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Diana Ecks

By | April 2012
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Diana Eck’s writings in Darsan: Seeing the Devine Image in India address many of the key elements of the Hindu culture and traditions. Much of her writing deals with the visual aspect of the religion, and how it is more about the spirituality rather than the actual image itself. Within each chapter she hit on other major details within in the Hinduism. However this essay will discuss the specific concepts such as pilgrimage to certain sites, importance of the visual aspect, and how the construction is a religious discipline in itself. Diana Eck’s essay begins with the discussion of how Hinduism is a visual religion. Numerous times she explains how sight was a major aspect in worship and Darsan. In this section she goes on to explain that the very phrase of the Hindu religion is seeing is knowing. The whole point of the darsan aspect is to see and be seen by the god, goddess or diate that lives in the shine. Furthermore the eyes play a key role in the worship of gods. Through the eyes on can gain blessings of the divine. However to get to the dwelling places of these gods is not always a simple trip to a local shrine. She begins to discuss the pilgrimages or journeys of many people in order to achieve darsan at a specific place. During this portion of the essay she talks about the journeys and dedication that many of the Hindu followers partake in. not only do people traveling for gods but also living religious figures. For example Ghandi was perhaps the most exalted living Hindu figure. Thousands would travel just to get a glimpse of him passing in an attempt to achieve darsan. Towards the end of her passage she explains the importance of the construction of the images, and how each one was a religious discipline in itself. Later on in the passage she begins to explain how the construction of a temple becomes part of the cosmos; and in its construction the entire universe is rearranged. The very ground plan is a geometrical map of their cosmos with the sacred...
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