umadevi at SFO.COM
Sun Dec 27 20:00:25 UTC 1998
Hi Dr. Ganesan,
Hate to throw a wet blanket on this idyll, but check out the lowest
friezes in the now covered (or mostly covered) basement level. There are
photographs in a few monographs. This level deals with all the miseries
of this world. The basement level, which has relief carving
illustrating the Karmavibhanga Sutra was encased and completely
concealed in a wide processional path. The issue has been debated
whether the basement was concealed as part of the original plan, with
the symbolic intent to suppress the Kamadhatu, the realm of desire, or
whether the basement was encased later to shore up the heavy building
that began to collapse in the later half of the ninth century. If it was
originally encased it would support the mandala symbolism of a structure
with layers of meaning, each posing an initial barrier and then leading
the pilgrim to deeper levels of understanding.
> In all the 1400 big sculptural panels, calmness and serenity
> prevails. No death, violence, sex is displayed at all.
> I am reminded of the grammatical rules of Tamil poetics to write love
> poems: no descriptions explicitly of death, violence, or sex
> should occur in akam/"interior landscape" poems.
> What a difference with today's TV, magazines, Cinema??!!
> Mostly they concentrate on opposite things of Borobudur
> reliefs or Tamil sangam love poetry.
> Happy holidays,
> N. Ganesan
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