Worship and Devotional Life - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 131 pages of information about Worship and Devotional Life.
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Sacrifice

As both the Vedas and the Brahmanas, books of ritual instruction and commentary, attest, sacrifice (yajña) is among the earliest forms of devotional life. The sacrifices are distinguished in the later literature between those performed in temporarily constructed enclosures or in the open air for larger communities (the śrauta, lit. "solemn," rites) and those that are restricted to individual households and are performed indoors. At the center of Vedic sacrifice is the use of fire and the ritual transformation of the patron or sacrificer (yajamāṇa), who is given rebirth through the sacrifice into the world of the gods. Fire is personified as the god Agni, who mediates between the worlds of gods and humans and who is associated with the warmth of the world and its creatures. Priests who maintain sufficient purity act on behalf of the...

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This section contains 6,048 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Worship and Devotional Life Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Worship and Devotional Life from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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