Introduction -- Zoroastrian Philosophy and Free Will
The purpose of this
Second Part is to study the significance of the doctrine of the freedom of
the will in the quasidualistic creed of Zoroaster, first enunciated more
than two thousand five hundred years ago, and incidentally to emphasize
the interest which this old Zoroastrian teaching has for students of
philosophy and religion.
By way of introduction
it may be stated that in Zoroaster’s philosophical teachings the warring
kingdoms of good and evil, light and darkness, right and wrong,
personified respectively as Ormazd and Ahriman, or the ancient Persian God
and Devil, are represented as in perpetual conflict. Yet, while these two
antagonistic principles, which struggle for the mastery of the soul of
man, are primeval and coeval in the universe, they are not coeternal,
because Ormazd will triumph in the end and Ahriman will be annihilated
forever. Man will help in bringing about this victory. (See Part I, pp
Man is Ormazd's own
creature and belongs by birthright to the kingdom of good. But God has
created him as a
free agent, endowed
with the power to choose, of his own volition, between that which is right
and that which is wrong. Upon his choice, however, his own salvation and
his share in the ultimate victory of good will depend. Every good deed
that man does increases the power of good; every evil he commits augments
the kingdom of evil. His weight thrown in either scale turns the balance
in that direction. Hence man ought to choose the good and support the
hosts of heaven in the struggle to conquer the legions of hell, thus
bringing about the millennium, at which time the Saoshyant, or Savior,
will appear, the resurrection of the dead and the final judgment will take
place, 'the good kingdom, the wished-for kingdom' (Avestan: vohu xšatra,
xšatra vairy) a will be established, and the world will be renovated and
made perfect according to will (Av. Frašəma, vasna aəhuš, frašəm ahūm,
frašotema, frašokərəti, etc.).
See Part I, pp80.
accordingly rests upon man, and, because of his freedom of choice, he will
be held to strict accountability hereafter; it was, moreover, for the
special purpose of guiding mankind toward the universal choice of right
that Zoroaster believed himself to be sent by Ormazd on his mission as
Thus while Zoroaster’s
creed, as portrayed in the sacred book of the Avesta, centuries before
Christ, and further developed in the patristic Pahlavi literature of
Sasanian times and later, is dualistic in its philosophy, it has strongly
monotheistic tendencies in that it postulates, with optimistic
hopefulness, the ultimate triumph of Ormazd; and it is distinctively
ethical since it gives to the doctrine of dualism a moral value by placing
responsibility upon man as a free agent.
After this general presentation by way of preface, we
may take up and
discuss in turn the Avestan and Pahlavi texts that touch upon the
freedom of the will, supplementing these from later sources.
II. The Doctrine of
Free Will in the Avesta
As for the Avesta, the
‘Holy Gathas,' or ‘Psalms of Zoroaster,’ are the oldest and most hallowed
portion of the sacred texts. In certain stanzas of these, for example
Yasna 45. 2; 30. 3-5, the inherent opposition and all pervading conflict
between the two Primordial Spirits is clearly brought out; and it is
explicitly stated, in Yasna 30.5, that from the beginning ‘the Wicked
Spirit (Ahriman) chose (varatā)
to do the worst things; the Holiest .Spirit (Ormazd), who wears the
firmest heavens as a robe, chose Righteousness, and (so do those) who
gladly will gratify Ahura Mazdah (Ormazd) by right deeds.’ The original
choice made by the Primal Spirits thus forms the prototype and serves for
an example to lead man in making his own choice.
This idea is more
clearly expressed in the next Gatha (Ys.31.2), in which Zoroaster presents
himself as the guide and master because, owing to the teachings of the
wicked, ‘the better way to choose is not clear in view’ (noit urvāne
Ys. 31. 2). He therefore exhorts his hearers to live ‘according to
Righteousness,’ so as to win the reward of the
Kingdom of Mazdah
(stanza 6), whom he glorifies (7-8),
and then turns to the special subject of volition and choice. This, as I
understand the next two stanzas (9-10), is presented first as a parable or
allegory, under the guise of which the cow (an animal sacred in
Zoroastrianism) is given the option to choose between the thrifty
husbandman, who cares for the cattle, and the non-husbandman. The cow
(unlike 'Buridan's ass' between the two bundles of hay, as familiar in the
scholastic philosophy) makes the right choice at once without wavering;
and then in the next two stanzas (11-12) man's freedom to determine and
practise his own belief by word and deed, and thus decide his fate, is
brought out. I therefore transliterate and translate all four stanzas.
Avesta, Yasna 31.9-12
Θwǒi as Armaitiš
Θwə a Gəuš Taša as xratuš
mainyəuš Mazda Ahura hyat ahyai dadā paөam
vāstryāt vā āite yə vā nǒit awhat vāstryo
At hi ayā
fravarəta vāstrim ahyai fšuyantəm
ahurəm ašavanəm vaehəus
noit Masdā avāstryo davascina humərətois haxštā.
Hyat ne Mazda
paourvim gaetasca va aresvaca va
Twa manavha xratusca hyat astvantem dada ustanem
Hyat syaotanaca senghasca yatra vareneng vasa dayete –
baraiti maitahvaca va aresvaca va
vidva va evidva va ahya zeredoca manawhaca,
anus-haxs Armaitis mainyu peresaite yatra maeta.
Armaiti (Harmony and genius of the earth), Thine was the Shaper of
the Wisdom of the Spirit, when Thou, Ahura Mazdah, gavest to her the
to depend either upon the husbandman or upon him who is not a
Then of these
twain she chose for herself the cattle-raising husbandman,
the furtherer of Good Thought, as righteous lord
nor does the one who is not a husbandman share in
a good report even though he strive for it.
Since Thou, O Mazdah, in the beginning didst shape [i.e. create] our beings and
Consciences (Religion or Self, personified in plural),
and our intelligences through Thine own thought, since Thou maddest life
clothed with a body,
since Thou maddest deeds and teachings whereby according to his will one
may express his beliefs --
Therefore lifts up his
voice [alike] either the false speaker or the true speaker,
he that knows or he that knows not, according to his heart and
[but] Armaiti, following ever after with the Spirit, inquires where
faltering may be.'
The importance of the
doctrine embodied in stanzas 11 and 12, especially in the adjective
vasa, 'according to one's will,' I pointed out as long ago as the year
1888 in A Hymn of Zoroaster, Yasna 31 (pp. 39, 41), making a reference
likewise to Geldner's article in the Encyclopedia Britannica, which was
then shortly to appear.
As I indicated in that monograph, Zoroaster wishes to show that Ormazd can
man to judgment since He has created him a free agent, allowing him to
choose between two religions that stood respectively for the good and the
bad, just as, in the passage quoted, the cow, also divinely created, was
given a free choice which determined her future fate.
According to the whole
tenor of Zoroastrianism, moreover, there was no foreordination, except
that creation at the outset was divided into that which was ormazd's by
nature and that which was Ahriman’s. Ormazd never created anything that is
evil; all that is wicked and baleful is the work of ‘the evil-creating
(Av. duz-daman) Ahriman,' who seeks to mar everything that Ormazd has
made. Numerous passages in the Avesta could be cited to prove the
statement. In consequence of this primeval perversion ‘even the Demons
(which were Ahriman’s creation) did not determine rightly between these
two [Primal Spirits], since Deception came upon them as they were
deliberating, so that they chose the Worst Thought and rushed over
together to Aeshma (Passion) that they might bring bane upon the life of
Man’ (Ys. 30. 6).
In consequence of their evil choice, perdition awaits them and their
followers in contrast to the joys of the blest hereafter (e.g. Ys. 30.
As to choice,
furthermore, there seems to be contained in Yasna 48. 4 an implied
intimation of free election, since it refers to the case of the one
who makes his ‘Conscience’ (Religion, or Self, personified-Av. daena)
sometimes better, sometimes worse, by his varying acts on different
occasions. Such a man, after death, will not go directly either to heaven
or to hell, but to a separate place (later called in Pahlavi hamestakan)
intermediate between the two, there to abide until God in his
wisdom gives final judgement.
This idea, as far as the effect on the ‘Conscience’ (Religion) hereafter
is concerned, is found more fully amplified in a well-known Avestan later
text (Yasht 22, from the Hatokht Nask), which describes how every good or
bad deed done in this life is reflected in the ‘Conscience,’ personified
as a lovely maiden or as a hideous hag, which comes to meet the soul after
death in accordance with the actions it has performed. (See Part I, p
82.) But too much stress need not be laid on either of these passages
in the present connection.
For the sake of
greater completeness it may be added that the Gatha-Avestan word usen, 'at
will, according to choice or desire’ (loc. sg. as adv.), may contain an
allusion to volition in the passage Ys. 45. 9,ye ne usen corat
spanca aspenca, Ormazd, ‘who has made weal and woe for us [hereafter]
according to our choice’; and again in Ys. 44. 10, twa-istis usen
Mazda,‘according to choice of Thy [future] good things, O
Mazdah; but the matter is open to question and other translators prefer to
apply the word usen to the will of Mazdah and not to that of man.
There is elsewhere in the Gathas, moreover (Ys.50. II; 34. 15; cf. 43.
I-2), in the word vasnii, ‘according to the will,’ an allusion to the will
of Mazdah which man himself should follow to bring the world to
perfection. In a later passage of the Avesta, Ys. 8. 6, a prayer
furthermore is made that ‘the righteous may be ruling at will (vaso-xsatro),
and the wicked may be not ruling at will (avaso xsatro).' There are
likewise certain indirect implications of the idea of a moral choice in
several passages which employ verbal forms from the roots var-, vm-,
‘wish, choose, will,’ as well as the adjective anusant, ‘against the
The locus classicus, however, on the freedom of the will is that
translated above from the Gathas (Ys.31. 9-12).
In the Old Persian
Cuneiform Inscriptions of Darius there are some fifty occurrences of the
word vasna, ‘by the will,’ but always with reference to the will of God,
since Darius emphasizes again and again that he is king Dei gratia ‘by the
will of A(h)uramazda' (vasna Ahuramazdaha) -- and that everything which he
does is done by His grace.
As the Old Persian Rock Records throw no special light on our subject we
may turn next to the Pahlavi literature.
Doctrine of Free Will in the Pahlavi Books
The Pahlavi, or Middle
Persian, literature belongs to the period of the Sasanian Empire and the
centuries directly following the Muhammadan conquest of Persia, thus
dating roughly from the third to the tenth century A.D. This Zoroastrian
patristic literature, as it may be called, consists largely of
translations of Avestan texts and of writings on general religious
subjects rather than on philosophical topics. For that reason there are
fewer allusions to metaphysical questions than we might otherwise expect
but the doctrine of the freedom of the will is implied throughout in the
ethical writings of the followers of Zoroaster after the Arab conquest,
and we know that this dogma was expressly branded as 'Magian' by their
fatalistic conquerors, thus showing that it continued to prevail.
In the Pahlavi texts themselves, moreover, there are several direct as
well as indirect references to the tenet.
In the first place, in
the Bundahishn, which is an old Pahlavi work based on the Damdat Nask, one
of the lost books of the original Avesta, there is directly indicated (in
2. 9-11) a choice made by the Fravashis-those preexisting spiritual
counterparts, or guardian geniuses, who were the celestial prototypes of
material creations afterward produced to leave for a time their heavenly
state and assume a bodily existence on earth, in order to overcome finally
the opposition of Ahriman and become ‘perfect and immortal in the future
existence, for ever and everlasting.’
I mention this passage merely in order to point out that its conception of
volition in the prenatal state may possibly have some bearing also in
connection with the direct allusions to free will in the passages, which
are immediately to be discussed.
One of these
references is found, for example, in a Pahlavi work of the ninth century
A.D. entitled Denkart, ‘Acts of the Religion.’ The compiling of this
extensive compendium of matters relating to religion, customs, history,
and the like, was begun somewhere about 820 A.D. by a noted high-priest of
the Zoroastrians named Atur-farnbag, and was completed by another priest
called Aturpat who was still living in 881 A.D.
The passage in question (Dk. 3. I74) occur in the earliest of the extant
books, which make up the work (books I and 2 are missing), and forms a
part of the general material brought together by the first of the two
compilers, belonging, therefore, to the earlier half of the ninth century
A.D. As the Pahlavi text is not easily accessible, I shall first
transliterate it from the original, giving the Iranian equivalents of the
‘Auzvarishn’ Semitic forms (but including the latter, when they occur in
parentheses) and adopting in general the traditional manner of reading; I
shall then make a literal translation, preserving the crabbed style of the
original, the awkwardness of which sometimes renders the Pahlavi difficult
Pahlavi Denkart 3.174.2
azato-kam andar (den) getik martom. Az-as Avastakik nam (Sem) ahvo-i
(zak-as) Zand xatai-i tanu-omand; va Datistan-i xatai xatayih azato-kam
martom (ansuta)-i apar (madam) xes (nafsman) kam rayenitarih varzitarih.
Yas (zak-as) apar (madam) aparik getik-dahisno ne (la) angon xes (nafsman)
kam xatai hand (homand) cigon xatai martom (ansuta) az Yazdan aevak-ac. Ne
(la) aeto (ast) rayenitarih i apar (madam) ahvoi
cigon rayenitarih martom apar (madam) (valmansan) i (zak-i) tanu-omand be
az (min) menavadan Yazdan; pa (pavan) an (zak) menavadan-ac Yazdan xatai
ne (la) tanu-omand. Va azat-kam kartar Datar Auhrmazd va azat-kamih
xatayih i apar (madam) martom apar (madam) kam pa (pavan) partiraftano ne
(la) patiraftano yasan (zakesan) kirfak va vanas; va cam Datar azat-kam...
‘In the world man is
Therefore occurs the Avestan name ahvo-i ast-omand (i.e. avhu astvant),
“life which has a body,” the Zand [i.e. explanation] of which (is) “a lord
having a body” (xatai-I tanu-omand)
and the decision of a
(is) the lordship
of a man having free will in the purposing and performing of his own will.
Wherefore in the rest of the
are not such (angon) lords of their own will as the lord man, except God
even alone. Nor is there, in this life, purposing like the purposing of
man among those who have a body, with the exception of the spiritual God;
and in regard to this, the spiritual God (is) a lord not having a body.
And the maker having free will (is) the Creator Ormazd; and the free will
ship is the lord ship which (is) in man with regard to accepting (or) not
accepting, according to his wi1l, those things which (are) virtues and
vices; and the cause is the Creator who has free will….
The general thought
continued in this particular chapter of the Denkart, for more than a page,
is to the effect that man, guided by conscience and intelligence, should
choose to do right and not be misled by Ahriman to commit sin.
The second Pahlavi
work (or rather the Pazand-Sanskrit version of a Pahlavi text as yet
discovered only in part)
allusions to the doctrine of free will is the Shikand-gumanik Vijar, or
Skand Vimanik Vicar,‘ Doubt dispelling Explanation.’ This controversial
treatise is the nearest approach to a philosophical production that has
survived from Pahlavi literature, and belongs apparently to the latter
half of the ninth century A.D., as its author, Martan-farukh, son of
Auharmazd-dat, a Zoroastrian, flourished about that period.
The writer was a
Mazdah-worshiping priest and a thorough dualist. He constantly upholds the
Zoroastrian doctrine of the independent origin of evil, as contrasted with
good, and polemizes against alleged or real inconsistencies in other
religions which fail to explain how an all-good and all-powerful creator
can allow the existence of evil.
The theory of the freedom of t h e will is inherently involved in his
hypothesis, and the trend of his argument is that the all-good and
all-wise Ormazd created neither Ahriman nor evil, which serve as a
limitation to His divine will, but that Ahriman is responsible for
deceiving and misleading man.
For this reason he points out what he considers to be inconsistencies in
the Muhammadan and Christian presentation of free will, especially that of
the rationalistic Muslim sect of the Mu'tazila, or Mu‘tazilites
(‘Separatists, or Seceders').
Thus, after arguing in
detail (SVV, chap. II) concerning the view in the Koran with respect to
the will of God, he concludes (SVV.II. 176): 'The inevitability of a rival
of the will (kam)of God is manifest'-a statement which he supports by
still further contentions-and then turns upon the Mu'tazilites, saying:
Pazand version of
SVV.II. 280-281. Dit, ez esa kesa Mutzari xanend e purset; Ku Yazat hama
mardum pa azat-kami
az bazaa paharextan az dozax buxtan o vahest jaminidan kam aya ne?
Sanskrit version of SVV.II. 280-281. Dvitiyam ca, tebhyo ye Muthajarikah
akarryante nanu prccheta: Yat Iajadasya samagram manusyan svatantrakamalya
papat pariraksitum narakac ca sodhayitum svarge ca nayitum kamah kim va
Translation (cf. the
parallel Skt. version). 'Again, you should ask of those whom they call
Mutazalik (i.e. the Mu'tazilites) thus: Is it the desire of the Sacred
Being (God) to preserve all mankind from wickedness through (their own)
free will, to release them from hell, (and) make them proceed to heaven,
controversialist goes on to point out to his opponents that their title to
glorify the divinity depends upon their answer, yes or no, to this
Later on, after
seeking to refute various Christian tenets and ideas (SVV.15. 1-73), and
noting 'the inconsistency of the statements derived from the scriptures of
their high-priest' (referring apparently to St. Paul, who is mentioned
shortly afterwards, in 15. 91) ,he argues that the logical outcome of the
Christian views would result in an inconsistency, 'that the Jews slew the
Messiah through the will of the Father' (I5. 76), and he proceeds to
indicate some of the difficulties into which this construction of man's
free will would lead the Christian, through failure to allow for the
dualistic origin of the universe (15. 114) and Ahriman's power. Thus:
Pazand version of
Dit, anbasaniha awar azat-kami i ostya goet; Kuys mardum azat-kam dat hend.
Edun aho i gunah i mardum kunnend azat-kami hast, vas azat-kami xat o
mardum dat. A ham oi gunahkar sazet dastan ke bun vahan i gunah. Agar
mardum gunah u bazaa pa azat-kami i xes kunend [ne]
pa kam i Yazat!, a ser mar gurg gazdum xarawatar i gaza awazana i
cihari-kunisni gunahu bazaa yasa azas hame rawet pa kadam azat-kami u ke
gunah? Edunnica zahar i awazana i andar bes u aware urvar sardaga yasa ne
azat-kami vahan ke bun dast?
Sanskrit version of
Dvitiyam ca anibaddhataya upari svatantrakamatve pravinataram nigadatai;
Yat manusyah svatantrakamah dattah santi. Evam dosah papanam yan manusyah
kurvanti svatantrakamiyah santi asau satantrakamatvam svayam manusyebhyo
dadau. Tat sarvatra enam papakarinam yujyate parijnatum yo mulakaranam
papasya. Cet manusyah papam dosam svatantrakamatvena nijena kurvanti [na]
kamena Iajadasya <…>
Translation (cf. the
parallel Skt. version). 'Again, he speaks inconsistently about the free
will (azat-kamih) of the faithful, that mankind are produced (by Him) with
free will. Thus the iniquity of the sin which mankind commit is freely
willed, and the freedom of will (was) produced by Himself for mankind That
(implies that) it is fitting to consider him likewise a sinner who is the
original cause of sin. If mankind commit sin and wickedness by their own
free will, [not]
through the will of the sacred being (God), through what free will and
what sin are the sin and wickedness of the lion, serpent, wolf, (and)
scorpion-the stinging (and) slaying creatures -- which are the natural
actions that ever proceed from them? So also, who (has) maintained the
origin of the deadly poison which is in the Besh (herb) and other species
of plants, the cause of which is not owing to free will?
The point of
martan-farukh's argument, if I understand the passage rightly in
connection with the rest of his treatise and with the general theology of
Zoroastrianism, is to show the failure of the Christian doctrine to take
full cognizance of the limitation of the will of God (Ormazd) throughthe
counter-will of the Evil Spirit (Ahriman).
According to Zoroastrianism, all noxious creatures and the poison existing
in plants are due to the original creation of Ahriman, and are, therefore,
predeterminately evil; while man was made naturally good, but was marred
through the Evil Spirit’s powerful influence. It may be remarked that the
writer himself in closing this section adds that ‘on this subject it is
possible to speak abundantly (vasiha) for a summary compiled’ (15. 90).
A very brief oral
report regarding the pre1iminary studies for this monograph was presented
to the American Philosophical Society at its General Meeting in
On the whole
subject in general, with references and bibliographical lists, see above,
Part I, Chapter VIII.
capitalized, ‘Righteousness,’ ‘Kingdom,’ represent abstracts personified
in the original Avestan.
Armaiti is a
feminine archangel, personified as guardian of the earth; hence her
association with Geush Tashan, 'Shaper of the cow,' or Ormazd's creative
activity taking form through the Wisdom of the Spirit. The concept of kine
in general is here represented by the feminine pronoun ahyai in the dat.
On the infinitive aite
see Bartholomae, Air Wb. 363. Lit. 'to go to (from), i.e. depend
There is probably a
subtle sense in the choice of the words ahurm aJnvnnm as implying 'Ahura
the Righteous, the promoter of Vohu Manah ' (archangel of Good Thought
See Jackson, A Hymn
of Zoroaster, Yasna 31, pp. 39, 41, Stuttgart, 1888; and compare Geldner,
art. 'Zoroaster' in Encyclop. Brit. 9 ed. (1888), 28.882 = 11 ed. ( I ~ I
I ) , 28. 1042. It may be noted in passing that in 1873 Spiegel, in
Erdnische Alterthumskunde, 2. 146, incidentally referred to the
Zoroastrian doctrine of free will, but added no comment or references.
Aeshma is one of
the arch-fiends, or daevas (cf. Part I, p 56 above), and the demons began
their wicked plots by seeking to destroy the life of the first man, Gaya
for example, the
translation by Geldner in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, 30. 525, 530;
Bartholomae, Die Gathas 'subersetzt, pp. 89, 92, 93 n. 4,
Strasburg, 1905; Moulton, Early Zoroastrianism, p. 378, London,
1913; and consult especially, as later, Pavry, Zoroastrian Doctrine of
a Future Life, 32, 50, 74 n. 9, 90-91,93 n. 119, 113.
Air Wb .1360-1,1381-2,129.
In one passage,
however (Dar. Pers. d. 9-10 ==H. 9-10), we find vasna Ahuramazdhaha manaca
Darayavahaus, ‘by the will of A(h)uramazda and of me, Darius , (the land
fears no enemy).
Cf. L. C.
Casartelli, Philosophy of :he Mazdayasnian Religion under the Sassanids,
transl. by F. J. J. Jamasp Asa, pp. 143, 145, Bombay, 1889.
See some of the
Muhammadan citations given below.
See translation by
E. W. West in SBE. 5. 14; and for the text of the Indian recension of the
Bundahishn consult the editions by N. L. Westergaard, Bund. pp. 7-8,
Copenhagen, 1851; F. Justi, Bund. pp. 7-8, Leipzig, 1868; M. N. Unvalla, B
u n d . pp. 8-9, Bombay, 1897; E. K. Antia, Pazend Texts, p. 20, Bombay,
1909; and especially the photozincographed copy of the Iranian recension,
ed. T.D. and B. T. Anklesaria, p. 38-39, Bombay, 1908.
Cf. E. W. West,
‘Pahlavi Literature,’ in Geiger and Kuhn, Crundrissder iranischen
Philologie, 2. 91; and id. in SBE. 37. introd. p. xxxii - xxxiii.
Instead of yas,
yasan, which occur in Pazand texts (cf. SVV. p. 233 below), we might read
kes, kesan, as in Turfan Pahlavi.
Throughout I have
divided the sentences according to the best of my judgment and have added
marks of punctuation. The original text has, of course, no signs of
punctuation, and has nothing to indicate divisions in this passage except
that a new paragraph is marked as beginning at Va azat-kam, toward the end
of the portion here transliterated.
Thus Ms. S, while
Ms. M has ahvoo.
Ms. M has jartano
or cartano, without the prefix.
Ms. M adds be
(bard), an adverb or verbal prefix, and has hand (homand) after tanu-omand;
cf. Ms. S, footnote 2 in Sunjana's edition.
Ms. S has
For the text of
this passage see the edition (S) by P. D. B. Sunjana, The Dinkard, Bombay,
1883, vol. 4, p. 210 (Pahlavi text), pp. 250-251 (Pazand transliteration),
pp. 268-269 (very free English paraphrase); and consult the edition (M) by
D. M. Madan, The Pahlavi Dinkard, Bombay, 1911, part I, pp. 186-187, the
text of which has been here compared and the principal variants noted.
word homanato, which is traditionally thus transliterated and has been
much discussed by scholars (e.g. Bartholomae, in Sitzb.
Ak. Wiss. 1916, Abhandl. 9, p. 49-50), is certainly to be read hast or ast,
as above. Both of these latter forms are found likewise in inscriptional
Pahlavi, see E. Herzfeld, Paikuli, 2. 56, 57, Nos. 3,10. This ideographic
word occurs regularly at the beginning of the various sections of Book
Third of the Denkart, and is evidently an emphatic usage of the verb ‘to
be’ in asseverative affirmation at the opening of a sentence-‘assuredly
is.’ We may compare the usage in later Persian, e.g. Jalal ad-din Rumi's
Divan-I Shams-I Tabriz, ed. and tr. R. A. Nicholson, p. 114- 15, where an
emphatic verse begins: Hast Salahi dil u din surat-i dn Turk yakin,
‘Assuredly is Salahi dil u din the image of that Fair One.’ West and Haug,
Glossary and Index of the Book of Arda Viraf
, p. 56, likewise render the Pahlavi ideogram by ‘is’; but P. D. B.
Sunjana, Dinkard, vol. 3, p. 268, and throughout, prefers ‘be it known.’
Observe that in a secondary position the auxiliary verb ‘is’ appears a few
lines afterwards in this passage as a e t o (- ast).
adjective for ‘having free will,’ azat(o)-kam, is transcribedin Pazandas
ajato-kamor elsewhere as azat-kam; the first member of the compound is
equivalent to Avestan azata, ‘inborn, innate, free, noble,’ Persian azad
(cf. Armen. loan-word azat, ‘noble’).
‘explanation’ by the old glossator see Casartelli, Philosophy of the
Mazdayasnian Religion, p. 143.
I have translated
Phl. rayenitarih by ‘purposing,’ though it may contain the idea of
‘impulse.’ It is an abstract derived from
the verb yarenitan, ‘to impel, advance, expedite, continue, conclude’
(West and Haug, Glossary, p. 131),and is given as ‘the act of putting in
motion, continuance, government’ by S. D. Bharucha, Pahlavi Glossary, p.
259, Bombay, 1912; see furthermore Jamasp-Asana and West, Shikand-gumanik
Vijar, p. 265b, Bombay, 1887. Cf., later, also Bartholomae, Sitzb.
Heidelberg. Ak. 1918,Abhandlung 14, p. 35-36.
Such appears to be
the literal sense of a not too easy sentence.
This last sentence
is somewhat difficult, but, as I understand it, in assigning to Ormazd the
attribute of ‘having free will,’ it makes him the cause of man’s free
will. Observe that azat-kam, here as throughout, is an adjective; there is
no variant here like azat-kamith. ‘freewillship.’ The Phl. word cam or cim,
Paz. c e m ,cf. Pers. cam, denotes ‘meaning, reason, cause, purpose, aim,’
and is variously glossed in the Sanskrit version of the Pahlavi treatise
shikand gumanik Vijaras Skt. hetu, karana,artha (see ed. Jamasp-Asana and
West, p. 239).
A somewhat similar
idea is implied in Dk. 3.77.2 and 3. I16. 2-4 (cf. Sunjana, vol. 2, pp.
77, 83, tr. 85; vol. 3, pp. 129, 145, tr. 152; ed. Madan, vol. I, pp. 68,
See West, in
Grundriss d. iran Philol 2. 106-107.
analysis of the Shikand-gumanikVijar (svv.) will be found in M. N. Dhalla,
Zoroastrian Theology, p. 247-254, New York, 1914.
SVV. I. 6; 3. 6; 3. II; 8. 52-57; 10. 17-27; transl. West, in SBE. 24.
of the Mu‘tazilites, see Haarbrucker's transl. I. 41-88 (including their
sub-sects); compare also al-Baghdadi, tr. Seelye, p. 116-210. Consult,
furthermore, Max Horten, Die losophischen Problemeder spekulativen
Theologie im Islam, p. 5-16, Bonn, 1910, and compare E. G. Browne, Lit.
Hist. of Persia, I. 281-283; cf. also note 41 below.
Paz.awat-kami through misreading of Phl. azadt (or azat)-kami, cf. Skt.
Version svatantra-kamataya. Furthermore, instead of Paz. bazaa of the text
here and below (cf. Skt. version papat, papam) better read bazag (or bazag)
which occurs frequently in Turfan Pahlavi, with the meaning 'evil deed,
wickedness, sin.' The edition, used here and below, of the Pazandtext and
Sanskrit version is that of Hoshang Dastur Jamaspji Jamasp-Asanaand E. W.
West, Shikand Gumanik Vijar, Bombay, 1887, p. 107.
(The words in
parentheses are inserted for the purpose of making the literal translation
somewhat more idiomatic in English.) Compare tranal. West, in SBE. 24.
Both the Paz. and
Skt. versions have ne, na, 'not,' which West omits in translation, thus
following the Paz. manuscript JE, in which the negative is lacking.
See note 33.
See note 33.
For text see
Jamasp-Asana and West, op. cit. p. 159-160, cf. transl. West, SBE. 24.
Cf. SVV.3.6; 3.