Avestan xratu, ḵratü, Homeric krátos “triumph of the spirit, seer-will, superior wisdom.”


Persian xratu is the word for “superior wisdom.” The ancient Indo- Iranian xratu or more accurately the Avetsan ḵratü “unrivaled wisdom, superior powers of mind/spirit to recall and summon into being” is in the poetic gathas and the Avestan lore, interchangeable with mazdá, the supreme god of “imagination, mind and inspiring creativity.”

The term ḵratü appears over 22 times in the poetic gathas.

Avestan ḵratü, Vedic kratú, Greek krátos refer to “the power of the spirit to triumph.” Ḵratü is closely associated with manas “passion, energy, spirit, mind-power.”

In ḵratü “vision, wisdom and superior skill” are ONE. Lommel’s translation of ḵratü as “Geisteskraft” or “the unrivaled power of spirit/mind to create, manifest, summon into being” is right on the dot.

 Mazdá and/or Ma(n)zdá (*mens-dheh-) incorporates the Indo European noun *mens of the stem ménos (passion, spirit, will power, mind-energy) and the verb *dheh “to set, establish, do, create.” Hence, Mazdá translates into “setting mind power, spirit, fiery passion into doing, creating and manifesting.”

In Avesta and the rest of the Zoroastrian sacred lore, Ahûrás are ahûrá or god beings because of their “virtue, goodness” and their ḵratü “wisdom, unrivaled creativity and superb genius.”

In the Rig Veda, kratú is best translated as “wisdom of making/creating.” The word is used in the context of spiritual power or the seer/poet’s craft.

The Rig Veda conceives the seer/poet as a kárú, meaning “maker, creator, worker.” The notion of the Rig Vedic seer/poets is one of uniting spiritual energy with realization and result called kratú in Sanskrit. Kratú is also the “answer to prayers” during the yajna ritual literally “zealous yearning.”

In Homeric terms krátos is “superiority.” Krátos is connected with the Avestan ḵratü “superior wisdom, powers of mind/spirit to recall and summon into being”.” The Greek term kratús, just like the Avestan ḵraôžd (See Yasna 30.5, 2nd rhymed verse line) is related to Gothic hardus “hard, solid, firm.”

In both Greek and Avestan there is an overlap of the two word families. This is well illustrated by the twofold use of the word kraterós for example in Homer.

“Come to my aid, friends, I am alone,” shouts Idomeneus, “I am sorely afraid of swift-footed Aeneas, who is coming against me; he is very karterós “hard, indestructible, solid” in slaying men in battle and he is in the flower of youth, which is the greatest krátos “superior position” (Il. 13, 481ff.).

Tomorrow the god will give krátos “superiority” to whomever he wishes,” says Odysseus to his young rivals (Od. 21, 280).

When Idomeneus sees Aeneas coming against him he calls on his friends: “I am afraid: he has the flower of youth, this greatest superiority (krátos mégiston). For if we were of like age in this our ardor, swiftly would he win great advantage (méga krátos) or else I would” (Il. 13, 486).

Zeus proclaims (11, 191; cf. 17, 205). Peleus, when sending his son Achilles to Agamemnon, gave him this advice: “Krátos “superior wisdom” will be given you by Athena and Hera if they so wish. Do you restrain your proud heart in your breast” (9, 254).

Avestan ḵratü is “the triumph of the spirit or the superiority of imagination, mind-power” which animates the Seer-Will into being. It has the same conceptual nucleus as the Homeric krátos.

I shall conclude by the following gathic verses:

vaηhéûš ratüm man.aηhö//ýá šne.vîšá géûš.čá ûrvánem

Through “the superior wisdom/creativity” ḵratüm of the “brilliant disposition, good spirit/mind” vaηhéûš man.aη; I shall delight/know the “soul of the living universe” géûš ûrvá (the primordial cow.)” See Yasna 28.1, 3rd rhymed verse line.

θwá.vãns mazdá vaηhéûš ratθwá man.aη

 To become like you θwá.vãns, “supreme god of inspiring creativity” Mazdá, through the “superior wisdom” of vaηhéûš man.aη “the brilliant disposition, good spirit/mind.” See Yasna 48.3, 4th rhymed verse line.

ardeshir

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