Forging Equivalences: Dara Shikoh, Persian Translations of Indic Works, and the Mughal Genealogies of Hinduism


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations


This dissertation examines the Persian writings on Indic religions of the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh (1615-59), the social contexts of their production, and their later reception. It argues that such interventions of interpreting and codifying Indic knowledge formed a constituent part of the construction of Mughal kingship, and influenced the ways in which Hindus came to systematize their traditions from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. It treats the visual and literary topos of royal encounters with Muslim and non-Muslim spiritual authorities, the hermeneutics of equivalence making in the Persian translations of Indic works, and the role of Dara Shikoh’s legacy and memory in eighteenth and nineteenth-century articulations of a monotheistic Hinduism.