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Language of Images

Visualization and Meaning in Tantras


Sthaneshwar Timalsina

While Indian visual culture and Tantric images have drawn wide attention, the culture of images, particularly that of the divine images, is broadly misunderstood. This book is the first to systematically address the hermeneutic and philosophical aspects of visualizing images in Tantric practices. While examining the issues of embodiment and emotion, this volume initiates a discourse on image-consciousness, imagination, memory, and recall. The main objective of this book is to explore the meaning of the opaque Tantric forms, and with this, the text aims to introduce visual language to discourse. Language of Images is the result of a long and sustained engagement with Tantric practitioners and philosophical and exegetical texts. Due to its synthetic approach of utilizing multiple ways to read cultural artifacts, this work stands alone in its attempt to unravel the esoteric domains of Tantric practice by means of addressing the culture of visualization.
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About the Author


Sthaneshwar Timalsina (Ph.D., Martin Luther University) is Professor of Indian Religions and Philosophies in the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University. His primary areas of interest include Tantric studies and Indian philosophies. While his early books Seeing and Appearance and Consciousness in Indian Philosophy address various Advaita theories of consciousness, Tantric Visual Culture: A Cognitive Approach explores the cognitive and philosophical domains of the Indian culture of visualization with a focus on Tantric images. Timalsina has also published over three dozen articles and book chapters. He is currently working on the philosophical and psychological aspects of memory, disposition, recognition, imagination, and emotion.

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