body in the urine of the bull or cow, and afterwards in water. In cases of very serious ceremonial defilement, this urine (gomez) is even drunk. Animal sacrifices used once to be offered, on the tops of mountains especially, but this practice has long ceased. Offerings of homa-juice, bread, flowers, fruits such as dates and pomegranates, fresh milk, and pomegranate leaves are made. The so-called Barashnum ceremony lasts for nine nights and cleanses away defilement.

For three days after a man's death verses of the Avesta are recited and other ceremonies are performed in order to protect the body from evil spirits. Yet it is believed that, as soon as a man is dead, an evil spirit (druj درج) enters his body, and has to be expelled by bringing into the room a dog with four eyes, and making the animal look at the corpse. As animals of this kind are rare, modern Zoroastrians use a white dog instead. Prayers are daily offered for the deceased. On the fourth day the body is carried to the dakhmah and there exposed to be devoured by vultures.

On the fourth day after death the spirits of the dead have to cross the Chinvat-bridge, which word in Arabic has been changed into sira (صراط). This bridge is narrow and difficult for the unjust, but wide for the just. They are then judged by Mithra, Rashnu and Serosh. Rashnu weighs their good and bad deeds in a balance. Bahman conducts


the soul of the just man to Hormazd, who admits him into the abode of light and glory, saying to him: 'Greeting to thee: well hast thou come: from that perishable world hast thou come to this pure, bright place.' The wicked are sent to a place of darkness.

It is clear that certain truths are contained in the religion of Zoroaster, and that it is far superior to many other heathen faiths. Yet the answer which it gives to the question which we are considering in this chapter is not satisfactory.

All the ceremonies and offerings which we have mentioned admit the existence of sin and defilement. But the religion does not afford any means of cleansing the spirit from the guilt of sin, for outward rites and ceremonies cannot do this. Washings and purifications may cleanse the body, but they cannot cleanse the spirit, nor do they form any expiation for sin. Zoroastrianism seems to confound ceremonial purity with moral purity, and this error prevents it from even suggesting a way in which deliverance from sin and pardon for man's offences can be obtained. By its silence on this subject, this religion admits that it knows not how salvation can be obtained.


It is very difficult indeed to describe the religion of the Hindus, because they have not one religion but many, differing from one another in almost everything. The books which are generally referred