Jatakas In South Indian Art

Jatakas In South Indian Art

  • $96.80
    Unit price per 
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

Book Specification

Item Code: UAN492
Author: Dr. B. Subrahmanyam
Publisher: Bharatiya Kala Prakashan
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8180900428
Pages: 244
Other Details 11.00 X 9.00 inch
Weight 1.30 kg

Book Description

Early Buddhist monastic establi shments of South India between 2nd century B.C., and 5th century A.D. These were embellished with sculptural picting the life events of the panels depicting Buddha and his former births. visual narratives were created with a view to educate the pilgrims, patrons and also general public about the morals and ethics contained in them. mora Though the sculptural panels depicted with Jatakas recovered from various sites were published in different journals and excavation reports, some of them were left untouched and unidentified perhaps due to lack of interest and research on this particular.

aspect. The book entitled Jatakas in South Indian Art is first of its kind in which the author has made a sincere attempt to corroborate the panels with original textual sources and identified the Jalakas untouched by the earlier scholars. Fresh discoveries are also incorporated. An attempt is also made to compare the Jätakas of South India with those found in the North Indian sites in order to obtain a clear picture regarding the distribution and their diffusion to distant lands. Attention is also drawn to the ethics and morals from the Jätakas.

The book critically examines already published data in addition to the fresh discoveries reported from South Indian sites. The publication is thoroughly supported by good illustrations.

B Subrahmanyam born on 27-05 1950 at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, pursued his Post Graduate studies in Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology in the PG. Centre, Guntur and obtained his M.A Degree in 1974 from Andhra University Visakhapatnam. He joined the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1975 Since then he actively participated in excavations, transplantation of temples and also conservation of excavated Buddhast structures He took his Ph.D. from Mysore University, Mysore, in 1986: He is at presont working as Assistant Director, and looking after the excavations and museums in the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad.

Apart from his participation in seminars he has contributed a good number of research papers to various reputed journals. He authored several books viz Thotlakonda - Buddhist site in A.P (1992), Directory of Monuments - Antiquarian Remains in Anantapur District AP. (1993). Pre, Proto and Early Historic Cultures of Krishna Tungabhadra Valley (1997), Andhra Desamulo Buddha Dhatu Petikalu (Telugu, 1997), Buddhist Relic Caskets in South India (1998), Buddhist Inscriptions of Andhra Dasa (1998), Buddhist Relic Caskots in AP, (1999), Lotus Petals-Lumbini Festival (2000), A Monograph on the Gold Coins of the Kakatiyas (2000). Vajrayana Buddhist Centers in South India (2001), Dantapuram. An Early Buddhist site in AP. (2002) etc. He is Assistant Editor of the book Kevala Bodhi Buddhist and Jaina History of the Deccan (2003), He received incentive award and appreciation from the Government of AP for the discovery of the Buddhist Relic Caskets in 1993 from Bavikonda, Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh in 1993 Currently he is involved in publishing books on Buddhist Sites and Monuments in A.P and Jatakas in Indian Thought and Art.

Artists of ancient India mainly emphasised on two aspects viz., depiction of great events from the life history of Buddha and his former births, generally known as the Jataka stories through visual narratives in stone media with a view to educate the public about the ethics and morals embeded in them.

Though most of the sculptured Jataka panels were examined, identified with textual references and published in various journals and excavation reports, yet there are panels left untouched and unidentified by scholars. No comprehensive work has so far been published on this subject particularly in South Indian context.

Dr. B. Subrahmanyam has aptly selected the subject "Jatakas in South Indian Art", one of the untouched areas of South Indian Buddhism. He has rightly made an attempt to compare the Jataka panels with those of North India and drawn reasons for introduction of some regional elements in some of the Jataka depictions reported from South Indian sites. For this he is rightly qualified with his rich and varied experienc in the Buddhist studies, coupled with deep insight and analytical approach.

The book encapsules not only the data already published in various excavation reports, but also from fresh discoveries made in recent years at various South Indian sites: In this book, the author has made an attempt to provide moral lessons at the end of each Jataka.

Nearly forty one Jatakas from Amaravati, Goli, Nagarjunakonda, Chandavaram, Phanigiri, Gumma didurru, Kanaganahalli etc., have been examined in detail with textual references. While focussing light on the unidentified panels by earlier scholars, the author has effectively visualised the stylistic inclinations, idioms, idiosyncrasies of the artist, supported by good photographs and line drawings. Here, Dr. R. Sub rahmanyam has made a significant contribution to the Buddhist studies in Andhra Pradesh with particular reference to Jataka tales.

I congratulate Dr. B. Subrahmanyam for his commendable work entitled "Jätakas in South Indian Art". I hope this work will draw the attention of the scholars, students and art connoisseurs and generate interest among the researchers to carry out further studies in this field.

The Jatakas represent the stories of the previous births of the Enlightened One, which throw ample light on different aspects of ancient Indian history. Hence the Jataka literature is considered to be an important source material for understanding the social conditions of pre-Buddhist India.

According to a tradition there were 550 Jätaka stories originally composed in pali. which were taken to Ceylon by Mahendra, the son of Asaka the Great, about 250 B.C., and the commentary was retranslated into puli by Buddhaghosa in 5 century A.D. Through this commentary, the texts of Jatakas have come down to us. Some scholars say that Somadeva, a writer in the early centuries of Christian era, composed Kathasaritsagara basing on the firhatkatha of Gunadhya in which many Jatakas were incorporated. Some of them were carried to the distant lands as composed in the Puncatantra Whatever the case may be, the text of the commentary was first edited by Dr. Fausboll who categorized the text into three major component elements; viz., the tale, the frame and the verbal interpretation. Considering it as the oldest, most complete and important collection of folklore, Rhys Davids translated it in the year 1880. Later, a host of scholars like W. R. D. Rouse, H. T. Francis, and R. A. Neil worked on it and the first volume of their translation appeared in 1895 under the editorship of E B.Cowell.

In the same century, Kern published Jatakamala in the year 1891. Later J. S. Speyer in the year 1895 translated Aryasura's Jatakamala (garland of birth stories) into English. He says that the Aryasura's Jatakamala has higher pretension and is in fact a kind of kavya style, a work of art and it was used by the Northern Buddhists, whereas the pali Jataka is in simple prose style, followed by the Buddists of south India. Similarly, three decades later, the Royal Asiatic Society published the translation of another great work namely Avadanakalpalata in the year 1920.

Several scholars have studied the Jätaka literature from various angles. Richard Fick has studied these Jatakas from the social point of view, keeping always in view, the caste and the priest. Roy Chaudhary has studied these stories to draw the political history of ancient India. Rhys Davids and N. S. Subba Rao have studied and drawn the economic conditions that prevailed during the early centuries of Christian era. Beni Prasad in his work. The State in Ancient India, has exhaustively dealt with the administrative aspects. B.C. Sen in his work, Studies in Jatakas, has drawn political and administrative matters. Ratilal N. Mehta in his work, Pre-Buddhist India, snadied the Jatakas from several aspects such as political, administrative, economic, social and geographical survey of ancient India.

The epochal discovery of the Jataka panels in sculpture by Sir Alexander Cunningham more than a century ago, at Bharhut has opened a line of inquiry and continued by several scholars, especially Foucher and Barua. Foucher described the Jataka stories depicted in Torana reliefs at Sanchi. Barua gave an accurate identification of the Jatakas at Bharhut with the Jataka text. Winternitz, who observed the depiction of Jatakas on the stupas at Bharhut and Sanchi, commented that the sculptors have followed the prose version and so they are of pre-Buddhist origin.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

We Also Recommend