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Buddhist Tantra and Buddhist Art

by: T.N. Mishra

It deals with the development and fundamental aspects of Buddhist Tantrism and its impact on paintings and the sculptural art of India. It discusses concepts and schools of Tantrism citing Buddhist Tantric works.

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ISBN: 9788124601419
Year Of Publication: 2014
Edition: 2nd
Pages : xi, 132
Bibliographic Details : 12 Coloured plates; 4 B/w photos; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 25 cm.
Weight: 600

Overview

In (perhaps) secret defiance of the rigid prescriptive codes of the Buddhist monastic order cropped up a new, esoteric cultic phenomenon. Which, later known as Buddhist tantra, not just compromised Shakyamuni’s ethical legacy, but came to be administered by a whole host of mudras, mandalas, kriyas, caryas and mysteriously ritualistic elements, even hedonistic practices. Dr. Mishra’s book attempts afresh to investigate when, why and how emerged this secrecy-ridden cult: now a spiritual tradition in its own right. The author, who has had long, personal interactions with some of the living tantriks, here enters the dark alleys of Buddhist tantra to look for its nucleus, its evolution, its culmination, and the causes of its disintegration. Focussing, further, on the shifting philosophical tenets of Buddhism: from Hinayana to Mahayana, Vajrayana, Kalacakrayana and, finally, Sahajayana, Dr. Mishra spells out quintessentially the world-view of Buddhist Tantra and its path to nirvana or sukhavati: the abode of bliss, together with a wide range of tàntric concepts that remain guhya (secret) to the uninitiated. Also showing how Buddhist art, almost from the beginning, has been compellingly influenced by tantric practices, the book exemplifies the manifestations of this influence in the iconographic representations of the Buddhist deities, illustrated manuscripts, thangkas, and even in the use of colours by the Buddhist artists.

Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
Introduction
1. Religion and Philosophy
2. Development of Buddhist Tantra
3. Religious Outlook
4. Natha Cult
5. Buddhist Art
Glossary
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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1945
T.N. Mishra, a scholar with varied specialised interests, is Assistant Curator, Bharat Kala Bhawan: the prestigious Museum of Art and Archaeology, at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi. Awarded Ph.D., in 1978, by BHU, for his research study on ‘Ancient Indian Bricks’, he had also taught at two of this university’s affiliated colleges, before opting for a career in museology. Apart from about half-a-dozen books that include Company School of Painting in Varanasi (in Hindi), Westernization of Indian Art, and Impact of Tantra on Religion and Art, Dr. Mishra has published numerous articles in different journals on a range of themes from Indian art and archaeology.
Books of T.N. Mishra