FAQs : What's new : Site Map : Awards : About Us : Contact : Home  
Search this site:

On Innate Wisdom, Denkart

'The Good Religion is Innate Wisdom (or reason): and the forms and virtues of Innate Wisdom are of the same stock as Innate Wisdom itself. These forms and virtues are begotten of Vohuman (the Good Mind) and the Bounteous Spirit (Ohrmazd).

False religion is ruinous heresy: and the forms and vices of ruinous heresy are of the same vile stock as ruinous heresy itself. These forms and vices of ruinous heresy are misbegotten of Akoman (the Evil Mind) and the Destructive Spirit.

For the original seed of the Good Religion is the Bounteous Spirit, and the original seed of false religion is the Destructive Spirit. The Good Religion is manifested in wisdom, conformity with wisdom, in that which has wisdom for its matter and wisdom for its form, in wise action, in good progress that conforms to wisdom, in light which is analogous to wisdom, and in all the benefit that accrues to the good creations in virtue of its being begotten of the Bounteous Spirit.

False religion is manifested in heresy, conformity with heresy, in that which has heresy for its matter and heresy for its form, in heretical (self-opinionated) action, in evil progress that conforms to heresy, in darkness which is analogous to heresy, and in the universal harm that accrues to the good creations in virtue of its being misbegotten of the Destructive Spirit.

(Now we must speak of) the spheres of influence (ravakih) of both. In its pure state (i.e. uncontaminated with evil) the sphere of influence of the Good Religion consists in its inhering, by its goodness and purity, [in] the Amahraspands where Innate Wisdom exercises absolute sovereignty, and where ruinous heresy is altogether without jurisdiction. The sphere of influence of false religion is among the demons where ruinous heresy exercises full sovereignty and from where Innate Wisdom is most remote.

In the mixed state (the sphere of influence of) both is in the material world in which Innate Wisdom and ruinous heresy struggle for supremacy. In the mixed state the degree in which Innate Wisdom is strong and sovereign corresponds exactly to the degree in which the Good Religion is accepted, believed, and propagated, the gods reign, the good is great, and the temporal world prospers. (So too) the degree in which ruinous heresy is strong and great corresponds exactly to the degree in which false religion is accepted and spread abroad, the demons hold violent sway, evil men are great, and the temporal world declines.

(Now we must speak of) the fruits of these influences. The fruit of the Good Religion is the benefit of creatures, that of false religion is their harm.

The fruit of the benefit (brought) by the Good Religion whose sphere of influence in the pure state is among the Amahraspands, consists in the protection (extended) by them to creatures [against] the disruption caused by the Aggressor, the emanation of the power of their goodness into human nature by guarding the will in purity, by disciplining (anitan) the character, by establishing in man his very humanity which is his salvation and his adornment, by increasing and multiplying virtue in the world, and by ordering the world in goodness.

(The fruits and benefits of the Good Religion) whose sphere of influence in the mixed state is in Man consist in the strengthening of good character and of the virtues in Man, in the overcoming and conquest of the Lie, in the sanctification (kirpakenitan) of (Man's) actions so that his soul may be saved, in its total diffusion throughout the human race, the defeat of the hosts of the Lie, the destruction (and expulsion) of the Aggressor from creation, and the gift of immortality and sovereignty in freedom to all the good creation.

The fruit of the harm of false religion whose evil sphere of influence in the pure state is among the demons, consists in their puring out adversity in order to destroy the material world and to damage creatures. And (the fruit of the harm of false religion) whose sphere of influence in the mixed state is in Man, consists in the strengthening of the vices and weakening of the virtues, in the destruction of Man's very humanity and in sowing devilry in him, in the vitiating of his actions and the damnation of his soul, in doing damage to the earth and in laying it waste by injustice through the corruption of Man's humanity by devilry. Injustice gives strength to the demons in their ruining of the material world. Were evil allowed to run its course, unmixed and wholly unrestrained, and were goodness to be annihilated in the world (completely), it would mean that creation, in such a state of total evil unmixed with goodness, could not exist or endure even for a moment.'

The essence of the Good Religion, Denkart

'The essence of the Good Religion is the Wisdom of Ohrmazd, and his wisdom (consists in) bestowing, knowing, and doing. Its matter is omniscience, righteousness (truth) towards all things, and giving to all things what is proper to them: this is the character of Ohrmazd. Its function is to heal creation. Its operation is summed up in recognizing by knowledge the potentialities that are created in things, and by action in putting them to their proper use.

Its power to act consists in putting the potentialities which are created in things to their proper use, in removing the corruption which is inherent in creatures owing to their being mixed with the Aggressive Power, and in healing creatures both materially and spiritually. The benefit (derived from) its quantitative knowledge (of particulars) and from its operations in time is its (continuous) forward movement and its control (of the world) for the duration of the millennia (which leads) up to the final Rehabilitation. By recognizing the potentialities that are in things, by putting the whole creation to its full use through action, and by healing it (and saving it) from the Adversary, it attains to the eternal order, perfect, entire, and full of bliss.'

The religion as the Mean, Denkart

'The Religion of the worshippers of Ohrmazd is Wisdom (danakih). Its being is from the Mean which is the essence of the Religion and the opposite of which is excess and deficiency. Of the antagonists of Wisdom excess is the related opposite and deficiency the contrary opposite. Because noble and right knowledge belongs to the Good Religion the (qualities) most hospitable to it are chiefly faith and knowledge. All (necessary knowledge) about the being of the Religion of the worshippers of Ohrmazd and about what one who professes that Religion should know in the sphere of thought, word, and deed, and about anything that may not have been codified(?), is revealed through the being and manifestation of the Religion.'


The usefulness of all actions and things is through the Mean. They are spoilt and made ineffective by excess and deficiency. The Mean is under the control of the Innate Wisdom of the Creator (operating) in his creatures. Lack of order is specifically excess and deficiency, diabolical heresy, the opposite (pityarak) of Innate Wisdom. Whenever the divine Innate Wisdom triumphs over diabolical heresy among men, the Mean and order are victorious, excess and deficiency are weakened, and creation prospers. So far as men are concerned the Creator (Ohrmazd) made Innate Wisdom supreme in the King (dahyupat) so that he might vanquish heresy, the most violent Lie, thereby, and by munificience backed by physical force and by good government of men might arouse their innate wisdom after it had been extinguished by heresy so that their minds might be open to reasonable advice and that order and the Mean might be spread among them and that creation might be well governed.'

The Religion in Action, Denkart

'The action of the Good Religion of the worshippers of Ohrmazd is summed up in the bringing of the excess and deficiency caused by the Aggressor in creation back to the Mean, and in the salvation and comfort of all creation. And since the Creator Ohrmazd sent the Religion of the worshippers of Ohrmazd for the purpose of vanquishing the Aggressor and of bringing comfort to his creation, and since his will is to vanquish the Aggressor and to perfect his creatures, his total Wisdom, though it (appears as) the individual direction of individual creatures, is summed up in one thing, the all-powerful Mean. The Aggressor, (on the other hand,) disrupts creation by means of two (weapons) which contain the whole power of the Lie, -excess and deficiency, the one being a tendency to go beyond the Mean, the other being a tendency to lag behind it. Both bring death and destruction on the creation of Ohrmazd. When creation is brought back to the Mean in cases where there is excess, or brought forward to the Mean in cases where there is deficiency, then does the Religion of the worshippers of Ohrmazd, in its wisdom, save all things (lit. action) from all evil and bring them back to a total goodness and a perfect equilibrium (datakih). So have the ancient sages said when expounding the Good Religion that the Religion of Ohrmazd is one single word, the Mean, and that the religion of Ahriman is two words, excess and deficiency.'

The fruits of the Religion, Denkart

'The original Word of the Good Religion is that all good comes from the Creator and that no evil comes from him: in this is contained all the good that creatures enjoy from the original creation till the final Rehabilitation. Thus from belief in this original Word of the Good Religion proceeds the formation of character, from the formation of character the Mean: from the Mean is justice born, from justice good thoughts, good words, and good deeds; from good thoughts, good words, and good deeds the welfare of Man. By the welfare of Man are the gods well pleased and strengthened and the demons distressed and vanquished. When the gods are well pleased and strengthened and the demons distressed and vanquished, the spiritual world is made straight and the material world brought into order. When the spiritual world is thus made straight and the material world put in order, creation is ripe for the final Rehabilitation and merge into it, the Rehabilitation is brought about and all creation is administered in purity and goodness.

The original word of false religion is that evil comes from the Creator: in this is contained all the evil that creatures suffer from the original creation till the final Rehabilitation. Thus from being beguiled by this original word of false religion proceeds the corruption of character, from corruption of character excess and deficiency, [from] excess and deficiency injustice, [from injustice] evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds, and from evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds, the distress of Man. By the distress of Man are the demons rejoiced and the gods distressed. When the demons are rejoiced and the gods distressed, then are the demons emboldened to upset and disturb the temporal world and to do harm and injury to the material world.'

Religion and kingship or church and state, Denkart

'The Good Religion is the mother of Innate Wisdom and is adorned with Wisdom. Pre-eminently it stores up knowledge of higher things, preserves the mystery of the good spiritual world, [worships] the highest God as God, the Eternal, the All-good, Creator and Preserver. For in conformity with it is praise. Its basis is the nobility inherent in the Iranian (erih), its matter is the Mean, its essence order (datastan), its home holiness, and its helpmate kingship. Those who profess it form their characters, increase in wisdom, develop their human dignity (khwarr) in co-operation with kingship, Religion's helpmate. (Through them) all men hold themselves erect, the times are good, the world prospers, the Aggressor is vanquished, and creation sees salvation. In it (the Religion) is the priesthood, the warrior caste, the caste of husbandmen, and the caste of artisans, the worship of Ohrmazd, increase (dahmah) and (all) other excellencies, virtues, and goodness.

False religion is the mother of heresy and the opponent of wisdom. It stores up false incantations, preserves the dreadful mystery of the evil spiritual world, represents demons in the guise of gods, worships 'Lies' under the names of gods, propagates disorder in the name of order. Excess and deficiency are its matter, deceit its lair, tyranny its helpmate. Those who profess it ruin their own character, overthrow their own reason, diminish their human dignity in co-operation with tyranny, the helpmate of (false religion). Through it are all men beguiled, the times are evil, the world suffers adversity, the Aggressor is strengthened, good creatures are made to reel. In it (false religion) is false priesthood (ahramoghih), tyranny, wolfishness, deception, suffering, worship of the demons, diminution, and (all) other imperfections, sins, and evil.'


'The thing against which the Destructive Spirit struggles most violently is the most coming together in full force of the dignities (khwarr) of kingship and the Good Religion in one person, because such a conjunction must destroy him. For if the highest power of the dignity of the Good Religion had been joined to the highest power of the dignity of kingship in Yam, or if the highest power of the dignity [of kingship] as it existed in Yam had been joined to the highest power of the dignity of the Good Religion in Zoroaster, then the Destructive Spirit would have met with swift destruction, creation would have escaped from the Aggressor, and the desired Rehabilitation would have been brought about in the (two) worlds. (For) whenever in this world piety is linked with good rule in one single pious and good ruler, then is vice weakened and virtue increased, opposition diminishes and co-operation augments, there is more of holiness and less of wickedness among men, the good prosper and prevail and the wicked are straitened and deprived of sovereignty, the world is prosperous, all creation rejoices, and the common people are well off; and by all these things is the world well ordered and adorned. When these two dignities meet in one man, then will the Aggressor be completely vanquished and creation saved and purged. From this the final Rehabilitation proceeds. The Good Religion reveals that these two dignities will meet together in Soshyans.'

Abstracted from : The Teachings of the Magi, R.C. Zaehner, London, 1956

Page:     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10     Previous     See Also     Top     Home

Copyright © 2001-2017, Farvardyn Project Optimized 1024X768 with Internet Explorer 5+