Cover image for The Hindu Temple : deification of eroticism
The Hindu Temple : deification of eroticism
Daniélou, Alain.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Temple hindou, centre magique du monde. English
First U.S, edition.
Publication Information:
Rochester, Vt. : Inner Traditions, [2001]

Physical Description:
130 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL1243.74 .D36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Danielou's masterpiece on the erotic nature of the sacred symbolism of the Hindu temple.

* Includes stunning photographs from the major temple complexes of India.

* By Alain Danielou, one of the greatest authorities on Hinduism.

Ancient Indian architectural treatises state that a temple lacking erotic imagery would be ineffective and maleficent. The erotic statues and representations that cover the outer and inner walls of the Hindu temple serve both a magical and an instructional purpose. Through the power of the yantras --the magical diagrams created by the placement of the erotic imagery--the architect made the temple a faithful reflection of the divine. At the same time this imagery educated the faithful about the fundamental aspects of the Hindu religion, wherein the union of opposites in the sexual act is the perfect image of the creative principle, and erotic enjoyment is a reflection of divine bliss.

Alain Danielou's masterpiece on the Hindu temple, now translated for the first time into English, provides a stunningly illustrated tour of the major temple complexes of India. The erotic sculptures that cover the walls of these temples are not merely symbolic portrayals of voluptuous acts but serve as profound reminders that man is closest to the divine during the instant of sexual transcendence.

Author Notes

Alain Danielou spent twenty years in India studying music and philosophy with eminent scholars of the Hindu tradition. He is the author of more than thirty books on the religion, history, and arts of India and the Mediterranean, including While the Gods Play, The Myths and Gods of India, Yoga: Mastering the Secrets of Matter and the Universe , and The Complete Kama Sutra .

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

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. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.