Tarjuma-yi kāśīkhaṇḍa | Monography or Translations of known period | Treatises on Indic religions | Survey | Perso-Indica

Treatises on Indic religions

Monography or Translations of known period
Ānandghan Ḫwuš, Tarjuma-yi kāśīkhaṇḍa

[Preliminary Entry] Kāśīkhaṇḍa is a translation of a large work on the places of pilgrimage and a legendary topography of Benares, whose ancient name was Kāśī. Bearing also the title of Baḥr al-najāt, Kāśīkhaṇḍa describes the rites and forms of devotion practised in Kāśī sanctuary. The original material of Kāśīkhaṇḍa dedicated to Kāśīraj is taken from Skandapurāṇa, and it is divided into five volumes, each containing approximately twenty adhyāyas. In his translation, Ānandghan kept the style of the original Kāśīkhaṇḍa and composed the first volume in twenty-four adhyāyas, the second volume in fifteen, and the third, fourth and fifth each nominally in twenty, but virtually only nineteen, since the last section of each adhyāya consists of just a mere heading. He dedicated the translation to Jonathan Duncan or Mister Jonathan Ġaẓānfar Jang. Much of the original Kāśīkhaṇḍa is older than about 699/1300, and very little of it could be considered earlier than about 80/700. The final compilation of the translation was done in 1207-8/1792-4.

Kāśīkhaṇḍa contains a detailed description of the glory of Gaṅgā and Kāśī, eulogized as the king of all pilgrimage spots and very dear to Lord Mahādev, as well as the depiction of several pilgrimage sites such as Naimiṣa, Kurukṣetra, Ayōdhyā. It gives a wealth of geographical details in several chapters in which hundreds of tīrthas and Liṅgas are located in relation to one another. In chapters eighty three and eighty four, for example, each and every tīrtha from Asi Sangam north to Vῑreśvara and then from Adi Keśava south to Vneśvara is named. Likewise, in chapter ninety seven there is an account of sites beginning in the north and moving gradually southward through the city.

A great deal of mythology in which many of the Puranic myths are narrated forms an important part of Kāśīkhaṇḍa. It starts with the story of the sage Agastya, who travelled to South India with the intention to subdue the Vindhya mountains, which had risen up to block the course of the sun. During his journey, Agastya relates the tales and glories of Kāśī to his wife, Lopāmudrā. The couple meet Skanda on Sri Saila Mountain, who is dwelling there in exile from Kāśī. They listen to Skanda’s tales of Kāśī, which he had heard from Śiva and Pārvatī. In addition to the above-mentioned myth, Kāśīkhaṇḍa contains such widely told myths as the fiery appearance of the Liṅga of light and the decapitation of Brahma by Śiva.

The work also includes many ritual sections which specifically address the worshipper or the pilgrim. Daily, monthly and yearly cycles of pilgrimage, worship, and bathing are described in the text. Pilgrimage of mind (mansātīrth) - consisting of such spiritual virtues and practices as forgiveness, contentment, control of the senses, holiness, compassion, donation, and observance of celibacy - is explained as the pivotal part of the ritual of worship in Kāśī, and it is claimed that devotees discover in Kāśī all spiritual achievements like dharma and mokṣa.

S. Kh.

i) Place of copying; ii) Period of copying; iii) Copyist; iv) Commissioner;
v) Information on colophon; vi) Description of miniatures/illustrations; vii) Other remarks; viii) Information on catalogue(s)
Manuscripts: 

London, British Library, India Office Library, 5 volumes:  668, 194 ff.; 669, 206 ff.; 670, 199 ff.; 671, 198 ff.; 672, 189 ff. 

, ii)

vol. 1: 11 rabīʻ al-ṯānī 1207/26 November 1792.

 vol. 2: 10 rajab 1207/21 February 1793.

 vol. 3: 19 šawwāl 1207/30 May 1793.

 vol. 4 : 29 ḏu al-ḥijjah 1207/7 August 1793.

 vol. 5: 7 šaʻbān 1208/10 March 1794.

, iii) Bhūlā-Nāt’h, iv) Mister Jonathan Ġaẓānfar Jang, vii)

Thirty five adhyāyas of the original Sanskrit work have also been translated into Hindustani by Jaya Narayan Ghocala and published at Calcutta in three volumes.

, viii)

Ethé 1980, pp. 1093-1094, Nr. 1959

.

Calcutta, Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1713, not indicated ff.

, ii)

1207-1208/1792-1793

, iii) Bhūlā-Nāt’h, vi)

In the beginning of the fourth volume there is a miniature on the initial pages.

, vii)

Only four volumes are found, from vol. 2 to vol. 5, and the first is lost. The second and the fifth volumes are incomplete at the beginning.

, viii)

Ivanow Curzon 1926, p. 777

.


Bibliography:

Barth, A., 2013, Religions of India, London, Routledge, p. 278.

Ethé, Herman, 1980, Catalogue of Persian Manuscripts in the India Office Library, London, India Office Library, pp. 1093-1094.

Hertel, Bradley R. - Humes, Cynthia Ann, 1993, Living Banaras: Hindu Religion in Cultural context, Albany, Suny Press, p. 241.

Ivanow, Wladimir, 1924, Concise Descriptive Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the Curzon Collection, Calcutta, Asiatic Society of Bengal.  p. 777.

Marshall, D. N., 1967, Mughals in India: A Bibliographical Survey, Bombay, Asia Publishing House, vol. 1.

Mujtabaai, Fathullah, 1978, Aspects of Hindu-Muslim Cultural Relations, New Delhi, National Book Bureau, p.  79.

Paliwal, B. B., 2005, Message of the Purans, New Delhi, Diamond pocket Books,  p. 187.

 
Main Persian Title: Tarjuma-yi kāśīkhaṇḍa
Alternative Title(s):
Baḥr al-najāt
Year / Period of Composition: 1207/1792-1794
Incipit:

(vol.1)

هزار هزار شکر و سپاس مر آن بیقیاس را سزد که قیاس هیچ دانشمند به او نمی رسد-الخ

(vol. 2)

هزار هزار شکر و سپاس مر آن بیقیاس را که به قدرت کامله خود تمام این جهان و جهانیان را-الخ

(vol. 3)

هزار هزار شکر و سپاس مر آن واحدی را که ذات پاک ان برتر از ادراک-الخ

(vol. 4)

 سپاس بیقیاس و حمد بیحد مر آن واحدی را سزاست که از یک هزار و از هزار بیشمار-الخ