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Cleansing The Unclean





Source: Sacred Books Of The East


Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:--

O most beneficent Spirit, Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! To
whom shall they apply here below, who want to cleanse their body defiled
by the dead?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"To a pious man, O Spitama Zarathustra! who knows how to speak, who
speaks truth, who has learned the Holy Word, who is pious, and knows
best the rites of cleansing according to the law of Mazda. That man
shall fell the trees off the surface of the ground on a space of nine
Vibazus square; in that part of the ground where there is least water
and where there are fewest trees, the part which is the cleanest and
driest, and the least passed through by sheep and oxen, and by the fire
of Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the
faithful."

How far from the fire? How far from the water? How far from the
consecrated bundles of Baresma? How far from the faithful?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Thirty paces from the fire, thirty paces from the water, thirty paces
from the consecrated bundles of Baresma, three paces from the faithful.
Then thou shalt dig a hole, two fingers deep if the summer has come,
four fingers deep if the winter and ice have come." How far from one
another? "One pace." How much is the pace? "As much as three feet. Then
thou shalt dig three holes more, two fingers deep if the summer has
come, four fingers deep if the winter and ice have come." How far from
the former six? "Three paces." What sort of paces? "Such as are taken in
walking." How much are those three paces? "As much as nine feet. Then
thou shalt draw a furrow all around with a metal knife. Then thou shalt
draw twelve furrows; three of which thou shalt draw to surround and
divide from the rest the first three holes; three thou shalt draw to
surround and divide the first six holes; three thou shalt draw to
surround and divide the nine holes; three thou shalt draw around the
three inferior holes, outside the six other holes. At each of the three
times nine feet, thou shalt place stones as steps to the holes; or
potsherds, or stumps, or clods, or any hard matter. Then the man defiled
shall walk to the holes; thou, O Zarathustra! shalt stand outside by the
furrow, and thou shalt recite, 'Nemaska ya armaitis izaka'; and the man
defiled shall repeat, 'Nemaska ya armaitis izaka.' The Drug becomes
weaker and weaker at every one of those words which are a weapon to
smite the fiend Angra Mainyu, to smite Aeshma of the murderous spear, to
smite the Mazainya fiends, to smite all the fiends. Then thou shalt take
for the gomez a spoon of brass or of lead. When thou takest a stick with
nine knots, O Spitama Zarathustra! to sprinkle the gomez from that
spoon, thou shalt fasten the spoon to the end of the stick. They shall
wash his hands first. If his hands be not washed first, he makes his
whole body unclean. When he has washed his hands three times, after his
hands have been washed, thou shalt sprinkle the forepart of his skull;
then the Drug Nasu rushes in front, between his brows. Thou shalt
sprinkle him in front between the brows; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon
the back part of the skull. Thou shalt sprinkle the back part of the
skull; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the jaws. Thou shalt sprinkle the
jaws; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right ear. Thou shalt sprinkle
the right ear; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left ear. Thou shalt
sprinkle the left ear; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right
shoulder. Thou shalt sprinkle the right shoulder; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left shoulder. Thou shalt sprinkle the left shoulder;
then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right arm-pit. Thou shalt sprinkle
the right arm-pit; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left arm-pit. Thou
shalt sprinkle the left armpit; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
chest. Thou shalt sprinkle the chest; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
back. Thou shalt sprinkle the back; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
right nipple. Thou shalt sprinkle the right nipple; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left nipple. Thou shalt sprinkle the left nippie; then
the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right rib. Thou shalt sprinkle the right
rib; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left rib. Thou shalt sprinkle
the left rib; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right hip. Thou shalt
sprinkle the right hip; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left hip.
Thou shalt sprinkle the left hip; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
sexual parts. Thou shalt sprinkle the sexual parts. If the unclean one
be a man, thou shalt sprinkle him first behind, then before; if the
unclean one be a woman, thou shalt sprinkle her first before, then
behind; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right thigh. Thou shalt
sprinkle the right thigh; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left thigh.
Thou shalt sprinkle the left thigh; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
right knee. Thou shalt sprinkle the right knee; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left knee. Thou shalt sprinkle the left knee; then the
Drug Nasu rushes upon the right leg. Thou shalt sprinkle the right leg;
then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left leg. Thou shalt sprinkle the
left leg; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the right ankle. Thou shalt
sprinkle the right ankle; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the left ankle.
Thou shalt sprinkle the left ankle; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
right instep. Thou shalt sprinkle the right instep; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left instep. Thou shalt sprinkle the left instep; then
the Drug Nasu turns round under the sole of the foot; it looks like the
wing of a fly. He shall press his toes upon the ground and shall raise
up his heels; thou shalt sprinkle his right sole; then the Drug Nasu
rushes upon the left sole. Thou shalt sprinkle the left sole; then the
Drug Nasu turns round under the toes; it looks like the wing of a fly.
He shall press his heels upon the ground and shall raise up his toes;
thou shalt sprinkle his right toe; then the Drug Nasu rushes upon the
left toe. Thou shalt sprinkle the left toe; then the Drug Nasu flies
away to the regions of the north, in the shape of a raging fly, with
knees and tail sticking out, droning without end, and like unto the
foulest Khrafstras. And thou shalt say these victorious, most healing
words: 'The will of the Lord is the law of righteousness. The gifts of
Vohu-mano to deeds done in this world for Mazda. He who relieves the
poor makes Ahura king. What protector hadst thou given unto me, O Mazda!
while the hate of the wicked encompasses me? Whom, but thy Atar and
Vohu-mano, through whose work I keep on the world of Righteousness?
Reveal therefore to me thy Religion as thy rule! Who is the victorious
who will protect thy teaching? Make it clear that I am the guide for
both worlds. May Sraosha come with Vohu-mano and help whomsoever thou
pleasest, O Mazda! Keep us from our hater, O Mazda and Spenta Armaiti!
Perish, O fiendish Drug! Perish, O brood of the fiend! Perish, O world
of the fiend! Perish away, O Drug! Rush away, O Drug! Perish away, O
Drug! Perish away to the regions of the north, never more to give unto
death the living world of Righteousness.'

"Afterwards the man defiled shall sit down, inside the furrows, outside
the furrows of the six holes, four fingers from those furrows. There he
shall cleanse his body with thick handfuls of dust. Fifteen times shall
they take up dust from the ground for him to rub his body, and they
shall wait there until he is dry even to the last hair on his head. When
his body is dry with dust, then he shall step over the holes containing
water. At the first hole he shall wash his body once with water; at the
second hole he shall wash his body twice with water; at the third hole
he shall wash his body thrice with water. Then he shall perfume his body
with Urvasna, or Vohu-gaona, or Vohu-kereti, or Hadha-naepata, or any
other sweet-smelling plant; then he shall put on his clothes, and shall
go back to his house. He shall sit down there in the place of infirmity,
inside the house, apart from the other worshippers of Mazda. He shall
not go near the fire, nor near the water, nor near the earth, nor near
the cow, nor near the trees, nor near the faithful, either man or woman.
Thus shall he continue until three nights have passed. When three nights
have passed, he shall wash his body, he shall wash his clothes with
gomez and water to make them clean. Then he shall sit down again in the
place of infirmity, inside the house, apart from the other worshippers
of Mazda. He shall not go near the fire, nor near the water, nor near
the earth, nor near the cow, nor near the trees, nor near the faithful,
either man or woman. Thus shall he continue until six nights have
passed. When six nights have passed, he shall wash his body, he shall
wash his clothes with gomez and water to make them clean. Then he shall
sit down again in the place of infirmity, inside the house, apart from
the other worshippers of Mazda. He shall not go near the fire, nor near
the water, nor near the earth, nor near the cow, nor near the trees, nor
near the faithful, either man or woman. Thus shall he continue, until
nine nights have passed. When nine nights have passed, he shall wash his
body, he shall wash his clothes with gomez and water to make them clean.
He may thenceforth go near the fire, near the water, near the earth,
near the cow, near the trees, and near the faithful, either man or
woman.

"Thou shalt cleanse a priest for a blessing of the just. Thou shalt
cleanse the lord of a province for the value of a camel of high value.
Thou shalt cleanse the lord of a town for the value of a stallion of
high value. Thou shalt cleanse the lord of a borough for the value of a
bull of high value. Thou shalt cleanse the master of a house for the
value of a cow three years old. Thou shalt cleanse the wife of the
master of a house for the value of a ploughing cow. Thou shalt cleanse a
menial for the value of a draught cow. Thou shalt cleanse a young child
for the value of a lamb. These are the heads of cattle--flocks or
herds--that the worshippers of Mazda shall give to the man who has
cleansed them, if they can afford it; if they cannot afford it, they
shall give him any other value that may make him leave their houses well
pleased with them, and free from anger. For if the man who has cleansed
them leave their houses displeased with them, and full of anger, then
the Drug Nasu enters them from the nose of the dead, from the eyes, from
the tongue, from the jaws, from the sexual organs, from the hinder
parts. And the Drug Nasu rushes upon them even to the end of the nails,
and they are unclean thenceforth forever and ever. It grieves the sun
indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! to shine upon a man defiled by the dead;
it grieves the moon, it grieves the stars. That man delights them, O
Spitama Zarathustra! who cleanses from the Nasu the man defiled by the
dead; he delights the fire, he delights the water, he delights the
earth, he delights the cow, he delights the trees, he delights the
faithful, both men and women."

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:--

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What shall be his reward,
after his soul has parted from his body, who has cleansed from the Nasu
the man defiled by the dead?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"The welfare of Paradise thou canst promise to that man, for his reward
in the other world."

Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda:--

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! How shall I fight against
that Drug who from the dead rushes upon the living? How shall I fight
against that Nasu who from the dead defiles the living?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Say aloud those words in the Gathas that are to be said twice. Say
aloud those words in the Gathas that are to be said thrice. Say aloud
those words in the Gathas that are to be said four times. And the Drug
shall fly away like the well-darted arrow, like the felt of last year,
like the annual garment of the earth."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man who does not know
the rites of cleansing according to the law of Mazda, offers to cleanse
the unclean, how shall I then fight against that Drug who from the dead
rushes upon the living? How shall I fight against that Drug who from the
dead defiles the living?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Then, O Spitama Zarathustra! the Drug Nasu appears to wax stronger than
she was before. Stronger then are sickness and death and the working of
the fiend than they were before."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What is the penalty that
he shall pay?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"The worshippers of Mazda shall bind him; they shall bind his hands
first; then they shall strip him of his clothes, they shall cut the head
off his neck, and they shall give over his corpse unto the greediest of
the corpse-eating creatures made by the beneficent Spirit, unto the
vultures, with these words: 'The man here has repented of all his evil
thoughts, words, and deeds. If he has committed any other evil deed, it
is remitted by his repentance; if he has committed no other evil deed,
he is absolved by his repentance forever and ever.'"

Who is he, O Ahura Mazda! who threatens to take away fulness and
increase from the world, and to bring in sickness and death?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"It is the ungodly Ashemaogha, O Spitama Zarathustra! who in this
material world cleanses the unclean without knowing the rites of
cleansing according to the law of Mazda. For until then, O Spitama
Zarathustra! sweetness and fatness would flow out from that land and
from those fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase
and growth, and a growing of corn and grass."

O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! When are sweetness and
fatness to come back again to that land and to those fields, with health
and healing, with fulness and increase and growth, and a growing of corn
and grass?

Ahura Mazda answered:--

"Sweetness and fatness will never come back again to that land and to
those fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase and
growth, and a growing of corn and grass, until that ungodly Ashemaogha
has been smitten to death on the spot, and the holy Sraosha of that
place has been offered up a sacrifice for three days and three nights,
with fire blazing, with Baresma tied up, and with Haoma prepared. Then
sweetness and fatness will come back again to that land and to those
fields, with health and healing, with fulness and increase and growth,
and a growing of corn and grass."





Next: Spells Recited During The Cleansing

Previous: Funerals And Purification



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