Author: Sachindra Kumar Maity
Publisher: Abhinav Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170173264
FROM AUTHOR'S FOREWORD:
Professor Arthur Llewellyn Basham, a legendary figure and Professor of eminence in Indology, was appointed Swami Vivekananda Professor in Oriental Studies at the Asiatic Society Calcutta in September 1985. We can painfully remember his death in Calcutta on 27th January, 1986. For a brief period of five months he stayed at the International Guest House of Goal Park, Ramakrishna Mission. Every day we used to spend nearly five hours discussing the whole panorama of vast Indian history and culture. My present volume is the outcome of our exchange of ideas and ideologies. Besides this, many other useful editions have been incorporated.
It is divided into two convenient parts, which are subdivided into seven chapters, a select bibliography, nine plates, charts and maps. The first part includes his colourful biography and his 80 letters which are of immense academic value; and these are my personal collections. All about Prof. Basham is in Part I.
Part II focusses light on the vast panorama of the early Indian subcontinent in its various facets through Sources, Problems and Perspectives, Administration, Society and Economy, Religion and Philosophy, and Our Culture. Has India a culture of her own and, if so, how does it differ from that of other countries? That India has a view of life of her own, a special outlook on essential problems, which have persisted throughout her History would hardly be denied by any-one. But it is not so easy to define what the essential elements of that culture are. Our culture is more spiritual than that of other countries. The pre-eminence of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism in India gives to the Indian culture its special significance. Vast canvas of our Sanskrit literature and art objects of sculpture, painting and temple architecture seem to me thousands of baskets full of scented red roses with many thousand expositions. Most certainly it is our ancient heritage. Most of the artists at work are top class thinkers who have expressed their feelings in their voluminous art products. Theirs is not a photographic work; all the sublime ideas are cooked up in their mind and their images are produced on various objects, expressing the eternal truth, beauty and religious fervour. These are the basic tenets of Indian art quite different from contemporary Graeco-Roman art.
Professor Arthur Llewellyn Basham, Man and Indologist
Problems and Prespectives
Society and Economy
Religion and Philosophy