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(KMS No 32)

Edited and Translated by: PARUL DAVE MUKHERJI

2001, xlv+293pp., line drawings, bibl., gloss., index, ISBN:81-208-1805-9, Rs.750(HB).

The Citrasūtra belongs to the Viṣṇudharmottra Purāṇa, Kāṇḍa III, Chapters 35-43. The Purāṇas - Agni, Viṣṇu, Matsya and Mārkaṇḍeya - provide a necessary bridge between the ritual texts and the texts of the particular arts. The Purāṇas are neither a sub-stream of popular discourse as considered by some nor are they narratives of complex mythologies and legends manifesting flights of poetic imagination or shrouding social histories only. Indeed they are another mode of communicating the same ontological and epistemological concerns of the Vedas and the Upniṣads and the systematization of method of the Brāhmaṇas as they provide another method of relating the abstract and the concrete, the universal and the specific, the philosophic and the artistic. The chapters on the arts in the Purāṇa have to be comprehended against the larger concerns. There is the endeavour to contain multi-dimensions of concepts and meanings through narrative myth and its transformation into a vocabulary of formal elements in the arts, singly and together.

The Viṣṇudharmottara Purāṇa occupies a predominant position among the Upapurāṇas and is also related to the discourse within the Purāṇas. Moreover it is central to the discourse on the arts, both preceding and succeeding it. The voluminous text can be viewed only within the framework of the Purāṇas or it can be placed through Khaṇḍa III in the mainstream of the discourse on the arts from the Nātyaśāstra to the medieval texts. Its contents can be profitably compared with those of both its predecessors as also successors.

The Citrasūtra constitutes an important cluster in the larger concerns of the Viṣṇudharmottara Purāṇa on both the nature of art, artistic expression and communication as also its insistence on establishing a meaningful interdependence and inter-relationship between and among the arts.




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Copyright IGNCAŠ 2001

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