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Homa VariationsThe Study of Ritual Change across the Longue Durée$
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Richard K. Payne and Michael Witzel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199351572

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199351572.001.0001

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Ritual Subjects

Ritual Subjects

Homa in Chinese Translations and Manuals from the Sixth through Eighth Centuries

(p.266) Ritual Subjects
Homa Variations
Charles D. Orzech
Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates the ongoing relation between India and China, in which changes to the practice of the homa in China are the consequence of developments in India. Although mentioned earlier, in conjunction with image consecration, the homa is described in detail around the end of the sixth century. It is then only in the middle of the next century that forms comparable to contemporary homas—including for example evocations of Agni and the summoning and enthronement of deities in a maṇ ḍala—make their first appearance. More fully developed forms were introduced by Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra in the eighth century. This chapter also examines key differences in the social context of the ritual in China and Japan, indicating that the use of the homa in the two was actually significantly different. The theoretical issue it addresses following the historical inquiry is the role of ritual practice in subject formation.

Keywords:   image consecration, Amoghavajra, social persona, internalization, China, Huilin, subject formation

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