Videvdaad – A short explanation
Short Explanation of Videvdaad
Videvdaad is the only complete Nask of the Sassanian Avesta, the sacred book of
the Zoroastrian religion, that has been transmitted to us in its complete Sassanian version.
According to the Denkard the books of the Avesta were divided in three categories:
Gathic, Ritual and Legal. The legal text are divided into the Avestan: The law of Zarathushtra (data- zarathushtrahe) and The Law of Videvdaad (data- vidaeuua-). The latter handled mainly on prescriptions against nasu- “corpse” and the demoness concerning with it (druj- nasu-).
Therefore, the Nask Videvdaad consisted in originally only of prescriptions in order to remove impurity from the pure elements of the creation of Ahura Mazda. However, through many centuries of transmission, another texts of different matters have been incorporated to it, such as the ;
– mythical creation of the sixteen lands and their counter creations (V 1),
– Yima’s mythical kingship and his protection of the whole creation (V 2),
– the goddess of the earth (V 3),
– contracts and punishment for breaking them (V 4),
– proper dogs care (V 13),
– sin for killing an otter and its atonement (V 14) ,
– Thrita and the origin of the medicine (V 20)
– and the origin of the diseases (V 22).
On the other hand only V 5-12, V 16-17, partly V 18-19 and V 20 deal with different themes related to impurity and its purification and the removing of the evil forces.
Thus the Sassanian text of Videvdaad which has arrived to our time has 22chapters (phlv. fragard), but not all of them seem to have belonged in origin to the Videvdaad Nask.
Dr. Pallan Ichaporia,D.Phil, Ph.D.
Teaching Assistant to Prof Helmut Humbach