Depth perception – Deciphering Hindu iconography


iconography of Hindu culture and religion can be a pretty bizarre and terrifying. Having grown up in India, I have found parts of it to be downright confusing, personally. Take, for example, the concept of the “third eye.” In Hinduism, considered the “third eye” is considered to be a symbol of clairvoyance, enlightenment or higher consciousness or awareness. In Vedic Indian tradition, were ascetics had to spend years of solitude in the desert meditating in silence, until they reach this so-called “increased awareness” or “heightened awareness.” In fact, some scholars read this as referring to the “mind-expanding” or “ideas” effect of hallucinogens and drugs, such as soma, the use referred to in the Hindu text Rig Veda.

The Hindu that fact, many faithful Hindus wear marks on the forehead called Tilak represent a “third eye” -and this is especially true of weather beaten Hindu ascetics, which goes particularly evident Tilak on the forehead. Here is a picture of the actor Harrison Ford wearing Tilak on his forehead in the 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, a film which, incidentally, impair the Indian culture to the point of ridicule, parody and hostile it pretty seriously.

This interpretation of the term “third eye” may well be true-I do not consider myself to be a scholar of Sanskrit texts or expert on Hindu. I think my understanding of the culture and tradition of my country is, in that sense, rather limited and superficial. Having been educated mainly in the Western tradition, I guess my thought is far more realistic. I personally see that as good in some ways because it allows me to see iconography of culture with comprehensive, dispassionate eye rather than get lost in its symbolism, which is only too easy to do. This can lead to confusion and misinterpretation and even, eventually, to confuse hostility towards culture and tradition.

So think about it pragmatically, what does the iconography of the “third eye” refer to? I was pondering this idea recently, along with the concept of the illusory and temporary nature of reality as described in the epic poem Mahabharata, with an eye toward demythologizing and explain these ideas so try to get to the core of what they represent.

came to me in his poem Epic, Odyssey Homer turns series where Odysseus (or Ulysses in Latin) lands on an island in the course of his travels and is taken hostage, along with many of his men, with giant cannibalistic Cyclops named Polyphemus. They are only able to escape with their lives secretly with a blinding one-eyed creature that is to say, performance being completely blind, but before, her eyesight was already somewhat limited, as it only had one eye.

So it got me thinking-what was Homer talking about here, in metaphorical language mythology? What does it have only one eye instead of two eyes? The answer is pretty obvious when you think about it, if you have only one eye, you have no depth perception. You see the world as flat and two-dimensional. We have depth perception because we have stereoscopic Vision-two eyes. There is a difference between watching a movie on the flat screen and watch the same movie in 3D-a huge difference. So, with no eyes, we are completely blind and can not see the world at all. One eye, we see the world as two-dimensional. With one eye, we perceive three dimensions-we have depth perception.

And what about the metaphorical, figurative “third eye” Hindu mythology? If we go strictly logic progression, it must mean to be able to see the world as a four-dimensional to be able to distinguish the fourth dimension, ie time to be able to see the space-time continuum that continuity.

Basically, it seems to me to refer to the foresight and insight-not necessarily clairvoyance, but rather, the ability to see through and the illusory external world to see beyond superficiality and identify hidden trends and deeper meaning. So maybe we’re not talking about something as esoteric as clairvoyance or mysticism so much as an increased ability to interpret, deductive reasoning to be able to identify the signs and patterns in the world around us and to extrapolate into the future and see beyond immediate present experience (which is inherently illusory and temporary).

The novel A. Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes is said to have almost intuitive ability to bring immediate deduction on the basis of evidence presented to him-view set of clues holistically and almost instantly arrive at a conclusion. His ability is described as being almost psychic or supernatural to the casual observer. In one sequence in the novel, Dr. Watson reads the paper written, unknown to him Sherlock Holmes

The writer claimed by a momentary expression, a twitch of a muscle or a glance of an eye, to fathom the innermost thoughts of man. Cunning, according to him, was impossible in the case of one trained to observation and analysis. His conclusions were as infallible as so many propositions of Euclid. So startling would his results appear to the uninitiated that until they learned the process he made them they might well consider him necromancer. “From a drop of water,” said the writer, “a logician could infer the possibility of the Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. So all life great chain, the nature of which is known when we see one link on it. Like any art, science Deduction and Analysis is one which can only be acquired by long and patient study nor is life long enough to allow any mortal to achieve a high level of perfection in it.

In Rudolph Valentino film, The Young Rajah, a dramatization of the battle of Kurukshetra, the film shows Krishna applied mark on the forehead Arjuna, which supposedly gives Arjuna power “psychic.” This power is down to his descendant, Amos Judd (character Valentino), which should birthmark on his forehead and has the uncanny ability to see into the future, to see the event. This ties in neatly with the Hindu-label or ‘Tilak’ on the forehead worn by Hindus as a symbol or iconic representation of the mysterious “third eye. “

But far from esoteric, mystical meaning of this iconography, I think it is much more valuable and informative to think of this as a representative of a simple vision-a visionary thinker-be able to see beyond the surface and superficiality and analysis hidden meanings of signs of interpretive, deductive reasoning. I think it makes much more sense, from a purely pragmatic point of view, to interpret this iconography as such, especially in relation to the epic poem Mahabharata. Maybe if more people in our world had foresight the ability to see beyond the surface and immediate present, our world could be a happier place to live in and we might be wiser individuals and as a whole.

perhaps this feature could be developed through training and exercise until it reached a level of clarity and sophistication shown by Sherlock Holmes in literary works by Conan Doyle-level access to the untutored eye, it might seem mystical seer.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *