The Saisho Homa (Goma) Ceremony
In accordance with Buddhist tradition, ceremonies in Shinnyo-En contain two complementary elements: fire, or candlelight, as a symbol for the wisdom of the Buddha; and water as a symbol of the Buddha’s kindness and compassion. Homa ceremonies (Goma) are Buddhist prayer ceremonies, with the ritual lighting of a fire
at their centre. The altar fire is believed to “consume” suffering and its causes, and
thus generate wisdom and compassionate action.
The term “Saisho” refers to the all-encompassing and borderless dimension of the Buddha’s wisdom and compassion. The “Saisho Homa” is a prayer ceremony which expresses the wish to strive for the welfare of all people. Shinnyo-en performs these ceremonies with the intention of creating peace and harmony in a world rife with uncertainty and conflicts.
Recently the Saisho Homa ceremony has become an annual event. Representatives
of many religions have taken part in the ceremonies, along with representatives from
society and politics. The ceremonies are open to the general public and all are invited
to take part in the event.