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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 Temple Mandala and the Bottom‐floor Sanctum

 The Temple Mandala and the Bottom‐floor Sanctum

(p.85) 5 The Temple Mandala and the Bottom‐floor Sanctum
The Body of God

D. Dennis Hudson

Oxford University Press

The chakrabja mandala is described as the foundation of the temple's plan and program. The three sanctums, atop one another, form a three‐dimensional mandala; each sanctum houses a black stone icon of Narayana as Supreme Vasudeva: bottom, sitting; middle, reclining; top, standing (though missing, a relief sculpture of it is on the prakara wall). At the very top is a closed, hollow cube representing Vasudeva as the nonempty brahman. On each side of the outer wall of the bottom sanctum is a representation of one of the vyuhas of Vasudeva: Samkarshana (the Plower), Pradyumna (the Pre‐eminently Mighty), Aniruddha (the Unobstructed). Each manifests a pair of Vasudeva's glorious excellences, and is embedded in an interlocking network of stories expressing theological teachings. The mandala's mapping of the two axes of directional space illuminates the structure of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and points to the structure of chronological time.

Keywords:   chakrabja mandala, Vasudeva, vyuha, Samkarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Ramayana, Mahabharata

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