Collected Works of Ananda K Coomaraswamy Series
A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ANANDA KENTISH COOMARASWAMYISBN : 81-7304-428-7Edited By :James S. Crouch
The volume documents the remarkably productive career of one of the great minds of the twentieth century. This comprehensive and accurate bibliography is the result of more than twenty years of devoted research and scholarship. Its publication is an event of the first importance for all scholars of Indian art and religion…Read MoreMoreover, it is an equally invaluable reference work for anyone concerned with the study of comparative religion, mythology, traditional metaphysics, iconography and symbolism, in general. It describes in detail American, English and Indian first editions of ninety-five books and pamphlets by Coomaraswamy, with descriptions of ninety-six books containing contributions by him to periodicals and newspapers (as well as translations of his writings). It also lists 420 reviews of Coomaraswamy’s books and 216 other items about him and his works. All entries are fully annotated and a complete index is provided.
ESSAYS OF JAINA ARTISBN : 81-7304-534-8Edited By :RICHARD J. COHEN
This volume deals with Coomaraswamy’s contribution to the study of Jaina art.
His writings on Jaina art span the entire period of his active working life as an art historian. He published his first article on the subject in 1914 and ended with a book review in 1943, four years before his death…Read MoreJaina art and its symbolic inventory held a special place in Coomaraswamy’s formulation of the history of Indian painting, indeed Indian civilization itself. He was the first to recognize its chronological place in the succession of style. The Jaina paintings are not only important for the student of Jaina iconography and archaeology which are illustrative of costumes, manners and customs, but are of greater interest because they are the oldest Indian paintings on paper, representing an almost unknown school of lndian art.
Holding the view that in order to make these paintings fully comprehensible, a short account of Jainism and of the legends of Mahāvīra and Kālakācārya, which are the main subject of the paintings is given in this volume. The chapters that follow deal with the explanation of various terms; Jaina cosmology; aesthetics and relationships of Jaina painting; the illustrated Jaina manuscripts; description of the figures; followed by a large number of illustrations.
Richard J. Cohen, an eminent American Indologist, has edited the book painstakingly, consulting not only the author’s authentic corrections, but also all the material available in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Library of the University of Pennsylvania. It is hoped that Coomaraswamy’s seminal and profound contribution to the study of Indian painting will benefit not only art historians, but also artists.
ESSAYS ON MUSICISBN : 81-7304-611-5Edited By :PREM LATA SHARMA
(2010, 153, Preface, Introduction)
These essays were published in a few books, journals, etc., mostly in the early years of the twentieth century. Coomaraswamy held that music in countless ways had been bound up with the Indian national culture, for it was the most universal expression of emotion-religious, amorous or martial… Read MoreMusic belonged to every part of life. The flute of Kṛṣṇa, the vīṇā of Sarasvatī, the dance of Śiva, the Gāyatrī as cosmic chant or music of the spheres; the hymns of passionate adoration of the southern Śaivite, all these belong to the association of music and religion.
In addition to the art of music, Coomarasway lays great emphasis on the folk songs of agriculture and crafts. This music is serving to lighten heavy labour, such as the songs of husbandmen, carters and boatmen. Music remained too intimately associated with religion, with drama and with life, whether courtly or popular and was faithfully guarded by tradition.
Coomaraswamy was much against the harmonium and gramophone, when compared to stringed instruments; even the piano, he held, was an inferior instrument. Every time these mechanical instruments were used in place of man, the Indian musician was degraded, his living was taken from him and the group soul of Indian life injured. Among musical instruments, he gave pride of place to the vīṇā.
He firmly believed that the importance of music in education can hardly be overestimated. He bemoaned that foreign (English) education had paralysed the living impulses of lndians, and driven India to a state of social disintegration. He advocated that the restoration of Indian folk and art music to its proper place in Indian education would result in the understanding of the self-expression of India in her music.
THE TRUE SCHOLARISBN :Edited By :Roger Lipsey
(2013, 47 pp.)
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy(1877-1947) remains a unique and inspring scholar and author across the many fields of study he made his own. One of the foremost founders of Indian art history, he was the first to distinguish between Rajput and Moghul painting, and built a…Read Moremagnificent collection in the early decades of the twentieth century, now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he was a curator and later research fellow from 1917 forward. In those years his catalogues, monographs, and studies of motifs and iconographies a set a standard of rigour and comprehensiveness. In later years, from the early 1930s, Coomaraswamy’s interests widened to include scripture and religious thought, which became the basis for profound investigations of traditional religious art in India and the West. A new model of art historiography and cross-cultural text study emerged in his writings : austere, often intricate, endowed with authority yet lightened by clarity of insight. He once wrote about a theme in Indian myth: the “patriarch’s voyage” across a sea slanting upwards. His was such a voyage.
THEORY AND PRACTICE OF TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE IN MEDIEVAL INDIAISBN : 13 : 978-93-81406-41-0Edited By :Adam Hardy
(2015, xiv+293pp.,inÎ, Bib., Illus. col., maps and line drawings)
This book is about Vastuvidya or Architectural theory, the creation of temples, and the role of drawing as an indispensible bridge between the two. It focuses on two works attributed to Bhoja, the legendary Paramara ruler of Malwa in the first half of the eleventh century…Read MoreThe first of these is his vastly ambitious, but unfinished, royal temple at Bhojpur, with its unique set of architectural drawings engraved on the surrounding rocks. These beautiful drawings, documented here for the first time, provide insights into construction processes and glimpses of hitherto unknown temple forms. They also hold the key to the intended design of the Bhojpur temple itself, which would have been by far the biggest Hindu temple in the world.
The other main focus of this study is Bhoja’s great compendium of architectural knowledge known as the Samaranganasutradhara, a project of comparable ambition to his temple. This famous Vastusastra was compiled at a moment when the classical traditions of Indian architecture had blossomed into abundant maturity, and could be understood in relation to one another, in all their diversity.
As illustrated by numerous photographs, the text describes types known among surviving monuments, as well as many others probably never built. Far from being a straightjacket and an impediment to growth, the text is revealed both as full of architectural invention, and as a framework and a stimulus to further creativity. This book will allow the reader to begin to understand the temple architecture of medieval India through the eyes of its creators.
TIME AND ETERNITYISBN : 81-85503-00-1
(1990, viii+107 pp. bib., ref., index)
Man’s awareness of Time has been articulated in ancient and modern civilizations through cosmologies, metaphysics, philosophy, religion, theology and the arts….Read MoreCoomaraswamy propounds that though we live in Time, our deliverance lies in eternity. All religions make this
distinction between what is merely “everlasting” (or “perpetual”) and what is eternal. To probe into this mystery Coomaraswamy provides us with a detailed account of the teachings of each of the main world religions. Present edition embodies all marginal corrections which Coomaraswamy made on the first edition published during
1947 in Ascona, Switzerland.
ART, AESTHETICS AND PHILOSOPHYISBN : 978-81-246-0764-0Edited By :S.G.KULKARNI & KAVITA CHAUHAN
The savants of the twentieth century have excavated the past to discerningly reveal the present. Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi and Ananda Coomaraswamy, among other, interpreted Indian aesthetics, civilization, culture and philosophy unearthing the Indian wisdom…Read Moreagainst the wrong interpretations and teachings of the Western colonial scholars. This volume, a collection of papers presented at a national seminar on the Philosophy of Ananda Coomaraswamy held in February 2011, approaches Commaraswamy’s philosophy on Indian aesthetics, life and religion from different perspectives.
ELEMENTS OF BUDDHIST ICONOGRAPHYISBN : 81-7304-432-5Edited By :KRISHNA DEVA
The Elements of Buddhist iconography was first published by the Harvard University Press in 1935. This new edition, Read Moreably edited and revised by Krishna Deva has been enriched by incorporating the additions made by Coomaraswamy in his own hand in his personal copy.
This volume is a sustained demonstration of Coomaraswamy’s knowledge of the external features… of iconography, his knowledge of the entire metaphysical tradition underlying the iconography, as well as the corresponding traditions in Islam and Christianity. It is a demonstration of the characteristic of a universe of discourse based on a detailed textual, iconographic and comparative studies that include the metaphysics phraseologies and iconographies of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.
Buddhist art in India begins about the second century BCE, with a well-developed set of symbols in its iconography. But it does not seem possible to completely separate Buddhism as religion
and art from the main current of lndian religion and art, or to think these symbols suddenly developed as a new creation. Coomaraswamy believes that the source of early iconography of the Buddhist art is in still earlier Vedic and Upanisadic conceptions. In addition, he noticed many surprising similarities between passages in the Vedic literature and in the medieval Christian theologians and mystics. The illuminating parallels found in the non-Indian traditions convinced him that mystical theology the world over is the same.
The present study deals with the basic symbols of Buddhist art, viz. the Tree of Life, the Earth-Lotus, the Word-Wheel, the Lotus-Throne and the Fiery Pillar, and shows that these symbols can be traced back beyond their first representation in Buddhist iconography through the an iconic period of the Brāhmanical Vedas, even into the Ṛgvedic period itself, and that they represent a universal Indian symbolism and set of theological concepts.
ESSAYS IN ARCHITECTURAL THEORYISBN : 0-19-563805-0Edited By :Michael W.Meister
(1995 xxiii+122 pp. figs, notes, appen., indexes)
This volume presents the essays that best represent Coomaraswamy’s rapidly developing thinking on the hermeneutics of architecture-its “why” not ‘how”. These can best be understood in the order in which they were written…Read MoreFrom a discussion of the “Pāli Kaṇṇikā: Circular Roof-plate” of ancient wooden construction in 1930,Coomaraswamy moved on to a much more widely ranging metaphysical exploration of ‘The Symbolism of the Dome” (1938). He made a conceptual leap to connect the physiognomy of costume with architectural meaning in his essay on “Uṣṇīśa and Chatra: Turban and Umbrella” (1938); profoundly connected “Decoration” to essential meaning in “Ornament” (1939); and extended the “significant form” of architecture to that which transforms men in “Svayamātṛṇṇā: Janua Coeli” (1939). A summing-up essay on “An Indian Temple: The Kandarīya Mahādeo” (1947), published in the year of his death, placed the form of the temple at the still centre of Coomaraswamy’s thought.
ESSAYS IN EARLY INDIAN ARCHITECTUREISBN : 019-563094-7Edited By :Michael W.Meister
(1995, xxviii+151 pp.)
Three of Coomaraswamy’s essays which were published in a journal Eastern Art, published by the Fledgling College Art Association and the fourth essay on “Huts and Related Temple Types” survived only in manuscripts have made access to Coomaraswamy’s accomplishments in the area difficult for most students and scholars…Read MoreThis volume for the first time brings together four major essays along with Coomaraswamy’s analysis of “Indian Architectural Terms”. An introductory essay by Michael W. Meister on “The Language and Process of Early Indian Architecture” connects Coomaraswamy’s foundational essays with more recent scholarship on the origination of India’s vast tradition of temple achitecture. An afterword, with Joseph Rykwert, on “Adam’s House and Hermits’ Huts”, presents a conversation with a major Western architectural historian concerning Coomaraswamy and the profound utility and significance of his work.