I’m home with a tummy ache today, but still deep in study. The architecture of Ancient India and Southeast Asia are tied so closely with the emerging religious beliefs of the time that you cannot study one without the other. That’s how I happened upon the beautiful words of Bhagavad Gita (as translated by Sir Edwin Arnold):
Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never
Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit for ever;
Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems!
Who knoweth it exhaustless, self-sustained, Immortal , indestructible, –shall such say, “I have killed a man, or caused to kill?”
Nay, but as when one layeth his worn-out robes away.
And, taking new ones, sayeth, “These will I wear to-day!”
So putteth by the spirit lightly its garb of flesh,
And passeth to inherit a residence afresh.
Isn’t that the most beautiful sentiment you’ve heard all day? And the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is making me want to carve reliefs everywhere forever. Up all the columns, down all the streets.