Event — Webinar

On the translation strategies and literary interconnections of the Gulzār-i ḥāl by Banwālīdās

An online interactive lecture by Giuseppe Cappello, Research Fellow at IIAS.

The lecture will take place from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00  p.m. Amsterdam Time (Central European Summer Time, CEST).

In this lecture, Giuseppe Cappello will introduce to the audience the translation strategies and the interconnections of texts and religious ideas emerged from the Gulzār-i ḥāl (1662-63) by Banwālīdās, namely a Persian adaptation of the Sanskrit drama Prabodhacandrodaya by Kṛṣṇamiśa.

The Gulzār-i ḥāl by Banwālīdās (“Rose Garden of Mystical Ecstasy”, 1662-63) is a Persian adaptation of the Sanskrit drama Prabodhacandrodaya by Kṛṣṇamiśa (not long after 1060). Another hypothesis is that Banwālīdās used as intermediate with the original Sanskrit a vernacular version by the poet Nanddās, entitled Prabodhacandrodaya Nāṭaka (1570). During this lecture, Giuseppe Cappello will introduce the translation strategies Banwālīdās deployed to adapt the Prabodhacandrodaya’s Hindu allegorical plot to an Islamic religious milieu. Notably, the lecture will focus on some parts in prose, mystical verses and Persian interpretations of Sanskrit terms to disclose the literary references to Muslim scholars both coeval and predated Banwālīdās.

Banwālīdās “Walī Rām” (d. c. 1666-75) is an interesting intellectual figure lived in Mughal South Asia. He born in a Hindu Kayastha family but focused on both Islamic and Hindu metaphysical traditions. During his life, Banwālīdās followed the teachings of the Sufi master Mullā Shāh Badakhshī, who imparted to his disciples' spiritual notions inspired by the doctrine of Waḥdat al-Wujūd (“Unity of Being”). For a certain period, Banwālīdās served the Mughal prince Dārā Shukūh (d. 1659) as secretary. Later on, the author retired from worldly duties to devote to asceticism. Banwālīdās terminated the Gulzār-i ḥāl about four years after Dārā Shukūh’s sentence of death. Despite the lack of imperial support, the Gulzār-i ḥāl widely circulated among South Asian intellectual circles of later times. This lecture will provide interesting details on how Banwālīdās, namely a scholar linked to Dārā Shukūh’s intellectual network, devised textual interactions of Hindu-Muslim metaphysical traditions respectively rooted in the doctrines of Advaita Vedānta and Waḥdat al-Wujūd.

The Speaker

Giuseppe Cappello is a PhD in Asian, African and Mediterranean Studies at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”, Italy. He received the BA and MA at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”, where he studied both Hindi and Persian literature. This kind of educational path afforded him to win a PhD scholarship at the same institution by presenting a project focused on the Gulzār-i ḥāl by Banwālīdās. Now he is writing an article focused on the translation strategies Banwālīdās deployed in his Gulzār-i ḥāl to make interact Sufi-Vedantic metaphysical traditions.

The Webinar

The lecture will take about 30 minutes. After that, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage directly with the speaker and the rest of the audience.


You can join this live webinar by sending us your contact information via the registration form on this page. Two days before the start of the webinar, we will get in touch with you and provide you with access information and other necessary details. We hope to see you on 23 July!

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