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The Tibetan Iconography of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and other Deities

 
Fredrick W. Bunce (Author) Lokesh Chandra (Author)
Synopsis Beginning with a few aniconic symbols, like footprints, the Bo tree or stupas, in the pre-christian Indian art, Buddhism, over the centuries, came to evolve a bewildering array of deities - in ever-increasing number of pantheons. Interestingly, in Buddhism today, there are perhaps as many pantheons as there are countries, or internal regions or sects within them. Chou Fo P'u-sa sheng Hsiang Tsan, in focus here, is one of these many Buddhist pantheons and acknowledgedly the 'culmination of Lamaist art'. Authored by Rol.Pahi.rdo.rje, alias Lalitavajra, (17171786): an imperial preceptor of Emperor Ch'ien-lung (1736-1795), it is a rare set of 360 wood-cuts/xylographs, representing varying forms and manifestations of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, tantric and tutelary deities, arhats, sages, teachers, dharmapalas and protective divinities. It is also accompanied by 360 'eulogies' in Chinese. Two internationally distinguished scholars here team up to present afresh the Chou Fo P'u-sa Sheng Hsiang Tsan, aptly called 'a unique pantheon'. Drawing together all the 360 wood-cut images in their vividly enlarged/enhanced versions - without compromising their aesthetic integrity, the book not only captures their subtle iconic devices, but spells out as well, in meticulous detail, all their iconic attributes, like body postures, faces, arms/hands, mudras, asanas, vahanas, companions, and whether clam or wrathful. The book also incorporates the names of each deity/ deity-form in Sanskrit, Manchu, Monogolian, Tibetan, and Chinese. Unveiling, for the first time, the images of a veritably unique pantheon, in their enlarged format, and their accompanying Chinese eulogies, the book is bound to fascinate anyone concerned with Buddhist art and iconography.
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About the authors

Fredrick W. Bunce

Fredrick W. Bunce, a Ph.D. (Comparative Arts) from the Ohio University Athens, Ohio, USA, is a cultural historian of international repute. Now Professor Emeritus of Art, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, he has lectured at learned forums and published on a variety of art-related themes. And has held many a solo exhibition at different art galleries, art museums and universities; besides his participation in the artist's guild/faculty/other ventures of the kind. A scholar with varied intellectual/research concerns - notwithstanding his specializations in iconography, particularly Oriental and Buddhist Arts, Professor Bunce has been legitimately honoured with certain notable awards/commendations, and is listed in Who's Who in American Art and also the International Biographical Dictionary: 1980-present. Among his published books are: Encyclopaedia of Buddhist Deities (2 Vols.); Encyclopaedia of Hindu Deities (3 vols.); Dictionary of Buddhist and Hindu Iconography; and Yantra of Deities and their Numerological Foundations, all published by D.K. Printworld.

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Lokesh Chandra

Prof. Lokesh Chandra is a renowned scholar of Tibetan, Mongolian and Sino-Japanese Buddhism. He has to his credit over 400 works and text editions. Among them are classics like his Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary, Materials for a History of Tibetan Literature, Buddhist Iconography of Tibet, and the present Dictionary of Buddhist Art in about 20 volumes. Prof. Lokesh Chandra was nominated by the President of the Republic of India to the Parliament in 1974-80 and again in 1980-86. He has been a Vice-President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research. Presently he is Director, International Academy of Indian Culture.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Tibetan Iconography of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and other Deities
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 812460178x
length xxiii+784p., 360 B/w plates; Bibliography; Index; 29cm.

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