India: Life, Myth, and Art

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9780760789513: India: Life, Myth, and Art
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India's cultural legacy is extraordinarily rich and diverse, as well as profoundly influential. This is the cradle of two of the world's greatest religions (Buddhism and Hinduism) and the holy language of Sanskrit-as well as the home of Sikhism and Jainism. For centuries India's beliefs and myths have fascinated Westerners, including spiritual pilgrims who find themselves drawn to the special atmosphere of its holy places. India is the indispensable illustrated guide to the essential features of this life-enriching heritage of wisdom and beauty. As well as the religions and their sacred texts, ceremonies, art, and architecture, the scope of the book embraces such major themes as the impact of Islam; profound philosophical insights about time and the cosmos; and important innovations in technology, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. There are illustrated features on key aspects of Indian belief and practice, such as the linga and the yoni, the lotus, the chakras, and the fearsome goddess Kali. Sacred sites covered include the Mughal mausoleum of the Taj Mahal and the great Buddhist stupa at Sanchi. From the civilizations that grew up along the Indus river more than 4,000 years ago to the dawn of European imperialism, India traces the rise and fall of faiths, empires, and dynasties-giving us a multi-faceted portrait of a country that, because of its far-reaching cultural influence, has rightly been called "the mother of us all."

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