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Circumambulation is the movement around a holy object, or of a
holy object. The completion of a circle of protection, or of community,
creates an integrity that is otherwise difficult to obtain in this world.
The application of this in religions is diverse: examples include the Hajj
(the Muslim circumambulation of the Ka'ba); the Prayer
Wheel in Tibet; the stupa and Bo tree in Buddhism;
the respect shown to the Adi Granth on entering a gurdwara; Lavan; the Hindu
"following the sun" around the sacred fire and, in the temple
(and, in pradaksina, to go around any sacred object, person, or place,
including the whole of India; the seven circuits (hakkafot) around a cemetery
before a burial by Sephardi and Hasidic Jews. In Witchcraft the magic circle
would be a circumambulation. A.G.H.
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions,
New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 224