The Outer Ritual, Yajňa, and its Inner or Subtle Counter Part

It has been stated that all that is external is symbolic of the internal. Therefore the outer sacrifice yajňa also becomes the symbol of inner sacrifice yajňa. We shall first state the symbolic significance of the sacrifice and then enquire into the nature of the many worlds, the character and functions of the Gods etc., according to the established system of symbolism. The main features of the sacrifice yajňa are four: the yajamāna, the person who performs the ritual; ritviks, the officiating priests; the offering of wealth; and the fruits of the sacrifice. Of these, the yajamāna is the individual living soul with personality engaged in the sacrifice. The ritviks carry out the sacrificial functions in the right place at the right time and help the yajamāna throughout from the beginning to the end of the sacrifice. The word for the performer of rituals or worshipper, yashţāraĥ, gives a clue to the inner meaning of ritvik via its constituent parts namely yaj, those who worship ŗtu, in due reason.

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