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Buddhist Art & Culture: Symbols & Significance
(Set of two vols.) 
Author : Arputha Rani Sengupta
ISBN : 978-81-7320-127-1
Edition : 2013
Language : English
Size & Pages : Size 29 Cm. PP. 600 Art Paper (1000 Picture & Line Drawing
Publisher : Agam Kala Prakashan
Format : Hardbound
Price : Rs. 7000


Roman Diaspora in the making of India thrived on a syncrtic goddess ushered by the Greco-Buddhist reliquary cult. Lustrated by royal elephant identified with Africa, goddess  Gajalakshmi on lotus  of rebirth coexists with Isis-Venus and Nemesis symbolized by the Wheel of Low (Retribution), winged  griffin  and other rebus memory devices .Metaphors originally distilled faith in afterlife but these necromantic   signs  are now translated as Buddha’s external presence in a neural religion. Unprecedented cult images of goddess invoked as Maha Maya (Mega Maia) and Maha Vuhara Devi on the Great Boat (Mahayana) radically transformed the cultural landscape of South Asia. Subject to Influences, Meaning of art correlated with Mystery religions moved eastward   from the Mediterranean to reach the gateway to heaven (Torana).The search for immortality demonstrates inter-connectedness of all art objects from Gandhara to Sri Lanka giving to ample scope for portraiture, Narrative techniques and symbolic Communication. Backed by new mortuary practices and esoteric rituals magic of art and new Brahmi script invented from invented from Aramaic was crucial to afterlife.  Not surprisingly Tamil Brami on pot shards was found in Berenike and Oman. The two Volumes examine Late- synthesis in order to create new premises for investigating its Greco-Roman past centered on the powerful impulse to ti induces descent of the Lord (Bhagavato ukramti) through Immaculate conception  and ambiguity in its cultural moorings.  In the process, patrons, priest-kings and historical figures emerge as contributor to the obscure space of the funerary cult. Lasting less than four centuries in India, veneration of luminous Buddhas had far reaching consequences in Asia. Simultaneously, transcending human limitations goddess Mahalakshmi is singular witness to transformations through two millennia of Indian civilization.
Art Historian ArputhaRani Sengupta (born June 14, 1947) examines semiotics of iconography with wide range of meaning in the South and Central Asian Buddhist cultures in the milieu of Greco-Roman world. Her primary interest is to study the ways in which trans-cultural non-linguistic phenomena in art history can generate meaning and provide information on the role of cultural synthesis and knowledge production.  Her powerful deductive Alternate History is a new form of empiricism that reveals synthesis of heterodox beliefs and philosophy in the Greco-Buddhist reliquary art and cult during the early Christian era.  The former Professor at National Museum Institute, New Delhi and Stella Maris College, Chennai is adjunct faculty in the Delhi Institute of Research and Heritage Management. Sengupta has undertaken cross-disciplinary research on prehistoric and early historic burial goods in South Asia and on Buddist Symbole and Substitute with research grant from the Ministry of Culture and Indian Council for Historical Research. Publications include Art of Terracotta: Cult and Cultural Synthesis in India (2004), Jewellery from Buddha Zone in Central and South Asia (2012), Kailasanatha Temple. The Realm of Immortals (2009), and Makimekalai: Dancer with Magic Bowl (2005). Edited volumes include Cult of the Goddess (2012) and Devaraja Cult in South and Southeast Asia (2004).

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