Shikharbaddha Mandir - Structure and Symbolism

Structure and Symbolism

The Shilpa Shāstras, sacred Hindu texts that prescribe the canons of traditional architecture, narrate how the structure of a shikharbaddha mandir symbolically represents the body of Purusha, or Cosmic Man. The mandir is constructed in the layout of the Vastu Purusha Mandala, which is a metaphysical blueprint depicting personified Vedic cosmology. From the foundations of the mandir to the flags (dvajā) waving atop the pinnacles (shikhar), each major external feature symbolizes parts of the form of the Purusha deity, and the enshrined murtis embody the soul of the structure. This gives rise to certain rules of etiquette for worshippers, such as removing one’s shoes when entering a temple.

The structure of shikharbaddha mandir also reflects deep-rooted undertones of spiritual aspiration and enlightenment. For instance, the pinnacle (shikhar), similar in shape to a mountain, symbolizes upward aspiration. Scholar Raymond Williams describes the domes and spires as serving to “remind devotees that at the sacred place of the residence of the gods, the plane between the earthly and the divine is broken. Thus they are reminded that the purpose of their visit is to aid their own spiritual ascent. One layman remarked that the temples are constructed in the shape of the summit of the mountains with the highest spires suggesting the world of the sky; a touch of the infinite is brought into the mundane world.” The inner sanctum (garbhagruha), where the Deity resides, serves as the metaphorical embryo of the temple; accordingly, devotees are said to attain new spiritual life while worshipping here.

Read more about this topic:  Shikharbaddha Mandir

Other articles related to "structure":

Book Of Ruth - Structure - Ethical Importance
2 ... Loving-kindness living Boaz and Ruth are models of an altruism for which the word "loving-kindness" has been coined (approximately translating Hebrew hesed) ...
Zirconium Tungstate - Cubic Phase
... Since the structure is cubic, as described below, the thermal contraction is isotropic - equal in all directions ... The structure of cubic zirconium tungstate consists of corner-sharing ZrO6 octahedral and WO4 tetrahedral structural units ... (RUMs), which involve the coupled rotation of the polyhedral units that make up the structure, and lead to contraction ...
Watchmen - Art and Composition - Structure
... The cover of each issue serves as the first panel to the story ... Gibbons said, "The cover of the Watchmen is in the real world and looks quite real, but it's starting to turn into a comic book, a portal to another dimension." The covers were designed as close-ups that focused on a single detail with no human elements present ...
321 Kinematic Structure
321 kinematic structure is a design method for robotic arms (serial manipulators), invented by Donald L ... Many other industrial robots, such as the PUMA, have a kinematic structure that deviates a little bit from the 321 structure ...

Famous quotes containing the words symbolism and/or structure:

    ...I remembered the rose bush that had reached a thorny branch out through the ragged fence, and caught my dress, detaining me when I would have passed on. And again the symbolism of it all came over me. These memories and visions of the poor—they were the clutch of the thorns. Social workers have all felt it. It holds them to their work, because the thorns curve backward, and one cannot pull away.
    Albion Fellows Bacon (1865–1933)

    The structure was designed by an old sea captain who believed that the world would end in a flood. He built a home in the traditional shape of the Ark, inverted, with the roof forming the hull of the proposed vessel. The builder expected that the deluge would cause the house to topple and then reverse itself, floating away on its roof until it should land on some new Ararat.
    —For the State of New Jersey, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)