Lexicon of Tamil Literature is a reference-dictionary of Tamil literature of South India from its early beginnings more than 2000 years ago until the present time (ca. 1980). It includes in the order of Roman alphabet names and short biographies of authors, lists of their works, anonymous literary works and most important matters of Tamil prosody, rhetoric and poetics. Whenever available, bibliographic data are given with individual entries in selection. Brief contents and evaluative statements are given with literary works of greater importance, whether ancient or modern. An introduction is included. The work is the first of its kind in a non-Indian language. It is an indispensable source of data and work of reference for Tamil literature in particular, and for the totality of Indic literatures in general.
Greater Magadha, roughly the eastern part of the Gangetic plain of northern India, has so far been looked upon as deeply indebted to Brahmanical culture. Religions such as Buddhism and Jainism are thought of as derived, in one way or another, from Vedic religion. This belief is defective in various respects. This book argues for the importance and independence of Greater Magadha as a cultural area until a date close to the beginning of the Common Era. In order to correct the incorrect notions, two types of questions are dealt with: questions pertaining to cultural and religious dependencies, and questions relating to chronology. As a result a modified picture arises that also has a bearing on the further development of Indian culture.
Volume Two begins with writings by some of the most important critics of Walter Spink's conclusions, interspersed with his own responses, using a thorough analysis of the great Cave 26 to support his assertions. The author then turns to matters of patronage, and to the surprising fact that, unlike most other Buddhist sites, Ajanta was purely "elitist", developed by less than a dozen major patrons. Its brief heyday traumatically ended, however, with the death of the great emperor Harisena in about 477, creating political chaos. Ajanta's anxious patrons now joined in a headlong rush to get their shrines dedicated, in order to obtain the expected merit, before they fled the region, abandoning their caves to the monks and local devotees remaining at the now-doomed site. These "intrusive" new patrons now filled the caves with their own helter-skelter votive offerings, paying no heed to the well-laid plans of the years before. A similar pattern of patronage is to be found in the redecoration of the earlier Hinayana caves, where the careful planning of the work being done during Harisena's reign is suddenly interrupted by a host of individual votive donations. The volume ends with a new and useful editing of Ajanta inscriptions by Richard S. Cohen.