Contents: Foreword. Preface. Introduction. 1. Historical and conceptual background. 2. Iconography of Ardhanarisvara. 3. Ardhanarisvara in art. 4. Ardhanarisvara in literature. 5. An aesthetic approach. 6. Socio-religious background. 7. Tantricism. 8. Conclusion. Find spots Ardhanarisvara in India Appendix. Maps: 1. Map showing different ruling dynasties in India. 2. Ardhanarisvara found in India fifth century AD and before. 3. Ardhanarisvara found in the sixth century AD. 4. Ardhanarisvara found in the seventh century AD. 5. Ardhanarisvara found in India the eighth century AD. 6. Ardhanarisvara found in the ninth century AD. 7. Ardhanarisvara found in the tenth century AD. 8. Ardhanarisvara found in the eleventh century AD. 9. Ardhanarisvara found in the twelfth century AD and later. Figures: a). Ardhanarisvara from Thomas Inman's Ancient Faith. b). Siva Ardhanarisvara, third century AD, red Sandstone, Mathura. c). Headdresses of Ardhanarisvara. d). Mukutas of Ardhanarisvara. e). Headdresses of Ardhanarisvara. f). Ear-ornaments of Ardhanarisvara. g). Tridents. h). Other implements. i). Axes, Khadvanga, Damru, Skull, snake, etc. j). Mirrors in the hands of Devi. k). Kamandalas. l). Flowers. m). Other attributes. n). Standing poses and ornaments of Ardhanarisvara. o). Standing images of Ardhanarisvara showing Vanmala. p). Standing poses of Ardhanarisvara. q). Standing poses of Ardhanarisvara. r). Seated in Lalitasana and standing pose of Ardhanarisvara. s). Sitting pose of Ardhanarisvara. t). Sitting poses of Ardhanarisvara. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.
"The scholarly work throws light on the artistic, aesthetic, literary and philosophical aspects of the Ardhanarisvara form of Siva--the form which is a divine expression of the amalgamation of the male and the female and is said to contain the whole world in it. Providing a conceptual and historical back-ground of the doctrines relating to Siva and Sakti worship--it involves an iconographical study of the Ardhanarisvara image, with the focus on its dress, ornaments, coiffure, posture and other features. With many visulas of the Ardhanarisvara images--even the unpublished ones, it describes the images found in different parts of India and discusses the emergence of the deity relying on literary sources and theories.
Explaining how the idea and actual representation of the unity of Siva and Sakti came to acquire supreme importance with the growth of sects--each worshipping the deity in its own form, Dr. Yadav points out that the Ardhanarisvara aspect is basically the output of the Tantra philosophy. Providing maps and line-drawings and a list of the places that have yielded Ardhanarisvara images, she makes an interesting and indepth analysis, based on extensive field-work, to come up with some brilliant and new explanations for the meaning and implications of the Ardhanarisvara." (jacket)