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- The Book of the Dead - 4/6 -


deceased made to the gods after he had declared his innocence of the sins enumerated before the Forty-Two gods. He says: "Homage to you, O ye gods who dwell in your Hall of Maati. I know you and I know your names. Let me not fall under your slaughtering knives. Bring not my wickedness to the notice of the god whose followers ye are. Let not the affair [of my judgment] come under your jurisdiction. Speak ye the Law (or truth) concerning me before Neb-er-tcher, [8] for I performed the Law (or, truth) in Ta-mera (i.e., Egypt). I have not blasphemed the God. No affair of mine came under the notice of the king in his day. Homage to you, O ye who are in your Hall of Maati, who have no lies in your bodies, who live on truth, who eat truth before Horus, the dweller in his disk, deliver ye me from Babai [9] who liveth upon the entrails of the mighty ones on the day of the Great Reckoning (APT AAT). Behold me! I have come to you without sin, without deceit (?), without evil, without false testimony (?) I have not done an [evil] thing. I live upon truth and I feed upon truth. I have performed the behests of men, and the things that satisfy the gods. [10] I have propitiated the God [by doing] His will. I have given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, raiment to the naked, and a boat to him that needed one. I have made holy offerings to the gods, and sepulchral offerings to the beautified dead. Be ye then my saviours, be ye my protectors, and make no accusation against me before the Great God. I am pure of mouth, and clean of hands; therefore it hath been said by those who saw me, 'Come in peace, come in peace.'"

The deceased then addresses Osiris, and says, "Hail, thou who art exalted upon thy standard, thou Lord of the Atefu Crown, whose name is 'Lord of Winds,' save me from thy Messengers (or Assessors) with uncovered faces, who bring charges of evil and make shortcomings plain, because I have performed the Law (or Truth) for the Lord of the Law (or Truth). I have purified myself with washings in water, my back hath been cleansed with salt, and my inner parts are in the Pool of Truth. There is not a member of mine that lacketh truth." From the lines that follow the above in the Papyrus of Nu it seems as though the judgment of the deceased by the Forty-Two gods was preliminary to the final judgment of Osiris. At all events, after questioning him about the performance of certain ceremonies, they invited him to enter the Hall of Maati, but when he was about to do so the porter, and the door-bolts, and the various parts of the door and its frame, and the floor, refused to permit him to enter until he had repeated their magical names. When he had pronounced these correctly the porter took him in and presented him to Maau (?)-Taui, who was Thoth himself. When asked by him why he had come the deceased answered, "I have come that report may be made of me." Then Thoth said, "What is thy condition?" And the deceased replied, "I am purified from evil things, I am free from the wickedness of those who lived in my days; I am not one of them." On this Thoth said, "Thou shalt be reported. [Tell me:] Who is he whose roof is fire, whose walls are living serpents, and whose floor is a stream of water? Who is he?" The deceased having replied "Osiris," Thoth then led him forward to the god Osiris, who received him, and promised that subsistence should be provided for him from the Eye of Ra.

In great papyri of the Book of the Dead such as those of Nebseni, Nu, Ani, Hunefer, etc., the Last Judgment, or the "Great Reckoning," is made the most prominent scene in the whole work, and the vignette in which it is depicted is several feet long. The most complete form of it is given in the Papyrus of Ani, and may be thus described: At one end of the Hall of Maati Osiris is seated on a throne within a shrine made in the form of a funerary coffer; behind him stand Isis and Nephthys. Along one side of the Hall are seated the gods Harmachis, Tem, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Isis and Nephthys, Horus, Hathor, Hu and Saa, who are to serve as the divine jury; these formed the "Great Company of the Gods" of Anu (Heliopolis). By these stands the Great Balance, and on its pillar sits the dog-headed ape Astes, or Astenu, the associate of Thoth. The pointer of the Balance is in the charge of Anpu. Behind Anpu are Thoth the scribe of the gods, and the monster Amemit, with the head of a crocodile, the forepaws and shoulders of a lion, and the hindquarters of a hippopotamus; the duty of the last-named was to eat up the hearts that were light in the balance. On the other side of the Balance Ani, accompanied by his wife, is seen standing with head bent low in adoration, and between him and the Balance stand the two goddesses who nurse and rear children, Meskhenet and Rennet, Ani's soul, in the form of a man-headed hawk, a portion of his body, and his luck Shai. Since the heart was considered to be the seat of all will, emotion, feeling, reason and intelligence, Ani's heart, is seen in one pan of the Balance, and in the other is the feather, symbolic of truth and righteousness. Whilst his heart was in the Balance Ani, repeating the words of Chapter XXXB* of the Book of the Dead, addressed it, saying, "My heart of my mother! My heart of my mother! My heart of my being! Make no stand against me when testifying, thrust me not back before the Tchatchaut (i.e., the overseers of Osiris), and make no failure in respect of me before the Master of the Balance. Thou art my Ka, the dweller in my body, uniting (?) and strengthening my members. Thou shalt come forth to the happiness to which we advance. Make not my name to stink with the officers [of Osiris] who made men, utter no lie against me before the Great God, the Lord of Amentt."

Then Thoth, the Judge of Truth, of the Great Company of the Gods who are in the presence of Osiris, saith to the gods, "Hearken ye to this word: In very truth the heart of Osiris hath been weighed, and his soul hath borne testimony concerning him; according to the Great Balance his case is truth (i.e., just). No wickedness hath been found in him. He did not filch offerings from the temples. He did not act crookedly, and he did not vilify folk when he was on earth."

And the Great Company of the Gods say to Thoth, who dwelleth in Khemenu (Hermopolis): "This that cometh forth from thy mouth of truth is confirmed (?) The Osiris, the scribe Ani, true of voice, hath testified. He hath not sinned and [his name] doth not stink before us; Amemit (i.e., the Eater of the Dead) shall not have the mastery over him. Let there be given unto him offerings of food and an appearance before Osiris, and an abiding homestead in the Field of Offerings as unto the Followers of Horus."

Thus the gods have declared that Ani is "true of voice," as was Osiris, and they have called Ani "Osiris," because in his purity of word and deed he resembled that god. In all the copies of the Book of the Dead the deceased is always called "Osiris," and as it was always assumed that those for whom they were written would be found innocent when weighed in the Great Balance, the words "true of voice," which were equivalent in meaning to "innocent and acquitted," were always written after their names. It may be noted in passing that when Ani's heart was weighed against Truth, the beam of the Great Balance remained perfectly horizontal. This suggests that the gods did not expect the heart of the deceased to "kick the beam," but were quite satisfied if it exactly counterbalanced Truth. They demanded the fulfilment of the Law and nothing more, and were content to bestow immortality upon the man on whom Thoth's verdict was "he hath done no evil."

In accordance with the command of the gods Ani passes from the Great Balance to the end of the Hall of Maati where Osiris is seated, and as he approaches the god Horus, the son of Isis, takes him by the hand and leads him forward, and standing before his father Osiris says, "I have come to thee, Un-Nefer, [11] I have brought to thee the Osiris Ani. His heart is righteous [and] hath come forth from the Balance. It hath no sin before any god or any goddess. Thoth hath set down his judgment in writing, and the Company of the Gods have declared on his behalf that [his] evidence is very true. Let there be given unto him of the bread and beer which appear before Osiris. Let him be like the Followers of Horus for ever!" Next we see Ani kneeling in adoration before Osiris, and he says, "Behold, I am in thy presence, O Lord of Amentt. There is no sin in my body. I have not uttered a lie knowingly. [I have] no duplicity (?) Grant that I may be like the favoured (or rewarded) ones who are in thy train." Under favour of Osiris Ani then became a sahu, or "spirit-body," and in this form passed into the Kingdom of Osiris.

CHAPTER VIII

The Kingdom of Osiris.

According to the Book of Gates and the other "Guides" to the Egyptian Under World, the Kingdom of Osiris formed the Sixth Division of the Tuat; in very early times it was situated in the Western Delta, but after the XIIth dynasty theologians placed it near Abydos in Upper Egypt, and before the close of the Dynastic Period the Tuat of Osiris had absorbed the Under World of every nome of Egypt. When the soul in its beautified or spirit body arrived there, the ministers of Osiris took it to the homestead or place of abode which had been allotted to it by the command of Osiris, and there it began its new existence. The large vignette to the CXth Chapter shows us exactly what manner of place the abode of the blessed was. The country was flat and the fields were intersected by canals of running water in which there were "no fish and no worms" (i.e., water snakes). In one part of it were several small islands, and on one of them Osiris was supposed to dwell with his saints. It was called the "Island of Truth," and the ferry-man of Osiris would not convey to it any soul that had not been declared "true of word" by Thoth, Osiris and the Great Gods at the "Great Reckoning." The portion of the Kingdom of Osiris depicted in the large Books of the Dead represents in many respects a typical Egyptian farm, and we see the deceased engaged in ploughing and reaping and driving the oxen that are treading out the corn. He was introduced into the Sekhet Heteput (a section of the Sekhet Aaru, i.e., "Field of Reeds," or the "Elysian Fields") by Thoth, and there he found the souls of his ancestors, who were joined to the Company of the Gods. One corner of this region was specially set apart for the dwelling place of the aakhu, i.e., beautified souls, or spirit-souls, who were said to be seven cubits in height, and to reap wheat or barley which grew to a height of three cubits. Near this spot were moored two boats that were always ready for the use of the denizens of that region; they appear to have been "spirit boats," i.e., boats which moved of themselves and carried the beautified wheresoever they wanted to go without any trouble or fatigue on their part.

How the beautified passed their time in the Kingdom of Osiris may be seen from the pictures cut on the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I, now preserved in Sir John Soane's Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields. Here we see them occupied in producing the celestial food on which they and the god lived. Some are tending the wheat plants as they grow, and others are reaping the ripe grain. In the texts that accompany these scenes the ears of wheat are said to be the "members of Osiris," and the wheat plant is called the maat plant. Osiris was the Wheat-god and also the personification of Maat (i.e., Truth), and the beautified lived upon the body of their god and ate him daily, and the substance of him was the "Bread of Everlastingness," which is mentioned in the Pyramid Texts. The beautified are described as "Those who have offered up incense to the gods, and whose kau (i.e., doubles, or persons) have been washed clean. They have been reckoned up and they are maat (i.e., Truth) in the presence of the Great God who destroyeth sin." Osiris says to them, "Ye are truth of truth; rest in peace." And of them he says, "They were doers of truth whilst they were upon earth, they did battle for their god, and they shall be called to the enjoyment of the Land of the House of Life with Truth. Their truth shall be reckoned to them in the presence of the Great God who destroyeth sin." Then addressing them again Osiris says, "Ye are beings of Truth, O ye Truths. Take ye your rest because of what ye have done, becoming even as those who are in my following,


The Book of the Dead - 4/6

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