Page:Myths of the Hindus & Buddhists.djvu/14

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Myths of the Hindus & Buddhists

and the Story of Dhruva, Shani, Star-Pictures, etc. (pp. 378-3^8). The present writer is responsible for all else rather more than two-thirds of the whole. The illustrations are reproduced from water-colour draw ings executed specially for this book by Indian artists under the supervision of Mr. Abanindro Nath Tagore, C.I.E., Vice-Principal of the Calcutta School of Art, who has himself contributed some of the pictures. The stories have thus the advantage, unique in the present series, of illustration by artists to whom they have been familiar from childhood, and who are thus well able to suggest their appropriate spiritual and material environ ment. It may be well to explain briefly the principle on which these myths and legends have been selected and arranged. My aim has been to relate in a manner as close to the original as possible, but usually much condensed, such of the myths as are more or less familiar to every educated Indian, with whom I include all those illiterate but wise peasants and women whose knowledge of the Puranas has been gained by listening to recitations or reading, by visiting temples (where the stories are illustrated in sculpture), or from folk-songs or mystery-plays. The stories related here, moreover, include very much of which a knowledge is absolutely essential for every foreigner who proposes in any way to co-operate with the Indian people for the attainment of their desired ends nowhere more clearly formulated than in mythology and art. Amongst these are, I hope, to be included not only such avowed lovers of Indian ideals as was Nivedita herself, vi