temple roofs

4

Thought you’d be with your friend… aren’t you going to ask me how he’s doing?”

flickr

red and yellow roof por Marcella
Por Flickr:
Nara, Japan

The dragon and the crescent moon

1. There was once a queen who bestrode sleep and the waking world, and she had brought so much gold with her from dreams that she could never quite keep track of it all. One day, one of her pumpkin coaches crashed into a lake and spilled out its cargo in a great gold crescent. It had been perhaps only a few hours when the dragon came along. Now, this dragon had been born in the arms of the crescent moon and the shape held great comfort for it. It saw the sparkling crescent and swooped down to sleep there, under the water, because it was a water dragon. When the villagers came to look, they saw it there. It may be, they said, that dragons like to sleep on gold. And by the morning the dragon had woken and gone on its way, and be sure the gold was well-plundered soon. But it stuck in the memory.
2. Thereafter, whenever the villagers saw dragons and gold together, they shared a knowing look, in a way that they did not when they saw other creatures with gold. That land being still in the days of the Queendom of Sleep, there was a great deal of gold to be had. And in those days dragons were as common as crows. So passing dragonets perching on the Queen’s golden gondola, or flying into the palace via an unattended window and thrashing about inside on the golden walls, until set free: yes, and yes. The great white dragon that they hunted in the luminous night and which lay, exhausted, on the Queen’s cloth-of-gold blanket: yes. And yes, those that nested in the eaves of the golden-roofed temples of the high city.
3. Then too, when the dragons got old and knarled and chose a cave to settle down in and begin the long slow process of turning to stone, the people who lived nearby would seek assurances that they were not in danger. Knowing now that dragons liked gold, they brought gold to the lip of the dragon-cave as an offering. The dragons would politely leave it there. In this way, one could tell the entrance to a dragon-hole by the gold items scattered outside.
4. Of course, the dragons had no interest in the humans up above. Once they had settled in a cave, they ate only earth and drank only the water from underground rivers. So the people who left gold believed that their offerings were successful, and advised others to do so too.
5. And then of course there was the odd dragon who tried to explain. We’re not actually that fond of gold. Dragons, said the people. Always on about gold. Gold, gold, gold, all the time. Odd how you always hear about gold and dragons in the same breath, isn’t it?
6. Fuck sakes, said the dragons. Only they said it in their own language. It involved some emission of sulphur. Gold isn’t that uncomfortable anyway. It’s no worse than sleeping on rocks. And so it came to pass that when the Queen of Sleep descended into the land of clouded dreams, and gold once more became rare throughout the land, the gold that everyone wanted was under the dragons. And be sure that everyone who was not a dragon then knew of their greed.

10 coolest-looking LDS temples

Okay, this is going to be a completely subjective list. Start off with some honorable mentions…

Honorable mention: Kansas City Missouri Temple. I’m a sucker for multi-spired temples, and this is one of the newest of that kind. It’s not on my top ten list because it still looks a little bit too much like a standard one-spired temple, just with a second spire–as if you put a mirror behind a one-spired temple.

(All photos from LDS.org media library)

Honorable mention: Los Angeles California Temple. This one gets a mention just for sheer scale. It’s the very biggest of all the temples, and I like the minimalism of the decoration.

Honorable mention: Vernal Utah Temple. The church hasn’t repurposed older buildings as temples very often, but I love it when they do. This was the first one, and there have been three others since.

As I proceed on to the top ten, let me tell you in advance that there’s one temple type you won’t see on it: the six-spired sloped roof temple, the kind that was all the rage in the 1980s. If there had been only one or two temples of the type, that would be one thing, but there are fourteen, and they just aren’t unique enough to be cool, in my opinion.

10. San Diego California Temple

So, I’m actually slightly reluctant to include this one, because, while overall pretty cool, I find it a bit over the top. But it does have lots of spires, and there’s definitely no other temple that looks like it. It just seems a little bit much.

9. Provo Utah Temple

I know a lot of people will disagree with this, but I love the design of the Provo Temple. It’s the only honest-to-goodness modernist temple in the church, and we will never have another one. In fact, we used to have another one, in Ogden, but they renovated it and ruined everything about it that made it cool. (As a footnote, I preferred the Provo Temple before they added Moroni onto the spire–the plain spire had a nice simplicity to it.)

8. Oakland California Temple

A unique five-spired design and a cool mountain location. It continues the tradition of the early-twentieth-century non-spired temples in seeming to copy more Asian and American roots than European.

7. Mexico City Mexico Temple

Really cool Mayan-inspired motifs are appropriate for the first temple in Spanish-speaking America.

6. Logan Utah Temple

My personal favorite of the temples–I was born just a few hundred feet away from it. It would rank higher, except for the really unfortunate renovations in the 1970s that damaged the overall look of the temple. Still, when viewed from the south, you can’t see the annex that was (badly) added, and you can enjoy the castellated style.

5. Laie Hawaii Temple

The first temple built outside of North America, and the first of three spireless temples (the Mesa Arizona Temple narrowly missed the list). A temple which really fits its surroundings, and which doesn’t try to copy the castellated style of its predecessors. Supposedly influenced by Solomon’s temple, but really, just cool.

4. Cardston Alberta Temple

The second and my favorite of the spireless temples. Alberta is about the opposite of Hawaii, and yet the Cardston Temple looks as appropriate in its surroundings as the Laie Temple does. There is a rough, raw quality to it that I really think is cool. If the Knights Templar designed an LDS temple, it might look like this.

3. Manti Utah Temple

Castellated, but with spires out of a fairytale chateau. An architecture professor might be outraged by the mix of styles, but it works. Unique in that there’s no other building in the world that looks like it.

2. Salt Lake City Utah Temple

The most famous and iconic of them all. The last word in the castellated style. Six major spires and many mini-spikes. The Moroni statue was so iconic that most temples since then have had one–and several had one added after they were originally build (some to their detriment, IMO). And as familiar as it is, it doesn’t stop being cool. In fact, there is only one temple that managed to exceed it in coolness…

1. Washington DC Temple

Designed as a modern answer to Salt Lake, six spires and all, it is timeless. It’s a strange and beautiful building. It also helps that, unlike the SLC temple, it is not next to downtown of a city: the large grounds of the DC temple add to its beauty and strangeness. It’s an experience to drive there on the DC beltway. It suddenly appears, seeming to float in the air. It’s also one of the few LDS buildings with stained glass. It’s my favorite LDS church building and definitely the coolest temple.

The whole veil of things seemed less substantial
Than the thing that moved in the dark behind me,
An unseen bird or beast, something shifting in its sleep,
Half-singing and then forgetting it was singing:
Be thou always ravished by love, starlight running
Down and pulling back the veil of the heart,
And then the water that does not exist opening up
Before one, dark as wine, and the unveiled figure
Of the self, stepping unclothed, sweetly stripped
Of its leaf, into starlight and the shadow of night,
The cold water warm around the narrow ankles,
The body at its most weightless, a thing so durable
It will—like the carved stone figures holding up
The temple roof—stand and remember its gods
Long after those gods have been forsaken.

Brigit Pegeen Kelly, from “Plants Fed On by Fawns,” The Orchard: Poems (BOA Editions, 2004)

Some lines are worth posting again …

flickr

temple roofs por Marcella
Por Flickr:
(and they won’t be the last ones :) Kyoto, Japan

Utterance

(Mostly sap. But slight death mentions and self-esteem issues because it’s not my fic if it doesn’t make you kinda sad somehow.)

“I love you,” Baze says, words soft, the smallest whisper in the wide, wide galaxy, a tiny bird with wings flapping in a maelstrom. “I love you,” he says, barely able to wrap his mouth around the shape of the truth, but he is only whispering it into the edge of the desert, practicing for the real moment, which he thinks may never come, especially if he can only manage them, shaky and small, barely there at all, even when he is alone, even when he is only considering the possibility.

Keep reading

Growing up a street orphan, and a blind one to boot, certain social niceties just…. pass Chirrut by.

He learns the basics the hard way, like when he’s very small and gets cuffed hard round the head by a merchant for taking a leak in front of his stall. Where else was he supposed to go? How was he to know how and where everyone else did it? The only lessons Chirrut ever learned as a child were taught with pain.

He learns the finer nuances of people when he’s older by listening, picking up conversations from the types who forget the blind can hear them perfectly well. He learns, for instance, that nobody likes a show off, despite the fact that every one of these people loves to talk about themselves, conveniently for him.

This is something of a revelation for Chirrut; his lack of manners has often cost him the friendship of the other beggar children, and this could be the reason why. Chirrut is good at many things, but showing off is one of his specialities. This is his first lesson in humility, and it earns him friends for the first time in his life.

These friends are the ones who take him to the temple when he’s wracked with lung illness from the cold, the ones who say they’ll miss him when Chirrut accepts the Masters’ offer of a home. They see his need to understand the world around him and the humble strength in his milky eyes. He will make a fine guardian.

That is, if they can just get him to understand the point of clothes. See, the streets of Jedha are so cold that Chirrut knows with confidence that he wore his filthy layers of banthahide round the clock to keep the freeze out. It’s only logical then, that in the acolyte lodgings lit with well-stoked braziers, or down in the kyber caves with their glowing, core-heated salt pools, or anywhere in the temple with a roof, and therefore warmer than chirrut has ever been- why would he wear clothes?

His only clue to the fact that he might have messed up yet again is when Baze, his new friend, and the best he’s ever had, chokes and coughs when Chirrut enters the mess hall bare and happy on a rare, tepid Jedhan day. Baze always reacts this way to Chirrut’s nudity, always bundles him away from the others just when they start whistling and calling things he never picks up. No one ever explains these things. He just pushes Chirrut’s robes into his arms every time, scurrying away before Chirrut can ask him.

“What is it this time?” he complains. Baze’s sleeve brushes against his lower back. “Aren’t you warm in those? It’s not even cold today!”

“Clearly,” mutters Baze, and he sounds breathless. What in the stars is that supposed to mean? More riddles of the sighted.

Not many years later Baze explains the concept of showers and growers to him, hot face buried in the crease of Chirrut’s hip, and he understands.

Baze explains everything for him now, and Chirrut sees the world in ways he never thought he would. He still begrudges clothing on warm days, though.

The nine interlocking triangles : SRI CHAKRA / SRI YANTRA

SRI YANTRA , also known as SRI CHAKRA, is called the mother of all yantras because all otheryantras derive from it. In its three dimensional forms Sri Yantra is said to represent Mount Meru, the cosmic mountain at the center of the universe.

The Sri Yantra is conceived as a place of spiritual pilgrimage. It is a representation of the cosmos at the macrocosmic level and of the human body at the microcosmic level (each of the circuits correspond to a chakra of the body).Sri Yantra is first referred to in an Indonesian inscription dating to the seventh century C.E. It may have existed in India, its country of origin, long before the time of its introduction to Indonesia.

The Sri Yantra is a configuration of nine interlocking triangles, surrounded by two circles of lotus petals with the whole encased within a gated frame, called the “earth citadel”. The nine interlocking triangles centered around the bindu (the central point of the yantra) are drawn by the superimposition of five downward pointing triangles, representing Shakti ; the female principle and four upright triangles, representing Shiva ; the male principle. The nine interlocking triangles form forty three small triangles each housing a presiding deity associated with particular aspects of existence. The Sri Chakra is also known as the nav chakra because it can also be seen as having nine levels. “Nine” comes from “Nau or Nava” of Sanskrit.


WHO DOES IT REPRESENT ?

It represents the goddess in her form of Shri Lalitha Or Tripura Sundari, “the beauty of the three worlds (Heaven, Earth, Hell)”.

The worship of the Sri Chakra is central to the Shri Vidya system of Hindu worship.Four isosceles triangles with the apices upwards, representing Shiva or the Masculine. Five isosceles triangles with the apices downward,representing Shakti or Female .Nine Triangles association it is also called Navayoni Chakra.Thus the Sri Yantra also represents the union of Masculine and Feminine Divine.

These nine triangles are of various sizes and intersect with one another. In the middle is the power point (bindu), visualizing the highest, the invisible, elusive centre from which the entire figure and the cosmos expand.The triangles are enclosed by two rows of (8 and 16) petals, representing the lotus of creation and reproductive vital force. The broken lines of the outer frame denote the figure to be a sanctuary with four openings to the regions of the universe.

Together the nine triangles are interlaced in such a way as to form 43 smaller triangles in a web symbolic of the entire cosmos or a womb symbolic of creation.Together they express Advaita or non-duality.This is surrounded by a lotus of eight petals, a lotus of sixteen petals, and an earth square resembling a temple with four doors.

The various deities residing in the nine layers of the Sri Yantra are described in the Devi Khadgamala Mantra.

1.Mahadevi
2.Durga
3.Saraswati
4.Shri-Lakshmi
5.Parvati
6.Kali
7.Mahavidya
8.Navadurga


SIGNIFICANCE

Man’s spiritual journey from the stage of material existence to ultimate enlightenment is mapped on the Sri Yantra. The spiritual journey is taken as a pilgrimage in which every step is an ascent to the center, a movement beyond one’s limited existence, and every level is nearer to the goal. Such a journey is mapped in stages, and each of these stages corresponds with one of the circuits of which the Sri Yantra is composed from the outer plane to the bindu in the center.

The Sri Yantra is a tool to give a vision of the totality of existence, so that the adept may internalize its symbols for the ultimate realization of his unity with the cosmos.The goal of contemplating the Sri Yantra is that the adept can rediscover his primordial sources. The circuits symbolically indicate the successive phases in the process of becoming.


Few  temples  where SRI CHAKRA is known to installed 

  1. Parashakthi Temple Rajagopuram in Pontiac, Michigan, USA.
  2. Kamakshi temple, Jonnawada, Nellore installed by Adi Shankaracharya
  3. Kamakshi temple, Kanchipuram
  4. Kalikambal temple, Chennai
  5. Kamakshi temple, Mangadu, Chennai
  6. Shree Kali Temple, Out side Sanganeri Gate, MotiDunri Road, Jaipur
  7. Nimishamba temple, SriRangapatana, Mysore District.
  8. Prasanna Meenakshi Temple, Shivanasamudra, Malavalli Tk, Mandya Dist,Karnataka.
  9. Kollur Mookambike Temple, Udupi dist, Karnataka installed by Adi Shankaracharya
  10. Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal, At the roof of Ganga Mai temple (This temple is carved in shape of meru shri yantra)
  11. Matrubhuteshwar Temple, Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai installed by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi
  12. At Kamakhya Temple, Guwhati, Assam (This mandir itself in the shape of shree yantra)
  13. Puthenkavil Devi Temple, Cherumukha, Nooranad, Alapphuzha, Kerala
  14. Sri Thyagarajaswamy udanurai Vadivudai amman temple Thyagaraja Temple, Tiruvottiyur, – Installed by Adi shankara