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The Temples of India in The Black Books

Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group


Psychology of Yoga and Meditation

The Konark Sun Temple in Odisha (Bengal) is also referred to as the Black Pagoda. It was built in the thirteenth century in the shape of a giant chariot. The temple shows an abundance of sexual scenes and is said to have shocked European visitors. Lowell Thomas referred to it as “at the same time the most beautiful and the most obscene of Hindu Temples” (Thomas, 1930, p. 330). Jung visited the temple on 13 January 1938. In his note book “Excerpta” (vol. 7, p. 20) he gives a description of the temple [reproduced in Shamdasani (2012), p. 82]. ~Psychology Yoga Meditation, Vol. II, Page 22, fn 142


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Jung follows his notes from his notebooks “Excerpta” (vol. 7, p. 26; JL): “On the summit of Observatory Hill near Darjeeling is a circular open space surrounded by a field thick with flagstaffs: The flags are block-printed” (Text with a horse carrying Cintamani). Cintamani=lapis. Phil. B.L. Atreya: Yoga-Vasistha. Adyar. p. 36″ [reproduced in Shamdasani (2012), p. 184]. ~Psychology Yoga Meditation Vol. V, Page 52, fn 206


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In his note books “Excerpta,” (vol. 7, p. 18; JL) Jung described his visit to the Shakti temple in Trichur: “The temple is dedicated to Siva and Kali. Siva is perambulated on a carriage and always carried clockwise. Kali on the other hand is carried around in a circular fashion upon the lake in a boat, also clockwise. If the movement were counter-clockwise, this would be inauspicious” [reproduced in Shamdasani (2012), p. 180]. ~Psychology Yoga Meditation Vol. V, Page 52, fn 205

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On the occasion of his visit of the Shakti temple in Trichur, Jung noted: “a so-called flagstaff (dhvâjastambha), a pillar divided into segments, standing on an altar and slightly curved at the top, bedecked with little bells at the upper end. These apparently depict the centers of the senses and the segmented pillars the spinal cord. But this is a great secret. All of this is related to the physiology of the body” (Jung’s copybook “Excerpta,” vol. 7, p. 18). See also Jung’s sketch of the flagstaff; reproduced in Shamdasani (2012), p. 180. ~Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Vol. V, Page 55, Fn 210

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In the seventh volume of the copybooks “Excerpta” (p. 15) Jung describes his visit to the Shakti Temple of Trichur: “Sakti Temple: Around the central garbahgrha is a cobbled path for circumambulation. A clockwise semi-circle is taken for Siva, then back again, and then the other semi-circle is taken counterclockwise for Sakti”‘ [reproduced in Shamdasani (2012), p. 179]. ~Psychology Yoga Meditation Vol. V, Page 58, fn 214