Hindu Temples and the Emanating Cosmos

A recurrent idea in Indian philosophical, theological, and mythological systems is that of a universe manifested through a sequence of emanations. Diverse traditions of doctrine and practice share this vision of the progression from the one to the many. Temple designs often embody the same pattern....

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Religion and the arts
Main Author: Hardy, Adam
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Brill 2016
In: Religion and the arts
Year: 2016, Volume: 20, Issue: 1/2, Pages: 112-134
Further subjects:B Hindu Temple emanation Vastu Shastra Samaranganasutradhara
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
Description
Summary:A recurrent idea in Indian philosophical, theological, and mythological systems is that of a universe manifested through a sequence of emanations. Diverse traditions of doctrine and practice share this vision of the progression from the one to the many. Temple designs often embody the same pattern. Within the diverse traditions of Indian temple architecture, an emanatory scheme is observable both in the formal structure of individual temple designs, which express a dynamic sequence of emergence and growth, and in the way in which temple forms develop throughout the course of such traditions. The canonical Sanskrit texts on architecture (Vastu Shastras) share this emanatory way of thinking, presenting varied temple typologies in which designs develop from simple to complex, emerging sequentially one from another. These texts provide a framework for design that demands interpretation and improvisation, while leading to results that are only partly determined by the individual architect. This contributes to a sense, powerfully established by the unfolding potential of the tradition of architectural practice, that a new temple design is svayambhu (self-manifesting) appearing through a cosmic process from a supra-human source.
ISSN:1568-5292
Contains:In: Religion and the arts
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1163/15685292-02001006