Europalia

India is celebrated all over Europe thanks to the renowned arts festival Europalia International : an impressive program of events over 4 months, with music, fine arts, photography, cinema, theatre, dance, literature, architecture, design, fashion, gastronomy…

In accordance to this Indian celebration, the bookshop Filigranes in Brussels made our Ramayana shine today thanks to several readings of extracts by four comedians.

Hopefully, soon readings will be available with the English translation as well !

Krishna Jayanti 2013

The annual commemoration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu, takes place in India on the 28th of August this year !

Hindus celebrate Krishna Jayanti by fasting and staying up until midnight, the time when Krishna is believed to have been born. Homes and temples are decorated with images of Krishna’s infancy. At midnight, devotees gather around for devotional songs, dance and exchange gifts.

SĪTĀ’S WARNING AGAINST VIOLENCE, Rajasthan school, Kishangarh, c. 1750–1775. Navin Kumar Collection, New York.

Happy Kajli Teej Festival !

Kajli Teej is celebrated on the third day of the month of Bhadra in Bûndî, which corresponds to the 22nd and the 23rd of August this year.

The festival is marked by colorful celebrations : it starts with the procession in the streets of Goddess Teej in a decorated palanquin. The houses are decorated with beautiful flowers and lights. Women also wear beautiful red saris and attractive jewellery and visit temples to offer gifts and prayers to the Teej Mata or Goddess Parvati.

Women observe fast during these days and worship Goddess Parvati for the well-being and long life of their husbands.

Rama in the Woods of Asoka. 1775. Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur.

Rama in the Woods of Asoka. 1775. Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur.

Tomorrow starts the 2013 edition of the Asian Art Week in Brussels !

The finest pieces of art from India, Himalayas, Central Asia, China, South-East Asia and Japan will be exhibited in various galleries in Brussels, from Wednesday the 5th of June to Sunday the 9th.
As the Asian Art Week in New York and London, this is a great event for art collectors and dealers.

On this occasion, we will be presenting the Ramayana by Valmiki with Indian painting from the 16th to the 19th century from Wednesday the 5th until Friday the 7th. Come and discover the 660 miniatures that illustrate this exceptional edition!

Please find more information on the official website : http://www.asianartinbrussels.com

Do not hesitate to contact Aurélie Razimbaud (+33(0)6 63 39 98 84) if you want to meet us !

 

Happy Birthday Rama!

This Saturday, April 20, India celebrates Rama Navami, the birth of Rama, a truly virtuous hero, avatar of the god Vishnu, with one of the country’s most popular celebrations. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus all around the world will fast, sing, pray and parad in honor of Rama.

The Ramayana, literally “Rama’s journey” has been read in every single Indian family for the past eight days.
Immerse yourself into the fascinating epic of Rama and his wife Sita in our beautifully illustrated edition !

THE BIRTH OF RĀMA by Kesava and Kesava Khurd. Mughal school, 1588–1592. Gouache and gold on paper. Courtesy of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust, The City Palace, Jaipur.

Happy Holî to all !

Each year, Holi is celebrated across India on the occasion of the spring equinox, which is a symbol of fertility and fruitful harvests. It takes place over two days during the full moon of the month of Phalguna, which corresponds this year to the 27th and 28th March.

This festival finds its origins in Hindu mythology and in Holika, the despotic king Hiranyakashipu’s sister, who tried to help him killing his son who preferred venerating Vishnu rather than his father. Protected by his faith, the child survived the atrocities of his father and Holika died, burned in the stake prepared for his nephew. This is why on the first day of the festival bonfires are lit all over India, symbolizing the destruction of evil.

This festival is also known as Phâlgunotsava, the festival of colors, because of the tradition that is followed on the second day of the celebration, during which everyone dresses in white and splashes each other of colored powders. This festival has an important symbolic meaning since all social barriers fall for a few days on this occasion.

Such as the Ramayana, Holî shows also how Hindu spirituality is important in Indian people’s everyday life.

Holî

KUMBH MELA

This year, during the whole month of February, millions of hindus celebrate the Kumbh Mela, which is the largest religious meeting in the world. It is held every three years in India, in one of the four sacred sites that host the pilgrimage: Haridwar, Ujjain, Nasik and Prayag (Allahabad). The last one represents the most significant Kumbh Mela, as this city is considered to be the center of the Earth and the source of all energies. So every twelve years, Kumbh Mela takes place in Allahabad for this huge event and 2013 is the one !

Kumbh Mela

 

Literally, Kumbh Mela means “the celebration of the vase”. According to the tradition, a god turned into a bird stole the kumbha, the sacred vase containing a nectar of immortality (Amrit), to the demons and took it to the Nirvana. On his way, he spilled four drops of the nectar in the rivers of these four sites, which became sacred. His trip lasted twelve days, this is why the Kumbh Mela is held every twelve years in each city. However, there is various versions of the story and the origins of this pilgrimage, according to different holy texts, such as the Ramayana.

It is a time for spirituality and meditation, with religious assemblies and devotional songs, but especially baths in the three rivers Godavari, Kshipra and Ganga, which are known to purify the souls of those who bathe in their waters.

To stay in the mood, we invite you to immerse yourself into the Ramayana and follow Rama in his virtues !

VIŚVĀMITRA SUBJECTS HIMSELF TO TERRIBLE AUSTERITIES

VIŚVĀMITRA SUBJECTS HIMSELF TO TERRIBLE AUSTERITIES Rajasthan school, Mewar, dated 1712. Gouache and gold on paper. The British Library, London.

Happy New Year!

Best wishes on behalf of the whole team at Editions Diane de Selliers. We hope you will continue to follow the progress of our upcoming English edition of the Ramayana with interest, as it gathers momentum throughout the year.

We wish you a very successful and joyous 2013.

RĀVAṆA IN HIS CHARIOT ( detail ) Rajasthan school, Kotah, c. 1775. Gouache and gold on paper. Subhash Kapoor Collection, New York.

Happy Diwali !

Today Hindus around the world will mark the start of Diwali, the festival of lights. Celebrated with fireworks, lights and parades, Diwali is the biggest and brightest of all Hindu festivals, illuminating communities with the joy and splendour that it brings.

 Rama is praised by his people, Pahari School, Nurpur, around 1765. Gouache and gold on paper. Catherine et Ralph Benkaim Collection.

Rama is praised by his people, Pahari School, Nurpur, around 1765. Gouache and gold on paper. Catherine et Ralph Benkaim Collection.

Diwali has a different meaning for different people; in some cultures the festival celebrates Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, in others the dark goddess Kali is honoured, and for many Hindus the occasion commemorates the homecoming of prince Rama after his fourteen-year exile.

According to the great Hindu epic the Ramayana, on the night Rama returned to his homeland Ayodhya, the people lit candles to welcome him home, lighting up the whole kingdom. The name ‘Diwali’ is actually a shortened version of the word ‘Deepavali’, which means ‘row of lights’, illustrating the story of Rama’s triumphant return home.

The story of Rama’s homecoming is told is Book 7 of our Ramayana, coming soon in an English edition, where the story is brought to life with beautiful Indian miniatures, conveying the delight and radiance of this spectacular festival.

 

Happy Diwali again !

Dusshera

RĀMA REWARDS SUGRĪVA AND JĀMBAVĀN. Moghol sub-impériale School, around 1595-1605. Paint and gold on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fonds Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky), New York.

RĀMA REWARDS SUGRĪVA AND JĀMBAVĀN. Moghol sub-impériale School, around 1595-1605. Paint and gold on paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fonds Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky), New York.

Dusshera is one of the most important Hindu festivals, celebrated widely across India, Nepal and Bangladesh, as well as in Hindu communities worldwide. The festival celebrates the victory of Rama over the demon Ravana, who had abducted Rama’s wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. After a long battle between the demons and Rama’s army of monkeys, Rama succeeded in killing Ravana and reclaiming his wife. The name Dusshera comes from Dasha-hara, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘remover of ten’, referring to Rama’s victory over Ravana, the ten-headed demon. This day is seen as particularly auspicious for those starting education or business ventures, and rituals take place to sanctify new items.
In Northern India, Dusshera is celebrated by performing plays and stories from the Ramayana, called Ramlila, for ten days. Long extracts from this section of the Ramayana are recited. Large effigies of Ravana and other demons are also burnt on evening bonfires to represent Rama’s triumph.

 

The importance of the Dusshera festival shows how even today, the Ramayana is an everyday guide and companion.

 

The full story of Rama’s victory is found in Book 7 of our Ramayana, illustrated with beautiful Indian miniatures, coming soon in an English edition.

Reserve your copy or purchase the French edition now!

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The most illustrated Ramayana to date
Valmiki's Ramayana illustrated with over 700 miniature paintings from the 16th to the 19th century.
Translation of the unabridged text under the editorship of Robert P. Goldman Sally J. Sutherland Goldman and Sheldon I. Pollock.
Commentaries and introduction by Amina Taha Hussein-Okada, Keeper of Indian Art at the Asian Arts Guimet museum in Paris.
Preface by B.N. Goswamy, Emeritus Professor of History of Art at the Punjab University, Chandigarh.

1480 pages in seven volumes and one reference booklet in each box-set illustrated throughout, 270x290 mm

Estimated Price : 1 200 €
Current value : INR 78,000 / $1,600

ISBN : 978-2-903656-76-8