Now, in considering the body of writings connected with this Veda, we are at once confronted by the fact that there are two different schools, an older and a younger one, in which the traditional body of ritualistic matter has been treated in a very different way.
Although the ritualistic discussions of the Brahmanas are for the most part of a dry and uninteresting nature to an even greater degree than is often the case with exegetic theological treatises, these works are nevertheless of considerable importance both as regards the history of Indian institutions and as "the oldest body of Indo-European prose, of a generally free, vigorous, simple form, affording valuable glimpses backwards at the primitive condition of unfettered Indo-European talk" (Whitney).
And yet, notwithstanding the general emptiness of their ritualistic discussions and mystic speculations, "there are passages in the Brahmanas full of genuine thought and feeling, and most valuable as pictures of life, and as records of early struggles, which have left no trace in the literature of other nations" (M.
The ritualistic theologians, however, go an important step further by identifying Prajapati with the performer, or patron, of the sacrifice, the sacrificer; every sacrifice thus becoming invested - in addition to its cosmic significance - with the mystic power of regenerating the sacrificer by cleansing him of all guilt and securing for him a seat in the eternal abodes.
Whilst forming the central feature of the ritualistic symbolism, this triad - Prajapati, sacrifice (oblation, victim), sacrificer - is extended in various ways.