Overview for Vedic Roots of Hindu Iconography
This book explores the Hindu iconography from the Vedic to recent period in time and space that would dispel many misconceptions. The first few articles deal with Agni, the fire of Vedas. The fire has two inherent powers, the consuming heat energy and illuminating beneficial energy, which they called on one hand as Rudra and on the other Vishnu. Similarly Rudra is like the father and the benevolent energy of the same fire, insuperable, is called mother devi Parvati, the male and the female, in one and the same form as Ardhanari. Most of the important iconographic visualizations arise from such syncretic forms that are dealt with in this volume. For example the concept of Linga or Varaha, gives so many layers that are properly focused that would come as revelations. At another level some individual manifestations like Andhakasuravadha or Nataraja are rooted in Vedic understanding of darkness and light. The writings of some that there was no worship of feminine power in the Vedic age, is shown as pedestrian, worthy of outright rejection. Similarly some hold that the Muruga Kartikeya is exclusive and the earliest god of the Tamil is disproved and shown here as a Sanskrit word Mrgya in Prakrit form. The origin of Rama and Krishna and their place in the chronological perspective is given in detail with epigraphical evidence and disproved some of the abysmal ignorance of some professorial claimants. Each article with references and notes is thought provoking, original and linked to the factual utterances which is absolutely necessary for those who seek proper approach to the subject.
R Nagaswamy (Author)
Dr. R. Nagaswamy, is the author of many books in English and Tamil including Master pieces of South Indian Bronzes, Siva Bhakti etc. He has also edited several books including Foundations of Indian Art (Proceedings of the Chidambaram Seminar on Art and Religion). He has organized several District, State, National and International Conferences like the International conference on Mahabharata-Madras, 2003. Dr. R. Nagaswamyu has delivered lectures in almost all leading Universities of the world spread over France, Germany, Denmark, USSR, Sweden, UK, Canada and USA (including at Harvard, Pennsylvania, Cornell, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Austin, South Carolina and Other places). He has toured in Thailand and Combodia and made an extensive study of South East Asian Art, Monuments, Religion and Inscriptions. He directed Sound and Light programme at the 17th cent. Nayak Palace at Madurai and was the first to undertake Underwater Archaeological exploration off the coast of Pumpuhar in Tamilnadu. Appeared as an expert witness in the London High Court on behalf of Government of India, in the famous London Nataraja Case. He is the recipient of several public honours including the title Kalaimamani conferred by the Government of Tamil Nadu for his signal contribution to Tamil art and literature. He is the Founder Trustee of the Chidambaram Natyanjali Trust. Justice Ian Kennedy, Judge, London High Court, mentioned in his judgement (1988) that 'Dr. R. Nagaswamy, I am satisfied, is an unequalled expert in his subject'.