We must not forget that the Dhamma preached by Gotama, and the precepts that evolved from it, were for people living 2,500 years ago, in tropical and subtropical conditions. The high degree of metaphysic and rhetoric which then evidently existed among the inhabitants of India should not mislead us into imagining that the standard of living was not a low one. Although all types of persons would have listened to his words, the peculiar philosophy of life and of escape taught by the sage from Sakya was directed primarily to his fellowascetics, to those who were prepared to renounce the household, wordly life for the worthy life of the wanderer and hermit. Gotama's disciples were never priests, never brahma!).s in the sense that they performed rites and ceremonies.