An extensive study of self-sacrificial images in Indian art, this book examines concepts such as head-offering, human sacrifice, blood, suicide, valour, self-immolation, and self-giving in the context of religion and politics to explore why these images were produced and how they became paradigms of heroism.
List of Plates. Glossary. Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgements.Introduction. 1. The Images of Sacrifice 2. Human Sacrifice from Myth to Reality: the Integration of Tantra 3. Distinguishing Suicide and Self-Sacrifice 4. Symbols of the Body Offering 5. The Gods who Receive Sacrifice 6. The Heroes who Self-Sacrifice 7. The Historic Setting for Self-Immolation 8. Remembrance and Memorial 9. Motivations for Abandonment of the Body: Political and Military 10. Motivations for Abandonment of the Body: Health and Society 11. Chinnamastā: Divine Reciprocity. Conclusion. Appendix. Bibliography. About the Author. Index