Homa (ritual)


Homa (ritual)

Homa (also known as "homam" or "havan") is a Sanskrit word which refers to any ritual in which making offerings into a consecrated fire is the primary action. ["Glossary of:" cite book|last=Svoboda|first=Robert|title= [http://www.brotherhoodoflife.com/Tantra.html Aghora II: Kundalini] |publisher=Brotherhood of Life|location=Las Vegas|year=1993|id=ISBN 0-914732-31-5] The words "homa/homam/havan" are interchangeable with the word "Yagna." "Homas" are an important religious practise in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Procedure

Although a consecrated fire is the central element of every "homa" ritual, the procedure and items offered to the fire vary by what occasions the ceremony, or by the benefit expected from the ritual. Procedures invaribly involve -
*the kindling and consecration of the sacrificial fire;
*the invocation of one or more divinities; and,
*the making of offerings (whether real or visualized) to them with the fire as "via media", amid the recitation of prescribed prayers and mantras.

The consecrated fire forms the focus of devotions; it is often maintained on specific types of wood and other combustibles. The fire-altar ("vedi") is generally made of brick or stone, and is almost always built specifically for the occasion, being dismantled immediately afterwards. This fire-altar is invaribly built in square shape. While very large "vedis" are occasionally built for major public "homas", the usual altar may be as small as 1 x 1 foot square and rarely exceeds 3 x 3 feet square. Again, whereas major altars at public events may include a hollowing of the earth to create a relatively deep pit, usual altars involve no such excavation and indeed rise only inches above the ground. In all events, the arrangement is centered in the middle of a space, which may be either outdoors or indoors. The principal people performing the ceremony and the priests who instruct them through the rituals seat themselves around the altar, while family, friends and other devotees form a larger ring around that center. The length and procedure of a "homa" depends on the purpose to which it is performed; many different types of "homas" exist, and the following list is only illustrative.

ome common "homas"

"Homa" rituals have been performed by Vedic priests for several millennia. The following is an illustrative list of a few such "homa" rituals:

The purification rites of the "Viraja homa" ritual also apply to the formal ceremonies by which a Hindu monk takes up the vows of renunciation ("Sannyas"), thereby becoming a "Sanyasin". The procedure is a part of the full "Sannyas Diksha" monastic initiation ceremony. After the Homa, the monk receives the ochre robes the characteristic dress of Hindu monks, from his teacher ("guru").

ee also

* Dhuni
* Vibhuti

Notes

References

* [http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Homas_-_Homa/id/2153 Hindu homas]
* [http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:cDrByt2eOT0J:www.livinginjoy.com/en/news/470+%22vishwa+shanthi%22+homa&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3 Tabulation of different homas]
* [http://www.brotherhoodoflife.com/Tantra.html The Aghora trilogy]

External links

* [http://www.agnihotra.ch Agnihotra Fireritual]
* [http://www.sanatansociety.org/yoga_and_meditation/homa_tantric_fire_worship.htm Tantric Fire]
* [http://www.yogichen.org/efiles/e070.html Buddhist Homa Ritual in China]
* [http://www.divyadesamonline.com/ Know about all Hindu Homams.] - All the Homams - Ganapathy Homam, Sri Sudharsana Homam, Navagraha Homam and lots of information on all the Homams are listed.


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