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Chapter XIII

1. WHEN the time had come, on the morrow, the king said: I have not slept. All night I was as one burnt with a fever; for thy wondrous words and thy miracles have well nigh turned my judgment upside down.

2. I'hua'Mazda said: Because a man cannot understand a thing, shall he cry out, MIRACLE! Now I declare I have done no miracle; nor hath Zarathustra. Yet to mortals these things are miracles! If so, is not a man a miracle to himself? Is not procreation a miracle?

3. This, then, I have found, O Asha, what man is not accustomed to, he calleth a miracle; after he hath seen a matter frequently, he calleth it natural law. What man hast thou found that comprehendeth the first cause of anything under the sun?

4. Why, then, shall man waste his time in unprofitable research? Is it not wiser that man labor to raise his fellow-men out of misery and darkness, than to gratify his own personal desire for great learning?

5. The king said: Thou reasonest well. And yet, what learned good man hast thou found who will not say: Yea, to do good is a pretty philosophy! And there endeth his aspiration. What, then, can I say, or what canst thou say, that they words will not be barren of fruit?

6. I'hua'Mazda said: Thou art this day king of all the world; nor is there any other kingdom but payeth thee tribute. Whatsoever thou desirest is p. 202b as a law unto all other kingdoms. For that reason am I come unto thee. Yea, thou wert born to this end. Hear, then, the voice of thy God, and thou shalt do that which is good for thy soul and good for all other people.

7. Asha said: Almost am I tempted to accede to thy wishes ere thou hast revealed; but yet hear thou the voice of thy king; what matters it to me about the good of other people? Even if it be proven that great men have souls that live after death, it is not yet proven that the druks have souls also. If they have souls, then heaven must be a stupid place indeed. For thou hast not shown me that man obtaineth wisdom by dying, nor is it reasonable that he should do so. Rather tell me, O Zarathustra, how I may get rid of the world; for of what use is life at most?

8. I'hua'Mazda said: Because thou rejoicest not in thy life, thou perceivest that thy philosophy is deficient, and not that the world is. For I will yet prove to thee that thou art overflowing with happiness. To believe the things I reveal and have faith therein, is to become happy. Then the king answered him, saying: To believe, there is the matter. I declare unto thee, there is not a grain of belief in my heart. How, then, can it grow?

9. I'hua'Mazda said: He who can say, I can think of an All Highest, hath the seed of everlasting life in him. He who liveth the all highest he can; he who thinketh of the All Highest; he who talketh to the All Highest; he who trieth to perceive from the standpoint of the All Highest, quickly transcendeth belief and becometh a very God in faith. He becometh master of himself, and feedeth himself with happiness, even as men feed themselves with bread.

10. Asha said: What wouldst thou have me do? To which I'hua'Mazda said: With the people thou hast greater authority than a God, greater than miracles. Thy decrees are all powerful. Thou shalt have a copy of this book written on stone and cloth, one copy for every sub-kingdom in thy dominions. And thou shalt send it to them with a sword and a serpent, saying to them: Receive ye this book, for it is a Holy Book, the ALL HIGHEST LAW, the I'hua'Mazdian law, the Zarathustrian law, the Ormazdian law. And it shall be a rule and guide unto p. 203b you and your kingdom forever. And every king in the KINGDOM OF THE SUN shall serve one year in living with the poor, carrying the alms-bowl for sacrifices unto Ormazd.

11. And when thou hast sent this decree forth into all the world, thou shalt thyself give up thy kingdom; and thou shalt give to the poor all thy gold and silver and cases, and all thy treasures whatsoever, having nothing left unto thyself but the clothes that cover thee. And thou shalt go and live with the poor, carrying the alms-bowl thyself in the streets of Oas. And of the food thou gatherest in the bowl, thou shalt give the choicest parts to the poor, saying: THIS IS THE SACRIFICE OF THE MANY GIVEN UNTO THEE; EAT YE OF IT, FOR IT IS THE VERY BODY AND BLOOD OF ORMAZD, OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN! But the poorest of all that is in the bowl shall be thy portion.

12. At the end of one year, thou shalt go about preaching the Ormazdian law, commanding the cessation of war and the abandonment of evil, and the acceptance of righteousness.

13. The king said: What canst thou promise me if I do all these things? Then I'hua'Mazda suffered Zarathustra to answer him: He said, NOTHING! Did the Creator ask this, before He made the world? If thou desirest to approach thy Creator, do thou like unto Him. Nor is it my place, nor the angels' place, nor the place of God, to promise thee anything. Thou art not my servant; and thou shalt serve only the Master, All Light (Jehovih).

14. And as I have taught thee, so shalt thou go and teach others, explaining the Ormazdian law.

15. Asha said: Do the Gods in heaven give rewards for good works and sacrifices done on earth? Zarathustra said: He that doeth good works and maketh sacrifices unto Ormazd hath his reward. For it is by this means that the soul of man becometh strong, and especially strong for the first and second resurrections in the next world.

16. Asha said: To be with thee, O Zarathustra, and feast on the wisdom of thy words, I would make any sacrifice. Wilt thou go with me amongst the poor?

17. I'hua'Mazda said: Nay, thou shalt go alone. And for company thou shalt pray to thy Creator, and make songs of praise unto Him, nor think p. 204b no more of thyself than as if thou wert dead.

18. The king said: It is said of mad-men that they think they are not mad. How, then, am I to know but I am mad? Will not the world so adjudge me if I obey thy commandments? And cannot the world judge me better than I can judge myself? It was said of the ancients that Sughdha obsessed old men and weak-hearted women; and it was for that reason Osiris came and slew him. If there be Gods in heaven, as thou sayest, mayst not thou have come to slay Osiris.

19. I'hua'Mazda said: Thou art a great multiplier of arguments; but in all thy speech I have seen nothing that planned the resurrection of men from darkness into light. And is not this the All Highest that man should aim at?

20. Asha said: I am done. Thy judgment is greater than mine. All thou hast commanded of me I will do. From this time forth I will serve only Ormazd, the Creator. Thy God, O Zarathustra, shall be my God. Thy ways shall be my ways. Henceforth I will argue forever on the side of the Creator. And touching all matters, I will first ask myself what I shall say that would be like thy God would say it; and what I shall do that will fulfill the Ormazdian law.

Next: Chapter XIV