There is a close relationship between the human body and the structure of the temple. It was clear from the concept of Vastu Purusha. (Which has been dealt with earlier on this platform). The structure of the various parts of the temple such as Garbha Griha, the mandapa, the Ardha-mandapa, the Antarala and its visible parts such as Shikhara, walls, pillars etc. and also the use of stone, wood or other building materials for the construction of the temple can be related to the ‘annamay kosha’- the physical body.
However, man's existence is not limited to merely a physical body. According to Hindu philosophy, 'darshan', beyond annamaykosh is manomay, pranmay, vijyanmay and finally the anandmay kosh. Man's spiritual growth is always related to rising from awareness of physical self to the awareness of anandmay kosh.
The study of temple architecture cannot be restricted merely to the physical aspects of the temple such as its plan, material of construction and design and decoration thereon. Every temple also has manomay kosh, pranmay kosh, vijyanmay kosh as well as anandmay kosh. The entire ambience of the temple due to daily pooja of the deity, chanting of mantras, a chime of temple bells, the fragrance of flowers, doop and prasadam, all together form the manomay and pranmay kosh of the temple. Higher levels of sadhana techniques are required to explore vijyanmay kosh to achieve the balance between all the koshas of human beings to reach the final destination of anandmay kosh.
When temple structure is compared with the human body, the layers of these kosh in the temple architecture are required to be explored by experience. Experiential learning has been the essential component of Hindu darshan shastra. By merely comparing the physical similarities between temple architecture and the human body, we are actually repeating the superficial ways adopted by the British in our education system.