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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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Homa Rituals in the Indian Kālacakra-tantra Tradition

Homa Rituals in the Indian Kālacakra-tantra Tradition

(p.246) Homa Rituals in the Indian Kālacakra-tantra Tradition
Homa Variations
Vesna A. Wallace
Oxford University Press

The Kālacakra-tantra is considered one of the most authoritative tantric traditions, and the chapter examines the homa as found in that tradition. Instructions for the construction of a ritual site include color symbolism, revealing another layer of symbolic associations between the type of ritual and the requirements for its effective performance. Also discussed are the directions and locations where a ritual hearth is best constructed, along with its size and shape. In contrast to other texts discussed in this collection, the texts discuss five kinds of ritual performance. According to this tradition, while external homa can accomplish mundane goals, it is only the internal homa in which the awakened consciousness acts as the ritual fire that can accomplish the ultimate goal of awakening.

Keywords:   Kālacakra-tantra, homa, ritual performance, ritual hearth, internalization, color symbolism

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