Forrest in the Indian government records have shown that the sepoys' fears of defilement by biting the new cartridges had a considerable foundation in fact.
The minds of the native regiments quartered there were maddened by rumours of the defilement which the new Minie cartridges would entail upon them, and incendiary fires broke out in the lines.
Ant., loc. cit.) to cause any but the dregs of the populace to incur defilement by living in a place thus unclean.
In Judaism, as in other, especially Oriental, religions, the natural dislike of material defilement has been elevated into a religious sentiment, and made to support a complicated system of quasi-sanitary abstinences and ceremonial purifications; then, as the ethical element predominated in the Jewish religion, a moral symbolism was felt to reside in the ceremonial code, and thus aversion to impurity came to be a common form of the ethico-religious sentiment.