Homa Variations: The Study of Ritual Change across the Longue Duree

Paperback | December 4, 2015

EditorRichard K. Payne, Michael Witzel

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Found in many different religious cultures, the practice of making votive offerings into fire dates back to the earliest periods of human history. Throughout the tantric world, this kind of ritual offering practice is known as the homa. With roots in Vedic and Zoroastrian rituals, the tantrichoma was formed in early medieval India. Since that time tantric Buddhist practitioners transmitted it to East and Central Asia, and more recently to Europe and the Americas. Today, Hindu forms of the homa are being practiced outside of India as well. Despite this historical and cultural range, the homa retains an identifiable unity of symbolism and ritual form. Homa Variations is the first volume to provide a series of detailed studies of a variety of homa forms. This collection of essays provides an understanding of the history of the homa fromits inception up to its use in the present. The book also covers homa practice throughout a wide range of religious cultures, from India and Nepal to Tibet, China, and Japan. The theoretical focus of the collection is the study of ritual change over long periods of time, and across the boundaries ofreligious cultures. The identifiable unity of the homa allows for an almost unique opportunity to examine ritual change with such a broad perspective.

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Found in many different religious cultures, the practice of making votive offerings into fire dates back to the earliest periods of human history. Throughout the tantric world, this kind of ritual offering practice is known as the homa. With roots in Vedic and Zoroastrian rituals, the tantrichoma was formed in early medieval India. Sin...

Richard K. Payne is Yehan Numata Professor of Japanese Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley. Michael Witzel is Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 9.09 × 6.1 × 1.3 inPublished:December 4, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199351589

ISBN - 13:9780199351589

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsContributorsRichard K. Payne: IntroductionSymbolic and Comparative Studies1. Holly Grether: The Ritual Interplay of Fire and Water in Hindu and Buddhist Tantras2. Tadeusz Skorupski: Buddhist Permutations and Symbolism of Fire3. Musashi Tachikawa: The Structure of Japanese Buddhist HomaTextual Studies4. Timothy Lubin: The Vedic Homa and the Standardization of Hindu Puja5. Tsunehiko Sugiki: Oblation, Non-conception, and Body-Systems of Psychosomatic Fire-oblation in Esoteric Buddhism in Medieval South Asia6. David B. Gray: The Three Types of Fire Sacrifice According to Kanha's Sricakrasamvara-homavidhi7. Georgios T. Halkias: Fire Rituals by the Queen of Siddhas: The Aparimitayur-homa-vidhi-nama in the Tengyur8. Vesna A. Wallace: Homa Rituals in the Indian Kalacakratantra Tradition9. Charles D. Orzech: Ritual Subjects: Homa in Chinese Translations and Manuals from the Sixth through Eighth CenturiesDescriptive Studies10. Todd Lewis and Naresh Bajracarya: Newar Buddhist Homa Ritual Traditions11. Nawaraj Chaulagain: The Navaratra Homa: Liver, Enchantment, and Engendering the Divine "Sakti-s"12. Richard K. Payne: Fire on the Mountain: The Shugendo Saito Goma13. Michael Witzel: Agnihotra Rituals in NepalIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Some thirty years ago, the publication of the late Frits Staal's Agni: The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar marked a significant milestone in the study of Indian religions and, in the second volume of that monumental work, Staal's collaborators began to explore the diffusion of the fire ritualthroughout Asia. With Homa Variations, Professors Payne and Witzel, together with a group of outstanding contributors, extend that project, bringing to bear the resources of the best current field work, textual scholarship and ritual theory on the diversity of the fire ritual in Hindu and Buddhistmilieux." --Matthew T. Kapstein, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris) and The University of Chicago