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Hindu temples and the emanating cosmos

Hardy, Adam 2016. Hindu temples and the emanating cosmos. Religion and the Arts 20 (1-2) , pp. 112-134. 10.1163/15685292-02001006

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Samaranganasutradhara; emanation; Vastu Shastra; Hindu temple
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
ISSN: 1079-9265
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 6 April 2016
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2019 10:34

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