Varanasi, the abode of Lord Siva has also embraced other sects including Vaisnavism. If Siva is Nataraja or Natesa, Krsna is known as Natavara dancing with gopis. There are traditions which reveal that Kashi was once a Vaisnava stronghold. In the medieval period many Vaisnava saints from different quarters thronged to Varanasi to preach and popularize their faith. The book projects the Vaisnava contribution to Varanasi in literature, sculptural and other artistic renderings, visual and performing arts temples, festivals and ceremonies.
About the Author
Prof. R. C. Sharma headed important Museums of the country like Government Museum, Mathura; State Museum, Lucknow; Indian Museum, Kolkata and finally, the National Museum, New Delhi as the Director General, and Vice-Chancellor, National Museum Institute. He also served the Banaras Hindu University as the Director, Bharat Kala Bhavan and Professor of Indian Art and Museology. Presently, he is the Honorary Director/Acarya of Jnana-Pravaha Centre for Cultural Studies and Research, Varanasi. Journals and bulletins in the field of early Indian art, he has contributed a large number of papers published in India and abroad.
Dr. Pranati Ghosal is a promising scholar in the field of Sanskrit and Vedic studies and engaged in the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Varanasi Branch. She has contributed brilliant papers in different seminars and co-edited five issues of the Annual Research Bulletin and twelve proceedings of Jnana-Pravaha. Her important publications are Prasnavali and Lifestyle of the Vedic People.
Besides the present volume, the two authors have co-edited impressive books on Buddhism and Gandhara Art, Interaction Between Brahmanical and Buddhist Art, Jaina Contribution to Varanasi and Sakta Contribution to Varanasi.
To serve Indian culture and express esteem to knowledge-endowed, prestigious Kasi, were the main inspiring elements in the background of the foundation of Jnana-Pravaha. Therefore, a well knit chain of programmes covering education, research and sacraments (samskaras); weaved "Radiance of Kasi," as an annual performance
Flow of knowledge is a perennial tradition in Kasi, genesis of which transcends research and is unconstrained by the limits of religious as well as sectarian enclosures. Different principles and beliefs have taken birth here and have developed to their fullness. Like margacalavyatikara-kuliteva sindhuh, this stream of knowledge is flowing uninterrupted even today with its energetic velocity. Following the change of seasons its nature has certainly under-gone some variations but the flow continues. Jnana-Pravaha is a drop is this current of knowledge, which is astonishingly radiating Kasi's enchanting treasure of encyclopaedic knowledge.
Seated in the centre, Siva Himself manifest in different forms sometimes as Saiva and sometimes Bauddha, sometimes Jaina, sometimes Sakta and sometimes yet another. The conception of navisvamur-teravadharyate vapuh is true but a desire to experience His knowledge and acts (lila) is also our end. Vaisnava nature (character) of Kasi or the Vaisnava contribution to Kasi is a link of the same chain of thinking. We are grateful to those erudite scholars who had participated in the two-day symposium held on 1-2 August, 2001 and presented their academic oblations through deliberation.
The majority of papers presented in the seminar were in Hindi but this volume gives their English version.
Smt. Bimla Poddar, Founder & Managing Trustee, Jnana-Pravaha and Sri S.K. Mittal of D.K. Printworld. Deserve special thanks for taking initiative in this publication. The assistance of Dr. Neeraj Kumar Pandey and Sri Chandraneel Sharma is also appreciated.
Brahma Sutras (81)
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