Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

Chapter XV

1. When Asha, the king, had thus completed the labor of making the books, and of sending them as commanded by I'hua'Mazda, he sent for Zarathustra, for further counsel as to how he should abdicate the throne according to the Highest Light. And when I'hua'Mazda was before him, even before Zarathustra had yet come, Asha said: Here cometh that quickened thought again! Behold, I sent for Zarathustra in order to ask certain questions, and lo, my heart answereth me!

2. Yea, I have nothing to do with what is not mine own! Now, whilst he thus framed his own answer, Zarathustra came and said unto him: Thou desirest counsel in regard to abdicating thy throne? Behold thou, I'hua'Mazda hath been to thee even now, saying: What hast thou to do with that which is not thine own!

3. Asha said: I have heretofore said: That that speaketh to my heart, what is it? Now according to thy wisdom, that that speaketh to my heart is I'hua'Mazda? How shall one know it to be so! Zarathustra said: If a man ask the All Light in reference to his own affairs, and for his own concerns, then receiveth he an answer from the tetracts; but if he ask the All Light in reference to what he shall do for others, to render the highest good unto them, then is the answer from I'hua'Mazda. I declare unto thee, O Asha, he is a dark man indeed to whom the Creator speaketh not every day.

4. Asha said: What, then, shall I do in a matter like this? As yet, all the world belongeth to me. Presently I shall deliver it to itself; shall I not provide a ruler for them?

5. Zarathustra said: Why, then, thou wilt be bound to give them one as good and wise as thyself, otherwise thou wilt cheat them! Furthermore, doth not the Ormazdian law say: Thou shalt not have any king but thy Creator?

6. Asha said: I so perceive. What then, shall I go away saying nothing? Then answered I'hua'Mazda, saying: Thou shalt do more than this; for thou shalt give liberty to all men, and proclaim unto them, commanding that they shall obey the doctrines of the Holy Book, serving no master but the Creator. And when the people are completely broken up by thy decree, thou shalt go away, leaving thy throne and thy capital to whatsoever may come to them.

7. Asha said: I perceive. That which hath been given me to do, I will do. Behold, I will bestow freedom on all the world; and with my alms-bowl go about begging. Heaven must be just, and it is right that I should have the experience of the poor as well as of the rich. How else would I ever become sufficiently wise to be a God in heaven?

8. Yet one thing, O Zarathustra, and I will ask thee no more questions; thou hast said I must pray to Ormazd: Now, behold, I never prayed in my life! Who will teach me to pray?

9. I'hua'Mazda said: Let thy lips utter thy holiest desires, and let thy soul seek constantly for new expressions magnifying the wisdom, love and power of Ormazd, the Creator.

10. Neither shalt thou take a thought in regard to rules of prayer; the rules are for the unlearned. He who inventeth a new prayer to Ormazd every day of his life hath done wisely indeed. For the glory of prayer is the strengthening of one's own soul to perceive the Higher Light.

11. Prayer is not given in order to change the decrees of Ormazd, but to change one's own self for the better. Yet he who repeateth words of prayer as a parrot repeateth, improveth himself but little.

12. Asha said: If a man think a prayer, and use no words, is it well with him?

13. I'hua'Mazda said: It is well with him; but it is better to add words also. It is well for Ormazd to think a universe, but better to create it. To begin to learn creating, thou shalt use spoken words; the perfection of creating is to have the words bear fruit. He who omitteth words of prayer will in time omit prayer also, and his soul tendeth to barrenness.

14. A vain man saith: I have no need to pray; Ormazd knoweth my soul! Why, then, shall not the field say: I shall produce no harvest, because Ormazd knoweth my capacity! I declare unto thee, O Asha, the secret of all spiritual growth lieth in giving out the spirit: He who would grow in wisdom, must give wisdom; he who would grow in love, must give love; he who would grow in power of spirit, must give out power of spirit.

15. Bethink thee, then; if thou prayest silently, thy power goeth weakly to thy audience; but if thou prayest with words, openly, thou givest to thine audience of thy fruit; and, for this glory, Ormazd provideth thee abundantly.

16. When thou shalt go with thy bowl to feed the feeble, and old, and helpless, and blind, thou shalt teach them prayer and confessions; and thou shalt absolve them that are depressed because of their sins, that they may rejoice in their own lives.

Chapter XVI

1. So Asha, being converted, gave up all he had on earth, and went and lived with the poor, carrying the alms-bowl for one year, preaching and praying for the poor. And it came to pass that at the end of the year he had thousands of followers.

2. And he built altars for them, teaching them to worship the Creator; to restore the mark of circumcision; to be upright before men; to labor for the helpless and distressed, and to do not to any man that which they desired not to be done unto themselves.

3. And these people took the name of Zarathustrians, in contradistinction from the Parsi'e'ans. Nevertheless, they were the I'huan race, and the Ghans.

4. And because of their religion, they could not own property, neither houses, nor lands, nor cattle, nor beasts of burden. Many of them gave themselves into servitude to the Parsi'e'ans, but many of them lived on the contributions brought by converts who had had great possessions.

5. Now it so turned out, that when Asha abdicated the throne, there were many aspirants to his place, and the Council of the Sun was puzzled to know whom to select, that peace might remain in Oas; but they finally made Hi'ya'tseing king, because he was a great warrior, having bestowed to the city's walls and gates more than ten thousand skulls, from the refractory tribes adjacent.

6. Hi'ya'tseing assumed the titles of his predecessors, chief of which were King of the Sun, King of Kings, and King of Oas, the central city of all the world; and sent his proclamations to the chief cities of Jaffeth and Shem and Ham, commanding earth, water and fruit to be sent to him from every place under the sun. And he stipulated certain presents that must be sent to him every year, amongst which were thousands of subjects (slaves).

7. Hi'ya'tseing was a man of great learning, and had traveled far and near, and he knew the people and the lands of the earth, and he knew the different products of the different lands, and the number of peoples in the great cities of the world, and the number of warriors belonging to the different sub-kings under him. Besides these things he knew the stars and their places, and the groups of cows, and horses, and bulls, and bears, and lions, and fishes, and serpents, even as they had been taught in the Hyartien period amongst the ancients.

8. Hi'ya'tseing said: The Fete hath made me king of all the world; hence, it is right that I am king. He said: It is evident, because Asha abdicated the throne, that man must have a religion. He said: Because I know all the rites and ceremonies of the ancients, I will give man a religion on my own account. He said: Because Asha commanded the Zarathustrian religion unto the far-off kingdoms, then are Asha and Zarathustra my enemies. He said: Let my officers arrest Asha and Zarathustra and bring them before me. I will make an example of them.

9. And on the day that Asha was arrested, behold, the year of his carrying the alms-bowl was ended. Asha and Hi'ya'tseing had known each other for many years. When Asha was before the king, he said: I have nothing in all this world; why, then, hast thou arrested me? The king said: Because thou gavest away thy possessions, thou art the most dangerous of men. I have decreed thee to be put to death. Art thou prepared?

10. Asha said: Yea, O king. And yet, because of our long acquaintance, I ask of thee one boon, which is, that I may be put to death according to the Panic rites which were before the flood? And if, perchance, it be proved to thee there is a God with power to release me, and he so doeth it, then shall not thy hand be raised against me? The king said: Thy boon is granted.

11. Accordingly, a wheel of uh'ga was built and Asha was bound upon it, the king having appointed a guard to watch him till he should die. But because of the king's fear that the test might be tampered with, he caused the yogernot (jaugernot) to be set up in his private piazza, with the uh'ga facing the Gate of Lyons, so that his private attendants might also watch. (See plate 11.)

12. Great was the wailing and crying of the people when it was known that Asha had been decreed to death. The city of Oas became as a house of mourning and madness, and it was divided against itself, some for Asha and some for the king.

13. Because Asha was old, and thus in view of the king all day, the king repented, but he had no power under the laws to set aside his own decree. And when the sun went down, the king went before Asha, saying: Behold, thou hast been six hours on the wheel, and yet thy God hath not come to release thee. This is a great torture, and I weep for thee. If thou wilt, therefore, slay thyself with a sword, I will have thee taken down?

14. Asha said: I declare unto thee, O king, I have no pain. Whether it be my madness, or whether it be the Gods favor me, what mattereth it, since I suffer not? Nor have I a right to slay myself, since I created not myself alive. Moreover, if it be the will of my Creator, Ormazd, that I die on the wheel, then it is just. If it be not His will, then will He release me. Therefore, O king, I am content.

15. The king said: This indifference cometh of madness. And thy madness hath affected the City of the Sun. Have thy way, then, and die!

16. The king returned into his palace, but on the next morning he came again, making the same proposal, and receiving similar answers. And at night he came again, repeating his offer, and again being refused, determined to come no more.

17. Now on the night of the third day, Asha felt the power of I'hua'Mazda coming upon him, and he said unto the guard: Behold, this night I shall be released! See to it, therefore, as to whether the thongs are well fastened. For, if it so turn out that the Father release me, then will ye stand before the king accused of conniving at my release. Accordingly, the guard re-examined the fastenings, and sent word to the king of what Asha had said. And the king replied: Nay, if he be released, then will I know of a truth there is a God; neither shall one man of my guardsmen stand accused.

18. This they told to Asha, and Asha said: I say unto you, not only one shall stand accused, but all of you. And there were of them one hundred, being two watches of fifty each; but it being the change of watch, they all heard, and they laughed in derision.

19. And behold, in that same moment of time, the thongs fell off, and I'hua'Mazda delivered Asha down from the uh'ga. And the spirit of I'hua'Mazda was in Asha, nor was Asha himself, though knowing to the things done through him.

20. I'hua'Mazda said: Go ye and say to the king: Behold, Asha is delivered by the power of his God. Then the guardsmen said: It is not morning; the king sleepeth.

21. I'hua'Mazda said: I say unto you, the king sleepeth not, but is joyful in drinking wine with his courtiers. They went, then, and told the king, finding, of a truth, he slept not. And the king commanded them to bring Asha before him, which they did.

22. Hi'ya'tseing said: What profit have my guardsmen in releasing this old man? Behold, it hath been said that thou, Asha, hadst gold and silver hidden away. I know now of a truth thou hast bribed these guardsmen to set thee free. For which reason, every man of these guardsmen shall be put to death, and their skulls mounted on the walls of Oas, and their skins tanned for leather. Away with them, ye marshals; bind them till the rising sun, and at that hour hew off their heads, as I have decreed.

23. And now as for thee, thou old hypocrite and destroyer of liberty! What sayest thou?

24. Asha said: According to thy promise I should now be free. There was no stipulation in thy decree that I should not bribe thy guardsmen. Behold, then, my wisdom! Have I not revealed to thee that thou canst not trust any man?

25. The king said: Thou art the wisest of men. I had hoped to hear thee say thy God released thee, and I had here twelve swordsmen to hew off thy head. But because thou hast shown me great craft, thou shalt live for a season, but only on condition that thou shalt leave Oas and never return.

26. Then spake I'hua'Mazda through Asha, saying: Thou hast decreed the guardsmen to death at sunrise! Now I declare unto thee, O king, not one of them shall die as thou hast decreed. But I, I'hua'Mazda, will deliver them. Think not that I am Asha; I am not Asha, but a spirit, the God of the I'huans. Neither will I spirit away thy guardsmen by a miracle, but by natural means, and will I show thee that I am mightier than all kings.

27. The king said: It cannot be that there are Gods or spirits. Is man's judgment nothing? These things were suited to the dark ages. They affrighted men to justice, and so far served a purpose. But in this enlightened age man shall know justice and wisdom of himself.

28. Whilst the king yet spake, I'hua'Mazda caused the attending spirits to assume mortal form by the curtains of Arizzi, back of the king, and they made a noise, so that the king turned to look, and lo and behold, he saw them. He feared, not knowing but they were evil persons concealed, and he said: Robbers! murders! And he drew his sword and thrust at them; but they vanished! He said:

29. Verily art thou a devil, O Asha! And he thrust his sword at Asha, but it fell from the handle. He said: Ye Fetes! Kill him! kill him! And whilst he was thus puzzled, Asha walked forth out of the palace, nor would the king's guards lay hands on him.

Chapter XVII

1. When Asha went away from the king's palace, Zarathustra met him, and they went together to the prison where the guardsmen were confined, prior to execution on the morrow at sunrise; and there came four hundred of the converts of Asha, and, when they stood around about the prison, Zarathustra said unto them:

2. Stand ye in the altar (crescent) of the living God, for his power is upon me, and I will deliver this prison! And the keeper of the prison, and also his attendants, woke up, and came with spears, saying: Disperse! disperse! Or, by the King of the Sun, ye shall die!

3. Zarathustra said: Art thou greater than I'hua'Mazda? Thrust, then, thy spear against my breast. The keeper did so, saying: Thy size is nothing to me, thou boaster! But, lo, the shaft was broken in a thousand pieces, neither touched the blade against his garments. Seeing which, the other spearsmen feared, and Zarathustra walked up to them and took their spears from them.

4. And the Zarathustrians stood in the form of a living altar, and Zarathustra laid his hands against the front wall of the prison, saying: In thy wisdom and power, O I'hua'Mazda, deliver thou this prison! And, behold, the front wall opened as a door openeth, and the prisoners came out unharmed.

5. Zarathustra said: On the morrow the king will decree to death every Faithist within the city. Go ye, therefore, whilst it is yet night, and command all my people to rise at once and depart out of the city, and I will lead them to a place of safety. So that same night the Faithists fled beyond the walls.

6. And it came to pass that on the next day, when the king heard what had transpired in regard to the prison, he decreed to death every Zarathustrian found within the city, even as prophesied by Zarathustra. But they were already gone, and were in the Forest of Goats, and there were of them four thousand six hundred and thirty, men, women and children.

Chapter XVIII

1. I'hua'Mazda spake to Zarathustra, the All Pure, saying: Explain these things to my people, for they shall not dwell in darkness nor in fear. Zarathustra said: What shall I tell them, O I'hua'Mazda?

2. I'hua'Mazda said: My people are united; my people are delivered out of the evil city. To themselves, of themselves, and by themselves, have I delivered them, as a separate people.

3. I found an easy way to unite them; I went not by a dark road. This is no miracle, but the manifestation of Faith in the All Light.

4. Take them further away from Oas; far away in the forest. And since Asha is an old man, and learned above all other men, he shall be the ara'ba over them.

5. I'hua'Mazda said: But as for thee, O Zarathustra, thou art young and strong. Thou shalt choose fifty men from amongst my people, well learned and strong, full of vigor. And they shall be thy companions; and thou shalt visit the large cities of Jaffeth and Shem and Ham. For four years shalt thou travel, delivering the Zarathustrian law; but at the end of that time thou shalt return to Oas, and to this people, my first chosen.

6. And behold, after that, Asha shall go with thee to Oas, and thou shalt raise thy hand against the city, and it shall fall.

7. Zarathustra then explained these things to the people, and thereafter took them to the valley of Yan'she, by the river Witch'owitch; and he divided them into three large cities and four small ones, after the manner of the I'hins, the sacred people, white and yellow.

8. And he gave them fathers (rab'bahs), and made Asha chief father over all the others. Thus was founded the Zarathustrian religion; the I'hua'Mazdian law, the Ormazdian law, the Zarathustrian law.

9. And Zarathustra chose fifty men, well learned, and vigorous, not old; and they departed, to establish the Zarathustrian law in the cities of the east and south. I'hua'Mazda led them forth, speaking to Zarathustra, the All Pure, telling him whither to go, and directing him in the nearest roads, over the mountains and plains, and across the rivers. And wheresoever they went, I'hua'Mazda provided them with beasts of burden, and beasts to ride on, converting their owners to the Ormazdian law, who gave them all things required.

10. The first large city Zarathustra came to was Tse'gow, on the plains of Jo'ab, high walled with wood and stone; and when he came to the gate thereof the keeper demanded his name and business, speaking in another language, and Zarathustra understood him not. Then came I'hua'Mazda, answering the keeper in his own tongue, saying:

11. I am a servant of the Creator, Ormazd; I come to prove immortal life before the king. Send, then, to thy king, and he will admit me and my people. So the keeper sent to the king, who commanded that Zarathustra come before him.

12. And when he and his attendants were thus before the king, the king said: Art thou he of whom the King of the Sun hath spoken? And what is thy business with me? Thy king, even the king of kings, is mad. Then answered I'hua'Mazda, saying:

13. Zarathustra, of whom the Sun king spake, is before thee. I am here to prove to thee many things pertaining to what is written in the Book of holies. But ere I utter many words, I pray thee, that thy son, Ha'sing, and thy wife, Hi'ti'us, and thy daughters, Peutu, Zoo, He'in and Zabee, be also present.

14. The king said: How knowest thou the names of my people? And I'hua'Mazda said: Here stand guardian spirits, ashars, and they speak to me. Chief amongst them is Ay'ay, thy grandfather, who slew himself; and next to him are thy kinspeople in spirit, Noa, Wess, Lut, Gan'ce, Mith'ce, Nim'och, Wo'huin, Ruks and Pa'stcue.

15. The king was concerned, for many of these had been slain in wars, nor knew he how Zarathustra discovered their names. So he sent for his wife and son and daughters, and they all went into an inner chamber, Zarathustra with them. Then spake I'hua'Mazda to the king, saying:

16. Think not that Asha is mad because he hath given up all he had and gone to live with the poor. The Gods call all men mad who do otherwise, especially rich men, and kings, and rulers. For such men set value on things that they cannot retain but during earth life at most. Asha setteth value on that which will last forever. I would that all men would do as Asha hath done.

17. Because of unbelief in the Great Spirit, man hath set himself up as the All Highest, and his trade hath become war and destruction. I came not to persuade thee to give away thy kingdom nor thy riches, nor yet for any glory or profit to myself. I speak for the hosts being slain, tribe against tribe, city against city; I speak for the millions of spirits in darkness, who dwell on the battlefields.

18. I'hua'Mazda thus gained the attention of the king, and, meanwhile, the angels who accompanied him took on forms, looking like mortals; and presently, the king and his family looked about and saw them, and were frightened; and the king drew his sword, saying: Who have entered thus, uncalled! But as he advanced, behold, the spirits disappeared. The king was amazed. I'hua'Mazda continued, saying:

19. Concern not thyself because the spirits show themselves; neither call thou these appearances miracles. Spirits are always present; but because they thus clothed themselves with corporeal parts, thou hast for the first time seen them. Whilst thou was quiet, they came; with thy sudden passion they disappeared.

20. The king said: Will they come again? Then answered I'hua'Mazda, saying: Since thy wife and thy daughters are frightened, why should they appear again? Yet hear thou me, O king! Since thy youth up thou hast been prepared for this. Thy wife is half-breed with the I'hins, the sacred people. The I'hins were preserved by the Gods to this end, for they are as the leaven, prepared for the resurrection of all the races of men. Because of this great virtue in thy wife, the spirits of the dead can show themselves before thee.

21. Whilst I'hua'Mazda thus spake, the angels again assumed sar'gis, and there were present several spirits whose mortal lives had been cut short by the king's own sword. Chief of these was Awetakeytha, one time king of the city of Tse'gow.

22. The sar'gis spake to the king, saying: Think not that I am dead, O king! I am not dead, save in the corporeal part. As by thy sword thou didst cut me off, so by the sword shalt thou be pierced through. Next spake Too'Sain, another sar'gis, saying: Till thou art dead, O king, and thy soul cast into hell, I will not cease to torment thee! Next spake Ghon, another sar'gis, saying: Before yesterday I brought venom from rotten flesh, and inoculated thee in the breath of thy mouth! Thou shalt cough blood and foul-smelling corruption! Next spake Owd, saying: I am come from the land of the dead, O king, with the torments of hell for thee! Then spake We'Seay, a sar'gis, saying: I am thy first wife; why slewest thou me? Was not the world wide enough?

23. Thus the spirits continued to speak, suffered by I'hua'Mazda to manifest their evil desires and passions in their own way; nor did one spirit appear who had a single good word of cheer for the king. Then the king spake, saying:

24. Go away, spirits, or devils! I will see no more! And, with that, he swung his sword about fiercely; but when he quieted a little, I'hua'Mazda spake to him, saying:

25. I declare to thee, O king, the air is filled with the spirits of the dead; and because they were slain by thee, they lie in wait for thy soul, when thou shalt die. Think not that by slaying a man thou art rid of him; only the corporeal part is within thy power. The soul never dieth. Ormazd is just. Whom thou hast injured, thou shalt restore.

26. The king said: If a man be a bad man, and I kill him, is it not a great good? I'hua'Mazda said: To kill him is a great evil. Thou shouldst convert him to good. The king said: But if he belong to me? Then I'hua'Mazda said: No man belongeth to thee. The same Creator created all men; from Him are all men created; and they belong to Him.

27. The king said: But I have possession of them. They are mine. If thy Creator is stronger than I, let Him take them. I'hua'Mazda said: To take them from thee would be no honor; but for thou to deliver them is thine own honor.

28. Now whilst the king's mind was thus engaged, the angels fell to work to demonstrate their presence and power, in some unusual way; and, accordingly, they cut loose the tapestry about the walls, and let it fall to the floor, and with great explosion. The queen and her daughters rose up and fled.

29. The king was angered, and thrust his sword at Zarathustra; but, lo, it broke into a hundred pieces, and yet no part touched Zarathustra. I'hua'Mazda said: Save thou repent of thy evil ways, I will withdraw my holy angels from this house, and thou shalt bear witness that ere the morning sun appears, this palace shall not be left standing.

30. But the king was hardened. So, when I'hua'Mazda perceived there was no repentance in the king, he withdrew the Lord and his ashars, abandoning the palace to evil spirits, but he sent guardian spirits to inspire the queen and her daughters to flee from the house that night, and they so fled. And the spirits of darkness went to the king's enemies and inspired them to go against the palace; and they so went, and destroyed it.

31. The next day, Zarathustra went about in the city, which was in great tumult, and I'hua'Mazda spake through him to the people. And in one day he received more than a thousand followers; and when the king saw this, he decreed Zarathustra to death, offering a reward to whoever would slay him.

32. The next day he preached again before the people, and received great addition to his followers; and then the king ordered his soldiers, of whom there were ten thousand, to fall upon Zarathustra and his people, and destroy them. But I'hua'Mazda had prophesied this to his adherents beforehand, and had advised them to flee. And many escaped before morning; but there were also many who were still within the walls when the soldiers came upon them.

33. I'hua'Mazda stretched his hand upward, saying: Fire of Thy fire, O Father! Give me here a wall of fire! And there rose up a wall of fire betwixt them and the soldiers; and the latter, seeing this, turned and fled, crying out: Shri! shri! --signifying spirit.

34. Thus Zarathustra led them out of the city, and not one man or woman or child was injured. But it came to pass that the deeds done through Zarathustra were greatly exaggerated in relating them, so that people who had not yet seen him believed the world was about to come to an end.

35. Thus the king lost all discipline over the city; and the people lived without law or order; robbing one another, or destroying whatever stood before them.

Chapter XIX

1. Zarathustra called his fifty companions before him, saying: Because these people are delivered from the tyrant, they will become his enemies. A people long oppressed, love vengeance. This would thwart the Ormazdian law. Take them, therefore, away from the city, dividing them into groups amongst yourselves, and I will send angels, capable of interpreting languages.

2. I'hua'Mazda said: Behold, a God cometh not to accomplish at random. Nor cometh he to one man only, in order to overthrow the evil of a whole world. Ye have been prepared for this work since the day of your birth. My angels have been with you, and ye are a part of my army. Now this shall happen to you, after ye have divided these people, and conducted them into the forests: ye shall begin to speak with new tongues, and these people will understand you. And ye shall build altars of worship to Ormazd, teaching these people songs and prayers and dancing, explaining to them the Ormazdian law.

3. Zarathustra said: Wait not for me to come, nor for the voice of I'hua'Mazda, but do ye in faith as I have commanded, and the Voice will be with you.

4. So, those who fled from the anarchy of the city, were led away, half a day's journey, and there encamped. And the companions of Zarathustra, who were styled Inquas, were entranced, and comprehended the language of the people, and could talk with them understandingly.

5. So they built altars to Ormazd, and taught the people worship, and caused them to take an oath not to kill any man or woman or child, nor beast, nor bird; nor any animal created alive. And they bound them on the oath taken under the thigh, to eat only fruit and nuts and roots and bread, according to the Ormazdian law. And they divided them into families of tens and families of hundreds, and of a thousand, giving them one rab'bah for each, according to the Zarathustrian law.

6. But Zarathustra returned into the city, and I'hua'Mazda clothed him about with fire, at night, and with clouds in the daylight, so that the people could behold his power, and no man dare raise a hand against him.

7. Then he commanded the people to gather together all the skulls on the walls, and the scalps that were hung about the houses and on the poles; and they were taken away and burned. And as for the soldiers, he disbanded them; and thus, the king was rendered helpless, left to stroll about, cursing.

8. And Zarathustra advised the people to go out of the city and live; and they so went forth by thousands, beginning new lives. After that, Zarathustra left the place; and at once it was filled with drujas, and they went to the druks and inspired them to fire and plunder. And it came to pass, in not many days, the great city of Tse'gow, with all its temples, and towers, and palaces, was reduced to a heap of ashes.

9. Zarathustra went before the people, hundreds of thousands of them, speaking by the voice of I'hua'Mazda, saying: I hear certain ones saying: Whoever setteth value on earthly things, above heavenly things, it is good for him to have fire and destruction. All things come of the Father, Ormazd, or by His permission. When He withdraweth His hand from a wicked city, evil spirits rush in.

10. Ye have said: Who are evil spirits? Why doth not Ormazd destroy them? I say unto you, evil spirits are both yourselves and the dead. Whom ye have slain in passion, still live to torment you in spirit. Ye had their skulls hung on the gates and walls; your temples of science were portaled with the scalps of your enemies. The spirits of these people still live, though their bodies be dead, and they obsess you to deeds of wickedness.

11. This is the Ormazdian law; when a man is dead, ye shall either burn the body, or bury it in the ground, that the spirit be not troubled. But ye bound them in spirit; Tse'gow was an eye-sore in the sight of them that were slain for its glory. They delighted to see it destroyed.

12. More than ye have lost by the fire, these spirits have gained ten-fold; for now the Gods can deliver them in heaven. For which reasons, I declare unto you that it is a great good that Tse'gow is destroyed. The world is large; the lands are very wide. Kill no man, nor woman, nor child. They are Ormazd's.

13. Neither shall ye build large cities; they are a curse on the face of the earth. Neither shall ye live alone, for such become bound to self; but dwell in families of tens and hundreds and thousands. Hath not the Father given you an example in the I'hins? They kill not, nor take that which is another's; nor are given to lust, nor war, nor quarrelsomeness.

14. The Voice said: Where is the king's wife, Hi'ti'us? Where is Ha'Sing, the prince? And the princesses, Pentu, and Zoo, and He'in, and Zabee? The multitude answered: They are gone!

15. After that the Voice said: I say unto you, they were gone, but they are returning. Presently they will be here. They shall speak before you. And sure enough, presently the king's wife and son and daughters, came. Hi'ti'us said: Behold, Tse'gow of Oas is burned. Who hath seen the king? He'in and Zabee, the princesses, were very young girls, and they cried for their father. He had slain himself, cutting his bowels across with his sword.

16. I'hua'Mazda spake through Zarathustra, saying: Come thou, Hi'ti'us, and stand on the rocks so that all can see, and bring thy children. She came and stood beside Zarathustra. And now the Voice said: Let these bear witness whether the dead do not live in spirit?

17. Hi'ti'us said: With my own eyes have I seen the spirits of the dead; with my own ears, heard them talk. My children shall hold up their hands if these things be true. The children held up their hands. Again Hi'ti'us said: Where is my husband, the king?

18. Whilst they were yet standing on the rocks, lo and behold, the ghost of the king rose up before all the people, and He'in and Zabee cried out: Here is my father! Then spake I'hua'Mazda, saying to the soul of the king: Knowest thou that thou art dead? The soul of the king spake loud, so that all could hear him; he said: No, I am not dead, but I have done a foolish thing, I cut my bowels across.

19. Then Hi'ti'us said: I fear, indeed, the king is dead, and this is his spirit. He looks strangely! I'hua'Mazda said: There is no cut. Thy belly is unharmed. But the spirit persisted, saying: I thrust my hands in the hole, and yet thou sayest, there is no wound! Thou art mad! I remember thee; it was thou who broughtst back these phantom enemies to torment me!

20. I'hua'Mazda said: What enemies seest thou? The spirit answered: All I ever slew; a thousand or more! Away, ye torments! Ye mockers! I will thrust you through.

21. The soul of the king then stamped and raved, for he saw the spirits of the dead; but the audience saw them not, though they saw him, for he was in sar'gis form.

22. I'hua'Mazda said: I say unto thee, O king, thou art dead, and risen from the dead. Couldst thou but awake to this fact, thou wouldst be risen in spirit. Neither canst thou be delivered till these, thy enemies, are also delivered. Then answered the spirit of the king, saying: I banish thee from the city of Tse'gow! Nor shalt thou ever return, under penalty of death!

23. I'hua'Mazda said: I tell thee, O king, the city of Tse'gow is destroyed. Verily is there not one house standing in all the place! The soul of the king answered, saying: Thou tormentest me! Thou madman! Thou assertest lies in the face of facts! Begone, wretch! O that my belly were not cut across; I would at thee with vengeance!

24. I'hua'Mazda withdrew the sar'gis, and the king could not be seen; nevertheless, his spirit continued cursing and raging all the same. The queen, Hi'ti'us, comprehended the matter fully, and her heart was heavy with sorrow.

25. I'hua'Mazda said to her: Remember the faith of thy forefathers, the I'hins. Be thou strong in the Ormazdian law, and these sorrows will pass away. Nor is there anything in heaven or earth can satisfy the soul that is short before the law. To her that can say, I live the all highest, happiness hath a sure foundation.

26. And, whosoever perceiving the dead are in torments, let them pray for them, singing anthems unto the Father. Intercede ye with the All Light, to bestow them with peace. Think not that because of your prayers the All Light runneth with haoma, to feed the spirits of the dead. But this I declare unto you, that, by peace and joy in your devotions to the Father, the spirits are thus reclaimed to virtue and exaltation.

27. These things will I show unto you yet this night; be steadfast and hopeful in Faith, and, when the evening hath come, I will again call up the spirits of the dead before you.


Continued

Index to Oahspe