By Lawrence A. Babb, Susan S. Wadley

This quantity explores the consequences of the non secular transformation occurring in India as sacred symbols imagine the shapes of media pictures.

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God Posters + Personality Cults = "Personality Posters" The preparation of portraits of prestigious personalities has a long tradition in Indian art, from the earliest depictions of rulers, donor figures, heroes, and saints well before the early centuries of the current era. Agama texts of the late puranic period, as well as Puranas themselves and silpa-sastra anthologies of a slightly earlier time, confirm that there has been a sustained concern for the production of bhakta images for more than a millennium in Hinduism itself.

Ramalingkum. Inglis shows how Mr. Ramalingkum's particular juxtaposition of images serves to represent for the artist the forces that have shaped his life. Nothing seems alien to the domestic shrine, where sacred souvenirs, liturgical paraphernalia, and family memorabilia are displayed along with photographs of departed elders, portraits of luminous personalities, and icons or printed images of grhadevatas, istadevatas, kuladevatas, and gramadevatas. The god posters deployed may be old or new, framed or not, touched with kunkuma or pristine.

Many devout families display god posters in their homes for devotional purposes and in places of honor, often freshly garlanded or with traces of puja paraphernalia in view. For many others, however, the framing pictures even when they depict personally favored supernaturals or saints function strictly as decorations. Their casual placement, or their combination with other, secular decorative objects, in many cases argues for their nonreligious function. , Dasharatha remembering his fateful encounter with the blind ascetic's son, Krishna abducting Rukmini, Rama with Sita in their peaceful forest hut, Shiva as ascetic approaching Annapurna).

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