Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen": THE EGYPTIAN 'NEGATIVE CONFESSION'


('Book of the Dead,' chapter 125)

When the deceased enters the hall of the goddesses of Truth, he says:

'Homage to thee, 0 great god, thou Lord of Truth. I have come to thee, my Lord, and I have brought myself hither that I may see thy beauties,' [i.e., experience thy gracious clemency]. 'I know thee, I know thy name. I know the names of the Two-and-Forty gods who live with thee in this Hall of Maati, who keep ward over those who have done evil, who feed upon their blood on the day when the lives of men are reckoned up in the presence of Un-Nefer [i.e., Osiris]. In truth I have come to thee. I have brought Truth to thee. I have destroyed wickedness for thee.' [These words are followed by a statement of the offences which he had not committed, and he says: ]

1. I have not sinned against men.

2. I have not oppressed (or wronged) [my] kinsfolk.

3. I have not committed evil in the place of truth.

4. I have not known worthless men.

5. I have not committed acts of abomination.

6. I have not done daily works of supererogation (?)

7. I have not caused my name to appear for honours.

8. I have not domineered over slaves.

9. I have not thought scorn of the god (or, God).

10. I have not defrauded the poor man of his goods.

11. I have not done the things which the gods abominate.

12. I have not caused harm to be done to the slave by his master.

13. 1 have caused no man to suffer.

14. I have allowed no man to go hungry.

15. I have made no man weep.

16. I have slain no man.

17. I have not given the order for any man to be slain.

18. I have not caused pain to the multitude.

19. I have not filched the offerings in the temples.

20. I have not purloined the cakes of the gods.

21. I have not stolen the offerings of the spirits.

22. I have had no dealing with the pederast.

23. I have not defiled myself in the pure places of the god of my city.

24. I have not cheated in measuring of grain.

25. I have not filched land or added thereto.

26. I have not encroached upon the fields of others.

27. I have not added to the weight of the balance.

28. I have not cheated with the pointer of the scales.

29. I have not taken away the milk from the mouths of the babes.

30. I have not driven away the beasts from their pastures.

31. I have not netted the geese of the preserves of the gods.

32. I have not caught fish with bait of their bodies.

33. I have not obstructed water when it should run.

34. I have not cut a cutting in a canal of rating water.

35. I have not extinguished a flame when it ought to burn.

36. I have not abrogated the days of offering the chosen offerings.

37. I have not turned off cattle from the property of the gods.

38. I have not repulsed the god in his manifestations. I am pure. I am
pure. I am pure. I am pure.


Translation by E. A. Wallis Budge, Osiris, the Egyptian Religion of Resurrection, vol 1 (1911), PP. 337-9; see also E. A. Wallis Budge, The Book of the Dead, vol 11 (1901), PP. 365-371

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