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It will therefore perhaps appear all the more extraordinary that Buddhism, in consequence of the efforts of the reformer Thong-Kaba, has developed in Tibet a formal hierarchy and hierocracy in Lamaism (Lama=Brahma).The monasticism and the religious services of Lamaism also present so striking a similarity with Catholic institutions that non-Catholic investigators have unhesitatingly spoken of a "Buddhist Catholicism" in Tibet.The essential correlative of priesthood is sacrifice, consequently, mere leaders in the public prayers or guardians of shrines have no claim to the title priest. Four divisions, distinct in history and nature, are recognizable: Vedism, Brahminism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.Our subject may be conveniently treated under four heads: I. Even in the ancient Vedic hymns a special priesthood is distinguishable, for although originally the father of the family was also the offerer of sacrifice, he usually sought the co-operation of a Brahmin.The Brahmins alone understood the intricate and difficult sacrificial ceremonial; thanks to their great knowledge and sacrifices, they exercised an irresistible influence over the gods; a pantheistic explanation of the god Brahma invested them with a divine character.The Brahmin was thus a sacred and inviolable person, and to murder him the greatest sin.
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Nor are idolatry and prostitution wanting" ("Apologie d. The general name for priest was (man of fire), and the chief duty of the priesthood was the fire-service, fire being the special symbol of Ormuzd, the god of light.
After the destruction of the Persian monarchy only two categories of priests remained: the officiating (, magic-father).
Pope and dalai-lama, Rome and the city of Lhasa are counterparts; Lamaism has its monasteries, bells, processions, litanies, relics, images of saints, holy water, rosary-beads, bishop's mitre, crosier, vestments, copes, baptism, confession, mass, sacrifice for the dead.
Nevertheless, since it is the interior spirit that gives a religion its characteristic stamp, we can recognize in these externals, not a true copy of Catholicism, but only a wretched caricature.