About the Author
Prof.[Rtd.] Dr. Rai Anand Krishna needs no introduction to the world of Indian Art and Culture. On this father Rai Krishnadasa's rich foundation, he structured his own creativity, experience of study, research and publication in this field. His creativity goes back to 1944 [a long span of six decades]; his tradition continues even to the next generation. His accessible and kind personality makes him a standing humanist dear to a whole generation of Indian art students [who consider him his guru] as well as his scholar friends.
These students and friends now an intimate part of the 'Krishna Family' have in course of time carved for themselves a niche in their respectives fields and are today among the outstanding scholars of Indian Art around the world.
This unique volume is a compliation of articles contributed by these colleagues, friends and students- all Indian art specialists from the length and breadth of the world. They have come together by contributing interesting finds of their fields to form this book-offering which constitutes a landmark in this Ananda-Vana of Indian Art, that is ' The Forest of Bliss of Indian Art'.
Covering a time span from centuries prior to the beginning of Christian Era to the modern times,i.e. almost 2000 years, this book embraces almost every facet of Indian Art, such as architecture, scupture, textile, decorative arts, folk and modern art, sociology and culture.
Enriched with over 500 Spectacular colour and black and white relevant illustrations, this scholarly book, unprecedented in style will not only be a source of information both textually and visually for the academics, but will also be of great interest to every person fascinated by the general or specialized study of Indian Art.
Felicitation volumes [Hindi- Abhinandana Granth] are not only meant to 'felicitate' an accomplished
person, but also a moment when all friends, colleagues and students come together to revive old shared sentiments
and associations in their own way to express their appreciation for the contributions made by their mentor.
Surprisingly, an Abhinandana granth brings forward the usually veiled sentiments of the chelas towards their
Guru. Similarly, thisAbhinandana granth / felicitation volume in honour of our father and Guru is an effort to
bring together the eminent intellectuals who at some course of time or the other have interacted with him.
Professor Rai Anand Krishna [known to his intimates as Raja Bhaiya] is a well-known art and museum
expert; his creativity goes back to 1944: a long span of six decades. His own experience has its solid foundation
in his illustrious father Padmavibhushana Rai Krishnadasa's intimate knowledge and deep involvement in these
areas. He grew up with the distinguished art collection of Bharat Kala Bhavan [the renowned Indian Art Museum
in Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, which was founded by Rai Krishnadasaji] and under the shadow of top
Hindi litterateurs, painters, musicians et al., a solid base which he later enriched with his own experience. Besides
hi own contribution in the fields of Indian painting, sculpture and decorative ['minor'] arts, he has significantly
contributed to the world of Indian Classical music and musicology. His immense and deep knowledge of not only
Indian art and heritage but also every facet of human culture and his accessible and kind personality make him a
standing humanist dear to a whole generation of Indian art students who considered him his guru.
During the last 50-70 years, at his different homes, first at Ramghat, later Sita Nivas and today Krishna
Kutir/Amethi Kothi, it has always been an 'Ananda-vana' ['Forest of Joy'] for all scholars and students of
Indian art, literature and music. The expression Ananda-vana refers to one of the nomenclatures of ancient
Varanasi, the 'Forest of Joy' or 'Eternal Bliss' blessed by Lord Shiva's presence, where the Lord, fountainhead
of all arts and sciences, lives and occasionally plays on his veena and dances in ecstasy. The living culture of the
city is characterised by the playful involvement of litterateurs, musicians and artists, as evinced in the present case
by Dr. Anand Krishna.
The doors to interact and share dialogue were always open for all. Over the years many academics, either
colleagues or students, have intermingled and exchanged notes and benefited from the satsang [learned company]
of Anand Krishna ji. These former students and friends, now a part of the 'Krishna family', have in course of time
carved for themselves a place in their respective fields and stand today among the most prominent scholars of
Indian art around the world.
This project was primarily initiated by the Department of History, Banaras Hindu University [B.H.U.], but
for one or more reasons could not take off. It was in 1999-2000 that we decided to revive this matter. We
approached the' alumni' with' our' idea. It was welcomed with open arms, and to our encouragement everybody
warmly co-operated and helped in every way she/he could. A plea was conveyed to contribute a 'short note' on
any discovery or re-assessment made by each scholar in her/his particular field. To our delight, a wide range of
themes, from art to architecture, from history to culture, from general issues to specialised ones were collected;
the articles also encompass a time span from BCE to modern times.
Very amicably each member of this 'Krishna family' recounted her/his first meeting with Anand Krishna ji
and the imprint he left on him/her. Each contribution emerges like a breath of fresh air and gives a new thought and
direction to the discussed issues. We are sure that this volume will prove a treasury of knowledge both for all
those who are professionally associated with these fields, as for the general readers with an interest in Indian art
We tried our best to change the recent Indian tradition of indefinitely delaying the publication of Felicitation
Volumes. Yet, unlike the fashion prevalent abroad, each contributor was to be honoured and well received in
accordance with their intimate bond with the Krishna family until the designing stage of the volume. As the result,
we treated this project like an Indian daughter's marriage.
Being tied up with their professional commitments, some scholars took their own time; but we are grateful
that despite all odds this Volume sees its completion today. Please believe us, it has not been easy to co-ordinate
over 55 contributors from the length and breadth of the world! Accordingly, we are very regretful for the
inconveniences caused to the' members' who earnestly submitted their 'flowers' for this' garland', but as it
appeared from their encouraging and sometimes 'annoyed' letters, they realized our dilemma. Co-ordinating 55
articles being designed uniquely implies a big editorial work of international standard, dealing with illustrations and
endnotes, etc. We request the readers to be kind enough not to give too much attention to the inevitable small
mistakes that are present.
We regret the case of Dr. Catherine Glyn, who withdrew her contribution due to some editorial reasons.
We apologise to many other our contributors, who kindly submitted to us their new discoveries in time; however,
due to delay from our side, these were published elsewhere in different forms before this Volume was printed.
We would like to heartily thank all the researchers, collectors and donors associated with the 'Krishna
family' for their offerings, which has made possible this garland of contributions in honour of Dr. Anand Krishna.
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