Newar Buddhist Fire Sacrifice in Cambridge: the “field” comes home
Posted on October 19, 2010
Bruce Owens recently participated in a Buddhist fire sacrifice, or homa, while attending a two-day conference at Harvard University. Though he has, in Nepal, witnessed well over a hundred of these rites (which honor deities with burnt offerings), it was the first he has seen performed in New England.
The “Homa Conference: Variations of Homa from Vedic to Hindu to Buddhist” was held at the Department of Sanskrit and Indian studies October 2nd and 3rd, and brought together scholars from Japan, the Netherlands, France, Nepal, and Great Britain, as well as from various institutions in the U.S.
The conference began with a three-hour homa performed by Prof. Owens’s colleague, friend, and guru, Dr. Naresh Man Vajracarya, who is both a Professor at Nepal’s Tribhuvan University in the Department of Buddhist Studies, and a practicing Newar Vajrayana Buddhist priest.