In search of immortality

In search of immortality

Representative image.

In times of yore, when immortality was perceived to be living with the Gods in heaven, the rich patron of the fire sacrifice desired heaven. To this end,he wanted to propitiate the Gods. The priests declared that the altar for such a sacrifice should be in the shape of a falcon, in addition to other specifications. The falcons’ flight symbolised the space above the earth, the subtle sky, where heaven was assumed to be. The process of
conducting the sacrifice, once initiated, became multidimensional setting the best minds of the period thinking and innovating. The technology for baking the perfect brick, the shapes and sizes involved not just the aesthetic but also science engineering and design. The period saw some of the major advances in geometry, including what was later to be called the Pythagoras theorem. The ideas culminated as a piece of art and when the oblations were poured into the fire, the chants of the priests reverberated, the fire leapt high and the ingredients poured in cleansed and purified the atmosphere.

Prosperity came in the form of rain from heaven, and the various payments, gifts and expenditure incurred.
In later times, when immortality came to be associated with leaving behind something that would last, Kings and patrons built temples, palaces, tombs, and forts. Sculptors were brought in from distant lands to sculpt for posterity, stories, and events. The dimensions of some of these monuments required advanced algebra and geometry, the development of which hugely benefitted the science and technology of the time. The monuments themselves became wonders of the world which tourists flock to see even today.

In modern times the desire may not be for heaven or for building monuments. The spirit of the sacrificial rite is more in terms of the mind. The desire to make a difference to society and perhaps be remembered leads philanthropy into areas of learning, research, restoration, medicine and preservation of the environment. The altruism which goes beyond boundaries to reach out to and empower the less privileged is no less than a mega sacrifice. A meaningful breakthrough in any field could change the course of humanity and go way
beyond the imagination or desire of the patron.

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