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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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A Hut with Many Meanings

A Hut with Many Meanings

(p.152) Chapter 6 A Hut with Many Meanings
The Hermit's Hut

Kazi K. Ashraf

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the many different meanings of the ascetic hut. It explains how the ascetic hut, the sine qua non of asceticism, condenses the rich imaginary and complex practices of the ascetic tradition. It emphasizes the polysemic character of the hut and how an ideogram of the hut harbors the conceptual complexity of ascetic imagination. As a metonym of the ascetic discourse on the dwelling, the ascetic hut becomes the site, subject, and medium of that discourse. The Buddha's house occupies a predominant position and extensive domain in the discussion of the ascetic hut. In both the literary and visual repertoire of Buddhism, the Buddha is often invoked through signs and objects (and soon with signs and objects) that include architectural artifacts. This chapter also considers how the ascetic hut's plain architecture gives it a wide range of meanings and receptions. Finally, it discusses the idea of a last hut and the primitivism of the hermit's hut.

Keywords:   ascetic hut, asceticism, dwelling, Buddha's house, Buddhism, Buddha, architecture, last hut, primitivism

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