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Music and Fine Arts in the Devotional Traditions of India: Worship through Beauty / Goswami, Saurabh & Thielemann, Selina
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Music and Fine Arts in the Devotional Traditions of India: Worship through Beauty
Goswami, Saurabh & Thielemann, Selina
 
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  Book ID : 27240
  ISBN-10 : 81-7648-811-9 / 8176488119
  ISBN-13 : 978-81-7648-811-2 / 9788176488112
  Place of Publication : Delhi
  Year of Publication : 2005
  Edition : (First Edition)
  Language : English
  Illustrated with miniature paintings and sanjhi designs by Saurabh Goswami; x, 175p., Figs., Plts., 25 cm.
   
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 CONTENTS
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CONTENTS:-
1. Music and fine arts in the devotional tradition of Vraja.
2. Vraja-the center of divine play.
3. Music in the religious festival sof Vraja.
4. Sanjhi: folk art from Vraja.
5. Vrindaban: traditional center of dhrupada music.
6. Sanjhi: spirituality expressed through art.
7. Continuity and change in dhrupada.
8. Itihasa: the concepts of history in India and its bearing on music.
9. Samgita-sastra and sastriya samgita: the 'science of music', 'scientific music'-the Indian perspective.
10. The visual experience: transcription and Indian music.
11. Ethnomusicological evaluation by insider and outsider: one aim, two approaches.
12. Sanjhi designs from northern India: the auditory expansion of an aesthetic experience.
13. Visual representation, musical structure, textual contents, theological background and the philosophical dimension: evaluating devotional art from Northern India.
14. Baul-gana and Baul sadhana: singing as part of the spiritual practice as realized by the Bauls of Bengal.
15. The Baul's message-the message of non-violence, the Baul's striving-the striving for universal peace.
16. Festivals and their audio-visual expansion: dimensions of ethnomusicological fieldwork in Vraja, Northern India.
17. Celebrating great souls: poetry and art as modes of commemoration at anniversaries of Hindu spiritual preceptors.
18. The concrete within the abstract.
19. Art and science: the concrete and the intangible in the art of Sanjhi from Vraja.
20. Epilog: Sanjhi and haveli samgita in present-day liturgy-a plea for the survival of an ancient art.

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 DESCRIPTION
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Art is the immediate manifestation of the human creative quest which, on its part, constitutes the aesthetic expression of spiritual thinking-the response of the beautiful to man's intrinsic affinity towards the all-pervading energy of bliss whose subtle rays illuminate the universe in its every corner. It is more than a mere chance that the arts, at all times and in all parts of the world, emerged in close association with their surrounding streams of faith. Whichever the religious tradition-be it one of the great world religions or the simple, naturalistic belief of an aboriginal tribe, articulations of artistic character, of one kind or another, are certainly part of the ritual activity. In India, religion has significantly inspired a cultural tradition which today counts among the crest jewels of the millennia-old heritage of world culture. India's music, dance, fine arts and dramatic arts are well-known and highly appreciated far beyond their native land. These gems of human creative striving took birth in the Hindu temples of ancient India, where they became the concrete revelations of the spiritual quest, the form-bearing embodiments of an abstract idea. Supported by the concepts of Indian philosophy, these arts developed into symbols of aesthetic perfection whose silent beauty provides the most eloquent evidence for the profundity of man's ever-persistent longing for the diving. The present compilation presents a number of independent articles held together by the thematic string of art as part of ritual worship and spiritual striving in traditions of devotional religion in India. Emphasis is laid on music and fine arts in the Vaisnava temples of Vraja, with recurring reference to the art of Sanjhi wich counts among the unique and nowadays very rare treasures of the Indian cultural heritage. Sanjhi is a form of visual art rooted in the folk tradition. Here the mergence of the current of folk spirituality into the ocean of Vaisnava devotionalism resulted in one of the most delightful expressions of artistic fullness, accomplishing the confluence of fine art, poetry and music in a manner so smooth and attractive as to make obvious the extraordinary role aesthetic beauty plays in the attainment of the spiritual quest. The book, whose authors are actively involved in both the religious tradition and the practice of traditional art, is essentially inspired by the overwhelming presence of the divinity revealed through manifestations of beauty in the ancient arts of India. Those who ever had the opportunity to partake of the sublime experience of spiritual bliss evoked by an aesthetic satisfaction will know that beauty is indeed the core intent of all joy. To share this experience with the reader is one of the main objects of the present volume, along with the plea for the protection of man's endangered cultural riches lest some of these most excellent arts slip into oblivion to be lost forever.
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