Saturday, 27 September 2014

Aryan's Collection 2014

Cosmology and Cosmic Manifestations: Shaiva Thought and Art of Kashmir by Bansi Lal Malla from Aryan Books International.

Indian thought-currents are deeply rooted in the theory and concept of rtam as the framework in which the process of creation, sustenance and dissolution operates. It views man and nature in a holistic perspective. Space, time, primal elements are the essentials as are the primary faculties of sense perceptions. The scholars have been investigating many dimensions of these fundamental concepts. The author in the present book has entered into an intensive holistic dialogue between and amongst disciplines ranging from art history, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy to astro-physics and micro-biology. But, the main premise of the volume is based on the Shaiva thought and art  of  Kashmir.

Kashmir, with its hoary past and bewitching beauty, philosophical intellectualism, mystic spiritualism and artistic traditions is a paradise on earth. It has been crucible for refining human thought, be it the Vaishnava cult, Shakti cult, Shaivism, Buddhism or Sufism. Kashmir has recognized the existence of various paths to reach the  absolute  truth. The present volume gives a detailed account of the interconnectedness of nature, culture and cosmology; and cosmological interpretation of Kashmir Shaivism and its synthesis with the science. It also studies Kashmir Shaivism in its historical perspective, its metaphysics and iconography; and interrelatedness of the Shiva-Shakta cults. The primary sources of images and icons portraying Shaiva themes have been used.

The literary materials have been profusely utilised to reconstruct the history of the Shaiva religion with a view to reinterpret the iconography. The volume is a welcome addition to the rather sporadically treated subject with a considerable material for thought and comparison. With this work, not only the historians of art but anthropologists of religion and scientists of environment, space and cosmological studies would be in a position to follow the fascinating thought trails in Art and Nature.

In our History of Science section, Rs. 2400, in hardback, xxiv+142 pages, ISBN : 9788173055164

Ornamentation In Indian Architecture: Oriental Motifs and Designs by S.P. Verma from Aryan Books International.

For a building to become architecture, it must be thematically essentialized through a process of ornamentation. Oramentation is that component of the art product which is added, or worked into it, for purpose of embellishment. In general, however, “ornamentation” refers to motifs and themes used in art objects, buildings, or any surface without being essential to structure and serviceability.

In Architecture, it often occurs on entablatures, columns, and the tops of buildings and around entryways and windows. The present volume contains a selection of impressive ornamentation in Indian architecture.

In our Art and Architecture section, Rs. 2950, in hardback, xxiv+248 pages, ISBN : 9788173055188

Antiquarian Remains Of Jharkhand: Trade, Caravan Serais, Cultural Exchanges and Power Games by Bulu Imam from Aryan Books International.

Jharkhand is an east Indian state rich in natural, tribal, archaeological and cultural heritage. This work is a first attempt to cover the broad canvas of the region’s rich heritage. The book describes the findings of the author over the last three decades of its largely unknown Lower to Upper Paleolithic archaeological heritage, Mesolithic rock art and village mural painting tradition as a continuous cultural phenomenon. The volume documents in detail over five hundred archaeological sites, and presents them not only from archaeological but ethnographic, historical and cultural perspective.

The main focus of the book is on the Upper Damodar River Valley and Hazaribagh plateau, which is threatened by the unprecedented impacts of opencast coal mining and industrial development. The stark dichotomy between heritage and development is spread before us everywhere in the volume. The author’s researches on the prehistoric rock art of north Jharkhand in the context of an older Paleolithic tradition evidenced in the stone tool strata, as well as the continuity of the prehistoric art in the contemporary living tradition of village mural painting, has opened the way for a dialogue between the meanings of the lost visual tradition (Adi Drishya) and the living artistic traditions of the tribal communities which may explain them.

It is hoped that this comprehensive volume will go a long way in highlighting Jharkhand’s extraordinary rich ethnographic, archaeological, cultural, artistic and environmental heritage and the urgent need for its protection and preservation.

In our Archaeology section, Rs. 1950, in hardback, xvi+550 pages, ISBN : 9788173055294

Nation First: Essays in the Politics of Ancient Indian Studies by Dilip K. Chakrabarti from Aryan Books International.

The book explores various ground realities of the ancient historical and archaeological research in India through some essays and reviews. These realities turn out to be harsh and often demeaning to the nation, but the Indian archaeologists and ancient historians, if they want to serve the nation in any way, should be mindful of this harsh present and play their own parts in changing the situation.

These essays and reviews have been mostly published in various scattered places, and one hopes that their publication in a compact form will highlight the issues they have been concerned with.

In our Archaeology section, Rs. 695, in hardback, xviii+312 pages, ISBN : 9788173055263

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