Tucked away in remote Indian jungles are little-known masterpieces of Hindu architecture. What these temples mean and how they were used are the subjects of Alain Danielou's introduction to these magnificent Shaivite structures. Lifelong Indologist and translator of the Kama Sutra
, Danielou gives us a grand tour of these temples by drawing from accounts in ancient texts. In very short segments, he directs us to the temple plan, the architect, erotic representations, the meanings of life, the sanctuary, and other aspects of the temple and its erotic sculpture and symbols. Originally published in two French titles, The Hindu Temple
includes original photographs by Raymond Burnier and others who trekked across India to capture these out-of-the-way temples on film. The photographs, along with a number of exceptional color plates, suffer slightly in quality, but the effect is not lost. The Hindu Temple
is a noteworthy introduction to a spirituality that Danielou claims to be the fountainhead of the all religions. Whether or not true, the art and the power live and still inspire today. --Brian Bruya
From Library Journal
The late Danielou was one of the greatest Western writers on Hinduism, and this text translates and amalgamates two of his texts: L'erotisme divinise and Le temple hindou. Danielou writes with great clarity and authority, and his understanding of the ancient Hindu religious aesthetic is nothing short of breathtaking. Despite the book's subtitle, Danielou's work provides less of the thrill of voyeurism than the excitement of learning and illumination. In addition, the illustration of his words by the splendid photographs of Raymond Burnier delivers the meaning of the text with added force. Highly recommended.
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