Pillars, also signifying towers and tumuli. This is a corruption of the Sanskrit word Stoopa, meaning mounds, heaps, karns. The Topes of the Karli temple, a Buddhist shrine, which may be seen up the Western Ghats from Bombay to Poona, are presumed to be Phallic pillars placed in front, precisely as Solomon placed his Jachin and Boaz. Some travelers state that only one of these pillars stands at present. The pillars were shaft plain, with a capital carrying four lions, representing power of cat-like salaciousness. Between these pillars may be seen the great window which lights all the Temple, arched in the form of a horseshoe, which is the Isian headdress and Maiya's holy sign, and after which the Roman Catholic Church adopts one of Mary's favorite head-dresses. It is the Crown of Venus Urania.
These pillars are prominent features of Buddhist sacred buildings, and when composed of a single stone are called a Lat. They are frequently ornamented with honeysuckles. The oldest monument hitherto discovered in India is a group of these monoliths set up by Asoka in the middle of the third century before Christ. They were all alike in form, inscribed with four short Edits containing the creed and principle doctrines of Buddhism. These pillars stood originally in front of some sacred buildings which have perished; they are polished, 45 feet each in height, and surmounted by lions. The Thuparamya Tope, in Ceylon, has 184 handsome monoliths, 26 feet in height, round the center holy mound (see Mound Builders).
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