Genre: Non-Fiction; Pages 164; Hardbound: Rs 325, ISBN no. 978-93-82070-02-3
Khajuraho is a small village in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India, famous for its extraordinary temples with sculptures from the medieval period of Indian history. At first glance, many sculptures seem to be sex-related in theme, but a closer observation of the ‘mithuna’ sculptures, depicting the union of male and female figures, reveals that lust and procreation are not the focus. Instead, the figures depict a form of deep meditation through facial expressions, accessories, and hand gestures. Further, the union is depicted at divine and human levels. A parallel of that depiction is seen only in the Vajrayana school of Buddhism. This research is an exploration of the sculptures of gods on the outer walls of the temple, deities in union, monks in sexual acts, and ‘siddhis’, or superhuman practices associated with Vajrayana esoteric Buddhism. This work sheds light on how, according to Vajrayana Buddhism, the Khajuraho sculptures of union represent the peak phase of meditation leading to enlightenment.