Sacred and Symbolic Ancient India and the Lure
written by Hugh Durey
Hugh Durey | ISBN 9780646541624
Hardback – 192 pages
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Sacred & Symbolic offers a captivating and richly illustrated glimpse into the history of India, four millennia of cultural assimilation through conquest and commerce. Enduring traditions, religious diversity and incredible prosperity - but with a difference. The story of diamonds, from their spiritual symbolism to an icon of status and their trade, is interwoven into the full tenure of India's past.
Persia, Greeks, Romans, Asiatic hordes, Muslims and European trading nations were drawn to India for its natural resources and wealth. The leading Hindu dynasties, like the Maurya, Satavahana, Gupta, Chola and Vijayanagar to name but a few, brought magnificence to art, jewellery and architecture, only surpassed by the Mughal Empire. Great Kings, local celebrities and foreign travellers are introduced and merge with social customs. Religious practices and less well known revelations such as the slave trade and the creations of African kingdoms.
Religion and life in India are intricately linked with gemstones for they are a medium between man and god, they decorate and lure deities and they render harmony and well being to the individual. In Buddhism, the diamond is more than sacred; it is the ultimate symbol of its aspirations and values. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Jewry and Islam in India have all contributed to the demand, intrigue and industry if diamonds.
The journey of this book extended across the width and breadth of India to experience first hand places of historical significance and remote diamond locations and was fascinating, enlightening and never dull.