Saturday, 26 March 2011

Brahman Tradition and the Sacrifice


As simple ideas of Gods gradually developed to be a complex concept of God and the sacrifices that were simple in the polytheistic era came to be more complex at the time of monotheism. This created need for a class of clergy who in full time are devoted to take care of sacrifices that class of priest was called BrāhmaNa

With the emergence and establishment of this class of people, the sacrifices started to influence the life of people in many ways. Brahmins fostered the ways of sacrifices more and more. The belief by reciting one hymn of Rgveda one can achieve all the worldly comforts came to be established among people. Brahmin priest became the noblest in the society; he was the intermediator between the men and the µahAbrahmA. Without Brahmin priest the sacrifice was impossible to make successful sacrifice, chanting of hymns properly came to be more significant than the ideas. It became money and resources consuming project in large scale. From the Pāli sources we know that to perform sacrifice hundreds and thousands bulls, cows, young cows, younger bull and younger cows were brought into sacrificing hall a same quantity of horses and even human beings were taken for some sacrifices. This shows how complex was of the yAga when it was six century B.C. First three Vedas namely Rg, Yajur and Saman were mostly devoted to explain the function of sacrifices. They are the ideas of the initial stage of Brahmin civilization in India. The ideas of Brahmaņa literature are slightly found in the fourth Veda also. There are some developed philosophical views instead of mystic practices. Vedic text established the authority of Brāhmana over three other varnas (ksatriya, vaisya and sūdra) and over the four stages of life (catuvarnAśrama). Brahmacāri – celibate, gRhastha – household life, Vānaprastha – forest enterer and Sanyāsi – sage.

Additional note
            Brahmin made the sacrifice more complex by elaborating it. The elaboration included like
1.   When to perform sacrifice
2.   How to perform sacrifice
3.   Where to perform sacrifice
4.   With whom to perform sacrifice
5.   What are the utensils of sacrifice
6.   Who are the priest of sacrifice
7.   What are the hymns of sacrifice
8.   What are the results of sacrifice
Brahmin clergy supplied to these questions made performances of sacrifice more complex.

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