The temple as a metaphor for the journey within

Croker, Alan (2008) The temple as a metaphor for the journey within. In: 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Finding the spirit of place – between the tangible and the intangible’, 29 sept – 4 oct 2008, Quebec, Canada. [Conference or Workshop Item]


Download (608kB)

Abstract (in English)

This paper will explore the relationship between the tangible and intangible as it is expressed in the South Indian Hindu temple, and identify those aspects which embody and support this relationship. This will assist and inform future conservation and management. The Hindu temple is a three dimensional diagram of the subtle levels of existence, which takes us from the mundane world to the divinity embodied in a particular image or icon in the sanctum. It is a metaphor for the journey of the worshipper from this manifest world to the divinity within; a point of stillness beyond space and time, and beyond place. The place itself may be the physical locus for a particular aspect of the Absolute, but the realisation of that Absolute within oneself, is the ultimate aim of the temple. This is expressed in architecture, iconography, ritual and individual participation. Thus the temple in time and space (and therefore place) has its ultimate meaning beyond these limitations.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Croker, Alan
Languages: English
Keywords: Hindu temple; temples; tangible heritage; intangible heritage; sacred places
Subjects: H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 09. Historic buildings
O. INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
O. INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 04. Social practices, rituals and festive events
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 19A. Places of religion and ritual
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2008, 16th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2010 07:08
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2023 14:05
References: Ananth, Sashikala. 1998 The Penguin Guide to Vaastu – The Classical Indian Science of Architecture and Design New Delhi: Penguin Books

Gambhirananda, Swami (translator) 1986 Svetasvatara Upanishad – with the Commentary of Sankaracharya Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama

Ganapati Sthapati, V. 1997 Science and Technology of Vaastu Shastra Madras: Vaastu Vedic Research Foundation

Ganapati Sthapati, V. 2001 Building Architecture of Sthapatya Veda Chennai: Dakshinaa Publishing House

Ganapati Sthapati, V. 2002 Indian Sculpture and Iconography Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Society

Griffith, Ralph T. H. (translator) 1973 The Hymns of the Rgveda Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass

Lokeswarananda, Swami (translator) 1998 Chandogya Upanishad

Calcutta: Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture

Michell, George 1989 The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India – Volume 1: Buddhist, Jain, Hindu London: Penguin Books

Sarvananda, Swami. (translator) undated Mundaka Upanishad Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math

Snodgrass, Adrian 1990 Architecture, Time and Eternity – Studies in the Stellar and Temporal Symbolism of Traditional buildings 2 Vols. New Delhi: Aditya

Subrahmanya Sastri, Pandit S, and Srinivasya Ayyangar, T R. (translation) 1965 Saundarya-Lahari, of Sri Sankara Madras: Theosophical Publishing House

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics