Recognition through Traditional Values: A Literary Representation of dāna as an Essential Way of Boosting Royal Worthiness




dāna, generosity, rājadharma, Śivājī, Bhūṣ aṇ,, Śivrājbhūṣ aṇ, rīti, rītigranth


The present article is focused on the notion of dāna and its use in Śivrājbhūṣaṇ, a late 17th-century rītigranth composed by Bhūṣaṇ in the court of Śivājī Bhoṃsle, shortly before the coronation. The ruler had it composed in Braj, a vernacular that had already risen to the status of a transregional language. The poem, which used to be reduced by literary historians to a simple panegyric, belongs to South Asian early modern court literature, the authors of which were explicitly manifesting their fixture in Sanskrit literary tradition and simultaneously fulfilled complex political agendas. The royal patronage infused the poetry with political essence, but the literary conventions dictated the ways in which the political substance should be weaved into the poems. Basing on the textual analysis of Bhūṣaṇ’s work, I draw attention to the high frequency and various ways of use of the notion of dāna by the poet. This aims to prove that poetical representation of royal generosity embodied in various practices of dāna—liberally put to display—was one of the major tools of validating, vitalizing and bolstering royal authority.

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How to Cite

Borek, Piotr. 2016. “Recognition through Traditional Values: A Literary Representation of dāna As an Essential Way of Boosting Royal Worthiness”. Cracow Indological Studies 18 (December):211-39.

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