The Hindu Temple: Deification of Eroticism

Front Cover
Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, 2001 - History - 130 pages
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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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
Temples Dwellings of the Gods
17
Sacred Places
18
Temple Position and Orientation in the City
20
The Temple Ground and Preliminary Rites
23
The Architect
27
The Origin of Temple Forms
67
Architectural Treatises
70
Revealing the Divine Mind
71
The Images of the Gods
72
Iconographic Canons
76
Clothing
78
The Ritual of Caressing Nyasa
80
The Three Gods
83

The Germ of the Temple
29
The Plan of the Temple
31
Yantras
35
The PlanPerson Vastu Purusha
37
Erotic Representations
40
The Building of the Temple
44
The Sanctuary Garbha Griha
47
The Mountain and the Cavern Shikhara and Garbha Griha
49
The Fruit or Celestial Crown Amalaka
53
The Door of the Sanctuary
55
The Vestibule Mandapa
56
The Face of the Renowned Kirtimukha
59
The Incarnate Word Virala
63
The Sacred Swan or Goose Hamsa
64
A World Apart
65
Coupling Mithuna
84
Representations of Shiva
87
The Linga Shivas Phallic Emblem
91
The Power of Nature Shardula
95
Apsaras and Gandkarvas
96
The Four Meanings of Life
99
Ethics and Sexuality
107
The Ties of Nature and Liberation
114
Sexual and Erotic Education
117
Note on the Text and Illustrations
120
Bibliography
121
Biographical Notes
124
Index
126
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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