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As a cult it is distinguished from ancient Vedism mainly by its temple service.

The Hindu temples are usual artistic and magnificent edifices with numerous courts, chapels, and halls, in which representations of gods and idols are exposed. Although the Hindu religion centres in its idolatry sacrifice has not been completely evicted from its old place.

Kluge "Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache", Strassburg, 1899, p. By sacrifice in the real sense is universally understood the offering of a sense-perceptible gift to the Deity as an outward manifestation of our veneration for Him and with the object of attaining communion with Him. As the meaning and importance of sacrifice cannot be established by a priori methods, every admissible theory of sacrifice must shape itself in accordance with the sacrificial systems of the pagan nations, and especially with those of the revealed religions, Judaism and Christianity.

If the ancient Indian religion was essentially a religion of sacrifice, this religion of the ancient Persians may be described as a religion of observance.

Inasmuch as, in the old Avesta, the sacred book of the Persians, the war between the good god Ormuzd and the Devil ends eschatologically with the complete victory of the good god, we may designate the earliest Parseeism as Monotheism.

The triple pressing of the soma , performed at certain intervals during the day, alternated with the offering of sacrificial cakes, libations of milk, and the sacrifice of eleven he-goats to various gods.

The gods (especially Indra) were eager for the intoxicating soma drink: "As the ox bellows after the rain, so does Indra desire the soma ." The sacrifice of the horse ( açvamedha ), executed at the command of the king and participated in by the whole people, required a whole year's preparation.

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