On the Authority of the priests

On the Authority of the priests

1. On the Authority of the Priests.

2. Everywhere good deeds are due to (the influence of) the priests; and a description of these is as under: It behooves one to know the prophets of the religion, to do as bidden (by the religion), as many meritorious deeds as possible, and to refrain from sinful acts. One should follow any avocation (that is in accordance with its mandates). One should pass his life in industry as bidden (by the Dasturan Dastur); one should, as directed by him, irrigate the land, promote the growth of vegetation, and endeavor, under his direction, to do the deeds conferring other blessings on the world; one should follow a noble occupation and not a mean one; and one should not be idle. At the proper age one should take a wife, have sexual intercourse with her, and increase progeny. For promoting certain good deeds (it is necessary that) man and flocks, and other things of good creation, should as far as possible be multiplied, and kept in comfort. Well earned wealth should be bestowed on the suppliant poor, and on pious men deserving of charity; and, the good people should be fed. He (the Dasturan Dastur) should make the people acquainted with (the right distinction between) acts righteous and sinful, with the existence of the Creator and the magnitude of His marvelous creation, and with the greatness of the heavenly Yazads. And he should make the Mazdayasnians believe in the necessity of keeping at a distance from certain objects of this world. And he should enlighten the people on the goodness leading to God, on the belief in Him, on the sufferings caused by Ahriman, and on the comprehension of his evils.

3. The Mazdayasnians should receive (from the Dasturan Dastur) instruction as regards the abhorrence of the demons, the rejection of idolatry, the yearning for the recompense of righteousness, the punishment of sins, and as regards Heaven and Hell, and the Resurrection.

4. He who is unable to perform his devotions by the recital of the Avesta, (i.e. he who is unable to read and recite the Avesta), should recite the “Yatha ahu vairyo” [Ahunwar] and the “Ashem vohu”. And he should also, as mentioned in the religion, recite the “Yatha ahu vairyo” in place of the other Avesta passages.

(Holy Denkard, Book V, Chapter 15, English translation by Peshotan Dastur Behramjee Sanjana, 1900 )

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