2. For nearly four years had Zarathustra been absent, and the effect of his preaching in foreign lands had been to cut off the paying of tribute to the City of the Sun. For which reason, Pon'yah, king of Oas, had sworn an oath under his own thigh to pursue Zarathustra, and have him slain.
3. Accordingly, the king had equipped many different armies and sent them in search of Zarathustra; but I'hua'Mazda led Zarathustra in a different way on the one hand, and sent spirits to inspire the soldiers to go another way. Consequently, none of the armies sent to capture Zarathustra ever found him. When he was heard of in one city, and the soldiers came to that city, he was gone. And so it continued, until now Zarathustra had returned to the very gates of Oas.
4. Because Zarathustra was the largest man in the world, he was easily known; and from a description of him, even those who had never seen him, would know him the first time they laid their eyes on him.
5. Asha had continued with the Zarathustrians; but in consequence of the persecutions of the kings of Oas, they had been obliged to retire further into the forests and plains and unsettled regions, where roved the Listians, the wild people. To these the Zarathustrians were friends, and the Listians came in great numbers, and dwelt near about the Zarathustrians.
6. After Zarathustra had completed his travels, he returned to the Forest of Goats, in the first place, to meet his followers, and to rejoice with them for the great light I'hua'Mazda had bestowed upon them. So, when Zarathustra returned to them, there was great rejoicing; and there were present Zarathustra's mother, and many of the Listians who knew him in his childhood.
7. After many days of rest and rejoicing, I'hua'Mazda came to Zarathustra, saying: Behold, the time hath now come to go against the city of thy birth. Take Asha with thee, and I will cause Oas to fall before thy hand.
8. Accordingly, Zarathustra took Asha and returned, as stated, to the gates of Oas; but he was known at once; and when he demanded admittance, he was refused, because the king had previously decreed his banishment and death, there being an offer of reward to whoever would destroy him and bring his skull to the king.
9. The keeper of the gate, whose name was Zhoo'das, thought to obtain the reward, and hit upon the following plan, saying to Zarathustra: I know thee; thou art Zarathustra, who art banished under penalty of death. I have no right to admit thee within the city, nor have I a desire to witness thy sure death. But if thou wilt secrete thyself, till the change of watch, when I am absent on the king's reports, thou mayst take thine own risk. But if I admit thee, I will also be put to death.
10. Zarathustra said: As for myself, I fear not; but I would not have thee put to death on my account. Where, then, can I secrete myself, till the change of watch?
11. Zhoo'das, the keeper of the gate, said: Within the chamber of the wall. Go thou, and thy friend with thee.
12. So Zarathustra went into the chamber of the wall, and Asha went with him. And now, when they were concealed, Zhoo'das called his wife and said unto her: Be thou here, walking back and forth, that they who are concealed will think it is I. And I will run quickly to the guards, and they shall come and seize Zarathustra, for whom the reward is offered.
13. And the keeper's wife came and walked back and forth; and the keeper ran quickly and brought the guards, one thousand men, with spears and swords and war clubs and slings and bows and arrows, and they surrounded the place of the chamber on all sides. And then spake Zhoo'das ironically, saying: Come forth, Zarathustra, now is the change of watch!
14. And Zarathustra and Asha came forth and beheld what was done. Zarathustra said to Asha: The Light is upon me. Go thou with me. No harm shall come to thee. But now is the time come in which I shall fulfill what hath been prophesied of me in my youth.
2. And in order to stay the multitude, the captain of the army called out many soldiers in addition to those who made the arrest. Others ran to the king's palace, carrying the news of his arrest, and the place he had been taken to.
3. The king said to the heralds: Though this man shall die, it is fit that proper judgment be rendered against him, as an example before all men. Go, therefore, to the executioners, and command them to bring Zarathustra into my presence, that I may adjudge him to death according to law.
4. This was accomplished. Zarathustra was brought before the king, who accosted him, saying:
5. By thy behavior thou art accused before thy king, and I adjudge thee to death. But that thou mayst be as an example before the world, I will render my judgments before the heralds, who shall proclaim my words unto all who desire to witness thy death.
6. First, then, thou wert ordered for arrest by my predecessor, and thou deliveredst not thyself up to my soldiers; neither could they find thee. For which thou art adjudged to death.
7. Second. Without permission from the King of the Sun, thou hast traveled in foreign lands, sowing seeds of disallegiance against the Central Kingdom. For which thou art adjudged to death.
8. Third. The King of Kings offered a ransom for thy head, and the king's soldiers were disappointed in finding thee. For which thou art adjudged to death.
9. Fourth. In thy youth thou threatenedst to overthrow the city of Oas, the City of the Sun, and failedst to make thy word good, thereby being a teacher of lies. For which thou art adjudged to death.
10. Fifth. Thou hast cut off the foreign tribute to the rightful Owner of the whole world! For which thou art adjudged to death.
11. Sixth. Thou hast revived the doctrines of the dark ages, teaching of spirits and Gods, which things cannot exist, because they are contrary to nature, and contrary to the laws of the King of the world! For which thou art adjudged to death.
12. Seventh. Thou hast taught that there is an unseen Creator greater than thy king; which is contrary to reason. For which thou art adjudged to death.
13. Eighth. Thou returndst to Oas not openly, but as a thief, and hid thyself in a chamber of the wall. For which reason thou art adjudged to death in the manner of thieves, which is the most ignoble of deaths.
14. Therefore, I command the executioners to take thee to the den of thieves and cast thee therein; and on the morrow, at high noon, thou shalt be hung up by thy feet along with the thieves, where thou shalt be left hanging till thou art dead.
15. That my judgment may appease thy best friends, what sayest thou against my decrees?
16. Zarathustra said: All the charges thou hast made against me are true this day; but ere to-morrow's setting sun I will have disproved some of them. To-day thy kingdom is large; in two days I will be dead, and thou wilt be dead; and this great city will be destroyed. Yea, the Temple of the Sun will be rent in twain, and fall as a heap of rubbish.
17. The king laughed in derision, and then spake to Asha, saying: Thou art an old fool. Go thy way. So, Asha was liberated, and Zarathustra was taken to the den of thieves and cast therein. And the den of thieves was surrounded by the dens of lions that belonged to the king's gardens. And a bridge passed over, and, when the prisoners were within, the bridge was withdrawn. And no prisoner could escape but would fall a prey to the lions, which were fed on the flesh of the persons executed according to law.
2. To which Zarathustra sent back the following reply, to wit: Zarathustra hath no secrets to reveal; neither desireth he five cities, nor one city, to rule over. To-morrow I shall die, and on the following night thou also shalt die. And yet, erst thou diest, thou shalt see the temple of the stars rent in twain and fall down; and the city of Oas shall fall and rise no more; and Ya'seang, in Jaffeth, shall become King of the Sun, and his dynasty shall stand thousands of years.
3. The king was surprised at such an answer, and so angered that he smote the messenger with his sling, and he fell dead, and the king ordered his body to be cast into the den of lions.
4. It was near the middle of the night when the body was brought, and Zarathustra, being tall, saw above the wall, and he called out, saying: Cast not the body into the dens with the lions; for I will call him to life in the name of Ormazd. And the men laid the body down by the outer wall, and Zarathustra said: He that is standing by the body shall lay his hand upon it, for the power of life is through life.
5. And the man laid his hand on the flesh of the man's body betwixt the neck and the back, and Zarathustra said: The words I say, say thou also: Life of Thy Life, O Ormazd! Restore Thou this, Thy Son, to life!
6. And, lo and behold, the man awoke to life, and opened his eyes, and presently rose up; and Zarathustra bade him depart out of the city. Now the arrest and condemnation of Zarathustra had caused thousands of people to assemble around about the prison; and they beheld the man restored to life; and some of them went with him out of the city. And all night, after that, Zarathustra healed the sick, and restored the blind and deaf, by calling over the walls in the name of the Father.
7. When it was near sunrise, the next morning, the place of the executions was crowded with spectators. Many of the Zarathustrians believed that Zarathustra would liberate himself by the power upon him; and on the other hand, the king's people, especially the learned, desired to realize his execution, for they denounced him as an imposter.
8. The latter said: If he be the Master of the I'huans, let him prove his powers whilst he is hanging by the feet.
9. It was the law of Oas to keep twelve executioners, representing twelve moons, and at sunrise every morning they put to death whoever had been adjudged to death the previous day. Now, there were in prison with Zarathustra two thieves, condemned to the same ignoble death. And they were weeping and moaning! Zarathustra said to them: Weep not, nor moan, but rather rejoice. He Who gave you life is still with you. He will provide another and better home for your souls.
10. Behold, I weep not, nor moan. They who put us to death know not what they do. Rather should the multitude pity them than us. Ye shall this day escape from the tyrany of Oas.
11. Zarathustra preached till high noon, and when the light fell on the top of the temple (of the stars) the twelve executioners entered the prison and bound the prisoners' hands together behind their backs; then with another rope they tied the feet, bringing the rope up the back of the legs and passing it betwixt the arms; and they carried the end of the rope up over a beam and down again; and the executioners seized the rope and pulled upon it. And they swung the bodies of the victims high above the walls and made fast, leaving them hanging there.
12. Thus was Zarathustra hung betwixt two thieves; and whilst he was yet alive a bolt of light fell upon the temple of the stars, and it was rent in twain, and fell to the ground. And when the dust rose it was as a cloud that magnified itself, till the air of the whole city was choking; and there came another bolt of light, and, lo and behold, the walls of the city fell down, and Zhoo'das perished in the chamber of the wall.
13. The multitude ran for the king; and when they brought him out of the palace, another bolt of light fell on the palace, and it was crumbled into dust. The king called to his guards, but they obeyed him not, but fled; and so, the multitude slew the king.
14. The learned men then went down to the place of executions, and Zarathustra was not yet dead; but the two thieves were dead. And Zarathustra said unto the learned men: Now will I give up my body, and behold, ye shall say I am dead. Let the executioners then take down my body and cast it into the lions' den, and ye shall witness that they will not eat of my flesh. And some shall say: Behold, the lions are not hungry. Thereupon shall ye cast in the bodies of the two thieves, and lo, the lions will fall upon them and eat their flesh.
15. Then shall the learned men say: Behold, Zarathustra's virtue laid in different flesh. Now I declare unto you, these things are not of the flesh, but of the spirit. For angels shall gather about my body and prevent the lions from tearing my flesh. Of which matter ye shall prove before the multitude; for in the time the lions are devouring the flesh of the thieves, the angels will go away from my body, and, behold, the lions will return and eat of my flesh also. Whereby it shall be proved to you that even lions, the most savage of beasts, have spiritual sight, and are governed by the unseen world, even more than man.
16. When Zarathustra had thus spoken to the learned men, he spake to the Father, saying: Receive Thou my soul, O Ormazd! And his spirit departed out of the body, and in that same moment the whole earth shook and trembled, and many houses fell down. So they cast the body into one of the dens, wherein were seventeen lions, but they fled from the body. Then the executioners cast in the bodies of the thieves, and, lo and behold, the lions fell upon them instantly.
17. And when the angels went away from Zarathustra's body, the lions returned to it and ate also. And the keepers turned in other lions, and all the flesh was eaten. And the multitude ran and brought the body of Zhoo'das and cast it in, and the lions ate it also. And next day they cast in the king's body, and the lions ate of it, and were appeased of their hunger.
18. Now when it was night, some of the Zarathustrians gathered together at a neighbor's house; and Asha was present, and they formed a living altar in order to pray for the soul of Zarathustra, and for the two thieves, and for Zhoo'das, and, lastly, for the king. And now, came the learned men, saying: Why have ye not, during all these years, notified us of these things? Behold, Zarathustra is dead! Asha said:
19. Have I not carried the alms-bowl publicly, proclaiming them from day to day? And the learned people said: Pity, old Asha! A knave hath dethroned his reason! Now I declare unto you, it is the same now as in the olden time; the learned men are farther away from the Father than are those devouring lions. Ye look into the corporeal world for light, and truth, and power, but are blind to the spirit, which underlieth all things. I declare unto you, whether it be heat or light, or disease, that floateth in the air, or growth that cometh out of the air, in all things it is the unseen that ruleth over the seen. And more powerful than heat and light, and life and death, is Ormazd, the Person of all things.
20. Till ye have learned this, I can explain nothing that ye can comprehend. And yet, to know this, is the beginning of the foundation of everlasting happiness.
21. Whilst Asha was thus speaking, behold, the soul of Zarathustra came and stood before them, and he was arrayed in the semblance of his own flesh and color, and in his own clothes. And he spake, saying: Fear not; I am the same that was with you and was hanged and died, whose flesh was devoured by the lions; I am Zarathustra! Marvel not that I have the semblance of a corporeal body, for its substance is holden together by the power of my spirit. Neither is this a miracle, for the spirits of all the living hold in the same way, each its own corporeal body. As iron attracteth iron, the spirit learneth to attract from the air a corporeal body of its like and measure.
22. Then inquired one who was present: Where are the two thieves? To which Zarathustra said: As steam riseth from boiling water, without shape or form, so are their souls this hour. For this reason was I sent into the world by the Father. Let him who would become controller of his own spirit unto everlasting life, learn the Ormazdian law, seeking to grow in spirit, instead of living for the things of this world.
23. Behold, there are here present Lords of the Hosts of Heaven, who are Sons and Daughters of the Most High Ormazd, the Creator. They will now gather together and reclothe the thieves, and show you of what like they are. Presently the two drujas, the thieves who were hanged with Zarathustra, stood before the people in sar'gis, and they raved, and cursed, and moaned; but they were blind and dumb as to the place. Then Asha inquired of them, as to who they were and what they wanted, but they only cursed him, and added that they were to be hanged.
24. Asha said: Behold, ye are already dead, and your spirits risen from the earth! To which they replied by curses against the king. And now the Lords of heaven sat up the spirit of the king, but he knew not that he was dead, and he cursed also; whereupon the spirits of the thieves fell upon him with evil intent, and all the people beheld these things. But the Lords of heaven took away the sar'gis, and the drujas could not be seen more by mortals.
25. Zarathustra said: As in the earth they were angered and dumb, they cling to the earth. For which reason ye shall sing anthems and pray for them three mornings at sunrise; three high-noons, and three evenings at sunset. Do ye this also, henceforth, forever, for three days, for all your kindred who die, or who are slain.
26. And ye shall utter only words of love for the dead; for whosoever uttereth curses for the dead, bringeth drujas upon himself. In your love and forgiveness do ye raise them out of the torments of hell. And inasmuch as ye raise up others, so doth Ormazd raise up your own souls.
27. One who was present asked how long a spirit lingered around about? To which Zarathustra said: Some for three days, some for a year, some for a hundred years, and some for a thousand years! Until they have wisdom and strength to get away. But after three days ye shall no longer desire the spirit of the dead to remain with you; rather shall ye say to Ormazd: Deal Thou with him and with us in Thine Own Way, O Father; we are content. Better is it for the spirits that ye call them not back from the higher heavens down to the earth; better for you is it, that ye remember them high up in paradise; for these thoughts will enable you to rise after ye are dead.
28. Remember that All Light answereth everything in heaven and earth after its own manner: If ye kill, ye are answered in torments sooner or later: If ye utter falsehood, ye are answered in falsehood: If ye curse, ye will be cursed in return: If ye hate, ye will be hated: If ye seclude yourselves, ye will be excluded: If ye keep evil company in this world, ye will be bound in evil company in heaven: As ye seek to become a leader of men, remember that they whom ye rule over will be your burden in heaven: If ye teach not, ye shall not be taught: If ye lift not others up, none will lift you up: For in all things the same rule applieth in heaven as on earth, for it is a continuation in spirit of that which is practiced in the flesh.
2. Two people there are on the earth: the one is engrossed in the affairs of the earth; the other in the affairs of heaven. Better is it for ye to be of the latter. The fool will say: If all people are engrossed with the affairs of heaven, then who will provide on the earth? Such is the argument of all druks. Fear not, therefore, for the earth people becoming short of votaries.
3. So also will it be said of celibacy. The druks will say: If all people become celibates, then will the race of man terminate. Wherefore, I say again unto you, fear not, for there will be plenty left who are full of passion, and are unmindful of the kingdoms of heaven.
4. Let all who can, live for the Higher Light; the lower will ever be supplied sufficiently.
5. Even as ye find two peoples on earth, so also do two peoples exist in heaven. The one followeth the Highest Light, and ever riseth toward the highest heavens. The other followeth the affairs of earth, and riseth not, and hence is called druj. The latter engageth in sensualism, and quarrels amongst mortals, inspiring them to evil and low desires.
6. One present asked: How shall we know one another, whether we be of heaven or of earth? Then Zarathustra answered, saying: Seek to know thyself; thou art not thy neighbor's keeper. Search thine own soul a hundred times every day, to know if thou practicest the All Highest according to thine own light. Neither shalt thou find excuses for thy shortness; nor reflect overmuch on past errors, but use them as inspiration to perfect thyself henceforth.
7. Another one present asked: How of thieves, and falsifiers, and murderers? Zarathustra said: The man who serveth himself only is worse than any of these; there is no resurrection in him. But if a man cease his evil way, and practice virtue, he is on the right road.
8. A falsifier is like one with a clean gown on, that goeth about casting filth upon it; he soileth his own spirit.
9. A thief is worse than an overburdened beast; he carrieth his stolen goods not only in this world, but in heaven, to the end of his memory.
10. A murderer is like a naked man, who is ashamed, and cannot hide from the multitude. When he is in heaven, his memory of the deed writeth in human blood a stain on his soul, which all others see.
11. Another one asked: According to the I'hua'Mazdian law, the highest, best men forsake the world, laboring to raise up the poor and ignorant, reciting prayers and anthems; taking no part in the affairs of people who are engrossed in the matters of earth; who, then, shall be the government of the wicked? To which Zarathustra answered, saying:
12. When there are not sufficient men and women for such purpose, there will be no wicked to govern. With all thy preaching, that the highest life is celibacy, there will be plenty left who will marry; with all thy preaching that the highest, best man will not be a leader of men, nor a king, nor a governor, yet there will be plenty left who will fill these places, even though they beheld the walls of hell opened up to receive them.
13. Another one asked: If the Zarathustrians separate, and live by themselves, what will be their power to do good amongst the evil? To which Zarathustra said:
14. As the highest heavens send Lords and masters down to mortals, so shall the Zarathustrians send emissaries amongst the wicked, preaching the truth, and citing the example of the Zarathustrian cities (communities).
15. For above all philosophy that man may preach, practice holdeth the highest place, and is most potent. See to it, therefore, that ye practice the Ormazdian law toward one another in all things. Avoid men of opinion; men of learning; who have pride therein; men of argument; men who quibble for proofs in unprovable things; men who wish to be known as wise men; men who deny; men that can see defects in everything, and have nothing good to offer in place thereof.
16. Shun the disbelieving man, for he is diseased, and may inoculate thee; the flatterer, for he is purchasing thee; a woman, for woman's sake; or a man, for man's sake; company, for company's sake; for all these imply that the Creator is less in thy sight, and not so well loved.
17. One asked concerning spirits. To which Zarathustra said: For the affairs of earth, consult the spirits of the earth, the drujas; for the affairs of everlasting resurrection, consult thy Creator, and His holy spirits will answer thee in His name. And to whichever thou hast made thyself companion, there will be thy abiding place after death.
18. See to it that thou becomest not inveigled by drujas, for spirits can assume any name and form; but weigh their words, whether they be wise, and according to the Ormazdian law. If they teach not the higher heavens, but profess a long life in the lower heavens, consider them by their words. To flatter thee, they will profess to remember thee in another life; and to please thee, say thou wert a king, and hath had many successions of lives on the earth.
19. But of what value under the sun is such philosophy? But to rise up, away from the earth, and from the lower heavens also; it was for bestowing this word unto men that I was sent into the world. It is to teach you to know the Father's upper heavens, and the way to reach them, that His words were given unto men.
20. As it was in the olden time, so will it be again ere another generation pass away. Drujas will teach that the spirits of the dead go into trees and flowers, and inhabit them; and into swine, and cattle, and birds, and into woman, and are born over again in mortal form. Argue not with them; their philosophy concerneth not thee. Whether they be in darkness or in light, judge thou by the glory and beauty of the heavens where they live. If their words are of the earth, they belong to the earth; if they are servants to false Gods or false Lords, they will preach him whom they serve. But these matters are nothing to thee; for thou shalt serve the All Highest, the Creator. In this no man can err.
21. And in regard to the heaven, whither thou wouldst desire to ascend after death, magnify it with all thy ingenuity unto the All Highest Perfection. People it with thy highest ideals for thy companions. Then see to it that thou makest thyself a fit companion for them also. If thou do this with all thy wisdom and strength all the days of thy life, the Father will be with thee, and thou shalt be a glory in His works.
22. Thus preached Zarathustra after his resurrection from death; for three days and three nights preached he before his disciples; and Asha wrote down the substance of his words, and they were preserved unto the generations of Faithists from that time forth. And the words were called the Zarathustrian law, the I'hua'Mazdian law, the Ormazdian law. And they were the first heavenly words given on tablets and skins and cloth, and in books, to mortals, save what words were given in secret to the tribes of I'hins, of which the different nations of the earth knew nothing of their own knowledge as to what they were.
23. On the morning of the fourth day, when the disciples sat in crescent, which was called the living altar of God, Zarathustra again came in sar'gis. He said: Behold, the time hath come for me to rise out of hada, where I have dwelt for three days.
24. The Gods who were with me all my earth life are gathered together even here, and there are millions of them. Just near the river yonder standeth the boundary line of a heavenly ship of light! It is wider than the eye can see, and higher than the eye can see! A million of angels are singing in that ship! And there are great Gods and great Lords in it. So bright, mine eyes dare not look on them. They are all Sons and Daughters of the Great Spirit.
25. The drujas are all run away now. Their foolish gabble is hushed, gone! It is as if another world came alongside, so majestic that this one was lost. Above, high, very high, yonder! Something like a sun illumes the ship of fire! I know it is He Who hath come for me. I go now! Whither I go I will build for you all.
26. And thou, O Asha! The Gods have thrown a mantle of light over thee! A chain reacheth from thee to Ormazd! Asha was overcome, and fain would have gone to the spirit, Zarathustra. The latter said: Stand thou, and I may kiss thee! So, Zarathustra kissed Asha, and departed.
Index to Oahspe