Per Bastemhet

Purification 5

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For an explanation of this series, read the introduction here.

Hail Terrible-Faced One, coming from Rosetjau, I do not disobey requirements.

Says Rev. Siuda:

Our fifth purification invokes the guardian of the necropolis of Mennefer (Memphis), modern-day Saqqara. The "requirements" mentioned can be translated as "necessary offerings." So beyond being a simple rule of doing what one is told to do, this purification can be read as a specific statement concerning the importance of honoring the dead.

Let’s look at how translating from whatever the Kemetic word in this purification is to “requirements” would change the meaning depending on who would be saying these prayers.

If a priest were saying they’d not disobey requirements, then it would lead one to wonder, what are the requirements of a priest (besides the obvious dedication to being a literal servant of netjer)?  The number one thing, I think, would be ritual purity.  This involves a few things, but as I interpret it, it seems that spiritual cleanliness translates to physical cleanliness, and vice versa.  There is a bit more to this, but I plan on making a post just for purity itself because it can be quite a big topic.  One has to also keep in mind that there was very likely an oral tradition or culturally understood ideas that are not mentioned in the texts themselves, so we might never know the full requirements of priesthood.

One thing that’s worth mentioning is that I don’t as of yet feel called to priesthood, nor should everyone.  Check out I Am Not A Priest, a clarifying rant by Darkhawk who considered her role in the practice of her religion to not be called to priesthood.

For those who say these purifications in the afterlife, they are done to show how light their heart is and purify themselves in the presence of the deities they hail.    So besides honoring the akhu, one thing that is required of both the pious in life and the pure in death, is to be ritually pure by maintaining maat in the company of the gods.  I don’t think this is so much a prohibition to never even think of praying to the deities when one is unclean, but to be reasonably thoughtful about that which the deities find odious, and have some manners about how one appears before the deities.  Besides the literal idea of cleanliness, since purity can be achieved by not doing isfet and conversely doing maat, one can also be pure by being righteous in the eyes of netjer.

Besides requirements for righteous living, what are some of the requirements you need to honor in order to be true to yourself?  I think honoring your own requirements to live healthily is another way to achieve spiritual satisfaction. 

With this purification, I will try to be physically and spiritually pure by cleansing with natron, not doing isfet, and honoring my personal requirements to keep myself spiritually healthy.

Written by Bastemhet

August 8, 2010 at 4:29 am

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