ANANDA KUMARASWARMY Ananda Kumaraswarmy was a noted philosopher and metaphysician, as well as a pioneering historian and philosopher of Indian

art, particularly art history and symbolism, and an early interpreter of Indian culture to the West. He was born on 22 August 1877 in Colombo, Sri Lanka to the Sri Lankan Tamil legislator and philosopher Sir Muthu Coomaraswamy and his English wife Elizabeth Beeby. Due to his father’s death at the age of 2, Kumaraswarmy and his mother moved back to England where he spent his childhood and education. Kumaraswarmy attended Wycliffe College, a preparatory school in Stroud, Gloucestershire, at the age of 12. In 1900, he graduated from University College, London, with a degree in geology and botany. He fathered three children – Narada and Rohini by his second wife, Ratan Devi and Rama Ponnambalam by his fourth wife, Argentine Doña Luisa Runstein. Kumaraswarmy made important contributions to the philosophy of art, literature, and religion. In Sri Lanka, he applied the lessons of William Morris to Sri Lankan culture and produced, with his first wife Ethel, a groundbreaking study of Sri Lankan craft and culture. He opened the eyes of the west to the beauty of the works in Ajantha and Ellora, and more beautiful works throughout India. He wrote many books regarding the wonder of the east. Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists, The Origin of the Buddha Image, The arts & crafts of India & Ceylon are few of his celebrated works. Ananda Kumaraswamy's life was devoted to the study of oriental arts. His last years were practically a single-minded dedication. Even though he lived in America his soul was in India. His mind and heart were filled with India, Indian painting, dance, drama, music, scriptures, literature and culture. On the 8th of September 1947, he died suddenly having completed his eightieth year a fortnight earlier.