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  • The Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha and Its Persian Translation

    Shankar Nair

    Chapter from the book: Nair, S. 2020. Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia.


    This chapter introduces readers to the contexts and content of the Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha and its Persian translation. This Sanskrit treatise comprises a series of philosophical narratives, articulating a brand of esoteric knowledge meant to liberate an aspirant from the world. The Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha became increasingly popular throughout early modern South Asia across a surprising array of Hindu sectarian and linguistic boundaries; the Mughal court was no exception to this trend, patronizing multiple translations of the treatise. The Persian Jūg Bāsisht was the earliest of these translations to be produced, commissioned by the soon-to-be Mughal emperor Jahāngīr (r. 1605-1627) and completed in 1597 by three collaborating translators. After reviewing this historical context, the chapter turns to the Sanskrit source text’s basic metaphysical teachings, as well as the Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha’s pointedly ecumenical approach to religious boundaries. The chapter concludes with a brief glimpse at the Persian translation in comparison with the original Sanskrit text.

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    Nair, S. 2020. The Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha and Its Persian Translation. In: Nair, S, Translating Wisdom. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.87.b

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    Published on April 28, 2020