The Expression of Hindu and Buddhist Religious Elements in

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Art and architecture commonly are used to express the religious beliefs of the culture that a religion is part of. In no two religions is this truer than the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Elements of these religions are seen in temples throughout Asia and each religion has its own unique style. Hinduism According to Mitchell, the Hindu Religion is organized around cults that are specific to the different Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu. Thus one critical aspect of the Hindu temple would be the central shine to the deity worshipped in a given location, or by a given sect of Hindu’. For instance the central shrine of the Vishvanatha Temple in Khajuraho India is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. (P 19-61) These shrines are often restricted to Hindu Priests who tend the shrine and make sacrifices to the Hindu Deities. (Kleiner, 2008, p172). These deities are also represented by wall carvings and hangings, and sculptures of the various deities. In both the Northern and Southern temples, the wall carvings, wall hangings and sculptures tell the viewers the tales of the Gods, both their feats and their defeats, as well as representations of the various aspects of Hindu religious dogma such as the journey to the afterlife, and reincarnation. Kleiner also states that these temples are often joined on an East/West orientation, with rooms designed in a circular pattern. This represents the mandala, an important aspect of Hinduism that represents many different things including the circle of life from birth, death, to rebirth or reincarnation, to the Hindu view of the world as a whole, rather than a collection of elements. (Kleiner, p173) This can be seen not only in the East/West orientation but in the circular design of the temple leading to the inner rooms, shrines and sanctuaries seen in the Vishvanatha Temple. The mandala serves a central function in the Hindu religion
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