Dance Sculpture In Sarangapani Temple -kapila Vatsyayan

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Ever since the publication of the Annual Report on Epigraphy, 1914,there has been much interest in the sculptured figures identified as the karanas of the fourth chapter of Bharata’s Nāt pasāstra. Ninetythree figures from the East Gopuram of the Cidambaram temple were illustrated and an attempt was made to identify them in terms of the text of the Natyasästra. These illustrations were taken as the basis of subsequent works on the subject particularly the first edition of first volume, of the Natyasāstra with the commentary of Abhinavagupta edited by Manavalli Ramakrishna Kavi, printed in the Gaekwad Oriental Series (published in 1926) and the work entitled
Tändava laksanam, published by B. V. Narayanaswamy Naidu (edn. 1936).
These have been followed by numerous other studies both popular and
otherwise on the subject of ‘dance-sculptures’ based on the fourth chapter of the Nāt pasāstra. In 1956,Ramaswamy Sastri edited the second edition of
the first volume of the Nātyasāstra and he attempted to rectify the obvious
inaccuracies of the first edition of the Natyasāstra in the Gaekwad Oriental
Series and in the Tāndava laksanam.
Alongside was a marked interest in the Nyttāmūrtis of Siva and Vişnu by scholars of Indian iconography. Amongst the poineers, was the monumental work of Gopinatha Rao in respect of South Indian sculpture first published in 1916 and that of J. N. Banerjea on northern and eastern sculpture in 1941. Sivaramamurti has carried forward these studies in many publications but especially in his recent volume on Natarāja in Indian Art,Thought and Literature.The editors of the first and second editions of the Nātyaśāstra and the authors of the Tandava Lakṣaṇam were proceeding from the text of the fourth chapter of the Natyasāstra. The scholars of Indian iconography particularly Gopinatha Rao and J. N. Banerjea, were proceeding from the textual material in the Saivāgamas, although they fully recognized the primacy of the Natyasastra in this respect.

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