Hey guys, I want to show you a unique carving in the Vittala temple at Hampi. It is very small, but it is a mind-boggling carving, do you know what this carving shows? I have shown you several unique features about this temple. I have shown you the Musical pillars in this temple, which give a variety of sounds when tapped on, this temple also has the stone chariot and how its wheels rotate like real wheels, but this tiny little carving is not even looked at by most visitors.
What is this? Why does it look so strange? Indian temples are known for their spectacular carvings with crystal clear details, but this one is totally different. It does not have any clear features although we can see some of the details. And it is a very mysterious carving.
If you look from the top angle, you might be able to see a frog. This looks very much like a frog and you can see its head, body and limbs. Interestingly, mostly kids, who have not reached their teenage yet, will see the frog. Adolescents and adults rarely see the frog.
If you are a teenager, whether you are a boy or a girl, you will tend to see a snake. Here you can see the snake’s head, its curved body and its tail. So, in the same carving, you can see the frog, which is the prey and also the snake which is the predator. So why do kids see the frog, while teens observe the snake?
If you are an adult male, a man who is between the age of 20 and 50, you would probably see that there is a monkey grabbing a baby monkey from the floor, as though the bigger monkey is protecting its baby. If you are a man watching this video, and you belong to this age group, this is probably the first thing you noticed. Oh a monkey lifting its baby. Am I Right?
And an adult woman will look at it completely differently. She will notice a mother monkey breastfeeding a baby monkey, of course this is a fantastic sight to see, how a little monkey is drinking milk from its mother.
But what about people who are above 50, what do they tend to see? They would notice this: This is a flying monkey God, You can see his 2 legs in the air and you can even observe his tail if you look carefully. He is none other than Lord Hanuman who is trying to serve others faithfully. And then, if you renounce all your worldly desires, if you are ready to face death without any fear, if you become a monk or a sanyasi who seeks enlightenment, you will see something very different. You will see this: A cylindrical lingam, protected by a giant snake on top. This is only observed by the very wise or the very old. It is very interesting how such a carving was done many centuries ago in India.
But why do people with different age groups, different sexes, see different images in the same carving? Is this Spirituality or Science? For Ancient Hindus Spirituality was Science. Ancient builders always blended Spirituality and Science in a beautiful way.
Today, there is a specific type of art called Ambiguous Images – these are used by psychologists to learn about your mind and body. Let’s take a look at this picture. What do you see? Believe it or not, the only thing a young kid will see, is a bunch of dolphins playing inside a giant bottle. The kid will not be able to see anything else and he will even point out that his observation is accurate, because even the tag on the bottle says Dolphins explicitly. On the other hand, adults will see something completely different and have to make a conscious effort to identify the dolphins. This image is used by psychiatrists to see if a child has hit puberty. Let me show you another classic one here: What about this one? What do you see? If you noticed the Skull first, you are reasonably aware of your surroundings and can spot dangers from a distance, but if you only saw the woman in the mirror, and did not see the skull at all, you are a hopeless romantic. But WHY is this happening? It is the same picture, but why do people see completely 2 different images? Because you are not really seeing with your eyes, you are seeing everything with your mind. And how your mind is conditioned, changes the information you see with your eyes. So you may think you are an objective person, but you are always processing all information with some filters, and these filters are based on your conditioning.
And if you noticed both images in these ambiguous pictures, you are a very intelligent person who has solid analytical skills. Optical illusions like these are shown to patients and psychiatrists can even identify mental illnesses like schizophrenia using these pictures.
But it is interesting to note that this ambiguity or optical illusion was used in many carvings of ancient India. I have shown you many optical illusions. This one is 1300 years old in Mahabalipuram. Do you see a cow? Or did you see some other animal? While most optical illusion carvings only show 2 different images, the one at Hampi is very advanced. It shows multiple images and you will typically see what you like to see, depending on your age or sex. If you are a father, you are more likely to see the image of a monkey lifting the baby monkey, a typical dad’s gesture of protecting a baby. If you are a mother, you are more likely to see the baby monkey getting breastfed, because this is the key for the baby’s life. So, you can see how ancient builders skillfully created this ambiguous carving many centuries ago in India, which shows at least 7 different images. But wait, I only talked about 6 images. Yes, there is another image I did not tell you about. Did you see it? If you noticed it, you are a rare individual, so please do tell me what you saw in the comments section. If you did not see it, watch the video again, and see if you can find it. And then leave a comment.