THE SILK ROAD : Trade, Caravan Serais, Cultural Exchanges and Power GameISBN : 978-81-7305-528-7Edited By :Mansura Haider
(2014, xxvi + 330 pp., Figs. & Maps 16 )
The Silk Road not only developed and enhanced trade and commerce between the East and the West, but was also a significant factor in facilitating cultural and social interaction across continents…..Read MoreGiven the historic and cultural importance of this transcontinental route, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts(IGNCA), along with the Eurasia Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India had organised an International Seminar on ‘Cities, Roads and Caravan Serais – An Emblem of Relations through the Ages” which was held during 8-12 January 2008. This volume contains the proceedings of the seminar.
PILGRIMAGE : SACRED LANDSCAPES AND SELF-ORGANIZED COMPLEXITYISBN : 13-10:978-81-246-0454-0, 81-246-0454-1Edited By :JOHN MCKIM MALVILLE and BAIDYANATH SARASWATI ,Distributor: D.K. Printworld, New Delhi.
Pilgrimage involves movement of people, either as individuals or as members of a group in search of the sacred. Pilgrimages may start with individual ecstatic visions, unusual strange unworldly experiences, which are the experiences of “ordinary” people, certainly not of priests or politicians ….Read More. Often they are uniquely human experiences which embarass ecclesiastical authorities. As a pilgrimage tradition evolves, sacred sites may become formalized in organized socio-political systems with economic overtone. Even in these structured situations, individual people may still have powerful individual experiences. Eventually a pilgrimage tradition may be taken over by religious and political authorities, lose spontaneity, and become frozen in time. But even in these situations, in which large numbers of people may gather, there is a tremendous amount of “primal” energy in which innovations and visions may be evoked.
Using case-studies from pilgrimages around the world, the volume explores the ways many of these traditions have started and evolved. A common perspective is that of self-organization of complex structures in space and time.
The variety of pilgrimage described in the book is remarkable. The subcontinent of India is the location of many sites such as the temples to the nine planets in Tamil Nadu, the pilgrimage circuits of Varanasi, early Buddhist pilgrimages in Sāñcī and Bodh-Gayā, the great ruined city of Vijayanagara, those associated with the Riimiiya1Ja, and the death ceremonies at Gayā. Beyond India, the self-organization and stability of pilgrimage systems are analysed for pilgrimages in Nepal (Kathmandu), Japan, Mexico, the Caribbean, Peru, Norway, and the US.
BHAGAT BANI IN SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB: SHABAD AND ITS RESONANCEISBN :Edited By :J.S. NEKI, S.S. NOOR, MOLLY KAUSHAL ,Distributor: B. K. Offset, Delhi - 32
(2008, 126pp., Introduction, Preface,)
This book is an outcome of the seminar jointly organized by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and Punjabi Academy, Delhi in December, 2006 on “Confluence of Traditions: Bhagat Bānī in Śrī Guru Granth Sahib”. ….Read MoreThe IGNCA, since its very inception has been conducting research and documenting musical heritage of diverse communities of India under its Ādi Śravya (primal sound) programme of the Janapada Sampada Division. The focus of the Ādi Śravya programme is on the chanted, sung and recited word. The bānī of gurus and saints contained in Śrī Guru Granth Sāhib provides a unique and distinct experience of this sacred Śabda. Folk, devotional and classical music has flourished side by side in Punjab for centuries. Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam, the dominant religious faiths of Punjab, each have their distinct music repertoires, linked to a specific setting; spiritual and aesthetic needs. The four divisions of Punjabi’s musical repertoire Sūfiānā Qalām, Qawwśli, gurmat saṅgīt and bhakti saṅgīt – are rooted in specific spiritual experience.
XUANZANG AND THE SILK ROUTEISBN : 978-81-215-1186-5Edited By :LOKESH CHANDRA and RADHA BANERJEE
China as we know is a great civilization and Xuanzang’s (who is popularly known as Hsuan-tsang) visit to India was a great event. The noted Chinese traveller and Buddhist pilgrim, Xuanzang, reached India in CE 630, having undertaken arduous journey across Central Asia. A Chinese emperor called him “the jewel of the empire”……Read MoreNearly fourteen years of his life (from CE 630 to 644) were spent visiting Buddhist temples and monasteries, cities and places of interest in the Indian subcontinent. He was a keen observer of men and affairs. Apart from being a devout monk, he has left behind a fascinating and authentic account of India’s history, geography, economy and society of the times when King Hara ( CE 606-47) ruled over northern India. This volume contains articles on the life and achievement of Xuanzang. Dharma master Xuanzang came to India particularly in search of Buddhist texts which were not available in China. He studied his favourite text Yogācārabhumiśāstra under the famous teacher Sllabhadra of Nalanda. He was a great recorder of historical sites of the Silk Route. His description of the Silk Route countries in Afghanistan and Gandhara are valuable for the political and cultural history of these lands. The study of Bamiyan monasteries and colossal buddhas have inspired art historians to make a thorough study of the cultural history of Afghanistan.
The articles in this volume show, through wide range of studies, not only Xuanzang’s love and knowledge of Buddhism, but also an account of various countries and their cultural heritage.
FOLKLORE, PUBLIC SPHERE AND CIVIL SOCIETYISBN : 81-901481-4-1Edited By :M.D. MUTHUKUMARASWAMY and MOLLY KAUSHAL ,Distributor: National Folklore Support Centre, Chennai.
The discipline of folklore has always addressed the travel of folklore by consistently paying attention to several versions of the same texts and by offering meticulous sociological accounts for their existence. ….Read MoreThe philosophical premise of acknowledging versions even when they are contradictory lends itself, by expansion, to a vision of a multitude of public spheres inside a civil society. The emerging vision of society is one of polyphonic concert punctuated by recognizable gestures. What we see is a “performing society” that generates public opinion not necessarily through rational verbal arguments and dialogues but also through gestures, genres, frames, versions, performances, stories, narratives and codes.
It is precisely in this context that folklore studies reveal how communities break hierarchies, articulate aspirations that are political and otherwise, constitute new identities, establish inter-cultural contacts and undergo changes through cultural borrowings. As identities are constantly created and recreated, what we encounter through folklore is a complex cultural phenomenon not necessarily rational but in alignment with the logic of the cultures concerned. Such processes do create and influence public opinion.
This collection of papers presented in a symposium ogranized in New Delhi in 2002 aligns three sociological categories – folklore, public sphere and civil society in relation to each other in order to capture social and cultural dynamics.
ṚTA: THE COSMIC ORDERISBN : 81-246-0252-2Edited By :MADHU KHANNA ,Distributor: D K Printworld (P) Ltd., New Delhi - 15
(2004, x+326pp., 34 b&w figs., 21 col. Photographs; index; )
This volume contains the articles, presented in a seminar at IGNCA on Ṛta: The Cosmic Order in which a panel of distinguished Indian and foreign scholars interpret the Read Moremultifaceted theme of Ṛta from a wide range of perspectives, comparing notions of order in Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese and Islamic speculative thought and with references to ancient Indian Hindu writings and modern science. Combining sound scholarship with a penetrating insight, these essays are a fine example of integrated studies. They give alternative viewpoints on the unity underlying this ancient concept as well
as, its relevance in the modern age.
THE CONCEPT OF ŚŪNYAISBN : 81-7305-240-9Edited By :A.K. BAG and S.R. SARMA ,Distributor:Aryan Books International,New Delhi.
The concept of śūnya in India has a long history and varied manifestations in different dimensions, in mathematics, in philosophy and in mysticism. In mathematical literature it is used in the sense of “zero”……Read Morehaving no substantial numeral value of its own but playing the key role in the system of decimal notation, to express all numbers with nine digits, one to nine and the śūnya as the tenth.The application of śūnya in this system of notation was discovered in India some time in the pre-Christian era. Its concretization in the form of a dot or a small circle and its use in decimal place value system was first transmitted to the Middle-East and thence to Europe to supplant the Greek and Roman systems, and the whole world slowly recognized it as the most scientific system of numeration.
The present volume is the outcome of a joint seminar organized by Indian National Science Academy and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and aims at a documented account of various facets of śūnya in mathematics and astronomy and its various ramifications in philosophy and arts.
RŪPA-PRATIRŪPA: MIND, MAN AND MASKISBN : 81-7305-192-5Edited By :S.C. MALIK,Distributor: Aryan Books International, New Delhi -2
(2001, xli+334pp., line drawings, col. and b&w plates,)
An ancient Indian hymn describes Man’s first conscious reflection on creation as: ” … the contemplative mind conceives of everything from nothing … only Mind was there … neither existent nor non-existent……Read More
… That the Truth is hidden in a golden jar.
… That which covers the Truth, the Mind and the Man, is the Mask”. There are so many traditions all over the world that have basic ground of existence. From this theoretical base several questions may be raised within the contemporary cultural context when alternative ways of future scenarios are being considered: Who is man? What is the Person/Self? The answers may be given in terms of Purusa (cosmic man) in India; in Greece the word Prosopon and the Latin word Persona assumed the meaning of personage. Thus Mind, Man and Person are closely interlinked; and in this context there are diverse concepts, notions and paradigms to the query-”What is Mask?”
It is clear to all that the Mask has the power to reveal as also the power to conceal the “self/Self’. The present volume containing the proceedings of the seminar held at IGNCA in 1998 on “Rūpa-Pratirūpa: Man, Mind and Mask” reflects a turning point in the series of seminars held earlier at IGNCA on the themes: Time (Kāla), Space (Ākāśa), Form (Ākāra) Primal Elements (Prakṛti), Chaos and Order (Ṛta-Ṛta) and Sound (Dhvani). It now deals directly with the human being. It also deals with how humankind has attempted to move into the inner realm of the self/Self and the Mind of Man . Contributors have responded from the viewpoint of their own field of specialization and they reflect views of diverse cultures and societies.
ANCIENT CITIES, SACRED SKIES: COSMIC GEOMETRIES AND CITY PLANNING IN ANCIENT INDIAISBN : 81-7305-189-5Edited By :MCKIM and L. M. GUJRAL , Distributor: Aryan Books International, New Delhi -2
(2000, xii+138pp., line drawings, b&w plates, gloss. index)
The seven technical papers presented here in this volume endeavour to re-create as fully as possible the mind-scape of the people as it effected the structures of their cities……Read More
The cities and landscapes described cover a time span of over 4,500 years from the Harappan city of Dholavira to the great empire of Vijayanagara kings. It also talks about the architects who designed some of the cosmic geometries of these cities
It is hoped that this interdisciplinary study of the subject will facilitate a deeper comprehension of the relationship of the physio-cultural, economic dimensions and the planning and organization of specific territory.
PRAKRTI : THE INTEGRAL VISIONISBN : 81-246-0036-8Edited By :General Editor Kapila VatsyayanRs.3,000.00
Why do we feel warm in the sunlight? Why does the sun feel warm? Is it a physical phenomenon? Is it the body that feels warm? Is it nature that provides warmth? Is it only the sun that provides warmth? Or are there other elements in interaction with the body which produce the warmth?If it is the body that feels warm, then what is body? Is it matter?…..Read MoreIs it an aggregation of five elements?” These ostensibly simple, childlike questions — asked by the distinguished scientist, the late Professor D.S. Kothari, at the very outset of an enlightening talk about three years ago — lead us to one of the mankind’s universal concerns: Prakriti: a Sanskrit equivalent of Nature, in its broadest connotations
Ever since man’s first conscious awareness of the phenomena of nature around him, and yet more of his indispensable dependence in primal elements (bhutas/mahabhutas), Prakriti has evoked varying responses in science, philosophy, religion, arts, and in civilizations as far apart as Egyptian, Chinese, Greek and Indian — permeating expressions through the written or the oral words, generating a language of myth and symbol which communicates across cultures. Already countless myths of the origin of the universe, creation, cosmology and cosmogony have been developed on the concept of the Elements/Bhutas: earth, air, water, fire, and space (ether). Already there exists a vast body of sources and an equally extensive, highly complex history of critical discourse on the nature of primal elements and their indispensability not only to man, but to all life on earth.
Supporting the Rigvedic verse: “Truth is one, (though) man knows it by different names”, Prakriti: The Integral Vision explores, through “different paths”, a single universal theme: the concept of Primal Elements (Bhutas/Mahabhutas): earth, air, water, fire and space, and how this concept has, over the ages, been viewed in different cultures which, undoubtedly, have shaped the evolution of human civilization. The authors, representing a whole variety of academic disciplines, look afresh at folklorist accounts, scriptural literature, religious traditions, and different genres of art to conjure an intergal vision of prakriti — with insightful perspectives on the ‘nature of matter’ and ‘man in nature’.
Prakriti: The Integral Vision assumes an added significance today, when man is threatened by pollution: inner and outer, of his own making. Though contemporary idiom and through illustration, it revalidates the vital importance of primal elements: the very fundamentals that make human life possible on the earth — emphasizing that the maintenance, sustenance and purity of these “primary and primal” elements are not matters of intellectual discourse alone, but have to be the objectives of our life, lest death overtakes us!
Indisputably a monumental work, offered in five inter-locked volumes, Prakriti: The Intergral Vision carries insightful, at once stimulating reflections of the internationally known physicists, biologists, astronomers, chemists, geophysicists on the scientific side, and of the equally renowned scholars of humanities, holistic medicine, ancient Indian literature, Ayurveda and other disciplines — on the traditional side.
Co-Published by : IGNCA and D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd. Sri Kunj, H-12, Bali Nagar, New Delhi – 110 015
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Primal Elements : The Oral Tradition Vol. 1 Vedic, Buddhist and Jain Traditions Vol. 2 The Agamic Tradition and the Arts Vol 3 The Nature of Matter Vol.4 Man in Nature Vol. 5