The Architecture of Asceticism
This book explores the relationship between architecture and asceticism in ancient India, with particular emphasis on the ascetic hut. It considers the central place occupied by the ascetic hut in the development of grand and monumental architecture, from the magisterial cathedrals of Gothic Europe to the exquisite temples and gardens of Buddhist Japan and the elaborate Hindu temples of India. It examines how a hut belonging to the hermit or the ascetic structures the world of elaboration but has, for the most part, vanished from the horizon. In considering an account of this dissolved hut, the book looks at a well-known example of Brahmanical shrines from the seventh century CE, the rathas at Mahabalipuram. It also considers the Japanese chashitsu and Mahatma Gandhi's dwelling in Nagpur. Finally, it discusses the home as the literal and conceptual point of departure for asceticism, Buddha's house, and dwelling as the “last hut.”
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