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The Prophet's Utterances (part 1)
[Links in the Young Avesta and the Vedic Texts]

The Prophets Utterances (Part 2)

The Prophet’s Utterances (Part 3)
















[This paper is an expanded version of serialized articles ‘The Importance of Listening’ published during 1987 in ‘Manashni’, the voice of the Australian Zoroastrian Association of NSW, Sydney, Australia]

Pronunciation symbols
I have adopted the following transcription (after Kanga19& Taraporewala29A) as permitted by my software, while avoiding the encoding of the ITRANS convention hoping to make the reading for non-academic purposes generally easier: -

a as in fun; ā as in far; ă (nasal sound ăn) as in ‘āvăn’; ə as in fed, ē as in fade; i as in fillī as in feelo as in for; ō as in fore; u as in full; ū as in fool.  The nasal sounds are ăn as in āvăn; ən as in the French ‘trés biən’, ĩn as in Ahĩnsā (also pronouncedĩmas in Sanskrit Ahĩmand as also in Avestan and Gathic languages) and ũn as in Humayũn. The pronunciation of some consonants (as permitted by my software) are ‘ś’ for ‘sh’, ‘š’ for ‘ss’, ‘ŗ’ for ‘ri’, ń for ‘ni’, ‘ž’ for ‘zh’.

The pronunciation of the vowel sounds ‘ə’ as in fed and ənas in the French ‘trés biən’ is unique to the Gathic/Avestan languages. These vowel sounds ə’ andən’ are not found in the alphabets of Sanskrit and (Shuddha) Gujarāti (and possibly also in other Indic group of Prakrit languages) where all ‘e’ vowel sounds are pronounced as ē as in fade.  Also, it is interesting that Vedic texts appear to be conspicuous by the absence of a double negative although double negatives do occur later in ‘Classical’ Sanskrit.

Thus, in the Gujarāti version of the book by Taraporewala, Irach J. S., Ashō Zarathushtra nā Gāthā’ 29 all the ‘e’s are shown with the typical Gujarāti alphabetic ‘pă(n)khru(n)’ (pronounced as ‘ē’ as in fade).  In the original Gujarāti version of his Khordeh Avesta Ervad Kavasji Edulji Kanga15, however, uses a crescent above the ‘e’s to create the sound ə as in fed, and ən as in the French ‘trés biən’ and the typical Gujarāti alphabetic ‘pă(n)khru(n)’ to create the sound ē as in fade.   In the English version of his book Taraporewala, Irach J. S. 29A uses the accepted symbols for ə as in fed, ē as in fade and ən as in the French ‘trés biən’.

It is worthy of note that the Avestan prefix ‘sra’ was once the Gathic ‘səra’ (Avest/; sraoša / Gāth: sэraoša / Skt: śrōša/ śrōš/ śrauš/ śrūš…etc) and the Avestan prefix ‘fra’ was once the Gathic ‘fəra’ (Avest: ‘fra-sru’/ Gath:fəra-srū’/ Skt: ‘prā-śrū’).17,18

A fascinating romance with the alphabetic letter ‘s’.

It would appear to my mind (untutored in linguistics) that there has been a good deal of  romance with the sibilant letter ‘s’ of the Sanskrit alphabet, while trying to establish its correct pronunciation in other languages, not to omit the English language.  No two Sanskrit Dictionaries seem to concur. 

To begin with, the one Sanskrit word ‘sru’ has a different meaning from the other Sanskrit word ‘śrū’.  The word ‘sru’ means to cause to flow/ to issue from/ to gush forth/ to bring forth/ to set in motion/ to arouse as in the case of a stream/ riverThe word ‘śrū’, on the other hand, means ‘to listen attentively/ to concentrate/ to take heed/ to try to understand/ to obey.’18, 23  However, it can be argued that human thought processes flowing/ issuing/ gushing forth from the mind (Skt - sru) may also be construed as connotations parallel to ‘listening attentively to/ concentrating/ taking heed/ trying to understand (Skt - śrū).  Indeed, most standard Sanskrit texts as well as Dictionaries have used derivatives of both these words at different times quite loosely for the same ‘listening to’ meaning. 

In the Second Edition of his publication, ‘A Sanskrit-English Dictionary’ Sir Monier Monier-Williams, 23 an outstanding Sanskrit scholar and a great teacher, describes the sibilant sounds thus: -  ‘ś’ - the first of the sibilants (it belongs to the palatal class, but in sound as well as euphonic treatment often corresponds to ‘sh’ though in some words pronounced more like ‘s’‘sh’ - the second of the 3 sibilants (it belongs to the cerebral class, and is sometimes substituted for ‘s’ and more rarely for ‘ś’; in sound it corresponds to ‘sh’ in ‘shun’.   ‘s’ - the last of the sibilants (it belongs to the dental class and in sound, corresponds to ‘s’ in sin.”  In the Second Edition of his Dictionary he humbly revises his own First Edition pronunciation of the palatal sibilant thus:-  “As to the palatal sibilant ‘sh’ (printed in the Devnāgari script) I have  preferred  ‘š’ to the employed ‘ś’ in the first edition, and I much prefer it to the German and French method of using ‘ς’.   ………..so I should have preferred the symbol ‘ş’ for the cerebral sibilant, but I felt it desirable to retain ‘sh’ as in the present edition”. 23

Looking further into this interesting problem created by this single sibilant sound ‘s’ in our own Scriptures I note there is an immensely wide international variation in the following sound apportioned by different scholars - ‘s’, ‘ss’, a more prolonged ‘sss’, ‘sh’, ssh, and, even, ‘z/ zh’ and ‘ch’ in world literature. 

Perturbed, I sought help from ‘Iraj J S Taraporewala’s Gujerati version’ (‘Ashō Zarathushtra nā Gāthā’ published in 1962)29 of the original Edition in English (‘The Divine Songs of Zarathushtra’ published in 1951)29A. The verses, printed in the Gujarati script are particularly helpful in noting the correct pronunciation of the Gathic words and particularly of ‘sru’ and all its derivatives used in the Gathas.  In all instances the ‘s’ has been pronounced, as the simple ‘s’ of Gujarati.  It is worthy of note that the Gujarati alphabet (or any Gujarati word) does not have a letter with a double sound ‘ss’ as in ‘miss’ and ‘misses’. 

There seems to be an unexplained anomaly noted in the printing of most standard Khordeh Avesta volumes in the Gujarati script.  For instance, the words Dush-mata, Duzhukhta and Duzhvarasta (‘Duzh’ means bad/evil) contain an ‘sh’ instead of a ‘zh’ in the first word, for reasons somewhat difficult to understand to my untutored mind.  The Avesta-English Dictionary by Ervad Kavasji Edulji Kanga 18 however, does have a letter of the Avestan alphabet thus -  ײ , which he has pronounced - ‘ss’.  Thankfully, the highly researched Avestan alphabet/ script, revised during the Parthian/ Sassanian Dynasties, imparts an amazing degree of accuracy in the pronunciation of the Gathic and Avestan characters.   

The following is a comparison of the pronunciation of this elusive sibilant in the English language in typical situations.  There are several anomalies. Let us study these carefully.  I have made each sibilant letter - ‘s’, ‘ss’, ‘c’ and ‘sh’ bold and placed its pronunciation into brackets after each word.  Note that the single ‘s’ is pronounced as double sibilant sound ‘ss’ when the ‘s’ immediately precedes a consonant (as in spree, string, slip, strip).  In the word ‘shoestrings’ the pronunciation of its three sibilants occurs differently as ‘sh’, ‘s’ and ‘z’ respectively.  Note, here, that ‘s’ sounds as ‘z’ when it occurs at the end of the plural words sprees & strings but it sounds as ‘s’ in slips & strips.  Now, let us listen to the pronunciation of the two sibilants in the word ‘surest - ‘ssh’ and ‘s’.  The first sibilant sound ‘ssh’ is denoted as ‘š’, having a special alphabet character of its own in the Sanskrit alphabet. 

The pronunciation of the ‘s’ in the Gath/ Avest word ‘sru’ (and derivatives səraoša/ sraošaetc) is pronounced as the ‘s’ in the English word ‘sir’.  The first ś’ in Skt: śrū and derivatives śrōšaetc. is pronounced like the ‘s’ in the English word ‘sure’.  The second ‘š’ in Gāth: səraoša/ Avest: sraoša/ Skt: śrōša is pronounced as in the English word ‘shore’. To help simplify this ‘paper’ let us use s, sh, shh as pronounced in our symbols of the words ‘s’ sundara (beautiful), sh (ś’) as in shata (100) and shh (š) as in bhāshhā (language).

Gath: Gāthic, Avest: Avestan, Skt: Sanskrit, Pah: Pāhlavi, Far: Fārsi, Guj: Gujarāti, Kh Av: Khordēh Avestā, Ys: Yasna, Yt: Yasht, Vən: Vəndidād, Visp: Visparad, Rig V: RigVēdā, Ath V: Athārvavēdā, Yaj V: Yajur Vēdā, Sām V: Sāma Vēdā, MBh: Mahābhārata (incorporating the Bhāgavad Gitā), R: Rāmayana, Up: Upanishād, Manu: Manava Dharma Shāstra; S Br: Shatapatha Brāhmana..   

The Prophet’s utterances

This paper is merely an essay on a comparative search for meaning of the Prophet’s utterances in the Young Avesta and in the Sanskrit texts. 

In truth, most of us do concede how often we feel obliged to alter the previous ‘reading’ we had apportioned to a Gathic verse or part of it when we try to reopen the passage later and attempt to delve deeper. An ordinary researching Zarathushti I have found such candid comments from recognized scholars immensely reassuring.  The Prophet certainly sings his ‘Divine Revelation’ in parables. 

The Revealed Truth in his ‘mănthra spənta’ has continued to cast a kind of fascinating spell on my mind during each of my naďve attempts at trying to ‘decipher’ the hymns.  The characteristics of some of these divine words (as also those in the verses of the contemporary Rig Vēdā) seem to abound in allegory, symbolism and figurativeness. The obscure complexities in some lines seem to resemble riddles, parables, metaphors and mixed metaphors and to indicate overlaid meanings.3  Some words given legitimacy with valid explanations by devoted scholars have been called ambiguous by others. The ancient meaning of such symbolic words belonging to a remote bygone age continues to remain somewhat unintelligible to my untutored mind, trained intellectually to view the written word mostly in a logical and factual sense. Still, the overall gist of the total message in the many interpretations appears to remain more or less the same.  The unrequited inquiry for the ultimate extract must, nevertheless, go on.

The ‘Young’ portion of the Avesta, too, constitutes an enormous treasure house, intensely rich in inferences, invaluable in its suggestive links to the Gāthās and, indeed, worthy of being explored.  It is clearly replete with whatever the prophet would have uttered (in a prosaic manner in his sermons) to his followers outside his divine poetic hymns.  The thought processes of this intellectual giant in his sermons over a long duration of 45 years would have influenced profoundly the way of life and the thinking of his immediate followers and the subsequent generations. They would have later ventured to compose (and recompose in layers) the Young portion of the Avesta, partly from the lingering memory of his sermons, partly from their own inference of the substance of his hymns. 

In searching for a wider understanding of the universal message of the Prophet the Young Avesta certainly offers immense assistance.   For example in Mēhēr Yasht (Yt: X. 2) the unnamed poet /composer quotes Ahurā Mazdā (in his dialogue with Zarathushtra) thus:  “Do not break thy promise, O Spitamā, neither the one, which you gave to the Evil nor the one to your Righteous co-religionists”.26  This rather extraordinary statement in prose form carries an amazing thought process, which is not found in the Prophet’s extant Hymns (see also Gāthā Ushtavaiti Ys: 46.5 for the only reference to the common Āiryānic/Āryānic divinity, Mithrā/Mitra in the Gāthās). 

Clearly, then, a closer study of these distant memories carried by his followers to far-off lands and conveyed by the oral tradition later, puts an enormous import in augmenting the available data in the Gāthic Hymns.  Not long after his death, wave after wave of the long march of his followers to distant lands in search of more amicable climes and greener pastures, commenced.  Their way of life (although basically Gathic), naturally altered as they rubbed shoulders with their ‘un-Airyānic’ hosts.  The Vedic people, it seems, had already commenced their march much earlier.3

As the generations passed by, the memory of what the Prophet would have meant in his visionary utterances may have become somewhat hazy, having been overlaid by an imposed different way of life among the host populations.  Likewise, if we were to, say, equate the ‘later’ Vēdic texts (handed down by human intermediaries based on remembrance - ‘smŗiti’) as the ‘Young Vēdās’ we come to realize that these authors were also not as highly regarded as the original ‘inspired Sages/Munis/ Rishis’ of the original -‘śrūti’. The authors of the ‘smŗiti’ had conveyed the ‘revealed mantras of the 4 Vedas’ [comprising the ‘iti vi-jńāyatē’ the Revealed Truth -‘śrūti’] not as divine Sages but as mere instructing/commentating teachers ‘Munimata’.  Yet the opinions/memories of these commentators were considered equivalent to those of the inspired Sages since they were ‘iti uktam’ founded on and deriving their authority from the ‘srūti’ and, therefore, of an undisputable high esteem.  Manu: ii, 10 ‘……………..śrūtis tu vēdō vignōyō dharmashāstra tu vai śmriti ………………….’ -‘but by śrūti (the divine Revelation) is meant the Veda and by śmriti (the remembrance of the sacred tradition) the very Institutes of the sacred law: these two must not be questioned in any matter, since it is from these two that the sacred law itself has shone forth’ 4

So should it be rightfully acknowledged that the devoted poets /commentators from among our close followers of the Prophet, who devotedly jogged their memories of Zarathushtra’s sermons (both in his Gathic Hymns as well as in his explanatory prosaic sermons - between verses), while composing and, later, adding to the ‘Young Avesta’, would have quite legitimately derived their authority from the Prophet’s ‘Revealed Truth’ -the ‘śrūti’ of the Gāthās.27

Let us, here, inquire into and delve upon one single theme from the Prophet’s utterances while looking for clues into the knowledge of such ‘remembrances’ of the Prophet’s followers in the Young Avesta and into parallels in the Sanskrit texts. 

SƏRAOŠA – the symbolic word incarnate:

The following is a brief rendering from the Young Avesta of Sraōša’s divine attributes to help better understand the links, subsequently. 17, 18, 26

The word [Gāth: səraoša /Avest: sraoša / Fār: sōroush / Guj: sarōsh/ Skt: śrōša] stems from the Sanskrit root word ‘śrū’29,29A meaning ‘listening attentively to/ concentrating/ taking heed/ trying to understand/ obeying - willingly.  In the Gāthās there is a strong emphasis on listening willingly (as opposed to just hearing normally).  The quality of willingness cannot be more emphasized since willing obedience is a moral obligation, not a compulsion. There is, here, no cajoling and there are no threats, there are, obviously, no impositions or prescriptive commandments. Consequently, there is no fear.  The words ‘fear of’ the Creator are totally replaced by ‘reverence to’ in our scriptures.  Also, there is no fear whatsoever of the ostensible ‘harm’ from the evil conjured up by Angra Mainyu.  There are, therefore, no recitations or rituals to appease evil.   Evil is to be vigorously antagonized and fearlessly fought against and this shows in many verses and in the daily Kushti recitations, which clearly challenge all evil forces.  In the practice of our Faith nobody ever becomes ‘possessed’ (by evil - that is).  There are, therefore, no rites of exorcism, there is no belief in ghosts.  The Fravashis we invoke are not equated with ghosts.

The Māghavans (of the Young Avesta period) were incorrectly assumed to be magicians. The words ‘magic wand’ stem from observations, during Sassānian times, of the Māghavans and some faithful carrying a bundle of Bārsom twigs in their right hand on certain auspicious days as a means of remaining in close contact with the Minōg world.  The wand-like bundle of Bārsom twigs was also held (in the left hand) when the right hand of the officiating Fire attendant was busy tending the Fire (the proof of this is depicted on the reverse of Sassānian coins).

This concept of listening attentively brings out the supreme human quality of Intent.  The intention, whether good or otherwise is the very basis on which the vital oral tradition of our ancestors (the texts were memorized, recited, chanted, commented upon, inquired into but not written) helped to preserve the teachings of the Prophet in Zarathushti minds, until the written word became widely used.  There is no word in the Young Avesta, which means to read or write. The Avestan word ‘to decorate’ was often used in Middle Persian to mean ‘to write’.  Still later, writing in an adorning fashion became known as calligraphy.

The Yazata, ‘Sraoša’ is depicted almost as if he were a Gathic/Avestan living person. The word, along with its derivative - Gāthic ‘sru /Vedic śrū’ 29,29A grammatically commands, a high position, both, as a divine guardian and as possessing precisely designated functions/duties (to be exercised both in the Minō and the Geti domains).  This was ordained by Ahurā Mazdā and revealed to Zarathushtra.  Both, the personification and the ordained qualities (divine attributes of the Creator) seem to appear valid in the proper context of the Prophet’s utterances to the point of this Yazata being worthy of ‘reverence’.  The reverence apportioned to Sraoša is second only to the reverence to the 7 Immortals in the Young Avesta.  The fact that the word had a pre-Zarathushtrian existence and influence should not detract from the prophet’s fervor as an extraordinary poet.

There is no reason why we, as the distant followers of the Prophet (even during this materialistic age of unrequited speed and an unlimited thirst for acquisition) should choose to relegate the Young Avestan interpretations of his devoted early followers. The prosaic format of the Young Avesta belongs to some bygone era of a different historical period, composed (and built up orally layer after layer) at a leisurely tempo of life governed by the slow cycle of the soil.  In the words of the great Vedic scholar, Lōkmānya Bāl Gangādhar Tilak: “…..words, like fossils, very often preserve the oldest ideas of facts in the language. Though the Vedic poets may have forgotten the original meaning of these phrases, that is no reason why we should refuse to draw from the history of these words such conclusions as may legitimately follow from it”.30 

In addition, I think this valid passage by Ryszard Antolak serves to justify the strategic use and symbolic importance of the words in the Prophet’s utterances: - The language of poetry is the language of the whole man, not just of the intellect.  It is the language of myth and symbol and personal experience. True symbols transcend intellectual deciphering, calling for other levels of consciousness, which elude words and concepts.  A symbol is lived - that is how its meaning is found.  Religion, too, is lived, not just thought about.  The world of the Yazatas is part of this living world of symbols”.1        

Source of references in the Young Avesta 17, 18, 26, 29, 29A

Such is the reverence this human quality of willing obedience held under that Sraoša is quoted in all Yasnas, in the last paragraph of all Yashts and, of course in Sraoša Bāj and the two Sraoša Yashts.  The Yazata is as extensively quoted in the Avesta as the divinity Ushā is in the Rig Vēdā.

It is, indeed in the Sraoša Bāj that the Zoroastrian Confession of Faith [Fravarānē Mazdāyasnō Zarathushtriś vidaēvō Ahura takaəšō - “I confess I am a Mazdā-worshipping follower of Zarathushtra, opposed to the Daēvās, in accord with the Law of Ahurā”] is clearly embodied.  There is here a commitment the Faithful is openly and willingly declaring himself obedient and submissive to divine authority and attentive to the ‘divine truth’ as revealed by the prophet.

Fravardin Yasht (Yt XIII.88) 17,26, too emphasizes this: ‘…….revering the Fravashi of Zarathushtra, who was the first to commend the authority of Sraōša.  This, clearly points to the pre-Zarathushtra origin of the word. Even during his time, the Prophet speaks of the dismal failure of the Karapō-tāōs and the Kavaō-tāōs, whose intent was fuelled by conceit, intimidation and furious agitation - clearly an indulgence in group egotism and collective self-righteousness. They were groups of priests and local potentates, who had planned to remain in oppressive power by being ‘……..wilfully deaf to Mazdā’s message and wilfully blind to Mazdā’s glory’ (Ys: 32.15). 17, 18

Ys: 60.5, on the other hand, celebrates the triumph of Sraoša against his arch adversary, šma (who embodies the evil of disobedience, wrathful contempt and angry fury, all of which tend to promote extreme ego-centricism and self-righteousness). 

During Hākhāmāni times, this verse (found in the Dōā tandrōśti/ Daham āfriti) 17,18,26 was first recited solemnly by the Mobēdān-ē-Mobēd with great telling effect in the presence of the Great King before the proceedings of the Court could be convened.  It was a benediction for happiness and harmony in a structured society guided by a righteous order.  It reads: - “In this house - may understanding obedience (Sraošō) overcome ignorant disobedience; may harmony displace discord and generosity of spirit triumph over covetous avarice; may respect replace derision and open honesty displace dishonesty. And, above all, may the Righteous Order prevail over the web of deceit and bring consequential happiness to all.”

Sraōša Bāj: The daily devotional recitations in each of the 5 Gāhs are always begun with this Bāj followed by the naming of the appropriate Gāh.

The major Sraoša Yasht includes the whole of Yasna 57 and the lesser Sraoša Yasht is composed of extracts from the fragments of Hādokht Nask.

Bāj of Sraoša: This consists of 5 Ahunāvars + the ‘Kэm-nā Mazdā’ recital at the Dokhmā.

Āfrinagan of Sraoša: During the ‘Aiwi-Sru-thrəm Gāh’ this recital is considered to assist the Yazata in his efforts to protect and guide the soul of the departed after sunset during the first 3 days.

Drōn (Guj - Daran) Bāj:  This is a ritual consecration of unleavened bread done in Ushāhin Gāh in honor of Sraośa Yazata among other Yazatas and, in addition, to all the holy Fravashis of the departed souls.

Vəndidād ceremony is also done in Ushāhin Gāh in honor of Sraoša Yazata as part of an elaborate Nirangdin ceremony for the departed soul.

Patēt ceremonies:  Among the 12 ‘Essential Yazatas’ for propitiation Sraoša happens to be one of them.  Also Sraōša is a co-worker (Hamkār in conjunction with Verethragna) helping the Aməshā Spəntā, Āshā Vahishtā.

Fravardigān (Muktād/ All Souls) days:  The reverence to Sraoša is shown because he cares for and looks after the Gəti - all houses and inhabitants and the Mino creation - all Fravashis.  The Fravashis, being guardian spirits of the souls of the departed, are also the protectors and guides of the souls of the living.

Ātash Niyāyēsh (litany to Fire): Among the 5 days of each month the litany is particularly recited, Sraoša Ruz is one of them.

Zindēh Ravān ceremony:  Recitation prayers conducted during the life of a person in worshipful reverence of Sraośa.

The Ardā Virāf Nāmag describes how Ardā Virāf, during his long slumber of 7 days and 7 nights perceived the conditions in the ethereal world with the help of Sraoša Yazata.

Priests: There were nine different orders of priests.  Among them the Sraošavərəza was a priest whose duty was to uphold the order and chastise those who did not perform their role correctly.  The Sraošāva was the priest of penance, atonement, repentance and regrets.  His duty was to merely listen to voluntary confessions thus allowing the person to, as it were, get it off the chest.  He was given no authority to forgive the confessor or the sins.  In other words he did not sit in judgement.

Avestan Yazata Sraoša’s (symbolic) divine qualities: 17, 18, 26

In Yasna 57, Sraoša Yazata is the upholder of ‘Sraošəm ashīm’ (holiness), ‘huraodəm’ (majesty), ‘vərəthrājanəm’ (victory) and ‘frādatgaēthəm’ (prosperity).

He is dedicated to the destruction of evil.  He is described as ‘drūjəm jaghnishtō’ (smiter of evil) against whom he is especially ‘vərəthra vərəthra-vastəmō’ (triumphantly victorious).  To maintain this he has to remain ‘nōit paschaəta hushkhafa’ (not sleeping soundly) and almost always ‘an-avangha abdəmnō zaənangha’ (without sleep and always vigilant) and ‘pashush haurvāonghō’ (sharp-eyed while tending his flock). He is ‘amacha’ (courageous), ‘vərəthraghnacha’ (victorious), ‘haōzathwacha’ (wise), ‘vaēdhyacha’ (full of knowledge) and has ‘raya khvarənanghacha’ (a shimmering aura).   

He is a ‘hakha’ (a friend) and has plenty of ‘hakhaya’ (friends).  He is fond of friends, who are ‘hakhaya razishtyāō chistyāō’ (of the highest knowledge).  His friendliness is especially soulful to the weak and the oppressed and to under-privileged men and women.  He is therefore ‘drighāōshcha amavat nmānəm ham ta sahtəm’ (bringer of reassuring strength to the houses of the poor).  He is fond of and makes special effort to protect the house of the righteous.  He is ‘ashahē jaghmushtəmō’ (most helpful to the righteous) and ‘ashahē apanōtэmō’ (most superior in righteousness). 

In his friendliness he is most dedicated to the welfare of Youth. He is therefore described as showing ‘yūnām aōjištəm’ (strength among youth), ‘yūnām tanjištəm’ (firmness with the young), ‘yūnām thwākhšištəm’ (wittiness among youth), ‘yūnām āsištəm’ (quickness with youth) and ‘yūnām parōkatarštəməm’ (resourcefulness with youth).  

He is the main representative of the material creation of Ahurā Mazdā on Earth.  He is, therefore, one, who is ‘dadhāt Ahurō Mazdāō ashava aəšmahē’ (the lawgiver Ahurā Mazdā appointed to oppose the evil acts of Aəšma).  He is a dedicated antagonist of the Daēvās and Akō Manō (the evil mind) as well.  All houses under his protection ‘Nmānāi Sraōša-pāta’ are free from their dangers.

He is said to ‘spəništahē āvăn Aməšāō Spənta avi haptō Karšvairim zām’ (protect the creation of the Aməšā Spənta over all seven Kērshvars).  He is ‘Yazata pāyu Thwōrəstāra’ (angel, protector and modeller).  The inference is that his weapons are mighty spears, a mighty club and a sharp weapon held high in his hand above his head (as defense against the invaders and to cause disarray among them).  With such weapons he becomes ‘kamarədho-janō daēvanām’ (smiter of the heads of the evil).  This was a symbolic physical gesture of reassurance to the masses.  The real weapons were the recital of the Ahunāvar and the Yasna Haptanghaiti.  These Mănthra Spэntā were said to create a shield against evil (like a surrounding wall) and repel it.

He was ‘paoiryō Mazdāō dāmān frastarētat paiti Barēsman’ (the first in the creation of Mazda to spread the Baresman) and ‘paoiryō Gāthāō frasrāvayat’ (the first to chant the Gathas).  Being a ‘ratum bərəzantam’ (dedicated teacher) he became a ‘daēnō-disō daēnayāō’ (instructor of the Mazdāyasni daenā).  To do this, during inquiries regarding Ahurā Mazdā and during commentaries on the holy mănthras of the Gāthās he is inclined to use ‘hu vachāō’ (good words), ‘papō vachāō’ (favorable words) and ‘pairi vachāō’ (appropriate words).

He is also the first in the creation of Ahurā Mazdā to spread the adoration of Ahurā Mazdā and his Eternal Holy Laws.  To achieve this he was credited as, himself being (tanu-mănthrahē) the Holy Word Incarnate (i.e. the Mănthra Spənta actually invoked by pronouncing his own name/ own self/his unique individuality). 

In Sraoša Yasht (vadi) Ys: 57.4 this context is clearly noted – ‘vispa sravayāō Zarathushtri yazamaidē’ (reverence be to the divine mănthra of Zarathushtra).17,26


GATHIC SƏRAOŠA 17,18,26 (Avest: sraoša / Fār:  sōroush / Guj: sarōsh / Skt: śrōš; śrauš / śrūš/ śu-śrūš.  Derivatives - śraušat/ śraušăn (nasal ăn)/ śu-śrūšana/ śu-śrūšām/ śrōš-yāmi/ śrōš-yati/ śrōš-yata/ śrōš-dhi….etc.  The addition of the Sanskrit prefixes ‘śu’ and ‘su’ to some words could well have been inserted to justify the metric rhythm of the line in the Vedic verse. It occurs in the Vedas, Upanishāds Mahābhārata (Rāmāyana, Bhagavadgita), Code of Manu, etc) 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28

The prophet has used the derivative ‘Səraoša of the Sanskrit root word ‘śrū’ 29, 29A and Gathic root word ‘sru’ (the personification as well as the Ahurā-ordained attributes) with enormous grammatical variation.  There is precision in spite of the enormous constraint and the restrictions for space imposed by the rhythmic metric beat of the poetic verses.

Links in the Young Avesta:

The basic word ‘Sraoša’ itself personified occurs extensively in several verses of Ys: 57 which is the main source of Sraoša Yashts ‘Vadi - major’ & ‘Hadokht -minor’, in Ys: 65 and in Vən: 18. 17,18,26    

Variations of the word in the Young Avesta: 7, 17,18,26   

In the following the same suffix attached to sraoša-’ is mostly attached to the adjective, asha-’

sraošacha ashya - Fravardin Yt: 13.146  The Fravashis of the righteous Ahurā Mazdā, SraošaYazata and Mănthra Spənta are evoked ‘as helpers’

sraošascha ashyō - Meher Yt: 10.52 The righteous person is described as ‘powerful, beloved of society …’

sraošādha ashyâdha - Ys: 60.6 ‘…….in this (house) the Bountiful Immortals seek for good Yasnas and good praises from the righteous Sraoša (who governs here), and…………’

sraošahē ashyahē - Fravardin Yt:13.85 ‘The Fravashis of the Fire…………of the righteous sraoša are worshipped’.

sraošāicha ashāi - Visp: 11.6 ‘...these we make known and we announce in this our celebration to Ahura Mazda (as our gift), and to righteous Sraoša…………………..for the sacrifice, homage, propitiation, and adoration of the entire creation of the holy…….’

sraošāicha ashyâi - Ys: 4.2 ‘……these do we announce with celebrations, and we present them to Ahura Mazda, and to righteous Sraoša, and to the Bountiful Immortals, and to the Fravashis of the holy, and to their souls, and to the Fire of Ahura Mazda, the lofty lord of the entire creation of the holy, for sacrifice, homage, propitiation, and praise.

Sanskrit links:

There is no verse in the Vedas or the Sanskrit Texts where there is even a hint of the personification of the equivalent word, śrōš; śrauš / śrūš/ śu-śrūša or its many derivatives.25     

Ys: 28.5 Səraošəm mazdāi [About ‘faith/belief’ being the end-point of ‘attainment’ – the obligation of a total self-surrender to the Divine Will] 29,29A

See the paragraph at the end.

Ys: 33.5 Səraošəm [About Səraōša being personified as Ahurā Mazdā’s earthly representative] 29,29A 

In the young Avesta Sraoša is credited with a position second only to the 7 Immortals.  He is singular-minded and steadfast in fulfilling his duties towards attaining the final apocalyptic goal.  He is, here, ‘……vispē-mazištəm Səraošəm zbaya avanghanē’ (invoked as ‘vispē-mazishtəm’ -‘the most majestic of all’ in the pursuit of such a quest).

Derivatives as mortals in the Young Avesta:

Among the priests, in days of yore, the Sraošavərəza was a priest whose duty was to uphold the order and chastise those who did not perform their role correctly. 

Sraošavərəza is quoted extensively in the Vəndidād, Visparad and Vishtāspa Yasht.

The Sraošāva was the priest of penance, atonement, repentance and regrets.  His duty was merely to listen to voluntary confessions thus allowing the person to, as it were, get it off the chest.  He was given no authority to forgive the confessor or the sins.  In other words he did not sit in judgment.

Sraošyănm was a criminally inclined person, whom ‘Sraoša deals with, effectively’ Meher Yt 10.26 &109.

Ys: 33.14 Səraošəm [About human frailties - the fact that even well informed/visionary Prophets can have doubts about their own likely expectations] 29,29A  Here, Zarathushtra  (in the process of revealing his thoughts to the ultimate strength of his abilities to his followers) offers ‘the ultimate sacrifice of his own person should his supreme effort, after attaining what he had listened to devotedly, fall short of the dedication and reverence to Mazdā, in expected good thinking and to Asha, in expected beneficent deeds.’ 

Ys: 43.12 Səraošō [About the apportioning of the individual rewards or punishments as deserved] 29,29A   Here Sэraošā, personified, being responsible for guiding the soul towards the Bridge of the Separator, is credited as being ‘a contributor towards the final apportioning of rewards or otherwise – whichever, each soul (after judgement) deserves.’  

Links in the Young Avesta 17, 18, 26   

 1) ‘Sraošō-charana (also -karana)’ Instrument for castigation/ punishment mentioned in several verses of Chapters 3, 4, 6 & 16 in the Vəndidād.

Vən: 3.36 & 37 ‘………..the punishment shall be 1000 stripes with the castigating whip.’

Ys: 44.16 Səraošō [About the human qualities of willing obedience and good thinking when in search of divine guidance]29,29A  This verse forms part of the daily ‘Kəm-nā Mazdā’ recitation.  Zarathushtra entreats Ahurā Mazdā for divine guidance so that ‘he may, in his teachings, be able to convey to his followers the full richness of submitting to both, the willing obedience to Mazdā’s message and of the love of all humanity in earthly existence’.

Links in the Young Avesta 17, 18, 26   

1) ‘Sraošō’ –willing submission to divine authority

Ys: 56.1 Willing submission to thy divine authority, O Ahurā Mazdā in this life is………..’

Ys: 60.5  See also Doā tandrōśti/ Daham āfriti above

Visp: 9.7 ‘…… all this, in the ultimate goal, can be achieved by willing submission  ..…..…’

2) ‘Sraošō ashyō’- guiding holiness

Visp: 12.1 talks of ‘……..an abundance in cattle and men with the divine guidance of Sraoša, of holy splendour….’

Vən: 18.23   Sraoša ‘…..guides the rooster (Parodarsh) in the glory of early dawn after waking him up to crow, for the benefit of all.’

Vən: 19.40 & 41 The verses are ‘in favour of reverence to the divine guidance in making use of fire as opposed to the obstruction of the evil of Spenjgar, the destroyer of prosperty………...’

Meher Yt: 10.41 & 100 Describes the conquest of fear with the guidance of Sraoša, who is worthy of reverence.’

Ashi(sh)-svang Yt: 17.16  HereSraoša and Mithrā have  been described as the brothers of Ashi, Yazata of of righteousness & good fortune, in connection with offering guidance to those who will listen ….’

3) Asraošō - disobedient to the tenets of the Faith

Vən: 16.18 & 17.11 'All wicked followers of untruth subject themselves to the Druj: all those who subject themselves to the Druj tend to avoid willing submission to the divine authority: all such disobedient to the tenets of the Faith are unrighteous; all unrighteous persons are sinful.. .’

aśrauš - MBh: vi, 58.5 In Sanskrit the prefix ‘a-’ does not make the meaning of the word negative ‘Sir, I have repeatedly known about (experienced) the numerous sharp pains induced by Duryodhana.’

Ys: 45.5 Səraošəm [About the quality of willing obedience being equated to supreme dedication]29,29A  It is taken to be the true path when moving towards attaining perfection.  Zarathushtra exclaims: ‘O thou Holiest, I will teach whatever I have attained by listening attentively to thy Mănthra Spənta, which are the best words for all right minded mortals yearning for guidance towards the Perfection of an Immortal Existence’.  

Links in the Young Avesta 17, 18, 26

Fravardin Yt: 13.88 ‘……who but Zarathushtra was the first who spoke of the welfare of cattle, of righteousness……….of willing obedience to the precepts of the Faith……..’

Also quoted extensively as ‘Sraošəm ašim’, the ‘righteous Sraoša’ in Ys: 57, Afrinagan Sraoša and Afrin Paighambar Zarthust

Ys: 50.4: Səraošānē - [About a focused desire for hearing someone/ something specific]29,29A  ‘……I will, with sincere attention, remain anxiously desirous of hearing the melodious hymns of reverence emanating from thy House of Song.’

Sanskrit links: śraušăn (nasal ăn)/ śu-śrūšana/ śu-śrūšām2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28    

The Sanskrit prefixes ‘śu’ and ‘su’ are the Gathic/Avestan ‘hu’, meaning good/ sincere. The addition of these prefixes could well have been inserted to justify the metric rhythm of the line in the Vedic poetic verse. It occurs in the Vedas, Rāmāyana, Mahābhārata, the Code of Manu and in the Upanishāds.             

śraušăn -  MBh: iii, 21.15: ‘There I came to understand that Salva had left the city………….’

śu-śrūšana - R: 2.2 39: ‘Rama, the best among men always asks us - Have your disciples been keenly desirous of  attending to - diligent -  in their duties ?’

śu-śrūšā(m) - R: 2.24.13: ‘Until Dasharatha, great King, my father is alive you should serve him well. There is eternal justice in this.’

Ys: 46.17: Səraošā [About the capacity of wise discrimination] 29,29A 

Zarathushtra beseeches Zāmāsp, calling him wise because ‘after listening attentively he took heed and submitted to the divine authority of Mazdā’s message.’  It, thus, granted him ‘the capacity to discriminate thoughtfully, to be able to appreciate the merits of gainful activity (opposed to sloth) and of the words of the wise (opposed to the unwise) in his quest to be able to reach the supreme realm of Ashavanhood’.

Links in the Young Avesta

Sraošāt - Āfringan-ē-gahanbar.4 (Translation courtesy of Kaikhusroo M. Dastur Jamasp-Asa) 15

Discreet from your obedience, most correctly faithful in your speech, most saintly in your sanctity, most ordered in your exercise of power, least straightened by oppressions…………….most merciful of givers, most helpful to the poor, fulfilling most of the rituals – the blessed and longed-for Asha’

Sanskrit links: : (sarōša)/ śrōš/ śrauš/ śraušat/ śrūš 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                  

Sarošā - MBh: 73.30 - This Vedic word appearing akin to the Gujarati saroshā occurs several times in the Appendix -‘Harivansa’ of ‘The Mahābhārata’.  A composite word of ‘sa’ meaning containing / possessed with and ‘rošā’ meaning anger / rage 22, 25  it has no relevance to Sraošā.

Merely out of interest the verse reads and translates (literally) as follows: -   

saroshā punabhrutvā nīnthatī tasya tam varam

Uvāch vyathitā devī dhānavă dhushtvādhinam…… 

(She, honorable woman, with renewed anger, cursing the boon announced by him, disturbed at heart said to that offensive demon…….) 25  

śrōš-yāmi - MBh: iii, 61.29 ‘From whom shall I obtain the (sweet) message that King Nala……….’ 

śrōša-māna - Rig V: vii,7. 6  ‘...who, listening attentively, have advanced the people’s welfare and……….’

śrōš-dhi - Ath V: iii, xvii, v: ‘May this vital life-breath promote good, fruitful and sin-eliminating knowledge for this soul.’

śrōsh-yāmi - Ath V: iv.iv.1.110: ‘Smiling and witty and her wisdom was sweet and friendly.  When may we be able to attain such invaluable diction, O Lakshman.’

śrōsh-yāsi - MBh: vi, 40.58 ‘With your mind relinquish all your acts to me, be absorbed in me, embrace the yoga of the spirit and always have your mind on me.

śrōš-yati - R: ii, 12.72 ‘Sitā, alas, will be come to know woefully two unpleasant messages.……..…’

śrōš-yata - R: ii, 1.46: ‘The hurried Dasaratha did not call for King Kekaya, the maternal uncle of Bharatha or King Janaka, as he thought they both would come to know the good news even later.’

śu-śrūša - Manu: i, 91: ‘The one duty the Lord has prescribed to the Sudra is to remain diligent and attentive in service even to these (other) three castes’.

śrauš - MBh: viii, 28.62 You would have often heard about the announcement to the kings by Drona and Bhīšma, declaring  the Krishnas to be invincible.’ (The two Krishnas might be Krishna and Balarāma or Krishna and Arjuna).25

śraušat - Rig V: i, 139.1 ‘Let the sacred formula be pronounced!  In truth I would honour Agni first …… ’

Kreyenbroek 20  (page 164) discusses a valid point.  He suggests that the words ‘astu śraušat agnim yaja’ here is used (in a point of ritual) of the sense of the Gathic ‘to worship’ rather than the normal Vedic sense ‘to sacrifice’, the part which Zarathushtra did not promote. This makes sense since after this the Hotr (priest) begins his recitation with the words ‘yē yajamahē’ reminiscent of the Avestan ‘yazamaidē’ (praise /reverence be to). This further indicates that both formulae have a common origin in the Indo-Iranian ritual.  See the equivalent Avestan word, sraošāt in Āfrinagan-ē-Gahanbār.4 above.

OTHER GATHIC DERIVATIVES with links in the Young Avesta and the Vēdic scriptures.

Gath: ‘Fəra-sru’18/ Avest: ‘Fra-sru’/ Skt: ‘Prā-śrū’: 17,18,29,29A

The Gathic/Avestan prefixes Fəra/ Fra and Skt: Prā emphasize clarity, carefulness, precision - thus, here, well-heard of and, therefore, also, (a person made) well known/ famous/ a celebrity, a social acceptance - making the chanting clear and audible (literally broadcasting)/ making a person renowned; famous; worthy of wide social acceptance and praise, even reverence.  In the chanting of the ‘Mănthra Spənta’ of the hymns there is emphasis on accuracy (correctly, clearly, audibly and with proper accent) after listening carefully.17 Such an application involves the entire human spectrum of hearing, listening, understanding, ascertaining and finally, analysing and discriminating. 

‘Fəra-Srūta’18- Ys: 50.8 the Prophet uses the word most effectively. ‘With audible chanting emanating with ecstasy from the very depth of my being and with my hands uplifted, I beseech thee, O Mazdā ………’

This verse indicates emphasis on and the social merits of (literally) ‘broadcasting the Hymns by chanting them aloud and audibly’.  In the absence of reading the virtuosity of the preacher was measured by his loud voice, with all its soulful intonation, its crescendos, modulations, variations of tone and emotional output and its changes of tempo. Such a proficiency in oratory brought immense appreciation and delight to the ears of the ancients.  It would appear that, during Gāthic times in the adoration of the divine, there would have been a clear social acceptance, indeed a social norm of loud communal singing in large congregations associated with tremendous frenzy and rhythmic movements. 27  

Links in the Young Avesta: 17, 18, 26  

Fra-Srūiti - About purification of the house.  ‘Three times purify by washing the body, three times by washing the clothes, three times by audible chanting of the Gathas………….’

Fra-Srūiti - Ys: 9.14 ‘….famed in Airyana Vaejah art thou, O Zarathushtra, having  been the first to recite the Ahuna-vairya, four times with deep intonation, with verses kept apart and with louder and louder voice.

Fra-srūtahē - Visp: 12.2 explains the quality of listening certainly requires patience, attention and concentration the possession of good understanding and deep meditation during the recitation in order to reach understanding and discrimination ‘………the appreciation of the Ahunāvar whenchanted correctly in a singing intonation’.

Fra-sraōthra (Skt: Prā-śrōtra) Derivatives: Fra-sraōthrəm Visp: 2.6 & Fra-sraōthrahē Visp: 1.4 ‘…… And with this offering of Baresman I desire the adoration of the annual seasons, the holy lords of the holy order, the chanting of the Ahunavar…..., and Ashem Vohu………, and the Yenghe hatam……….’.

Fəra-Srūidyāi 18,29,29A Ys: 46.13 & Ys: 46.14 the Prophet talks about the socially acceptable worthiness of those widely known and famous   ‘Such men, who are, thus, helpers of Spitamā Zarathushtra shall be deemed as being worthy…………..’ and ‘…… Zarathushtra, as a friend and an adherent of Truth, shall deem the guild of Māghavans worthy, too………………’

Links in the Young Avesta: 17, 18, 26  

Fra-srūtəm - Meher Yt X.47 ‘The one, renowned  for his knowledge, in anger progressed towards…...’

Fra-srūtām - Ys: 65.3 (Arēdvi Sura Anāhita) famed for the immense volume of water, which is alone equal to all the waters which flow forth upon earth with a mighty rush from high Hukairya to the sea Vourukasha’.

Fra-srūtāo - Fravardin Yt: XIII.29 The verse is in praise of Spenta Mainyu, whose Fravashi helps in maintaining the firmament ‘Ahura Mazda summoned all the Fravashis of the righteous, who are courageous………bestow well-being and are renowned.’

Sanskrit links: 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                  

Prā śu-śrū van - Rig V: v, 87.3 describes the fame of ‘the strong and speedy Māruts through the careful hearing of the psalms sung from the lofty heavens.’ (Try and compare this with Zarathushtra’s yearning in Ys 50.4 above)

Sarva śrūth - R: i, 4.28 - while applauding two singers, describes the all-delightful appreciation of their chanted melodies’ as ‘sarva śrūth manoharan’ (the melody of all melodies).

Bŗihad Araņyaka Up: 6.1.4 also talks about the quality of hearing - ‘Verily, he knows attainment - for him, indeed, is attained what he so wished.  The ear, verily, is attainment: for in the ear all these Vedas are attained.  The wish that he so wishes is attained for him who knows this’ 21

Prā-sravanām - Ath V: vi, 24.1: ‘May thou, Lord of all creation protect me in my eagerness to broadcast  thy sacred tradition.’

Prati-śrūta - a focused attention during intense conversation ending in an appropriate reply/ an agreement/ a promise.

Prati-śrūtya - R: i, 11.21: ‘The sage’s son replied, in turn, to King Ramapāda. “So, will it be done, Sire”.’

Prati-śrū-śrāva - R: i, 1.44: ‘……..to those well versed the promise meant that that the devas in the forest will be eradicated’.

Gath:  ‘Vi-sru - This prefix emphasises completeness -‘listening carefully (without distraction) to every syllable and to the very end.’  Also it carries the meaning ‘highly respected/a renowned person/celebrity’.

Links in the Young Avesta:  

Fravardin Yt XIII. 9117,18,26 talks of ‘the Spiritual and Temporal Lords listening to the sermons carefully and to the very end when the interpretation of the righteous mănthra is praised.’ 

 Sanskrit links: vi-śrū/ vi-śrūta/ vi-śrutām/ vi-śrutāh 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                             

vi-sastrē - Rig V: x,71.4: There is emphasis on the Vedic knowledge having been manifested and conveyed through love and friendship.  The use of the word ‘Vāk/Vāca’ is taken as the form of a woman, bedecked in all her fineries (for her husband to behold and hear).  The word refers to ‘the attraction to hear fully whatever she has to utter’.

vi-śrūt - MBh: iii, 61.39  ‘Sir, thou greatest of all mountains, well renowned and divine of aspects, thou shelter of all beauties, I bow to thee………….’   

vi-śrūta - Sām V: i, 36.5: ‘For what possible reason does she, the all purifying Gangā, often create floods at three levels? How is it that she has attained fame as a beneficial river?’

vi-śrūtām - MBh: iii, 61.40  ‘…….know that I am the daughter of a king, the daughter-in-law of a king, the wife of a king -  I am Damayanti, I am of fame.

vi-śrutāh - R: i, 11.10: ‘The sons of Dasaratha will take birth four in number.  They will possess abounding valour and enrich the dynasty’s reputation, becoming renowned all over the Earth’.

Gath: Sru-yē - that which has been heard willingly and is now common knowledge, having been communicated from the beginning; sacred knowledge transmitted by the holy Sages from generation to generation/ that which has received an audience’.

Ys: 33.7 [About the Gospel of Zarathushtra being heard of and therefore, known even outside the circle/guild of the Māghavans]29,29A The Prophet addresses Ahurā Mazdā, Āshā and Vohu Manāh beseeching them “to come to his aid in ensuring the message of the Gospel reaches the laity”.

Links in the Young Avesta: 17, 18, 26

su-sruyē - Ashi(sh)-svang Yt:17.17  ‘Who is he who invokes my assistance………..whose voice appears so vigorous as to be worthy of being listened to ?’

su-sruyəmnō - Behram Yt:14.21 Describing Yazata Vərəthragna flying swiftly like a bird ‘…………. …….anxious to hear the sweet songs of birds glides over the tops of hills, the summit of mountains, into the depths of valleys and up the tops of trees…………….’

Sanskrit links: śrūya/ śrūyat/ śrūyām/ śrūyatē/ śrūyatăn/ śrūyatām/ śrūyathām/ śrūyathăn/ śrūyatā/ śrūyantē/ śrayantē 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                           

śrūya - Ath V: xiv, 1.2.1: ‘O primordial Lord, in obedience to the tradition of yore, as per thy command we have brought before ye the bride after marriage………..  ’

śrūyat - MBh: iii.110.9 ‘While it is common knowledge that Lompada was a law-abiding Royal seer ……..’    

śrūyām - Ath V: xviii, 2.2.18: ‘O thou Brahmachāri, I beseech thee to seek the words of the sages, who are skilled in a thousand branches of the ancient knowledge’

śrūyatē - Rig V: i.10.17: Talking of Rāvana -‘He is great, mighty and brave supported by many devas, so many in number, O Great king, it is common knowledge he is recognised as the chief of raakshasa-s……..’

śrūyatē - R: i.25.2: ‘Trivial must be her strength - so it is well known of woman.  How can the strength of 1000 elephants bear up to this woman, for a woman is frail……..’

śrūyatē – Rig V: x, 22.1 ‘Where is the famed Indra heard of? With which people is he now known as much as Mitra is…………..?

śrayantē -  Sām V: V,I, 12.2: He takes his weapons, like a hero, in his hands, fain to win light, car-borne, in forays for the kine.  Indu, while stimulating Indra's might, is urged forward and blamed by sages known for skilfullness in their task.’

śrūyantē - MBh: v, 33.55 ‘Three persons hold no property, it is well known ,O King - the wife, the slave and the son. Whatever they receive belongs to him, who owns them.’

śu-śrūyantē - Manu: x, 100 (Let him, the Sudra, follow) those mechanical occupations and those various commonly known arts by following which the twice-born are (best) served.

śrūyatā - Manu: iii, 286 ‘Thus all the known ordinances relating to the five (daily great) sacrifices have been declared to you; hear now the law for the manner of living fit for Brahmanas’.

śrūyatăn - MBh: iii, 45.15 ‘………..the consort of Śaci said to Lornaśa laughingly, “O thou Brahmin sage, whatever thy mind would want explained, listen thus carefully”.’

śrūyatām - R: i, 24.8 ‘Behold, know this well, my child, this forest wilderness.  O, thou Kakushta, to whom does this wilderness belong?’

śrūyathām - Ath V: XII, iii,3.7 ‘Live as a harmonious pair, O husband and wife, in order to promote your mature knowledge you have dedicated to Brahma’

śrūyathăn - Ath V: XII, iii,3.9 ‘Ye both, with your mature knowledge, shall thus gain mutual strength.’

Gath: Srū-idyāi - ‘spiritual instructions’ expected to be listened to attentively’ 29,29A

Ys: 34.12 [About Ahurā Mazdā’s instructions (to be listened to)] ‘……….they will lead to the paths of Ashavanhood and to personal insight.’

Ys: 45.5 [About Ahurā Mazdā’s divine Mănthra Spənta] ‘………….being the best for Zarathushtra’s followers to hear.’

Ys: 46.15 In the incomplete verse Irach J S Taraporewala adds this word while improvising the missing line (vīspā tā yā və srūidyāi vahištā) as his interpretation (‘all these - spiritual instructions -which are the best for mortals to hear’). Also note Dinshaw J Irani’s translation. 14, 29,29A

Sanskrit links:  - śrūdhi/ śrūdhiya 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28

śrūdhi – Rig V: ii, 11.1: Hear thou my call, O Indra; be not heedless: thine may be for thee to give us treasures…………………’          

śrūdhiya - Sām V: II, ii, 19.1: O King, listen to the call of a humble person, who offers praise to……….

śu-śrūdhiya - Rig V: vi, 67.3: ‘Come hither, Mitra-Varuna, invited with eulogies and loving adoration …….urge even men, who quickly hasten to hear thy divine instructions’.

Gath: Fəra-Srūidyāi (Gath: Fəra/ Aves: Fra/ Skt: Prā) meaning ‘the ultimate in the achievement of fame’. 29,29A

Ys: 46.14 [About the guild of Māghavans]  ‘……….they are the followers of truth, achieving fame far and wide as missionaries in distant lands’.

Gath: a-srušta/ a-srušti [About  Zarathushtra reassuring Mazdā]‘distrust or doubt in the value of the mănthra spэnta/ lack of Faith/ heresy’ ] 29,29A

a-sruštā - Ys: 43.12: A double negative ‘nōit a-sruštā’ is used here.  ‘Thou didst instruct me to do what would, otherwise, not have remained unheeded (discountenanced / unfaithful……..)’

a-sruštōiš - Ys: 44.13 ‘How do we, O Mazdā, keep afar followers of Untruth and those who are unfaithful? ………....’ 

‘a-srudum’ - Ys: 32.3  This derivative is used as meaning ‘widely known to remain flagrantly notorious / arrogantly disobedient  and in an evil following’. 

a-sravātэm - Ys: 30.3  The derivativeis used as meaning ‘revealing/ exposing the true quality, whether good or bad’, describing ‘……….the active twain Spirits in the beginning’.

a-srušti - Y: 33.4  About those who have ‘lack of faith’ and the character of such persons 29,29A   

Zarathushtra gives his word that he will ‘O Ahura, do strive to keep afar lack of Faith and such like evil thoughts……………..’ It is interesting that the word ‘a- srušti(m)’ meaning disobedient to/ arrogant disregard of/ discountenance of/ lack of trust in (Mazda’s message) is here, construed as ‘lack of Faith’ since the word ‘Sraoša’ is itself the ‘word incarnate’ [see Ys: 57 above].  The prophet has, obviously, used his poetic fervor to create this striking word, which imposes an appreciable significance to the remaining portion of this verse.

Links in the Young Avesta: 17, 18, 26

śrūśti(n) and śrūśti(m):  Although they also occur in the Vedas, the opposite words ‘a-śrūśti(n)/ a-śrūśti(m)’ do not occur anywhere in the Vedas29A [the word aśrauš, aśrāvayat and aśraušam below do not mean the opposite].  On the other hand, the Gathic negatives, ‘a-srušta and a-srušti(m)’ occur also in the Young Avesta - Ys: 60.5 Daham Āfriti/ Dōā Tandrōśti in the Khordēh Avestā as follows: -   

During Hākhāmāni times, so important was the emphasis on the strict expectations required of the attendants at the Royal Court, that this paragraph was recited by the High priest in the presence of the Great King of Kings just before the proceedings of the Court were convened. For the sake of brevity let us here repeat the recitation: -  ‘In this house - may understanding obedience overcome ignorant disobedience; may harmony displace discord and generosity of spirit triumph over covetous avarice; may respect replace derision and open honesty displace dishonesty. And, above all, may the Righteous Order prevail over the web of deceit and bring consequential happiness to all.’

a-śrūśtəm - Haftan Yasht (major) II.12 ‘He, who keeps a shield against the evil doers……is capable of maintaining his strength to avoid being disobedient to the tenets of the Faith  

a-sruštē’ - This word implying lack of Faith, even occurs in the Pāhlavi text (see Sētāyašē Sraošā)

a-sruštōiš – Haoma Yasht (major) II.2.16 ‘I am in agreement with those who show obedience to the tenets of the Faith; I am not in agreement with those who show disobedience to the tenets of the Faith

Sanskrit links: ‘śrūšti (n)’/ śrūšta/ aśraušam 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28   

The addition of ‘a-‘ as a prefix in Vedic Sanskrit does not make the meaning of the word negative except under certain circumstances (see the paragraph Last word at the end of this ‘paper’)        

śrūšti(n) - Rig V: i, 68.5 ‘willing obedience’ [with a nasal (n) – compare the use of the nasal sound in Ahi(n)sa / Ahi(m)sa] ‘………like fulfilling the wishes of Agni to celebrate his worship the sons obey willingly their father’s behest.’

śrūšta - Rig V: i, 86.5 ‘………..the Māruts listen to the call of the heroes’

śrūšta - Sām V: II, I, 1.10: O thou Agni, Lord of men, on hearing these hymns of reverence, I extol thee, do burn down the Rakshasas, the false enchanters, with thy flame!’

aśraušam - MBh:  (Bhagavadgita 18.74)‘…….….thus did I listen carefully to the conversation of two great souls, Krishna and Arjuna. So thrilling was the message that it made my hair stand on ends.’

Gath: Sraotā meaning ‘listening/ attaining with concentration and to the very end.’ 29,29A

Ys: 30.2 [About listening attentively and to the very end before reflecting]   In this legendary verse, Zarathushtra advises each person separately: ‘Listen attentively to the best of your abilities/faculties, attain, reflect and then come to your decision’.

Ys: 33.11 [About a plea in the Prophet’s dialogue with Ahurā Mazdā] ……..……to listen to my request, O Mazdā, about being carefully attentive when passing thy judgement’]  

Ys: 45.1 [About Zarathushtra urging his followers] ……... to lend him their ears so that he may explain to those who anxiously wish to hear (his sermon)’]

Links in the Young Avesta: 17, 18, 26

Sraōta-tanvō - Fravardin Yt: 13.40‘….reverence be to the good, heroic and holy Fravashis of the righteous, who are victorious,.. …….of renowned strength of body……..’

Zavana-sruta - ‘listening to appeals and prayers of supplication’

Zavanō-srutō - Fravardin Yt: 13.44 ‘The star, ‘Satavaēsa’ after listening to the prayers of supplication causes the waters to flow, the plants to grow……….’

Zavanō-srutəm - Meher Yt: 10.61 ‘Mithra who, listening to appeals, is vigilant……..makes the waters flow…..’

Zavanō-srutəm Fravardin Yt: 13.43 The Fravashis, after listening to the prayers of supplication create an influence upon the star ‘Satavaesa’ between the Earth and the Sky to cause the waters to flow.

Srutō - Renowned/ famed/ noted/ well heard of/ celebrity

Vən: 2.21 ‘…… to Airyana Vaejo of high renown, by the Vanguhi Daitya came Ahura Mazda; he came together with the celestial Yazatas.’

Ys: 9.14 ‘………famed in Airyana Vaejah; and thou, O Zarathushtra did first recite the Ahuna-vairya, four times intoning it, and with verses kept apart………….’].

Sanskrit links  - śrōta/ śrōtā/ śrōtum 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                                                  

śrōtā - Rig V: i, 122.11: Hear ye with care, O Kings of Immortality and givers of joy, attend first to the bequest of the sacrificer.’

śrōtā - Rig V: v, 87.8: ‘Come in a friendly spirit, come to us O Māruts and listen to our invocation as adorers, who praise you………...’ 

śrōtā - Rig V: v, 87.9: ‘Come to our sacrifice, ye Holy Ones, to bless it and, free from demons, hear the invocation of this devotee, O Evāya-Mārut.’

śrōtā - Rig V: vii, 39.3: ‘Bend thy way hither, ye who travel widely; hear our envoy who hath gone to meet thee.’

śrōtum - R: i, 1.5: ‘All this I am eager to listen, as my inquisitiveness is, verily immense ………’

Gath: Sraotū  -listening with concentration and to the very end’.29.29A

Ys: 45.6 [About the expectations, during a sermon, of paying attention and listening carefully] 29.29A

   The prophet clearly commences the verse by saying ‘I now explain to you (his followers) the holy attributes of the Lord of Wisdom…………’ and he wishes that Ahurā Mazdā will listen, too’.   

He continues in Ys: 49.7, ‘And may each one of you concentrate with the good mind (sraotū) and with righteous thought just as the Ahura continues to lend his ears (gūšahvā) and bears witness…………’

 and in Ys: 49.9 ‘Let the fšuyant (akin to a present-day social worker in his diocese) take heed, too’.

Links in the Young Avesta: 17, 18, 26

srut-gaošō - sharp-eared, emphasizing the quality of sharpness of intellect, which makes one quick-knowing, quick-thinking, quick-grasping, quick to understand. Meher Yt (X.35 & 107) Zāmyād Yt: XIX.35 mentions how Mithrā is able to perceive so sharply because his ears hear most attentively since ‘he is endowed with thousand-fold powers’ to do so. 

srut-gaošōtəmō - Zāmyād Yt: XIX.52 ‘The Sun…………has ears, which are quick-grasping to hear words of adoration.’

gaošō-srūtahē and gaošō-srūtəm - Afrinagan of the Sirozas 2.29 & 3.2(also in 3.29) ‘Reverence be to ………… .the religion of the worshippers of Mazda, the knowledge of the Holy Manthra, the innate wisdom created by Mazda, and the wisdom acquired through the ear (by listening attentively), created by Mazda.’

Sanskrit links: 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28  

śrut-karana - Rig V: I, 44.13 ‘Listen, O Agni, thou of  ears sharp enough to attain, with many escorts among the divinities……….’

śrut-karanam - Rig V: I, 45.13 ‘O thou Agni, thou of wide fame and quick to hear………………’

Gath: Sravāō  - meaning ‘chanted Mănthra Spэnta’ as conveying revealed teaching.29,29A

Ys: 28.10 [About chanted ‘divine words’ - those, which have been heard and believed and, therefore, ‘attained’ - to be preached]. 

Fra-srāvayat -Ys: 50.8 the Prophet reinforces the above observations: ‘With audible chanting emanating with ecstasy from the very depth of my being and with my hands uplifted in reverence, I beseech thee, O Mazdā……………...’

vispa sravāō’ - Ys: 57.4 in the line ‘vispa sravāō Zarathushtri yazamaidē’ - reverence be to all the divine manthra(s) of Zarathushtra.

sravāō  - Also in Ys: 32.9 [About false prophets and their doctrine - distorted teachings of the chanted words] ‘………………manipulating the divine Mănthra Spənta heard by them in favour of their own perverted doctrine’.

Links in the Young Avesta  17,18,26

Fra-srāvayat - ‘loud and audible chanting of the Mănthra Spэnta’ in Sraoša Yasht (major). Ys: 57.8 The first to do so, apparently, was Sraoša.

Fra-srāvayōiš - Vən: 17.6 'Thereupon thou shalt draw three furrows with a knife of metal around the hole, or six furrows or nine, and thou shall chant the Ahunāvar three times, or six, or nine.’

Fra-srāvayōit - Vən: 18.43 ‘……..and stepping three steps further off, shall say three Ahunāvar, two humatanām31, three hukhshathrōtəməm, and again chant the Ahunāvar and one Yənghē hātănm.

Fra-srāvayamnahē - Visp: 12.2 ………….…to appreciate the Ahunavar, of righteous order, chanted in a singing tone prepares the worshipper in holiness and in fame.’

srāvayō - Ys: 71.16  …………….holy shalt thou cause (thy) soul to pass over Chinvat Bridge; holy shalt thou come into Heaven. Thou shalt chant the the holy verses of Gāthā Ushtavaiti with ecstacy.’

srāvayō – Hadokht Nask 2.13 'When thou wouldst see a man making derision and…………….., then thou wouldst commence chanting the Gāthās and worshipping the good waters and …………..’

asrāvayō - disinclined to chant the Gāthās or perform the Yasna

Vən: 18.5 'He who sleeps on throughout the night, neither performing the Yasna nor chanting the hymns…………….. do not call him an Āthravan, O thou holy Zarathushtra' thus said Ahurā Mazdā.

asrāvayant-Gāthō - not willing to chant the thās

Āvăn Yasht 5.92 Spoke Arēdvi Sura Anāhita ‘my plea for advice shall neither shed light to…..nor to the one…….who is not willing to chant the Gathas

Sanskrit links: śrāvō/ śrāva/ śū-śrāva/ śrūva/ śu-śrūvu2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                          

śrāvō - Rig V: iv, 17.20 ‘King of all creatures, give us glory and exalted glory to him who glorifies thee…..’

śrāva - Sām V: VI, I, 14.1: Adorable in all our prayerful words, favour us, Agni, with thine aid. When will the psalm be chanted forth?’

su-śrāva - R: 1.24.5: ‘There is a gentle sound clearly heard of waters gushing forth at the confluence of the rivers Gangā and Sarayu………………’

śrū-vena (derivative of śrūva) - Ath V: xviii, 4.6: ‘O thou worshipper fill all the vast quarters, without reluctance, with the secret revelation like a calf at birth fills the cow’s udders with milk’.

śu-śrūvu - Ath V: vii, 112.1: ‘…….we have been endowed with a sevenfold intellectual code of revealed teaching.   May it deliver us from promoting evil.’

śū-śrūva - Ath V: x, 71.5:  ‘One man a laggard, dull in friendship, never did urge himself to deeds of valour; he wanders in profitless illusion; to him the enlightening words of revealed knowledge bear neither fruit nor flower.’

Gath: Sravāōs - ‘chanted Mănthra Spənta as conveying revealed  teaching.29,29A

Ys: 34.15 [About Mazdā being beseeched by Zarathushtra]  ‘………… for the very best of his holy words of instruction in his divine revelation to him’.   

Links in the Young Avesta 17, 18, 26

srāvasayəmnāo - FravardinYt: 13.40 ‘………….reverence be to the good, heroic and holy Fravashis of the righteous, who are victorious,……..,.. …….of renowned strength of body……..’

Sanskrit links: śravāsa/ śravāsam/ śravāsē/ śravāsya/ śravāsyam/ śravāsyav/ śravās-yati/ śravāsye/ śravāsyuh 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                          

śrāvasa - Manu: viii, 298: ‘In the statutes it has been conveyed that for donkeys, sheep, and goats the fine shall be five mashas; but the punishment for killing a dog or a pig shall be one masha’.

śravāsa - Sām V: VII, i, 7.2:  ‘All round about hast thou with glory pierced for us, as it were, a never failing well for men to drink from……………………….’

śravāsē - Sām V: III, i, 2.6 O  Valiant Indra, may we continue to sing thy lofty fame ……’

śravāsya - Sām V: IV, ii. 2.4 ‘The learned person chanting the mantras conveying the revealed teaching  ……….moves forward to attain supreme bliss’.

śravāsyam – Rig V: i, 117.9 ‘O Aśvins……strong, winner of a thousand battles, resistless the serpent slayer, glorious, triumphant.’

śravāsyav - Sām V: VIII, ii, 10.3 ‘Seeking glory, we invoke thee with the holy mantras Lord of wealth, grand in the immortal deeds of creation, sustenance and dissolution’.

śravasyā - Ath V: XX, i, 94.6 ‘The devoted pious, the worshippers of the divine, who cultivate the difficult to achieve glorious acts go through the best path of virtue separately.’

śravāsyē - Ath V: XX, i, 12.1 ‘O learned sages, chant aloud the Ved-mantras, which are full of true knowledge (revealed by the rishis in the beginning).’

śravāsyuh - Rig V: i, 55.6 ‘….not wanting glory but with strength increased on earth, he with great might destroys the dwellings……..’

Gath: Sravanghā - ‘hearing the Mănthra Spənta as constituting meaningful/ worthy knowledge.’ 29,29A

Ys: 32.12 [About these false prophets again, who create distortion of the revealed knowledge in their deceiteful sermons]……….thus encouraging distraction from the righteous order and way of life and the wilful disruption of a structured society’.

Sanskrit links: śravanē/ / śravasăn (as below) 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                      

Gath: Sravanghănm - ‘hearing/proclaiming the Mănthra Spэnta as constituting meaningful/  worthy knowledge.’ 29,29A

Ys: 28.9 [About invoking Mazda by offering the hymns of praise] ………. the meaningful divine Mănthra Spənta as worthy of being chanted’.

Sanskrit links:  śravanō/ śravanē/ śravana/ sravaniya/ śravasăn/ śravasăm2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                         

śravanō - MBh: iii, 13.20 ‘After having been Nārāyana you have become Hari, enemy vanquisher, Brahma……..…  you are, indeed, the unborn Guru of worthy knowledge of all that moves and stands……..’

śravanē - MBh: ii, 6.12 ‘I will now speak of the Brahma, where all fatigue is dispelled …if only you have a mind to listen ………’  

śravanē - MBh: iv, 48.18  ‘Duryōdhana went on, proclaimed his name and scattered the enemy swiftly with his arrows which swarmed like locusts.’ 

śravasăn - Rig V: ix, 70.2 ‘……….when through their proclaimed glory they found the divinity, Soma’s resting  place………’

Gath: Srā-vayənghē [About the praise of a worthy person being chanted out loud/ proclaimed] 29,29A

The Guj/ Hindi/ Urdu equivalent of ‘srā’ is ‘sār’/ Skt-svāra: essence/ substance/ worth/ worthiness/ the clear tone of a melody when sung; chanted aloud.

Ys: 29.7 & 29.8:  Here, the meaning is the true worth/ credibility of a person’. Ys: 29.8 This unique verse is a follow up of a question put to Vōhu Manāh in the previous verse Ys: 29.7 in the very words of Ahurā Mazdā: -.

‘Who in thine mind, O thou Vōhu Manāh, is likely to be worthy of being the saviour of all humankind?’  

The question very much equates to the mode of present-day teaching, too, where the speaker asks a question to his audience and continues his lecture, answering it.  Here, too, Ahurā Mazdā then continues: -

‘The only recognisable person of worth, well known to me is Spitamā Zarathushtra.’

Links in the Young Avesta: 17,18,26

srāvayaēni - Avăn Niyāyēsh: 4.8  ‘………I shall henceforth chant out loud the Staōta Yasna and the Ahuna Vairyō, and shall pour forth with good intonation the Āshā Vahishta (Ashēm Vōhu), and shall purify the good waters with………….’  

srāvayaēna and srāvayamnanăm - Ys: 19.5 ‘It was this verse - the Ahuna-vairya, O Spitamā Zarathushtra, which especially belongs to me. When it is intoned aloud without the repetition of words………. well recited without additions or omissions………,’

srāvayaēma - Ys: 49.6 [About Zarathushtra’s appeal to Mazdā and Āshā urging them] ‘  ……..to reveal their wisdom in their divine plan for humankind so that he may, then, proclaim the Faith’. 

srāvayamnāt - Meher Yt X.91 ‘…….hands cleansed with water…………..a true worshipper prepares to chant aloud the Ahunāvar.’

srāvayantəm - Haoma Yt - Ys: 9.1 At the time of Hāvan Gāh Haoma Yazata approached Zarathushtra, tending the Fire.  Chanting aloud the Gāthās, he sanctified the purity of the flames.’

Sanskrit links:  śrāvayan/ śravāyaya/ śrivayami/ śrivayamu2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28                    

śrāvayan - R: ii, 3.32: ‘In deep humility, recounting his own worthiness he bent down to offer his salutation at his father’s feet’.

śrāvayan – Rig V: ii, 13.12 ‘…………….worthy of praises art thou.’

śravāyaya - Sām V: VI, ii 14.2:  ‘O Lord, thou remover of all obstacles, none can vanquish thy devotee, whose true worth is in his strength’.

śrivayāmu - Ath Ved: vi, 73.1: Let the scholarly person, blazing like Fire and equipped with knowledge, come hither. Together, ye kinsmen, come united to enjoy the wealth of his dignified worth’.

Gath: Srāvayəitē meaning ‘that, which is heard of about the intent of a person - good or bad’. 29,29A  

Y: 32.6: [About the intent of persons well known (famous or infamous)] Here, the notoriety of deluders and their wicked motive is observed and noted carefully in the form of a log of bio-data in the supreme mind of Ahurā Mazdā (for the ultimate reference on Judgement Day).

Links in the Young Avesta:  srāvayāiti/ srāvayāti/ srāvayēidhyai/ srāvayōiš 17, 18, 26

srāvayāiti - Ven: 18.9 ‘...who among men is most destructive? ‘Ahurā Mazdā answered………..and who, for three springs, has not chanted the known hymns of the Gāthās………….’

srāvayāti - Ys: 19.6  ‘……..whoever in this world of mine, which is corporeal shall mentally recall, O Spitama Zarathushtra, a portion of the Ahunāvar, and having thus recalled it……………  shall then utter it aloud ……… I will help guide his soul over Chinvat Bridge, I, who am Ahurā Mazdā (I will assist  him to pass over it)…………’

srāvayēidhyai - Vishtāspa Yasht: XXIV.46 May the Amesha-Spəntas impart to thee their brightness and glory and plenty.  May they give swift horses and illustrious sons, strong, great in all things, strength to chant aloud the Gāthās.

srāvayōiš -  Ven: 11.2 ‘ and Ahurā Mazdā answered ‘Thou shalt chant the cleansing Gāthās and clean shall be thy house, clean shall be thy………………’

Sanskrit links: (Skt: śrāvya/ śrāvyē/ śrāvayēd/ śrāvayat/ śrāvayati/ śravayate/ sravayatām/ śrāvayētha/ aśrāvayati) 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28   

śrāvya - MBh: i, 2.235 ‘A Brahmin who is known for his loud audible chanting of  the four Vedas and their branches and the Upanishads, but does not know this epic (Mahabharata) has no learning at all.’

śrāvyē - MBh: i, 56.28 ‘He who is known to recite aloud the Vedas to Brahmins during the days of the moon becomes washed of all evil, is ensured of his heaven and is welcome to the eternal Brahman.’

śrāvyēd - MBh: iv, 29.3 Speak aloud so he may hear, so he may show his vigour and be joyful in the way he loveth………………’

śravayatām - MBh: vii, 62.5 ‘Ye Youthful, make our intentions be well-heard among the people; listen, too, Mitra-Varuna, these invocations of mine.’

śrāvayētha - MBh: v, 30.41 ‘pray, let the king know of your intent only after you have succeeded.

śravayat-pati(m) - Rig V: v, 25.5 ‘Agni gives to the worshipper a son, the best and of mightiest fame, of deep devotion never subdued, bringer of glory to his sire.’

aśrāvayati - Rig V: v, 82.9 ‘He who gives glory unto all these living creatures with the song and brings them forth…….’

Gath: Srāvi meaning ‘a person well heard of and therefore well-known, of fame/glory, a noted personality, a celebrity’. 29, 29A The word has also been (rarely) used for an ill-heard of/ infamous/ notorious person, too).  Vi-srāvi is extraordinary fame.

Ys: 45.10: The Prophet emphasizes ‘His devotion to Ārmaity, Āshā, Vōhu Manāh, Vohu Khshathra, Haurvatāt and Amərətāt.’ - the immortal reverential attributes of Ahurā Mazdā.  

Ys: 47.1  Here, all 7 immortal attributes, worthy of reverence have been named. 

And in Y: 46.14: ‘One such person, who is so widely known, indeed, is Kavi Vishtāspa, himself ……………’  

Links in the Young Avesta:17,18,26

Ys: 32.7 ‘Those slothful, who will shun activity, which is for the sake of progress have become well known to expose themselves to the Fiery Test…………………’ and Yas 32.8   ‘Among those known widely known are Vīvanghušo and also Yima……………..’

Sanskrit links:  śrāvi/ śrāva/ śrāvō/ su-śrāvi/ vi-śrāvi/ śrāvitā/ śrāvitē/  śrāvitavē/ śrāvitavai2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28 

śrāvō - Rig V: iv, 31.15: ‘Make, O Surya, our renown the highest among the divinities - as lofty as the heavens on high.’

śrāvitā - MBh: ii, 68.43 ‘After hearing Sahadeva’s words, Nakula, too, O Lord of your people, he, known to be the most handsome looking of men thus spoke…………..’

śrāvitē - MBh: ii, 145.14 ‘O King, thou of  fame and glory what king Suyodhana was told amidst the Kurus

vi-srāvyaRig V: x. 93.14  ‘…..……thus have I sung to Vena, Rama, the nobles and the King.  They yoked 500 steeds for the battle and, with their love upon us, what of legendary fame, they moved forward’.

Gath: Srāvi: Here, also means a fact or thought that is well known 29,29A in Yas 53.1: ‘The highest wish of Spitamā Zarathushtra has been well known, through the blessings of Ahurā Mazdā, is to attain a life of Immortality……………’

Gath: Sravahī meaning ‘a person known for his wordly wisdom, a sage’.29,29A

Ys: 30.10 [About such false prophets whose triumphant efforts have been annulled]  ‘……..they shall, with persistence, ultimately reform and, at last, yearn to become known as the ones possessing worldly wisdom’.

Links in the Young Avesta 17, 18, 26

sravahē - Āfrinagan of Sraoša.12 (section of āshirvād) ‘……through timely thoughts, words, and deeds; to suppress all the evil-minded, and all Daeva-yasnians, so as to attain to good reward, and to good renown, and to long happiness of my soul.’

Sanskrit links:  śravātha/ śravāti2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28      

ā-śravāti - Athar V: v, 19.8 ‘Misfortune is bound to strike the realm, wherein a person possessing wordly wisdom  is exposed willfully to the suffering of dishonour and hurt’.

shā-śravāti - Manu: i, 98: ‘The very birth of a Brahmana is an eternal incarnation of the sacred law; for he is born of wordly wisdom to fulfil the sacred law.  He, thus, becomes one with Brahma’.

Gath: Srəvimā meaning ‘having been so implicitly obedient as to remain devoted to the Faith. 29,29A  

Ys: 28.7 [About Mazda’s devoted followers ‘obeying’]  Zarathushtra beseeches Ahurā Mazdā ‘……….to grant blessings to his followers to remain devoted to the persuasive richness of the Mănthra Spənta’. 29,29A  

The obscure Gathic word, Srəvimā does not seem to have a Sanskrit equivalent, at least not in the above mentioned texts. Ervad Kavasji Edulji Kanga in his Avesta Dictionary says the ‘old word’ was ‘sruyama’.18  It is possible that ‘Srəvimā’ is a compound word derived from the Sanskrit words ‘śrēyas’ meaning to be ‘yearning/ desirous of/ well disposed to’ and ‘vimā’, meaning to ‘ordain/ make ready/ set right’.23   Presumably, Zarathushtra’s connotation - ‘a thirst for knowledge in the Mănthra Spənta’ appears to be acceptable in the context of the above interpretation of Ys: 28.7 ‘having been so implicitly obedient as to remain devoted to the Faith.

The common Vēdic / Gāthic heritage   

The Vēdās (Gathic / Avestan: Vaēdā) were called śrūti’ (śrū- to listen and iti - that which is) 6,27,29  They were really the divine Mantra (Gāthic/Avestan: Mānthra) to be ‘listened to’.  The śrūti(s) were instruments of broadcast, merely given back to the masses ‘as they were heard from the spiritual realm’ by the poetic Rishis, who composed them (at first there was nothing in writing).  They were transmitted, generation after generation, by the ‘oral tradition’ of the Indo-Iranians.  The great Āryās, both, the Vēdic Āryānic peoples and the Gāthic/Avestan Āiryānic peoples held the hymns of the Vēdās and the Gāthās to be Divine Revelations.

Sanskrit links: About ‘Divine Revelations’ and ‘to be well versed in them’ śrūti, śruta, śrūtām, śrūtāt, 2, 4 , 5, 6, 8 to 13, 15, 19-24, 28      

To be ‘well versed in the Vēdās’, indeed, was to hold an esteemed position in society at the time.    

śrūti - Manu: ii, 8 The learned man after fully scrutinising all this with the eye of knowledge, ought, in accordance with the authority of the revealed verses, to be intent on (the performance of) his duties’.

śrūti - R: I, 18.59:  Hearing carefully the words of Dasaratha, which were so pleasing to the heart and to the ears…………………’

śruta - Sām V: III, i, 3.4: ‘O thou soulful retainer (in thy heart) of the sacred learning chant adequately the praise of the ……………..’              

śrūta - Sām V: I, i, 4.9: ‘May we come to realise the Lord, the remover of the evil of ignorance, the most excellent, the promoter of humanity -  he had revealed the Vedic truth’  

śrūta - R: IV, ii, 14.3: ‘O omniscient Lord, be assured thy adorable vast knowledge is now being spread in all regions’.

śrūta - Manu: iii, 27: The gift of a daughter, after decking her with …………… to a man learned in the Veda being of virtuous conduct, whom (the father) himself invites, is called the Brahma rite’.

śrūtām - Rig V: xi, 11.6 ‘What ye, in times of yore, Indra and Varuna, gave rishis the divine revelation, the thought and power of song………………’

śrūtāt - Ath V: xiii, 2.4‘…the wise Lord elevates the soul from the Earth to a higher level of emancipation. So, too, the man who has attained with concentration beholds thee……...’

śrūti-riyan - MBh: iii, 198.49 ‘When one rues his misdeeds he is freed from the consequential evil and from repeating those acts………….O foremost of Brahmins, this is the revelation found in the divine Laws.’

su bahũn śrūtān - R: I, 13.8 ‘Thus, flawless scholars of the scriptures and those well versed in the Vedas  gathered together to…………………’.

śrūddhi - Rig V: x, 125.4 ‘śrūddhi śrūt śthiva tē vathāmi……….’ ‘Hear thou, who is eager to hear: I will reveal to thee the divine revealed truth……….…’

The Vēdic ‘śrūti’ and the Gāthic ‘sruti’:

The original śrūti, the hymns of the Rig Vēda/ Gāthās, were sung like songs, the recital being accompanied by staccato beats and rhythmic movements.  There would have been tremendous frenzy in the rhythmic movements and the loud communal singing in large congregations, producing a kind of mood befitting the adoration of the Divine.  The proof of this fact lies in the persistence of these activities in the form of folklore songs (legendary and even mythical) accompanied by ritual dancing, typical to the way of life of each group.27   

In Ys: 50.8 the Prophet (as we have noted before) reinforces this notion with a profuse outpouring of emotion: ‘With audible chanting emanating with ecstasy from the very depth of my being and with my hands uplifted in reverence, I beseech thee, O Mazdā……………...’                                            

Sanskrit links:      

Manu: ii,10 ‘śrūtis tu vēdō vignōyō dharmashāstra tu vai śmriti……’ -‘but by śrūti (the divine Revelation) is meant the Veda, and by śmriti (the remembrance of the sacred tradition) the Institutes of the sacred law: these two must not be questioned in any matter, since it is from these two that the sacred law itself has shone forth’. 16      

Manu: iv,155 ‘śrūti śmrityudhita samya dirbanth svēshu karmasu………………..’ - Let him, untiring, follow the conduct of virtuous men, connected with his occupations, which has been fully declared in the revealed texts (śrūti) and in the sacred tradition (śmriti) and is the very root of the sacred law’.16

As the different peoples of Gāthic/ Airyānic origins migrated further south and (mainly) west in their untiring search for greener pastures, they met with the different peoples of the Semitic race. This resulted, naturally, in some mutual influence on each other and on their cultural heritage. The Judaic Talmud, too, declares its two basic doctrines on the great utterance, ‘Shemah’ meaning ‘Hear ye’, the Jewish affirmation of the Oneness of God (Yahweh), their ‘Confession of Faith’.  'Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One' (Deuteronomy 6:4 New International Version).

Memories of reverence to Sraōša takes us way back to the primeval times of Gāyāhē Marētan, who, it is mentioned, received the wishes and advice of Ahurā Mazdā through Yazata Sraōša, who was his ‘daēnō-disō daēnayāō’ (instructor of the Mazdāyasni daēnā).  Since Gāyāhē Marētan was the first to hear such advice, learned scholars believe that the earliest Āryās (the Āryānic and the Āiryānic peoples) possessed the very beginning of the śrūtis or the Vaēdās.  Vedic hymns, rituals and even astronomy seem to testify to this existence from the early dawn of memory in time.27 

Apart from the closeness of the Vēdic and Gāthic languages some clues in the Prophets utterances, too, appear to bear testimony to the oneness of all the Āryānic and Āiryānic peoples.

It is as if Zarathushtra’s Prophetic Revelation appears to be indicating - “Thus have I heard, thus have I listened, thus have I attained, thus have I spoke”.  Let us look further for the import of this statement: -

Ys: 28.10: [About the emphasis on whatever ‘was known’] 29, 29A

 Zarathushtra also uses the word ‘Vaēdā’ (Vedic Skt: ‘Vēdā’) meaning ‘that which is known’.  In the absence of writing, during Gathic times, that which was known could only mean that, which was heard and listened to attentively/ that which was transmitted by the holy sages from generation to generation by the oral tradition. Part of the verse reads: - ‘…………..for it is known that no divine words chanted with sincere devotion can ever remain unattained’.

Ys: 28.5: [About ‘faith/belief’ being the end-point of ‘attainment’ - the obligation of a total self-surrender to the Divine Will]29, 29A

The Prophet uses the words ‘Vōhū Vaēdəmnō’, which could well be a composite of Vōhū’, ‘Vaēdā’ and ‘Manō’, thus probably referring to ‘wisdom gained through the message of the Good Mind is attained by listening to’. This may well be a poetic licence used, possibly, to justify the metric rhythm of the verse.

In the same verse he uses the words ‘Səraošəm Mazdāi’, which appears to suggest the ultimate inwilling obedience / total self-surrender to the Divine Will of Mazdā’.

Last word

Here I would like to review some previous comments which, I think, are worthy of elaboration:

1) Vēdic śrōš not a Divinity: Although, in both the Vēdic and the Gāthic/Avestan texts the derivatives of the common Sanskrit root word ‘śrū’ has the same meaning, in the latter the Zoroastrian ‘səraošā’ (Av: sraoša; Far: sōroush; Guj: sarōsh) is personified as a Yazata, holding a highly esteemed position in the pantheon of Yazatas, second only to the Amēsha Spəntas. Yet there is no such personification of the equivalent Sanskrit words ‘śrōš/ śrauš / śrūš/ śu-śrūš’ and the derivatives in the Vēdic texts.  “It is possible to argue that śrūti or the Vedic authority is often deified with verses dedicated to Vēdāpuruša. However, the comment that there is absence of the personification of the Gāthic ‘səraošā’ in the Vēdās is justified in the sense there are no Vedic temples built to such a deity.”25

2) Name of a month: Yet, it is of interest to note that there is no month named after Yazata sraoša in the Zoroastrian calendar. The reason for this omission seems to be rather obscure.15  Could it possibly be due to the fact that Yazata sraoša, being the sole Earthly representative of Ahurā Mazdā, is held in such high esteem by mortals that this high regard is upheld for ‘all seasons’ by not having one month, which would be merely a limited period of the year allotted in his name?  

3) Negatives: In comparison to the Avestan scriptures where the presence of the prefix ‘a’ before a word makes the meaning of the word negative [e.g. in the case of śrūśti(n) and śrūśti(m) the opposite Avestan words are a-śrūśti(n)/ a-śrūśti(m)] this is nor so in the Vedic and Sanskrit texts, where the meaning of the word does not become negative(e.g. a-śrauš, a-śrāvayat, a-śraušam...etc).  The reason is the prefix ‘a-’ in Sanskrit has two uses. When combined with roots, it often creates past tense forms, either in present or in aorist.  The prefix ‘a-’ (or ‘an-’ before a noun starting in a vowel) is the one which gives the negative or the opposite meaning. to adjectives. 25

4) Double negatives: During my elementary searches I had noted the Vēdās are conspicuous by the absence of double negatives, which Zarathushtra’s people were fond of using (e.g. in Avest: ‘an-āhita’ -  not impure). Note the manner in which Zarathushtra uses the double negative ‘nōit a-sruštā’ in Ys: 43.12: ‘Thou didst instruct me to do what would, otherwise, not have remained unheeded/ discountenanced/ unfaithful ……..)’ 29,29A

Dwelling further on the matter in the later Sanskrit Texts this does not appear to be so. There is indeed at least one well known double negative in Skt:an-avadya’ not unworthy of high praise/ not faulty. [avadya  (‘a’+ ‘vadya’) means something not to be praised, ie of a lower/ poor quality, and ‘an’ negating it, means ‘not’].  It is all a function of how commonplace the first negative is. Another example is Skt:an-avirata’ = continuous, without stopping: ‘a’ + ‘virata’ means not stopped / rested. 25

5) A unique Gāthic/Avestan vowel sound: The pronunciation of the vowel sounds ‘ə’ as in fed and ənas in the French ‘trés biən’ is unique to the Gāthic/Avestan languages. These vowel sounds ə’ andən’ are not found in the alphabets of Sanskrit and (Shuddha) Gujarāti (and possibly also in other Indic group of languages) where all ‘e’ vowel sounds are pronounced as ē as in fade. 


1. Antolak, Ryszard: Electronic posting - To: asha@bahnhof.se  Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2001; Subject: Asha: Re: The Story of YAZATAS, the Adorables.

2. Bose, Abinash Chandra, Hymns from the Vedas, Original Sanskrit Text with English translation, introduction and notes, Asia publishing House, London, 1966.

3. Boyce, Mary, Zoroastrianism - Its Antiquity and Constant Vigour, Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, 1992.

4. Bühler, George, The Laws of Manu, Sacred Books of the East, Volume 25.

5. Buitenen, Johannes Bernardus van, The Mahābhārata translation, Univ Chicago Press, Chicago, 1973.

6. Chatterji, J. M., The Hymns of Ātharvana Zarathushtra, Harihar Press, Calcutta, 1967.

7. Darmesteter, James, Sacred Books of the East (Translation in digital text - Zoroastrian Archives - from the American Edition, 1898).

8. Devi Chand., The Athārvāvēda - Sanskrit text with English translation, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1982.

9. Devi Chand., Sāma Vēda - Sanskrit text with English translation, V.V.R.Institute Press, Hoshiarpur, 1963

10. Dutt, Chinmay, Selections from Avesta and Old Persian texts, grammatical notes and indexes, The World Press Pvt. Ltd, Calcutta, 1973

11. Gonda, J., The vision of the Vēdic poets, The Hague, Mouton, 1963.

12. Griffith, R. T. H., The Hymns of the Ŗig Vēda, Motilal Banarassidas, Delhi, 1976.  

13. Hume R. E., The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Revised Second Edition, Oxford Univ. Press, New Delhi, 1985.

14. Irani, Dinshaw J., The Gāthās, The Hymns of Zarathushtra, The Centre for Ancient Iranian Studies, Newton, 1998.

15. Jamasp-Asa, Kaikhusroo M., Personal communications.

16. Jolly. J., Critical Notes on (The Code of Manu) Manava Dharma Shāstra - Original Sanskrit Text, Trubner and Co., London, 1887.

17. Kanga, Kavasji Edulji, Khordēh Avesta (Original in Gujerati 1880), Reprint Nirnaya Sagar Press, Bombay 1926.

18. Kanga, Kavasji Edulji, ‘Avasthā bhāshā ni sampurna farhang’ (A Dictionary of Avesta, Gujerati and English languages), Education Society’s Steam Press, Bombay, 1900.  

19. Kramer, Samuel Noah, History begins at Sumer - Thirty-Nine Firsts in Man’s Recorded History, The Univ of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1981.

20. Kreyenbroek, Philip G., Sraōša in the Zoroastrian tradition, Leiden, Brill, 1985.

21. Mills, Lawrence H., Sacred Books of the East (Translation in digital text - Zoroastrian Archives - from the American Edition, 1898).

22. Misra, Satya Swarup, The Avestan – a historical and comparative grammar, Chankhamba Orientalia, Vidya Vilas Press, Varanasi, 1979.

23. Monier-Williams, Sir Monier, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, New Edition, 1988

24. Rulia, Ram Kashyap Vishveshvaranand, The Vedic origins of Zoroastrianism, Vedic Research Institute Press, Lahore, 1940.

25. Sanskrit Team members - Abhyankar, Nandu; Hattangadi, Sunder; Moharir, Yadunath; Rao, Desi Raju; Sathaye, Avinash, Personal communications.

26. Sethna, Tehmurasp Rustamji, Yashts/Yasna/Vəndidād (3 separate Vols), Ma’aref Printers, Karachi, 1976 and 1977.

27. Spencer, Hormusji Shapoorji, The Aryan Ecliptic Cycle, H. P. Vaswani, Poona, 1965.

28. Sukhthankar, V. S.; Belvalkar, S. K.; Vaidya, P. L., General Editors, The Mahabharata Vols. 1 - 19 (18 Books, Critically Edited from the  Sanskrit text of Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa) Bhandarkar Oriental Institute, Poona, from 1925 onwards.

29. Taraporewala, Irach J. S., Ashō Zarathushtra nā Gāthā’ - The Gāthās of Zarathushtra, Avesta Text in Gujerati and English, Trend Printers, Bombay-4, 1962.  This rare edition in Gujarāti, meant to be of assistance in the pronunciation of the Gāthic words and to augment a better comparative understanding of the explanations, is complementary to the First Edition (published in the Roman script in 1951).  In this respect this Edition certainly succeeds.  Each verse in the Gujarati script with the translation in Gujarati is printed on the left page of the book and the same verse in the Roman script and its translation in English on the page opposite.

29A. Taraporewala, Irach J. S., (Reprint of the First Edition of 1951) The Divine Songs of Zarathushtra, Hukhta Foundation, Bombay, 1993. 

[29 & 29 A:  My main source for comparative studies in conjunction with the Vēdic and Sanskrit Texts has always remained these two outstanding books of Irach J. S. Taraporewala.  There are several instances in his book that this great Sanskrit/Gāthic/Avestan scholar has referred to certain observations in passing during comparative studies. I have, at places, merely tried to dwell a little further into such passing comments]

30. Tilak, Bal Gangadhar,, The Arctic Home of the Vēdas, Tilak Bros., Pune, 1983.

 Qaddimi Ruz Sherevar, Mah Sherevar YZ Era 1374 (21 December 2004)