Overview for Buddhist Art and Thought
"Buddhist Art and Thought" encompasses a number of themes related to the study of cultural interflow among Asian countries, sharing philosophy, literature, arts and architecture, systems of polity and ways of living and thinking. It is a journey through the history of dissemination of Buddhism by monk-scholars in the kingdoms of central Asia, and the discovery of the lost heritage by archeologists of various countries. It throws light on the manifestations of divine forms of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It presents the first step towards classification of innumerable Bodhisattvas in Buddhist art and thought. Other deities of the Buddhist pantheon like Buddhas of the solar cults, protectyors, deified images of kings, Tantric deities and the minor beings assimilated into the Buddhist pantheon, their symbolism and iconography, are also discussed in the book. Form colossal images to luminous mandalas, all the art forms are manifestations of philosophical speculations. Yoga remains the basis of a number of mandalas representing the levels of meditation. Some of the chapters are devoted to the transmission and impact of Buddhist sutras on the development of schools of philosophy like Pure land and zen. Buddhist Sanskrit literature, that was transmitted to and translated into the languages of Tibet, china, Mongolia and other countries, exists as a rich heritage of Asia. The Author also touched upon other topics like Indian scripts, Sanskrit inscriptions and manuscripts, Buddhist ceremonies and rituals beyond the boundaries of India and the contribution of Indologists as pilgrims in the world of vision and intellection.
Prof. Shashibala is a research scientist specialises in art and culture of Asian countries. She is a researcher at the International Academy of Indian Culture, New Delhi for the last thirty years, and has also worked as an adjunct faculty at the National Museum Institute, New Delhi for the last fifteen years. She has to her credit eight research projects and sixty articles presented at various conferences or seminars held in India and abroad besides books published in English and Dutch languages.