Ḫirad-afzā | Monography or Translations of known period | Fables, Tales and Stories | Survey | Perso-Indica

Fables, Tales and Stories

Monography or Translations of known period
‘Abd al-Qādir Badā’ūnī, Ḫirad-afzā

[Preliminary Entry] The Ḫirad-afzā is presumably the first Persian translation of the Sanskrit collection of stories Vikramacaritam or Siṃhāsanadvātriṃśat (The thirty-two Tales of the Lion-throne), a collection of thirty-two stories in praise of the deeds of the semi-mythical king Vikrama (also named Vikramāditya or Vikramārka) of which several Persian rewritings exist. The story is subdivided into a frame story and 32 single stories, each of them told by one of the statuettes that support king Vikrama's throne.

It is known from ‘Abd al-Qādir Badā’ūnī'Muntaḫab al-tawārīḫ that the Moghol Akbar (r. 1556-1605) assigned to the same Badā’ūnī the task to translate the work in Persian with the help of a Brahmin scholar (barahman-i dānā). The translation is not extant. The name ḫirad-afzā conveys the date of its composition (i.e. 982/1574-75). Badā’ūnī compares the work to the Ṭūtī-nāma, another collection of tales of Indian origin. The Ḫirad-afzā was revised by the same Badā’ūnī in 1003/1594-95. From the Muntaḫab al-tawārīḫ:

و به تاریخ ماه جماده الآخر در منزل شیرگاه عرفت قنوج جامع اوراق را شرف التفات ارزانی داشته به انواع تفقد حکم فرمودند که کتاب سنگهاسن بتیسی را که سی و دو حکایت است از احوال راجه بکرماجیت حاکم مالوه مانند طوطی نامه ترجمه نموده نظم و نثری ترتیب دهی و باید که هم امروز شروع نموده ورقی  آن بگذرانی و برهمنی دانا را برای تعبیرتعین فرمودند و هم در آن روز ورقی از سر حکایت به نظر در آورده تحسین فرمود و آن کتاب بعد از ترجمه به نامهٔ خرد افزا که مشتمل بر تاریخ تألیف است نامزد شد و به درجهٔ قبول پیوسته ومستحسن گشته داخل کتب خانه شد.

"In the month Jamada'l-ákhir, [...] a book called Singhásan Battísi [i.e. the Siṃhāsanadvātriṃśat], which is a series of thirty-two tales about Rájah Bikramájit of Malwa, and resembles the Tutí-námah, was placed in my hands; and I received his Majesty's introductions to make a translation of it in prose and verse. I was to begin the work at once and present a sheet of my work on that very day. A learned Bráhman was appointed to interpret the book for me. On the first day I completed a sheet containing the beginning of the first story, and when I presented it, His Majesty expressed his approbation. Whe the translation was finished, I called it Námah-e Khirad-afzá, a name which contains the date of its composition.(Badā’ūnī 1380 š./2002, p. 126; English transaltion 1976, pp. 183-184).

(A. M.)


Bādā’ūnī, ‘Abd al-Qādir, 1380 š./2002, Muntaḫab al-tawārīḫ, Tehran, Anjuman-i Ātār wa Mafāḫir-i Farhangī, English translation: Muntakhab ut-tawārikh, 3 vols., G. S. A. Ranking - W. H. Lowe – T. W. Haig, eds., Karachi, Karimsons, 1976 (1st ed. Calcutta, 1895-1899).

Main Persian Title: Ḫirad-afzā
English Translation of Main Persian Title: The thirty-two Tales of the Lion-throne
Translator: ‘Abd al-Qādir Badā’ūnī
Original Sources:
Other Persian texts quoting this Original Source:
Kišan Bilās, Singhāsan-Battīsī (1), Šāhnāma or Singhāsanbattīsī.
Year / Period of Composition: 982/1574
Commissioner: Akbar 
Later texts quoting this Work:

Muntaḫab al-tawārīḫ