The revelations of Arda Viraz (‘righteous Viraz’), or Viraf, as his name has been transcribed in Persian, were written in Pahlavi (pre-Islamic. The Main Argument is Revolved around Arda Wiraz Namag. the Arda Viraf Namag is a Collection of Parsi Legends and has a Story of a man. And as the two oldest and most valuable MSS. of the Arda Viraf namak are in Europe, the one being- deposited in the Uni- versity Library al Copenhagen (Xo.

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Ancient Persiaed.

He has sometimes been connected with a religious scholar who wrote commentaries on the Avesta during the Sasanian Empire. His book narrates a vision of heaven and hell which Viraf saw in an inspired dream or vision. Most of the brief book is given here, except where the details of hell become too bestial, too coarsely sordid for modern taste. The entire vision is truly Dantesque; and while we do not know its age, we can say confidently that it is several centuries older than the work of Dante.

So profound, even to this day, is the Parsis’ faith in the reality of Viraf’s vision, that when the work is read in their religious assemblies, the men weep and the women cry out in horror over its pictures of the damned. It has certainly a powerful influence in restraining the Parsis from sin. Passages in [] such as chapter and section headings supplied by JHP.

Encyclopædia Iranica

These are primarily intended to facilitate electronic searches. I have also supplied the portions censured by Horne from the following edition: The book of Arda Viraf: Library University of Chicago Uniform Title: Central Book Depot, Pahlavi literature Pahlavi literature — Translations into English. English literature — Translations from Pahlavi. Hell — Hinduism [sic Zoroastrianism] Contributors: Hoshangji Jamaspji Asa, Haug, Martin, West, Edward William, Other Titles: Text in Pahlavi characters and Roman transcription.

University of Chicago Location: Joseph Regenstein Library Shelving Location: Regenstein Stacks Call No: They say that, once upon a time, the pious Zartosht made the religion, which he had received, current in the world; 2 and till the completion of years, the religion was in purity, and men were without doubts. But afterward, the accursed evil spirit, the wicked one, in order to made men doubtful of this religion, 4 instigated the accursed Alexander, the Roman, who was dwelling in Egypt, so that he came to the country of Iran with severe cruelty and war and devastation; 5 he also slew the ruler of Iran, 6 and destroyed the metropolis and empire, and made them desolate.

And this religion, namely, all the Avesta and Zand, written upon prepared cow-skins, and with gold ink, was deposited in the archives, in Stakhar Papakan, 8 and the hostility of the evil-destined, wicked Ashemok, the evil-doer, brought onward Alexander, the Roman, who was dwelling in Egypt, and he burned them up. And after that, there were confusion and contention among the people of the country of Iran, one with the other. And afterward, there were other magi and Dasturs of the religion; 20 and some of their number were loyal and apprehensive.

Afterward also, with the concurrence of the Dasturs of the religion, they called all the people to the residence of the Frobag fire. And afterward, those seven men sat down; 34 and, from the seven, three were selected; and from the three, one only, named Viraf; 35 and some call him the Nishapurian.

And afterward, the lots of those Mazdayasnians and me were drawn; 43 the first time vitaf the word ‘well-thought,’ and the second time with the word ‘well-said,’ and the third time with the word ‘well-done’; each of the three lots came to Viraf. And that Viraf had seven sisters, 2 and all those seven sisters were as wives of Viraf; 3 they had also learned the religion of heart, and recited the prayers. And afterward, those Mazdayasnians, when they heard those words, pacified those seven sisters, 18 and said thus: And then Viraf joined his hands on his breast before the Mazdayasnians, and said to them 22 zrda And afterward, those Dasturs of the religion selected, in the dwelling of the spirit, a place which was thirty footsteps from the good.

Those Dasturs of the religion and the seven sisters were occupied, seven days and nights, with the ever-burning fire and fumigations; and they recited the Avesta and Zand of the religious ritual, 33 and recapitulated the Nasks, and chanted the Gathas, and kept watch in the dark.

And the soul of Viraf went, from the body, to the Chinwad bridge of Chakat-i-Daitik, 2 and came back the seventh day, and went into the body. And those sisters, with the Dasturs of the religion and the Mazdayasnians, when they saw Viraf, became pleased and joyful; 6 and they said thus: And afterward, the Dasturs of the religion said 13 thus: Then Viraf spoke thus: Then the Dasturs of the religion assented thus: He also directed thus: And he ordered him to write 2 thus: In that first night, Srosh the pious and Adar the angel came to meet me, 3 and they bowed to me, and spoke 4 thus: When I came up there, 9 I saw a soul of the departed, whilst in those first three nights the soul was seated on the top of the body, 10 and uttered those words of the Gatha: In the third dawn, that soul of the pious adra into the sweet scent of trees; 16 and he considered that scent which passed by his nose among the living; 17 and the air of that fragrance comes from the more southern side, from the direction of God.


And there stood before him his own religion and his own deeds, in the graceful form of a damsel, as virwf beautiful appearance, that is, grown up in virtue; 19 with prominent breasts, that is, her breasts swelled downward, which is charming to the heart and soul; 20 whose form was as brilliant, as the sight of it was the more well-pleasing, the observation of it more desirable.

And the soul of the pious asked that damsel 22 thus: To him replied she who was his own ardq and his own deeds, 24 thus: Afterward, the width of that Chinwad bridge became again nine javelin-lengths.

And afterward, Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, took hold of my hand, 7 and said arra I came to a place, 2 and I saw the souls of several people, who remain in the same position.

Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, said 5 thus: And afterward, I virzf forth the first footstep to the star track, on Humat, the place where good thoughts humat are received with hospitality. And I asked Srosh the pious, viraff Adar the angel, thus: Srosh the vviraf, and Adar the angel, said 6 thus: When I put forth the second footstep, it was to Hukht of the moon track, the place where good words hukht find hospitality; 2 and I saw a great assembly of the pious.

When I put forth the virsf footstep on Huvarsht, there where good deeds huvarsht are received with hospitality, there I arrived. Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, said 7 thus: I put forth the fourth footstep unto the radiance of Garothman, the all-glorious; 2 and the souls of the departed came to meet us, and they asked a blessing, and offered praise, 3 and they spoke thus: And after that, Adar, virwf angel of the fire of Virav, came forward, saluted me, 7 and said thus: Then I saluted, and said 9 thus: Then Adar, the angel of the fire of Ohrmazd, said 12 thus: And he led me on to a place, and showed the blue water of a large tank, 14 and said: Afterward, arose Vohuman, the archangel, from a throne made of gold, 2 and he took hold of my hand; with the words ‘good thought’ and ‘good word’ and ‘good virqf he brought me into the midst of Ohrmazd and the archangels and other holy ones, 3 and the guardian angels of Zartosht Spitama, Kai-Vishtasp, Jamasp, Isadvastar the son of Zartosht, and other upholders and leaders of the religion, 4 than whom I ardz never seen any one more brilliant and excellent.

And Vohuman said 6 thus: And he said to vriaf thus: Then Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, took hold of my hand; 14 and I was led by them from place to place. I also came to a place, and saw 2 the souls of the liberal, who walked adorned, 3 and were above the other souls, in all splendor; 4 and Ohrmazd ever exalts the souls of the liberal, who are brilliant and elevated and mighty.

I also saw the souls of those who, in the world, chanted the Gathas and used the prescribed prayers yashts8 and were steadfast in the good religion of the Mazdayasnians, which Ohrmazd taught to Zartosht; 9 when I advanced, they were in gold-embroidered and silver-embroidered clothes, the most embellished of all clothing. I also saw a soul of those who contract next-of-kin marriages, in material-fashioned splendor, 12 when the lofty splendor of its residence ever increased thereby.

I also saw the souls of good rulers and monarchs, 15 who ever srda their greatness, goodness, power, and triumph thereby, 16 when they walk in splendor, in their golden trousers. I also saw the soul of the great and of truthful speakers, aarda walked in lofty splendor with great glory. I also saw the souls of those women of excellent thoughts, of excellent words, of excellent deeds, and submissive to control, who consider their husbands as lords, 2 in clothing embroidered with gold and silver, and set with jewels.


And Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, said 5 thus: I also saw the souls of performers of the Yazishn ceremony, and wrda those who know the scriptures by heart, splendid among the lofty and exalted among the great.

I also saw the souls of those who solemnized the vifaf ritual of the religion, and performed and directed the worship of God, 4 ada were seated above the other souls; 5 and their good works stood as high as heaven.

I also saw the souls of warriors, whose walk was in the supremest pleasure and joyfulness, and vitaf with that of kings; 8 and the well-made arms and equipments of adda heroes were made of gold, studded with jewels, well-ornamented and all embroidered; 9 and they were in wonderful trousers with much pomp and power and triumph. Qrda also saw the souls of those who killed many noxious creatures khrafstras in the world; 12 and the prosperity of the waters and sacred fires, and fires in general, and trees, and the prosperity also of the earth was ever increased thereby; and they were exalted and adorned.

I also saw the souls of agriculturists, in a splendid place, and glorious and thick majestic clothing; vigaf as they stood, and offered praise, before the spirits of water and earth, trees and cattle; 16 and they utter thanksgiving and praise and benediction; 17 their throne also is great, and the place they occupy is good.

I also saw the souls of artisans who, in the world, served their rulers ara chieftains; 20 as they saw on thrones which were well-carpeted and great, splendid and embellished.

Book of Arda Viraf

I also saw giraf souls of shepherds, by whom, in the world, quadrupeds and sheep were employed and fed, 2 and preserved from the wolf and thief and tyrannical man. I also saw many golden thrones, fine carpets and cushions decked with rich cloth, 10 on which are seated the souls of householders and justices, who were heads of village families, and exercised mediation and authority, 11 and made a desolate place prosperous; 12 they also brought many conduits, streams, and fountains for the improvement of tillage and cultivation, and the advantage of creatures.

I also saw the souls of the faithful, the teachers and inquirers, in the greatest gladness on the splendid throne. I also saw the friendly souls of interceders and peaceseekers, 19 who ever increased thereby their brilliance, which was like the stars and moon and sun; 20 and they ever walked agreeably in the light of the atmosphere. I also saw the pre-eminent world of the pious, which is the all-glorious light of space, much perfumed with sweet basil, all-bedecked, all-admired, and splendid, full of glory and every joy and every pleasure, 22 with which no one is satiated.

Afterward, Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, took hold of my hand, and I went thence onward. And I asked thus: I came back again to the Chinwad bridge. Afterward, a stinking cold wind comes to meet him. Then that wicked soul spoke thus: To him she spoke thus: Afterward, that soul of the wicked virat the first footstep on Dush-humat and the second footstep on Dush-hukt, and the third on Vidaf and with the fourth footstep he ran to hell. Afterward, Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, took hold of my hand, 2 so that I went on unhurt.

I came to a place, and I saw the soul of a man, 2 through the fundament of which soul, as it were a vkraf, like a beam, went in, and came forth out of the mouth; 3 and many other snakes ever seized all the limbs. And I inquired of Srosh the pious, and Adar the ard, 5 thus: I came to a place, and I saw the soul of a woman, 2 to whom they ever gave to eat cup after cup of the impurity and filth of men.

The Book of Arda Viraf

I also saw the soul of a man, 2 the skin of whose head they ever widen out, and with a cruel death they ever kill him. I also saw the soul of a man, 2 into whose jaws they ever pour the impurity and menstrual discharge of women, 3 and he ever virad and ate his own seemly child.

I also saw the soul of a man 2 who, because of hunger and thirst, ever cried thus: