Issue 86/2 – 2018

Issue 86/2 – 2018

29/10/2018 Anna Křivánková


Contents

Articles

 

Nicolas Dejenne & Eve Tignol
Introduction au numéro spécial « Expressions de la bhakti dans les littératures indiennes »…………………………………………………………………………………………191–204

About the Authors

NICOLAS DEJENNE, a former student of the École Normale Supérieure-Ulm (Paris), is Lecturer in Indian Studies – History and Textual traditions – at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3; he is also a Research scholar with the Department of Indology of the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP). A historian and Sanskritist by training, he devoted his PhD in Indology to the study of the evolution in the longue durée of the character of Paraśurāma. In addition to Epics and Purāṇas, his other main field of research and teaching is the historyof Indian studies in Europe from the 17th century onwards. He has regularly organized research seminars in Paris as well as international conferences, including the recent one on “Literary Circulations in South Asia. Producing, Translating, Preserving Texts” (Pondicherry, August 2018). With two French colleagues, Anne Castaing (CNRS) and Claudine Le Blanc (Univ. Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3), he has been coordinating since 2015 the collaborative French-speaking project DELI of Dictionary of South Asian Literatures, which gathers around 90 contributors.
e-mail: nicolas.dejenne@univ-paris3.fr

EVE TIGNOL, Ph.D. Royal Holloway (2016) is currently Lecturer in Hindi and South Asian Cultures at Aix-Marseille Université. She is affiliated to the Centre for Indian and South Asian Studies (CEIAS) and to the Institute for Asian Research (IrAsia). Trained in a set of South Asian languages (Urdu, Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit), she is a historian of modern South Asia with a focus on colonial north India, South Asian Islam, and modern Urdu poetry and print culture.

e-mail: eve.tignol@univ-amu.fr

 

Amandine Wattelier-Bricout
La dimension dévotionnelle du Skandayāga : Atharvavedapariśiṣṭa XX sur le rituel en l’honneur de Dhūrta………………………………………………………………205–219

The present article provides a new assessment of the ritual dedicated to Skanda, the Skandayāga or Dhūrtakalpa, which is described in the chapter XX of the Pariśiṣṭas of the Atharvaveda. First it gives a brief survey of the previous points of view on this text, which understand it as a ritual performed by thieves to honour a malevolent deity. Although these interpretations associated Skanda with his devotees, the devotional aspect of this ritual had not yet been highlighted. The analysis of the hymns dedicated to Skanda reveals that there is an interpersonal relationship between Skanda and the sacrificer who honours him, that the deity is praised as a warrior and martial god and that the aims of the ritual are absolutely not fraudulent acquirements: the devotee wants to gain a powerful status amongst the other devotees and to obtain release and immortality. On this basis, the different arguments of the previous studies which claimed Skanda is the god of thieves through the epithet Dhūrta are reassessed. A philological analysis shows it is possible to understand the epithet in a different manner. This new identification of the god, the aims of the ritual and the use of an amulet allow to determine the status of Skanda’s devotees: they belong to the ruling class. Hence the Skandayāga provides evidence of the emergence of a devotional current within the Atharvavedic environment and the ruling classes.

KEYWORDS
Pariśiṣṭa | Skanda | bhakti | amulet | Atharvaveda

About the Author

AMANDINE WATTELIER-BRICOUTis a PhD student at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University (Paris III). Her current research focuses on the representations of motherhood in the Skandapurāṇa in its different recensions and in relation to other contemporary sources. She studies the ways in which myths concerning maternity are written, adapted and transformed in this text and seeks to establish the evolution of the ritual prescriptions for women as reflected in the Skandapurāṇa and period literature.
e-mail: amandine.wattelier-bricout@univ-paris3.fr

Françoise ‘Nalini’ Delvoye
Poèmes lyriques d’inspiration dévotionnelle attribués à Mīyān Tānsen, premier musicien de la cour de l’empereur moghol Akbar (r. 1556 1605)…………..221–242

This article discusses the literary production attributed to Mīyān Tānsen of Gwalior, who became first court musician of Mughal emperor Akbar in 1562, until his death in 1589. The very diverse literary patronage, which the famous poet-composer-interpreter enjoyed, ARCHIV ORIENTÁLNÍ 86, 2018 explains the thematic wealth of the lyrical poems called dhrupad in Madhyadeśīya and Braj chanted in a poetic and musical genre, that emerged in Gujarat and in the Gwalior region at the end of the 15th century. Relying on oral transmission, the manuscript, lithographic and printed anthologies containing dhrupads attributed to Tānsen include a number of poems inspired by Hindu and Sufi devotional traditions. A large part of those poems was later transmitted by singers of the imperial court to Gujarat and Bengal, as the anthologies published from the middle of the 19th century show. Others were appropriated by sectarian Krishnaite movements, which included them in their liturgical repertoire. This article discusses a selection of the lyrical poems addressed to Hindu gods (Gaṇeśa, Sarasvatī, Śiva, Hari, Viṣṇu Nārāyaṇa and especially Kṛṣṇa) but also to Allah and great Sufi masters, all characterized by strong devotional sentiments, and underlines the impact of the theme, patronage and performance on the choice of language and vocabulary. Amongst the most remarkable examples of the fluidity of the genre, poems of a bhakti nature with Arabo-Persian vocabulary and devotional Sanskritized dhrupads inspired by Puranic traditions addressed to Akbar will be considered.

KEYWORDS
Hindustani music | Tānsen | Akbar | Braj | dhrupad | Kṛṣṇa

About the Author

FRANÇOISE ‘NALINI’ DELVOYE is Emeritus Professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, where she taught Indo-Persian literature on performing arts in the Sultanate and Mughal periods and poetry sung in North Indian music. She is affiliated to the “Iranian and Indian Worlds” research group, and associated with the “Centre for South Asian Studies”, Paris. In addition to numerous articles on literature and music in the Indo-Persian context, Delvoye was the editor of Confluence of Cultures: French Contributions to Indo-Persian Studies (New Delhi: Manohar, 1994; rpt. 1995), and co-edited The Making of Indo-Persian Culture: Indian and French Studies (New Delhi: Manohar, 2000) and Hindustani Music: Thirteenth to Twentieth Centuries (New Delhi: Manohar, 2010). She was also the scientific co-editor of the first volume of Nūr-Ratnākar and Amīr Khusrau’s Prose Writings on Music by Shahab Sarmadee (Kolkata: ITC Sangeet Research Academy, 2003 and 2004).

e-mail: delvoye_fnalini@yahoo.fr

Anne Murphy
At a Sufi-Bhakti Crossroads: Gender and the Politics of Satire in Early Modern Punjabi Literature……………………………………………………………………………….243–268

This essay examines intersections between Sufi and bhakti domains, moving beyond notions of “syncretism” and “influence” to understand chosen and concurrent common expressions and approaches to social formations. The focus is on gender, which offers a particularly powerful connecting point between bhakti and Sufi systems of thought and critique, connected to discourses around other social formations (such as caste). This is explored through an examination of gender within Waris Shah’s Hīr, a mid-eighteenthcentury Punjabi language text that enjoys a high status among Punjabi language communities across the India/Pakistan border, and beyond. It is argued that the satirical treatment of gender, alongside caste, provides a striking connection point among Sufi and Bhakti traditions that does not function in simply or solely liberatory terms, but which both reinforces and calls into question the inequalities and hierarchical systems associated with these social formations.

KEYWORDS
Sufism | bhakti | gender | satire | Punjabi

About the Author

ANNE MURPHY (Ph.D. Columbia) is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies and co-Director of the Centre for India and South Asia Research at the University of British Columbia. She teaches and conducts research on the vernacular literary and religious traditions of the Punjab region (India & Pakistan). Current research pursues two interrelated lines of inquiry: modern Punjabi cultural production in the Indian and Pakistani Punjabs and in the Diaspora, and the early modern history of Punjabi’s emergence as a literary language. Her monograph, The Materiality of the Past: History and Representation in Sikh Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2012), explored the construction of Sikh historical consciousness within texts, objects and religious sites from the eighteenth century to the present; she also edited a thematically related volume entitled Time, History, and the Religious Imaginary in South Asia (Routledge, 2011). She has pursued her continuing interests in commemoration and memorial practices in a volume entitled Partition and the Practice of Memory (Palgrave, 2018) co-edited with Churnjeet Mahn (Strathclyde University). She has published articles in History and Theory, Studies in Canadian Literature, South Asian History and Culture, The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and other journals. She taught previously at the New School for Social Research, and is originally from New York City.
e-mail: Anne.Murphy@ubc.ca

Catherine Servan-Schreiber
Les métaphores du nirguṇ : entre poésie chantée de bhakti et tradition orale…………………………………………………………………………………………………..269–295

This article discusses the exchanges between “worldly” oral tradition and vernacular religious poetry in north India, especially from the Sant poets. It deals with the link between literature and bhakti on the basis of the nirguṇ, emphasising the oral and sung nature of bhakti poetry, and it shows how songs and poems in the nirguṇ mode share elements with gaunā songs which belong to the rites of marriage. The article further describes how these themes appear in bhakti traditions in the Hindu diaspora communities of Mauritius and Fiji. Looking at the links between nirguṇ and gaunā songs highlights the fluid frontiers between poetry and oral tradition and suggests a blurring of gender/genre lines, which offers an escape from the gendered perspective of marriage rites.

KEYWORDS
bhakti | nirguṇ | Bhojpuri | gauna | oral tradition | poetry

About the Author

CATHERINE SERVAN-SCHREIBER is an anthropologist and also a specialist of Indian Medieval literature. She is a research member of the Centre for South Asian Studies (CEIAS), Paris. She started with the study of Bhojpuri oral tradition and its transmission through printed forms, with a special focus on the history of printing of popular texts in Patna, Varanasi and Calcutta and the circulation of chapbooks. She has undertaken a study of Sufism in Bihar. Then she became interested in the study of the Bhojpuri diaspora in Mauritius and Surinam, and more specifically, on the transformation of Bhojpuri music into Chutney music. She has published a book on Bhojpuri Wandering Singers in India (1999), and a book on Bhojpuri Music in Mauritius (2010). She has edited a Puruṣārtha volume on Oral Traditions in India (1995), and one on Indianity and Creolization in Mauritius (2014). She teaches the performative dimension of Bhojpuri epics and Sufi premakhyan in the Master “Orality and Anthropology” at INALCO (Paris).
e-mail: catherine.servan-schreiber@ehess.fr

Leticia Ibanez
Recherche de la Déesse, recherche esthétique, recherche de soi : les formes de la bhakti dans l’œuvre de Lālkuṭi Captariṣi Rāmāmirutam……………….297–321

Lālkuṭi Captariṣi Rāmāmirutam, commonly known as La.Sa.Ra (1916–2007), is a towering figure in the history of modern Tamil literature. This smārta Brahmin, much influenced by Anglo-Saxon literature, isthe author of a voluminous work famousfor itsformal originality, introspectiveness and mysticism. La.Sa.Ra sees literary creation as a spiritual exercice – both a celebration of Ampāḷ, his lineage goddess, and a search for himself. Bhakti thus constitutes the main thread of his work: the Goddess is the author’s inspiring muse and also his ideal. Ampāḷ figures the highest form of beauty, an image of the Absolute and the symbol of his family, which boasts about having some great mystics among their ancestors. We study some representative excerpts from “lasarian” writing (short stories and articles) to show how bhakti unites La.Sa.Ra’s quests for beauty, spiritual truth and identity. The literary cult ofAmpāḷ first formsthe basis upon which La.Sa.Ra builds his Hindu aesthetics, inspired both by Śaṅkara and English modernist fiction. Bhakti also sustains the author’s traditionalist thought, which glorifies his own family, the Brahmin family in general and even more broadly, the culture of the smārta Brahmins

KEYWORDS
Lā.Ca.Rāmāmirutam | Tamil | literature | bhakti | Goddess

About the Author

LETICIA IBANEZ Working as an agrégé French literature teacher in high school, Leticia Ibanez is a PhD student in contemporary Tamil literature at INALCO, Paris. After writing a M.Phil on Lā.Ca. Rāmāmirutam, her PhD is devoted to Mauṉi (1907–85), the pioneer of introspective short story in Tamil. She is a member of the research team MII “Mondes iranien et indien” and affiliated with the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP).
e-mail: letibanez@gmail.com

Book Reviews and Notes

 

Daniel Schwemer. The Anti-Witchcraft Ritual Maqlû. The Cuneiform Sources of a Magic Ceremony from Ancient Mesopotamia.
(Silvia Salin) ……………………………………………………………………………………….323–324

Emanuel Beška. From Ambivalence to Hostility: The Arabic Newspaper Filastīn and Zionism, 1911–1914.
(Alex Winder) ………………………………………………………………………………………325–326

 

Our Contributors………………………………………………………………………………. 327–329