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Uab Amuntyt Reply to Post 22137 Pgs. 104-108
Chapter 4 highlights the benefits and immeasurable joys of being a priests and priestesses. This chapter gives an explanation of what those benefits are and how those benefits are reaped. It also gives a general description of the duties of the priesthood. This chapter is important because it sets the stage for one of the most important and honored profession in ancient Kemet.
The benefits reaped by the priests and priestesses are not necessarily the joys that people in the ordinary society seek. Their joy comes from living life free from ignorance by studying and serving the Divine. They are content with living off God’s offerings. It is different from what ordinary folks call the joy of life which are material gains and sentimental worldly attachments. The people who tread the path of the Neterian clergy are content with a life of austerity ( a minimalistic lifestyle). Sebai Maa states, “austerity is a discipline to assist the aspirant in gaining strength to oppose the worldly desires and entanglements which are actually the source of pain and sorrow in life….” The rewards and benefits for serving the temple/God are “Awet ab –expansion of heart, joy-bliss; heru ab – inner peace and contentment, joy; reshwet-joy, gladness’’.
The duties of the priest and priestess are to conduct the regular service and festival service free of ignorance. They perform rituals, study and give their devotion to the Divine. And of course, they observe Maat keeping good association and obedience to the teachings. They keep watch in his (the deity of that Temple) home, presenting offerings with out cease. They enter into the holy of holies and they perform functions with the great prophets (pg. 106, note 65).
When the offerings are given to the divine, this offering goes to the subtle body of the Divine on the astral plane. The Divine reciprocates by sustaining (the temple and the priesthood). An affirmation of offerings importance is given in our 42 precepts;
40 – “An hedj paut neteru”, I have not harmed the company of gods and goddesses by defrauding them from Their offerings or otherwise hurting them by cheating them or stealing from their offerings or properties.
41 – “An nehem a chenfu ar akhu”, I have not grabbled and taken away from the offerings dedicated to the enlightened beings.
To be protected from the maladies of life, to grow old and live in health, to be remembered through succeeding generations is more than anyone can ask for. The priests and priestesses knew that the ownership of objects cannot give a person this. This is evidenced by unhappiness and psychological sickness of the very rich. Only service to the Divine can give peace, contentment and happiness; and to experience menit-nefer, a good death, a happy death…HTP! Dua Sebai Maa, Dua Seba Dja, Dua Amun!