Sacred-Texts  Zoroastrian Texts 

Dadestan-i Denig ('Religious Decisions')

Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East, volume 24, Oxford University Press, 1880.

Concerning this text, Dastur Firoze M. Kotwal and James Boyd (in their 1982 book A Guide to the Zoroastrian Religion) write,

"a Pahlavi work of the ninth century A.C. which contains answers given by Dastur Manushchihr i Goshnajaman of Pars and Kerman, Iran, to 92 queries put to him by his co-religionists."

SOME chapters of the inquiries which Mitro-khurshed, son of Aturo-mahan, and others of the good religion made of the glorified (anoshako-ruban) Manushchihar, son of Yudan-Yim, and the replies given by him in explanation.

Chapter 1. Introductory
Chapter 2. Why a righteous man is better than all creatures, spiritual or worldly
Chapter 3. Why a righteous man is created, and how he should act
Chapter 4. Why a righteous man is great
Chapter 5. How temporal distress is to be regarded
Chapter 6. Why the good suffer more than the bad in this world
Chapter 7. Why we are created, and what we ought to do
Chapter 8. Whether good works done for the dead differ in effect from those ordered or done by themselves
Chapter 9. How far they differ
Chapter 10. The growth of good works during life
Chapter 11. Whether the growth of a good work be as commendable as the original good work
Chapter 12. Whether it eradicates sin equally well
Chapter 13. Whether one is made responsible for all his sins and good works separately at the last account, or only for their balance
Chapter 14. The angels who take account of sin and good works, and how sinners are punished
Chapter 15. The exposure of a corpse does not occasion the final departure of life, and is meritorious
Chapter 16. Whether the soul be aware of, or disturbed by, the corpse being gnawed
Chapter 17. Reasons for the exposure of corpses
Chapter 18. How the corpse and bones are to be disposed of
Chapter 19. Whether departed souls can see Ohrmazd and Ahriman
Chapter 20. Where the souls of the righteous and wicked go
Chapter 21. The Daitih peak, the Chinwad bridge, and the two paths of departed souls
Chapter 22. Whether the spirits are distressed when a righteous man dies
Chapter 23. How the life departs from the body
Chapter 24. Where a righteous soul stays for the first three nights after death, and what it does next
Chapter 25. Where a wicked soul stays for the first three nights after death, and what it does next
Chapter 26. The nature of heaven and its pleasures
Chapter 27. The nature of hell and its punishments
Chapter 28. Why ceremonies in honor of Srosh are performed for the three days after a death
Chapter 29. Why Srosh must be reverenced separately from other angels
Chapter 30. Why three sacred cakes are consecrated at dawn after the third night from a death
Chapter 31. How a righteous soul goes to heaven, and what it finds and does there
Chapter 32. How a wicked soul goes to hell, and what it finds and suffers there
Chapter 33. The position and subdivisions of hell
Chapter 34. The two ways from the Daitih peak; that of the righteous to heaven, and that of the wicked to hell
Chapter 35. The continuance of mankind in the world till the resurrection
Chapter 36. The preparers of the renovation of the universe
Chapter 37. The contest of the good and evil spirits from the creation till the resurrection, and the condition of creation after the resurrection, with references to Christianity and Judaism
Chapter 38. The effect of doing more good works than are necessary for attaining to the supreme heaven
Chapter 39. Reasons for wearing the sacred thread girdle [kusti]
Chapter 40. On the sacred shirt [sudra] and thread-girdle, grace before and after eating, and cleansing the mouth before the after-grace
Chapter 41. The sin of apostasy, and how to atone for it
Chapter 42. The good works of him who saves others from apostasy
Chapter 43. The distance at which the fire can be addressed, the use of a lamp, and the proper order of the propitiatory dedications, when consecrating a sacred cake [dron]
Chapter 44. Whether a skillful priest who is employed to perform ceremonies, but is not officially the priest of the district, should be paid a regular stipend
Chapter 45. The separate duties of priests and disciples
Chapter 46. When a priest can abandon the priesthood to obtain a livelihood
Chapter 47. Whether a priest who knows the Avesta, or one who understands the commentary, be more entitled to the foremost place at a sacred feast
Chapter 48. The advantage and proper mode of celebrating the ceremonial
Chapter 49. Whether it be lawful to buy corn and keep it long, so as to raise the price for the sake of profit
Chapter 50. Whether it be lawful to sell wine to foreigners and infidels
Chapter 51. The sin of drunkenness, and what constitutes immoderate drinking
Chapter 52. Whether a man who bargains to deliver wheat in a month, and takes a deposit, is bound to deliver the wheat if its market-price has risen enormously
Chapter 53. Whether it be lawful to sell cattle to those of a different religion
Chapter 54. Whether a man without a son can give away his property to one daughter on his death-bed; the laws of inheritance, and when an adopted son must be appointed, in such a case
Chapter 55. Whose duty it is to order the ceremonies after a death
Chapter 56. The laws of adoption and family-guardianship
Chapter 57. Those who are fit, or unfit, for adoption
Chapter 58. The three kinds of adoption
Chapter 59. The least amount of property that requites the appointment of an adopted son
Chapter 60. The sin of not appointing an adopted son, or of appointing a dishonest one
Chapter 61. The merit and demerit of family-guardianship
Chapter 62. The laws of inheritance
Chapter 63. Whether it be lawful to seize property from foreigners and infidels
Chapter 64. The origin of Gayomard, Mashye, and Mashyane
Chapter 65. The origin of next-of-kin marriage
Chapter 66. Regarding the cost of religious rites, and whether a priest's fees can be reduced when others will take less
Chapter 67. The cause of the rainbow
Chapter 68. The cause of the phases of the moon
Chapter 69. The cause of eclipses
Chapter 70. The causes of river-beds
Chapter 71. What things happen through destiny, and what through exertion
Chapter 72. The seven heinous sinners, and the necessity of avoiding him who commits unnatural intercourse
Chapter 73. Whether the stench of such intercourse reaches the sky
Chapter 74. Whether that stench disturbs the archangels
Chapter 75. Whether the angels raise such a sinner from the dead at the resurrection
Chapter 76. Whether it be a good work to kill such a sinner
Chapter 77. Why such intercourse is a heinous sin
Chapter 78. Why adultery is heinous, and how one can atone for it
Chapter 79. The sin of not repeating the full grace before drinking (when one is able to do so), and how one can atone for it
Chapter 80. Regarding him who does not order ceremonies
Chapter 81. About the ceremonies for the living soul
Chapter 82. About him who pays for ceremonies and him who takes the money without performing them
Chapter 83. Whether a priest must undertake all religious rites
Chapter 84. Whether gifts to the priesthood for ceremonies can be diminished or increased
Chapter 85. The advantages of increasing such gifts
Chapter 86. The harm of diminishing such gifts
Chapter 87. Why it is good to give such gifts
Chapter 88. About the cost of religious rites in Pars
Chapter 89. Whether when a man has once resolved to go into Pars, with gifts for the priesthood, it be lawful for him to send another man with the gifts
Chapter 90. The seven immortal rulers in the region of Khwaniras before the coming of the good religion
Chapter 91. The nature and material of the sky
Chapter 92. The course and benefit of the water of Aredvisur
Chapter 93. Tishtar's seizing of water from the ocean to rain it upon the earth, and his conflict with Apaosh
Chapter 94. Conclusion