The Hindu Temple: Deification of Eroticism

Front Cover
Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, Feb 1, 2001 - History - 130 pages
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Danielou's masterpiece on the erotic nature of the sacred symbolism of the Hindu temple.

• Includes stunning photographs from the major temple complexes of India. 

• By Alain Danielou, one of the greatest authorities on Hinduism.

Ancient Indian architectural treatises state that a temple lacking erotic imagery would be ineffective and maleficent. The erotic statues and representations that cover the outer and inner walls of the Hindu temple serve both a magical and an instructional purpose. Through the power of the yantras--the magical diagrams created by the placement of the erotic imagery--the architect made the temple a faithful reflection of the divine. At the same time this imagery educated the faithful about the fundamental aspects of the Hindu religion, wherein the union of opposites in the sexual act is the perfect image of the creative principle, and erotic enjoyment is a reflection of divine bliss.

Alain Danielou's masterpiece on the Hindu temple, now translated for the first time into English, provides a stunningly illustrated tour of the major temple complexes of India. The erotic sculptures that cover the walls of these temples are not merely symbolic portrayals of voluptuous acts but serve as profound reminders that man is closest to the divine during the instant of sexual transcendence.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bethlakshmi - LibraryThing

A combination of two of Danielou's works on the forms and functions of Hindu temple. Particularly aimed at describing the connection between humanity and divinity that the temple represents, particularly in the terms of it's erotic elements. Read full review

The Hindu Temple: deification of eroticism

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The late Danielou was one of the greatest Western writers on Hinduism, and this text translates and amalgamates two of his texts: L'erotisme divinise and Le temple hindou. Danielou writes with great ... Read full review

Contents

The Nature of the World
7
The Cults of the Phallus and of the Mother
11
The Divine Image
13
Sacred Places
18
Temple Position and Orientation in the City
22
The Temple Ground and Preliminary Rites
25
The Architect
29
The Germ of the Temple
31
The Origin of Temple Forms
69
Architectural Treatises
72
Revealing the Divine Mind
73
The Images of the Gods
74
Iconographic Canons
78
Clothing
80
The Ritual of Caressing Nyasa
82
The Three Gods
85

The Plan of the Temple
33
Yantras
37
The PlanPerson Vastu Purusha
39
Erotic Representations
42
The Building of the Temple
46
The Sanctuary Garbha Griha
49
The Mountain and the Cavern Shikhara and Garbha Griha
51
The Fruit or Celestial Crown Amalaka
55
The Door of the Sanctuary
57
The Vestibule Mandapa
58
The Face of the Renowned Kirtimukha
61
The Incarnate Word Virala
65
The Sacred Swan or Goose Hamsa
66
A World Apart
67
Coupling Mithuna
86
Representations of Shiva
89
The Linga Shivas Phallic Emblem
93
The Power of Nature Shardula
97
Apsaras and Gandkarvas
98
The Four Meanings of Life
101
Ethics and Sexuality
109
The Ties of Nature and Liberation
116
Sexual and Erotic Education
119
Note on the Text and Illustrations
122
Bibliography
123
Biographical Notes
126
Index
128
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Introduction
Part One - Divine Eroticism
The Nature of the World
The Cults of the Phallus and of the Mother
The Divine Image
Part Two - Temples: Dwellings of the Gods
Sacred Places
Temple Position and Orientation in the City
The Temple Ground and Preliminary Rites
The Architect
The Germ of the Temple
The Plan of the Temple
Yantras
The Plan-Person (Vastu-Purusha)
Erotic Representations
The Building of the Temple
The Sanctuary (Garbha Griha)
The Mountain and the Cavern (Shikhara and Garbha Griha)
The Fruit or Celestial Crown (Amalaka)
The Door of the Sanctuary
The Vestibule (Mandapa)
The Face of the Renowned, Kirtimukha
The Incarnate Word, Virala
The Sacred Swan or Goose, Hamsa
A World Apart
The Origin of Temple Forms
Architectural Treatises
Part Three - Revealing the Divine Mind
The Images of the Gods
Iconographic Canons
Clothing
The Ritual of Caressing (Nyasa)
The Three Gods
Coupling (Mithuna)
Representations of Shiva
The Linga, Shiva's Phallic Emblem
The Power of Nature, Shardula
Apsaras and Gandharvas
The Four Meanings of Life
Ethics and Sexuality
The Ties of Nature and Liberation
Sexual and Erotic Education
Note on the Text and Illustrations
Bibliography
Biographical Notes
Index

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