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 > History > Lamps of India
Displaying 13 of 4964         Previous  |  NextSubscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Lamps of India
Pages from the book
Lamps of India
Look Inside the Book
Description
Foreword

Few countries can vie with India in the wealth of imagery and symbolism built around the lamp. Our ancestors associated the lamp with almost all important events and activities of man’s transitory existence on earth. The birth of a child was greeted with a lamp and it was with it, again, that warriors were given a send-off and triumphant armies returning from the battle-field were welcomed home. In temples and other places of worship the lamp had a still more prominent role. Being the medium through which a glimpse of the deity could be had, the lamp acquired an importance commensurate with the faith of the devotee. Consequently it attracted a good deal of attention at the hands of artists and craftsmen.

It was, indeed, a happy thought on the part of Dr. D.G. Kelkar to have laboured for collecting the various types of lamps used in India for a variety of purposes. This collection, which I am glad the Publications Division of the Government of India is bringing out in the form of an illustrated book, furnishes an insight into the history of lamps from ancient to modern times. The wealth of information it gives and the subsidiary light it throws on popular beliefs and tastes is a tribute to Dr. Kelkar’s scholarship and industry. I have no doubt; the book will be a welcome addition to our literature on art and antiquities.

Publisher’s Note

The book Lamps of India first published in the year 1961 is being reprinted after a gap of 50 yrs. The need for a revised reprint was felt, as technological advancements have brought to our doors new information adding to our knowledge on the subject. The first edition of the book was a unique experience .While providing an insight into the Kelkar Museum, the book at no place seemed like a catalogue. It goes to the credit of Dr. D.G. Kelkar, who spun a beautiful text which kept the readers in-thrall.

In his acknowledgement in the First Edition Dr Kelkar himself had pointed out that the book is not exhaustive. He also said that “It does not pretend to be more than a preliminary survey and I shall be happy if it serves as an incentive to further work in the field”.

In the current edition we have tried to further enrich and enhance the scope of the book by including new material from various sources in the Appendices.

The main attraction of this book was the illustrations of lamps which took us on a journey to the Kelkar Museum,Pune. In 1961 when the book was first published Dr. Kelkar engaged Shri Sudhakar Khasgiwale for drawing the illustrations of the lamps which were the property of the museum . In our interactions with Dr. Sudhanva Ranade, Director, Kelkar Museum we came to know that the Museum was now in possession of high resolution photographs of these lamps, which they were ready to share with us. As we thought of publishing the colored photographs in this edition we also felt the need to incorporate the illustrations which had first provided us an insight into the world of lamps. This inclusion would be our tribute to the efforts put in by Dr. Kelkar and others. As a result we have retained all the earlier illustrations along with the photographs at appropriate places.

We hope our esteemed readers would appreciate these changes and enjoy the book.

Introduction

Many millennia before recorded history-in the Eolithic, Paleolithic and the Neolithic eras-Man, like the other species, lived in cave and forest. He wandered about hunting and, when no game was killed, he ate such wild fruits and roots as were available to satisfy his hunger. He seldom could venture out after sunset. Darkness was to him a demon, and the Sun, the giver of light, a deity.

With the passage of time he made another discovery, fire. Fire, he found, was light giving and life- sustaining. Man, therefore, saw fire as a deity, as Agni.

The Rigveda gives the greatest importance to Agni. He is next only to Indra, his twin brother. The terrestrial flame, the serial flash and the celestial globe are the three forms of Agni. Born of aranees, i.e., igniting sticks, this god banishes darkness, frightens the demons and invokes the light. He is the supreme counselor, ancient but eternally young.

The Rigveda describes Agni as the only master of the house and village and of sacrifice. He has flaming teeth; ghee and wood are his food. He is omniscient (jätavedasa); a poet; an immortal mediator (düta) between man and the gods. He conveys to them the yajna offerings and he upholds domestic life. Vedic literature is full of reverent prayers to Agni.

We similarly find a number of hymns devoted to the Sun-God, Agni’s celestial form. The Vedas credit Bhrigu with the discovery of Agni around whom was built the sacrificial altar.

The flaming sacrificial altar in the asliramas of the rishis was the focus of faith during the Vedic times. It has witnessed great philosophic seminars which produced the Brahmanas, the Upanishads and the Sanhitas. The cultural tradition of ancient India has thus its genesis in the spark of the yajna-vedi. This spark later assumed the form of a lamp.

Among the light of fire, the light of the sun, the light of the moon, this lamp is the best of lights.

With the deepa, the lamp, begins a new chapter in civilization, that which may be called the Deepa-yuga.

As the symbol of Surya and Agni, the lamp has always been deemed auspicious. It was dutifully and religiously offered to Him who bestowed it upon mankind. The lamp was indispensable for prayer. It was a sacred token of devotion, supplication and benediction. The gods were believed to dwell by the light of the holy lamp. Its very existence helped man to shed the fear of the dark. To man, light was knowledge.

The lamp was sacred; and once its august function was gratefully accepted by man, it was but natural that he should try to adorn it with beauty and grace, that he should make sundara what was siva. The body of the lamp, to begin with, was of stone or shell. Later came the innovation of terracotta lamps and then metal lamps. The Ramayana and the Maliabliarata, our two great epics, make extensive reference to lamps of gold and of precious stones.

Because of its uncontested place lamp should have found mention in the ancient scriptures and secular writing. Reference to the Vedic and post-Vedic literature has already been made.

Valmiki, in his description of Lanka in the Sundara-Kända of the Ramayana, has referred to the ratna-deepa. Vyasa, in his description of war by the night in the Drona-Parva of the Mahabharata, gives a thrilling account of maneuvers by lamplight. After describing the lamps among the elephant columns and the cavalry in minute detail, he remarks: “Yakslias, Kinnaras, Gandharvas, all of the Heavenly kingdom and the gods themselves, had congregated to witness the unprecedented battle. They had, in their turn, brought with them rows of lights. These ratna malas—strings of diamond lights—added their light to the bright lights of the battlefield, and those who saw this unique sight, continues Vyasa, were the most fortunate on earth”. The description of how Mayasura fooled the Kauravasa with hidden light in the palade which he built for Pandavas is another luminous passage in the Mahabharata.

Indian Philosophy calls the soui a self-lighted torch. The flame of the lamp is likened to the Supreme Self. Life is like a lamp and the endeavour of the enlightened should be to brighten up others’ lives. Ancient texts elaborate the nature of this function. To live for oneself, like a little lamp, is the rmasa dharma; to live for others, like the deepa-mala, is räjasa-dharma and to live one’s life in the contemplation of the Universal Power is sãttvikadliarma. Lord Krishna has expounded in the Bhagavad-Gita the nature of the perfect mind. Among the characteristics enumerated is that such a mind is steady like a flame unshaken by the wind. The ancient sutras find a symbolic parallel for every phase and every turn of man’s life in one type of lamp or another. That is how the lamp has become a symbol of Indian aspiration.

Mythology has made a powerful and continuous impact on the evolution of the lamp. The ten incarnations of the God Vishnu have been an unfailing source of inspiration for the lamp-maker. Mythology has always fed the imagination of all our artists and craftsmen. Innumerable are the lamps which depict the incarnation-themes, such as Matsya. Kurma and Varsha. The lamps of Gokarna Mahabaleshwar also show us that divine emblems: like the Sankha, C’hakra, Gada and Padma were also frequently adapted.








Lamps of India

Item Code:
NAN243
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2012
ISBN:
9788123017440
Language:
English
Size:
11.0 inch X 8.5 inch
Pages:
92 (Throughout Color & B/W Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 615 gms
Price:
$25.00
Discounted:
$20.00   Shipping Free
You Save:
$5.00 (20%)
Look Inside the Book
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Lamps of India

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 134 times since 20th Sep, 2017
Foreword

Few countries can vie with India in the wealth of imagery and symbolism built around the lamp. Our ancestors associated the lamp with almost all important events and activities of man’s transitory existence on earth. The birth of a child was greeted with a lamp and it was with it, again, that warriors were given a send-off and triumphant armies returning from the battle-field were welcomed home. In temples and other places of worship the lamp had a still more prominent role. Being the medium through which a glimpse of the deity could be had, the lamp acquired an importance commensurate with the faith of the devotee. Consequently it attracted a good deal of attention at the hands of artists and craftsmen.

It was, indeed, a happy thought on the part of Dr. D.G. Kelkar to have laboured for collecting the various types of lamps used in India for a variety of purposes. This collection, which I am glad the Publications Division of the Government of India is bringing out in the form of an illustrated book, furnishes an insight into the history of lamps from ancient to modern times. The wealth of information it gives and the subsidiary light it throws on popular beliefs and tastes is a tribute to Dr. Kelkar’s scholarship and industry. I have no doubt; the book will be a welcome addition to our literature on art and antiquities.

Publisher’s Note

The book Lamps of India first published in the year 1961 is being reprinted after a gap of 50 yrs. The need for a revised reprint was felt, as technological advancements have brought to our doors new information adding to our knowledge on the subject. The first edition of the book was a unique experience .While providing an insight into the Kelkar Museum, the book at no place seemed like a catalogue. It goes to the credit of Dr. D.G. Kelkar, who spun a beautiful text which kept the readers in-thrall.

In his acknowledgement in the First Edition Dr Kelkar himself had pointed out that the book is not exhaustive. He also said that “It does not pretend to be more than a preliminary survey and I shall be happy if it serves as an incentive to further work in the field”.

In the current edition we have tried to further enrich and enhance the scope of the book by including new material from various sources in the Appendices.

The main attraction of this book was the illustrations of lamps which took us on a journey to the Kelkar Museum,Pune. In 1961 when the book was first published Dr. Kelkar engaged Shri Sudhakar Khasgiwale for drawing the illustrations of the lamps which were the property of the museum . In our interactions with Dr. Sudhanva Ranade, Director, Kelkar Museum we came to know that the Museum was now in possession of high resolution photographs of these lamps, which they were ready to share with us. As we thought of publishing the colored photographs in this edition we also felt the need to incorporate the illustrations which had first provided us an insight into the world of lamps. This inclusion would be our tribute to the efforts put in by Dr. Kelkar and others. As a result we have retained all the earlier illustrations along with the photographs at appropriate places.

We hope our esteemed readers would appreciate these changes and enjoy the book.

Introduction

Many millennia before recorded history-in the Eolithic, Paleolithic and the Neolithic eras-Man, like the other species, lived in cave and forest. He wandered about hunting and, when no game was killed, he ate such wild fruits and roots as were available to satisfy his hunger. He seldom could venture out after sunset. Darkness was to him a demon, and the Sun, the giver of light, a deity.

With the passage of time he made another discovery, fire. Fire, he found, was light giving and life- sustaining. Man, therefore, saw fire as a deity, as Agni.

The Rigveda gives the greatest importance to Agni. He is next only to Indra, his twin brother. The terrestrial flame, the serial flash and the celestial globe are the three forms of Agni. Born of aranees, i.e., igniting sticks, this god banishes darkness, frightens the demons and invokes the light. He is the supreme counselor, ancient but eternally young.

The Rigveda describes Agni as the only master of the house and village and of sacrifice. He has flaming teeth; ghee and wood are his food. He is omniscient (jätavedasa); a poet; an immortal mediator (düta) between man and the gods. He conveys to them the yajna offerings and he upholds domestic life. Vedic literature is full of reverent prayers to Agni.

We similarly find a number of hymns devoted to the Sun-God, Agni’s celestial form. The Vedas credit Bhrigu with the discovery of Agni around whom was built the sacrificial altar.

The flaming sacrificial altar in the asliramas of the rishis was the focus of faith during the Vedic times. It has witnessed great philosophic seminars which produced the Brahmanas, the Upanishads and the Sanhitas. The cultural tradition of ancient India has thus its genesis in the spark of the yajna-vedi. This spark later assumed the form of a lamp.

Among the light of fire, the light of the sun, the light of the moon, this lamp is the best of lights.

With the deepa, the lamp, begins a new chapter in civilization, that which may be called the Deepa-yuga.

As the symbol of Surya and Agni, the lamp has always been deemed auspicious. It was dutifully and religiously offered to Him who bestowed it upon mankind. The lamp was indispensable for prayer. It was a sacred token of devotion, supplication and benediction. The gods were believed to dwell by the light of the holy lamp. Its very existence helped man to shed the fear of the dark. To man, light was knowledge.

The lamp was sacred; and once its august function was gratefully accepted by man, it was but natural that he should try to adorn it with beauty and grace, that he should make sundara what was siva. The body of the lamp, to begin with, was of stone or shell. Later came the innovation of terracotta lamps and then metal lamps. The Ramayana and the Maliabliarata, our two great epics, make extensive reference to lamps of gold and of precious stones.

Because of its uncontested place lamp should have found mention in the ancient scriptures and secular writing. Reference to the Vedic and post-Vedic literature has already been made.

Valmiki, in his description of Lanka in the Sundara-Kända of the Ramayana, has referred to the ratna-deepa. Vyasa, in his description of war by the night in the Drona-Parva of the Mahabharata, gives a thrilling account of maneuvers by lamplight. After describing the lamps among the elephant columns and the cavalry in minute detail, he remarks: “Yakslias, Kinnaras, Gandharvas, all of the Heavenly kingdom and the gods themselves, had congregated to witness the unprecedented battle. They had, in their turn, brought with them rows of lights. These ratna malas—strings of diamond lights—added their light to the bright lights of the battlefield, and those who saw this unique sight, continues Vyasa, were the most fortunate on earth”. The description of how Mayasura fooled the Kauravasa with hidden light in the palade which he built for Pandavas is another luminous passage in the Mahabharata.

Indian Philosophy calls the soui a self-lighted torch. The flame of the lamp is likened to the Supreme Self. Life is like a lamp and the endeavour of the enlightened should be to brighten up others’ lives. Ancient texts elaborate the nature of this function. To live for oneself, like a little lamp, is the rmasa dharma; to live for others, like the deepa-mala, is räjasa-dharma and to live one’s life in the contemplation of the Universal Power is sãttvikadliarma. Lord Krishna has expounded in the Bhagavad-Gita the nature of the perfect mind. Among the characteristics enumerated is that such a mind is steady like a flame unshaken by the wind. The ancient sutras find a symbolic parallel for every phase and every turn of man’s life in one type of lamp or another. That is how the lamp has become a symbol of Indian aspiration.

Mythology has made a powerful and continuous impact on the evolution of the lamp. The ten incarnations of the God Vishnu have been an unfailing source of inspiration for the lamp-maker. Mythology has always fed the imagination of all our artists and craftsmen. Innumerable are the lamps which depict the incarnation-themes, such as Matsya. Kurma and Varsha. The lamps of Gokarna Mahabaleshwar also show us that divine emblems: like the Sankha, C’hakra, Gada and Padma were also frequently adapted.








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

Related Items

Lamps of India
Item Code: NAD492
$25.00$20.00
You save: $5.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Nepalese Cast Religious and Cultural Lamps (Volume- 2)
Item Code: IDI111
$25.00$20.00
You save: $5.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Nainsukh of Guler – A Great Indian Painter from a Small Hill-State
by B.N. Goswamy
Hardcover (Edition: 2011)
Niyogi Books
Item Code: NAC701
$95.00$76.00
You save: $19.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Celebration of Love: The Romantic Heroine in the Indian Arts
Item Code: IDE323
$50.00$40.00
You save: $10.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
108 Vishnu Temples (Architectural Splendour, Spiritual Bliss)
by Avey Varghese
Hardcover (Edition: 2017)
Niyogi Books
Item Code: NAJ208
$70.00$56.00
You save: $14.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Temple Architecture and Imagery of South and Southeast Asia
Item Code: NAM461
$135.00$108.00
You save: $27.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Indian Architecture: According to Manasara-Silpasastra (Manasara Series: 

Vol.II)
Item Code: IDF745
$19.50$15.60
You save: $3.90 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Bastar Bronzes: Tribal Religion and Art
by Niranjan Mahawar
Hardcover (Edition: 2011)
Abhinav Publications
Item Code: NAC488
$75.00$60.00
You save: $15.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
A Study of The Hindu Science of Architecture and its Practice with Special Reference to Rajavallabha
by Dr N.R.Dave
Paperback (Edition: 2011)
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Item Code: NAD103
$35.00$28.00
You save: $7.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Indian Folk Arts and Crafts
by Jasleen Dhamija
Hardcover (Edition: 2005)
National Book Trust, India
Item Code: IDG936
$20.00$16.00
You save: $4.00 (20%)
SOLD
Visnu Temples of Kanchipuram
by R. Nagaswamy
Hardcover (Edition: 2011)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAC525
$105.00$84.00
You save: $21.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Alayam: The Hindu Temple (An Epitome of Hindu Culture)
Item Code: NAC227
$25.00$20.00
You save: $5.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
A Captive of Her Love - Letters and Paintings of Janina Stroka
Paperback (Edition: 1998)
Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
Item Code: NAM567
$30.00$24.00
You save: $6.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now

Testimonials

Very grateful for this service, of making this precious treasure of Haveli Sangeet for ThakurJi so easily in the US. Appreciate the fact that notation is provided.
Leena, USA.
The Bhairava painting I ordered by Sri Kailash Raj is excellent. I have been purchasing from Exotic India for well over a decade and am always beyond delighted with my extraordinary purchases and customer service. Thank you.
Marc, UK
I have been buying from Exotic India for years and am always pleased and excited to receive my packages. Thanks for the quality products.
Delia, USA
As ever, brilliant price and service.
Howard, UK.
The best and fastest service worldwide - I am in Australia and I put in a big order of books (14 items) on a Wednesday; it was sent on Friday and arrived at my doorstep early on Monday morning - amazing! All very securely packed in a very strong cardboard box. I have bought several times from Exotic India and the service is always exceptionally good. THANK YOU and NAMASTE!
Charles (Rudra)
I just wanted to say that this is I think my 3rd (big) order from you, and the last two times I received immaculate service, the books arrived well and it has been a very pleasant experience. Just wanted to say thanks for your efficient service.
Shantala, Belgium
Thank you so much EXOTIC INDIA for the wonderfull packaging!! I received my order today and it was gift wrapped with so much love and taste in a beautiful golden gift wrap and everything was neat and beautifully packed. Also my order came very fast... i am impressed! Besides selling fantastic items, you provide an exceptional customer service and i will surely purchase again from you! I am very glad and happy :) Thank you, Salma
Salma, Canada.
Artwork received today. Very pleased both with the product quality and speed of delivery. Many thanks for your help.
Carl, UK.
I wanted to let you know how happy we are with our framed pieces of Shree Durga and Shree Kali. Thank you and thank your framers for us. By the way, this month we offered a Puja and Yagna to the Ardhanarishwara murti we purchased from you last November. The Brahmin priest, Shree Vivek Godbol, who was visiting LA preformed the rites. He really loved our murti and thought it very paka. I am so happy to have found your site , it is very paka and trustworthy. Plus such great packing and quick shipping. Thanks for your service Vipin, it is a pleasure.
Gina, USA
My marble statue of Durga arrived today in perfect condition, it's such a beautiful statue. Thanks again for giving me a discount on it, I'm always very pleased with the items I order from you. You always have the best quality items.
Charles, Tennessee
TRUSTe
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2017 © Exotic India