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Every civilization grows with peoples aesthetic aspirations and skills which gradually transcend geographical boundaries to germinate and grow again elsewhere as a cultural whole. The numerous caves of Dunhuang of China have gone through this cultural process, patently becoming unique in itself. IGNCA is endeavouring to discover in Dunhuang the gravitational force of cultural heritage of both India and China. In this issue the Dunhuang cave paintings and status of Buddha have been brought into focus. Alongside is the highlight of the impact of Indian culture on Indonesian concept of art which reflects the other dimension of universal cultural heritage. Dongson culture of Vietnam is another significant feature of this issue.
The cord connecting cultures beyond geographical frontiers is the thinking that has woven the wrap and woof of Indias fundamental texts of a rich variety. IGNCA has searialized them under the "Kalamulasastra". The Nartananirnaya is one such text out of which a pan-Indian dimension of art has come to be. This is discussed in the Perspective.
Vihangama goes deeper into the realm of culture and cognition. Through book-reviews, it explores the contemplative mind, the human concern for absolute truth and supreme reality. The Power of the Sacred Name reflects upon V. Raghavans study of Namasiddhanta based largely on the bhakti tradition in south India. In eastern India the foremost creative exponents of the Name was the saint Sri Gauranga whose teachings transcended caste and community barriers. The book Visnupriya: the Forgotten Wife of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu shows a creative response of the Navadweep Vaisnavites to the oneness of human beings, using Radha-Krsna as a universal symbol.
Of IGNCAs own publication under the "Collective Works of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy", thirty songs form the Punjab and Kashmir and the most desired book Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power in the Indian Theory of Government are reviewed for reading through Indias wisdom tradition.
To understand the contemporary celebration of this great tradition a field-based study of the concept of Seed (bija) has been taken up under the "Loka Parampara Programme". A moments consideration of this project, titled "The Seed of bajara", shows that a new method is evolving in anthropology and ethnography.
Vihangama moves from ritual art to the art of Lithography and its impact on book design in India. In the personality highlight, it fathoms yet another art, the Nail Drawing, which holds many promises, especially for the visually handicapped children.
One of the unique features of IGNCA is the Foundation Day celebration which has a distinctive appearance. Each Division observes a festive Day dialectically and structurally related to its ideas and activities. This issue brings into light the Foundation Day celebrations of Janpada Sampada and Kala Kosa Division on Harialy Tija and Vyasa Purnima, respectively.
The fundamental insight of this issue is that there is no culture without aesthetic experience, no aesthetic experience without a human concern, no human concern without a spiritual essence, and no spiritual essence without a universal symbol.
Copyright IGNCAŠ 1999