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India and Civilizational FuturesBackwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics II$
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Vinay Lal

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199499069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199499069.001.0001

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Sree Narayana Iconography

Sree Narayana Iconography

Its Transformation and Impact on Society and Politics

(p.261) 10 Sree Narayana Iconography
India and Civilizational Futures

Sujit Sivanand

Oxford University Press

This study of visual imagery characterizing Narayana Guru (1855–1928) lays open engaging insights into the use of imagery in the spiritual and political domains. Often imagery is used by opposing interest groups, each one representing the Guru as champion of selective aspects of their own ideology. The paper explores how these obvious contradictions find room in the continuing legacy of the Guru. Also sketches, paintings and sculptures of the Guru continue to be forceful media in shaping these different narratives of the Guru, whether used as an object of a wishful visual (darsan) for believers, or used on captivating book covers meant for questioning students of philosophy. Imagery continues to drive storylines of this Guru, who upheld universal humanistic values, without mapping political, religious, or ethnic dividing lines anywhere on the globe.

Keywords:   Narayana Guru, iconography, imagery, photography, art, sculpture, politics, philosophy

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