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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 p. 207b 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 p. 208b 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.

Next: Chapter XVI