A Zoroastrian Doubt-dispelling Exposition

ŠGV Asha 2015

Asha, Raham (ed.). 2015. šak-ud-gumānīh-vizār. The Doubt-removing book of Mardānfarrox. Paris: Ermān.

The ŠGV is a treatise in which the author intends to present the arguments to refute in detail the alien schools and sects, establish the teaching of the two principles, and lead us to believe the veracity of the Religion, Daēnā Māzdayasni, and that of the teachings of the old Aryan guides, the Paoiryō.t̰kaēša. The complete original Pārsīg text is irretrievably lost, and we only possess its transcription into Pāzand (the vernacular Pārsī language written in Dēn-dibīrīh) and its translation into Sanskrit, made by the Pārsī high-priest Neryōsang Dhaval. The title of this treatise is: šak-ud-gumānīh-vizār ‘doubt-removing’. Notice that Neryōsang has erroneously transliterated this name into Pāzand and Sanskrit , and now the treatise is known among the “scholars” by its mis-spelt title. As for Mardānfarrox, his text incarnates the gumānvizār who dispels the doubts of the Mazdayasnian neophytes to show the path of truth and measure (Av. aṣa). The path of Aṣa is only one, while the non-path of druj is multiple; it takes many forms and engenders different sects and schisms. He deals with two types of opponents: One, gnostic dualism, viz. Manichaeism and Neoplatonism – unfortunately the book breaks off abruptly at 16.111 before the critical portion of his discussion of the tenets of the Manichaeans is completed. Two, Monism, either atheistic, i. e., the schools of the Dahrī, the sophists and the atheists, and theistic, i. e., the monotheistic orthodoxies of Christianity, rabbinic Judaism and Islam. Notice that the Magi consider Christianity as “second Judaism” (didīgar jehūdīh) and Islam as “third Judaism” (sidīgar jehūdīh).