erotic-sculpture-temple-india-4

FACTS OF KHAJURAHO

  • About 90% of Khajuraho’s sculptures have nothing to do with sex.
  • The temples were built over a period of 150 years or more.
  • There were once 85 temples in the Khajuraho complex. As few as 20 to 28 remain today. The temples are spread over an area of about eight square miles.
  • This region was the religious (but not the political) capital of India’s Chandela dynasty, during Europe’s Middle Ages.
  • The temples were built when the dynasty lived in power and luxury.

Some more facts and what others say about the erotic [pornographic]art.

Khajuraho Today

  • British engineer T. S. Burt found the temples in the mid-1800’s.

(Read below his description of how disgusting the art was.)

  • There is no nightlife or luxury at Khajuraho today.
  • Nothing cool at Khajuraho. It is situated in one of India’s hotter and arid corners.
  • Temples are actually in Madhya Pradesh near the village of Khajuraho (about 350 miles southeast of New Delhi)
  • It is one of India’s most popular tourist destinations.
  • The Khajuraho temple complex is India’s largest group of medieval Hindu temples.
  • One cluster of the temples is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • One can see erotic (some would say explicit) sculptures decorating the exterior of so many of the temples. However, the temples’ sculptures are intended to illustrate portions of a Hindu religious text on love, the Kama Sutra.
  • In India today Conservative Hindus are offended by depictions of the gods as nude or sexually active.

The Most Popular Theories
religious (but not the political) capital of India’s Chandela dynasty, during Europe’s Middle Ages.

  • The temples were built when the dynasty lived in power and luxury.

Some more facts and what others say about the erotic [pornographic]art.

Khajuraho Today

  • British engineer T. S. Burt found the temples in the mid-1800’s.

(Read below his description of how disgusting the art was.)

  • There is no nightlife or luxury at Khajuraho today.
  • Nothing cool at Khajuraho. It is situated in one of India’s hotter and arid corners.
  • Temples are actually in Madhya Pradesh near the village of Khajuraho (about 350 miles southeast of New Delhi)
  • It is one of India’s most popular tourist destinations.
  • The Khajuraho temple complex is India’s largest group of medieval Hindu temples.
  • One cluster of the temples is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • One can see erotic (some would say explicit) sculptures decorating the exterior of so many of the temples. However, the temples’ sculptures are intended to illustrate portions of a Hindu religious text on love, the Kama Sutra.
  • In India today Conservative Hindus are offended by depictions of the gods as nude or sexually active.

The Most Popular Theories

1. The temples’ sculptures are intended to illustrate portions of a Hindu religious text on love, the Kama Sutra.

2. The Chandela dynasty was involved in a Tantric cult; Tantric mysticism teaches that the gratification of sexual desire is part of the path to self-knowledge and “the infinite”. The art may have illustrated Tantric rites. Related to this explanation is the possibility that the Chandelas were involved in a form of Shaktism, a type of Hinduism that focuses on feminine aspects of divinity.

3. The sculptures might simply show scenes from everyday life in Chandela India at a time when the dynasty lived in power and luxury.

4. The art was an effort to draw followers away from aesthetic Buddhism and back to Hindu family life.
5.
EXPRESSING SHOCK (by the British engineer T. S. Burt)
The images are graphic and unabashed: there is kissing and caressing; nudity, both male and female; twosomes and threesomes, foursomes and fivesomes and on to orgies with ten or more participants; acts of intercourse that seem to defy gravity; passion, self-gratification, intimacy, and (occasionally) bestiality.

TO SUM UP

The erotic art of Khajuraho – its motivation and significance – is probably something that will remain controversial and unresolved for decades. The extent of the disagreement is profound and it is clear that commentators who want to promote their own views regardless of the facts put forth a fair amount of revisionism. Sexuality is perfectly natural and Hinduism celebrates the acts of life, they say. They want to see the Chandelas as representatives of a healthy, mainstream Hinduism and ignore the fact that the builders of the temples at Khajuraho were likely part of a Tantric sect on the fringe of Hinduism and that those ideas did not seem to gain wider acceptance in the rest of India.

Advertisements

What do you think? Please comment..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s