Contested History: Brahmanical Memories of Relations with the Mughals

in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Brahman Sanskrit intellectuals enjoyed a century of relations with the Mughal elite. Nonetheless, such cross-cultural connections feature only sporadically in Persian chronicles, and Brahmans rarely elaborated on their imperial links in Sanskrit texts. In this essay I analyze a major exception to the Brahmanical silence on their Mughal connections, the Kavīndracandrodaya (“Moonrise of Kavīndra”). More than seventy Brahmans penned the poetry and prose of this Sanskrit work that celebrates Kavīndrācārya’s successful attempt to persuade Emperor Shah Jahan to rescind taxes on Hindu pilgrims to Benares and Prayag (Allahabad). I argue that the Kavīndracandrodaya constituted an act of selective remembrance in the Sanskrit tradition of cross-cultural encounters in Mughal India. This enshrined memory was, however, hardly a uniform vision. The work’s many authors demonstrate the limits and points of contestation among early moderns regarding how to formulate social and historical commentaries in Sanskrit on imperial relations.

Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Journal d'Histoire Economique et Sociale de l'Orient

Sections

References

Bāṇa, Kashinath Pandurang Parab (ed), Kādambarī, (Nirnaya Sagara Press, Bombay 1890).

BernierFrançoisConstableArchibald, Vincent A. Smith (ed), Travels in the Mogul Empire, a.d. 1656-1668, (Oxford University Press, London 1914).

Caturbhujamiśra, B. Mishra (ed), Rasakalpadruma, (Eastern Book Linkers, New Delhi 1991).

Krishna Divakar (ed), Kavīndracandrikā, (Maharashtra Rashtrabhasha Sabha, Pune 1966).

MiśraHarideva, Jagannath Pathak (ed), Jahāṅgīravirudāvalī, (Ganganatha Jha Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapithan, Allahabad 1978).

PaṇḍitarājaJagannātha, 'Āsaphavilāsa', in K. Kamala (ed), Pandita Raja Kavya Samgraha: Complete Poetical Works of Panditaraja Jagannatha, (Sanskrit Academy, Osmania University, Hyderabad 2002).

Kalhaṇa, Aurel Stein (ed), Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅgiṇī: A Chronicle of the Kings of Kaśmīr, (Verinag, Mirpur, Azad Kashmir 1991).

KambūhMuḥammad Ṣāliḥ, Ghulam Yazdani (ed), ʿAmal-i Ṣāliḥ or Shah Jahan Namah (a Complete History of the Emperor Shah Jahan), (Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta 1923).

Karṇapūra, Hariharanath Yogi (ed), Saṃskṛtapārasīkapadaprakāśa, (Goraksatilla Yogapracarini, Kashi 1952).

SarasvatīKavīndrācārya, Lakshmikumari Cundavat (ed), Kavīndrakalpalatā, (Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jaipur 1958).

SarasvatīKavīndrācārya, R.B. Athavale (ed), Kavīndrakalpadruma, (Asiatic Society of Bombay, Bombay 1981).

LāhaurīʿAbd al-Sattār ibn Qāsim, Arif Nawshahi and Muʿin Nizami (eds), Majālis-i Jahāngīrī, (Markaz-i Pizhuhishi Miras-i Maktub, Tehran 2006).

Patrick Olivelle (ed), The Dharmasūtras: The Law Codes of Āpastamba, Gautama, Baudhāyana, and Vasiṣṭha, (Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York 1999).

Padmasāgara, 'Jagadgurukāvya', in Hargovinddas and Becardas (eds), Vijayapraśastimahākāvya, (Harakhchand Bhurabhai, Benares 1911).

Har Dutt Sharma and M.M. Patkar (eds), Kavīndracandrodaya, (Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona 1939).

V.S. Sukthankar, S.K. Belvalkar and P.L. Vaidya (eds), The Mahābhārata for the First Time Critically Edited [Mahābhārata], (Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona 1933-1966).

K.C. Varadachari and D.T. Tatacharya (eds), Kaṭhopaniṣadbhāṣya of Śrīraṅgarāmānuja, (Sri Venkatesvara Oriental Institute, Tirupati 1949).

Veṇīdatta, Jatindra Bimal Chaudhuri (ed), The Padyaveṇī: Critically Edited for the First Time with an Introduction in English, Appendices, Indices, Notes, Etc, (Pracyavani, Calcutta 1944).

Veṇīdatta, A. Camps and J-C. Muller (eds), The Sanskrit Grammar and Manuscripts of Father Heinrich Roth S.J. (1620-1668): Facsimile Edition of Biblioteca Nazionale, Rome, Mss. Or. 171 and 172, (Brill, Leiden 1988).

AthavaleR.B., 'New Light on the Life of Paṇḍitarāja Jagannātha' (1968) Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute: 48415-49420.

BronnerYigalTubbGary A., 'Blaming the Messenger: A Controversy in Late Sanskrit Poetics and Its Implications' (2008) 71(1) Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies: 75-91.

BuschAllison, 'Hidden in Plain View: Brajbhasha Poets at the Mughal Court' (2010) 44(2) Modern Asian Studies: 267-309.

ChandTara, 'Rāfiʾ-ul-Khilāf of Sita Ram Kayastha Saksena, of Lucknow (Kavīndrācārya’s Jñānasāra and Its Persian Translation)' (1944) 2(1) Journal of the Ganganatha Jha Research Institute: 7-12.

ChattopadhyayaBrajadulal, Representing the Other? Sanskrit Sources and the Muslims (Eighth to Fourteenth Century), (Manohar, New Delhi 1998).

ChaudhuriJatindra Bimal, 'Some Unknown or Less Known Sanskrit Poets Discovered from the Subhāṣita-sāra-samuccaya', in D.R. Bhandarkar, K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, B.M. Barua, B.K. Ghosh and P.K. Gode (eds), b.c. Law Volume, (Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona 1946) 145-158.

ChaudhuriJatindra Bimal, Muslim Patronage to Sanskritic Learning, (Pracyavani, Calcutta 1954).

D’OnofrioSvevo, 'A Persian Commentary to the Upaniṣads: Dārā Šikōh’s Sirr-i Akbar', in Fabrizio Speziale and Denis Hermann (eds), Muslim Cultures in the Indo-Iranian World During the Early-Modern and Modern Periods, (Klaus Schwarz, Berlin 2010) 533-563.

DelvoyeFrançoise Nalini, 'Les chants dhrupad en langue Braj des poètes-musiciens de l’Inde moghole', in Françoise Mallison (ed), Littératures médiévales de l’Inde du nord, (Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient, Paris 1991) 139-185.

EatonRichard M., 'Temple Desecration and Indo-Muslim States', in David Gilmartin and Bruce B. Lawrence (eds), Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking Religious Identities in Islamicate South Asia, (University Press of Florida, Gainesville 2000) 246-281.

ErnstCarl W., 'Muslim Studies of Hinduism? A Reconsideration of Arabic and Persian Translations from Indian Languages' (2003) 36(2) Iranian Studies: 173-195.

GodeP.K., 'The Kavīndracārya-sūcī: Is it a dependable means for the reconstruction of literary chronology?' (1943) 6(2) New Indian Antiquary: 41-42.

GodeP.K., 'Some Evidence About the Location of the Manuscript Library of Kavindracharya Sarasvati at Benares in a.d. 1665', in C. Kunhan Raja (ed), Jagadvijayacchandas, (Anup Sanskrit Library, Bikaner 1945) 47-57.

GodeP.K., 'Bernier and Kavīndrācārya Sarasvatī at the Mughal Court', in Studies in Indian Literary History, (Singhi Jain Sastra Sikshapith, Bombay 1954) 364-379.

GodeP.K., 'The Identification of Gosvāmi Nṛsiṃhāśrama of Dara Shukoh’s Sanskrit Letter with Brahmendra Sarasvatī of the Kavīndra-Candrodaya—Between a.d. 1628 and 1658', in Studies in Indian Literary History, (Singhi Jain Sastra Sikshapith, Bombay 1954) 447-451.

GranoffPhyllis, 'Tales of Broken Limbs and Bleeding Wounds: Responses to Muslim Iconoclasm in Medieval India' (1991) 41 East and West: 189-203.

GuhaSumit, 'Conviviality and Cosmopolitanism: Recognition and Representation of “East” and “West” in Peninsular India c.1600-1800', in Corinne Lefèvre, Ines Županov and Jorge Flores (eds), Cosmopolitismes en Asie du Sud. Sources, itinéraires, langues (xvie-xviiie siècle), (Editions de l’EHESS, Paris 2015).

JainShalin, 'Piety, Laity and Royalty: Jains Under the Mughals in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century' (2013) 40(1) Indian Historical Review: 67-92.

KinraRajeev, 'Handling Diversity with Absolute Civility: The Global Historical Legacy of Mughal Ṣulḥ-i Kull' (2013) 16(2) The Medieval History Journal: 251-295.

KrishnamachariarM., History of Classical Sanskrit Literature, (Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi 2004).

LeclèreBasile, 'Ambivalent Representations of Muslims in Medieval Indian Theatre' (2011) 27(2) Studies in History: 155-195.

LefèvreCorinneSplendours and Miseries of Scholar-Intellectuals at the Mughal Court: A View from the Majālis-i Jahāngīrī (1608-1611)2012Paper presented at Cosmopolitanism in the Early Modern World: The Case of South Asia (16th-18th centuries) in Paris

MinkowskiChristopher, 'On Sūryadāsa and the Invention of Bidirectional Poetry (vilomakāvya)' (2001) 121(1) Journal of the American Oriental Society: 325-334.

NicholsonAndrew J., 'South Asia Across the Disciplines', in Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History, (Columbia University Press, New York 2010).

O’HanlonRosalind, 'Letters Home: Banaras Pandits and the Maratha Regions in Early Modern India' (2010) 44(2) Modern Asian Studies: 201-240.

O’HanlonRosalind, 'Speaking from Siva’s Temple: Banaras Scholar Households and the Brahman ‘ecumene’ of Mughal India' (2011) 2(2) South Asian History and Culture: 264-267.

ParadkarM.D., 'Kavīndrācārya Saraswatī, a Native of Mahārāṣṭra' (1969) 25 Journal of the Ganganatha Jha Research Institute: 377-380.

PatkarM.M., 'Padacandrikā: A Commentary on the Daśakumāracarita by Kavīndrācārya Sarasvatī' (1939) 4(3) The Poona Orientalist: 134-135.

PollockSheldon, 'Rāmāyaṇa and Political Imagination in India' (1993) 52(2) Journal of Asian Studies: 261-297.

PollockSheldon, 'The Death of Sanskrit' (2001) 43(2) Comparative Studies in Society and History: 392-426.

PollockSheldon, 'Sanskrit Literary Culture from the Inside Out', in Sheldon Pollock (ed), Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions from South Asia, (University of California Press, Berkeley 2003) 39-130.

PollockSheldon, 'The Languages of Science in Early Modern India', in Sheldon Pollock (ed), Forms of Knowledge in Early Modern Asia: Explorations in the Intellectual History of India and Tibet, 1500-1800, (Duke University Press, Durham 2011) 19-48.

QanungoK.R., 'Some Side-Lights on the Character and Court-Life of Shah Jahan' (1929) 8(9) Journal of Indian History: 45-52.

RaghavanV., 'Kavīndrācārya Sarasvatī', in B.C. Law (ed), D.R. Bhandarkar Volume, (Indian Research Institute, Calcutta 1940) 159-165.

RaghavanV., 'A Note on Janārdana Vyāsa and Kavīndrācārya' (1947) 16(4) The Journal of Oriental Research Madras: 182.

RaghavanV.Kunjunni RajaK.AufrechtT., New Catalogus Catalogorum: An Alphabetical Register of Sanskrit and Allied Works and Authors, (University of Madras, Madras 1949–).

RaoVelcheru NarayanaShulmanDavid DeanSubrahmanyamSanjay, Textures of Time: Writing History in South India, (Other Press, New York 2003).

RahurkarV.G., 'The Bhāṣā-yogavāsiṣṭhasāra of Kavīndrācārya Sarasvatī' (1956) 21 The Poona Orientalist: 95-108.

RiedelDagmar, 'Kalila wa Demna i. Redactions and Circulation' (2010) Encyclopaedia Iranica http://www.iranica.com/.

SarmaK. Madhava Krishna, 'Kavīndrācārya as a Hindi Scholar' (1943) 7(1) Adyar Library Bulletin: 33-36.

SarmaK. Madhava Krishna, 'Janārdana Vyāsa: A Protege of Kavīndrācārya' (1947) 16(4) The Journal of Oriental Research Madras: 178-181.

SarmaSreeramula Rajeswara, 'Persian-Sanskrit Lexica and the Dissemination of Islamic Astronomy and Astrology in India', in Gherardo Gnoli and Antonio Panaino (eds), Kayd: Studies in History of Mathematics, Astronomy and Astrology in Memory of David Pingree, (Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente, Rome 2009) 129-150.

SastryAnanta Krishna, Kavindracharya List, (Central Library, Baroda 1921).

SchofieldKatherine Butler, 'Chief Musicians to the Mughal Emperors: The Delhi Kalāwant Birāderī, 17th to 19th Centuries' (2013) Journal of the Indian Musicological Society.

SharmaDasharatha, 'Kavīndrakalpalatā, a Hindī Work by Kavīndrācārya Sarasvatī' (1945) 26 Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute: 153-154.

SharmaHar Dutt, 'Forgotten Event of Shah Jehan’s Reign', in Mahamahopadhyaya Kuppuswami Sastri Commemoration Volume, (G.S. Press, Madras 1936) 53-60.

ShastriMahamahopadhyaya Haraprasad, A Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Government Collection under the Care of the Asiatic Society, (Asiatic Society, Kolkata 2005).

TruschkeAudrey, '“Regional Perceptions: Writing to the Mughal Courts in Sanskrit.”', in Corrine Lefèvre, Ines Županov and Jorge Flores (eds), Cosmopolitismes en Asie du Sud. Sources, itinéraires, langues (xvie-xviiie siècle), (Editions de l’EHESS, Paris 2015).

TruschkeAudrey, Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court, (Columbia University Press, New York Forthcoming).

TruschkeAudrey, 'Defining the Other: An Intellectual History of Sanskrit Lexicons and Grammars of Persian' (2012) 40(6) Journal of Indian Philosophy: 635-668.

TruschkeAudrey, 'Setting the Record Wrong: A Sanskrit Vision of Mughal Conquests' (2012) 3(3) South Asian History and Culture: 373-396.

5

S. Pollock, “The Death of Sanskrit.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 43/2 (2001): 408-12.

6

Y. Bronner and G.A. Tubb, “Blaming the Messenger: A Controversy in Late Sanskrit Poetics and Its Implications.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 71/1 (2008): 87.

8

A.K. Sastry, Kavindracharya List (Baroda: Central Library, 1921). As Gode reminds us, however, this document is not to be taken as a fully accurate picture of Kavīndra’s library. P.K. Gode, “The Kavīndracārya-Sūcī: Is It a Dependable Means for the Reconstruction of Literary Chronology?” New Indian Antiquary 6/2 (1943): 41-42. Today, many of Kavīndra’s manuscripts are housed in the Anup Sanskrit Library, the Sarasvati Bhavan in Varanasi, and the Library of the Maharaja of Jammu.

51

See, e.g., S. Jain, “Piety, Laity and Royalty: Jains Under the Mughals in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century.” Indian Historical Review 40/1 (2013): 74, and Truschke, Culture of Encounters: chap. 5.

88

D. Sharma, “Kavīndrakalpalatā, a Hindī Work by Kavīndrācārya Sarasvatī.” Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 26 (1945): 153-54. Kavīndra also has verses in his Kavīndrakalpalatā that mention other Mughal figures, including Murad, possibly Jahanara, and even one “Sayyad Hayat Khān” (mentioned by Sharma in “Kavīndrakalpalatā”: 154).

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 56 56 26
Full Text Views 7 7 5
PDF Downloads 1 1 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0