The Hindu Temple: Deification of Eroticism

The Hindu Temple: Deification of Eroticism

by Alain Danielou, Alain Daniilou

Paperback(1ST U.S)

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780892818549
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 02/01/2001
Edition description: 1ST U.S
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Alain Danielou spent twenty years in India studying music and philosophy with eminent scholars of the Hindu tradition. He is the author of more than thirty books on the religion, history, and arts of India and the Mediterranean, including While the Gods Play, The Myths and Gods of India, Yoga: Mastering the Secrets of Matter and the Universe, and The Complete Kama Sutra.

Table of Contents

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
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
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
Biographical Notes

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Alain Danielou's books are remarkable for their clarity and scholarship. An uninhibited celebration of erotic and mystical ecstasy."

"Danielou is one of the greatest Western authorities on Hinduism. . . His talents seem unending."

"Must read."

"Danielou writes with great clarity and authority, and his understanding of the ancient Hindu religious aesthetic is nothing short of breathtaking. Highly recommended."

"This book . . . is a tremendous way to break out of the spell of Western society."

"The focus on their erotic sculptures and Hindu faith makes for an excellent set of insights."

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The Hindu Temple: Deification of Eroticism 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
bethlakshmi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago