So, too, fire-worship, especially of the sacrificial flame; the preparation of the intoxicating soma, which fills man with divine strength and uplifts him to the gods; the injunction to good thoughts and good works, imposed on the pious by Veda and Avesta alike: the belief in an unwavering order (rta)a law controlling gods and men and dominating them all; yet with this, a belief in the power of magical formulae (mantra), exclamations and prayers, to whose compulsion not merely demons (the evil spirits of deception druh) but even the gods (daeva) must submit; and, lastly, the institution of a priesthood of fire-kindlers (athravan), who are at once the repositories of all sacral traditions and the mediators in all intercourse between earth and heaven.
But these varying conceptions with their religious meaning become religiously productive only in the souls of religious heroes, who are the authors of new religions, mediators of the religious life, founders of religious communities.
Colonel Stoddarts refusal to allow any but British mediators to decide the pending dispute won the day; and that officer was able to report that on the 9th of September Mahommed Shah had mounted his horse and gone from before the walls of the beleaguered city.
The holiness of Israel centres in the sanctuary, and round the sanctuary stand the priests, who alone can approach the most holy things without profanation, and who are the guardians of Israel's sanctity, partly by protecting the one meeting-place of God and man from profane contact, and partly as the mediators of the continual atoning rites by which breaches of holiness are expiated.
For where holiness is associated with ascetic practices the masses can never attain to a perfect life, and naturally tend to lean on the professors of special sanctity as tke mediators of their religious welfare.