Whitney Cox wmcox at UCHICAGO.EDU
Wed Nov 29 12:14:48 UTC 2006

Not to be seen disagreeing with my betters, but I think that 
Dominik might be too hasty in questioning whether the 
Allopani.sad could sustain an MA thesis.  From the point of 
view of language and of the text’s propositional content (as 
DW helpfully attests in his quotations), it might not be 
very promising, but this doesn’t exhaust its potential or 
interest.  If Christophe’s student has access to Persian or 
to Arabic, the whole question of how such a  text was 
confected in the first place could be profitably studied, 
i.e. how what seems to be its Perso-Arabic lexis gets 
transposed into Sanskrit (whether, f.i., the words ‘dhatte’ 
or ‘mitro mitro’ are semantic ‘translations’ or phonetic 
transpositions from another language).  

This raises the whole question--very much in need of study--
of the multilingual philology (if that’s even the right 
word) of Akbar’s court.  We know at least quite a bit 
bibliographically speaking about the works that Akbar had 
translated into Persian from Sanskrit (the epics, 
certain ‘classical’ upani.sads, Pa~ncatantra, et mult cet) 
but much less about what works (other than this one) that 
were sponsored as quasi-‘translations’ into Sanskrit.  Not 
to mention the fact of a putative upani.sad being composed 
by a historical author, if indeed a ‘court-poet of Akbar’ 
was responsible for it.

Some interesting work on the ‘other direction’ to this 
translational process that might be of interest is that of 
the Carl Ernest, whose website helpfully gives the draft 
versions of a number of his published studies of the 
reception of yoga works in the wider Islamicate world.

Finally Kengo’s point about the Nepalese manuscripts (along 
with the fact that I presume that the Adyar edition was 
based on Southern MSS) would seem to indicate that the text 
wasn’t a one-off oddball product of the New Agey theosophy 
of Akbar’s court, but one that attracted a wide and diverse 

All of this said, I agree with Dominik’s point that “the 
fact of [the Allopani.sad’s] existence” is perhaps more 
interesting than its contents, but the text could provide a 
point d’appui, rather than the central focus, of some very 
interesting research.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 10:20:54 +0000
>From: Dominik Wujastyk <ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK>  
>Subject: Re: Alla.h-Upani.sad  
>In my view, the Allaa Upanisad, which I happen to have read 
earlier this 
>month, does not provide sufficient material for an MA 
study.  It is short, 
>and is largely composed of mantras that have a syncretic 
sound to them.
>It begins:
>divyaani dhatte dhatte divyaani divyaani dhatte/ dhatta 
ilala ilale dhatte 
>dhatta ilale/ dhatta iti dhatte/ ilale 
ilala ilale 
> ilala iti ilale/ raajaa raajaa raajaa/ 
>raajaa punar du.h punar duu raajaa raajaa punar du.h/ 
punarduriti puna.h 
>du.h/ hvyaami mitro mitro hvayaami hvayaami mitra.h/ mitra 
>mitro mitra ilaam/ ilaam ilala ilala ilaam ilaam ilale/ 
ilala ilaam ilaam 
>ilala ilala ilaam/
>It ends:
>sa.m tu.s.ta tu.s.ta sa.m sa.m tu.s.ta/ tu.s.ta devaa 
>tu.s.ta devaa.h/ devaa iti devaa.h//2//
>ilaam ilaam ilaam ilaam ilaam/ ilelaakabarho 'kabarha 
>'kabarha ilelaakabarho 'kabarha ilelaakabarho 'kabarha 
>'kabarha.h/ akabarho 'smy akabarho 'smy akabarho 'smy 
akabarho 'smy 
>akabarho 'smi//3//
>These quotes already comprise about 20% of the text.
>It is included in the book "Unpublished Upanisads" edited 
by C Kunhan Raja 
>and published by the Adyar Library in 1938, pp.391-392.  
There is a 
>digital copy freely available in the Digital Library of 
>I would say that the Allaa Upanisad is very interesting for 
the fact of 
>its existence, rather than for its content.
>On Tue, 28 Nov 2006, Christophe Vielle wrote:
>> Dear Colleagues,
>> a Muslim student of mine would like to work for a M.A. on 
the Allopani.sad,
>> composed by a court-poet of Akbar.
>> For helping her to start the work, I have nothing to 
propose except the
>> datas given in the NCC s.v. (three old editions) and one 
reference about an
>> English translation (R. Mitra JASBeng 1871).
>> (I have also the three pages by S.C. Banerji 
on "Contribution of Muslims to
>> Sanskrit Literature" from his "Companion to Sanskrit 
literature", who
>> himself relies on the book by J.B. Chaudhuri on "Muslim 
patronage of
>> Sanskrit learning", Calcutta, 1945, but nothing more on 
the upani.sad).`
>> Does somebody know some additional scholarly material 
produced on the
>> subject (edition, translation or study)?
>> Thank you in advance for your help,
>> Dr. Christophe Vielle
>> Centre d'Etudes de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud
>> Institut orientaliste, Université de Louvain
>> Place Blaise Pascal 1
>> B - 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
>> Tel. +32-(0)10-47 49 54 or 58 (office)/ -(0)2-640 62 66 
>> E-mail: christophe.vielle at

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