Khajuraho Temples- An expression of sexual desires
One of the most researched and contentious areas of aesthetic philosophy has been the question of what constitutes beauty and whether it is objective or subjective. In a society where discussing sex, pleasure, sexuality, and intimacy is frowned upon, right in the middle of that nation sits Khajuraho, the pinnacle of sensuality and desire, where love and intimacy are carved into stone and where architecture takes on the role of the universal language of feelings. But in modern times, the same sculptures are trapped in a perpetual struggle between conservative Indians, who view nudity and sexuality in temple art as disgraceful and an insult to traditional Hindu beliefs, and liberal Indians, who embrace it as a celebration of the human body.
About the Khajuraho Temple
The Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh are some of India’s most exquisite examples of medieval architecture. Although just around 25 of the original 85 Hindu and Jain temples remain today, they nonetheless make up the world’s largest collection. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and their brilliant architecture, beautiful carvings, and most infamously, their erotic statues, have astounded generations of mankind.
There are rows of sculptures there that show devanganas, mithunas, divinities, and overtly erotic works, particularly those that show mithunas in intimate poses. These temples are also referred to as Kama sutra temples as a result of their sensual sculptures. The majority of sexual sculptures are located either on the exterior or interior walls of the temples, although not close to the gods. It’s a frequent myth, nonetheless, that the sculptures depict divine lovers. In reality, they depict the intense interpersonal interactions as well as physical changes that take place.
These temples are thought to be a celebration of womanhood since they feature sculptures of women (apsaras) who are richly embellished, broad-hipped, busty, and proportional. The nymphs’ attractively sculpted bodies draw attention, and we can watch them going about their daily routines of putting on makeup, bathing their hair, playing games, and knotting and unknotting their girdles.
The erotic sculptures, including the nymphs, are thought to emphasise happiness and a love of life through their sensual positions and pouting faces. Having erotic sculptures, such as alankaras, and decorative themes was thought to be lucky and protective throughout the medieval era. This idea is supported by authoritative religious scriptures including the Brihat Samhita and the Shilpashastras. The Brihat Samhita states that carvings of mithunas, goblins, creepers, and sensual figures were intended to be placed on temple doors to bring good fortune.
There are probably no carvings depicting sex within the temples since one of them urges you to leave your lust and desires outside before entering. Only the outside walls of the shrines feature the Mithunas or romantic couples.
Artwork on Khajuraho Temple
According to Hinduism, the artwork on the temples in Khajuraho symbolically highlights the four essential pursuits and purposes of human life:
- The obligations that people have in their daily lives are a representation of dharma (righteousness).
- Sensual fulfillment in human existence and sexual sculptures serve to symbolise the concept of kama (desire).
- Artha (purpose) is symbolised by the activities one engages in to support their livelihood.
- The statue inside the temple represents moksha (freedom), which is. A person is only qualified to achieve self-realization or moksha after passing through the aforementioned stages (dharma, Kama, and Artha) and leaving them behind. On the exterior walls of the temple are symbols for dharma, kama, and Artha. One can only enter the temple to worship the god after doing a full circuit of it.
And these temples’ finest artwork is displayed in more ways than just their striking outward appeal. The notion of transforming all theological ideas into symbolic art is what gives the Khajuraho Temples their unique beauty.
By describing Hinduism as a way of life and not a religion, the mystical temples consistently developed a close bond with the inquisitive nature in me. Therefore, it is not surprising that
Khajuraho Temples have repeatedly shown to be a fantastic learning environment for scholars, archaeologists, mathematicians, historians, architects, artists, yogis, spiritualists, psychologists, philosophers, devotees, sexualists, naturalists, thinkers, photographers, daydreamers, or storytellers.
The height of love and passion is thought to be represented in the erotic art of Khajuraho. But between 900 and 1300 AD, erotic art was present in the majority of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist temples in western and southern India. The sculptures, on the other hand, were carved at the plinth level in these other temples, below eye level, and they received little attention there. These sculptures were only publicly displayed on the main wall of the temples of Khajuraho.
India has long been regarded as a conservative nation, despite being the home of Vatsyayana and his Kama Sutra. However, there are numerous Indian temples in India that feature sensual wall carvings and sculptures that attest to the fact that the situation was different centuries ago. Indeed, according to historical documents, the education system at the time placed a high priority on sex knowledge.
The erotic engravings on the temple walls are the subject of many interpretations and explanations put up by historians and experts. One of the prevailing beliefs holds that in order to access the holy grounds of a temple, a person must cast off all lust and carnal desires. He must understand how to restrain or regulate such desires. This explains why all of these carvings in some notable Hindu temples are only visible on the exterior walls and not within the buildings. It means that people must leave any sexual ideas and wants outside before entering the building.
Madhya Pradesh, the centre of Incredible India, is home to the Khajuraho Temples. The temples of Khajuraho are revered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are renowned all over the world for their exquisite Indian art and sexual sculptures. Many tourists have been drawn to Khajuraho throughout the years because they are curious about the connection between its temples and the Kamasutra. Nobody is let down by the enigmatic temples since they have so much to offer to every enquiring mind through the ideas of Hinduism, including philosophy, cosmology, psychology, spirituality, art, architecture, religious faith, mathematics, and the pure vibe!
Written By: G Brinda