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Grandeur of Religious Sculpture in Hinduism

By Karan Jain 5 years ago 687 Views No comments

Dedicated to the glory of deities, Hindu temples and religious sculptures of India help devotees take the path of moksha. According to Hinduism, there are typically three goals of life for humans on earth, and they should aspire to attain all of them: Artha or wealth acquisition via a profession, kama or sexual interactions, and moksha or spiritual salvation. The sculptures etched on the walls of temples across the length and breadth of the country depict kama and artha and are certainly a sight a behold.

This holistic view is often reflected in the collection and production of art in India. It is not too difficult for devotees as well as art lovers understand the apparently secular and various sensuous themes decorated on the walls of Indian temples. As you go about the act of buying small sculptures for home, what follows below will surely guide your selection.

Hinduism –a Closer Look

As a religion, Hinduism has no single founder, prophet or spokesman. The origins of this religion are complex and mixed. The various strands that combine to influence its spread can be attributed to the Vedas, Sanskrit literature of Aryans, beliefs of indigenous peoples, power of female deities, symbols of the efficacy of fertility, and the supremacy of Vishnu, Shiva, and Shakti (literally, "power"). The existence of thousands of deities and pluralism is evident in Hinduism, and serves to be baffling to non-Hindus. Here, one facet or the other—be it Krishna, Rama, or Ganesha-- beckons individual believers with irresistible magnetism. Hindus acknowledge the power of such facets and worship the same, thereby taking varied paths towards the ultimate goal. This explains the attraction of religious paintings and sculptures for art lovers in India.

The Hindu Temple

Here, sculpture and architecture are inextricably linked. The complete picture of Indian architecture therefore mentions lavishly sculptured decorations with which temples, monuments, and other historical venues are covered. For instance, if you buy a Ganesh statue online, you can expect the design to have its origin in a Hindu temple located somewhere in the country. In most cases, the exterior walls of the sacred inner sanctum contains sculpted images portraying various aspects and postures of the deity that's enshrined within, and clearly expresses the power and overall essence of the deity.

The exterior of the porch and hall are also lined with figural sculpture. Most figures highlight mythological events linked to the enshrined deity, with separate areas set aside for a variety of other deities. There are regional variations that exist in the sculptures too. For example, certain temples in Orissa contain idols of Parvati (his consort), as well as Ganesha and Skanda (his sons). The same style may not be visible in the temples situated in the northern states of the country.

Additionally, temple walls often feature images of women, scroll-like foliage, or mithunas (couples in various postures) and so forth. Buyers of decorative sculptures for home or office consider the recreations of these designs as a symbol of abundance, growth, and prosperity; in other words, as auspicious motifs.

Aspects of Decorative Sculptures

Sculptures of deities are frequently portrayed with different facial expressions and multiple arms, especially when they happen to be engaged in combative sequences of cosmic consequence targeted towards destroying powerful evil forces. These multiple arms emphasize the immense power of deities and their ability to perform many different feats at a single point of time. Indian sculptors and artists have found these idols an effective and simple means of showcasing the omnipotence and omnipresence of a deity. Sculptures of Shiva and Ganesh are the most popular in the lot and indicate their essential character as well as their blissful and fierce aspects alike.

Sculptures, just like paintings, make for coveted home décor pieces and are certainly the right way to go!