As is well known, much of the architecture influenced by Hindu and Buddhist

thought is intimately associated with myth.1 Although some of the greatest

architectural achievements in Asia are inspired and regulated by myth and

have myth engrained in every aspect of their plans and forms, these buildings

receive little or no attention in university courses on architectural history and

theory. This neglect might be the result of a Eurocentric exclusivism, now

engrained in architectural education, even in Asia, but also possibly stems

from discomfort felt when confronted by the ‘irrationality’ of the myths that

engender this architecture. Some architectural historians and theorists might

well be embarrassed by mythopoeic modes of thought, seeing them as

expressions of ‘beliefs’ that are neither true nor meaningful, but as giving

explanations of the world that modern science has rendered obsolete and

negligible. In this view, the architectural forms generated by myth are so

closely associated with exotic and antiquated beliefs and customs, now

falsified by science, that they defy translation into any terms relevant for the

present practice of architecture.