The paintings in the Buddhist cave Buddhist cave monasteries of Ajanta (first century BC and fifth century AD) convey unique insights into the life and beliefs of ancient Indians. Alongside the paintings of Buddhist legends, which aimed to convey Buddhist ethics, the caves also contain scores of non-narrative paintings. Many of them depict the Buddha, the Bodhisatvas, or other Buddhist themes, but the greater portion is made up of images that are only loosely connected to the Buddhist faith: they show lucky charms and auspicious scenes from the worlds of the genies and gods, who showered humans with materials wealth rather than assisting on the path to Nirvana.
The book presents line drawing of many of these devotional and ornamental paintings, together with brief summaries of their interpretation. On the basis of literary reference, many of the scene and symbols are identified here for the first time.
About the Author
Dr. Monika Zin works in the Department of Indology and Iranian Studies at the University of Munich, Germany. She is a specialist in Buddhist art literature and has published numerous articles on Ajanta. Most of the illustrations in this book were drawn by the author
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