SACRED SITES OF ASIA 4

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Event Series Event Series: Sacred Sites of Asia

SACRED SITES OF ASIA 4

Feminine Power and Masculine Desire in the Yogini Temples of India

Yoginī temple at Bheṛāghāṭ near Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, 11th century.

Between the 9th and 13th centuries CE, some 15 very unusual Hindu temples were constructed in central India, mainly in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. Most are either in ruins or, apart from two of them, no longer in use. The temples are remarkable because they are roofless and nearly all circular, features practically unknown in Hindu temples of any age. They were built open to the air to allow entrance to yoginīs, a class of dangerous and powerful aerial female spirits, and mostly round to accommodate 42, 64 or 81 of their images. Provision was also made for the worship of Shiva and his feminine aspect or shakti. Dr Barz will discuss the five surviving more or less intact yoginī temples and the images of individual yoginīs still present in three of them as well as the yoginī statues now found in museums. He will also describe the tantric ceremonies that were conducted in these temples until as late as the early 16th century.

DR RICHARD BARZ
Richard Barz was senior lecturer in the Australian National University from 1972 until he retired in 2012, where he taught Hindi and Urdu, Indian religion and politics and occasionally Sanskrit. He has also taught at the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney and universities in the United States and Denmark. His publications include The Bhakti sect of Vallabhācārya and, with A. Doron and B. Nelson, An Anthology of Writings on the Ganga. At present, he is engaged in research on the yoginī temples of India.

Details

Date:
5 June, 2023
Time:
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm AEST
Series:
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TAASA
Email
bookings@taasa.org.au