Magic Markings

Tantra, Jain & Ritual Art from India

Tantra, a term known in the West for its associations with sex, magic and esoteric mysticism, has had an impact on religions and philosophies including Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Jainism, Vajrayana, Bönpo, Ayurveda and Shamanism.

Alongside related ideas of ‘mantra’ (knowledge through sound) and ‘yantra’ (the means to leading a Tantric existence), the philosophy of Tantra claims that reality (prakriti) is pure consciousness, pure being, pure bliss – a reality that is, however, veiled by illusion (maya). Through purification, elevation and reaffirmation of identity, Tantra aims to help us return to this unadulterated state of being.

This beautifully illustrated book accompanies an exquisite exhibition of 90 tantric, Jain and related objects, paintings, manuscripts and drawings. The book contains two specially commissioned articles by Madhu Khanna and Alexander Gorlizki, and a contribution by William Dalrymple.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Magic Markings at Joost van den Bergh, London, 4–18 November 2016.

Curated by Joost van den Bergh, co-published by Joost van den Bergh Ltd. and Ridinghouse.

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