The Bundahishn

Knowledge from the Zand

1897 | 25,140 words

A collection of texts related to Zoroastrian cosmogony and cosmology. The contents focuses on the Zoroastrianism's creation myth, and the first battles of 'Ahura Mazda' and 'Angra Mainyu'. Most of the chapters of the compendium date to the 8th and 9th centuries. The Bundahishn ("Creation"), or Knowledge from the Zand. Translated by E. W...

Chapter III - The Rush Of The Destroyer At The Creatures

On the rush of the destroyer at the creatures it is said, in revelation, that the evil spirit, when he saw the impotence of himself and the confederate (ham-dast) demons, owing to the righteous man, became confounded, and seemed in confusion three thousand years. During that confusion the arch-fiends of the demons severally shouted thus:

'Rise up, thou father of us! for we will cause a conflict in the world, the distress and injury from which will become those of Ohrmazd and the archangels.'

Severally they twice recounted their own evil deeds, and it pleased him not; and that wicked evil spirit, through fear of the righteous man, was not able to lift up his head until the wicked Jeh came, at the completion of the three thousand years. And she shouted to the evil spirit thus:

'Rise up, thou father of us! for I will cause that conflict in the world wherefrom the distress and injury of Ohrmazd and the archangels will arise,'

And she twice recounted severally her own evil deeds, and it pleased him not; and that wicked evil spirit rose not from that confusion, through fear of the righteous man.

And, again, the wicked Jeh shouted thus:

'Rise up, thou father of us! for in that conflict I will shed thus much vexation on the righteous man and the laboring ox that, through my deeds, life will not be wanted, and I will destroy their living souls (nismo); I will vex the water, I will vex the plants, I will vex the fire of Ohrmazd, I will make the whole creation of Ohrmazd vexed.'

And she so recounted those evil deeds a second time, that the evil spirit was delighted and started up from that confusion; and he kissed Jeh upon the head, and the pollution which they call menstruation became apparent in Jeh.

He shouted to Jeh thus:

'What is thy wish? so that I may give it thee.'

And Jeh shouted to the evil spirit thus:

'A man is the wish, so give it to me.'

The form of the evil spirit was a log-like lizard's (vazak) body, and he appeared a young man of fifteen years to Jeh, and that brought the thoughts of Jeh to him.

Afterwards, the evil spirit, with the confederate demons, went towards the luminaries, and he saw the sky; and he led them up, fraught with malicious intentions. He stood upon one-third of the inside of the sky, and he sprang, like a snake, out of the sky down to the earth.

In the month Frawardin and the day Ohrmazd he rushed in at noon, and thereby the sky was as shattered and frightened by him, as a sheep by a wolf. He came on to the water which was arranged below the earth, and then the middle of this earth was pierced and entered by him. Afterwards, he came to the vegetation, then to the ox, then to Gayomard, and then he came to fire; so, just like a fly, he rushed out upon the whole creation; and he made the world quite as injured and dark at midday as though it were in dark night. And noxious creatures were diffused by him over the earth, biting and venomous, such as the snake, scorpion, frog (kalvak), and lizard (vazak), so that not so much as the point of a needle remained free from noxious creatures. And blight was diffused by him over the vegetation, and it withered away immediately. And avarice, want, pain, hunger, disease, lust, and lethargy were diffused by him abroad upon the ox and Gayomard.

Before his coming to the ox, Ohrmazd ground up the healing fruit, which some call 'binak,' small in water openly before its eyes, so that its damage and discomfort from the calamity (zanishn) might be less; and when it became at the same time lean and ill, as its breath went forth and it passed away, the ox also spoke thus:

'The cattle are to be created, and their work, labor, and care are to be appointed.'

And before his coming to Gayomard, Ohrmazd brought forth a sweat upon Gayomard, so long as he might recite a prayer (vaj) of one stanza (vichast); moreover, Ohrmazd formed that sweat into the youthful body of a man of fifteen years, radiant and tall. When Gayomard issued from the sweat he saw the world dark as night, and the earth as though not a needle's point remained free from noxious creatures; the celestial sphere was in revolution, and the sun and moon remained in motion: and the world's struggle, owing to the clamor of the Mazendaran demons, was with the constellations.

And the evil spirit thought that the creatures of Ohrmazd were all rendered useless except Gayomard; and Astwihad with a thousand demons, causers of death, were let forth by him on Gayomard. But his appointed time had not come, and he (Astwihad) obtained no means of noosing (avizidano) him; as it is said that, when the opposition of the evil spirit came, the period of the life and rule of Gayomard was appointed for thirty years. After the coming of the adversary he lived thirty years, and Gayomard spoke thus:

'Although the destroyer has come, mankind will be all of my race; and this one thing is good, when they perform duty and good works.'

And, afterwards, he (the evil spirit) came to fire, and he mingled smoke and darkness with it. The planets, with many demons, dashed against the celestial sphere, and they mixed the constellations; and the whole creation was as disfigured as though fire disfigured every place and smoke arose over it. And ninety days and nights the heavenly angels were contending in the world with the confederate demons of the evil spirit, and hurled them confounded to hell; and the rampart of the sky was formed so that the adversary should not be able to mingle with it.

Hell is in the middle of the earth; there where the evil spirit pierced the earth and rushed in upon it, as all the possessions of the world were changing into duality, and persecution, contention, and mingling of high and low became manifest.

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