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Vishvarupa Mandir

Jeff Lidke (Author)
Synopsis The book is a sparkling analysis of Changu Narayan, the oldest pagoda temple of the world. Calling upon many fields and methods ranging from art-history to textual analysis, Jeff Lidke for the first time produces a comprehensive and conclusive study of Changu Narayan that shall significantly contribute to the study of the Nepalese history and understanding to Nepal's socio-religious set-up. Beginning the book with a careful analysis of the temple and ongoing pattern of worship that survives there, the author postulates the thesis that Changu Narayan is the architectural form of Vishvarupa, the universal embodiment. This symbolism is best expressed in manifold forms; it is found in the unique manifestation of Vishnu as the beheaded Narayana; in the temple's architecture and ritual expression, as well as in its sculptural forms and, ultimately, in the account of its mythic origins. Tracing the shadowy history of Nepal and Changu Narayan, Lidke examines myths and themes associated with the temple as found in ancient Nepali and Indian scriptures. Laying emphasis on the images sculpted in wood, stone and copper, especially, the central image which depicts a beheaded form of Vishnu, Jeff Lidke analyses how during the daily ritual (nitya puja) the central image of Narayan is ritually beheaded in a rite known as Shirosandhana which is a symbolic act of creation. In beheading Narayan, the temple priest gives symbolic birth to the god's Vishvarupa. To conclude, the author adds appendices including rare translation of several Changu Narayan inscriptions from each of Nepal's dynastic eras and an analysis of the garden of gods near the temple where over twenty, sixteenth century images are found. Amply illustrated, Vishvarupa Mandir is a mine of riches for art historians, archaeologists, iconographers and scholars interested in exploring the hidden vistas of the ancient glory of Nepal's cultural heritage.
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Bibliographic information

Title Vishvarupa Mandir
Author Jeff Lidke
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1996
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8185693595
length 214p., Figures; Plates; Maps; Appendices; Bibliography; 28cm.