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The Hermit's HutArchitecture and Asceticism in India$
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Kazi K. Ashraf

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835835

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835835.001.0001

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Asceticism and Architecture

Asceticism and Architecture

Chapter 1 Asceticism and Architecture
The Hermit's Hut

Kazi K. Ashraf

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the mutual relationship between architecture and asceticism in the Indian context. It first considers the place of the ascetic in the broader Indian consciousness, along with the overlapping between renunciation and asceticism. It then turns to the ascetic-renunciatory lifeworld and how it manifests as a polarization between two human types: the householder, or gahapati, which embodies the civilized and socialized space of the village or town; and the hermit-renouncer, or vānaprasthi, which embodies the wild space of the forest. It also describes habitats and dwellings with ascetic connotations and concludes by asking what things need to be renounced and how much is to be renounced. The chapter cites the early life of the ascetic Buddha to illustrate the importance of the necessities as a conceptual core of being an ascetic.

Keywords:   architecture, asceticism, ascetic, renunciation, householder, village, hermit-renouncer, forest, dwelling, Buddha

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