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Chapter XX

1. Because of the destruction of Tse'gow, there were hundreds of thousands of people rendered homeless and destitute, and groups were surging about in all places, crying out for food, or for some needful thing. I'hua'Mazda said to Zarathustra, the All Pure: The ill-fortune of mortals is the good fortune of the righteous Gods; but the good fortune of mortals is the glory of the evil Gods. Think not that because Tse'gow is burned, and the people hungry, the Voice of the Father is out of place. Now is the time they will give ear. By the loss of earthly treasures, the soul seeketh for that which will endure forever.

2. Go thou, therefore, O Zarathustra, and I will go with thee; and criers shall be sent out, calling the people to the valley of Tsoak'ya this night.

3. So it came about, when night set in, Zarathustra came before the people, and there were tens of thousands of them. I'hua'Mazda spake to them, explaining the Ormazdian law.

4. When he was done speaking, he took Hi'ti'us, the king's widow; her children, and forty others, and made a crescent of them; and he stood betwixt the horns thereof. And to his left and right were many of his companions. Thus prepared, Zarathustra sang a song, such as the I'hins had taught him in his youth.

5. And the drujas were ushered into the crescent, taking on sar'gis, the king amongst the number. And the spirit of the king was softened, for they sang peace to his soul and joy forever; and presently, he awoke from his craziness, and remembered he was dead; and he rejoiced in Zarathustra, and applauded him before all the people. And likewise the spirits of darkness who were with him did in the same manner.

6. Zarathustra said: Behold, I have not come in a dark age. Ye shall not worship any man born of woman, nor call him sacred. One only, Who is Ormazd, the Creator, is Master over all the world. Hear ye now my voice unto Him!

7. Zarathustra stretched his arms upward, full of energy, and I'hua'Mazda spake through him, saying: Light of Light, O Father, hear Thou Thy Son! With thy Almighty hand bless Thou these faithful sufferers! Hardly had these words been spoken, when there fell from the air above, fish and fruit and grains and roots, and all things good to eat, more than sufficient to feed the famished people for three days; and there were more than thirty thousand of them.

8. And all this while the sar'gis of the king looked on, and beheld what had been done; and he cried out with a loud voice: Blessed art Thou, O Ormazd! O that I had known Thee! O that I had sought to find Thee! Hi'ti'us, my wife! And my blessed babes! Swear ye to the king, ye will proclaim the I'hua'Mazdian law, forever! Swear it! Give me joy! Swear! swear! swear!

9. Then Hi'ti'us and the children held up their hands as directed by I'hua'Mazda, swearing a solemn oath to maintain the love of Ormazd and the Zarathustrian law, forever. After these, there came thousands and thousands of others, who also swore in the same way. I'hua'Mazda then took away the sar'gis, and the spirits could not be seen by mortals.

Chapter XXI

1. On the next day Zarathustra appeared before the multitude, and I'hua'Mazda spake through him, saying:

2. I came not in an age of darkness, but of light and knowledge. I am not here to proclaim miracles; I serve the Father, whose Son I am.

3. In heaven above there are two kinds of spirits; those who serve the earth and those who serve the Father. If ye serve the earth ye shall be ministered unto by the spirits of the lower heavens, who are bound to the earth. If ye serve the Father, ye are ministered unto by the spirits of the higher heavens.

4. Because ye were united in prayer last night to the Father, His holy angels brought ye food. His harvests are over all the earth; His fields are broad. It is not just that He also gather it and bring it to you. To be just to Him, go ye and bring forth out of the fat earth wherewith all ye need, rejoicing in Him. Cease warring; kill not anything He created alive, that runs on the ground or flies in the air. And no flesh save fish, which is without blood, and is cold in life, shall enter your mouths.

5. In the morning, when ye first awake, pray to the Creator, Ormazd, praying after this manner: Glory be to Thee, Thou All Light! Because Thou hast created me alive; I will strive with all my might to be upright before Thee; I have faith Thou createdst me wisely; and I know Thou wilt show me the right way.

6. Make my eyes sharper to see into my own soul than into all else in the world, I will discover its dark spots and wash them clean. Seal Thou up my eyes from the sins of others, but magnify their goodness unto me, that I may be ashamed of my unworthiness before Thee.

7. This day will I run quickly to the distressed and helpless, and give them joy by some deed or word. Seal up my tongue against slandering any man, or woman, or child, for they are of Thy creation, and of Thine Own handiwork.

8. What Thou feedest me with, sufficient is it for the day thereof; complaint shall not escape from my mouth. Quicken me all day, O Ormazd, with this, my prayer, that I may become a glory in Thy works. Amen!

9. I'hua'Mazda said: Touching prayer, remember, that to utter words, but to practice not, is of little value. He that is true to his own light is strong in soul; to be false to one's own light is to put out the eyes and stop up the ears. He that would rise in heaven, let him begin to rise on earth. The resurrection lieth in following the All Highest Light one already hath. He that doeth not this, is a fool to ask the Father to raise him up. Hell fire is his boundary in the next world.

10. Because Ormazd sacrificed Himself, He created all things. By sacrifice for the elevation of others doth a man begin at the beginning of approaching Ormazd. This is resurrection, in fact.

Chapter XXII

1. I'hua'Mazda called together those who swore allegiance to the Zarathustrian law; and he separated them from the others, and there were in ten days thirty thousand professed followers.

2. Nevertheless, I'hua'Mazda spake to Zarathustra, saying: Of all these, only one in ten will remain long in faith. And to establish the tenth firmly is more valuable than to have ten times as many who understand not what they profess. Zarathustra asked: How can a tenth be made firm?

3. I'hua'Mazda said: Long ago I told thee to go and live with the I'hins. Zarathustra said: I understand. I learned the Wheel of Ormazd from the I'hins. Then said I'hua'Mazda: Make thou a Wheel of Ormazd.

4. Zarathustra made a wheel, and hung it slanting, facing the sun at high noon. Then I'hua'Mazda explained to the people, saying: This is a symbol of the name of the Creator, Ormazd, the All Light Master! Put it in the place betwixt the horns of the crescent, for it is sacred; it is the Sign of the Altar; it is called the Altar. Let the Faithists go with me, and I will explain.

5. They carried it to the meeting-place and faced it in the same direction. And when the people stood in a circle around it, I'hua'Mazda said: The name of this place shall be Harel, and the name of the wheel shall be Altar. Behold, then, ye have already sworn an oath under the thigh, in the custom of your forefathers, but ye shall now renew your oath on the Altar of Ormazd, and His Holy Book.

6. I'hua'Mazda then administered the oath unto many, wherein they covenanted to turn from evil and strive to do good; and each and every one turned the wheel once round, as a witness before the Father. When they had all covenanted, I'hua'Mazda said: Ye shall make many wheels, and carry them along the roadways, and wherever one road crosseth another ye shall fix an Altar; and ye shall dedicate the wheel to the Creator.

7. And whoever passeth that way afterward shall halt and remember his Creator; and he shall renew his covenant, to turn from evil and strive to do good; and in testimony before the Father, he shall turn the wheel once round.

8. Thus was established the sacred wheel of Zarathustra amongst the I'huan race.

9. I'hua'Mazda spake to Zarathustra, saying: What is the most potent thing? Zarathustra said: The eye is the most potent. The eye is most to be feared; the most desirable. The eye of man can go away from man; his hand cannot go away from him, nor his foot. Man's eye can go to the mountains; to the clouds, the moon, the sun and the stars.

10. I'hua'Mazda said: If the eye of man is his most potent instrument, what then? So, Zarathustra made a picture of an eye, and placed it over the altar. Whereupon I'hua'Mazda made the people covenant anew, but this time to the I'hua'Mazdian law, the Ormazdian law. Whereupon they said: I know Thine eye is upon me night and day; nothing is hidden from Thy sight, O Ormazd!

11. And I'hua'Mazda commanded them to place a picture of an eye over the altars in all places of worship.

12. Then came the first night of the new moon, and Zarathustra went into the place of worship; and a great multitude also came in. So I'hua'Mazda said: This is mas night for the spirits of the dead. That the widow, Hi'ti'us, may have joy this night, I will sing and pray for the spirit of the king. And, afterward, for all spirits who are in darkness.

13. When they sang and prayed, the spirit of the king came in sar'gis, and talked to Hi'ti'us, and to others. And, after that, the spirit of the king prayed and sang with I'hua'Mazda. Thus was established the first night of the new moon as moon's night (mass) for the spirits of the dead, and it was demonstrated before the living.

14. I'hua'Mazda taught through Zarathustra for forty days and nights; teaching the Zarathustrian law, the Ormazdian law. And thousands and thousands of people were converted unto righteousness; and these were called disciples (ga'spe Zarathustra) of Zarathustra.

15. Zarathustra inquired of I'hua'Mazda what was the best, most potent thing for the generations of men. Then answered I'hua'Mazda, saying: The best, most potent thing for the generations of men is to teach the very young child the ever presence of the All Potent Eye, which sees into the body of mortals, into the behavior of mortals, and into the soul.

16. Zarathustra inquired concerning very young children. Then I'hua'Mazda answered, saying: In three days and five days and seven days the rite of circumcision for the males, and piercing the ears for the females. And, when they are old enough, they shall be consecrated on the wheel.

17. Zarathustra said: To consecrate, what is that? Then answered I'hua'Mazda: To profess the All Highest, the Creator, Ormazd. And from that time forth the young child shall pray to Ormazd every night before going to sleep, and pray every morning as soon as awake to Ormazd, renewing its covenant and acknowledging the presence of the All Potent Eye.

18. Zarathustra inquired concerning children who were not thus provided. I'hua'Mazda answered, saying: Such children may live, or they may die. If they die, they fall into the care of the drujas and become drujas themselves; but if they live, they will grow up liars and druks, killing and stealing.

19. Zarathustra inquired concerning a consecrated child, if it die? Then I'hua'Mazda answered: If a consecrated child die, its soul is received in heaven by the consecrated spirits of Ormazd. It is then taken to a place of all good, a place of delight.

20. When these things were explained to the disciples, the mothers brought their children before Zarathustra; and I'hua'Mazda consecrated them on the altar, and they were baptized with water and fire, and given names by the rab'bah.

Chapter XXIII

1. Zarathustra, the All Pure, inquired concerning protection against imposters. To which I'hua'Mazda answered, saying: Prove all things on the altar. If a man come before the people saying: Behold, I am a prophet! and he teach strange doctrines, he shall be tied on the wheel with his face toward the sun at high noon. And if he be a true prophet, the spirits who dwell by the altar will set him free. But, if he be not released on the third night, the wheel shall be carried out into the forest and stood up by the bushes. And if he be an imposter the wild beasts will come and devour his flesh.

2. Zarathustra inquired concerning the wheel afterward. I'hua'Mazda said: When an imposter hath perished on the wheel, behold, the wheel shall be no longer used as before. But the disciples shall cut away the rim of the wheel, and cast it away, for it is useless. But the cross-bars of the centre of the wheel shall be retained, for it was on the bars that he was bound, and the cross of the bars is sacred; and it shall be hung in the place of worship, for it is a true cross.

Chapter XXIV

1. Zarathustra inquired concerning the government. To which I'hua'Mazda replied, saying:

2. To the All Pure disciples there is no need of government, save to do the Will of Ormazd. But no people are all pure; no people are all wise. Two kinds of government created the Creator; the first is His Own, the Government of Ormazd; the second is the government mortals have amongst themselves.

3. Zarathustra inquired if government did not abridge liberty. I'hua'Mazda said: The Ormazdian government giveth liberty; so far as man's government partaketh after the Ormazdian government, it giveth liberty also.

4. Zarathustra inquired: What is the best, most potent, man's government? To which I'hua'Mazda replied: This is the best, most potent, man's government: First, there shall not be more than two thousand people, so that they can know one another; and no city shall be larger than that.

5. The oldest, wisest, best man shall be the chief rab'bah; but the families of tens and families of hundreds within the city shall have each, one rab'bah, being the oldest, wisest, best man.

6. These rab'bahs shall be the government of the city. They shall have a government house, and it shall be the place of decrees.

7. Zarathustra said: How shall they make decrees, that the decrees pervert not liberty? I'hua'Mazda said: Ask not this, O man! He who crieth out constantly for his liberty is a selfish man, he is a druk. Save a man be willing to sacrifice his liberty somewhat, for the public good, he is unworthy before Ormazd. To find the amount of sacrifice, this is the business of the decrees.

8. Zarathustra said: How, then, shall the rab'bah proceed? I'hua'Mazda said: When they are seated, the chief rab'bah shall announce the subject; neither shall any other rab'bah announce the subject. But if a rab'bah have a subject, he shall state it beforehand to the chief rab'bah.

9. After the subject is announced, then shall all the rab'bahs speak on the subject; but they shall not speak against one another; each one declaring his highest light.

10. When they have all spoken, then shall the chief rab'bah speak his highest light, which he gathereth from the others in the first place, but which is afterward illuminated by the Light of Ormazd, and this shall be the decree.

11. Zarathustra inquired concerning the laws betwixt cities. I'hua'Mazda spake to Zarathustra, the All Pure, explaining the Ormazdian law. He said: A city is a family of one. A small village is a family of one; for which reason is a city called Ir. And every city shall have one God-ir, who shall be the oldest, best, wise man. The God-irs shall meet in council to consider what is good for all the cities jointly. For some cities are situated for flax and wool, some for iron, and some for copper, and some for ships.

12. Zarathustra inquired concerning the Council of God-irs. I'hua'Mazda answered him, saying: The God-irs shall choose the oldest, best, wise man amongst them, and he shall be called God-ir Chief. And he shall sit in the east in the Council chamber, and he shall present the subjects, after they have been told him by the other God-irs. And when he hath presented a subject, all the members shall speak upon it. And after they have all spoken, then the God-ir Chief shall speak, and his words shall be the decree, which shall be called the Zarathustrian law, because the All Light dwelleth with the Chief, and he cannot err. This is the Ormazdian law, the I'hua'Mazdian law, the Zarathustrian law.

13. Zarathustra said: Of a walled city (giryah), what is the Ormazdian law? I'hua'Mazda answered, saying: To the I'hins, walled cities; to the I'huans, cities without walls. To the cities of the druks, walls. This is the kingdom of I'hua'Mazda; they that have faith, why shall they build walls? They shall not hoard up gold and silver; none will rob them. After Zarathustra, two people will live. One shall be the people of this world; the other shall be the people of Ormazd. The former shall strive for earthly things; the latter for spiritual things. And there shall be no affinity betwixt these two people. From this time forth, the Zarathustrian people, who have faith in the Father, shall not have walled cities (save the I'hins, the sacred people). But this world's people, having no faith in the Father, shall have faith in stone walls; whereby ye may know which are righteous in my sight.*

*The distinction here drawn between them is true to the history of the Zarathustrians, to the Israelites, Brahmins, and the Algonquins. Only those who fell from faith deviated from this condition. In later times, since the doctrine of Saviors was introduced, the world's people have used standing armies instead of walls. The same rule applies to them: having no faith in the Father, they have faith in standing armies. Their treasures being earthly, they build earthly; having an idol in heaven, they make an idol of their army's pageantry and power, boastingly.

14. Zarathustra inquired concerning the smallest of cities. I'hua'Mazda answered him, saying: The smallest city is a man and his wife and children. And even as the people in a large city are one with one another, so shall a man and his wife and children be one with one another.

15. And as a large city must have a head father, so shall a small one. Whatsoever hath no head is nothing.

16. Zarathustra said: In the government of a large city, the fathers speak on a subject, and after them, the head father decreeth.

17. I'hua'Mazda said: Even so shall it be in a family of husband and wife. The wife shall speak first, and the children next, if old enough; and after that the father shall decree. That which is a good law for a large city, is good for a small one. As the kingdoms in heaven are governed, so shall be the kingdoms on earth.

18. Zarathustra inquired concerning a bad husband and a good wife, and a bad wife and a good husband? I'hua'Mazda spake to Zarathustra, the All Pure, saying:

19. Who knoweth what is good and what is bad? Are not all men to give themselves as sacrifice to the Father, and all women also? If a good woman is not willing to sacrifice herself to a bad husband, after having sworn to Ormazd, then she is not good, but a lover of herself. A good woman hath no self to serve. Because her husband turneth out bad, shall she also? Is it not good for her in the place Ormazd provided? Shall she set up her judgment against the Father's?

20. There be men of evil, and of passion, who abuse their wives. Knoweth not every damsel this? For this reason, if she commit herself to her husband in the name of the Father, He heareth her. And He establisheth His kingdom in her house. And that man and woman have no longer themselves to consult as to their desires; for if the Father desireth her to leave her husband, or the husband to leave the wife, He taketh one of them to heaven. Think not that He changeth as the wind, or boweth Himself to please the caprice of man or woman. Rather let the good wife, with a bad husband, say to Ormazd:

21. Because I was vain, Thou hast rebuked me, O Father. Because I sought to change my condition, Thou hast shown me I knew not what was good for me. Yea, thou hast shown me the folly of my judgment before Thee, and I will profit in turning to Thy Will. I will not more open my mouth in complaint. Though I be scourged with stripes, and made ashamed of my household, yet will I glorify Thee. The city Thou hast founded in me, will I begin at the foundation, and build up as a holy city, in Thy name.

22. And she shall say to her husband, who beateth her: Because the Father gavest thou to me, I will rejoice and sing in thy praise. Before I sleep at night, I will ask His blessing upon thee, and in the early morning, and at high noon. Though thou mayst hate me, yet will I do so great good works for thee, thou shalt love me. Though thou mayst kill me, yet will I go into heaven and build a house for thee.

Chapter XXV

1. Zarathustra, the All Pure, divided the people, leading his followers away from the others, taking them into good places of delight. After that, he looked back with compassion, and he said to I'hua'Mazda:

2. What of them who will not accept the Ormazdian law? I'hua'Mazda answered him, saying: Behold, thy arms are full! Let the dead have dominion with the dead. Not only this generation, but many that come after thee, will not be alive to the Ormazdian law.

3. Zarathustra apportioned his people into cities and villages and families, but over the whole of them he appointed Yus'avak as Chief, one of his companions who came with him from Oas.

4. And when Yus'avak was established, Zarathustra and his companions traveled further, and came to the city of Ne'ki'ro, kingdom of Aboatha, king of twelve generations through his forefathers, whose title was, Aboatha, Son of Uzza, Son of Nimrod, Son of the House of Tus'iang, who was descended from before the world was!

5. Ne'ki'ro was a walled city, but the Zarathustrians gained entrance without paying tribute, because the law thus favored strangers. Abaotha, in his youth, had traveled amongst the Parsi'e'ans, and knew the language; and when Zarathustra was before him, speaking in the Oas'an tongue, the king inquired his business, and how long he purposed staying, stating, moreover, that he had received the tablets of the Ormazdian law, with the interpretations, from the King of the Sun, Asha; and that he had desired to see Zarathustra.

6. Zarathustra said: I came to establish the Ormazdian law. In the name of the All Light will I blunt the edge of the sword and the spear. Until I have fulfilled the commandments upon me, I shall tarry within thy city. Of things thou hast read in the holy book I am come in the Person of I'hua'Mazda.

7. The king said: My city is not so large; I have more scalps and skulls, for the size of my city, than any other king in the world. But know thou, O man, I am a philosopher. Many of my people are also learned people. Hear thou me, then, and if thou hast a greater philosophy than I have, I will not only bequeath to thee the public skulls and scalps, to be thy treasures forever, but I will also give my skull and scalp into thy hand, as the most valuable treasure in the Jaffeth'an empire.

8. Zarathustra said: Though thou settest great value on skulls and scalps, because they are the product of labor, yet they are of no value to me, nor to the Father in heaven. Neither have I any philosophy for thee, or for the Father's begotten. To accept His will; to be servant unto Him, by doing good unto others, comprise the whole of the law, by which all men may be made to rejoice in their creation.

9. The king said: Think not that I am as other men. I am not as other men. In the first beginning of all things, there were Seven and Nine things. I was one of them. By division, we created all there is in heaven and earth. Seven thousand and seven millions, and nine thousand and nine millions of times, have I divided myself. One-seventh and one-ninth of all there are of created things is my very self. Tell me, then, hast thou as great a philosophy as this?

10. Zarathustra said: O the folly of men before Thee, O Ormazd! They run after that which flattereth self, seeing their fellows going down in death, and they raise not their hands to lift them up! I tell thee, O king, thy poorest slave that bringeth out of the earth food for two men, hath a greater philosophy than thine! He that can rule over his own self-conceit, that speaketh not of himself, giveth a better philosophy of himself than thou hast. He who hath not yet risen from his mother's breast, hath more treasures to give than thou has obtained with all thy philosophy. Ere three days have passed by, the city's skulls and scalps will be burned to dust. Nor will thy philosophy avail thee to stay the hand of I'hua'Mazda.

11. The king said: Proposest thou with this handful of men to battle with my army? Zarathustra said: I have spoken. There is no value in discoursing with any man who hath an opinion to establish, nor is man's opinion of value to raise up the souls of men. Bring thou, therefore, thy army, and command them to fall upon me and mine!

12. The king said: Thou hast no weapons; think not that I battle with men who use their tongues, like women!

13. Zarathustra said: Why boasteth thou? Thy soldiers will turn and flee when thou bringest them against me!

14. The king turned away then, and ordered his officers to bring soldiers, and dispatch Zarathustra and his companions, and to hang their skulls and scalps on the walls. Zarathustra and his companions went into the king's garden, and formed in an altar. When the sun had set, and evening came, the king's soldiers, more than ten thousand, came upon them.

15. I'hua'Mazda had great power, because of the faith of Zarathustra, and he spake with a loud voice, saying: Light of Thy Light, O Ormazd! Build me here a wall of fire! And behold, there fell from heaven curtains of fire, till a great wall stood betwixt the two peoples; nor would one soldier throw a spear or sling a stone; and many of them broke and fled.

16. When the king saw the power of Zarathustra, he feared for his kingdom; and not deciding at once what course to pursue, he went into his palace. Then came Zarathustra and his companions out of the garden, but the light extended up above Zarathustra's head like a pillar of fire. I'hua'Mazda spake to some who were nearest, saying:

17. Run quickly and call the soldiers back, saying to them they shall be my soldiers, and I will give them the weapons of the Creator. So, the messengers ran, and brought many of them back. I'hua'Mazda commanded them to gather the skulls and scalps from the city walls, and from the gates, and go and burn them, and the soldiers did these things.

18. The next day after they were consumed, I'hua'Mazda began to preach, explaining the Ormazdian law; and he received many followers. The king had tried by all means to gather his soldiers together, but no one obeyed him. After that Zarathustra went to him, saying: If thou art one-seventh and one-ninth of all things, who thinkest thou I am?

19. The king said: They say thou art a very Creator! But, as to my opinion, thou art only a magician. Thou canst not do anything real; for which reason, I hoped thou wouldst come before me. Know, then, thy end hath come! With that, the king struck at Zarathustra; but the king's sword was broken into pieces, and of non-effect.

20. The king had two trained chetahs, large as the largest lions, and he ordered them to be unloosed and set upon Zarathustra. And it was done; but, lo and behold, the chetahs came and licked his hands. But the king was hardened, and would not believe. I'hua'Mazda called the king to come near, and he came.

21. He said unto the king: I am not thine enemy, but the enemy of evil; I come not to take thy kingdom. In a few days I shall leave this place. So, thy kingdom would be worthless to me. And yet I come to establish another kingdom, which is the Father's. I come to overthrow sin and wickedness, and to build up that which is good. And in so doing, it shall be known amongst men that the soul is immortal.

22. Rather would I see thee and thy people alive and full of joy, than to see them dead. Thou hast said thou understandest the Ormazdian law; perceiving there is also a king's law.

23. The king's laws are for the earth-world; to punish the wicked and reward the valorous; the Ormazdian law is for the Zarathustrians, who need no kings. Thy subjects are for war and plunder; but the subjects of the Great Spirit are for doing good, and in love and mercy. And have I not shown thee that the Ormazdian laws are the stronger of the two? Yea, a hundred fold. It is wiser for thee to espouse the stronger law. Thou hast gathered certain treasures, boasting of thy treasures' value. Because thou hast made a law of exchange for skulls and scalps; how sayest thou? Maketh thou them valuable? Because a man bringeth a skull to thee, thou givest him bread. Now I declare unto thee, values consist not in the rate of exchange betwixt men. Shall a man gather a heap of stones, and say: Behold, they are valuable! Or iron, or gold, or copper, and say: Behold, they are valuable! A piece of bread is valuable, or flax, or wool.

24. Because man hath set value on things not valuable, he buildeth in falsehood and death. Ormazd alone is valuable; the man who hath the most All Light, hath the greatest valuables. For by the Light of the Father all righteous things can be obtained easily. Whilst I'hua'Mazda was yet speaking, the spirit of Zarathustra went abroad, and, with ten thousand other spirits, brought fish and fruit, and let them fall around about the place. The people ran and gathered them up for food. The king made no reply at first, for he was encompassed about with evil spirits, who were angered with I'hua'Mazda and his proceedings. Presently the king said:

25. Because I am transcended by thee, it is no longer useful for me to live. With that, he cut his belly across, and fell dead. And Zarathustra commanded that the king's body be laid straight for three days; and it was done; and there came thousands of people to look upon the king, and witness that he was dead. And they saw of a truth that the bowels were gushed out of the wound, and that there was no breath in him.

26. So I'hua'Mazda suffered the spirit of the king to live three days in torments, and then he called his disciples around him, saying: Now will I raise the king to life, and it shall be testimony in Jaffeth.

27. And Zarathustra pushed the bowels back into the belly, and drew the place shut, saying: In Thy name, O Father, heal I this man's body, as a testimony of Thy Wisdom and Power! And when Zarathustra had drawn his hand over the belly twice, it was healed. And then Zarathustra said: O Father, as by Thy spirit Thou didst quicken into life this, Thy child, in his mother's womb, restore Thou him to life!

28. And the king was healed, and restored to life before the people; and he awoke and looked about, and then rose up. He said: Even now I was dead and in hell, and I saw millions of the dead, and they were in hell also. And there went up around about them fires of burning brimstone, and none could escape.

Chapter XXVI

1. When the king was restored, he was as another man, having su'is, and believing with a full conviction; and he asked Zarathustra what now he should do that he might escape the fires of hell after death.

2. I'hua'Mazda spake through Zarathustra, saying: Think not what thou canst do to escape hell fire, for that would be laboring for self. Think what thou canst do to save others. For which reason thou shalt practice the Ormazdian law. One year shalt thou dwell with the poor, carrying the alms-bowl, according to the Zarathustrian law. After that thou shalt preach the I'hua'Mazdian law, of the denial of self for the good of the city, teaching the turning away from earthly things, and striving for spiritual things, having faith in Ormazd.

3. The king said: All these things can I do, yet one thing I cannot do, which is having faith in Ormazd. If He be a Person, and created all the creation, is He not the foundation of evil as well as good? If He heretofore created evil, or by incompetence suffered it to enter into creation, may He not do so in after time, even after death?

4. I'hua'Mazda said: When a potter hath a pot half made, sayest thou it is an evil pot? Nay, verily, but that it is not yet completed. Even so are all men, created by Ormazd. Those who are good are completed, but those who are evil are unfinished work. But the Creator also gave to man knowledge, that he might see himself in the unfinished state, and the Creator gave to man power and judgment, that man might turn to and help complete himself, thereby sharing the glory of his creation. The man that doeth this is already clear of hell fire; he that doeth it not shall not escape.

5. The king inquired concerning animals, to which I'hua'Mazda answered, saying: Animals are of the earth creation, and are completed in the place of their dwelling. Neither hath any animal aspiration to make itself better or wiser, that it may contribute to the creation. And some men have no more aspiration than an animal serving the beast (the flesh-man) only. Only the torments of hell can stir them up.

6. When I'hua'Mazda explained the Ormazdian law, the quarter of which is not here related, the king comprehended, whereupon he took the vows on the altar, and under the eye, according to the Zarathustrian law. So when those people were restored, Zarathustra left one of his traveling companions with them, as God-ir in Chief, and Zarathustra departed, taking his other companions with him.

7. Whereof it is recorded in the libraries of heaven, showing that the next city kingdom was likewise delivered, and the people became Zarathustrians.

8. And again Zarathustra departed, and came to another city, which was overthrown and delivered also. Until it came to pass that Zarathustra overthrew and delivered twenty and four cities and kingdoms in Jaffeth.

9. After that he departed to the upper lands of Shem, where he also overthrew and delivered many cities and kingdoms, establishing the Zarathustrian law. For two whole years he labored in Shem; and so great was the power of Ormazd upon Zarathustra that all the cities and kingdoms of Shem threw off the bondage of the Sun Kingdom of Parsi'e.

10. After that Zarathustra traveled toward Ham, which was called Arabin'ya. But in those countries Zarathustra had not so great success, because the people were not learned in books, nor in the stars, nor tablets. Nevertheless, Zarathustra delivered many cities.

11. So I'hua'Mazda said to Zarathustra: Go back, now, to thine own country; and thou shalt overthrow yet seven cities and seven great kingdoms; and after that thou shalt return to Oas, and it shall fall before thy hand, that the prophecies of thy childhood be fulfilled.

12. So Zarathustra returned to Parsi'e and went to the seven great cities and kingdoms, and overthrew them; and many of them were destroyed utterly by fire and by war; but Zarathustra delivered the faithful and established the Zarathustrian law with all of them.

13. And now he returned to his native city, Oas, according to the commandment of I'hua'Mazda.


Continued

Index to Oahspe