What is the Place of Priests in Hinduism?
Hinduism has various officiants who perform rituals and sacraments like marriage. These
officiants are sometimes called priests. Their prime role is to aid
in the performance of rituals. They do not take confession, preach,
proselytize, or function as missionaries. Nor do they serve as
intermediaries between the lay population and the Divine. These
priests can be married and usually have families of their own.
Such priests are different
from yogis or swamis and are generally regarded as fulfilling a
lesser role. The yogis are the great teachers and gurus. The priests
are helpers in the outer aspects of religion. Such priests are
taught to bow down to the spiritual experience of the great sages
and should never be made into a ruling class, either over religious
or secular matters.