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In Homer the kings also offer sacrifices to the gods.
The bonzes are not priests in the strict sense; nor has Buddhist monasticism anything beyond the name in common with Christian monasticism.The importance of the priesthood grew with the extension of the mysteries, which were embodied especially in the Orphic and Eleusinian cults.Sacrifices were always accompanied with prayers, for which as the expression of their religious sentiments the Greeks showed a special preference.Our subject may be conveniently treated under four heads: I. Even in the ancient Vedic hymns a special priesthood is distinguishable, for although originally the father of the family was also the offerer of sacrifice, he usually sought the co-operation of a Brahmin.From the essential functions of praying and singing during the sacrifice arose in Vedism the three classes of sacrificing ().Modern zealots for Buddhism declare with increasing boldness since Schopenhauer, that what they chiefly desire is a religion without dogma and without an alien redeemer, a service without a priesthood.
It will therefore perhaps appear all the more extraordinary that Buddhism, in consequence of the efforts of the reformer Thong-Kaba, has developed in Tibet a formal hierarchy and hierocracy in Lamaism (Lama=Brahma).
In ancient times the fire-altars were placed in the open air, and preferably on the mountains, but the modern Parsees have special fire-temples.
The , as the oldest sacrifice, calls for particular mention; manufactured out of the narcotic juice of a certain plant and used as a drink-offering, it was identified with the Deity Himself and given to the faithful as a means of procuring immortality.
To apply the word priest to the magicians, prophets, and medicine-men of the religions of primitive peoples is a misuse of the term. The Blessings arising from the Catholic Priesthood. Historically the oldest of pagan religions, the most fully developed, and the most deeply marked by vicissitude is that of India.
The essential correlative of priesthood is sacrifice, consequently, mere leaders in the public prayers or guardians of shrines have no claim to the title priest. Four divisions, distinct in history and nature, are recognizable: Vedism, Brahminism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
After the destruction of the Persian monarchy only two categories of priests remained: the officiating (, magic-father).