India not only has a very rich and uninterrupted tradition of poetry, but it also developed different forms of literature, including drama, and an equally ancient tradition of performing as well as plastic art forms. The Nafya:scistra of Bharata remains the source of the entire speculation on poetics and the theory of art and aesthetics.
Abhinavabharati, the only available commentary on the Natya:siistra is a monumental work on not only the theory of rasa but also on the concept of beauty in nature as well as art. At the same time, there are numerous texts available on music, dance, sculpture, architecture and so on, besides the huge material available in the Agamas and the Puranas. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), Regional Centre, Varanasi cherished an idea of exploring the possibilities of the pervasive theory of Indian aesthetics, which may embrace literature, theatre and all other art forms. With a desire to explore to what extent these theories may encompass the vast area of literature and arts, a special lecture series was planned and organized.
The present volume is an outcome of the lecture series. It is hoped that volume will be of immense interest to the connoisseurs of Indian art and aesthetics across the country and abroad. It should help them to relish the taste of various dimensions of Indian aesthetics.
Dr. Kamalesh Datta Tripathi, Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Sanskrit Learning & Theology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi is an eminent Indologist, author and editor of many books and articles on ancient Indian theatre and Neityaidstra. Appointed as a Professor in Banaras Hindu University in 1987, he held the office of Dean of the Faculty of Sanskrit Learning & Theology and rendered his services as a Member of the Executive Council of Banaras Hindu University. In his long academic career spanning over five decades, Dr. Tripathi served as Director, Kalidas Akademy, Ujjain for nine years. He is widely travelled and has visited several countries and attended international conferences in Japan, Thailand, China, Holland, Austria, Poland, France, Finland, Spain and Sweden, etc. An eminent director and theatre artist, Dr. Tripathi has not only directed many Sanskrit plays but also acted in them. In recognition of his contribution to the field of Sanskrit theatre and Natyagastric studies, he has been nominated as an Honorary Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi. He received 'Certificate of Merit' from the President of India in 2007. Presently, he is serving as Centennial Chair Professor, Bharat Adhyayan Kendra, BHU, Varanasi.
Dr. Pranati Ghosal (1956), completed her M.A. in Sanskrit from the University of Calcutta in 198o and Ph.D. from Rabindrabharati University in 1997. Her field of studies covers Veda, Vedanta and Vyakarana. She has authored Jada Bharata's Prainavali: A Text on Advaita Vedanta and Life-Style of Vedic People. Some major publications edited by her include Kalatattva-kolaVols. V - VII, Indian and Western Philosophy of Language, Buddhism and Gandhara Art, Interaction between Buddhism and Brahmanical Art etc.
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