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By Heinrich Robert Zimmer

This e-book translates for the Western brain the main motifs of India's legend, fable, and folklore, taken without delay from the Sanskrit, and illustrated with seventy plates of Indian artwork. it's basically an creation to image-thinking and picture-reading in Indian paintings and inspiration, and it seeks to make the profound Hindu and Buddhist intuitions of the riddles of existence and demise recognizable now not only as Oriental yet as common elements.

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T h ey are the beginning priestesses of the ever-new historical mys­ tery of the mutual acceptance of the sexes, “ mystagogues” of these variegated actions that visit the get together and fathom­ ing of the unbelievable intensity of this mystery—its colourful mo­ notony, repetitious dullness, and elegant nonsensicality. those very forces of Nature and existence acclaim the ideally suited sacrifice and conquest of the longer term Buddha, although the Buddha’s victory is to negate and annihilate their very own very strength and lifestyles. T h ey hallow his decisive step, his severing of the plants of his head, his selection to embark on that experience of self-con­ quest which finally w sick invalidate, annihilate, easily ex­ plode the entire heavens and hell-pits including their inhabi­ tants, either attractive and terrible—revealing all of them to be in simple terms such a lot of projections, mirages, externalizations, of our personal vege­ tative, animalistic, emotional-intellectual propensities. within the early documents we learn that after the long run Buddha severed his hair, “ so candy with many friendly scents,” it turned “ finger-breadths in size, and, curling to the best, lay with reference to the top. ” T h e cropped, curly locks stay to at the present time the canonical hairdress of the Buddha-image. within the classical Buddhist paintings of 8th century Java this formulation used to be faithfully; the various sculptured representations of the everlasting supramundane Buddhas that line the higher galleries and terraces of the large mandala-structure of Borobodur undergo witness to it. So additionally within the Mon-Khmer creations of Cambodia, this motif has been either steadfastly and assuredly hired. within the most sensible works it really is switched over into an impressively easy, decorative floor, summary and nameless. within the case, for instance, of a definite mask-like Buddha portrait, which I as soon as observed at an expo­ sition in Paris, it types a most galvanizing body. (Figure forty eight. ) T his is a section, now not a lot greater than the palm of the hand, thoroughly corroded through time, soil and rain, brittle and skinny as an autumn leaf. it's some of the most figuring out and solemn mask of a Buddha —breathtaking in its silence and composure. Seeing throughout the 164 sufferings of all creatures and perceiving the reason, it truly is past anguish. It makes show up the redeeming knowledge. T h e fragil­ ity of all transitory beings and issues, which itself is the basis of agony, has penetrated and transfigured this indescribable face and approximately destroyed it. nonetheless, it really is there—this brittle fo ileven more advantageous through the additional frailty: with the elegant indiffer­ ence and composure of its positive factors it wipes away the powers of affliction and rot. T h e relentless tactics of time, right here execut­ ing their sentence of destruction, the doom of that lamentable Samsara from which the knowledge of the Buddha brings redemp­ tion, have collaborated with the foundation of an unknown artist to place the crowning glory to this worthy record of the human spirit. one other Buddha head from Cambodia is proven in determine 50.

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