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Stree Ek Kavya: Woman as Poem: Surasundaris from Patan

Harsha V. Dehejia (Author)

Surasundaris on the walls of Rani-ki-Vav remind us that sensuality is the doorway to spirituality, that growth and fertility are as important as piety and devotion, that even before we undertake dhyana of the deity in the sanctum or in different parts of the vav we must saturate our mind with the beautiful so that we can attain the state of serenity and purnatva. Sensually evocative, beautiful from tresses to the toes, with eyes downcast, surasundaris are an expression of unsurpassed grace. They are a reminder that a woman is the most adorned expression of prakriti, that to indulge in it is to affirm our senses and enrich our mind, but the aesthetic journey does not stop there. The contemplative viewer will see the surasundari as a poem and a song, where every limb and every gesture are the lyrics, the texture of the stone is the rhythm, where metaphor is the key that will unlock the many meanings and suggestions. The stepwell in Patan is perhaps the most admired structure of its kind and is a testament to the imagination and skill of the sthapati and as we walk through its many-tiered pavilion we almost hear the hushed voices of the queen and her retinue that stayed there away from menacing eyes and sweltering heat. Come, tread softly, as you are entering a hallowed space of beauty.  

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About the author

Harsha V. Dehejia

Harsha V. Dehejia has a double doctorate, one in Medicine and the other in Ancient Indian Culture, both from the University of Mumbai. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Glasgow and Canada, all by examination. He is Professor of Religion at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada where he teaches Indian Aesthetics. He has published three books, The Advaita of Art, Parvatidarpana (both by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi) and Parvati, Goddess of Love (by Mapin, Ahmedabad). He is Curatorial Advisor to the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Dr. Dehejia is a practicing physician and lives in Ottawa.

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Bibliographic information

Title Stree Ek Kavya: Woman as Poem: Surasundaris from Patan
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.08.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 9788124609750
length 88p.