Literal meaning: ‘to hearken’. Originally the genius of hearing and obeying in Persian mythology, he survived the Arab conquest as Surush, the messenger of Allah sometimes identified with the Archangel Gabriel. In Zoroastrian times Sraosha was Ahura Mazdah's all-hearing ear which listened for the cries of men wronged on earth by the servants of Ahriman, ‘the destructive spirit’. Because all wicked things were most active at night, he descended to earth after the sun had set and pursued Aeshma, the demon of anger and violence. His chief enemy was this evil spirit, who had been ordered to attack the primeval ox. Sraosha, like Mithra, was a mediator as well as the bond of obedience that united earth to heaven. In the heavenly court he alone was allowed to stand in front of Ahura Mazdah.