Advertisement

International Journal of Hindu Studies

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 385–409 | Cite as

Vernacularizing Jñāndev: Hagiography and the Process of Vernacularization

  • Christian Lee Novetzke
Article
  • 20 Downloads

Abstract

The process of vernacularization involves more than literary language, but also invokes social ethics and an investment in the idioms of everyday life. Vernacularization can reach beyond texts to enact its force upon biographies as well, altering the ethics and quotidian memory of sacred figures. The paper examines how texts and biographical memory identified with the medieval Marathi “saint” (sant) Jñāndev (about thirteenth century) underwent a process of vernacularization that altered the social ethics of texts associated with Jñāndev and with the public memory of the saint himself. In particular, issues of caste and gender as subjects of the process of vernacularization are discussed, and especially in the context of producing bhakti publics—social spheres of devotion—that merge with the Vārkarī religious tradition in Maharashtra.

Keywords

bhakti vernacularization social ethics public memory Vārkarī caste gender 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abbott, Justin E. and Narhar R. Godbole, trans. 1982 [1933]. Stories of Indian Saints: English Translation of Mahipati’s Marathi Bhaktavijaya. 2 volumes in 1 book. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.Google Scholar
  2. Babar, S., M. G. Baratakke, S. V. Dandekar, LG Jog, S. G. Tulpule, and R. N. Velingakar, eds. 1970. Śrī Nāmdev Gāthā. Bombay: Maharashtra State Government Printing Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1994. “Rethinking the State: Genesis and Structure of the Bureaucratic Field” (trans. Loïc J. D. Wacquant and Samar Farage). Sociological Theory 12, 1: 1–18.Google Scholar
  4. Chalmers, Robert. 1932. Buddha’s Teachings: Being the Sutta-Nipāta or Discourse-Collection. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Chitre, Dilip. 1991. Says Tuka: Selected Poems of Tukaram. New Delhi: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  6. Dandekar, S. V., ed. 1963. Śrī Jñāneśvarī. Mumbai: Government Central Press.Google Scholar
  7. de Certeau, Michel. 1984 [1980]. The Practice of Everyday Life (trans. Steven Rendall). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Denapoli, Antoinette Elizabeth. 2014. Real Sadhus Sing to God: Gender, Asceticism, and Vernacular Religion in Rajasthan. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Feldhaus, Anne. 1983. The Religious System of the Mahānubhāva Sect: The Mahānubhāva Sütrapāṭha. New Delhi: Manohar.Google Scholar
  10. Flueckiger, Joyce Burkhalter. 2006. In Amma’s Healing Room: Gender and Vernacular Islam in South India. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Gadkari, Jayant. 1996. Society and Religion: From Rugveda to Puranas. Bombay: Popular Prakashan.Google Scholar
  12. Hansen, Thomas Blom. 2001. Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hawley, John Stratton. 2015. A Storm of Songs: India and the Idea of the Bhakti Movement. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hume, David. 1758. “On the First Principles of Government.” In David Hume, Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects, 20–22. London: A. Milar.Google Scholar
  15. Jain, Kajri. 2005. “India’s Modern Vernacular: On the Edge.” In Chaitanya Sambrani, Kajri Jain, and Ashish Rajadhyaksha, eds., Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India, 170–83. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Joshi, Priya. 2015. Bollywood’s India: A Public Fantasy. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Keune, Jon Milton. 2011. “Eknāth Remembered and Reformed: Bhakti, Brahmans, and Untouchables in Marathi Historiography.” Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Keune, Jon and Christian Lee Novetzke. 2011. “Vārkarī Sampradāy.” In Knut A. Jacobsen, ed., and Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan, assoc. eds., Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, 3: 617–26. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  19. Keune, Jon and Christian Lee Novetzke. 2012. “Jñāndev.” In Knut A. Jacobsen, ed., and Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan, assoc. eds., Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, 4: 258–64. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  20. Kiehnle, Catharina. 1997. Songs on Yoga: Texts and Teachings of the Mahārāṣṭrian Nāths. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.Google Scholar
  21. Mahadevan, Sudhir. 2015. A Very Old Machine: The Many Origins of the Cinema in India. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  22. Michelutti, Lucia. 2007. “The Vernacularization of Democracy: Political Participation and Popular Politics in North India.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 13, 3: 639–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mir, Farina. 2010. The Social Space of Language: Vernacular Culture in British Colonial Punjab. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  24. Mitchell, Lisa. 2009. Language, Emotion, and Politics in South India: The Making of a Mother Tongue. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Novetzke, Christian Lee. 2008. Religion and Public Memory: A Cultural History of Saint Namdev in India. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Novetzke, Christian Lee. 2012. “Nāmdev.” In Knut A. Jacobsen, ed., and Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan, assoc. eds., Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, 4: 296–302. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  27. Novetzke, Christian Lee. 2016. The Quotidian Revolution: Vernacularization, Religion, and the Premodern Public Sphere in India. New York: Columbia University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pandian, Anand. 2009. Crooked Stalks: Cultivating Virtue in South India. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pollock, Sheldon. 2006. The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  30. Sant Dnyaneshwar. 1940. Sant Dnyaneshwar. Directed by V. G. Damle and Sheikh Fattelal. Pune: Prabhat Films.Google Scholar
  31. Soneji, Davesh. 2012. Unfinished Gestures: Devadāsīs, Memory, and Modernity in South India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  32. Taylor, Charles. 2004. Modern Social Imaginaries. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Tulpule, Shankar Gopal. 1963. Prācīna Marāṭhī Korīva Lekha. Pune: Vidyāpīṭha Prakāśana.Google Scholar
  34. Twain, Mark. 1884. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade). London: Chatto & Windus, Piccadilly.Google Scholar
  35. Witsoe, Jeffrey. 2011. “Rethinking Postcolonial Democracy: An Examination of the Politics of Lower-Caste Empowerment in North India.” American Anthropologist 113, 4: 619–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zelliot, Eleanor. 1987. “Eknath’s Bhāruḍs: The Sant as a Link Between Cultures.” In Karine Schomer and W. H. McLeod, eds., The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India, 91–110. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Jackson School of International StudiesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations