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Incredible India: Exotic Art

India is richly endowed with exotic art. There’s much to say about the arts in India especially when discussed in different contexts, such as history, instruments used, religious influences, and originating cultures. Long before the western artists gained popularity, the Indians were already enjoying arts in their lives, be it in the church or at home. Exotic art had its finest in Indian tradition. Much of the Indian art is influenced by religion, primarily by Hinduism and Buddhism.

They have statues shaped into figures representing their gods and goddesses. Others are objects which are highly priced as religious items. These items are used as decorations at homes and churches. They have also built wonderful structures offered to their gods and goddesses. Buddha Buddha literally means “The Enlightened One” and is an honorific title to Buddhists. Siddhartha Gautama, a Hindu prince, achieved enlightenment after renouncing his life as a prince and wandered across the countryside.

He later founded the Buddhist religion after he was called Buddha. Although Buddha is technically not a god, his followers worshipped him as a divine being. Buddha is the perhaps the most favorite subject among worshippers and artists alike. We can see varieties of Buddha, from fat to thin, from plain wood to gold, from pocketsize editions to monuments. Buddha figures are also found across different countries that practice Buddhism. Torana Toranas are free-standing ceremonial gateways positioned in front of Buddhist stupa.

It can either be made of stone or wood. Most toranas are elaborately decorated and carved with floral designs and other figures. Statue of Bodhisattva Bodhisattvas are a popular subject among Indian sculptors. These are beings who are about to advance into Buddha spirituality however have chosen to delay their entry into Nirvana for the purpose of saving other sentient beings. They are often portrayed to carry precious jewelry and elaborately designed garments.

Avalokiteshvara (or Lotus-Bearer) is the bodhisattva of compassion and is the most important bodhisattva. Indians also build huge structures dedicated to their gods. Most of these structures serve as temples used in their worship. The temples are elaborately decorated with religious figures inside and out. The garbhagriha (or the womb chamber) is the sanctuary of an Indian temple and is found in most temples. Aside from sculptures, we also see paintings of religious figures. Indians use various coloring materials to paint their subjects.

Their colored garments are also reflective of the influences of religion in fashion. Indian music is deeply rooted to their religious beliefs and personal experiences with their faith. Oftentimes, music and rhythmic chants are used as aid in their meditation practices (i. e. yoga).

Work Cited:

Nagle, Geraldine. The Arts: World Themes. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill Companies, 1993 “The life of Buddha in legend and art. ” May 2000. 8 March 2008. <http://www. exoticindiaart. com/article/gautambuddha>

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