Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Your Cart (0)
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Buddhist > Development of Buddhist Iconography in Eastern India : A study of Tara, Prajnas of Five Tathagatas and Bhrikuti
Displaying 746 of 1684         Previous  |  NextSubscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Development of Buddhist Iconography in Eastern India : A study of Tara, Prajnas of Five Tathagatas and Bhrikuti
Pages from the book
Development of Buddhist Iconography in Eastern India : A study of Tara, Prajnas of Five Tathagatas and Bhrikuti
Look Inside the Book
Description

 

From the Jacket:

This book represents an important landmark in the study of the Buddhist iconography, particularly of the Buddhist female divinities. It goes to the credit of Dr(Mrs) Mallar Ghosh to brave her way through a wide maze of literary and archaeological data gleaned not merely from Indian context but also from Burma, China, Java, Nepal and Tibet to produce this erudite and, at the same time, admirably readable volume. Being a painstaking scholar noted for meticulousness, she has incorporated in all minuteness the description of the iconographical features of deities and their various forms, all based on textual prescriptions and development of the concept of certain Buddhist deities.

 

The book has five chapters, the first one dealing with a general introduction. In the second, a critical reassessment of the existing notions about the origin of Tara and place of her origin has been made. She has shown here that Tara owed her origin to the concept of Devi and it was Eastern India which gave rise to this most powerful goddess of the Buddhist pantheon. The third chapter is devoted to Tara and seven of her manifestations. Dr. Ghosh has clearly brought out how Tara's gradual evolution resulted in myriads of forms, including a few which are her own discovery. In the fourth chapter she has made an elaborate study of the little known Prajnas(Buddhasaktis) of the five Tathagatas (Dhyani Buddhas) and it goes entirely to her credit to identify a good number of forms of each of them. The fifth chapter is on Bhrikuti, a form which is distinctive from Tara inspired by the goddess Parvati of the Brahmanical tradition; indeed, her study revealed at least thirty varieties of Bhrikuti. Undoubtedly this is one of the best studies in recent times on Buddhist iconography and will prove to been indispensable volume to students of Buddhist art and religion.

Preface

THE book deals with the origin of Tara, her gradual evolution resulting in myriads of forms and a detailed study of seven of her manifestations (Aryashtamahabhaya- Tara, Mahattari- Tara, Simhanada- Tara, Durgottarini- Tara, Mahasri- Tara, Arya-Khadiravani- Tara and Vajra-Tara), besides Prajnas (Lochana, Mamaki, Pandara, Tara and Vajradhatvis- vari) of the five Tathagatas and Bhrikuti. The method followed in the preparation of the work is both historical and descriptive. Thus, apart from the description of the iconographical features of the deities based on textual prescriptions and on visual representations, endeavours have been made to trace the rise and development of the concept of the deities and to treat them chronologically as far as possible. Attempts have also been made to probe into different iconographical concepts and interpretations of the symbols. As many varieties of forms of these deities as could be collected from different sources were surveyed in this work.

The sources utilized in the study are both literary and archaeological. I have tried within my limited means and time to utilize all the books and published articles on the subject. My first-hand knowledge of the images and sculptures is confined to collections in the National Museum, New Delhi, the Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar, and the Indian Museum, the Asutosh Museum and the Museum of the State Department of Archaeology, Calcutta. For the rest of the archaeological material, I had to depend on the published illustrations and unpublished photographs in the photo-archive of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.

The present book, apart from some additions, embodies the entire matter of my thesis which was approved in 1973 by the University of Delhi for the Ph. D. Degree. As a research student of the Department of Buddhist Studies of this University, I worked under Shrimati Sudha Sengupta to whom I am greatly indebted for her keen interst in my work in the field of Buddhist iconography. To Dr. R.C. Pandeya, the then Professor of that Department, I am particularly grateful not only for his helpful interest but for having allowed me the privilege of a scholarship for a part of my research period. I am also beholden to Shri B. B. Datta who took infinite pains in typing out the manuscript commendably within a remarkably short time.

I shall be failing in my duty if I do not gratefully acknowledge the Archaeological Survey of India for the facilities provided by the rich library and the photo-archive of that Department. Most of the photographs published in this book are the copyright of the Archaeological Survey of India.

I am immensely grateful to the University of Delhi for permitting me to publish the thesis in the book form. My thanks are also due to Messrs Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, for having readily accepted the manuscript for publication.

 

Introduction

HERE was a bewilderingly large number of gods and goddesses in the Buddhist pantheon which developed inordinately in the Vajrayana phase of Buddhism. The process of deification, which started hesitatingly with the change in the doctrine of early Bud- dhism leading to the rise of Mahayana and ushered in a number of elementary Bodhisattvas in the early centuries of the Christian era, gained momentum when the Yogachara philosophy was fully developed and inculcated in the Gupta period. This process accelerated beyond all bounds with further doctrinal changes leading to the full-fledged development of Tantric Buddhism during the Pala period. Vajrayana enunciated a deeply esoteric system of sadhanas with emphasis on kriyas, mantras and mandalas. The primitive pantheon was, consequently, enlarged into a highly elaborate one with Adi-Buddha, Dhyani-Buddhas (Tathagatas) and the latter's emanations in the form of a host of divine Bodhisattvas and female divinities. Each of them was given a sacred bija-mantra , or rather they were conceived as the concrete manifesta- tions of the transformation of these germ syllables. The Vajrayanists did not stop with this. They went on extending the pantheon with increasing vigour. Even the individual syllable of a mantra was deified. Not resting satisfied with the deification of Nakshatras, Rasis, Kalas, Paramitas, Vasitas, pujopakaranas (like flower, incense, lamp, gandha, etc.) and dyudhas, the Vajrayanists went to the extent of imparting divine concepts and iconographical features to all kinds of human desires, both sublime and low (e.g. bhojanechchh and uchchatanechchha). Furthermore, they resorted to the proliferation of the forms of the individual divinities already incorporated into the pantheon. Thus, Avalokitesvara came to be represented in as many as one hundred and eight forms with distinct features and names.

This enormous increase in the number of deities of the Buddhist pantheon is not merely due to the growth and development of the doctrine and ideological concepts. There are other factors accounting for this. Chief among these are the keen competition faced by the Bud- dhists to maintain their hold over the laity and the missionary zeal to bring people of various creeds within their fold in view of the formidable strength of other religious systems, particu- larly of the all-pervasive Brahmanism. In order to convert people saturated with the Brahma- nical concepts, the Buddhists did not hesitate to make compromises of various kinds and degrees. For instance, they evolved divinities having the essence of some of the principal deities of the Brahmanical sects with which the laity was familiar; deities were also evolved to disgrace Brahmanical gods and goddesses (e.g. Harihariharivahanodbhava-Lokesvara with Vishnu as a mount of Avalokitesvara, Trailokyavijaya trampling on Mahesvara and Gauri, Aparajita trampling on Ganesa and having Brahma as her parasol-bearer and Prasanna-Tara with Indra, Upendra, Rudra and Brahma below her feet). They went even to the extent of incorporating bodily a good number of Brahmanical gods and goddesses as subordinate divinities within the mandalas.

Another factor which is generally lost sight of is the effect of the expansion of Buddhism beyond the frontiers of India, particularly in Tibet. Though Tibet received the message of' Sakya- muni through the two Buddhist queens (one a Chinese princess and the other a Nepalese one) of Sron-btsan sgam-po of Tibet in the second quarter of the seventh century A.D., Buddhism could not make much headway due to the strong grip of the native religion, called Bon, which inculcated worship of nature and various spirits and even demonolatry with animal and human sacrifices. The Buddhist religion got a firm footing only through the efforts of Padma- sambhava, the Indian teacher of the Yogachara School, who, having been invited by King Ti-sron Do-tsan, landed in Tibet in the middle of the eighth century A.D. To make the religion acceptable to the common people, Padmasambhava did not hesitate to make a comp- romise with the native religion by freely admitting their demonical deities and rites in the Buddhist pantheon and thus became the founder of Lamaism, a fusion of Mahayana Buddhism and Bon. The close intercourse between India and Tibet since then resulted in the introduc- tion of several adventitious concepts and deities in Indian Buddhist pantheon. Some of the terrible forms conceived in the sadhanas are, presumably, due to the influence of Tibetan Lamaism.

A. Foucher laid the foundation of the iconographic study of the Buddhist pantheon by bringing to light a good number of sadhanas and noticing several images conforming to these sadhanas. The service of Benoytosh Bhattacharyya to the cause of Buddhist iconography is, in fact, inestimable. He opened the door to the interested students and scholars not only by publishing the texts of the entire Sadlhanamala, the Guhyasamaja-tantra and the Nishpannayo- gavali but by his erudite survey of the majority of the deities in his Indian Buddhist Iconogra- phy. However, in the last work his approach is mostly descriptive, based generally on the Sadhanamala and occasionally on the Nishpannayogavali. He illustrated many of the deities conceived in the sadhanas with photographs of images, paintings and drawings, a good number of which, however, emanated from Nepal.

Of late, there has been a tendency to underestimate the work of Benoytosh Bhattacharyya by laying emphasis on the fact that he did not tap adequately the archaeological sources of India and unpublished manuscripts, several of which help us considerably in the interpretation of the images discovered in India. As a matter of fact, the Sadhanamala and the Nishpannayo- gavali, taken together, though quite comprehensive, are not certainly exhaustive. This is evi- dent from the find of several images which, though earlier than the compilation and composi- tion of these two texts, have no prescription in them. Further, the Nishpannayogavali was written by Abhayakaragupta, a contemporary of Ramapala (circa A.D. 1077-1120), and the date of the earliest available manuscript of the Sadhanamala, containing 312 sadhanas composed by various acharyas of different dates, is A.D. 1165. Consequently, they do not record the subsequent developments which can only be found out in later texts lying in manuscript form in various libraries and private collections. Further, the Sadhanamla, being a liturgical book, cannot be expected to throw light on the growth and development of the concepts of various deities. The contribution of the Nishpannayogavali in this particular respect is practically nil. In fact, this work may be termed as a hand-book for the Mandalacharyas, image-makers and painters of tankas.

However, one should not forget the great service of Bhattacharyya who paved the way for his successors. In view of the numerous deities of the pantheon with the complex character of their varied forms, it is, in fact, impossible for a single individual to treat comprehensively the entire range. It is, therefore, essential that instead of handling many deities in general, we should concentrate on limited number of deities by making our study as much comprehensive as possible, involving exploration and scrutiny of various sources, both Indian and foreign. Even then, the study will not be exhaustive, as future excavations and discovery of new manuscripts are sure to bring to light fresh material which will further the cause of Buddhist iconography. One has, therefore, to keep one's mind always open.

Following Bhattacharyya, several scholars have entered this field, some having made significant contributions. Among them mention may be made of E. Conze, remarkable for his study of Prajnaparamita, Pratapaditya Pal for his erudite treatment of Amoghapasa and Vasu- dharii and J.E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw for her study of the iconography of Chunda. B.N. Mukhopadhyaya has shown the necessity of consulting the manuscripts of the ritualistic texts by finding textual prescriptions for the six-armed images of Vasudhara in the Vasundharoddesa and Vasundharavratotpattyavadana, two unpublished manuscripts in the collection of the Asiatic Society. Again, D.C. Bhattacharyya pointed out the relevant text, an unpublished manuscript of the Pancharaksha, also in the collection of the Asiatic Society, for a four-armed image identi- fied by Debala Mitra with Mahamayuri.

The study of Buddhist iconography, so far made, is, however, by no means exhaustive. There is enough scope for many workers in this field. Further, most of the studies accomp- lished till now is far from comprehensive. The distinguished scholar, who may rightly be called a pioneer in this direction, is Marie- Therese de Mallmann. In her two voluminous and masterly publications, one on Avalokitesvara and the other on Manjusri, she has embodied the result of an intensive study on two of the Bodhisattvas, practically on the basis of texts and photographs. The available material in the case of most of the other divinities may not be as much; yet it is fairly sumptuous, if scholars would only care to probe deeper. The ground- work had been prepared by Bhattacharyya, and Mallmann showed the way for the future line of work. It is now high time that scholars undertook an intensive study of the various aspects of the individual deities instead of stray, isolated and superficial studies with mere iteration of physical features and attributes.

 

Preface

THE book deals with the origin of Tara, her gradual evolution resulting in myriads of forms and a detailed study of seven of her manifestations (Aryashtamahabhaya- Tara, Mahattari- Tara, Simhanada- Tara, Durgottarini- Tara, Mahasri- Tara, Arya-Khadiravani- Tara and Vajra-Tara), besides Prajnas (Lochana, Mamaki, Pandara, Tara and Vajradhatvis- vari) of the five Tathagatas and Bhrikuti. The method followed in the preparation of the work is both historical and descriptive. Thus, apart from the description of the iconographical features of the deities based on textual prescriptions and on visual representations, endeavours have been made to trace the rise and development of the concept of the deities and to treat them chronologically as far as possible. Attempts have also been made to probe into different iconographical concepts and interpretations of the symbols. As many varieties of forms of these deities as could be collected from different sources were surveyed in this work.

The sources utilized in the study are both literary and archaeological. I have tried within my limited means and time to utilize all the books and published articles on the subject. My first-hand knowledge of the images and sculptures is confined to collections in the National Museum, New Delhi, the Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar, and the Indian Museum, the Asutosh Museum and the Museum of the State Department of Archaeology, Calcutta. For the rest of the archaeological material, I had to depend on the published illustrations and unpublished photographs in the photo-archive of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.

The present book, apart from some additions, embodies the entire matter of my thesis which was approved in 1973 by the University of Delhi for the Ph. D. Degree. As a research student of the Department of Buddhist Studies of this University, I worked under Shrimati Sudha Sengupta to whom I am greatly indebted for her keen interst in my work in the field of Buddhist iconography. To Dr. R.C. Pandeya, the then Professor of that Department, I am particularly grateful not only for his helpful interest but for having allowed me the privilege of a scholarship for a part of my research period. I am also beholden to Shri B. B. Datta who took infinite pains in typing out the manuscript commendably within a remarkably short time.

I shall be failing in my duty if I do not gratefully acknowledge the Archaeological Survey of India for the facilities provided by the rich library and the photo-archive of that Department. Most of the photographs published in this book are the copyright of the Archaeological Survey of India.

I am immensely grateful to the University of Delhi for permitting me to publish the thesis in the book form. My thanks are also due to Messrs Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, for having readily accepted the manuscript for publication.

MALLAR GHOSH

Introduction

HERE was a bewilderingly large number of gods and goddesses in the Buddhist pantheon which developed inordinately in the Vajrayana phase of Buddhism. The process of deification, which started hesitatingly with the change in the doctrine of early Bud- dhism leading to the rise of Mahayana and ushered in a number of elementary Bodhisattvas in the early centuries of the Christian era, gained momentum when the Yogachara philosophy was fully developed and inculcated in the Gupta period. This process accelerated beyond all bounds with further doctrinal changes leading to the full-fledged development of Tantric Buddhism during the Pala period. Vajrayana enunciated a deeply esoteric system of sadhanas with emphasis on kriyas, mantras and mandalas. The primitive pantheon was, consequently, enlarged into a highly elaborate one with Adi-Buddha, Dhyani-Buddhas (Tathagatas) and the latter's emanations in the form of a host of divine Bodhisattvas and female divinities. Each of them was given a sacred bija-mantra , or rather they were conceived as the concrete manifesta- tions of the transformation of these germ syllables. The Vajrayanists did not stop with this. They went on extending the pantheon with increasing vigour. Even the individual syllable of a mantra was deified. Not resting satisfied with the deification of Nakshatras, Rasis, Kalas, Paramitas, Vasitas, pujopakaranas (like flower, incense, lamp, gandha, etc.) and dyudhas, the Vajrayanists went to the extent of imparting divine concepts and iconographical features to all kinds of human desires, both sublime and low (e.g. bhojanechchh and uchchatanechchha). Furthermore, they resorted to the proliferation of the forms of the individual divinities already incorporated into the pantheon. Thus, Avalokitesvara came to be represented in as many as one hundred and eight forms with distinct features and names.

This enormous increase in the number of deities of the Buddhist pantheon is not merely due to the growth and development of the doctrine and ideological concepts. There are other factors accounting for this. Chief among these are the keen competition faced by the Bud- dhists to maintain their hold over the laity and the missionary zeal to bring people of various creeds within their fold in view of the formidable strength of other religious systems, particu- larly of the all-pervasive Brahmanism. In order to convert people saturated with the Brahma- nical concepts, the Buddhists did not hesitate to make compromises of various kinds and degrees. For instance, they evolved divinities having the essence of some of the principal deities of the Brahmanical sects with which the laity was familiar; deities were also evolved to disgrace Brahmanical gods and goddesses (e.g. Harihariharivahanodbhava-Lokesvara with Vishnu as a mount of Avalokitesvara, Trailokyavijaya trampling on Mahesvara and Gauri, Aparajita trampling on Ganesa and having Brahma as her parasol-bearer and Prasanna-Tara with Indra, Upendra, Rudra and Brahma below her feet). They went even to the extent of incorporating bodily a good number of Brahmanical gods and goddesses as subordinate divinities within the mandalas.

Another factor which is generally lost sight of is the effect of the expansion of Buddhism beyond the frontiers of India, particularly in Tibet. Though Tibet received the message of' Sakya- muni through the two Buddhist queens (one a Chinese princess and the other a Nepalese one) of Sron-btsan sgam-po of Tibet in the second quarter of the seventh century A.D., Buddhism could not make much headway due to the strong grip of the native religion, called Bon, which inculcated worship of nature and various spirits and even demonolatry with animal and human sacrifices. The Buddhist religion got a firm footing only through the efforts of Padma- sambhava, the Indian teacher of the Yogachara School, who, having been invited by King Ti-sron Do-tsan, landed in Tibet in the middle of the eighth century A.D. To make the religion acceptable to the common people, Padmasambhava did not hesitate to make a comp- romise with the native religion by freely admitting their demonical deities and rites in the Buddhist pantheon and thus became the founder of Lamaism, a fusion of Mahayana Buddhism and Bon. The close intercourse between India and Tibet since then resulted in the introduc- tion of several adventitious concepts and deities in Indian Buddhist pantheon. Some of the terrible forms conceived in the sadhanas are, presumably, due to the influence of Tibetan Lamaism.

A. Foucher laid the foundation of the iconographic study of the Buddhist pantheon by bringing to light a good number of sadhanas and noticing several images conforming to these sadhanas. The service of Benoytosh Bhattacharyya to the cause of Buddhist iconography is, in fact, inestimable. He opened the door to the interested students and scholars not only by publishing the texts of the entire Sadlhanamala, the Guhyasamaja-tantra and the Nishpannayo- gavali but by his erudite survey of the majority of the deities in his Indian Buddhist Iconogra- phy. However, in the last work his approach is mostly descriptive, based generally on the Sadhanamala and occasionally on the Nishpannayogavali. He illustrated many of the deities conceived in the sadhanas with photographs of images, paintings and drawings, a good number of which, however, emanated from Nepal.

Of late, there has been a tendency to underestimate the work of Benoytosh Bhattacharyya by laying emphasis on the fact that he did not tap adequately the archaeological sources of India and unpublished manuscripts, several of which help us considerably in the interpretation of the images discovered in India. As a matter of fact, the Sadhanamala and the Nishpannayo- gavali, taken together, though quite comprehensive, are not certainly exhaustive. This is evi- dent from the find of several images which, though earlier than the compilation and composi- tion of these two texts, have no prescription in them. Further, the Nishpannayogavali was written by Abhayakaragupta, a contemporary of Ramapala (circa A.D. 1077-1120), and the date of the earliest available manuscript of the Sadhanamala, containing 312 sadhanas composed by various acharyas of different dates, is A.D. 1165. Consequently, they do not record the subsequent developments which can only be found out in later texts lying in manuscript form in various libraries and private collections. Further, the Sadhanamla, being a liturgical book, cannot be expected to throw light on the growth and development of the concepts of various deities. The contribution of the Nishpannayogavali in this particular respect is practically nil. In fact, this work may be termed as a hand-book for the Mandalacharyas, image-makers and painters of tankas.

However, one should not forget the great service of Bhattacharyya who paved the way for his successors. In view of the numerous deities of the pantheon with the complex character of their varied forms, it is, in fact, impossible for a single individual to treat comprehensively the entire range. It is, therefore, essential that instead of handling many deities in general, we should concentrate on limited number of deities by making our study as much comprehensive as possible, involving exploration and scrutiny of various sources, both Indian and foreign. Even then, the study will not be exhaustive, as future excavations and discovery of new manuscripts are sure to bring to light fresh material which will further the cause of Buddhist iconography. One has, therefore, to keep one's mind always open.

Following Bhattacharyya, several scholars have entered this field, some having made significant contributions. Among them mention may be made of E. Conze, remarkable for his study of Prajnaparamita, Pratapaditya Pal for his erudite treatment of Amoghapasa and Vasu- dharii and J.E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw for her study of the iconography of Chunda. B.N. Mukhopadhyaya has shown the necessity of consulting the manuscripts of the ritualistic texts by finding textual prescriptions for the six-armed images of Vasudhara in the Vasundharoddesa and Vasundharavratotpattyavadana, two unpublished manuscripts in the collection of the Asiatic Society. Again, D.C. Bhattacharyya pointed out the relevant text, an unpublished manuscript of the Pancharaksha, also in the collection of the Asiatic Society, for a four-armed image identi- fied by Debala Mitra with Mahamayuri.

The study of Buddhist iconography, so far made, is, however, by no means exhaustive. There is enough scope for many workers in this field. Further, most of the studies accomp- lished till now is far from comprehensive. The distinguished scholar, who may rightly be called a pioneer in this direction, is Marie- Therese de Mallmann. In her two voluminous and masterly publications, one on Avalokitesvara and the other on Manjusri, she has embodied the result of an intensive study on two of the Bodhisattvas, practically on the basis of texts and photographs. The available material in the case of most of the other divinities may not be as much; yet it is fairly sumptuous, if scholars would only care to probe deeper. The ground- work had been prepared by Bhattacharyya, and Mallmann showed the way for the future line of work. It is now high time that scholars undertook an intensive study of the various aspects of the individual deities instead of stray, isolated and superficial studies with mere iteration of physical features and attributes.

 

Contents

 

  Preface v
  List of illustrations vii
CHAPTER ONE Introduction 1-5
CHAPTER TWO Origin of Tara 6-31
CHAPTER THREE Tara, the Supreme Buddhist Goddess, and Seven of her Manifestations 32-90
(i) Aryashtamahabhaya-Tara 38
(ii) Mahattari- rs-s 48
(iii) Simhanada- Tara 53
(iv) Durgottarini- Tara 54
(v) Mahasri- Tara 57
(vi) Arya-Khadiravani-Tara 63
(vii) Vajra-Tara 74
CHAPTER FOUR Prajnas of Five Tathagatas 91-146
CHAPTER FIVE Bhrikuti 147-180
  Glossary 181
  Select Bibliography 188
  Index 193 193

Sample Pages











Development of Buddhist Iconography in Eastern India : A study of Tara, Prajnas of Five Tathagatas and Bhrikuti

Item Code:
NAB075
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1980
ISBN:
81-2150-208-X
Language:
English
Size:
11.5" x 9.0"
Pages:
210 (B&W. illus.:54)
Price:
$40.00
Discounted:
$30.00   Shipping Free
You Save:
$10.00 (25%)
Look Inside the Book
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Development of Buddhist Iconography in Eastern India : A study of Tara, Prajnas of Five Tathagatas and Bhrikuti

Verify the characters on the left

From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 11436 times since 12th Jun, 2015

 

From the Jacket:

This book represents an important landmark in the study of the Buddhist iconography, particularly of the Buddhist female divinities. It goes to the credit of Dr(Mrs) Mallar Ghosh to brave her way through a wide maze of literary and archaeological data gleaned not merely from Indian context but also from Burma, China, Java, Nepal and Tibet to produce this erudite and, at the same time, admirably readable volume. Being a painstaking scholar noted for meticulousness, she has incorporated in all minuteness the description of the iconographical features of deities and their various forms, all based on textual prescriptions and development of the concept of certain Buddhist deities.

 

The book has five chapters, the first one dealing with a general introduction. In the second, a critical reassessment of the existing notions about the origin of Tara and place of her origin has been made. She has shown here that Tara owed her origin to the concept of Devi and it was Eastern India which gave rise to this most powerful goddess of the Buddhist pantheon. The third chapter is devoted to Tara and seven of her manifestations. Dr. Ghosh has clearly brought out how Tara's gradual evolution resulted in myriads of forms, including a few which are her own discovery. In the fourth chapter she has made an elaborate study of the little known Prajnas(Buddhasaktis) of the five Tathagatas (Dhyani Buddhas) and it goes entirely to her credit to identify a good number of forms of each of them. The fifth chapter is on Bhrikuti, a form which is distinctive from Tara inspired by the goddess Parvati of the Brahmanical tradition; indeed, her study revealed at least thirty varieties of Bhrikuti. Undoubtedly this is one of the best studies in recent times on Buddhist iconography and will prove to been indispensable volume to students of Buddhist art and religion.

Preface

THE book deals with the origin of Tara, her gradual evolution resulting in myriads of forms and a detailed study of seven of her manifestations (Aryashtamahabhaya- Tara, Mahattari- Tara, Simhanada- Tara, Durgottarini- Tara, Mahasri- Tara, Arya-Khadiravani- Tara and Vajra-Tara), besides Prajnas (Lochana, Mamaki, Pandara, Tara and Vajradhatvis- vari) of the five Tathagatas and Bhrikuti. The method followed in the preparation of the work is both historical and descriptive. Thus, apart from the description of the iconographical features of the deities based on textual prescriptions and on visual representations, endeavours have been made to trace the rise and development of the concept of the deities and to treat them chronologically as far as possible. Attempts have also been made to probe into different iconographical concepts and interpretations of the symbols. As many varieties of forms of these deities as could be collected from different sources were surveyed in this work.

The sources utilized in the study are both literary and archaeological. I have tried within my limited means and time to utilize all the books and published articles on the subject. My first-hand knowledge of the images and sculptures is confined to collections in the National Museum, New Delhi, the Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar, and the Indian Museum, the Asutosh Museum and the Museum of the State Department of Archaeology, Calcutta. For the rest of the archaeological material, I had to depend on the published illustrations and unpublished photographs in the photo-archive of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.

The present book, apart from some additions, embodies the entire matter of my thesis which was approved in 1973 by the University of Delhi for the Ph. D. Degree. As a research student of the Department of Buddhist Studies of this University, I worked under Shrimati Sudha Sengupta to whom I am greatly indebted for her keen interst in my work in the field of Buddhist iconography. To Dr. R.C. Pandeya, the then Professor of that Department, I am particularly grateful not only for his helpful interest but for having allowed me the privilege of a scholarship for a part of my research period. I am also beholden to Shri B. B. Datta who took infinite pains in typing out the manuscript commendably within a remarkably short time.

I shall be failing in my duty if I do not gratefully acknowledge the Archaeological Survey of India for the facilities provided by the rich library and the photo-archive of that Department. Most of the photographs published in this book are the copyright of the Archaeological Survey of India.

I am immensely grateful to the University of Delhi for permitting me to publish the thesis in the book form. My thanks are also due to Messrs Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, for having readily accepted the manuscript for publication.

 

Introduction

HERE was a bewilderingly large number of gods and goddesses in the Buddhist pantheon which developed inordinately in the Vajrayana phase of Buddhism. The process of deification, which started hesitatingly with the change in the doctrine of early Bud- dhism leading to the rise of Mahayana and ushered in a number of elementary Bodhisattvas in the early centuries of the Christian era, gained momentum when the Yogachara philosophy was fully developed and inculcated in the Gupta period. This process accelerated beyond all bounds with further doctrinal changes leading to the full-fledged development of Tantric Buddhism during the Pala period. Vajrayana enunciated a deeply esoteric system of sadhanas with emphasis on kriyas, mantras and mandalas. The primitive pantheon was, consequently, enlarged into a highly elaborate one with Adi-Buddha, Dhyani-Buddhas (Tathagatas) and the latter's emanations in the form of a host of divine Bodhisattvas and female divinities. Each of them was given a sacred bija-mantra , or rather they were conceived as the concrete manifesta- tions of the transformation of these germ syllables. The Vajrayanists did not stop with this. They went on extending the pantheon with increasing vigour. Even the individual syllable of a mantra was deified. Not resting satisfied with the deification of Nakshatras, Rasis, Kalas, Paramitas, Vasitas, pujopakaranas (like flower, incense, lamp, gandha, etc.) and dyudhas, the Vajrayanists went to the extent of imparting divine concepts and iconographical features to all kinds of human desires, both sublime and low (e.g. bhojanechchh and uchchatanechchha). Furthermore, they resorted to the proliferation of the forms of the individual divinities already incorporated into the pantheon. Thus, Avalokitesvara came to be represented in as many as one hundred and eight forms with distinct features and names.

This enormous increase in the number of deities of the Buddhist pantheon is not merely due to the growth and development of the doctrine and ideological concepts. There are other factors accounting for this. Chief among these are the keen competition faced by the Bud- dhists to maintain their hold over the laity and the missionary zeal to bring people of various creeds within their fold in view of the formidable strength of other religious systems, particu- larly of the all-pervasive Brahmanism. In order to convert people saturated with the Brahma- nical concepts, the Buddhists did not hesitate to make compromises of various kinds and degrees. For instance, they evolved divinities having the essence of some of the principal deities of the Brahmanical sects with which the laity was familiar; deities were also evolved to disgrace Brahmanical gods and goddesses (e.g. Harihariharivahanodbhava-Lokesvara with Vishnu as a mount of Avalokitesvara, Trailokyavijaya trampling on Mahesvara and Gauri, Aparajita trampling on Ganesa and having Brahma as her parasol-bearer and Prasanna-Tara with Indra, Upendra, Rudra and Brahma below her feet). They went even to the extent of incorporating bodily a good number of Brahmanical gods and goddesses as subordinate divinities within the mandalas.

Another factor which is generally lost sight of is the effect of the expansion of Buddhism beyond the frontiers of India, particularly in Tibet. Though Tibet received the message of' Sakya- muni through the two Buddhist queens (one a Chinese princess and the other a Nepalese one) of Sron-btsan sgam-po of Tibet in the second quarter of the seventh century A.D., Buddhism could not make much headway due to the strong grip of the native religion, called Bon, which inculcated worship of nature and various spirits and even demonolatry with animal and human sacrifices. The Buddhist religion got a firm footing only through the efforts of Padma- sambhava, the Indian teacher of the Yogachara School, who, having been invited by King Ti-sron Do-tsan, landed in Tibet in the middle of the eighth century A.D. To make the religion acceptable to the common people, Padmasambhava did not hesitate to make a comp- romise with the native religion by freely admitting their demonical deities and rites in the Buddhist pantheon and thus became the founder of Lamaism, a fusion of Mahayana Buddhism and Bon. The close intercourse between India and Tibet since then resulted in the introduc- tion of several adventitious concepts and deities in Indian Buddhist pantheon. Some of the terrible forms conceived in the sadhanas are, presumably, due to the influence of Tibetan Lamaism.

A. Foucher laid the foundation of the iconographic study of the Buddhist pantheon by bringing to light a good number of sadhanas and noticing several images conforming to these sadhanas. The service of Benoytosh Bhattacharyya to the cause of Buddhist iconography is, in fact, inestimable. He opened the door to the interested students and scholars not only by publishing the texts of the entire Sadlhanamala, the Guhyasamaja-tantra and the Nishpannayo- gavali but by his erudite survey of the majority of the deities in his Indian Buddhist Iconogra- phy. However, in the last work his approach is mostly descriptive, based generally on the Sadhanamala and occasionally on the Nishpannayogavali. He illustrated many of the deities conceived in the sadhanas with photographs of images, paintings and drawings, a good number of which, however, emanated from Nepal.

Of late, there has been a tendency to underestimate the work of Benoytosh Bhattacharyya by laying emphasis on the fact that he did not tap adequately the archaeological sources of India and unpublished manuscripts, several of which help us considerably in the interpretation of the images discovered in India. As a matter of fact, the Sadhanamala and the Nishpannayo- gavali, taken together, though quite comprehensive, are not certainly exhaustive. This is evi- dent from the find of several images which, though earlier than the compilation and composi- tion of these two texts, have no prescription in them. Further, the Nishpannayogavali was written by Abhayakaragupta, a contemporary of Ramapala (circa A.D. 1077-1120), and the date of the earliest available manuscript of the Sadhanamala, containing 312 sadhanas composed by various acharyas of different dates, is A.D. 1165. Consequently, they do not record the subsequent developments which can only be found out in later texts lying in manuscript form in various libraries and private collections. Further, the Sadhanamla, being a liturgical book, cannot be expected to throw light on the growth and development of the concepts of various deities. The contribution of the Nishpannayogavali in this particular respect is practically nil. In fact, this work may be termed as a hand-book for the Mandalacharyas, image-makers and painters of tankas.

However, one should not forget the great service of Bhattacharyya who paved the way for his successors. In view of the numerous deities of the pantheon with the complex character of their varied forms, it is, in fact, impossible for a single individual to treat comprehensively the entire range. It is, therefore, essential that instead of handling many deities in general, we should concentrate on limited number of deities by making our study as much comprehensive as possible, involving exploration and scrutiny of various sources, both Indian and foreign. Even then, the study will not be exhaustive, as future excavations and discovery of new manuscripts are sure to bring to light fresh material which will further the cause of Buddhist iconography. One has, therefore, to keep one's mind always open.

Following Bhattacharyya, several scholars have entered this field, some having made significant contributions. Among them mention may be made of E. Conze, remarkable for his study of Prajnaparamita, Pratapaditya Pal for his erudite treatment of Amoghapasa and Vasu- dharii and J.E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw for her study of the iconography of Chunda. B.N. Mukhopadhyaya has shown the necessity of consulting the manuscripts of the ritualistic texts by finding textual prescriptions for the six-armed images of Vasudhara in the Vasundharoddesa and Vasundharavratotpattyavadana, two unpublished manuscripts in the collection of the Asiatic Society. Again, D.C. Bhattacharyya pointed out the relevant text, an unpublished manuscript of the Pancharaksha, also in the collection of the Asiatic Society, for a four-armed image identi- fied by Debala Mitra with Mahamayuri.

The study of Buddhist iconography, so far made, is, however, by no means exhaustive. There is enough scope for many workers in this field. Further, most of the studies accomp- lished till now is far from comprehensive. The distinguished scholar, who may rightly be called a pioneer in this direction, is Marie- Therese de Mallmann. In her two voluminous and masterly publications, one on Avalokitesvara and the other on Manjusri, she has embodied the result of an intensive study on two of the Bodhisattvas, practically on the basis of texts and photographs. The available material in the case of most of the other divinities may not be as much; yet it is fairly sumptuous, if scholars would only care to probe deeper. The ground- work had been prepared by Bhattacharyya, and Mallmann showed the way for the future line of work. It is now high time that scholars undertook an intensive study of the various aspects of the individual deities instead of stray, isolated and superficial studies with mere iteration of physical features and attributes.

 

Preface

THE book deals with the origin of Tara, her gradual evolution resulting in myriads of forms and a detailed study of seven of her manifestations (Aryashtamahabhaya- Tara, Mahattari- Tara, Simhanada- Tara, Durgottarini- Tara, Mahasri- Tara, Arya-Khadiravani- Tara and Vajra-Tara), besides Prajnas (Lochana, Mamaki, Pandara, Tara and Vajradhatvis- vari) of the five Tathagatas and Bhrikuti. The method followed in the preparation of the work is both historical and descriptive. Thus, apart from the description of the iconographical features of the deities based on textual prescriptions and on visual representations, endeavours have been made to trace the rise and development of the concept of the deities and to treat them chronologically as far as possible. Attempts have also been made to probe into different iconographical concepts and interpretations of the symbols. As many varieties of forms of these deities as could be collected from different sources were surveyed in this work.

The sources utilized in the study are both literary and archaeological. I have tried within my limited means and time to utilize all the books and published articles on the subject. My first-hand knowledge of the images and sculptures is confined to collections in the National Museum, New Delhi, the Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar, and the Indian Museum, the Asutosh Museum and the Museum of the State Department of Archaeology, Calcutta. For the rest of the archaeological material, I had to depend on the published illustrations and unpublished photographs in the photo-archive of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.

The present book, apart from some additions, embodies the entire matter of my thesis which was approved in 1973 by the University of Delhi for the Ph. D. Degree. As a research student of the Department of Buddhist Studies of this University, I worked under Shrimati Sudha Sengupta to whom I am greatly indebted for her keen interst in my work in the field of Buddhist iconography. To Dr. R.C. Pandeya, the then Professor of that Department, I am particularly grateful not only for his helpful interest but for having allowed me the privilege of a scholarship for a part of my research period. I am also beholden to Shri B. B. Datta who took infinite pains in typing out the manuscript commendably within a remarkably short time.

I shall be failing in my duty if I do not gratefully acknowledge the Archaeological Survey of India for the facilities provided by the rich library and the photo-archive of that Department. Most of the photographs published in this book are the copyright of the Archaeological Survey of India.

I am immensely grateful to the University of Delhi for permitting me to publish the thesis in the book form. My thanks are also due to Messrs Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, for having readily accepted the manuscript for publication.

MALLAR GHOSH

Introduction

HERE was a bewilderingly large number of gods and goddesses in the Buddhist pantheon which developed inordinately in the Vajrayana phase of Buddhism. The process of deification, which started hesitatingly with the change in the doctrine of early Bud- dhism leading to the rise of Mahayana and ushered in a number of elementary Bodhisattvas in the early centuries of the Christian era, gained momentum when the Yogachara philosophy was fully developed and inculcated in the Gupta period. This process accelerated beyond all bounds with further doctrinal changes leading to the full-fledged development of Tantric Buddhism during the Pala period. Vajrayana enunciated a deeply esoteric system of sadhanas with emphasis on kriyas, mantras and mandalas. The primitive pantheon was, consequently, enlarged into a highly elaborate one with Adi-Buddha, Dhyani-Buddhas (Tathagatas) and the latter's emanations in the form of a host of divine Bodhisattvas and female divinities. Each of them was given a sacred bija-mantra , or rather they were conceived as the concrete manifesta- tions of the transformation of these germ syllables. The Vajrayanists did not stop with this. They went on extending the pantheon with increasing vigour. Even the individual syllable of a mantra was deified. Not resting satisfied with the deification of Nakshatras, Rasis, Kalas, Paramitas, Vasitas, pujopakaranas (like flower, incense, lamp, gandha, etc.) and dyudhas, the Vajrayanists went to the extent of imparting divine concepts and iconographical features to all kinds of human desires, both sublime and low (e.g. bhojanechchh and uchchatanechchha). Furthermore, they resorted to the proliferation of the forms of the individual divinities already incorporated into the pantheon. Thus, Avalokitesvara came to be represented in as many as one hundred and eight forms with distinct features and names.

This enormous increase in the number of deities of the Buddhist pantheon is not merely due to the growth and development of the doctrine and ideological concepts. There are other factors accounting for this. Chief among these are the keen competition faced by the Bud- dhists to maintain their hold over the laity and the missionary zeal to bring people of various creeds within their fold in view of the formidable strength of other religious systems, particu- larly of the all-pervasive Brahmanism. In order to convert people saturated with the Brahma- nical concepts, the Buddhists did not hesitate to make compromises of various kinds and degrees. For instance, they evolved divinities having the essence of some of the principal deities of the Brahmanical sects with which the laity was familiar; deities were also evolved to disgrace Brahmanical gods and goddesses (e.g. Harihariharivahanodbhava-Lokesvara with Vishnu as a mount of Avalokitesvara, Trailokyavijaya trampling on Mahesvara and Gauri, Aparajita trampling on Ganesa and having Brahma as her parasol-bearer and Prasanna-Tara with Indra, Upendra, Rudra and Brahma below her feet). They went even to the extent of incorporating bodily a good number of Brahmanical gods and goddesses as subordinate divinities within the mandalas.

Another factor which is generally lost sight of is the effect of the expansion of Buddhism beyond the frontiers of India, particularly in Tibet. Though Tibet received the message of' Sakya- muni through the two Buddhist queens (one a Chinese princess and the other a Nepalese one) of Sron-btsan sgam-po of Tibet in the second quarter of the seventh century A.D., Buddhism could not make much headway due to the strong grip of the native religion, called Bon, which inculcated worship of nature and various spirits and even demonolatry with animal and human sacrifices. The Buddhist religion got a firm footing only through the efforts of Padma- sambhava, the Indian teacher of the Yogachara School, who, having been invited by King Ti-sron Do-tsan, landed in Tibet in the middle of the eighth century A.D. To make the religion acceptable to the common people, Padmasambhava did not hesitate to make a comp- romise with the native religion by freely admitting their demonical deities and rites in the Buddhist pantheon and thus became the founder of Lamaism, a fusion of Mahayana Buddhism and Bon. The close intercourse between India and Tibet since then resulted in the introduc- tion of several adventitious concepts and deities in Indian Buddhist pantheon. Some of the terrible forms conceived in the sadhanas are, presumably, due to the influence of Tibetan Lamaism.

A. Foucher laid the foundation of the iconographic study of the Buddhist pantheon by bringing to light a good number of sadhanas and noticing several images conforming to these sadhanas. The service of Benoytosh Bhattacharyya to the cause of Buddhist iconography is, in fact, inestimable. He opened the door to the interested students and scholars not only by publishing the texts of the entire Sadlhanamala, the Guhyasamaja-tantra and the Nishpannayo- gavali but by his erudite survey of the majority of the deities in his Indian Buddhist Iconogra- phy. However, in the last work his approach is mostly descriptive, based generally on the Sadhanamala and occasionally on the Nishpannayogavali. He illustrated many of the deities conceived in the sadhanas with photographs of images, paintings and drawings, a good number of which, however, emanated from Nepal.

Of late, there has been a tendency to underestimate the work of Benoytosh Bhattacharyya by laying emphasis on the fact that he did not tap adequately the archaeological sources of India and unpublished manuscripts, several of which help us considerably in the interpretation of the images discovered in India. As a matter of fact, the Sadhanamala and the Nishpannayo- gavali, taken together, though quite comprehensive, are not certainly exhaustive. This is evi- dent from the find of several images which, though earlier than the compilation and composi- tion of these two texts, have no prescription in them. Further, the Nishpannayogavali was written by Abhayakaragupta, a contemporary of Ramapala (circa A.D. 1077-1120), and the date of the earliest available manuscript of the Sadhanamala, containing 312 sadhanas composed by various acharyas of different dates, is A.D. 1165. Consequently, they do not record the subsequent developments which can only be found out in later texts lying in manuscript form in various libraries and private collections. Further, the Sadhanamla, being a liturgical book, cannot be expected to throw light on the growth and development of the concepts of various deities. The contribution of the Nishpannayogavali in this particular respect is practically nil. In fact, this work may be termed as a hand-book for the Mandalacharyas, image-makers and painters of tankas.

However, one should not forget the great service of Bhattacharyya who paved the way for his successors. In view of the numerous deities of the pantheon with the complex character of their varied forms, it is, in fact, impossible for a single individual to treat comprehensively the entire range. It is, therefore, essential that instead of handling many deities in general, we should concentrate on limited number of deities by making our study as much comprehensive as possible, involving exploration and scrutiny of various sources, both Indian and foreign. Even then, the study will not be exhaustive, as future excavations and discovery of new manuscripts are sure to bring to light fresh material which will further the cause of Buddhist iconography. One has, therefore, to keep one's mind always open.

Following Bhattacharyya, several scholars have entered this field, some having made significant contributions. Among them mention may be made of E. Conze, remarkable for his study of Prajnaparamita, Pratapaditya Pal for his erudite treatment of Amoghapasa and Vasu- dharii and J.E. van Lohuizen-de Leeuw for her study of the iconography of Chunda. B.N. Mukhopadhyaya has shown the necessity of consulting the manuscripts of the ritualistic texts by finding textual prescriptions for the six-armed images of Vasudhara in the Vasundharoddesa and Vasundharavratotpattyavadana, two unpublished manuscripts in the collection of the Asiatic Society. Again, D.C. Bhattacharyya pointed out the relevant text, an unpublished manuscript of the Pancharaksha, also in the collection of the Asiatic Society, for a four-armed image identi- fied by Debala Mitra with Mahamayuri.

The study of Buddhist iconography, so far made, is, however, by no means exhaustive. There is enough scope for many workers in this field. Further, most of the studies accomp- lished till now is far from comprehensive. The distinguished scholar, who may rightly be called a pioneer in this direction, is Marie- Therese de Mallmann. In her two voluminous and masterly publications, one on Avalokitesvara and the other on Manjusri, she has embodied the result of an intensive study on two of the Bodhisattvas, practically on the basis of texts and photographs. The available material in the case of most of the other divinities may not be as much; yet it is fairly sumptuous, if scholars would only care to probe deeper. The ground- work had been prepared by Bhattacharyya, and Mallmann showed the way for the future line of work. It is now high time that scholars undertook an intensive study of the various aspects of the individual deities instead of stray, isolated and superficial studies with mere iteration of physical features and attributes.

 

Contents

 

  Preface v
  List of illustrations vii
CHAPTER ONE Introduction 1-5
CHAPTER TWO Origin of Tara 6-31
CHAPTER THREE Tara, the Supreme Buddhist Goddess, and Seven of her Manifestations 32-90
(i) Aryashtamahabhaya-Tara 38
(ii) Mahattari- rs-s 48
(iii) Simhanada- Tara 53
(iv) Durgottarini- Tara 54
(v) Mahasri- Tara 57
(vi) Arya-Khadiravani-Tara 63
(vii) Vajra-Tara 74
CHAPTER FOUR Prajnas of Five Tathagatas 91-146
CHAPTER FIVE Bhrikuti 147-180
  Glossary 181
  Select Bibliography 188
  Index 193 193

Sample Pages











Post a Comment
 
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Based on your browsing history

Loading... Please wait

Related Items

Large Size Finest Physician The World Has Ever Seen (Tibetan Buddhist Deity)
Brass Sculpture
35.0 inch x 24.0 inch x 17.0 inch
41.5 kg
Item Code: XF67
$1695.00$1271.25
You save: $423.75 (25%)
Backorder
Backorder
(Tibetan Buddhist Deity) Large Size Manjushri - Bodhisattva of Transcendent Wisdom
Brass Sculpture
39 inch X 25 inch X 15 inch
43.7 kg
Item Code: XO44
$2135.00$1601.25
You save: $533.75 (25%)
Backorder
Backorder
Gautam Buddha
Brass Statue
6.5" X 4" X 4"
1.2 kg
Item Code: ZH55
$125.00$93.75
You save: $31.25 (25%)
Backorder
Backorder
Large Size Buddha in Abhaya and Vitark-Mudra
Brass Statue
28.5 inch x 25 inch x 20 inch
37 kg
Item Code: ZAI41
$1395.00$1046.25
You save: $348.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Large Size Buddha, The Universal Teacher
Brass Sculpture
38.5 inches X 26.0 inches X 19.0 inches
48 Kg
Item Code: RS57
$2115.00$1586.25
You save: $528.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The Most Popular Buddhist Deity of Tibet
Copper Sculpture
8.3 inch X 7 inch X 3.5 inch
1.53 kg
Item Code: XO71
$405.00$303.75
You save: $101.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Preaching Buddha
South Indian Temple Wood Carving
35 inch X 23 inch X 5.5 inch
16.44 kg
Item Code: XJ46
$895.00$671.25
You save: $223.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Large Size Yoga-murti Buddha
Deal 20% Off
Brass Sculpture
28.5 inch X 24 inch X 15.5 inch
27.3 Kg
Item Code: RQ06
$1225.00$735.00
You save: $490.00 (20 + 25%)
Backorder
Backorder
Buddhist Textiles of Laos, Lan Na and the Isan {The Iconography of Design Elements}
by Fredrick W. Bruce
Hardcover (Edition: 2004)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDK250
$70.00$52.50
You save: $17.50 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Buddhist Iconography in The National Museums of Tokyo And Kyoto
by A.K. Bhattacharyya
Hardcover (Edition: 2006)
Indian Museum
Item Code: NAG111
$200.00$150.00
You save: $50.00 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Mudras in Buddhist and Hindu Practices: An Iconographic Consideration
by Fredrick W. Bunce
Hardcover (Edition: 2017)
D. K. Printworld. Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDE188
$90.00$67.50
You save: $22.50 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Buddhist Iconography in the Butsuzozui of Hidenobu
by Anita Khanna
Hardcover (Edition: 2010)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAC486
$45.00$33.75
You save: $11.25 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Elements of Buddhist Iconography
Item Code: IAB24
$31.00$23.25
You save: $7.75 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
A Dictionary of Buddhist and Hindu Iconography - Illustrated
Deal 10% Off
by Fredrick W. Bunce
Hardcover (Edition: 2001)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDD238
$120.00$81.00
You save: $39.00 (10 + 25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Numbers Their Iconographic Consideration in Buddhist and Hindu Practices
by Fredrick W. Bunce
Hardcover (Edition: 2002)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDD022
$37.50$28.12
You save: $9.38 (25%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now

Testimonials

Very easy to buy, great site! Thanks
Ilda, Brazil
Our Nandi sculpture arrived today and it surpasses all expectations - it is wonderful. We are not only pleasantly surprised by the speed of international delivery but also are extremely grateful for the care of your packaging. Our sculpture needed to travel to an off-lying island of New Zealand but it arrived safely because of how well it had been packaged. Based upon my experience of all aspects of your service, I have no hesitation in recommending Exotic India.
BWM, NZ
Best web site to shop on line.
Suman, USA
Thank you for having such a great website. I have given your site to all the people I get compliments on your merchandise.
Pat, Canada.
Love the website and the breadth of selection. Thanks for assembling such a great collection of art and sculpture.
Richard, USA
Another three books arrived during the last weeks, all of them diligently packed. Excellent reading for the the quieter days at the end of the year. Greetings to Vipin K. and his team.
Walter
Your products are uncommon yet have advanced my knowledge and devotion to Sanatana Dharma. Also, they are reasonably priced and ship quickly. Thank you for all you do.
Gregory, USA
Thank you kindly for the Cobra Ganesha from Mahabalipuram. The sculpture is exquisite quality and the service is excellent. I would not hesitate to order again or refer people to your business. Thanks again.
Shankar, UK
The variety, the quality and the very helpful price range of your huge stock means that every year I find a few new statues to add to our meditation room--and I always pick up a few new books and cds whenever I visit! keep up the good work!
Tim Smith, USA
Love this site. I have many rings from here and enjoy all of them
Angela, USA
TRUSTe
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2017 © Exotic India