Showing posts with label rtvij. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rtvij. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Yajna?

 

Yajna is a Sanskrit word that means “sacrifice”. 

The basic religious act in the oldest stratum of Indian religion was a fire sacrifice.

The Brahmana literature elaborates on this worship of sacrifice in considerable detail, portraying sacrifice as the mechanism by which the cosmos came into existence.

The sacrifice required highly skilled priestly technicians (rtvij), who were in charge of singing portions of the Rg, Sama, and Yajur Vedas, as well as creating and keeping the holy fire at the center of the sacrificial activity.

This sacrificial ritual was focused on burning items in a holy fire, which was thought to be the deity Agni, so that Agni might deliver the sacrifices to the other gods.

These ceremonies were so intricate and costly that they soon fell out of favor; by the turn of the common period, there was also a lot of skepticism regarding the animal sacrifices that were formerly a big element of many of these rites.

These old ceremonies are no longer practiced, but the term yajna may now be used to any ceremony involving the holy fire, especially one conducted by a brahmin for a patron.


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Hinduism - Who Is A Rtvij?

 

One of the priests who officiated at sacrifices in Hindu sacred texts (Vedas).

The hotr, udgatr, adhvaryum, and brahman were the four chief priests at sacrifices.


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Hinduism - Who Is A Purohit?

 

("one who is set in front of others") In the Brahmanas' sacrificial religion, the most significant of the priestly officials.

The purohit was in charge of overseeing the other sacrificial priests, such as the rtvij and the hotr, and ensuring that the animal sacrifices were carried out correctly.

The purohit was often associated with a specific king and was also relied upon to conduct ceremonies for the common good.

This latter definition has remained in current times, and the name is often used to refer to one's family priest, who will conduct certain ceremonies for the family.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.