This paper deals with a little-known late 18th-c. Persian mathnawi by a Hindu munshi from Allahabad, Matan Lal Afarin, whose historical figure remains completely obscure. The poem, entitled Kashi-stut "Hymn to Varanasi", is a lenghty description of Varanasi as a sacred place of pilgrimage: a sort of textual circumambulation of the city, filtered through the Persian literary conventions. Thus, the Hindu devotee becomes, in the conventional codified metaphorical space of the mathnawi, an "idolater" (butparast) bowing to the "idols" (but), at the same time embodying the specific "identity" of Indic religious traditions and the sufi approach to devotional reality, where "idolatry" becomes, in an antinomistic perspective, synonimous with true religion.

A Persian Hymn to Varanasi: Preliminary Notes on the Poetics of "Idolatry" in Matan Lal Afarin's Kashi istut (1778-9)

PELLO', S.
2020

Abstract

This paper deals with a little-known late 18th-c. Persian mathnawi by a Hindu munshi from Allahabad, Matan Lal Afarin, whose historical figure remains completely obscure. The poem, entitled Kashi-stut "Hymn to Varanasi", is a lenghty description of Varanasi as a sacred place of pilgrimage: a sort of textual circumambulation of the city, filtered through the Persian literary conventions. Thus, the Hindu devotee becomes, in the conventional codified metaphorical space of the mathnawi, an "idolater" (butparast) bowing to the "idols" (but), at the same time embodying the specific "identity" of Indic religious traditions and the sufi approach to devotional reality, where "idolatry" becomes, in an antinomistic perspective, synonimous with true religion.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2020_A Persian Hymn.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: Accesso libero (no vincoli)
Dimensione 5.27 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
5.27 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in ARCA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3733958
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact