The World in Miniature: Container Gardens and Dwellings in Far Eastern Religious Thought

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Stanford University Press, 1990 - Philosophy - 393 pages
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In this volume of three related essays, the reader will encounter a system of interlocking images and symbols that lies at the core of the Far Eastern view of the universe - a system that informs cosmology, ritual, ethics, aesthetics, and many aspects of everyday life. The first essay, 'miniature Gardens in the Far East', summarizes the complex cultural significance of the gardens of fantastic rocks and dwarfed trees placed in basins, of Chinese origin but transmitted to other Far Eastern cultures. The author demonstrates that these gardens are icons whose components and forms not only symbolize but replicate paradise realms important in ancient Chinese religion and folk beliefs. He shows that by replicating such realms, the gardens both manifest and bestow on their possessor the magical powers associated with them, and he details exactly how the gardens accomplished this. Many subtle mutations of the miniature garden, such as subterranean worlds equipped with their own sun and moon and populated with aspirants of eternity, are revealed.
 

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Contents

PARTI Miniature Gardens in the Far East
1
Survey of Themes
49
Dwelling Places Their Physical Details
121
PART In The World and Architecture in Religious Thought
175
Sumeru between the world and the gods dwelling place
249
Sumeru represented as a churn
250
Sumeru with Vairocana Buddha
251
Sumeru stylized as a support for an offering
252
Models of Sumeru in bronze and stone
259
11o Stone banner
261
i11 The Fantzu ta Kunming
262
The Ocean of Good Fortune
264
Container landscape Java
266
Cosmic linga Java
268
Cosmic linga Java
269
Notes
275

Sumeru floating in the sea
253
Sumeru as rock on back of tortoise
254
Turning library Vietnam
256
Kurikawa in the form of Fudo
257
Bibliography of Secondary Sources
357
Selected Character List
373
Index
381
Copyright

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