Select Page

As part of the Nepal Studies Program, Professor Michael Witzel from Harvard University will lead a conference titled “Hinduism in Nepal: The Ritual Dimension.” Ritual has played a major role in Hindu societies, from the Vedas to modern times, and it has been particularly prominent in Nepalese society. It accompanies individuals from morning until night, from birth to death, and it shapes the customs of society throughout the year. This conference will explore some of the rituals, past and present, that are typical for Nepal. Stress is put on the extensive documentation that has been carried out over the past few decades, with a particular focus on fire rituals.

May 2, 2019: Science Center Hall A

10:00am – 12:00pm

The Meaning of the Meaninglessness of Rituals – Newar and Parbatiya Life-cycle Rituals
Axel Michaels, Heidelberg University

Newar Ritual Calendar – New Methodology, New Discovery
Gautama Vajracharya, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Representation of the Deceased – From Piṇḍa to Ghost Bike
Niels Gutschow, Heidelberg University

2:00pm – 5:00pm

Indo-Iranian Fire Rituals; Nepalese Agnihotras – Vedic and Tantric (with films – 1975-2019)
Michael Witzel, Harvard University

Vedic Agnihotra in Nepal – Paśupatināth and Kumārīgal (with films – 2004-2014)
François Voegeli, Lausanne University


May 3, 2019: Science Center Hall E

10:00am – 12:00pm

Agniśālā Rituals – Daily and Fortnightly Rites; Death Rituals and Installation a New Agnihotrī (with films – 2002)
Bal Gopal Shrestha, Oxford University and Leiden University

The Dynamics of Rituals at Agnimaṭha of Pāṭan
Abhas Rajopadhyaya, Kantipur City College