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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.
From the essential functions of praying and singing during the sacrifice arose in Vedism the three classes of sacrificing ().After the destruction of the Persian monarchy only two categories of priests remained: the officiating (, magic-father).In addition to the maintenance of the sacred fire, the duties of the priests were the offering of sacrifices (flesh, bread, flowers, fruit), the performance of purifications, prayers, and hymns, and instructing in the holy law.The four categories of soldier, priest, artisan or farmer, and slave developed formally in later Brahminism into the four rigidly distinguished castes (Dahlmann), the Brahmins meanwhile forging ahead of the soldiers to the position of chief importance.
The Brahmins alone understood the intricate and difficult sacrificial ceremonial; thanks to their great knowledge and sacrifices, they exercised an irresistible influence over the gods; a pantheistic explanation of the god Brahma invested them with a divine character.
We can only suppose that the founder Thong-Kaba was educated by a Catholic missionary.