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Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization
Published by Princeton University Press
A landmark work that demystifies the rich tradition of Indian art, Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization analyzes key motifs found in legend, myth, and folklore taken directly from the Sanskrit. It provides a comprehensive introduction to visual thinking and picture reading in Indian art and thought. Ultimately, the book shows that profound Hindu and Buddhist intuitions on the riddles of life and death are universally recognizable.
List of Plates ix I Eternity and time 1 The Parade of Ants 3 2 The Wheel of Rebirth 11 3 The Wisdom of Life 19 II The Mythology of Vishnu 1 Vishnu Maya 23 2 The Waters of Existence 27 3 The Waters of Non-Existance 35 4 Maya in Indian Art 53 III The Guardians of Life 1 The Serpent, Supporter of Vishnu and the Buddha 59 2 Divinities and their Vehicles 69 3 The Serpent and the Bird 72 4 Vishnu as Conqueror of the Serpent 77 5 The Lotus 90 6 The Elephant 102 7 The Sacred Rivers 109 IV The Cosmic Delight of Shiva 1 The Fundamental Form and the Playful Manifestations 123 2 The Phenomenon of Expanding Form 130 3 Shiva-Shakti 137 4 The Great Lord 148 5 The Dance of Shiva 151 6 The Face of Glory 175 7 The Destroyer of the Three Towns 185 V The Goddess 1 The Origin of The Goddess 189 2. The Island of Jewels 197 VI Conclusion 217 Index 223 Plates 249
Heinrich Zimmer (1890-1943) was a historian of South Asian art. He was the author of Philosophies of India. Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was the author of many books on comparative mythology, including The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Masks of God.
Reviewer: Paul Doolan
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