Reason behind the presence of erotic sculptures on the walls of a Temple

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By Kumar Aurojyoti


According to a text named “Shilpa Saarani”, there should be sculptures on the walls of a temple to satisfy 14 different types of species so that no species should be deprived from getting material pleasure arising out of seeing these statues or sculptures. On the walls of a temple,

Image Source: Shashi Ranjan
  1. There should be Deva Murties (sculptures of Gods) for the pleasure of Devas.
  2. There should be Vikata Murties (Vikata – horrific) for the pleasure of Asuras (Demons).
  3. There should be Yaksha Murties (sculptures of Yakshas) for the pleasure of Yakshas.
  4. There should be Nritya Murties (sculptures of different poses of dance) for the pleasure of Gandharvas.
  5. There should be Kinnari Murties (sculptures of Kinnaris) for the pleasure of Kinnaras.
  6. There should be Naga Bandha (sculptures of bonding of serpents) for the pleasure of the serpents.
  7. There should be Pashu Bandha (sculptures of bonding of animals) for the pleasure of the animals.
  8. There should be Pakshee Bandha (Sculptures of bonding of birds) for the pleasure of birds.
  9. There should be Pushpa Bandha (Sculptures of bonding of flowers) for the pleasure of bee like insects.
  10. There should be Raja Bandha (Sculptures of bonding or conjugation of human beings or erotic sculptures) for the pleasure of humans.

Apart from these ten species, other four different species also get pleasure from seeing these sculptures, namely the

  1. Bhoota (a type of Ghost)
  2. Preta (a type of Ghost)
  3. Pishacha (a type of Ghost)
  4. Keeta (insects in general)

So for the sake of providing pleasure to members of maximum number of species, these types of sculptures (including erotic sculptures) are usually seen in the temples.

[Source: Srikhetra Itihasa
Image Source: Shashi Ranjan]


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