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Chapter Summary

Homa is a votive offering made in an act of exchange with a deity, and it is clearly identifiable by the use of fire, personified as the deity Agni, as the vehicle for making such votive offerings. The ritual use of fire and the symbolism of Agni as consumer and conveyor of offerings to the gods links homa to its origins in Vedic ritual culture. The structuring of homa reflects the ways rituals were organized in Mahāyāna generally, as well as in esoteric Buddhism. Homa as presented in the MVS is set within a theological justification for the appropriation of fire rituals by Buddhists. The chaos marking the end of the Tang dynasty at the beginning of the tenth century also signaled a dearth of translation and production of esoteric texts.

Keywords: deity Agni; esoteric Buddhism; Homa



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