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The Body of GodAn Emperor's Palace for Krishna in Eighth Century Kanchipuram$
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D. Dennis Hudson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369229

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369229.001.0001

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 The Vimana Panels on the Southern Side

 The Vimana Panels on the Southern Side

(p.443) 15 The Vimana Panels on the Southern Side
The Body of God

D. Dennis Hudson

Oxford University Press

The south‐facing panels represent afternoon moving toward twilight, a time of ambiguity, contradiction, and paradox. Bharata's ambiguous and compromised history told in Book Nine of the Bhagavata Purana may be described as written in “language in the manner of twilight.” The first corner panel depicts Dattatreya with Soma and Durvasas, and assumes knowledge of the Ramayana and Mahabharata; it signifies the tejas of Aniruddha the Unobstructed. In the other corner panel Mohini serves the devas amrita as the asuras watch; tantric rites using the “five m's” are referenced. Two of the bracketed panels illustrate Krishna's long “Summary of the Brahman Doctrine”: Krishna teaches Uddhava at Dvaraka, and Dattatreya as an avadhuta teaches Yadu. The latter alludes to the stories of Taravaloka and Vessantara. The next panel depicts Prahlada worshiping Man‐lion; the meaning of Sudarshana, the wheel‐weapon that embodies Shakti's will, is explored. The “Man‐lion Consecration” is implied. Finally, the Goddess Earth worships Boar, who rescued her from Hiranyaksha.

Keywords:   language in the manner of twilight, Dattatreya, Soma, Durvasas, Aniruddha, Mohini, tantric rites, Brahman Doctrine, Taravaloka, Vessantara, Prahlada, Man‐lion Consecration, Boar, Hiranyaksha

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