Homa and Other Fire Rituals in Gandhara by Giovanni Verardi

By Giovanni Verardi

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Moreover, the distinction. I have tried to draw between fire rituals and incense offerings cannot be maintained in clearly defined terms. : 432). We actually seem to have a 'gradual and subtle process' in the iconographies. But this should not be understood as simply diachronic, but as concerning some Gandhiiran communities, or parts of them, as early as· the emergence of Gandhiiran art. The emergence of Buddhist homa rituals is to be " Strickmann refers to homa as described in the Spirit Spells, partially quoted in section 5.

D. The utensils of this and other rituals would have helped us if any importance had been attached to them in excavations (section 1). " Boma things are represented, however, in Tibetan and Central Asian than-kas. The latter, rolled up and kept in special places, are to be considered as secret and personal as homa and mal]qalas. 46 G. Verardi of dubious adaptations, but beacuse they were thought to be a better means to counteract brahmanic pressure&!. As a matter of fact; Buddhist tradition will ' continue to allude 'to the continuous popularity of various forms of Roma among non-Buddhists - a Roma false and delusive, when compared with its Buddhist counterpart' (Strickmann 1983: 425).

This, however, could not have been otherwise, in that monastic communities continued to adhere to the traditional subdivision into the eighteen nikiiyas, whatever doctrinal positions they might have turned to. Without ruling out the possibility that fire rituals were accepted and given a doctrinal explanation, at least to a certain extent, even by the most traditional monks, it is much more likely that they were the Mahiiyana currents, affecting most nikiiyas, that pushed towards similar developments.

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