biblio-excerptise:   a book unexamined is not worth having

The Dance of Shiva: On Indian art and culture

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy

Coomaraswamy, Ananda Kentish;

The Dance of Shiva: On Indian art and culture

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1957, 182 pages

ISBN 0374500320, 9780374500320

topics: |  india | culture | history


What has India contributed to human welfare?	 03
Hindu view of art: Historical			 22
Hindu view of art: Theory of beauty		 35
The beauty is a state				 44
Buddhist primitives				 54
The dance of Shiva				 66
Indian images with many arms			 79
Indian music					 85
Status of Indian women				 98
Sahaja						124
Intellectual fraternity				135
Cosmopolitan view of Nietzsche			140
Young India					149
Individuality, autonomy and function		168
Notes:						172

later ed:
The Dance of Shiva : Fourteen Indian Essays/Ananda Coomaraswamy.The Dance of Shiva : Fourteen Indian Essays/Ananda Coomaraswamy. Reprint. New Delhi, Munshiram, 1999, 196 p., 27 ills., $11. ISBN 81-215-0153-9.

The collection of essays by Ananda Coomaraswamy on Indian art and culture
and other themes, published under the title The Dance of Shiva reflect the
many-sided genius of this great savant. The fourteen essays in this
collection critically deal with aspects of Indian ethos, art and aesthetics,
philosophy, music and Indian women besides essays on Indian and western and
ancient and contemporary themes. Coomaraswamy's discussion on these
wide-ranging themes with his mastery of the original source material bear the
stamp of his understanding and thorough analysis. In the essay ‘What has
India contributed’, Coomaraswamy has discussed the application of Brahmanical
religious philosophy to the problems of sociology. In his words: ‘the
essential contribution of India is her Indianness." He aptly sums up the
fundamental quality of Indian music when he says that Indian music is
essentially impersonal and a purely melodic art with elaborate grace. His
essays ‘Indian images with many arms’ is an answer to the critics of Indian
art wherein he has tried to show that what appears bizarre to an occidental
mind is because of lack of familiarity with Indian art traditions and not a
sincere attempt to evaluate the works of art on own merits. His thoughts on
diverse theme like ‘Intellectual fraternity’, ‘cosmopolitan view of
Nietzsche’ ‘Young India’, and ‘Individuality, autonomy and function’ show his
awareness to contemporary situation and ideas.

amitabha mukerjee (mukerjee [at] 17 Feb 2009