8_26 Readings-Sacred Sites

8_26 Readings-Sacred Sites - August 26: Sacred Sites...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
August 26: Sacred Sites Chapter 2: The Transcendentalist View Cosmic Ideal – -Creation in Hindu mythology is always re-creation (endless cycle of birth and destruction with no beginning or end) -Trinity of gods (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva) are responsible for creation, sustenance, and destruction of the universe -Material world brought into being by interaction of nature and universal spirit ( prakriti with Purusha) -Mandala is visual abstraction of cosmic energy produced by union of prakriti and Purusha -Shiva’s cosmic dance destructs the world and dissolves it back into the cosmic sea -Cosmos and gods are imagined in human form: the body is a miniature universe - Vaastu purusha mandala (symbolic of primal body of purusha ) is basic plan of a temple ( vaastu =site, purusha =human form, mandala =geometric form) and represents creation of order -Imagined world divided into 4 continents located in 4 cardinal directions and centered on Mount Meru Puranas describe world as 7 ring-shaped concentric continents and 7 circumambient oceans Mountains – -Mountains as residences of gods; elevation = cosmic axes linking earth and heavens ( axis mundi ) -Shiva lives at Mt. Kailash in Himalayas with Parvati, daughter of Himilaya (king of mountains) -Focus of pilgrimages because it was congruent with conceptual image of mythical Mt. Meru (4 rivers of life emerge) -Vindhyan mountain range, mountains meet southern bank of Ganga = home of goddess Vindhyavasini -long=standing naga (serpent) worship in water pool called Naga-kupa -Vindhyavasini = pre-Aryan deity, incorporated into Sanskritic Hinduism as transcendent Great Goddess Water – -Nurture rich mythology of gods and goddesses; can be clearly seen in sacred spots that lie on riverbanks, at confluences, or on the coast -Devotees bathe in rivers on auspicious days and gather spiritual merit ( punya ) & are absolved of their sins -Water’s religious significance: water precedes creation and reabsorbs it = both evolution and dissolution -Purification rites at sacred sites involved bathing in river or built tank within temple complex -Ganga (most sacred river in India) is worshipped as both goddess (consort of Vishnu and Shiva) and river whose descent from Himalayas into parched plains has brought life and nourishment to millions -Flowing axis mundi = bathing in waters washes away pollution of sins; cremation = brings moksha -Acknowledged as source of divine power and they utilized her water as source of irrigation -Personifications of life-giving powers: goddesses adorning temple doorways and guarding sanctuary -Worshipper is purified upon entering sanctuary -Presence of water in birth, death, and purification rituals is common to many religions
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/21/2012 for the course MSEC 7102 taught by Professor Myers during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.

Page1 / 3

8_26 Readings-Sacred Sites - August 26: Sacred Sites...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online