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  • srikarbuddhiraju

Parampara: My vantage & brief contemplation.

Bharatiya Paramparā is perhaps one of the most nuanced conceptions. It is the essence of an eternal civilisation: Sanatan; in any given era, the said essence, purpose and actions remain the same at a substratum level. As I try to expound upon this aspect, I have realised some things which made me proud, wanting to contribute to the same ethos, and sad at the same time. Here is my vantage, straight from my conscience, what I felt while witnessing the exquisite wonder that is Chennakeshava Temple at Belur and Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebeedu.

Carvings on the ceiling of the Chennakeshava Temple, Belur.
Carvings on the ceiling of the Chennakeshava Temple, Belur.

My witness to the architectural poetry of the Hoysala Kings had me realise that these are not just a monument or a temple waiting to be cherished or prayed at, but rather, they are a dedication and a tribute to the lord of the kings. The tribute is an act of selflessness from the sponsors, builders, artisans, workers, and even visitors, all in one true purpose. Having been born in the Kakatiya capital of Warangal, the poetic caricature is not new to me. Since the Kakatiyas and the Hoysalas are contemporary, they share a similar philosophy, aesthetic, refinement and beauty. Especially the Thousand Pillar & Ramappa temples seem like siblings to the Hoysala counterparts however, the former had seen more destruction due to the invasions, and the sheer magnificence still lives on.

From my perspective, these temples are the quintessence of art, glory, devotion, engineering, technology and wealth, all because these aspects are achieved only due to a selfless purpose, thereby standing the test of time. The glory & Leela of the gods are chiselled on the stone with impeccable technique, artisans etching the poetic epics on stone walls depicting events in great detail, with mathematical precision so high that symmetry exists in every inch. Every living entity to the mighty gods all adorn ornamentation with such exquisiteness that reflects the aspect of the constant celebration of life and the material cosmos. Yet, the monument seems to usher the only true nature, undeviating, pure and ever-present. It makes me exist in past and present simultaneously.

These temples are a host to humongous wealth in the form of precious metals, stones, and ornaments because kings in the past ruled these lands on behalf of their one true king; it was always not selfish. Though the Chennakeshava temple managed to resist the destruction and survive the invasions, the Hoysaleswara temple at Halebeedu could not, as evident due to the broken and missing sculptures. This is where an emotion of sadness arose within me. To sum it up, glory is lost & looted, technique is forgotten, purpose is forsaken. However, the only thing that remains is our timeless dharma, and we shall not stop striving for it.

Though I still have a set of complex emotions regarding the state of temples and our society's interaction & perspective on them, I am optimistic about the future as I can see tides of change among the people of this generation, all be it in a new direction & not copying the old. I hope that we retain the philosophy and essence of erstwhile actions.



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