Erotic Sculptures in Indian Temples - Titbits
softetechnologies
01-04-2020    507 times
Erotic Sculptures Indian Temples

India is the land of Kama Sutra, the oldest surviving Hindu text on erotic love and sexual positions, attributed to Vatsyayana. The great poet Kalidas also elaborately depicted the intimate love scenes between Lord Shiva and Parvati, in his immortal epic poem Kumarasambhavam. The stories about the illicit love affair between Radha and Lord Krishna, which are explained in a completely different light, are one of the most highly retold stories in Hinduism.

Apart from that there are lots of mythological stories about the infidelity of Indra, the king of gods, who even seduced Ahalya, the beautiful wife of Rishi Gautama. Like the Eros of Ancient Greece, India also has a god of love, lust and sexual pleasure, called Kamadeva. However, despite everything India has been considered a conservative country, especially since the last few hundred years, probably due to the pressure of country’s Brahmin priestly caste and influence of the Islamic Dynasties and the British overlords.

Erotic Sculptures
Erotic Sculptures

However, in Ancient India, sex was not a taboo and sexual norms were far more liberal before the 13th Century, giving equal importance to the secular and the spiritual life. Even, sex was included as a subject in formal education. It was considered that Dharma (Morality), Artha (material gains), Kama (sexual desire) and Moksha (the nirvana or release from the cycle of life forever) are the four goals of human life.

Erotic Sculptures
Lesbian sex
Erotic Sculptures
Sex with animal

There are myriad Indian temples featuring lots of intensely erotic sculptures and carvings on the outer walls, depicting sex between men and women in different position, threesomes, polygamy, same sex relationships and even sex with animals.

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These aphrodisiac carvings are not only found in Hindu temples, but also in the Ranakpur temple, one of the ancient Jain temples in Rajasthan, where sex sculptures in marble features passionate lovers engaged in experimental love-making scenes and other sexual practices. Appreciated by many as aesthetically passionate and slandered by the others as vulgar, the walls of these temples present a very different and liberal past of India.

Erotic Sculptures

While questions are often raised about the reason behind the presence of such sculptures in the holy places, various theories and explanations are provided by the researchers and historians. Many believe, it indicates that before entering a holy place dedicated to god, one need to leave all sexual thoughts and carnal desires outside the temple and learn how to check and control such desires. Only by acceptance of lust and desire, one can learn to control it. It is maintained by many that the sculptures are not presented to titillate, as they represent the pure act of bringing a new life into the world and the bold carvings meant to represent sex as a way to reach the epitome of spirituality.

Erotic Sculptures
Shiva and Shakti

Interestingly, most temples with erotica are related to Shiva or Bhairava and Shakti, the prime deities of the Tantric Tradition, which consider the sensual pleasures as a transcendental energy that creates a spiritual path to reach god. This is very much evident from the Khajuraho group of temples in Madhya Pradesh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its erotic sculptures. These temples, completed between 970 and 1030 AD, were dedicated to two religions, Hinduism and Jainism.

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The Sun temple of Konark in Orissa, created in the form of a giant chariot and dedicated to the Sun God, is another famous temple with its walls adorned with abundant erotic sculptures, depicting sexual acts that involve polygamy, lesbian relationships, polyandry and more.

Erotic Sculptures
Virupaksha temple, Hampi, Karnataka
Erotic Sculptures
Thirumayam, Tamil Nadu

The Virupaksha Temple, located in Hampi, Karnataka and dedicated to Lord Virupaksha, a form of Shiva, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, adorned with alluring erotic figurines on the outer walls.

Considered to be a holistic act, there were numerous sculptures of voluptuous women displaying generously their contoured bodies and engaged in sex in different positions, are carved on the walls of many other temples in India, which include the Sun Temple of Modhera in Gujrat, Jagdish Mandir in Udaipur, Markandeshwar Shiv temple in Maharashtra, Bhoramdeo temples in Chhattisgarh, Kailasa temple in Ellora and others.

softetechnologies
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    Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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