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The precious haoma , the drink of immortality, not only conduced in the case of mankind to eternal life, but was likewise a drink for the gods themselves.

In the later Avesta this drink, originally only a medium of cult, was formally deified, and identified with the divinity; nay even the very vessels used in the fabrication of this drink from the haoma branches were celebrated and adored in hymns of praise.

A Vedic proverb runs: "Sacrifice is the navel of the world".

Originally regarded as a feast for the gods, before whom food-offerings (cakes, milk, butter, meat, and the soma drink) were set on the holy grass before the altar, sacrifice gradually became a magical agency for influencing the gods, such as might be expressed in the formula, "Do ut des", or in the Vedic proverb: "Here is the butter; where are thy gifts?

It was the acme, "the king of the sacrifices", the solemnities lasting three days and being accompanied by all kinds of public amusements.

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After the reduction of the kingdom of the Sassanids by the Arabians (A. 642) the Persian religion was doomed to decay, and the vast majority of its followers fell away into Islamism.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.In their hands the sacrificial ceremonial, developed to the extremest detail, became an irresistible power over the gods.A proverb says: "The sacrificer hunts Indra like game, and holds him fast as the fowler does the bird ; the god is a wheel which the singer understands how to turn." The gods derive their whole might and power from the sacrifice as the condition of their existence, so that the Brahmins are indispensable for their continued existence.

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