Texts from the Puranas
CITRASUTRAM VISNUDHARMOTTARA PURANAISBN : 81-208-1805-9Edited By :PARUL DAVE MUKHERJI
(2001, xlv+293pp, line drawings, bibl., gloss.)
The Citrasūtra belongs to the Viṣṇudharmottra Purāṇa, Kāṇḍa III, Chapters 35-43. The Purāṇas – Agni, Viṣṇu, Matsya and Mārkaṇḍeya – provide a necessary bridge between the ritual texts and the texts of the particular arts. The Purāṇas are neither a sub-stream of popular discourse as considered by some nor are they narratives of complex mythologies and legends manifesting flights of poetic imagination or shrouding social histories only. Read MoreIndeed they are another mode of communicating the same ontological and epistemological concerns of the Vedas and the Upniṣads and the systematization of method of the Brāhmaṇas as they provide another method of relating the abstract and the concrete, the universal and the specific, the philosophic and the artistic. The chapters on the arts in the Purāṇa have to be comprehended against the larger concerns. There is the endeavour to contain multi-dimensions of concepts and meanings through narrative myth and its transformation into a vocabulary of formal elements in the arts, singly and together.
The Viṣṇudharmottara Purāṇa occupies a predominant position among the Upapurāṇas and is also related to the discourse within the Purāṇas. Moreover it is central to the discourse on the arts, both preceding and succeeding it. The voluminous text can be viewed only within the framework of the Purāṇas or it can be placed through Khaṇḍa III in the mainstream of the discourse on the arts from the Nātyaśāstra to the medieval texts. Its contents can be profitably compared with those of both its predecessors as also successors.
The Citrasūtra constitutes an important cluster in the larger concerns of the Viṣṇudharmottara Purāṇa on both the nature of art, artistic expression and communication as also its insistence on establishing a meaningful interdependence and inter-relationship between and among the arts.
KALIKAPURANE MURTIVINIRDESAHISBN : 81-208-1124-0Edited By :BISWANARAYANA SHASTRI
Most of the Purāṇas contain sections devoted to the arts. In some they provide context while in others, they are akin to the texts of form and technique, specially śilpa, citra, nāṭya and nṛtya. A free narrative style of the Purāṇas facilitates an understanding of the śilpa (i.e. measurement, proportion and iconography)…Read Moreand the Āgama aspect (i.e. ritual and the worship methodologies) together.Also, since the Purāṇas are texts which move freely in time and space, social strata, they are able to make connections between different levels of society as also in different periods of history.
The present volume Kālikāpuraṇe Mūrtivinirdeśaḥ, is a selection of 550 verses from the Kālikā Purāṇa roughly ascribed to the period between tenth and eleventh
centuries CE. It is an important landmark for understanding the iconography as also the ritual practices related to Śaiva images particularly the Devī in eastern India. The sculptured style of medieval eastern India is distinctive and cannot be mistaken for contemporary sculptural style prevalent in Bengal and Orissa. What is true of the sculptural style is also true of the iconographical details of images from Assam and specially some only recently excavated and housed in the Assam State Museum.
For understanding the iconography of these images, the Kālikā Purāṇa is an indispensable tool. The detailed descriptions enable one to comprehend the particularities of the iconographical details. The Purāṇa is specially concerned with Kāmākhyā, Kālī and Kāpālī-Bhairavi. The fusion of the legend and the iconographical details can, no doubt, help in further interpretative work on eastern India sculpture.
Equally significant are the sections relating to the methodogies of worship through rituals. Very fine and sensitive details are enumerated as to how to meditate upon and worship the Goddess specially Kāmeśvarī (Kāmākhyā).
NATYASASTRA OF MUNI BHARATA – Volume-1ISBN : 978-81-208-3984-7(Vol.1), 978-81-208-3985-4(set)Edited By :KAMALESH DATTA TRIPATHI