The Earth





O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the first place

where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place

whereon one of the faithful steps forward, O Spitama Zarathustra! with

the log in his hand, the Baresma in his hand, the milk in his hand, the

mortar in his hand, lifting up his voice in good accord with religion,

and beseeching Mithra, the lord of the rolling country-side, and Rama

Hvastra." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the

second place where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It

is the place whereon one of the faithful erects a house with a priest

within, with cattle, with a wife, with children, and good herds within;

and wherein afterwards the cattle continue to thrive, virtue to thrive,

fodder to thrive, the dog to thrive, the wife to thrive, the child to

thrive, the fire to thrive, and every blessing of life to thrive." O

Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the third place

where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place

where one of the faithful sows most corn, grass, and fruit, O Spitama

Zarathustra! where he waters ground that is dry, or drains ground that

is too wet." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the

fourth place where the Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It

is the place where there is most increase of flocks and herds." O Maker

of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the fifth place where the

Earth feels most happy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the place where

flocks and herds yield most dung."



O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the first place

where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the

neck of Arezura, whereon the hosts of fiends rush forth from the burrow

of the Drug." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the

second place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered:

"It is the place wherein most corpses of dogs and of men lie buried." O

Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is the third place

where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is the

place whereon stand most of those Dakhmas on which the corpses of men

are deposited." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is

the fourth place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda

answered: "It is the place wherein are most burrows of the creatures of

Angra Mainyu." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Which is

the fifth place where the Earth feels sorest grief? Ahura Mazda

answered: "It is the place whereon the wife and children of one of the

faithful, O Spitama Zarathustra! are driven along the way of captivity,

the dry, the dusty way, and lift up a voice of wailing."



O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the first that

rejoices the Earth with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he

who digs out of it most corpses of dogs and men." O Maker of the

material world, thou Holy One! Who is the second that rejoices the Earth

with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who pulls down most

of those Dakhmas on which the corpses of men are deposited. Let no man

alone by himself carry a corpse. If a man alone by himself carry a

corpse, the Nasu rushes upon him. This Drug Nasu falls upon and stains

him, even to the end of the nails, and he is unclean, thenceforth,

forever and ever." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What

shall be the place of that man who has carried a corpse alone? Ahura

Mazda answered: "It shall be the place on this earth wherein is least

water and fewest plants, whereof the ground is the cleanest and the

driest and the least passed through by flocks and herds, by the fire of

Ahura Mazda, by the consecrated bundles of Baresma, and by the

faithful." O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! 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. There, on

that place, shall the worshippers of Mazda erect an enclosure, and

therein shall they establish him with food, therein shall they establish

him with clothes, with the coarsest food and with the most worn-out

clothes. That food he shall live on, those clothes he shall wear, and

thus shall they let him live, until he has grown to the age of a Hana,

or of a Zaurura, or of a Pairista-khshudra. And when he has grown to the

age of a Hana, or of a Zaurura, or of a Pairista-khshudra, then the

worshippers of Mazda shall order a man strong, vigorous, and skilful, to

cut the head off his neck, in his enclosure on the top of the mountain:

and they shall deliver 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.'" O Maker of the

material world, thou Holy One! Who is the third that rejoices the Earth

with greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who fills up most

burrows of the creatures of Angra Mainyu." O Maker of the material

world, thou Holy One! Who is the fourth that rejoices the Earth with

greatest joy? Ahura Mazda answered: "It is he who sows most corn, grass,

and fruit, O Spitama Zarathustra! who waters ground that is dry, or

drains ground that is too wet. Unhappy is the land that has long lain

unsown with the seed of the sower and wants a good husbandman, like a

well-shapen maiden who has long gone childless and wants a good husband.

He who would till the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra! with the left arm

and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto him will she bring

forth plenty of fruit: even as it were a lover sleeping with his bride

on her bed; the bride will bring forth children, the earth will bring

forth plenty of fruit. He who would till the earth, O Spitama

Zarathustra! with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the

left, unto him thus says the Earth: 'O thou man! who dost till me with

the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, here shall

I ever go on bearing, bringing forth all manner of food, bringing corn

first to thee.' He who does not till the Earth, O Spitama Zarathustra!

with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto

him thus says the Earth: 'O thou man! who dost not till me with the left

arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, ever shalt thou

stand at the door of the stranger, among those who beg for bread; the

refuse and the crumbs of the bread are brought unto thee, brought by

those who have profusion of wealth.'"



O maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What is the food that

fills the Religion of Mazda?



Ahura Mazda answered:--



"It is sowing corn again and again, O Spitama Zarathustra! He who sows

corn, sows righteousness: he makes the Religion of Mazda walk, he

suckles the Religion of Mazda; as well as he could do with a hundred

man's feet, with a thousand woman's breasts, with ten thousand

sacrificial formulas. When barley was created, the Devas started up;

when it grew, then fainted the Devas' hearts; when the knots came, the

Devas groaned; when the ear came, the Devas flew away. In that house the

Devas stay, wherein wheat perishes. It is as though red hot iron were

turned about in their throats, when there is plenty of corn. Then let

people learn by heart this holy saying: 'No one who does not eat, has

strength to do heavy works of holiness, strength to do works of

husbandry, strength to beget children. By eating every material creature

lives, by not eating it dies away.'"



O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! Who is the fifth that

rejoices the Earth with greatest joy?



Ahura Mazda answered:--



"It is he who kindly and piously gives to one of the faithful who tills

the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra! He who would not kindly and piously

give to one of the faithful who tills the earth, O Spitama Zarathustra!

Spenta Armaiti will throw him down into darkness, down into the world of

woe, the world of hell, down into the deep abyss."



O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall bury in the

earth either the corpse of a dog or the corpse of a man, and if he shall

not disinter it within half a year, what is the penalty that he shall

pay?



Ahura Mazda answered:--



"Five hundred stripes with the Aspahe-astra, five hundred stripes with

the Sraosho-karana."



O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall bury in the

earth either the corpse of a dog or the corpse of a man, and if he shall

not disinter it within a year, what is the penalty that he shall pay?



Ahura Mazda answered:--



"A thousand stripes with the Aspahe-astra, a thousand stripes with the

Sraosho-karana."



O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! If a man shall bury in the

earth either the corpse of a dog or the corpse of a man, and if he shall

not disinter it within the second year, what is the penalty for it? What

is the atonement for it? What is the cleansing from it?



Ahura Mazda answered:--



"For that deed there is nothing that can pay, nothing that can atone,

nothing that can cleanse from it; it is a trespass for which there is no

atonement, forever and ever."



When is it so?



"It is so, if the sinner be a professor of the Religion of Mazda, or one

who has been taught in it. But if he be not a professor of the Religion

of Mazda, nor one who has been taught in it, then his sin is taken from

him, if he makes confession of the Religion of Mazda and resolves never

to commit again such forbidden deeds.



"The Religion of Mazda indeed, O Spitama Zarathustra! takes away from

him who makes confession of it the bonds of his sin; it takes away the

sin of breach of trust; it takes away the sin of murdering one of the

faithful; it takes away the sin of burying a corpse; it takes away the

sin of deeds for which there is no atonement; it takes away the worst



sin of usury; it takes away any sin that may be sinned. In the same way

the Religion of Mazda, O Spitama Zarathustra! cleanses the faithful from

every evil thought, word, and deed, as a swift-rushing mighty wind

cleanses the plain. So let all the deeds he doeth be henceforth good, O

Zarathustra! a full atonement for his sin is effected by means of the

Religion of Mazda."





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