The temple is a link between man and God, between the earthly life and the divine life between the actual and the ideal.
Much has been written on the Hindu temple. If some writers have meticulously traced its evolution through the ages, others have marvelled at its architecture and the engineering skill of its builders. A few have struggled to discover its meaning and symbology. But none of these writings keeps the average Hindu in view and supplies him with all the essential information in nontechnical terms. This is exactly what has been attempted in this monograph.
It may be a tall claim to say that it speaks “all about” the Hindu temples! But a little patient and sympathetic perusal will convince the readers that it is a modest attempt at providing essential information about the Hindu temple in a nutshell to a layman.
A few ideas that may help activate the temple and its dynamic rehabilitation in the Hindu society have been presented in the epilogue. It is hoped that these ideas will provide the modern Hindu leaders with some food for serious thought.
It is highly gratifying to note that all the 2,000 copies of the first edition have been sold out within 18 months. This shows that the book has fulfilled a long-felt need of the educated Hindus.
In the light of the criticism offered by scholars and reviewers, the second chapter embodying the brief history of the Hindu temples has been rewritten. The drawing also have been revised.
I am grateful to Prof S. Srinivasachar of our REVISE (Mysore—20) who has assisted me in this. I am also grateful to Sri. B. Ramappa of Replica Offset Printers, Bangalore who has taken a personal interest to produce the cover-jacket for the book. Sri. R. Narasimha of the Samskrita Sahitya Sadana has done a good job this time also in printing the book. My hearty thanks to him.
I hope that revised edition will prove to be even more popular than the first edition.
The spiralling of prices has necessitated the raising of the price of the book slightly. It is hoped that the readers will bear with the publishers.
History of mankind has shown that man cannot live without God. if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him! ’declared Voltaire. Belief in God, in a cosmic Power or cosmic Law, in a superhuman Spirit or Being is basic to all cultures. It is as it were, in the very blood of mankind. Once this fact is recognised, it becomes irrelevant whether this belief has been brought about by man’s awe, wonder and fear of the powers of nature, or by the teachings of god-men who are supposed to have had mystical experiences of that God.
Man is human and not divine! This is so, at least, as long as he is conscious of his frailties and impulses. It is exactly because of this that he turns towards the Divine in times of need. Though the Divine transcends all temporal limitations, man the human, needs a temporal set-up that can help him to visualise the Divine or establish contact with it. This is precisely where a symbol or an image or a place of worship comes to his rescue.
All religions have their sacred places, places of worship. All words which denote such places of worship etymologically speaking mean more or less the same thing Devalaya means a house of God. Temple and synagogue mean a building for religious exercises and a house for communal worship. A church also means the same thing. A Masjid is a place of prostration before God.
|2||A Brief History of Hindu Temples||2|
|3||Symbology of the Temple||9|
|4||Construction of a Temple—Typical Steps||15|
|5||Essential Parts of a Typical Temple||20|
|7||Religious Rites and Ceremonies||26|
|8||Temple Arts and Crafts||30|
|9||The Temple and the Devotee||31|
|10||The Temple and the Priest||33|
|11||The Temple and the Society||34|