(read this) (required reading) (cites below)
The ﬁrst people to attempt an Axial Age spirituality were pastoralists living on the steppes of southern Russia, who called themselves the Aryans. The Aryans were not a distinct ethnic group, so this was not a racial term but an assertion of pride and meant something like “noble” 0r “honorable.” The Aryans were a loose—knit network of tribes who shared a common culture. Because they spoke a language that would form the basis of several Asiatic and European tongues, they are also called Indo-Europeans. They had lived on the Caucasian steppes since about 4500, but by the middle of the third millennium some tribes began to roam farther and farther aﬁeld, until they reached what is now Greece, Italy, Scandinavia, and Germany. At the same time, those Aryans who had remained behind on the steppes gradually drifted apart and became two separate peoples, speaking different forms of the original Indo-European. One used the Avestan dialect, the other an early form of Sanskrit. They were able to maintain contact, however, because at this stage their languages were still very similar, and until about 1500 they continued to live peacefully together, sharing the same cultural and religious traditions. It was a quiet, sedentary existence. The Aryans could not travel far, because the horse had not yet been domesticated, so their horizons were bounded by the steppes. They farmed their land, herded their sheep, goats, and pigs, and valued stability and continuity. They were not warlike people, since, apart from a few skirmishes With one another or with rival groups, they had no enemies and no ambition to conquer new territory. Their religion was simple and peaceful. Like other ancient peoples, the Aryans experienced an invisible force within themselves and in everything that they saw, heard, and touched. Storms, winds, trees, and rivers were not impersonal, mindless phenomena. The Aryans felt an afﬁnity with them, and revered them as divine. Humans, deities, animals, plants, and the forces of nature were all manifestations of the same divine “spirit,” which the Avestans called mainyu and the Sanskrit-speakers manya. It animated, sustained, and bound them all together.
Over time the Aryans developed a more formal pantheon. At a very early stage, they had worshiped a Sky God called “Dyaus Pitr, creator of the world” But like other High Gods, Dyaus was so remote that he was eventually replaced by more accessible gods, who were wholly identiﬁed with natural and cosmic forces. Varuna preserved the order of the universe; Mithra was the god of storm, thunder, and life-giving rain; Mazda, lord of justice and wisdom, was linked with the sun and stars; and Indra, a divine warrior, had fought a three—headed dragon called Vritra and brought order out of chaos. Fire, which was crucial to civilized society, was also a god, and the Aryans called him Agni. Agni was not simply the divine patron of ﬁre; he was the ﬁre that burned in every single hearth. Even the hallucinogenic plant that inspired the Aryan poets was a god, called Haoma in Avestan and Soma in Sanskrit: he was a divine priest who protected the people from famine and looked after their cattle.
The Avestan Aryans called their gods daevas (“the shining ones”) and amesha (“the immortals”). In Sanskrit these terms became devas and amrita. None of these divine beings, however, were what we usually call “gods” today. They were not Omnipotent and had no ultimate control over the cosmos. Like human beings and all the natural forces, they had to
submit to the sacred order that held the universe together. Thanks to this order, the seasons succeeded one another in due course, the rain fell at the right times, and the crops grew each year in the appointed month. The Avestan Aryans called this order asha, while the Sanskrit—speakers called it rita. It made life possible, keeping everything in its proper place and defining what was true and correct.
Human society also depended upon this sacred order. People had to make ﬁrm, binding agreements about grazing rights, the herding of cattle, marriage, and the exchange of goods. Translated into social terms, asha/rira meant loyalty, truth, and respect, the ideals embodied by Varuna, the guardian of order, and Mithra, his assistant. These gods supervised all covenant agreements that were sealed by a solemn oath. The Aryans took the spoken word very seriously. Like all other phenomena, speech was a god, a deva. Aryan religion was not very visual. As far as we know, the Aryans did not make efﬁgies of their gods. Instead, they found that the act of listening brought them close to the sacred. Quite apart from its meaning, the very sound of a chant was holy; even a single syllable could encapsulate the divine. Similarly, a vow, once uttered, was eternally binding, and a lie was absolutely evil because it perverted the holy power inherent in the spoken word. The Aryans would never lose this passion for absolute
Every day, the Aryans offered sacriﬁces to their gods to replenish the energies they expended in maintaining world order. Some of these rites were very simple. The sacrificer would throw a handful of grain, curds, or fuel into the ﬁre to nourish Agni, or pound the stalks of soma, offer the
pulp to the water goddesses, and make a sacred drink. The Aryans also sacrificed cattle. They did not grow enough crops for their needs, so killing was a tragic necessity, but the Aryans ate only meat that had been ritually and humanely slaughtered. When a beast was ceremonially given to the
gods, its spirit was not extinguished but returned to Geush Urvan (“Soul of the Bull”), the archetypical domestic animal. The Aryans felt very close to their cattle. It was sinful to eat the ﬂesh of a beast that had not been consecrated in this way, because profane slaughter destroyed it forever, and thus violated the sacred life that made all creatures kin. Again, the Aryans would never entirely lose this profound respect for the “spirit” that they shared with others, and this would become a crucial principle of their Axial Age.
To take the life of any being was a fearful act, not to be undertaken lightly, and the sacriﬁcial ritual compelled the Aryans to confront this harsh law of existence. The sacriﬁce became and would remain the organizing symbol of their culture, by which they explained the world and their society. The Aryans believed that the universe itself had originated in
a sacriﬁcial offering. In the beginning, it was said, the gods, working in obedience to the divine order, had brought forth the world in seven stages. First they created the Sky, which was made of stone like a huge round shell; then the Earth, which rested like a ﬂat dish upon the Water
that had collected in the base of the shell. In the center of the Earth, the gods placed three living creatures: a Plant, a Bull, and a Man. Finally they produced Agni, the Fire. But at ﬁrst everything was static and lifeless. It was not until the gods performed a triple sacriﬁce—crushing the Plant, and killing the Bull and the Man—that the world became animated. The
sun began to move across the sky, seasonal change was established, and the three sacriﬁcial victims brought forth their own kind. Flowers, crops, and trees sprouted from the pulped Plant; animals sprang from the corpse of the Bull; and the carcass of the ﬁrst Man gave birth to the human race. The
Aryans would always see sacriﬁce as creative. By reﬂecting on this ritual, they realized that their lives depended upon the death of other creatures.
The three archetypal creatures had laid down their lives so that others might live. There could be no progress, materially or spiritually, without self-sacriﬁce. This too would become one of the principles of the Axial Age.
The Aryans had no elaborate shrines and temples. Sacriﬁce was offered in the open air on a small, level piece of land, marked off from the rest of the settlement by a furrow. The seven original creations were all symbolically represented in this arena: Earth in the soil,Water in the vessels, Fire in
the hearth; the stone Sky was present in the ﬂint knife, the Plant in the crushed soma stalks, the Bull in the victim, and the ﬁrst Man in the priest. And the gods, it was thought, were also present. The “hotr” priest, expert in the liturgical chant, would sing a hymn to summon devas to the feast. When they had entered the sacred arena, the gods sat down on the freshly mown grass strewn around the altar to listen to these hymns of praise. Since the sound of these inspired syllables was itself a god, as the song ﬁlled the air and entered their consciousness, the congregation felt surrounded by and infused with divinity. Finally the primordial sacriﬁce was
repeated. The cattle were slain, the soma pressed, and the priest laid the choicest portions of the victims onto the ﬁre, so that Agni could convey them to the land of the gods. The ceremony ended with a holy communion, as priest and participants shared a festal meal with the deities, eating
the consecrated meat and drinking the intoxicating soma, which seemed to lift them to another dimension of being.
The sacriﬁce brought practical beneﬁts too. It was commissioned by a member of the community, who hoped that those devas who had responded to his invitation and attended the sacriﬁce would help him in the future. Like any act of hospitality, the ritual placed an obligation on the divinities to respond in kind, and the hotr often reminded them to protect the patron’s family, crops, and herd. The sacrifice also enhanced the patron’s standing in the community. Like the gods, his human guests were now in his debt, and by providing the cattle for the feast and giving the ofﬁciating priests a handsome gift, he had demonstrated that he was a man of substance. The beneﬁts of religion were purely material and this—worldly. People wanted the gods to provide them with cattle, wealth, and security. At ﬁrst the Aryans had entertained no hope of an afterlife, but by the end of the second millennium, some were beginning to believe that
wealthy people who had commissioned a lot of sacriﬁces would be able to join the gods in paradise after their death.
This slow, uneventful life came to an end when the Aryans discovered modern technology. In about 1500, they had begun to trade with the more advanced societies south of the Caucasus in Mesopotamia and Armenia. They learned about bronze weaponry from the Armenians and also encountered new methods of transport: ﬁrst they acquired wooden
carts pulled by oxen, and then the war chariot. Once they had learned how to tame the wild horses of the steppes and harness them to their chariots, they experienced the joys of mobility. Life would never be the same again. The Aryans had become warriors. They could now travel long distances at high speed. With their superior weapons, they could conduct
lightning raids on neighboring settlements and steal cattle and crops. This was far more thrilling and lucrative than stock breeding. Some of the younger men served as mercenaries in the armies of the southern kingdoms, and became expert in chariot warfare.When they returned to the steppes, they put their new skills to use and started to rustle their neigh-
bors’ cattle. They killed, plundered, and pillaged, terrorizing the more conservative Aryans, who were bewildered, frightened, and entirely disoriented, feeling that their lives had been turned upside down.
Violence escalated on the steppes as never before. Even the more traditional tribes, who simply wanted to be left alone, had to learn the new military techniques in order to defend themselves. A heroic age had begun. Might was right; Chieftains sought gain and glory; and bards celebrated aggression, reckless courage, and military prowess. The old Aryan religion had preached reciprocity, self—sacriﬁce, and kindness to animals. This was no longer appealing to the cattle rustlers, whose hero was the dynamic Indra, the dragon slayer, who rode in a chariot upon the clouds of heaven.10 Indra was now the divine model to whom the raiders aspired.
“Heroes with noble horses, fain for battle, selected warriors call on me in combat,” he cried. “I, bountiful Indra, excite the conﬂict, I stir the dust, Lord of surpassing vigour!”” When they fought, killed, and robbed, the Aryan cowboys felt themselves one with Indra and the aggressive devas who had established the world order by force of arms.
But the more traditional, Avestan-speaking Aryans were appalled by Indra’s naked aggression, and began to have doubts about the daevas. Were they all violent and immoral? Events on earth always reﬂected cosmic events in heaven, so, they reasoned, these terrifying raids must have a divine prototype. The cattle rustlers, who fought under the banner of
Indra, must be his earthly counterparts. But who were the daevas attacking in heaven? The most important gods—such as Varuna, Mazda, and Mithra, the guardians of order—were given the honoriﬁc title “Lord” (ahura). Perhaps the peaceful ahuras, who stood for justice, truth, and respect for life and property, were themselves under attack by Indra and the more aggressive daevas? This, at any rate, was the View of a visionary priest, who in about 1200 claimed that Ahura Mazda had commissioned him to restore order to the steppes.12 His name was Zoroaster.
When he received his divine vocation, the new prophet was about thirty years old and strongly rooted in the Aryan faith. He had probably studied for the priesthood since he was seven years old, and was so steeped in tradition that he could improvise sacred chants to the gods during the sacrifice. But Zoroaster was deeply disturbed by the cattle raids, and after
completing his education, he had spent some time in consultation with other priests, and had meditated on the rituals to find a solution to the problem. One morning, while he was celebrating the spring festival, Zoroaster had risen at dawn and walked down to the river to collect water for the daily sacriﬁce. Wading in, he immersed himself in the pure element, and when he emerged, saw a shining being standing on the riverbank, who told Zoroaster that his name was Vohu Manah (“Good Purpose”). Once he had been assured of Zoroaster’s own good intentions, he led him into the presence of the greatest of the ahuras: Mazda, lord of wisdom and justice, who was surrounded by his retinue of seven radiant
gods. He told Zoroaster to mobilize his people in a holy war against terror and violence. ‘3 The story is bright with the promise of a new beginning. A fresh era had dawned: everybody had to make a decision, gods and humans alike.Were they on the side of order or evil?
Zoroaster’s vision convinced him that Lord Mazda was not simply one of the great ahuras, but that he was the Supreme God. For Zoroaster and his followers, Mazda was no longer immanent in the natural world, but had become transcendent, different in kind from any other divinity.I4 This was not quite monotheism, the belief in a single, unique deity. The seven
luminous beings in Mazda’s retinue—the Holy Immortals—were also divine: each expressed one of Mazda’s attributes and was linked, in the traditional way, with one of the seven original creations. There was, however, a monotheistic tendency in Zoroaster’s vision. Lord Mazda had created
the Holy Immortals; they were “of one mind, one voice, one act” with him.“ Mazda was not the only deity, but he was the first to exist. Zoroaster had probably reached this position by meditating on the creation story, which claimed that in the beginning there had been one plant, one animal, and one human being. It was only logical to assume that originally
there had been one god.16
But Zoroaster was not interested in theological speculation for its own sake. He was wholly preoccupied by the violence that had destroyed the peaceful world of the Steppes, and was desperately seeking for a way to bring it to an end. The Gathas, the seventeen inspired hymns attributed to Zoroaster, are pervaded by a distraught vulnerability, impotence, and fear. “I know why I am powerless, Mazda,” cried the prophet, “I possess few cattle and few men.” His community was terrorized by raiders “yoked with evil acts to destroy life.” Cruel warriors, ﬁghting under the orders of the evil Indra, had swept down on the peace—loving, law—abiding communities. They had vandalized and looted one settlement after another, killed the villagers, and carried off their bulls and cows.17 The raiders believed that they were heroes, ﬁghting alongside Indra, but the Gathas show us how their victims saw the heroic age. Even the cow complained to Lord Mazda:“For whom did you shape me? Who fashioned me? Fury and raid-
ing, cruelty and might hold me captive.”When Lord Mazda replied that Zoroaster, the only one of the Aryans who listened to his teachings, would be her protector, the cow was not impressed.What use was Zoroaster? She wanted a more effective helper. The Gathas cried aloud for justice.Where
were the Holy Immortals, the guardians of asha? When would Lord Mazda bring relief ?‘8
The suffering and helplessness of his people had shocked Zoroaster into a torn, conﬂicted vision. The world seemed polarized, split into two irreconcilable camps. Because Indra and the cattle raiders had nothing in common with Lord Mazda, they must have given their allegiance to a different ahura. If there was a single divine source for everything that was benign and good, Zoroaster concluded that there must also be a Wicked deity who had inspired the cruelty of the raiders. This Hostile Spirit (Angra Mainyu), he believed, was equal in power to Lord Mazda, but was his opposite. In the beginning, there had been “two primal Spirits, twins destined to be in conﬂict” with each other. Each had made a choice. The Hostile Spirit had thrown in his lot with druj, the lie, and was the epitome of evil. He was the eternal enemy of asha, of everything that was right and true. But Lord Mazda had opted for goodness and had created the Holy Immortals and human beings as his allies. Now every single man, woman, and child had to make the same choice between asha and almj.19
For generations, the Aryans had worshiped Indra and the other daevas, but now Zoroaster concluded that the daevas must have decided to fight alongside the Hostile Spirit.20 The cattle raiders were their earthly counterparts. The unprecedented violence in the steppes had caused Zoroaster
to divide the ancient Aryan pantheon into two warring groups. Good men and women must no longer offer sacriﬁce to Indra and the daevas; they must not invite them into the sacred precinct. Instead, they must commit themselves entirely to Lord Mazda, his Holy Immortals, and the other ahuras, who alone could bring peace, justice, and security. The daevas and the cattle raiders, their evil henchmen, must all be defeated and destroyed.
The whole of life had now become a battleﬁeld in which everybody had a role. Even women and servants could make a valuable contribution. The old purity laws, which had regulated the conduct of the ritual, were now given a new signiﬁcance. Lord Mazda had created a completely clean and perfect world for his followers, but the Hostile Spirit had invaded the earth and filled it with sin, violence, falsehood, dust, dirt, disease, death, and decay. Good men and women must, therefore, keep their immediate environment free from dirt and pollution. By separating the pure from the impure, good from evil, they would liberate the world for Lord Mazda. They must pray five times a day. Winter was the season when the daevas were in the ascendant, so during this time all virtuous people must
counter their inﬂuence by meditating on the menace of druj. They must rise up during the night, when wicked spirits prowled the earth, and throw incense into the fire to strengthen Agni in the war against evil.23
But no battle could last forever. In the old, peaceful world, life had seemed cyclical: the seasons had followed one another, day succeeded night, and harvest followed the planting. But Zoroaster could no longer believe in these natural rhythms. The world was rushing forward toward a cataclysm. He and his followers were living in the “bounded time” of raging cosmic conﬂict, but soon they would witness the final triumph of
good and the annihilation of the forces of darkness. After a terrible battle, Lord Mazda and the Immortals would descend to the world of men and women and offer sacrifice. There would be a great judgment. The wicked would be wiped off the face of the earth, and a blazing river would ﬂow into hell and incinerate the Hostile Spirit. Then the cosmos would be
restored to its original perfection. Mountains and valleys would be leveled into a great plain, where gods and humans could live side by side, worshiping Lord Mazda forever. There would be no more death. Human beings would be like deities, free from sickness, old age, and mortality.24
We are now familiar with this kind of apocalyptic vision, but before Zoroaster there had been nothing like it in the ancient world. It sprang from his outrage at the suffering of his people and his yearning for justice. He wanted the wicked to be punished for the pain they had inﬂicted on good, innocent people. But as time passed, he began to realize that he
would not be alive to see the Last Days. Another would come after him, a superhuman being, “who is better than a good man.””5 The Gathas call him the Saoshyant (“One Who Will Bring Benefit”). He, not Zoroaster, would lead Lord Mazda’s troops into the ﬁnal battle.
When—centuries later—the Axial Age began, philosophers, prophets, and mystics all tried to counter the cruelty and aggression of their time by promoting a spirituality based on nonviolence. But Zoroaster’s traumatized vision, with its imagery of burning, terror, and extermination, was vengeful. His career reminds us that political turbulence, atrocity, and suffering do not infallibly produce an Axial-style faith, but can inspire a militant piety that polarizes complex reality into oversimpliﬁed categories of good and evil. Zoroaster’s vision was deeply agonistic.We shall see that the agon (“contest”) was a common feature of ancient religion. In making a cosmic agon between good and evil central to his message, Zoroaster belonged to the old spiritual world. He had projected the violence of his time onto the divine and made it absolute.
But in his passionately ethical vision, Zoroaster did look forward to the Axial Age. He tried to introduce some morality into the new warrior ethos. True heroes did not terrorize their fellow creatures but tried to counter aggression. The holy warrior was dedicated to peace; those who opted to fight for Lord Mazda were patient, disciplined, courageous, and swift to defend all good creatures from the assaults of the wicked.26 Ashavans, the champions of order (asha), must imitate the Holy Immortals in their care for the environment. “Good Purpose,” for instance, who had appeared to Zoroaster on the riverbank, was the guardian of the cow, and ashavans must follow his example, not that of the raiders, who drove the cattle from their pastures, harnessed them to carts, killed, and ate them without the proper ritual.” “Good Dominion,” the personification of divine justice, was the protector of the stone Sky, so ashavans must use their stone weapons only to defend the poor and the weak.’8 When Zoroastrians protected vulnerable people, looked after their cattle tenderly, and purified their natural environment, they became one with the Immortals and joined their struggle against the Hostile Spirit.
Even though his vision was grounded in ancient Aryan tradition, Zoroaster’s message inspired great hostility. People found it too demanding; some were shocked by his preaching to women and peasants, and by his belief that everybody—not just the elite—could reach paradise. Many would have been troubled by his rejection of the daevas: Might not Indra take revenge?29 After years of preaching to his own tribe, Zoroaster gained only one convert, so he left his village and found a patron in Vishtaspa, the chief of another tribe, who established the Zoroastrian faith in his territory. Zoroaster lived in Vishtaspa’s court for many years, ﬁghting a heroic
battle against evil to the bitter, violent end. According to one tradition he was killed by rival priests who were enraged by his rejection of the old religion.We know nothing about the history of Zoroastrianism after his death. By the end of the second millennium the Avestan Aryans had migrated south and settled in eastern Iran, where Zoroastrianism became the national faith. It has remained a predominantly Iranian religion.
(Karen Armstrong, The Great Transformation (Axial Age), Chapter 1.)
I. Karl jaspers, The Origin and Goal of
History, trans. Michael Bullock
(London, 1953).pp. 1-70.
2. Mircea Eliade, Myths, Dreams and
Mysteries:’I’he Encounter Between
Contemporary Faiths and/lrchaie
Realities, trans. Philip Maire: (London,
1960). pp. 172-78;Wilhclm Schmidt,
The Origin of the Idea of God (New
3. Walter Burkert, Homo Nemns:’lhe
Anthropology of Ancient Greek Satriﬁa’al
Ritual and Myth, trans. Peter Bing
(Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London.
198 3), pp. 16-22; Joseph Campbell
with Bill Moyers. The Power of Myth
(New York, 1988). pp. 72-74.
4. Eliade, Myths, Dreams and Mysteries,
pp. 80-81; Mircca Eliade. The Myth of
the Eternal Return, or, Cosmos and
History, trans.Willard R. Trask
(Princeton, 1959), pp. 17—20.
5. Eliade, Myth of the Eternal Return, pp.
6. Huston Smith, The World’s Religions:
Our Great Wisdom Traditions (San
Francisco, 1991), p. 2 3 5.
7- Eliadc, .Myth of the Eternal Return, pp.
3- jaspers, Origin and Goal of History, p. 40.
1. THE AXIAL PEOPLES
1. Mary Boyce, Zoroastrians:’l’heir
Religious Beliefs and Practices, 2nd ed.
(London and New York), p. 2; Peter
Clark, Zoroastrians:An Introduction to
an Ancient Faith (Brighton and Port—
land, Ore., 1998), p. 18.
2. Mircea Eliade, Patterns of Comparative
Religion, trans. Rosemary Sheed
(London, 1958). pp. 66—68.
3. Boyce. Zoroastrians, pp. 9-11.
4. lbid., p. 8.
5. Yasht 48:5.
6. Boyce, Zoroastriaus, pp. 11-12.
7. Thomas]. Hopkins, The Hindu
Religious Tradition (Belmont. Calif .,
1971). p. 14.
8. Gavin Flood, An Introduction to
Hinduism (Cambridge and New York,
1996). P. 44;]ohn Keay, ludia:A
History (London, 2000), p. 32.
9. Boyce. Zoroastrians, pp. 12- 15.
to. Eliade, Patterns of Comparative Religion,
pp. 188—89; Norman Cohn. Cosmos,
Chaos and the World to Come:The
Ancient Roots Qprocalyptir Faith (New
Haven and London, 1993), pp. 94-95:
Boyce, Zoroastrians, pp. xiv—xv, 19.
11. Rig Veda 4.42.5, in Ralph T. H.
Grifﬁth, trans. The Rig Veda (New
12. Cohn, Cosmos, Chaos and the World to
Come, p. 77; Boyce, Zoroastrians, p.
xiii; Clark, Zoroastrions, p. 19.
13. Yasna 43.
14. Clark, Zoroastrians. pp. 4-6.
15. Yasna 19:16-18. Quotations from the
Zoroastrian scriptures are taken from
Mary Boyce. ed. and trans., Téxtual
Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism
16. Boyce, Zoroastrians, pp. 20-23; Cohn.
Cosmos, Chaos and the Wbrld to Come,
17. Yasna 46:2, 11; 50:1.
18. Yasna 29:1 -10.
19. Yasna 3o.
20. Yasna 30:6.
21. Yasna 46:4.
22.]an1sl1eed K. Choksy. Purity and
Pollution in Zoroastrianism:Triumph over
Evil (Austin, 1989), pp. 1- 5.
23. Boyce, Zoroastrians, p. 32.
24. Yasna 44:15; 51:9.
25. Yasna 43:3.
26. Yasna 29, 33.
27. Yasna 33.
28. Boyce. Zoroastrians, pp. 23-24.
29. lbid.. p. 30; Colm. Cosmos, Chaos and
the world to Come, p. 78.
3o. Edwin Bryant, The Quest jbr the
Origins qfl’i’dit Culture:’lhe Indo-Aryan
Debate (Oxford and New York. 2001);
S. C. Kak,“On the Chronology of
Ancient India.” Indian journal of
History and Seienee 22, n0. 3 (1987);
Colin Renfrew, Archaeology and
Linguqoe: The Puzzle oflndo-European
Origins (London. 1987).
31. Kcay. India, pp. 5- 18; Hopkins, Hindu
Religious ‘Iiadition, pp. 3- 10; Flood,
lntrodurtion to Hinduism, pp. 24- 3o.
32. Shatapatha Brahmana (58) 220.127.116.11. in
j. C. Hecswrman, The Broken ”vivid of
Sacriﬁce:An Essay inAncient Indian
Ritual (Chicago and London, 1993),
33. Mircea Eliade. A History ofReliqious
Ideas, trans.Willard R.Trask, 3 vols.
(Chicago and London, 1978, 1982,
1985), 1:200-201;_]. C. Hecsterman,
“Ritual, Revelation and the Axial
Age.” in S. N. Eisenstadt, ed., The
Origins and Diversity of Axial Age
Civilizations (Albany, 1986), p. 404.
34. Louis Renou, Religions ofAnrient India
(London, 1953), p. 20.
35. j. C. Hcesterman, The Inner Cory‘lirt of
‘Iiadition: Essays in Indian Ritual,
Kingship and Society (Chicago and
London, 1985), pp. 85-87.