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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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The Vedic Homa and the Standardization of Hindu Pūjā

The Vedic Homa and the Standardization of Hindu Pūjā

(p.143) The Vedic Homa and the Standardization of Hindu Pūjā
Homa Variations
Timothy Lubin
Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the way in which the traditional solemn rites (śrauta), requiring three fires, are simplified. This change results in the creation of the domestic, or “homely” rituals as the chapter calls them. The systematic integration of ritual practices in the Purāṇas and Āgamas—the penumbra of the Vedic tradition—involved assimilating food offerings to well-known Vedic forms. Thus, pūjā was provided with a Vedic framework and warrant. The domestic rites (gṛhya) thus initiated were much simpler than the solemn rites, as they only require a single fire for their performance. Similarly, there is an accompanying reduction in the number of officiants required for the performance of the domestic rites.

Keywords:   śrauta, gṛhya, food-offerings, bali

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