Showing posts with label Konarak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Konarak. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Surya In The Hindu Pantheon?

 

 

 The sun, in both its physical and anthropomorphic forms as a celestial phenomena.

Since the Vedas, the oldest and most authoritative Hindu religious literature, the sun has been an important god and has maintained a position of considerable prominence.

The Gayatri Mantra, for example, is a holy mantra that is supposed to be sung every day by twice-born males, or men from the three "twice-born" groups—brahmin, kshatriya, and vaishya—who have completed the teenage religious initiation known as "second birth." Invoking the sun as the creator and nourisher of all things, the Gayatri Mantra asks him to awaken the brains of all who observe him.

Many Smarta brahmins continue to worship Surya as one of the "five-fold" (panchayatana) deities (the others being Shiva, Vishnu, the Goddess, and Ganesh), according to the Advaita philosopher Shankaracharya.

Surya was also the dominant god for various groups, notably in eastern India, for a period, but his devotion has since been substantially superseded.

The temple of the sun at Konarak (now damaged) is the most impressive example of pagan devotion, with its immense size and abundance of sensual sculptures on its external walls.

Religious Beliefs and Practices of North India During the Early Medieval Period, by Vibhuti Bhushan Mishra, 1973; and Sarat Chandra Mitra, The Cult of the Sun God in Medieval Eastern Bengal, 1986.


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Hinduism - What Is The Sun Temple In India?

 

 

Sun Temple is the common name of a specific Hindu temple dedicated to the sun.

The most well-known sun temple is located at Konarak, Orissa, on the Bay of Bengal's coast.

The temple was constructed by King Narasimhadeva (r.1238–1264), a member of the Ganga dynasty, and was designed to resemble the sun's chariot.

At the temple's lowest level, it features twelve huge wheels engraved on the sides, as well as sculptures of many gigantic horses in front.

The lower floors, like those of Khajuraho's temples, are covered with sensual and sexually graphic sculptures, to which many interpretations have been given: Some argue that they legitimize carnal pleasure as a religious route, while others consider them allegorical as expressing human unity with the divine, and yet others believe they teach that the craving for pleasure must be overcome in order to achieve the divine.

The temple was erected on a gigantic scale; the central spire, according to one estimate, would have been over 200 feet tall.

The sandy soil on which the temple plat form was constructed would not have been able to withstand the weight of such a massive edifice, hence it's unclear whether this spire was ever finished.

The most significant factor to the temple's decline has been the same unstable soil.

The jagamohan (assembly hall) is the only remaining building on the site, which was filled with sand in the nineteenth century to avoid further collapse.

For further detail, read Roy Craven's Indian Art, published in 1997.


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Hinduism - What Is A Mithuna In Hindu Architecture ?


 (“pair”) In architecture, the name for what has been described as a “loving couple.” 

A more candid characterization is that of sculptures of men and women engaged in sexual activity, either as a pair or a larger group, with the occasion al animal thrown in for variety.

The most famous examples of such sculptures are at the temples at Konarak in the state of Orissa, and at Khajuraho in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The meaning behind such explicit sculptures has been variously interpreted.

Some people claim that they sanction carnal pleasure as a religious path, some interpret them as representing human union with the divine, and still others view them as teaching that the desire for pleasure must ultimately be transcended to attain the divine.

Any of these may be true, or the sculptures may simply reflect an affirmation of life on all its levels.


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Hinduism - Where Is Konarak Or Konark In India?


Village on the Bay of Bengal in Orissa, approximately 40 miles east of Bhubaneshvar, the state capital.

The Sun Temple in Konarak is well-known.

The temple was erected by king Narasimhadeva (r. 1238–1264), a ruler of the Ganga dynasty, and is now in ruins.

The whole temple was designed to resemble the sun's chariot, with twelve massive wheels engraved on the temple's lowest level and sculptures of many huge horses in front of it.

The temple's lower levels, like Khajuraho's, are covered with sexual engravings, leading to a variety of interpretations: Some interpret the carvings allegorically as representing human oneness with the divine, while others argue they condone sexual pleasure as a holy path.

Others interpret them as teaching that the desire for pleasure must be conquered in order to reach the divine.

The temple was constructed on a grand scale.

The huge center spire, according to one estimate, would have stood over 200 feet tall.

The sandy soil at the base of the spire would not have been able to withstand the weight of such a massive construction, hence it is unknown whether it was ever finished.

The most significant factor in the temple's decline has been the unstable soil.

The jagamohan is the main building that has survived at the site (assembly hall).

The hall was filled with sand in the nineteenth century to keep it from collapsing further.

For further detail, read Roy Craven's Indian Art, published in 1997. 


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.