Deity, Deities: 2 definitions


Deity means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Hinduism

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra (shilpa)

Iconography of Deities within the Bhairava Tantras.—Deities appear in multiple forms, sometimes manifesting as mantras and at others resembling their Purāṇic forms. The practitioner uses these scriptural depictions of deities to call forth a visualized form that appears on the ritual diagram, the maṇḍala. He then performs sacrificial rites in which he presents the deity ritual offerings and asks for salvation (mokṣa) or worldly enjoyments (bhoga).

Shilpashastra book cover
context information

Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

Discover the meaning of deity in the context of Shilpashastra from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (h)

Deities are well-represented in Hindu temples which ultimately serve to connect man and the divine and to help the people to develop their spiritual knowledge.—The temple is a place where the devotees can get the environment to connect themselves with their lords. The Hindu temple consists of all the cosmic elements from fire to water, images of nature to deities, Gods remain feminine to masculine, kāma to artha, fleeting sounds and incense smells etc. by which one can celebrate life. Stella Kramrisch, the author of The Hindu Temple also keeps her view point in the same spirit. The Hindu temples are designed for the purpose of making connection between man and the divine and to help the people to develop their spiritual knowledge and truth.

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