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A Celebration of Love: The Romantic Heroine in the Indian Arts

 
Harsha V. Dehejia (Editor)
Synopsis Harsha V. Dehejia has gathered a galaxy of scholars from around the world to take the reader on a journey that celebrates the romantic heroine in the Indian arts. It is a visually rich journey which takes us to opulent havelis and bucolic groves, temples and courtyards, where we meet kings and nobility and also artists and artisans, as we hear whispers of gopis and the footfalls of Krishna. We encounter the nayika in miniature paintings and temple sculptures, pothis and calendars, dance and music but above all hear resonances of her heart throbbing longingly in our own selves for ultimately the nayika in the Indian tradition is a paradigm of the perennial quest of mankind for a divine and transcendent love. At the heart of the many and varied artistic expressions of the romantic sentiment is the nayika or the heroine. Her various adornments and trysts, the many moods of her love realized through amorous moments of longing or belonging, her strong presence in the Krishna lore and equally in the Sufi narratives, her portrayals in the Ragamala and the Barahmasa traditions of poetry and painting, through the beautiful depictions in miniature paintings as well as popular arts, have captivated our attention through the many centuries of Indian artistic representations. Her footfalls have been heard in courts and temples, she has been celebrated by the raja and the praja, she has a presence in homes and mansions and her persona resonates in enchanted forests and groves. She is all this and more, but above all she is the epitome of perfect beauty and the paradigm of the seeker of ultimate reality. In these essays, she comes alive in all her splendour and radiance, she captures our attention through her sheer sensuality as she looks into the mirror and prepares for that special moment. She delights in the many romantic situations and brings alive the concept of bhakti shringara or a certain spirituality that can only arise from indulging in love, but above all she stands self-assured and dignified, whispering that not only is there truth in love but that love is truth.
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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 A Celebration of Love: The Romantic Heroine in the Indian Arts
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Roli Books
Language: English
isbn 8174363025
length 304p. Col. Plates; 29cm.