art paper - Andrew Hockenbery Dr. Board ArtH 180 12/14/07...

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Andrew Hockenbery ArtH 180 Dr. Board 12/14/07 The term “Darsan” means “religious seeing or the visual perception of the sacred”. In her book entitled Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India , Diana L. Eck explores the true meaning of the term and how it influences the way Hindu images are interpreted. By exploring the true Hindu meaning of Darsan, it enables individuals to understand the importance of how the Hindu people view their world and gives us a better understanding of their religion and artistic images. In the book, Eck explores everything from “aniconic” natural images as well as the “iconic” images often found in pieces of art. One point Eck makes is in the “aniconic” images of the natural surroundings of the Hindu people. The earth, rocks, and more specifically, landmarks such as the Ganges River and Himalayas are mentioned. These natural images represented the presence of deities very early on in Hinduism, before the iconic images of the gods began to be developed. Several types of natural items such as stones represent local gods on a smaller scale. Certain natural pieces like these are often placed within temples or places of worship and regarded without question. The “iconic” images took place long after the “aniconic” images were introduced and were developed alongside the creation of temples that contained the images themselves. In the temples of worship, it was only appropriate to have images there to view as daily prayer was conducted. The iconic images range from sculptures and ornaments, to paintings and carvings
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on walls. Most of the images are representative of deities, especially the Brahm, Shiva, and Vishnu, and could (and still can be) found almost anywhere around the Hindu culture. A quote from the text reads “not only must the gods keep their eyes open, but so must we, in order to make contact with them, to reap their blessings, and to know their secrets”. This quote illustrates the devotion the Hindu people put towards the representation of their deities and beliefs, regardless if they are “aniconic” or “iconic”. This is especially evident in the sections of
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This essay was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course ARTH 180 taught by Professor Board during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Geneseo.

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art paper - Andrew Hockenbery Dr. Board ArtH 180 12/14/07...

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