Frogs Hymns and Rain Babies
Every year the eagerly awaited monsoon brings to an abrupt end the harsh summer in the Indian subcontinent. The cycle of meteorological events that lead to the annual season of life-giving rain has naturally influenced the culture, art and literature of the people of this region throughout history. In this book, Gautama Vajracharya meticulously examines and brings to light the various aspects of ancient Indian art and literature that were directly inspiried by the monsoon.
Right from the time of the Indus Civilization we begin to see traces of the monsoon becomeing an important facet of Indian religious rituals. The Himalaya and Hindukush act as a physical barrier that separates the monsoonal weather system of South Asia from the dry weather systems of Afghanistan and Persia. These mountain ranges inadvertently formed a cultural barrier too, with summer aestivation and the influence of the monsoon on one side and winter hibernation at the other. The Vedic people who came from the hibernation culture of the Perso-Afghanistan region were quick to adapt their literature and way of life to include the knowledge, rituals, and mythology surrounding the monsoon that were prevalent in the subcontinent much before their coming. Elements of the Ashokan pillars, ceiling paintings at Ajanta, as well as unusual Newari rain baby restivals, among other cultural and literary motifs, are interpreted here by the auther, to re-evaluate the depth of the monsoon's influence on the subcontinent.
This book is a unique contribution to the field of Indian art history, with new information and an original approach. It is extensively illustrated to ensure that the true visual imagery of the author's textual imagination reaches the reader.
By Gautama V. Vajracharya
Forward by Pratapaditya Pal
Published: Marg Foundation, 2013
Format: HC, 212 pages
Product Dimensions: 9.75 x 12.25 x 0.75 inches