"The present publication, Encyclopaedia of Indian Iconography, is intended to focus attention on the traditional details concerning images and their worship. The details given in these volumes are taken entirely from the traditional texts of Agama and Silpa-sastra, like Brhatsamhita, Manasara, Kasyapa-silpa, Isana-siva-guru-deva-paddhati, Silpa-ratna, Padma-samhita, Hayasirsa-samhita, Vaikhanasagama and Rupa-mandana. The entries include not only the Gods and Goddesses of popular so-called Hinduism, but also the divinities of Jaina (both Digambara and Svetambara divisions) and Buddhist (Mahayana) religions. The deities worshipped in Nepal and Tibet are also included. Sadhana-mala has been used for descriptions of Buddhist deities, and Rupa-mandana for Jaina deities. Most of the entries are illustrated by line-drawings of images in temples, monasteries, basadis and in museums. Topics of peripheral interest (like temple-construction, image-making worship rituals and Agama divisions) have also been included here.
"The volumes follow the Sanskrit alphabetical order (akaradi) to facilitate translation into Indian languages. The first volume begins with the words beginning with vowels in Sanskrit alphabet. Followed with mute consonants and the rest of the consonants in the subsequent volumes.
"Among various and synonymous names of the deities, the better known ones have been selected for entry, while cross-references also have been indicated. Wherever necessary, background stories for particular iconographical representations have been given." (jacket)