Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eroticism and temple art.

Recently during my visit to a temple nearby my residence, where I haven’t gone for last few months, put me in a strange thought on seeing a modification on the outer wall of the sanctum sanctorum decorated with new Blackstone made statues. Some of them were erotic. erotic statue1

The strange thought was that, I have visited many temples at different parts of India during my tours and seen statues and pictures of beautiful women with high breast and twisting, broad-hip there ,on walls etc., having a high esthetic value. Heard that Khajuraho temple is famous for erotic  stone statues. But the same like or one step ahead statues in these temples of this century? I could not understand the philosophy behind these new age eroticism in temple art.erotic statue 8

I searched internet and read many writings on the subject to clear my doubt, everyone have some vague ideas only on such erotic sculpture temple art, and my curiosity remain unsatisfied. Why such erotic sculptures on outer walls of temples?

erotic statue 9

The interpretations and theories I found in sites are many but all I feel preconceived ideas without much support. I am trying here to comprehend the interpretations of them, about placing erotic sculptures on outer walls of  Hindu temples in India.

  • Placing erotic sculptures on outer wall of the temple is to signify the devotees to keep all kind of materialistic thought outside the temple and enter in sanctum sanctorum with a pure heart and mind.
  • You can find many statues on outside wall of temples among it only a few are erotic because these erotic sculpture are strategically placed “yantras” or symbolical magical diagrams to  appease the evil spirits.
  • According to Hindu philosophy one has to practice four Ashrams to attain moksha (eternal peace from all bondages) that are "Brahmacharya" or the Bachelor student Stage,"Grihastha" or the Householder Stage,"Vanaprastha" or the Hermit Stage,"Sannyasa" or the Wandering Ascetic Stage. The sculptures are intended to prepare and teach the Brahmacharies who are living away in hermitages for a successful second ashrama,"Grihastha".
  • Hinduism believes in the efficacy of all four paths to Moksha (Dharma, Artha, Yoga, and Kama), these erotic sculptures are to assist in the fourth one Kama to attain Moksha.
  • The sculptures are constructed during the time of monastic Buddhism and people were losing interest in Grihastha (householder life). The erotic sculptures were built to attract and arouse interest in house holder life to strengthen Hinduism.

erotic statue10

From all above in my view little bit convincing is the theory of “yantras”.

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