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Theory Versus Practice: Traces Of Construction Rituals In South And Southeast Asia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concerns main questions with respect to the relation between textual data and practice: where the rituals such as those described in the Kāśyapaśilpa and related texts ever performed? and, if this was the case, did it occur in accordance with the texts? It focuses on finding the answers to these questions through an analysis of the material traces of construction rituals as documented in the archaeological reports and through the accounts of eye-witnesses. Almost all textual sources give a fairly precise description of the deposit casket used in the Garbhanyāsa ceremony. During the Mūrdheṭṣakā ritual, four bricks are installed in the upper part of the temple superstructure. The fact that the stones formed a square and that they were located in the vicinity of the entrance points into the Prathameṭṣakā ritual as described in the South Indian treatises.

Keywords: archaeological reports; construction rituals; Garbhanyāsa; Kāśyapaśilpa; Mūrdheṭṣakā; Prathameṭṣakā; Southeast Asia; Theory



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