A Vedic sacrifice needs four principal priests of whom the hotṛ is one. He belongs to the Ṛgveda; i.e., his special duty is to recite the mantras of the Ṛgveda called ‘śastras’ (laudatory hymns) to invoke the gods to the sacrifice.
He performs all the ritualistic acts for which no other person has been specifically mentioned. He sits, facing the east, to the north of the northern vedi (platform). His assistants are: maitrā-varuṇa, acchāvāka and grāvastut.
See also VEDIC SACRIFICES.