Temples of Love
typical erotic posture from Khajuraho
typical erotic posture from Khajuraho
The name Khajuraho may be derived from khajura (date palm), 
which grows freely in the area and perhaps because there were two golden 
khajura trees on a carved gate here. The old name was Kharjuravahaka 
(scorpion bearer), the scorpion symbolizing poisonous lust. 
The temples were built under the late Chandela kings between 950 and 1050 AD 
in a truly inspired burst of creativity. With the fading of Chandela fortunes, 
the importance of Khajuraho waned but temple building continued until the 
12th century at a much reduced pace. The Chandelas were followers of the 
Tantric cult which believes that gratification of earthly desires is a step towards 
attaining the ultimate liberation. Tantrism has been mostly misunderstood and the 
Philosophical part of Tantras like the Mahanirvana Tantra have been totally forgotten.
This was one of the reasons why Tantrics perished. Nevertheless it remains a 
distinct path of Spiritual Practice though it has very few followers all over the world.

1. It must be emphasized that Khajuraho Temples, do not contain sexual 
themes inside the Temple premises or near the deity but only on external carvings. 
They portray that for seeing the deity, one must leave his sexual desires outside the Temple. 
They also depict that the inner deity of the Temple is pure like the soul (atman) 
which is unaffected by sexual desires and other gross tendencies, destiny etc, 
whereas the external curvature and carvings of the Temples depict the bodily changes that occur in us.

2. Only as many as 10% carvings contain sexual themes, not between any 
deities but between ordinary humans. The rest depict the common man's life of those days. 
For example ladies applying makeup, musicians, potters, Farmers etc. 
All these are away from Temple deities. They give the message that one should 
always have God as the central point in one's life even though one is engaged in worldly activities.

3. In Khajuraho Temples, the idols of Shiva, Nandi, Goddess Durga, Incarnations of Vishnu etc are fully clothed.

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