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Religious Interactions in Mughal India$
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Vasudha Dalmia and Munis D. Faruqui

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198081678

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198081678.001.0001

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Inflected Kathas

Inflected Kathas

Sufis and Krishna Bhaktas in Awadh

(p.195) 7 Inflected Kathas
Religious Interactions in Mughal India

Francesca Orsini

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the genre of the Harikatha/Krishna story in the “religious marketplace” of Awadh and advocates a comparative and multilingual approach informed by a geographical sensitivity. While we tend to see the Harikatha as “belonging” to Krishna bhakti groups, the range was broader and the first vernacular Hindavi Harikatha text was in fact a non-sectarian one. And while the archive of Krishna bhakti groups has little to say about Awadh, it is non-sectarian and Sufi sources (both in Persian and Hindavi) that testify to the popularity of Krishna songs and tales in the region in the early sixteenth century. By focusing on Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s Kanhāvat (1540) the chapter suggests possible ways to understand Sufi takes on the Krishna.

Keywords:   Awadh, Harikatha, katha/tale, Krishna, Sufi, Malik Muhammad Jayasi, Kanhāvat, Persian, Hindavi

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