The Hindu Temple: Deification of Eroticism

Excerpts & Samples

By Alain Daniélou

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Alain Daniélou

Alain Daniélou
Alain Daniélou (1907-1994) spent more than 15 years in the traditional society of India, using only the Sanskrit and Hindi languages and studying music and philosophy with eminent scholars. He was duly initiated into esoteric Shaivism, which gave him unusual access to texts transmitte More...



Danielou's masterpiece on the erotic nature of the sacred symbolism of the Hindu temple.

• Includes stunning photographs from the major temple complexes of India. 

• By Alain Danielou, one of the greatest authorities on Hinduism.

Ancient Indian architectural treatises state that a temple lacking erotic imagery would be ineffective and maleficent. The erotic statues and representations that cover the outer and inner walls of the Hindu temple serve both a magical and an instructional purpose. Through the power of the yantras--the magical diagrams created by the placement of the erotic imagery--the architect made the temple a faithful reflection of the divine. At the same time this imagery educated the faithful about the fundamental aspects of the Hindu religion, wherein the union of opposites in the sexual act is the perfect image of the creative principle, and erotic enjoyment is a reflection of divine bliss.

Alain Danielou's masterpiece on the Hindu temple, now translated for the first time into English, provides a stunningly illustrated tour of the major temple complexes of India. The erotic sculptures that cover the walls of these temples are not merely symbolic portrayals of voluptuous acts but serve as profound reminders that man is closest to the divine during the instant of sexual transcendence.

"Alain Danielou's books are remarkable for their clarity and scholarship. An uninhibited celebration of erotic and mystical ecstasy."
Interview Magazine

"Danielou is one of the greatest Western authorities on Hinduism. . . His talents seem unending."
Mohini Kent, Times of India

"Must read."

Today's Books, March 7, 2001

"Danielou writes with great clarity and authority, and his understanding of the ancient Hindu religious aesthetic is nothing short of breathtaking. Highly recommended."
Library Journal, March 1, 2001, Volume 126 No. 4

"This book . . . is a tremendous way to break out of the spell of Western society."
Michael Peter Langevin, Magical Blend, Summer 2001

"The focus on their erotic sculptures and Hindu faith makes for an excellent set of insights."
The Midwest Book Review, December 2001