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from the operation ; also, that the Almighty formed His
prophet's body out of milk, which in its essence implies no in-
jury to any living creature. This much being premised, Zarr-
atusht Bahrain, a Mobed of the religion of Zardusht, says :
Wlien the world had been thrown into confusion by the
wicked, and was entirely at the mercy of the demon, God
willed to raise up a prophet of an exalted dignity, which the
family of Faridun was alone worthy of filling. In those
days lived a man, by name Purshdsp, the son of Patirdsp
descended from Faridun ; and his wife's name was Dogh-
duyah, a virtuous matron, who was also of the family of
Faridun. These two persons were selected by the Almighty
as the shells for inclosing the pearl of Zardusht. When
five months of Doghduyah's pregnancy had elapsed, she one
night beheld in a dream her house enveloped in a dark
cloud, which concealed the splendor of the sun and moon ;
and from this cloud were raining down the noxious and ra-
pacious creatures of earth and air; the boldest of these an-
imals having rent open Doghduyah's womb, took out the
infant, which he held in his talons, and the other wild
beasts gathered around him. Doghduyah in her alarm
wished to cry out, but Zardusht prevented her, saying: *^ The
just God befriends me; entertain no apprehensions.*^ She
consequently held her peace. That instant she beheld a
shining mountain which descended from heaven and rent
the black cloud asunder ; on which the noxious animals be-
gan to fly away. When the mountain approached nearer
there came forth from it a youth shining all over, bearing in
one hand a luminous branch, and in the other the volume
sent by the just God. He next hurled that volume toward
the beasts, on which they all departed from the house, ex-
cepting three ; a wolf, a lion, and a tiger : the youth then



I20 THE DABISTAN

smote these with the luminous branch, so that they were
consumed by fire ; after this, taking Zardusht, he restored
him to his mother's belly, and said to her: ** Fear not!
grieve not! for God himself is thy son's guardian: this
honored child shall be the prophet of the just God ! ^^ The
youth then disappeared, and Doghduyah awaking, rose up
that gloomy night, and hastening to a neighboring seer
who was skilled in the interpretation of dreams, related her
vision. The interpreter answered: *^ Through this sun-
resembling child, the world shall be failed with thy fame ;
depart, and bring hither the calculation of thy nativity for
my inspection.** She performed his command; and the in-
terpreter on examining it said : ^^ During three days keep
this secret concealed from all; return hither on the fourth
day, and receive the answer to thy demands.** She did so;
and on the fourth day came to the astrologer, who smiled
on beholding her, and having carefully considered the si-
dereal influences, turned to the interpretation of the dream,
saying : " The night on which thou beheldest that vision,
the unborn child had completed five months and twenty-
three days; on his issuing forth to the couch of existence
his illustrious name shall be Zardusht ; by him shall the
enemies of the faith be destroyed ; but they will previously
oppose him in battle, and put in practice every hostile
measure; from the evil doers thou shalt feel much afflic-
tion, such as thou didst witness from the wild beasts of the
vision.

*At last victorious and rejoiced in heart thou shalt become,
And through this unborn child feel all a mother's joy.*

Next thou beheldest a youth descending from the sixth
heaven with the glittering branch of a tree ; that was
JFarrah-i-Izad, *■ the splendor of God,* the warder of evils
from thy son ; the written volume in his hand is the emblem
of the prophetic office, by which he is to obtain the victory
over all foes; the three wild beasts which remained behind
are the type of a powerful evil-disposed enemy, who by
wiles will endeavor to destroy Zardusht, but who shall be
finally discomfited ; and there shall be a prince to promul-
gate the faith: through his might shall Zardusht become



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 121

sovereign of this world and the next. O Doghduyah ! par-
adise is the recompense of obedience to Zardusht, and hell
is the reward of those who avert the face from him. Would
to heaven that I could live in the days of his mission, to
exhibit my zeal for his eminent dignity.'* Doghduyah then
said to the interpreter and astrologer : *^ How hast thou
found out the circumstance of the exact period of my preg-
nancy.'' '* To this he replied: "Through the power of
knowledge of the stars, and the perusal of ancient records,
which give an account of his auspicious existence.'* Dogh-
duyah, on her return home, told this event to Purshasp
that he might communicate it to Patirasp ; on which both
parents joined in praising the Almighty. Zaradusht, on
issuing forth into the abode of existence, laughed aloud at
the moment of his birth,* so that the women of the neigh-
borhood who were there assembled heard the sound of his
laugh, and even his father, Purshasp,



The father of Zardusht said one day to Partar^sh: "Give
me some account of Zardusht's star and its rise; tell me also
why he laughed at the time of his birth," Partariish
replied : " Thy son Zardusht is to be a chief, as all the happy
spheres afford him aid ; this offspring of auspicious career
will conduct the creatures of God in the true way; pro-
mulgate the Zandavasta; destroy the demon and enchanters,
and finally king Gushtasp shall embrace his faith.** This
announcement gave great delight to Purshasp.

At this time there lived an aged saint named Barzinka-
roos, of profound experience and clear discernment ; this
sage having come to the house of Purshasp, entreated that
he might be allowed to bring up Zardusht, and acquire
glory by his education. Purshasp consented to this pro-
posal, and intrusted the infant to the holy sage.



124 THE DABISTAN

When Zardusht had attained his seventh year, Purtarush,
the chief of the magicians, came along with Duransanun to
the child's abode ; and made so great a display of enchant-
ments, terrific and fearful sights, that all the people fled
out of the house ; but Zardusht, through the aid of God,
felt no alarm and moved not, so that the magicians went
away filled with affright and disappointment. After some
time Zardusht became ill, at which news all the magicians
were greatly delighted; their chief Partar6sh came, with
enchantments and medicine mixed up with mina^ * to
Zardusht's pillow and said: ^* The swallowing of this medi-
cine will render thy body tranquil and deliver thee from
pain.^^ The illuminated mind of Zardusht saw through the
machination, and taking the medicine from him, poured it
on the ground, and at the same time telling him about the
mina mixed up with the potion, said: —




Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 12 of 37)