{hinduloka} $title={Table of Content} Hindu Temple Architecture and Concept

The temple building also contains meaning as a symbol of the universe with its three levels, each of which has its own level of holiness according to the Hindu conception. In the Hindu view, the universe is described as having three main levels called the Tri Loka . This three-level conception of nature is embodied in the temple building as the three-level building.

The three levels each consist of:

  1. The lower realms ( Bhurloka, Kamadhatu ) as the abode of human life, 
  2. The levels of the transitional realm ( Bhuvarloka, Rupadhatu ) as the secondary realm, and 
  3. The upper levels of nature ( Svarloka, Arupadhatu ) as heaven which is the abode of the gods and holy spirits of the universe. 

The three levels of nature are symbolized in the temple buildings as the foot of the temple (base of the building), the body of the temple (sacred room, garbhagrha), and the head of the temple (the roof of the building which has a special ornament at the top).

The Prambanan Temple building also contains a symbolic meaning as a place of unification of the mind between humans and God. Prambanan Temple  in Java in the past was also used as a place of prayer and a place for humans from the underworld (world) to connect themselves with the gods who resided in the upper realm (heaven). This kind of understanding is very much in line with the conception of the existence of a major cosmic mountain in Hinduism called MahaMeru. 

The Holy Mountain of the universe serves as the support of the entire universe, the abode of mankind, gods, and various beings in the universe. MahaMeru is also described as acting as a connecting pillar between the human realm (lower realm) and the divine realm (upper realm).

Mountains in Hindu mythology and teachings are often positioned as the most sacred places in the world. Hindu cosmology also mentions the existence of Mount Maha Meru which supports the universe. This mountain is believed to have a sacred peak called heaven, where the gods reside. The holiness of the cosmic mountain MahaMeru is translated as the conception of sacred mountains in the real world, such as Mount Everst and Kailasa (India), Semeru and Penarungan (Java), and Mount Agung (Bali). These conceptions of the sacredness of Mount MahaMeru and other mythological mountains are also embodied in the architectural art of sacred buildings.

Physically Mount MahaMeru and the mountains in general can be divided into three parts according to the Tri Angga conception , namely the top of the mountain, the body of the mountain, and the foot of the mountain. 

The concept of the three parts of the mountain is then applied to the architectural embodiment of the sacred Hindu buildings in Bali and Java, as the three parts of the building. The three parts of the building consist of the roof of the building ( raab ), the sacred space ( rong ), and the foot of the building ( bebaturan ). Rong is equivalent to the sacred space of Javanese temple architecture as well as Indian temples called garbhagṛha. Rong and garbhagṛha basically have the equivalent meaning of a cave cavity in a mountain body area.

Kala-makara ornaments on temples

A multi-meaning ornament commonly found in Javanese temple buildings is the Kala-makara . This ornament has various meanings that have been widely reviewed by researchers so far.  The Kala-makara is carved in the upper area of ​​the garbhagrha doorway (main room) of the temple building. This ornament is also said to be strongly related to several forms of ornaments that are similar in shape to it, such as the kīrthimukha ornament known in Indian and Nepalese temple building arts, the Banaspati ornament on temple buildings in East Java, and the Karang Bhoma ornament which is known on the gates of Balinese sacred buildings.

Giant face ornaments on the recesses of temple doors in India are known as kīrthimukha . This ornament is said to be related to the existence of a mythology about a giant king figure ( asura ) named Jalandara who is powerful and cruel. Once upon a time, Jalandara ordered one of his subordinates named Rahu to go to heaven to destroy the area and authority of the highest god in the universe, namely Lord Shiva. Rahu 's attack on heaven made Mahadeva angry. In this anger, from a point between the eyebrows on his forehead ( ajna cakra) was born a very powerful creature who was then assigned to eradicate and swallow the giant Rahu . The gigantic power of Shiva's creation caused Rahu to become subdued and begged for forgiveness from Lord Shiva.

It is said that at a later stage, it is said that this giant created by Lord Shiva then relentlessly devours everything in its path. Lord Shiva, who realized this new problem, immediately ordered that this powerful giant of his creation immediately eat his own body. The creator's orders were obeyed by the magic giant. He then immediately began to eat parts of his body, starting from the legs, arms, thighs, stomach and chest, to all parts of his own body. Only the face (head) is still left. Furthermore, on this incident Lord Shiva again said: 

From now on you are my son named Kīrthimukha, and I have appointed you to guard my palace (temple), you live on my doorstep, you will be famous. Whoever enters [the temple] without worshiping you, they will not obtain my mercy.

Banaspati which is known in the temple culture in East Java is also a variant form of the krthimukha ornament . In old Indian mythology, it is stated that the figure of Kīrthimukha is a giant (monster) born or emerging from the point between the eyebrows of the angry Lord Shiva. 

The kala ornaments on the temples in Central Java and the Banaspati ornaments of the East Java temples basically contain the same meaning as the Karang Bhoma ornaments known in temple buildings in Bali. Kala, banaspati, or bhoma are believed to have the same source background, namely based on the ancient Hindu mythological story, Kīrthimukha.

The Main Elements of a Hindu Temple

In works of urban planning art and classical temple buildings in Southeast Asia, there is usually an element that is positioned as the central element or central point of the city or temple. This central element is generally arranged in such a way that it can be easily seen as an element of greatest value. The distinctive character of this central element can be observed in several aspects, such as (1) the priority of position, (2) dimensions, (3) the quality of the constituent materials, (4) the quality of its form, and (5) the presence of surrounding or supporting elements.

 In Javanese temple buildings, the existence of the main elements of the temple as the dominant form and the position of the core of the temple can be found in the buildings of Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple in Central Java. The main stupa as the main building of the Borobudur temple is located right at the Brahma point (center point) of the Buddhist temple.

At the Prambanan Temple complex, the main temple building, namely the Shiva Temple, is no longer right at the Brahma point of the temple complex. In temple complexes in East Java, such as Candi Jago, Candi Cetho, Candi Sukuh, and Candi Penataran, the main temple building is far behind from the Brahma point of the temple complex. The emergence of the concept of temple layout as applicable in East Java is estimated to be the forerunner to the birth of the spatial layout of temple building complexes in Bali that can be found today. The main building in the temple area is usually placed at the corner of the kaja-kangin (Northeast or Southeast) of the temple site, far from the central point (Brahma point) of the temple complex.

This core object is surrounded by supporting elements with a decreasing level of holiness and strata of position from the area with the closest radius to the farthest radius from the center point. The application of this concept can be seen in classical urban planning in Southeast Asia such as Srikhestra in Myanmar, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and Bangkok (Krung Thep) in Thailand. 

The center point in these cities was generally a palace or main temple building surrounded by other main circumferential elements, such as forts, official houses, or wide moats or ponds. Residential neighborhoods of the general public are located in the outer radius of the area. In the layout of the Borobudur temple building, the existence of this concept is easier to see. 

The main stupa in the center of the temple mandala is surrounded by small stupas, Buddha statues, and reliefs that are decreasing in sanctity to the farthest radius from the main stupa at the center point of the temple building. This kind of concept can also be seen quite clearly in its application to the site layout of the Prambanan Temple complex.

In East Javanese-style temple complexes and temple complexes in Bali, the building mass arrangement based on the level of the building's holiness strata seems to apply a different conception. Temple and temple complexes will usually be divided into several zones that are arranged longitudinally backwards. The main building of the complex is located in the holiest zone which is the deepest and far from the main entrance to the site of the sacred building complex. 

As for the zones with the lowest and lowest levels of holiness, various mass of supporting buildings with the lowest and lowest levels of holiness will be found in the temple or temple complex.

In classical Hindu mythology, it is stated that the universe was created from a single starting point which eventually developed in four different directions in a balanced way. This image is represented as the figure of Brahma as the creator god and Mount MahaMeru as the main cosmic mountain which is both described as having four similar faces. The concept of the existence of four similar faces is very evident in the embodiment of the center of the city of Cakranegara and cities in Bali in the form of pempatan agung . 

The city center is in the form of a confluence of four roads - from north, east, south, and west - which meet each other at one point called Pempatan Agung .

In Javanese temples, shrines and stupas in other Asia, the concept of four faces is also easy to observe. As a representation of the universe, classical Southeast Asian sacred buildings are generally also designed to have four similar faces with four doors and four entrances facing four different directions.

The Presence of the Main Axis in the Temple

As the universe is described, it has one main axis in the form of Mount Maha Meru. In the form of classic Southeast Asian art, the position of the main axis can also be traced. In Hindu temple buildings and Buddhist stupas, the existence of the main axis is applied as the existence of two basic axes of the building, namely the horizontal axis or the base of the building as a symbol of human nature on the plains of the earth, and the vertical axis or part of the body-roof of the building as a symbol of the divine realm (God). ) in heaven (sky). 

The relationship between these two baselines forms the symbolic meaning that the sacred building is the place where the harmonious relationship between man and God takes place. In the view of Hinduism, the harmonious relationship between the vertical realm (God in the upper realm as the giver) and the horizontal realm (man in the lower realm as the receiver).

In the concept of urban planning, the main cosmic axis line is manifested at the center point of the city. In Cakranegara as well as traditional cities in Bali with the pattern of pempatan agung, the concept of the main cosmic axis is adapted as a local concept, Akasa-Pertiwi . This conception basically describes the harmonious relationship between the heavenly realm (akasa) where God resides and the earthly realm (pertiwi) as the residential area of ​​mankind. 

The essence of this conception is very easy to feel in the form of pempatan agung which functions as the center of the city, abstract multi-meaning ritual space, and open space where the meeting between the upper (sky) and lower (earth) realms occurs.

The Existence of the Peak Element in the Temple

In the forms of art works of temple buildings and decorative art of kings' crowns in Southeast Asia, it is also found that there is a peak element that has high aesthetic and symbolic value. These elements are generally tangible as small objects and have connotative meanings that can be matched as a form of a vase of holy water, gems, or various other types of precious stones.

In the building of temples, shrines, and stupas, the concept of one peak element is very easy to see in its application form. This sacred ornament can be ascertained carved on the top of the roof of the sacred building, in a small shape that tends to taper upwards. If studied based on the understanding that Hindu and Buddhist sacred buildings are symbols of Mount Maha Meru, it can also be interpreted that the elements of the top of the small and purified temple are a symbol of a high, holy, and difficult heaven at the summit of Sumeru.

The Equality of the Concept of the Temple and the Human Body

In line with the conception of equality between Bhuwana Agung-Bhuwana Madya and Bhuwana Alit , of course, the building of the temple can also be interpreted as having an equivalence of symbolic meaning as well as with the levels of the human body. The following section describes the existence of an equivalence of meaning between the three levels of the temple building and the three levels of the human body.

1. Three Levels of Temple Building

Temple buildings, especially single temple buildings, are generally described as being composed of three main levels vertically. The three parts of the single temple building are the base or the foot of the building; the body part of the building which usually has a sacred space ( garbhagrha ); and the head or roof of the building.

The existence of three vertical levels of the temple building is also owned by the universe. In the Hindu cosmological view, the universe is also interpreted as a macro cosmos which also has three vertical levels, namely 

  • the expanse of the plains of human habitation as the level of the feet or the level of the lower realm; 
  • the ridge of the mountain as the intermediate level or transitional realm; and 
  • mountain top area as the main natural level of the most sacred in the world. At the level of the human body, these three levels are known as tri angga. The part of the human foot as the lowest part that is of low or low value, supports the part of the human body as an intermediate or middle part and the human head as the main part of value which is interpreted as having the most sacred value.

2. The Three Cosmic Levels in Hinduism

In the view of Hinduism, there is a conception of the division of the three levels of the universe known as the Tri Loka. The three levels of nature in this version of Hinduism are the levels of Bhurloka or Mayapada as the nature in which human beings and other worldly beings live; Bvarloka as a middle realm or a transitional realm; and Svarloka or Swargaloka as the realm above the abode of the gods and the holy spirits of the other universe.

With regard to the embodiment of the Javanese Hindu temple building, the three levels of nature of this version of Hinduism can also be equated with the three levels of the temple building. Bhurloka level can be equated as part of the foot of the temple; the Bvarloka section as the body part of the temple; while the Svarloka section is the roof of the temple which usually has the culmination of the stupika, ratna, and amalaka.

Equality of Meaning between the Three Levels of the Temple Building, the Three Levels of Nature, and the Three Levels of the Human Body

The existence of conceptual equivalence between the three levels of the temple building, the three levels of nature, and the three levels of the human body is something that is also interesting to observe. The existence of a three-level equality value contained in the three is certainly not a mere coincidence. This is of course based on the conceptual foundation of the temple buildings themselves which are basically rooted in philosophical values ​​in Hindu teachings.

This understanding is further strengthened by the existence of fundamental evidence that shows the similarity of the filling elements of each level found in the temple building, the universe, and the human body. The description of this matter can be seen in the following description.

a. The base of the temple as a symbol of the lower realms

At the base of the temple, you will usually find a base area whose surface area is the basis for the temple building as a whole. This pedestal also plays a structural role in supporting all parts of the body of the temple building. In this section, you will usually find elements of terraced terraces, pradaksina patha corridors, and stairs leading to the sacred space of the garbargha temple building. The base of the temple is generally decorated with reliefs with the theme of the underworld. 

The basic level of this temple building can basically be interpreted as the natural level of Bhurloka which is the living place of mankind and all other worldly beings. The foundation of the building can also be interpreted as the natural level of Kamaloka or Kamadhatu which is known in the view of Buddhism. 

This natural level, is described as a natural level full of worldly desires and desires. Humans who are still bound by the attraction of the world will always tend to try to fulfill all the lusts and desires in their life. This kind of picture is often manifested at the base of the temple building as reliefs or aesthetic elements that describe the nature of life in Mayapada . 

In the real world, the base of this temple building can also be compared to the expanse of plains and the foot of the mountain which is the habitat of human life and all other living creatures of the world.

The stair element of the building located at the basic level of the temple building in this context can be interpreted as a "bridge" or "road" connecting and can be passed by human beings who want to unite the mind towards the purity of nature above. This sacred “path” can also be construed as man’s effort to break free from worldly bonds in order to go and merge with the natural virtues above it, Bvarloka  and Svarloka .

In the context of the human body, there is no doubt that the base of the temple can be compared to the legs on the human body.

b. The body part of the temple as a symbol of the transitional level of nature

The second part of the temple is just above the base of the building. In vertical single temple buildings, this section is usually easily recognized as the body shape of the building that has a sacred space or grabhagrha . In this sacred space, there are usually various sacred objects of worship, such as statues of the main gods, lingga-yoni, and other sacred relics. This sacred space is connected to the base of the temple building by one or more stair elements. On the walls of the body of the temple building, there are usually several decorations that describe a higher level of nature than the relief theme at the base of the temple.

The body part of the temple is a symbol of the transitional realm which in Hinduism's view is known as Bvarloka , while in Buddhist teachings it is called Rupaloka . In the real world, the body of the temple tends to be interpreted as a symbol of the mountain body which is a transition area between the expanse of the plains where humans live and the mountain peaks which are generally very sacred. The level of this temple building can also be equated with the body parts of the human body.

True to its name, at this level of the transitional realm there are usually symbolic manifestations of the purity and power of the abstract upper realm (heaven). In the body of the building or the sacred space of the temple there is usually a statue of a deity figure which in essence is a symbolic form of the abstract power of God that is difficult to imagine (Sanskrit: Acintya ). 

Neither the statues of the main deities,  lingga-yoni,   nor the relics of worship found on the body of the temple are idols worshiped by Hindus or Buddhists. These sacred objects are only a means of uniting the mind or a tangible means that serve to symbolize the power and holiness of the very glorious and abstract God Mahaesa. In this regard, it is easy to understand the use of the term "existential world" to describe this form of nature.

The sacred space or grabhagrha located on the body of a single vertical temple is a symbol of the natural image of the mountain body which has many cracks and cavities that are formed naturally. In the tradition of the archipelago, the natural cavities in the area of the mountain body (transitional realm) called this cave in the past often became a place for people to perform samadhi , worship, and self-purification from the strong bonds of the Mayan nature that binds humans in the world ( the underworld).

People who want to meditate in a cave on the body of the mountain must climb and ascend the mountain slope. They passed roads uphill from the foot of the mountain to the slopes of the mountain. This uphill and uphill path is further embodied in a single temple building as an element of the temple stairs.

The natural character of the transition in the form of a mountain body is only easily seen by the presence of a terraced building that is connected by several building stairs.

c. The roof of the temple is like a symbol of the upper realms

On the roof of the temple, there are usually several levels of roofs that have a peak called kalasa, stupika , or amalaka . This ornament is referred to as a symbol of the holiness of heaven at the highest peak of the upper realm. 

The roof of the temple in the context of equality with the Hindu Tri Loka conception , can be interpreted as a symbol of the levels of Svarloka (heaven) and Arupaloka ('intangible realm') realms. On the roof of the temple building, there are usually ornaments in the form of abstract, small, and simpler in form compared to the embodiment of decoration in the body and foot area of ​​the temple. The shape of the ornaments on the roof of the temple which tends to be abstract and simple is very much in line with the philosophy of the sacred and unthinkable upper natural level.

The roof of the temple which tends to be single peaked in the real world can be compared to the top of a mountain which is very sacred in Hindu tradition. At the level of the human body, the roof of the temple building can be matched with the existence of the head as the most important part of the body and acts as a controller of the metabolism of the human body as a whole.

In line with the conception of equality between Bhuwana Agung (macrocosm) and Bhuwana Alit (microcosm), in traditional Nusantara art, this conception of the top of a temple building is also embodied in the form of a king's crown which tends to have a single peak. 

In this context, in accordance with the conception of Dewa Raja, the figure of the king is interpreted as the embodiment of divine figures in the world. All the decrees of the king are interpreted and obeyed as direct words from the gods from the upper realm (heaven). The crown of the king figure is also designed in such a way with a peak that tends to be single like a mountain peak and a temple peak which symbolizes the holiness of the upper realm (heaven).

Levels of Macro and Micro Cosmos Nature

Macro cosmos (universe) and micro cosmos (human body) are actually two different levels of nature in terms of scale , position, and function. Nevertheless, various nations believe that both of them still have elements of equal value and have similar characteristics. In this context, residential areas, urban areas, and buildings that are positioned as "messo cosmos", are also interpreted as an imitation of the universe that plays a role in accommodating human activities. As a matter of fact, the "messo cosmos" is also arranged so that it has a character that is equivalent to the macro cosmos and micro cosmos.

The existence of the relationship of equality between the three cosmos in the Hindu view is also further strengthened by the existence of the classical conception of cosmology which describes the existence of the real universe. 

Everything that happens in the view of classical Hindu cosmology, it is believed that it will be able to find its match in all the order of life that takes place at the level of the macro cosmos and micro cosmos. Such a view has also been the inspiration for the birth of various forms of art in countries that are heavily influenced by Indian Hindu culture, such as Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia. 

In the following section, it is explained about the equality of meanings of the elements contained in various forms of classical art in Southeast Asia.

Application of the concept of binary opposition in Hindu temples

In the following discussion, matters relating to the implementation of the binary opposition conception are described in Javanese temples and several Asian Hindu and Buddhist buildings. The description of the application which is the focus of the discussion reflects the following aspects: (a) the basic form; (b) site layout; (c) building stairs and doorman figures; (d) statues; and (e) the characteristics of the decoration.

a. The basic form of the sacred building

Various variants of Hindu temples and sacred buildings in Asia basically contain a grand concept regarding the harmonious relationship of man from the lower realm and God in the upper realm.
The world as human nature is identified as a "flat" area of ​​the earth's surface and is symbolized as a basic form or part of the foundation of a sacred building. The lower part of this temple is usually manifested in temple buildings with a Hinduistic pattern like the foundation of a temple building with a horizontal, broad, flat surface, a certain height, and equipped with rows of stairs as a circulation path in the vertical direction. The base of this building looks like a horizontal line that underlies the building as a whole.
In Hindu teachings, the foot of a sacred building is generally equated as a symbol of the worldly realm stratified as the underworld. This level of nature in the view of Hinduism is known as Bhurloka (earth's world ').The illustration of the upper realm which is interpreted as heaven's realm, in the embodiment of temples and Hindu sacred buildings in general, is represented as the top element of the sacred building which is at the top of the building as a whole. The body of the building usually takes the form of a vertical base which is then created into the embodiment of the body and roof of a sacred building, be it a mandir (India), pagoda (China, Japan, or Korea), temples (Java), as well as meru and padmasana (Bali). 
If you look closely at the core of these sacred buildings, there is actually an implicit-imaginary form in the form of a straight vertical line. The cusp of this vertical line is interpreted as a symbol of the upper realm (the heavenly realm) which is high and is very far above the level of the human realm (the earthly realm).
If the two baselines; The vertical and horizontal of the sacred building are brought together and connected, so that there is a harmonious imaginary relationship between the two basic lines of the sacred building. This relationship also shows that these sacred buildings have the main role and function of bringing together human beings from the lower realms (worldly realm) with God and all His manifestations who are "located" in the upper realms (heavenly realms). 
The illustration of this symbolic relation also underlies the concept of the unification of the phallus and yoni which contains these multi-meanings. One of the meanings contained in it, among others, is a symbol of the harmonious relationship between God or purusha as the giver of holy power and mankind or prkirthi as the recipient.

b. Indoor and outdoor layout

Another bipolar conception that is often applied to the embodiment of Hindu sacred buildings is the dichotomous conception of the outer and inner areas. This conception is manifested in the physical appearance of sacred building spaces, including Javanese temple buildings. In the embodiment of independent buildings in India as well as various sacred buildings affected by Indian Hindu culture, the manifestation of the application of the dichotomous conception can be found in the existence of the sacred space of the temple ( garbhagrha ) which is designed to be closed and separated from the outside world. 
In the layout of the temple complex in Bali, the dichotomic conception is embodied on two levels; macro and micro. At the micro level, the conception of a highly sanctified inner area is realized in the form of a rong or sacred space located in the body area of ​​the building. 
As for the macro level, namely the temple complex, the inner area or main area that is most sacred is known as the offal area . The similarity of garbhagrha, garbha, rong, and the main mandala pura is related to its high sacred value. The very sacred nature of the space is also the reason why these sacred spaces are designed in such a way as a main room or a core space of a sacred building which is intentionally separated and strictly delimited from other spaces of more profane value around it. The main room of this sacred building is designed in the deepest area of ​​the sacred building. 
This arrangement pattern causes the devotees to be deliberately directed to "must" pass through several other transitional or peripheral spaces with a low level of sacredness, before finally reaching the sacred and main core space.
If a sacred building is matched like a blooming padma flower, then every butterfly that lands on it will be "directed" to first open and crawl through each piece of red lotus petals, before finally reaching the pollen area. the main flower full of honey.

c. Stairs and gatekeepers (dwarapala)

Stairs and gate elements in sacred buildings are often not paid close attention and tend to be interpreted only as part of the circulation path of the people in the sacred building. These two elements actually have many roles in the ritual procession of the people in the area of ​​the sacred building. When examined more deeply, the stairs and doors of the sacred building actually contain various symbols of value more than just part of the decoration. 
In the stairwell area of ​​sacred buildings such as temples in Java, you will usually find a stair railing in the form of a pair of dragon tails; a pair of Makara mythological beasts; or a pair of elephants. Even at the front of the gate, a pair of dwarapala figures or door guards are usually placed. These two guard figures are represented in various ways, sometimes they seem calm, smiling, sometimes they have a scary grinning face.
The conception of a pair of animals flanking the stairs and a pair of doorman figures is closely related to the conception of the left and right sides which are inspired by the existence of these two sides in the human body. 
The right side which is interpreted by the Eastern world as the "good" side, which the protagonists on the stair railings and temple door guards tend to manifest as figures who are masculine, benevolent, or older in age. These figures have a symbolic meaning as a guide towards ascending, climbing, or heading to the upper zone.As for the left side, which is mostly positioned as the antagonistic “bad” side, on the stair railings and temple door guards, they are generally shown as feminine, terrible, or younger characters or animals. The figures on the left are interpreted as symbols in the downward direction or towards the lower zone. Some pairs of figures that are often placed on stairs and doors are (1) the Nandiswara-Mahakala pair or the Ganga-Yamuna pair for temples in India, (2) a pair of nio for Buddhist temples in Japan, (3) a pair of erwang for temples in China, and (4) the dragon couple Taksaka and his wife, a brother and sister pair; Subali-Sugriwa, or father-son pair; Merdah-Tualen for temples in Bali.

d. Sculpture

The art of Hindu temple statues is very diverse in type and form. Various sculptural characters, materials, and dimensions of the statues are manifested in various parts of Asia. If we look more closely, actually Hindu temple statues contain quite a lot of binary oppositional conceptions regarding pairs of masculine (god) and feminine (goddess) aspects in benevolent (akroda/calm) and terrible (kroda/wrathful) aspects. The main gods are generally described as having their respective partners according to their duties to the world as husband and wife or father and mother who care for and educate mankind. The pairs of deities depicted in this way include: Brahma-Saraswati (creator-knowledge), Vishnu-Laksmi (sustainer-prosperity), and Shiva-Durga (smelter-death). These pairs of gods are sometimes depicted in pairs in a temple or a sacred room. In Indian Hindu sculpture art the term sculpture is also knownArdhanareswari which describes the unification of Shiva (male) and Parvati (female) in one statue.
Another aspect embodied in the art of temple statues is related to the conception of the binary opposition of the benevolent-terrible aspects of certain divine figures. Certain divine figures who are described as having these two oppositional traits include the Shiva figure who can be described as a Mahadewa figure (benevolent) and as a Mahakala or Cakra-chakra (terrible) figure, while the Durga figure is manifested as a Parvati (benevolent) figure and as a divine figure. Kali or Mahakali (terrible). The statues of these divine figures are manifested in various expressions and attributes according to their level of wrath.

e. decorative variety

The decorative variety of Hindu temple buildings is more inspired by the binary opposition conception of the upper and lower realms. The embodiment and placement of ornaments on a part of the temple generally follow the symbolization of the level of nature it describes. 
The decoration at the foot of the building is generally manifested with animal or animal motifs in the most complex forms. This kind of decoration depicts the lower realm which is symbolized as the foot of the temple. 
The decoration on the top of the building is generally the smallest, abstract, and simple compared to the decoration on the body and foot of the temple building. The decoration of the top of the temple building is generally manifested as a symbol of heaven or emptiness as the peak of the universe which is sacred, abstract, and difficult to achieve.
The conception of the binary opposition of the upper and lower realms is also said to be embodied in the “spreading” ornaments that run across or longitudinally on the walls of the temple. This kind of ornament is usually carved and has two opposite climax points, namely the upper point and the lower point. This kind of ornament is widely interpreted by scholars as an ornament that contains an ascending (upward) and descending (lower) cycle that occurs simultaneously and continuously in the universe. This “spreading” basic motif ornament (Bali: pepatran ) is also interpreted as an ornament that describes the orbits of the planets around the sun as the center of the earth's solar system.

Aspects of Sekala and Niskala Candi

On the temple building also recognize the pripih element which basically carries the meaning as the seed of holiness on this sacred building. Pripih also plays a role in attracting the abstract (niskala) sacred power of God the Almighty ( niskala ) from the upper realm in order to "be pleased" to enliven the temple building which is real ( intermittent ).
In the real Javanese temple building ( sekala ) it is also believed that various abstract powers of the universe that are invisible ( niskala ) reside. 
The existence of this abstract power is believed to last forever in the temple building thanks to regular and correct worship rituals for the sanctity of the temple building in question. 
Apart from that, the existence of pripih elements planted at the base of the temple building is believed to also have a positive impact as a "pull" so that all positive energy in nature is still willing to reside and animate the temple building in question.

Resources :
I Nyoman Widya Paramadhyaksa, ST, MT, Ph.D
Ir. Ida Bagus Gde Primayatna, MErg.
I Gusti Agung Bagus Suryada, ST, MT