Religion (184)

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    Dr. Tanaka, for the first time ever, explores the ‘absence’ of the Buddha-image in early Buddhist art. Applying the motif of the ‘empty throne’, she undertakes a comparative study of Buddhism and other religions.

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    Absence of the Buddha Image in Early Buddhist Art by: Kanoko Tanaka 1,500.00 1,350.00

    It is next to impossible today to even think of Buddhism without the presence of the Buddha image! The image of the Buddha, in truth, has not only come to symbolise the essence of Buddhism but is also a brilliant expression of the cultural/artistic achievements of the Buddhists since ancient times. Surprisingly, the Buddha image developed at a later stage of the evolutionary process; after the parinirvana of the Buddha, the Buddhists for a considerable time beheld the Buddha and experienced him in their own minds without taking recourse to the Buddha image itself. In Absence of the Buddha Image in Early Buddhist Art, Dr. Tanaka, a well-versed scholar, has for the first time ever explored the ‘absence’ of the Buddha image in Buddhist art — particularly in the period from third century bc to late first century ad — in order to rediscover the significance of this phenomenon. Dr. Tanaka observes Bharhut and Sanchi sculptures to point out the most essential motifs and elements of stupa-art design — the visible facts pertaining to the absence of the Buddha image. The author studies the religious, philosophical, artistic and political significance of the visible facts, highlighting the concept of the ‘empty throne’ as the motif representative of that absence. She applies the ‘empty throne’ concept to the sanctuaries of monotheistic religions, and thus undertakes a comparative study of Buddhism and other religions, particularly, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism to suggest that present-day discussions on the linkage between religions can centre on this theme. The dexterous handling of the topic combined with the author’s use of first-hand research material makes this an erudite study. The directness in the author’s approach and the unwavering eye on the theme sustains the interest throughout. An abundance of visual material, i.e., drawings and photographs, and tables immensely aid in analysis of the visible facts. This intense work on a rich theme offers well-researched and interesting material that will be useful to scholars of religious studies, fine arts and even philosophy.

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    This collection of essays takes a broad view of South Asian art and culture by providing a wide geographic and chronological scope. Each essay on its own constitutes a solid, well-grounded academic study, but taken collectively they provide a wide and inclusive view of issues of art and material culture that span the region and invite comparison.

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    Across the South of Asia by: Robert DeCaroli, Paul A. Lavy, 1,700.00 1,530.00

    All too often, modern scholarship limits its scope according to the boundaries of contemporary nations and current geopolitical borders. Academic expertise frequently ties itself artificially to these pre-defined spaces and in so doing often does a disservice to the past. It is no great revelation to point out that people of the past defined the limits of their political and cultural reach in ways that were very different from those found on modern maps. Ancient rulers, merchants, and priests understood the reach of their influence and defined foreignness in ways that would be deeply unfamiliar to those only knowledgeable of the modern world. Yet, despite the well-recognized truth in these observations, it is still relatively rare for scholars to research in ways that transcend modern boundaries.
    This collection of essays invites readers to take a broad view of South Asian art and culture by providing a wide geographic and chronological scope. The articles are united only by their focus on art historical and archaeological concerns and their concentration on South Asia ranging from Afghanistan to the island kingdoms of Indonesia. Each essay on its own constitutes a solid, well-grounded academic study, but taken collectively they provide a wide and inclusive view of issues of art and material culture that span the region and invite comparison.
    By taking this approach, this volume is a tribute to Prof. Robert L. Brown whose lifetime of teaching has always emphasized connections as well as differences. Over his professional career, he has trained a large cohort of students (many of whom are contributors to this volume) whose expertise truly does reach across the south of Asia.

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    Akbar, the most powerful Mughal emperor, was a great aesthete and promoter of arts. Eminent Persian and Indian artists thronged his Royal Studio who were studiously committed to paint numerous emotive miniatures of style and substance, communicating highly complex narratives. These minitatures are a beautiful manifestation of human expressions, vividly encapsulating moments of history for posterity.

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    Akbar, The Aesthete by: Indu Anand 4,800.00 4,320.00

    Mughal miniatures are a vivid account of the cultural, sociopolitical scenario of the Mughal era. Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad Akbar, the most powerful Mughal emperor, was a great aesthete and promoter of arts. Eminent Persian and Indian artists thronged his Royal Studio and were encouraged to paint numerous emotive miniatures of style and substance, communicating highly complex narratives. These miniatures are a beautiful manifestation of human expressions, vividly encapsulating moments of history for posterity.
    This book combines the sources and methodology of history and art history of the Mughal era, and is an analysis of a select group of paintings of Akbar’s reign. The miniature paintings incorporate a wide variety of rich, vibrant and varied themes, ranging from durbar scenes, depicting Akbar in different moods and forms, the princes and nobles in their finery, hunting and battle scenes, elaborate scenes of royal births, construction scenes, ascetics, common man, and countryside scenes, to the flora and fauna. Individual analyses of these miniatures, shows the manner of their composition and the inherent value of their sociocultural content in a lively manner. These paintings became a passion and a diversion for Akbar, who had an innate aesthetic sense.
    However, there are hardly any true-to-life paintings of women of the royal seraglio. This book thus attempts to cover some images of femininity, whether it is of Queen Alanquwa, Akbar’s mother, or of Madonna as sacred mothers, and women, per se, in different roles. These miniatures make one wonder how much these women contributed to the life of Mughal India.
    This unique volume, having given transliteration and translation of the original Persian text of the miniatures, provides an insight into Akbar as an aesthete, and will help academics and laymen alike in appreciating the beauty and history of Akbar’s period.

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    It is not just the magnum opus, but a truly monumental effort of a scientist-philosopher who has spent a whole lifetime to formulate a unitive science, wherein all disciplines of human questing could find a common ground — a science where modern science and ancient spiritual wisdom could meet and merge like two opposite poles of a magnet. As a direct disciple of one of the great rishis of the modern age, Nataraja Guru discovers this common ground in Brahma-vidya?, which he calls the “Integrated Science of the Absolute”, and which has, at its base, his Guru’s Dars?ana Ma?la?.
    A string of hundred Sanskrit verses, composed by the mystic-poet, Narayana Guru (1854–1928), the Dars?ana Ma?la? is the very “epitome of all visions of truth” — inspired by his remarkable acquisitions of Upanis?adic thought and, yet far more, by his own tapas (mystical discipline). Reproducing these highly significative verses in Roman script, along with English translations, word meanings, and extensive commentaries, Nataraja Guru not only spells out his mentor’s “Visions of the Absolute” in contemporary idiom, but also shows how these “visions” are fully validated by modern science.
    Eclectic synthesis of varied scientific disciplines into a systematic whole is not all that Nataraja Guru accomplishes here. Rather, his book (now in third edition) is an attempt to reintroduce Brahma-vidya? as the one Master Science that embraces every branch of science, every human interest.

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    An Intergrated Science of the Absolute (2 Vols. Set) by: Nataraja Guru 3,000.00 2,700.00

    It is not just the magnum opus, but a truly monumental effort of a scientist-philosopher who has spent a whole lifetime to formulate a unitive science, wherein all disciplines of human questing could find a common ground a science where modern science and ancient spiritual wisdom could meet and merge like two opposite poles of a magnet. As a direct disciple of one of the great rishis of the modern age, Nataraja Guru discovers this common ground in Brahma-vidya, which he calls the “Integrated Science of the Absolute”, and which has, at its base, his Guru’s Dars?ana Mala.
    A string of hundred Sanskrit verses, composed by the mystic-poet, Narayana Guru (1854–1928), the Darsana Mala is the very “epitome of all visions of truth” — inspired by his remarkable acquisitions of Upanisadic thought and, yet far more, by his own tapas (mystical discipline). Reproducing these highly significative verses in Roman script, along with English translations, word meanings, and extensive commentaries, Nataraja Guru not only spells out his mentor’s “Visions of the Absolute” in contemporary idiom, but also shows how these “visions” are fully validated by modern science.
    Eclectic synthesis of varied scientific disciplines into a systematic whole is not all that Nataraja Guru accomplishes here. Rather, his book (now in third edition) is an attempt to reintroduce Brahma-vidya as the one Master Science that embraces every branch of science, every human interest.

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    An Introduction to Jain Philosophy by: Parveen Jain 1,600.00 1,440.00

    It is well-known that the Jain tradition has been extremely influential in the development of Indian thought and culture. The Jain tradition teaches that there is an interdependence of perception, knowledge, and conduct unified by an axiomatic principle of non-violence in thought, speech, and action. In this way, non-violence defines the core of the Jain tradition, which has had a profound effect on other dharmic traditions originating in India. Jain Dharma is so significant that in some ways it may be incomplete to attempt to understand other Indian traditions (such as Buddhism or Hinduism) without knowing the basics of the Jain tradition, since these other traditions developed in an ongoing dialogue with the insights and wisdom of Jain respondents and visionaries.
    This book enables the reader to enjoy a comprehensive journey into the intricate world of Jain thought and culture in a way that is philosophical in its compelling rationality, deeply spiritual in its revelations, yet accessible in its language. The organization of this book allows the reader to engage in an overview of the central teachings of the Jain tradition, but also to ascertain the profundity of its depths. It can be read with equal efficacy in succession from beginning to end, or pursued by individual topics of interest to the reader. Either strategy will have the same effect: a systematic understanding of what the timeless teachings of Jain thinkers have to say about the universal issues of the human condition – and how we might understand our harmonious relationship with other living entities as a powerful and effective spiritual journey.

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    An Introduction to Vedanta by: R. Subramony 550.00 495.00

    Vedanta holds an unparalleled and unique place among the six systems of Indian philosophy. Though the Vedas are the fountainhead of Indian philosophical systems, Vedanta incorporates the philosophical thoughts resplendent in the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras, the Bhagavatgita, and in the commentaries on all these texts.
    An Introduction to Vedanta introduces the Vedanta philosophy in brief and talks about its cardinal issues like self-control and the meaning of worship, maya and its gunas, upadhi, the theory of cycle, subtle bodies, the role of meditation, samadhi and its four major obstacles, Brahman realization and the state of a jivanmukta and his relation with Brahman and the world.

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    This book is an in-depth study of the people of nomadic groups of Central Asia — notably, the Greeks, the ancient Iranians and Indo-Aryans of the Indian subcontinent — from about 6000 bce to the last millennium bce. It deals with the evolution of cultures, migrations and settlements, myths and legends gods and heroes of the ancient cultures.

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    Ancient Gods and Heroes of East and West by: Marta Vannucci 900.00 810.00

    This book is a study of the people of nomadic groups or clans of Central Asia from about 6000 bce to the last millennium bce to explore why cultures and history developed the way they did in Central Asia by taking up the Indo-European and other settlements — notably, the Greeks, the ancient Iranians and Indo-aryans of the Indian subcontinent — for in-depth study. It deals with the quest for knowledge which led to evolution of cultures from simple primitive life to a society complex in structure, from philosophy to religion. The study of gods and heroes examines stories relating to migration and settlements and the geography of ancient civilizations. It is in this setting that their unique philosophies and religious beliefs flourished, giving rise to belief in numerous gods and heroes. It discusses the myths and legends of the ancient cultures, highlighting names, deeds and events relating to honoured gods and much-praised heroes. Dr Marta Vannucci significantly concludes that both Indo-aryan and Indo-Iranian people had been able to maintain their traditional customs and habits backed by technical developments up to the last centuries bce. Throughout, she bases her observations on reliable information provided by archaeology substantiated by oral and written traditions of Central Asia, Greece and Rome. The volume will be invaluable to scholars of history, anthropology and archaeology who are keen to systematically unravel the obscure origins of the great human civilizational march.

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    This Dictionary of Hindi — Apabhramsa gives in detail the grammatical importance of words, their meanings, correct spellings, the alternate words and their various usages as mentioned by lexicographer Naresh Kumar.

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    Apbharamsa Hindi Kosha by: Naresh Kumar 880.00 792.00

    This Dictionary of Hindi — Apabhramsa gives in detail the grammatical importance of words, their meanings, correct spellings, the alternate words and their various usages as mentioned by lexicographer Naresh Kumar.

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    This volume presents an English translation of the third chapter of Mahayanasamgraha which discusses the bodhisattva’s entrance into the defining characteristics of the realization of vijnapti-matrata. It also contains English translations and Tibetan texts of the selected passages in the commentaries of the texts, i.e., Mahayanasamgrahabhasya and Mahayanasamgrahopanibandhana.

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    Asanga’s Mahayanasamgraha by: Chikafumi Watanabe 400.00 360.00

    Mahayanasamgraha is one of the most important texts of the Yogacara School of Mahayana Buddhism. In this text, its author, Asanga, developed and systematized the Yogacara philosophy and praxis.
    This volume presents an English translation of Mahayanasamgraha’s third chapter which discusses the bodhisattva’s entrance into the defining characteristics of what is to be known, i.e. the realization of vijnapti-matrata. The translation is based on the Tibetan text edited by utilizing and consulting all available Tibetan editions — sDe dge, Co ne, Peking, sNar thang, Taipei, Lamotte, Yamaguchi and Nagao. This volume also contains English translations and Tibetan texts of the selected passages in the commentaries of the text, i.e. Mahayanasamgrahabhasya by Vasubandhu and Mahayanasamgrahopanibandhana by Asvabhava. The translation of the texts in this volume aims to advance a scholarly understanding of praxis, and the relation of the practical and philosophical theories described in the third chapter of Mahayanasamgraha and its commentaries.

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    It has its focus on Buddhism and Buddhist art of early medieval period in India. The introduction of Tantrism bought Buddhism and Brahmanism closer to each other, both in enmity and similarity. It opened the gate to the vast field of Buddhist iconography, Tantric practices, deities, mudras and mandalas.

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    Assimilation of Brahmanism into Buddhism by: Sampa Biswas 2,100.00 1,890.00

    Assimilation of Brahmanism into Buddhism is a research work on Buddhism and Buddhist art of early medieval period in India. Archaeological materials and literary records suggest that Buddhism had a continuous existence during the third century bce to the thirteenth century ce in India. Though early Buddhism was totally different in its doctrines and faith from the Brahmanical system, the Buddhism of today is a religio-philosophical system having assimilated and adopted new ideas and beliefs from the environment in which it was born and nurtured.
    The introduction of Tantrism bought Buddhism and Brahmanism closer to each other. It opened the gate to the vast field of Buddhist iconography along with Tantric practices, deities, mudras and mandalas. Many of these were influenced by the Brahmanic idea of godhead and some were the combination of one or more ideas of Brahmanic divinities. There was assimilation of a number of factors between Brahmanism and Buddhism.
    This scholarly volume addresses the different aspects of this assimilation process by getting into a historical study of Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism; outlining the political history, and socio-economic and religious changes during 300–700 ce; scanning the political and economic background and the spreading of esoteric Buddhism; emergence of Vajrayana Buddhism; and providing a detailed sketch of Vajrayana images.

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    Making the basic doctrines of Buddhist epistemology the fundamental point of reference, this treatise attempts have been made to demonstrate that how Indian epistemological intellection/thinking keeps metaphysics in itself as a bequest, and in its expanding/enlarging form it persistently expresses the metaphysical divisions.

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    Baudha Pramana Darshan by: Ambika Datta Sharma 800.00 720.00

    In Indian tradition of knowledge, the historical advancement of epistemological intellection/thinking flourished through five alternative points of departure, where the first belongs to Maharshi Gautama, who showing priority of epistemology over metaphysics, proposes a constructive model of epistemology. In opposition to this universally acceptable postulation of Maharshi Gautama, three refutative points of departure of epistemological critique of Nagarjuna, Sri Harsha and Jayarasi Bhatta progressed. These three attain their cognitive termination either in the severance of the priority and the position of episteme or in the deconstruction of epistemology. The fifth point of departure evolves from Tarka Pungava Dinnaga, which, parallel to Gautama’s exposition and as an option of substitution to Nagarjuna’s epistemic displacement, presents a reconstructive model of metaphysical epistemology.
    In this treatise, an effort has been made to understand the foundational structure of the aforementioned “Bauddha Prasthan” through certain basic principles, which happen to be the deciding factors/determinative agents in respect of dissensions relating to the matter and corollary, features, and a number of episteme and alternative approaches. From the espoused system of analysis and explication for the purpose, the meta-epistemic dimension of epistemological intellection/thinking of Indian philosophy gets revealed. In fact, it is in this dimension, the optional feature of epistemological doctrines can be recognized to know further that “why any epistemological assessment/appraisal is like this?”, “why isn’t it different?” In this way, making the basic doctrines of Buddhist epistemology the fundamental point of reference, this treatise attempts have been made to demonstrate that how Indian epistemological intellection/thinking keeps metaphysics in itself as a bequest, and in its expanding/enlarging form it persistently expresses the metaphysical divisions.

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    The bibliography includes 4081 entries, covering published materials in English and French languages over the last two centuries. The book gives a representative overview of what has been researched and accomplished in the field of Indian Buddhist Art and Archaeology since Wilkins’s article on Bodh-Gaya in 1788 or Thomas Daniel’s first illustration on the Kanheri caves in 1798.

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    Bibliography on Indian Buddhist Art and Archaeology by: Utpal Chakraborty 1,900.00 1,710.00

    The bibliography includes 4081 entries, covering published materials in English and French languages over the last two centuries. It is divided into two parts. The first part contains 2410 entries dealing with Indian Buddhist art and archaeology and Indian art in general, history, religion, some Buddhist sites outside present India — with special attention given to Pakistan —, etc. Entries in the second part are exclusively devoted to Indian Buddhist sites. There are 57 sites; each one is individually studied. The book gives a representative overview of what has been researched and accomplished in the field of Indian Buddhist Art and Archaeology since Wilkins’s article on Bodh-Gaya in 1788 or Thomas Daniel’s first illustration on the Kanheri caves in 1798.

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