Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": THE SACREDNESS OF AGRICULTURE:

AHURA-MAZDA INSTRUCTS ZARATHUSTRA


('Vidivdat,' Fargard III)

'Unhappy is the land that has long lain unsown with the seed of the sower and wants a good husbandman, like a well-shapen maiden who has long gone childless and wants a good husband.

'He who would till the earth, 0 Spitama Zarathustra! with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto him will she bring forth plenty of fruit: even as it were a lover sleeping with his bride on her bed; the bride will bring forth children, the earth will bring forth plenty of fruit.

'He who would till the earth, 0 Spitama Zarathustra! with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto him thus says the Earth - "O thou man! who dost till me with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, here shall I ever go or, bearing, bringing forth all manner of food, bring corn first to thee."

'He who does not till the earth, 0 Spitama Zarathustra! with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, unto him thus says the Earth: 'O thou man ! who dost not till me with the left arm and the right, with the right arm and the left, ever shalt thou stand
at the door of the stranger, among those who beg for bread; the refuse and the crumbs of the bread are brought unto thee, brought by those who have profusion of wealth."'

[ Zarathustra asked:] 0 maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What is the food that fills the Religion of Mazda?

Ahura Mazda answered: 'It is sowing corn again and again, 0 Spitama Zarathustra!

'He who sows corn, sows righteousness; he makes the Religion of Mazda walk, he suckles the Religion of Mazda; as well as he could do with a hundred men's feet, with a thousand women's breasts, with ten thousand sacrificial formulas.

'When barley was created; the Daevas started up, when it grew, then fainted the Daevas' hearts; when the knots came, the Daevas groaned; when the ear came, the Daevas flew away. In that house the Daevas stay, wherein wheat perishes. It is though red hot iron- were turned about in their throats, when there is plenty of corn.'


Translation by James Darmesteter, The Zend-Avesta, part 1, in Sacred Books of the East, iv (2nd ed.; Oxford, 1895), pp. 29-31

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