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...
On the nature of the resurrection and future existence it says in revelation, that, whereas Mashye and Mashyane, who grew up from the earth, first fed upon water, then plants, then milk, and then meat, men also, when their time of death has come, first desist from eating meat, then milk, then from bread, till when they shall die they always feed upon water. So, likewise, in the millennium of Hoshedarmah, the strength of appetite (az) will thus diminish, when men will remain three days and nights in superabundance (sirih) through one taste of consecrated food. Then they will desist from meat food, and eat vegetables and milk; afterwards, they abstain from milk food and abstain from vegetable food, and are feeding on water; and for ten years before Soshyant comes they remain without food, and do not die.
After Soshyant comes they prepare the raising of the dead, as it says, that Zartosht asked of Ohrmazd thus:
'Whence does a body form again, which the wind has carried and the water conveyed (vazhid)? and how does the resurrection occur?'
Ohrmazd answered thus:
'When through me the sky arose from the substance of the ruby, without columns, on the spiritual support of far-compassed light;
when through me the earth arose, which bore the material life, and there is no maintainer of the worldly creation but it;
when by me the sun and moon and stars are conducted in the firmament (andarvai) of luminous bodies;
when by me corn was created so that, scattered about in the earth, it grew again and returned with increase;
when by me color of various kinds was created in plants;
when by me fire was created in plants and other things without combustion;
when by me a son was created and fashioned in the womb of a mother, and the structure (pishak) severally of the skin, nails, blood, feet, eyes, ears, and other things was produced;
when by me legs were created for the water, so that it flows away, and the cloud was created which carries the water of the world and rains there where it has a purpose;
when by me the air was created which conveys in one's eyesight, through the strength of the wind, the lowermost upwards according to its will, and one is not able to grasp it with the hand out-stretched;
each one of them, when created by me, was herein more difficult than causing the resurrection, for it is an assistance to me in the resurrection that they exist, but when they were formed it was not forming the future out of the past.
Observe that when that which was not was then produced, why is it not possible to produce again that which was? for at that time one will demand the bone from the spirit of earth, the blood from the water, the hair from the plants, and the life from fire, since they were delivered to them in the original creation.'
First, the bones of Gayomard are roused up, then those of Mashye and Mashyane, then those of the rest of mankind; in the fifty-seven years of Soshyant they prepare all the dead, and all men stand up; whoever is righteous and whoever is wicked, every human creature, they rouse up from the spot where its life departs. Afterwards, when all material living beings assume again their bodies and forms, then they assign (bara yehabund) them a single class. Of the light accompanying (levatman) the sun, one half will be for Gayomard, and one half will give enlightenment among the rest of men, so that the soul and body will know that this is my father, and this is my mother, and this is my brother, and this is my wife, and these are some other of my nearest relations.
Then is the assembly of the Sadvastaran, where all mankind will stand at this time; in that assembly every one sees his own good deeds and his own evil deeds; and then, in that assembly, a wicked man becomes as conspicuous as a white sheep among those which are black. In that assembly whatever righteous man was friend of a wicked one in the world, and the wicked man complains of him who is righteous, thus:
'Why did he not make me acquainted, when in the world, with the good deeds which he practiced himself?'
if he who is righteous did not inform him, then it is necessary for him to suffer shame accordingly in that assembly.
Afterwards, they set the righteous man apart from the wicked; and then the righteous is for heaven (garothman), and they cast the wicked back to hell. Three days and nights they inflict punishment bodily in hell, and then he beholds bodily those three days' happiness in heaven. As it says that, on the day when the righteous man is parted from the wicked, the tears of every one, thereupon, run down unto his legs. When, after they set apart a father from his consort (hambaz), a brother from his brother, and a friend from his friend, they suffer, every one for his own deeds, and weep, the righteous for the wicked, and the wicked about himself; for there may be a father who is righteous and a son wicked, and there may be one brother who is righteous and one wicked. Those for whose peculiar deeds it is appointed, such as Dahak [Zohak] and Frasiyav of Tur, and others of this sort, as those deserving death (marg-arjanan), undergo a punishment no other men undergo; they call it 'the punishment of the three nights.'
Among his producers of the renovation of the universe, those righteous men of whom it is written that they are living, fifteen men and fifteen damsels, will come to the assistance of Soshyant. As Gochihr falls in the celestial sphere from a moon-beam on to the earth, the distress of the earth becomes such-like as that of a sheep when a wolf falls upon it. Afterwards, the fire and halo melt the metal of Shahrewar, in the hills and mountains, and it remains on this earth like a river. Then all men will pass into that melted metal and will become pure; when one is righteous, then it seems to him just as though he walks continually in warm milk; but when wicked, then it seems to him in such manner as though, in the world, he walks continually in melted metal.
Afterwards, with the greatest affection, all men come together, father and son and brother and friend ask one another thus:
'Where has it been these many years, and what was the judgment upon thy soul? hast thou been righteous or wicked?'
The first soul the body sees, it inquires of it with those words (guft). All men become of one voice and administer loud praise to Ohrmazd and the archangels.
Ohrmazd completes his work at that time, and the creatures become so that it is not necessary to make any effort about them; and among those by whom the dead are prepared, it is not necessary that any effort be made. Soshyant, with his assistants, performs a Yazishn ceremony in preparing the dead, and they slaughter the ox Hadhayosh in that Yazishn; from the fat of that ox and the white Haoma they prepare Hush, and give it to all men, and all men become immortal for ever and everlasting. This, too, it says, that whoever has been the size of a man, they restore him then with an age of forty years; they who have been little when not dead, they restore then with an age of fifteen years; and they give every one his wife, and show him his children with the wife; so they act as now in the world, but there is no begetting of children.
Afterwards, Soshyant and his assistants, by order of the creator Ohrmazd, give every man the reward and recompense suitable to his deeds; this is even the righteous existence (ait) where it is said that they convey him to paradise (Wahisht), and the heaven (garothman) of Ohrmazd takes up the body (kerp) as itself requires; with that assistance he continually advances for ever and everlasting. This, too, it says, that whoever has performed no worship (yasht), and has ordered no getig-kharid, and has bestowed no clothes as a righteous gift, is naked there; and he performs the worship (yasht) of Ohrmazd, and the heavenly angels provide him the use of his clothing.
Afterwards, Ohrmazd seizes on the evil spirit! Vohuman on Akoman, Ardwahisht on Andar, Shahrewar on Savar, Spandarmad on Taromat who is Naunghas, Hordad and Amurdad on Tairev and Zairich, true-speaking on what is evil-speaking, Srosh on Eshm. Then two fiends remain at large, Ahriman and Az; Ohrmazd comes to the world, himself the Zota and Srosh the Raspi, and holds the Kusti in his hand; defeated by the Kusti formula the resources of the evil spirit and Az act most impotently, and by the passage through which he rushed into the sky he runs back to gloom and darkness. Gochihr burns the serpent (mar) in the melted metal, and the stench and pollution which were in hell are burned in that metal, and it (hell) becomes quite pure. He (Ohrmazd) sets the vault into which the evil spirit fled, in that metal; he brings the land of hell back for the enlargement of the world; the renovation arises in the universe by his will, and the world is immortal for ever and everlasting.
This, too, it says, that this earth becomes an iceless, slopeless plain; even the mountain, whose summit is the support of the Chinwad bridge, they keep down, and it will not exist.