Location: Basantapur Tower, Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal (N27 42 14 E85 18 30 )
Date: 28 March 2000; 2.10pm
Camera: Canon EOS 500N (analogue) on slides and scanned
Eroticism, to be exact erotic art, is prevalent in Hinduism. One can see that in many ancient Hindu temples, the most famous of which is the Khajuraho temple complex. Many people find this rather amusing and really puzzling as most other religions refrain from things sexual, explicitly. It shouldn’t be as Hindu erotism is simply an expression of the religion (as well as other religions)’s belief in a different perspective. Like any other religions, Hinduism is a prescription or way of life according to certain codes and beliefs. The final aim of a Hindu is (no surprise) salvation, which is the merging of the individual soul with that of the supreme soul. The pursuit of pleasure or kama is an important aim of life, on the way to deliverance or attainment of salvation. As such, figures of loving couples or “mithuna”, in sexual pose and sex acts, are no taboos or attract any inhibitions, as any other life processes. In fact, worship of Shiva’s lingam (penis) is part and parcel of Hinduism. All of these manifest in many art forms, including sculptures from very early on in Indian civilisation.