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KĀLIKĀPURĀṆE MŪRTIVINIRDEŚAḤ
(KMS No. 9)

 Edited and Translated by  BISWANARAYANA SHASTRI


1994, xxxviii+144pp., indexs, ISBN: 91-208-1125-9, Rs 200 (HB)


Most of the Purāṇas contain sections devoted to the arts. In some they provide context while in others, they are akin to the texts of form and technique, specially śilpa, citra, nāṭya and nṛtya. A free narrative style of the Purāṇas facilitates an understanding of the śilpa (i.e. measurement, proportion and iconography) and the Āgama aspect (i.e. ritual and the worship methodologies) together. Also, since the Purāṇas are texts which move freely in time and space, social strata, they are able to make connections between different levels of society as also in different periods of history.

The present volume Kālikāpuraṇe Mūrtivinirdeśaḥ, is a selection of 550 verses from the Kālikā Purāṇa roughly ascribed to the period between tenth and eleventh

centuries CE. It is an important landmark for understanding the iconography as also the ritual practices related to Śaiva images particularly the Devī in eastern India. The sculptured style of medieval eastern India is distinctive and cannot be mistaken for contemporary sculptural style prevalent in Bengal and Orissa. What is true of the sculptural style is also true of the iconographical details of images from Assam and specially some only recently excavated and housed in the Assam State Museum.

For understanding the iconography of these images, the Kālikā Purāṇa is an indispensable tool. The detailed descriptions enable one to comprehend the particularities of the iconographical details. The Purāṇa is specially concerned with Kāmākhyā, Kālī and Kāpālī-Bhairavi. The fusion of the legend and the iconographical details can, no doubt, help in further interpretative work on eastern India sculpture.

Equally significant are the sections relating to the methodogies of worship through rituals. Very fine and sensitive details are enumerated as to how to meditate upon and worship the Goddess specially Kāmeśvarī (Kāmākhyā).

 


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