Stone Sculptures India, Metal sculpture, bronze Sculptures,
Sculptures, wood, glass, wall, stone, modern, Carved Marble Figures,
The Erotic Sculptures
The visitor to Khajuraho cannot but be attracted to the vivid erotic
sculptures on the temples walls. The sculptures are mithunas i.e.
couple in various erotic poses. There have been many interpretations
of their existence and some have criticized them severely. According
to one authority, a man and woman in erotic embrace typify the
ultimate union of the soul such erotic figures save the temple from
beings struck by the lightening. The reason given for this is that Indra, Lord of rainand thunder bolt who himself is a great connoisseur
of Kama, will not damage anything pertaining to that.
Yet another theory holds them to be connected to with Indian sects who
invest sex with a ritual symbolism and considered Yoga (spiritual
exercise) and bhoga (physical pleasure) as two different paths leading
to the same goad, that is moksha, self deliverance. According to these
sects, in the enjoyment of sex one can transcend into a samadhi
thereby attaining nirvan (salvation). This can be amply corroborated
by a verse from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (7-3-21-) : "That indeed in
his form which transcends desire, is bereft of merits and demerits,
and is fearless. As a man fully embraced by his dear wife knows
nothing external or internal even so this infinite entity fully
embraced by the Supreme self knows nothing external or internal.
That indeed is his form in which all objects of desire have been
realized, in which they have become the self, and which is devoid of
desire and beyond grief". These erotic figures are also symbolized by
a few as representing tantric rituals, while other view them as the
cleaner or the purifier for the devotees who come to worship God.
These sculptures, they say, serve as a test for the devotees self
control in order to achieve the goal that is to reach the deity placed
in the sanctum. In other words it means that if a person wants to
achieve God, he has to forget all this at the outset.
There are others who attribute to the desire of the sculptor to show
life in its naked reality. Some say that it is related to the
fertility cult. But a more plausible explanation could be that as the
life in totality has been depicted on the temples, sex, which plays a
major roe in the life of a grahast should not be left out. The subject
of erotic and its philosophical and religious interpretations is not
new in the oriental world. They are deeply rooted the social life of
the people. In a country where the Linga cult is the source of
religious belief and its manifestations sculptures are but a
continuation of that tradition which accepts procreation as a major
function of life.
The presence of erotic sculptures show that there were no taboos or
inhibitions against sex as we have now. The people of that time took a
healthy view of things and gave sex its requisite place in its life.
Kama or pursuit of pleasure was deemed to be one of the four
purusharthas or legitimate aims of life offer a Grahast and was
regarded as a stepping stone to moksha, or deliverance. Thereforere,
these erotic scenes were not regarded as abnormal or unnatural.