Symbolism, Sacred Art, Metaphysics

Guardians of the Sundoor: Late Iconographic Essays & Drawings

Robert Strom


Coomaraswamy’s final un-published essays including: The Iconography of Sagittarius, Philo’s Doctrine of the Cherubim, Concerning Sphinxes, and The Concept of Ether in Greek and Indian Cosmology complimented by the author’s own drawings and other illustrations from his personal archives.

“Coomaraswamy’s works possess a timeliness which flows from their being rooted in the eternal present…It is with joy that we can welcome Fons Vitae’s publication of the final essays and drawings of this formidable metaphysician and peerless interpreter of art and symbolism which contain the saving truths embedded in the millennial traditions of mankind.”

-Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Product Description

These essays have been presented as A.K. Coomaraswamy left them over a half a century ago. The gentle reader need not become involved in the multitude of details under discussion; nor is it essential to deal with the many references cited in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Arabic, German, et al. The text as a whole literally plunges a person into the astounding mentality of the ancient world and the genius of the early authorities whose systems of metaphysics, iconography, analogy and symbolism provide us with both new levels of meaning and reassurance for our lives today.



There are many who consider Coomaraswamy as one of the great seminal minds of this century"
-Kathleen Raine , The London Times
" Coomaraswamy’s essays [give] us a view of his scholarship and brilliant insight."
-Joseph Campbell
"Don’t make any mistake about Coomaraswamy. He is an eminently practical man. I love him."
Wendell Berry
"Thomas Merton felt he owed a great deal to Ananda K. Coomaraswamy. His writing influenced Merton from his student days at Columbia University where he said The Transformation of Nature in Art was decisive in his conversion, his road to the monastery and the contemplative life, up until his final years when he could write to Coomaraswamy’s widow that he emulated Coomaraswamy as a “model of one who has thoroughly and completely united himself in the spiritual tradition and attitudes of the Orient and of the Christian West, not excluding also something of Islam I believe. The kind of comprehension is, it seems to me, quite obligatory for the contemplative of our day, at least if he is in any sense also a scholar.”
-Paul Pearson, Director and Archivist, Thomas Merton Center
“I believe that the only really valid thing that can be accomplished in the direction of world peace and unity at the moment is the preparation of the way by the formation of men who…are able to unite in themselves and experience in their own lives all that is best and most true in the various great spiritual traditions. Such men can become as it were ‘sacraments’ or signs of peace, at least…I will meditate long and happily in silence upon these things, and enrich my life with the symbols, the ‘mysteries and sacraments’ in which he has shown us so many manifestations of God in His world. It is not that I want to write about AKC but rather that I want to enter contemplatively into the world of thought which…is for all of us…but which nevertheless had to be opened up to us by him.” from a letter to AKC’s wife, Dona Luisa Thomas Merton He [AKC] has written truth… with such wisdom and understanding…he illuminates the soul {baja} of the subject he treats and shares with the reader the treasure before him."
-Eric Gill