity, to be kind, to be humble, to speak sweet words, to wish good to others, to have a clear heart,

By Jamaspji Edulji Dadachanji.

† Translated by Dr. Haug, assisted by Dr. West.

« PreviousContinue »