By Heinrich Robert Zimmer

This publication translates for the Western brain the most important motifs of India's legend, fantasy, and folklore, taken at once from the Sanskrit, and illustrated with seventy plates of Indian artwork. it's essentially an creation to image-thinking and picture-reading in Indian artwork and proposal, and it seeks to make the profound Hindu and Buddhist intuitions of the riddles of existence and demise recognizable no longer only as Oriental yet as common parts.

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Vishnu’s Māyā THE vision of endless repetition and aimless reproduction minimized and finally annihilated the victorious Indra’s naïve conception of himself and of the permanence of his might. His ever-growing building projects were to have provided the appropriate setting for a self-confident, natural, and dignified ego-concept. But as the cycles of the vision expanded, levels of consciousness opened in which millenniums dwindled to moments, eons to days. The limited constitution of man, and of such lower gods as himself, lost substantiality.

As the life-process of the world-organism gains momentum, however, order loses ground. Holy Dharma vanishes quarter by quarter, while its 38 converse gains the field. Tretā Yuga is therefore named after the dice-cast of the three. Tretā is the triad or triplet; three of the quarters. Etymologically, the word is related to the Latin trēs, Greek treīs, English three. During Tretā Yuga, the universal body, as well as the body of human society, is sustained by only three fourths of its total virtue.

Hence, the time and space conceptions of India will at first seem to us of the West unsound and bizarre. The fundamentals of the Western view are so close to our eyes that they escape our criticism. They are of the texture of our experience and reactions. We are prone, therefore, to take them for granted as fundamental to human experience in general, and as constituting an integral part of reality. 36 The astounding story of the re-education of the proud and successful Indra plays with visions of cosmic cycles-eons following each other in the endlessness of time, eons contemporaneous in the infinitudes of space—such as could hardly be said to enter into the sociological and psychological thinking of the West.

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