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Jan 25, 2008

The temple

The temple

The Upanishadic vision of India sees the material world as Maya or Mithya, an illusion experienced by our limited perception. The High purpose of life and of art is to lift the veils of this illusion and see the Eternal, that which is beyond the forms of the world.

The simplest forms that were made, such as the stupa and the Siva linga, were placed in the heart of the sacred place. These take us closest to the truth of the formless eternal. In their simplicity, they remind us that all that there is divine.

The inner sanctum of the temple is where we come to meditate upon the Truth, to recognize the divinity that is all around and within us. Here, in the garbha-griha, the womb-home, we are to be born again in knowledge .We come past the temple wall, through the halls, to this place where we may experience the truth and be transformed.

The Indian temple is conceived as a place for the self-transformation of the devotee. It is a place where the noise and confusion of the material world are left behind, where, in the sanctified silence, one may gain the knowledge of the oneness of all creation.

In the womb the devotee transforms himself through the act of looking upon the image of the divinity .The sight of the divine lifts our spirit and creates peace and joy, taking us on the path towards realization. The acquiring of grace by looking upon the deity is known as darshan and is common to all Indian faiths.

Through its buildings, ground plan, wall structure and tower, the temple express the expansion of the deity from the centre to every direction of the world.

The temple represents an entire vision of the cosmos or space or world .Each part makes its own statement. The temple is really like a vast sculpture in which all the parts are releated.When we look upon the images we are transformed for a moment .In the act of seeing, there is an acquiring of grace, which awakens the divinity in each of us.
-- Taken from'' Frontline ''

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