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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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Fire Rituals by the Queen of Siddhas

Fire Rituals by the Queen of Siddhas

The Aparimitāyur-homa-vidhi-nāma in the Tengyur

Chapter:
(p.225) Fire Rituals by the Queen of Siddhas
Source:
Homa Variations
Author(s):
Georgios T. Halkias
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199351572.003.0008

This chapter discusses how Buddhist practitioners adapted the Brahmanic homa for their own use. As adopted by the Tibetans, homa rites were employed both for the accomplishment of worldly goals, such as safety, prosperity, and power, but also for the accomplishment of the highest goals of liberation from the rounds of saṃsara. Focusing on a little known buddha, Aparimitāyus, the chapter shows that this buddha is also part of the broader Pure Land tradition. Like the much better known Pure Land buddha, Amitāyus, Aparimitāyus has the attribute of granting longevity. The manual, attributed to the Queen of Siddhas, a dākini, includes discussions of the four different kinds of rites. Like most tantric rituals it includes ritual identification, in this case at the beginning of the ritual. The chapter closes with a discussion of the rationales employed in the adoption of Brahmanic rites into the context of Buddhist practice.

Keywords:   Aparimitāyus, ḍākinī

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