According to traditional Indian belief and practice every creature has a function (vrata) which he fulfills in the universe. What function did the artist or craftsman fulfill in society, and in that other invisible part of the universe, which he was able to convey by his work to those around him and to posterity?
The distinction often made in the West between artist and craftsman did not affect India. The practitioner of one of the sixty-four recognized branches of art (kala), which provided channels for every possible kind of creative endowment to be trained and employed, fulfilled his calling in the best way possible to him, and thus carried out his universal task.
The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 1956