By Cynthia Packert

In view that precedent days, Hindus have expressed their love and devotion to their deities via attractive ornamentation -- dressing and adorning the deities with complex garments, jewellery, and plant life. during this pioneering research of temples in Vrindaban and Jaipur, India, Cynthia Packert takes readers throughout temple thresholds and into the god Krishna's sacred area. She describes what devotees see once they behold gorgeously attired representations of the god and why those pictures glance the way in which they do. She discusses new media in addition to worldwide kinds of devotion renowned in India and in a foreign country. The artwork of Loving Krishna opens a universe of which means during which artwork, spiritual motion, and devotion are dynamically intertwined.

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Extra info for The Art of Loving Krishna: Ornamentation and Devotion

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1). 1. Assembling a phul bangala at the Radharamana temple canopied roof topping a small pavilion-like structure. Although botanically improbable, the effect was of a lush forest arbor (kunj) or open-air pleasure pavilion. The back and the sides of the pavilion gleamed with cutout floral designs constructed of iridescent white banana pith. Small brass female figurines dressed in complementary sheer white dresses were inserted into niches around the central pavilion, some bearing fruits in their hands.

This last activity—adornment—is a primary component of seva. Not only are decoration and beautiful adornment means to lovingly serve Krishna, but they also attract patrons and pilgrims. Moreover, adornment is a way to maintain vital historical continuity, an important point that is a recurring theme in this book. Temples are places where adornment and aesthetic elaboration can work together to create opportunities for emotional experience; they are environments, in other words, where bhakti-rasa can occur.

Whitney Sanford explains: [I]n Braj devotion, objects such as images of Krishna can be coextensive with the divine, although the divine is never limited to an object. The material world is not rejected but used in service of Krishna. Devotees offer Krishna material objects, and the physical world reminds devotees that Krishna created the world for his own amusement. 44 For the Krishna images under discussion, materiality itself has positive cultural meaning and value. 45 It is through material things that the devotee connects with the divine and the divine connects with the devotee.

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