[Advaita-l] Books on Bhagawatham.

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu May 31 08:59:00 CDT 2012

> erotic sculptures out side a temple.If the sculptors consider the temple to be holy,then why did they carve these erotic sculptures which are atrocious.

Here is a completely different perspective on both the sculptures and the
poetic descriptions, whether in the rAmAyaNa or a Sankaravijaya text.
It is wrong to think that eroticism is unholy or atrocious. Within the standard
parameters of Indian literary and other artistic conventions, eroticism is not
something to be abhorred always. In fact, SRngAra is often said to be the
king of rasa-s in traditional Indian discussions of aesthetics. It is a sign of
the continuing colonization of the Indian mind that many amongst us cringe
at the very mention of SringAra. We have to stop alienating ourselves from
our own culture. 
The temple is an earthly embodiment of the abode of divinity. The human
body is a physical vehicle embodying the AtmA. Neither of these can come
into being in the absence of kAma. Yes, advaita vedAnta is all about coming
out of the cycle of saMsAra imposed by kAma, but there is more to sanAtana
dharma than just vedAnta. And true advaitins would be among the first to 
admit that this is so, because their quest transcends all dharma. There is a
place to celebrate kAma and SRngAra in a legitimate way within sanAtana
dharma and that is what temples do.  

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