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Books > Art and Architecture > SEMIOTICA INDICA - 2 Volumes (Encyclopaedic Dictionary Of Body-Language In Indian Art And Culture)
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SEMIOTICA INDICA - 2 Volumes (Encyclopaedic Dictionary Of Body-Language In Indian Art And Culture)
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SEMIOTICA INDICA - 2 Volumes (Encyclopaedic Dictionary Of Body-Language In Indian Art And Culture)
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About the Book

Semiotica Indica is the first attempt to describe the semiotics of Indian culture. It is meant to provide some basic ideas, concepts and material for the study of nonverbal communication in India. It draws from works on semiotics but revolves around the core concept of communication.

 

The book is about Indian actions, how actions become gestures and how gestures transmit messages. It covers much of the literature in Sanskrit and modern Indian languages on nonverbal communication and organized it in a fashion useful for three purposes: (a) to provide an "ancient overview" of the nonverbal communication; (b) to map nonverbal continuity in India from Bharata's time to the present day; and (c) to establish a conceptual base into which new findings may be integrated.

This Encyclopaedic Dictionary is a survey of Indian semiotics from Rgvedic times to the present day sketching the theoretical (Sastra) and practical (Prayoga =loka) approaches of the leading semioticians with respect to their differing objectives: classifying the Sastra and the loka; establishing the philosophical sign system for canonical representation of human thought; devising Puranas for the creation of new ideas; gaining insight into the conditions of human knowledge; increasing the efficiency of sahitya, Sangita, citra, vastu ayurveda, jyotisa, darsana and the various brances of the arts; extending communication into agama, nigama, tantra, yonija and ayonija Sspecies. The underlying world-view has crystallized in certain concepts, reflecting the understanding of body and soul, of space and time, of indriya and atindriya, of the part and the whole, of the body and the sense.

This book contains nearly 6000 terms, the complex one are supported by illustration. The entire are ordered alphabetically, but each of the reference is guarded by numerous cross-references. The main focus is on producing penetrating insights into semiotics in general and nonverbal communication in particular.

Written in simple elegant prose and strikingly illustrated, this Encyclopaedic Dictionary is full of practical insight for the understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of body-language in India.

About the Author

Professor H.L. Shukla is a brilliant luminary in the firmament of Linguistics and Indology. He has written around 45 books including Modern Sanskrit Writing (6 vols.), Dictionary of Kalidas (5 vol.), Tribal Folklore (3 vols.) etc.

At present, Prof. Shukla is the Chairman of the Board of Studies of Sanskrit and Linguistics, apart from being the Head of the Department of Comparative Languages and Culture, Barkatullah Vishwavidyalaya Bhopa.

 

Vol-1

 

Introduction

Modern India is perhaps unique, historically, in that its twentieth -century existence is still fashioned on traditions laid down thousands of years ago. Yet it has by no means trapped in the rigid mould of an archaic civilization, in fact, its present evolution in the industrial field shows to what an extent its national equilibrium and coherence are based on an admirable continuity. The slow pace at which changes of all kinds have taken place in India is the necessary accompaniment of this continuity, and reflects accurately the rhythm of rural life, which has always provided the essential framework of the country's structure.

For all these reasons we have been obliged to choose an exceptionally lengthy period, almost eight thousand years, in order to give necessary breadth of detail to the present study. There has been no escaping these extended time limits in this instance: any attempt to shorten the period would have resulted inevitably in an incomplete impression of nonverbal communication in India.

This is a survey of Indian semiotics from the Rgveda (6000 B.C.) to the present day sketching the theoretical (sastra) and practical (prayoga = loka) approaches of the leading semioticians with respect to their differing objectives: classifying the sastra and loka; establishing the philosophical sign system for canonical representation of human thought; devising Pursues for the creation of new ideas; gaining insight into the conditions of human knowledge; increasing the efficiency of sahitya, sangita, citra, vastu, ayurveda, jyotisa, darsana and the various branches of the arts; extending communication into agama, nigama, tantra, yonija and ayonija species. The underlying world-view has crystallized in certain concepts, reflecting the understanding of body and soul, of space and time, of indriya and atindriya, of the part and the whole, of the body and senses. So far most indological or semiotic research has been done in single disciplines or in limited area, but a serious investigation into the inter- relatedness of all these fields is still a desideratum. A semiotic approach is the first prerequisite to understanding the relationship between the ancient sciences and the various branches of the arts. Considering that semiotic research itself is semiosis, we present here the compilation of different signs from Vedic period to the modern age.

Cultural Semiotics

The science that deals with the dynamics of signs is called semiotics. The science of semiotics or the theory of signs and symbols studies the language of animals, our own human language, and the numerous and diversified language systems of signs and symbols like road signs, signal systems, displays, maps, diagrams and the like. The process through which signs function is called semiosis.

In ancient India Sanskrit scholars laid special stress on the pragmatic nature of signs. While dealing with yuktisastra, Mahabharata (V. 30.49) resorts to its pragmatic interpretation. Later on Dasarupaka (1.43) commenting on karyayukti explains that it is the "study of appropriateness or suitability of action or sign in a drama". These seminal ideas of Mahabharata and Dasarupaka were further nurtured in the yuktidipika with an outline of five broad sub-fields of semiotics pertaining to the secret codes. The meanings, however, have undergone some change as the term semiotics is now used for the study of signs in general. Although major contributions to the study of signs have emerged from the West, we should credit the major impetus toward the emergence of this concept to the influence of work conducted a millennium ago by Dhananjaya (an Indian dramaturgist who wrote Dasarupaka). Classical Indian arts were rife with symbols and signification prior to Dhananjaya (974 - 995 A.D). Some of these arts mentioned by Kautilya (300 B.C.- 100 B.C.), Bharata (2nd B.C.), Vatsyayana (1st C. A.D.) and Banabhatta are as follows:

(i) alapayojanam.: art of discourse design.

(ii) kavyasamasya purnam: art of completing a verse whose one part has been supplied.

(iii) calitayoga: tricky and critical communication to delute others.

(iv) tarkakarma: art of disputation.

(v) desabhasajnana : knowledge of dialects.

(vi) nimittajnana: art of signs and omens.

(vii) pratimala : art of reciting verses beginning with the letter with which one recited by one's adversary ends.

(viii) prahelika : art of riddles.

(ix) mlecchitavikalpa: art of speaking by changing the forms of words, learning of various foreign codes, symbolic scripts and speeches.

(x) vacika: art of oral communication; also known as vak-diksa.

(xi) vainayiki : art of submission or discipline.

(xii) semvadana : art of entertaining in conversation.

(xiii) sarvabhasakausalam: art of knowing all the languages.

(xiv) sarvalipikauslam : art of knowing all the scripts.

Today, semiotics is vast beyond measure. Umberto Eco, who himself holds a professorship of semiotics, has conservatively listed multiple sub-fields; zoosemiotics, olfactory signs (codes of scents), tactile communication, codes of taste, paralinguistics (supplementary codes during speech events), medical semiotics, kinesics and proximics (gesture codes), musical codes, formalized languages, written languages, unknown alphabets, secret codes, natural languages, visual communication, systems of objects, plot structure, text theory, cultural codes, aesthetic texts, mass - communication and rhetorics (A Theory of Semiotics, 1976, 9-14). Even then there are many ancient arts or codes which are still to be enumerated as sub- fields of semiotics.

 

Vol-1

 

Preface

This book is meant to provide some basic ideas, concepts and material for the study of nonverbal communication in India. It draws on work from semiotics but revolves around the core concept of communication.

The book covers much of the literature in Sanskrit and modern Indian languages on nonverbal communication and organizes it in a fashion useful for three purposes (a) to provide "an ancient overview" of the nonverbal communication; (b) to map nonverbal continuity in India from Bharata's time to the present day; and (c) to provide a conceptual base into which new findings may be integrated.

This Encyclopaedic Dictionary of nearly 6000 terms relating primarily to social semiotics was compiled as much for my own benefit as for anyone else's. Quite frankly, I was becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the proliferation of terms that has inevitably accompanied the development of semiotics and other disciplines of relevance to linguistic analysis since the 1980s; and I was becoming increasingly frustrated by the semantic problems in the terminology that have resulted. And while there are dictionaries of critical terms and linguistic terms in the market, there is not even a single reference work for guidance in the close analysis of nonverbal communication that incorporates terms from paralanguage, kinesics, haptics, oculesics, olfaction, gustation. proximics, chronemics, speech behaviour, discourse analysis, communication theory - in a word semiotics.

I hope this volume provides enough groundwork for readers to pursue some of the topics raised in more depth, and especially to 'decode' one of the most ubiquitous and tenacious forms of communication and ideology in Indian society. I hope this volume contributes in some way to that topic and will help people become more aware of the images and values perpetuated by body semiotics, and the forms and structure which carry and determine what they mean.

This book is also a trip into the ancient past. On remote islands and interior parts of India there are people who are extremely backward in terms of civilization. Until recently they did not have their written languages and did not know metals. The life of these primitive people has much in common with the life of our Vedic ancestors. In order to gain a better understanding of their life I went to the places of Central India where they still live. I tried to win their trust gradually learning their languages and adopting their way of life and thereby gaining an opportunity to study their nonverbal behaviour. It was as if I found myself in the distant past. The study of the backward people's life enabled me to better understand how our Vedic and Puranic ancestors lived.

I am obliged to Verrier Elwin, Richard Lannoy, Kapila Vatsyayana, S N Ghosal Shastri, Sadashiv A Dange, N N Bhattacharya, S K Ramachandra Rao and others whose works are used by me in connection with the translation of the texts wherever necessary. Many other authors and friends also helped me in various ways by providing illustrations and sending me information connected with different entries. I am indebted to them. The line-drawings are by Bhasha and Abhisheka. I thank them for their sense of involvement. I must thank M/s Aryan Books International of Delhi, who accepted and carried out the publication of this book so willingly.

 

Sample Pages












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SEMIOTICA INDICA - 2 Volumes (Encyclopaedic Dictionary Of Body-Language In Indian Art And Culture)

Item Code:
IDD888
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1994
ISBN:
81-7305-046-5
Language:
English
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11.3" X 9.0"
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721(Figures: 146)
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About the Book

Semiotica Indica is the first attempt to describe the semiotics of Indian culture. It is meant to provide some basic ideas, concepts and material for the study of nonverbal communication in India. It draws from works on semiotics but revolves around the core concept of communication.

 

The book is about Indian actions, how actions become gestures and how gestures transmit messages. It covers much of the literature in Sanskrit and modern Indian languages on nonverbal communication and organized it in a fashion useful for three purposes: (a) to provide an "ancient overview" of the nonverbal communication; (b) to map nonverbal continuity in India from Bharata's time to the present day; and (c) to establish a conceptual base into which new findings may be integrated.

This Encyclopaedic Dictionary is a survey of Indian semiotics from Rgvedic times to the present day sketching the theoretical (Sastra) and practical (Prayoga =loka) approaches of the leading semioticians with respect to their differing objectives: classifying the Sastra and the loka; establishing the philosophical sign system for canonical representation of human thought; devising Puranas for the creation of new ideas; gaining insight into the conditions of human knowledge; increasing the efficiency of sahitya, Sangita, citra, vastu ayurveda, jyotisa, darsana and the various brances of the arts; extending communication into agama, nigama, tantra, yonija and ayonija Sspecies. The underlying world-view has crystallized in certain concepts, reflecting the understanding of body and soul, of space and time, of indriya and atindriya, of the part and the whole, of the body and the sense.

This book contains nearly 6000 terms, the complex one are supported by illustration. The entire are ordered alphabetically, but each of the reference is guarded by numerous cross-references. The main focus is on producing penetrating insights into semiotics in general and nonverbal communication in particular.

Written in simple elegant prose and strikingly illustrated, this Encyclopaedic Dictionary is full of practical insight for the understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of body-language in India.

About the Author

Professor H.L. Shukla is a brilliant luminary in the firmament of Linguistics and Indology. He has written around 45 books including Modern Sanskrit Writing (6 vols.), Dictionary of Kalidas (5 vol.), Tribal Folklore (3 vols.) etc.

At present, Prof. Shukla is the Chairman of the Board of Studies of Sanskrit and Linguistics, apart from being the Head of the Department of Comparative Languages and Culture, Barkatullah Vishwavidyalaya Bhopa.

 

Vol-1

 

Introduction

Modern India is perhaps unique, historically, in that its twentieth -century existence is still fashioned on traditions laid down thousands of years ago. Yet it has by no means trapped in the rigid mould of an archaic civilization, in fact, its present evolution in the industrial field shows to what an extent its national equilibrium and coherence are based on an admirable continuity. The slow pace at which changes of all kinds have taken place in India is the necessary accompaniment of this continuity, and reflects accurately the rhythm of rural life, which has always provided the essential framework of the country's structure.

For all these reasons we have been obliged to choose an exceptionally lengthy period, almost eight thousand years, in order to give necessary breadth of detail to the present study. There has been no escaping these extended time limits in this instance: any attempt to shorten the period would have resulted inevitably in an incomplete impression of nonverbal communication in India.

This is a survey of Indian semiotics from the Rgveda (6000 B.C.) to the present day sketching the theoretical (sastra) and practical (prayoga = loka) approaches of the leading semioticians with respect to their differing objectives: classifying the sastra and loka; establishing the philosophical sign system for canonical representation of human thought; devising Pursues for the creation of new ideas; gaining insight into the conditions of human knowledge; increasing the efficiency of sahitya, sangita, citra, vastu, ayurveda, jyotisa, darsana and the various branches of the arts; extending communication into agama, nigama, tantra, yonija and ayonija species. The underlying world-view has crystallized in certain concepts, reflecting the understanding of body and soul, of space and time, of indriya and atindriya, of the part and the whole, of the body and senses. So far most indological or semiotic research has been done in single disciplines or in limited area, but a serious investigation into the inter- relatedness of all these fields is still a desideratum. A semiotic approach is the first prerequisite to understanding the relationship between the ancient sciences and the various branches of the arts. Considering that semiotic research itself is semiosis, we present here the compilation of different signs from Vedic period to the modern age.

Cultural Semiotics

The science that deals with the dynamics of signs is called semiotics. The science of semiotics or the theory of signs and symbols studies the language of animals, our own human language, and the numerous and diversified language systems of signs and symbols like road signs, signal systems, displays, maps, diagrams and the like. The process through which signs function is called semiosis.

In ancient India Sanskrit scholars laid special stress on the pragmatic nature of signs. While dealing with yuktisastra, Mahabharata (V. 30.49) resorts to its pragmatic interpretation. Later on Dasarupaka (1.43) commenting on karyayukti explains that it is the "study of appropriateness or suitability of action or sign in a drama". These seminal ideas of Mahabharata and Dasarupaka were further nurtured in the yuktidipika with an outline of five broad sub-fields of semiotics pertaining to the secret codes. The meanings, however, have undergone some change as the term semiotics is now used for the study of signs in general. Although major contributions to the study of signs have emerged from the West, we should credit the major impetus toward the emergence of this concept to the influence of work conducted a millennium ago by Dhananjaya (an Indian dramaturgist who wrote Dasarupaka). Classical Indian arts were rife with symbols and signification prior to Dhananjaya (974 - 995 A.D). Some of these arts mentioned by Kautilya (300 B.C.- 100 B.C.), Bharata (2nd B.C.), Vatsyayana (1st C. A.D.) and Banabhatta are as follows:

(i) alapayojanam.: art of discourse design.

(ii) kavyasamasya purnam: art of completing a verse whose one part has been supplied.

(iii) calitayoga: tricky and critical communication to delute others.

(iv) tarkakarma: art of disputation.

(v) desabhasajnana : knowledge of dialects.

(vi) nimittajnana: art of signs and omens.

(vii) pratimala : art of reciting verses beginning with the letter with which one recited by one's adversary ends.

(viii) prahelika : art of riddles.

(ix) mlecchitavikalpa: art of speaking by changing the forms of words, learning of various foreign codes, symbolic scripts and speeches.

(x) vacika: art of oral communication; also known as vak-diksa.

(xi) vainayiki : art of submission or discipline.

(xii) semvadana : art of entertaining in conversation.

(xiii) sarvabhasakausalam: art of knowing all the languages.

(xiv) sarvalipikauslam : art of knowing all the scripts.

Today, semiotics is vast beyond measure. Umberto Eco, who himself holds a professorship of semiotics, has conservatively listed multiple sub-fields; zoosemiotics, olfactory signs (codes of scents), tactile communication, codes of taste, paralinguistics (supplementary codes during speech events), medical semiotics, kinesics and proximics (gesture codes), musical codes, formalized languages, written languages, unknown alphabets, secret codes, natural languages, visual communication, systems of objects, plot structure, text theory, cultural codes, aesthetic texts, mass - communication and rhetorics (A Theory of Semiotics, 1976, 9-14). Even then there are many ancient arts or codes which are still to be enumerated as sub- fields of semiotics.

 

Vol-1

 

Preface

This book is meant to provide some basic ideas, concepts and material for the study of nonverbal communication in India. It draws on work from semiotics but revolves around the core concept of communication.

The book covers much of the literature in Sanskrit and modern Indian languages on nonverbal communication and organizes it in a fashion useful for three purposes (a) to provide "an ancient overview" of the nonverbal communication; (b) to map nonverbal continuity in India from Bharata's time to the present day; and (c) to provide a conceptual base into which new findings may be integrated.

This Encyclopaedic Dictionary of nearly 6000 terms relating primarily to social semiotics was compiled as much for my own benefit as for anyone else's. Quite frankly, I was becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the proliferation of terms that has inevitably accompanied the development of semiotics and other disciplines of relevance to linguistic analysis since the 1980s; and I was becoming increasingly frustrated by the semantic problems in the terminology that have resulted. And while there are dictionaries of critical terms and linguistic terms in the market, there is not even a single reference work for guidance in the close analysis of nonverbal communication that incorporates terms from paralanguage, kinesics, haptics, oculesics, olfaction, gustation. proximics, chronemics, speech behaviour, discourse analysis, communication theory - in a word semiotics.

I hope this volume provides enough groundwork for readers to pursue some of the topics raised in more depth, and especially to 'decode' one of the most ubiquitous and tenacious forms of communication and ideology in Indian society. I hope this volume contributes in some way to that topic and will help people become more aware of the images and values perpetuated by body semiotics, and the forms and structure which carry and determine what they mean.

This book is also a trip into the ancient past. On remote islands and interior parts of India there are people who are extremely backward in terms of civilization. Until recently they did not have their written languages and did not know metals. The life of these primitive people has much in common with the life of our Vedic ancestors. In order to gain a better understanding of their life I went to the places of Central India where they still live. I tried to win their trust gradually learning their languages and adopting their way of life and thereby gaining an opportunity to study their nonverbal behaviour. It was as if I found myself in the distant past. The study of the backward people's life enabled me to better understand how our Vedic and Puranic ancestors lived.

I am obliged to Verrier Elwin, Richard Lannoy, Kapila Vatsyayana, S N Ghosal Shastri, Sadashiv A Dange, N N Bhattacharya, S K Ramachandra Rao and others whose works are used by me in connection with the translation of the texts wherever necessary. Many other authors and friends also helped me in various ways by providing illustrations and sending me information connected with different entries. I am indebted to them. The line-drawings are by Bhasha and Abhisheka. I thank them for their sense of involvement. I must thank M/s Aryan Books International of Delhi, who accepted and carried out the publication of this book so willingly.

 

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