The Garland of Devotees: Nabhadas's Bhaktamal and Modern Hinduism


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This project explores Nabhadas's Bhaktamal and its subsequent tradition. This late sixteenth- or early seventeenth-century north Indian collection of hagiographies praises the qualities of over 900 saints and thereby sets the boundaries of a devotional community that far exceeds the sectarian context in which its author wrote. By closely considering the Bhaktamal, its commentaries, manuscripts, and print editions, this project traces crucial aspects of the development of modern Hinduism from the early seventeenth century until the beginning of the twentieth century. Since the time of its composition, the Bhaktamal has remained a prominent locus of dispute over the boundaries and logic of the broad-based devotional community that we now know as Hinduism.