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Skaṁbha

Skaṃbha (Skt., ‘pillar, support’). Vedic Hindu term for a pillar, known in post-Vedic times as staṃbha. In the Vedas, it is the scaffolding (metaphorically understood) supporting creation—e.g. Atharva Veda 10. 7 and 8. It is also the axis mundi. In practice, skaṃbhas were set up for many reasons, and with elaborate decoration. Central are those associated with the liṇga, but others are devoted to virtually any god. The classic work on architecture, Mānāsara 15, analyses the types of skaṃbhas.

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