A Homa (aka Havan) is a form of worship originating from the Vedic period in India. This service is undertaken to gain blessings and boons from the gods and goddesses. The critical element here is a ritual fire into which the fire god Agni is invoked. The devotees then request that Agni carry the offerings which are made into the fire directly to the gods. The words chanted when making the offerings suggest a recognition that all resources, all possessions, all thoughts and actions occur through divine grace. Upon delivering items into the fire, the devotee chants “This is yours, not mine”.
Homas typically occur for special rites of passage (samskaras) including thread ceremonies and weddings. They are also a common feature during the nine-night festival of Navratri which is dedicated to the goddess in her various forms.
In 2014 and 2015 the Hindu Students Council Board members performed a Navratri Homa, directed by Dr. Asha Shipman, to the goddess Durga.