Avestan: sraoš

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Artaxerxes I

Senior Member
German, Persian
Hello forum members!

According to the "Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarisches" from Manfred Mayrhofer, the avestan verbal root sraoš- like the vedic cognate śroṣ- carries the meaning "to obey, to be obedient". It is also the root of the common noun sraoša - "obedience, discipline" and the theonym Sraoša/Sǝraoša.

But someone i know, challenges this interpretation and translates sraoš- as "to hear, to listen to, to inspire, to motivate, to spark"; so he does not connect the zarathustrian divinity Sraoša- with obedience/discipline, but rather views him as the personification of divine inspiration and motivation. His main argument is, that the concept of "obedience" in the relationship between mortals and god(s), is alien for the earliest (gathic) avestan hymns. (in contrast to semitic religions)

I know, that sraoš- is derived from an -s-extension of the verbal root srav-/sru- "to hear, to listen to", but all dictionaries i have inquired, state that sraoš means "to obey, to be obedient" and not "to hear, to listen to".

Could someone please give me a credible and convincing reference for the most likely meaning of sraoš?

I would be very thankful!

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