Artāy Virāf - Chapter 4 - The spirit helpers of the dead
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
THE BOOK OF ARDA VIRAF - Translated by Prof. Martin Haug, of the University of Munich, revised from the MS. of a Parsi priest Hoshangji. From The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East, Volume VII: Ancient Persia, ed. Charles F. Horne, Ph.D., copyright 1917.
Chapter 4.1. 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: 'Be thou welcome, Arda Viraf, although thou hast come when it is not thy time.'
(5) I said: 'I am a messenger.'
(6) And then the victorious Srosh the pious, and Adar the angel, took hold of my hand.
(7) Taking the first footstep with the good thought, and the second footstep with the good word, and the third footstep with the good deed, I came up to the Chinwad bridge, the very wide and strong and created by Ohrmazd.
Chapter 4.8. 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:
(11) 'Ushta ahmai yahmai ushta kahmaichit'; that is, 'Well is he by whom that which is his benefit becomes the benefit of any one else.'
(12) And in those three nights, as much benefit and comfort and enjoyment came to it,
(13) as all the benefit which it beheld in the world;
(14) just as a man who, whilst he was in the world, was more comfortable and happy and joyful through it.
Chapter 4.15. In the third dawn, that soul of the pious departed 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.
Chapter 4.18. And there stood before him his own religion and his own deeds, in the graceful form of a damsel, as a 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.
Chapter 4.21. And the soul of the pious asked that damsel
(22) thus: 'Who art thou? and what person art thou? than whom, in the world of the living, any damsel more elegant, and of more beautiful body than thine, was never seen by me.'
Chapter 4.23. To him replied she who was his own religion and his own deeds,
(24) thus: 'I am thy actions, O youth of good thoughts, of good words, of good deeds, of good religion.
(25) It is on account of thy will and actions that I am as great and good and sweet-scented and triumphant and undistressed as appears to thee.
(26) For in the world the Gathas were chanted by thee, and the good water was consecrated by thee, and the fire tended by thee;
(27) and the pious man who came from far, and who was from near, was honored by thee.
(28) Though I have been stout, I am made stouter through thee;
(29) and though I have been virtuous, I am made more virtuous through thee;
(30) and though I have been worthy, I am made more worthy through thee;
(31) and though I have been seated on a resplendent throne, I am seated more resplendently through thee;
(32) and though I have been exalted, I am made more exalted through thee;
(33) through these good thoughts and good words and good deeds which thou practicedst.
(34) They honored thee, and the pious man after thee,
(35) in that long worship and communion with Ohrmazd, when thou performedst, for Ohrmazd, worship and proper conversation for a long time.
(36) Peace be from it.'
The source of the experienceZoroastrian
Concepts, symbols and science items
ConceptsCommunication with a Spirit helper
Communication with disembodied souls