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Lecture by Dr. Carl Ernst on "The Persian Sufi Writings of a Hindu Scholar, Sital Singh 'Bi-khwud'"

When: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Where: Tawes Fine Arts : Tawes Hall, Ulrich Recital Hall, Room 1121 : Room 1121
Event Type(s): Lecture

The expansion of the Mughal empire in South Asia was a major factor in the growth of Persian literature and court culture across an enormous region. To rule over India, the Mughals and other rulers created a large bureaucracy of Hindu secretaries (munshis) who were thoroughly trained in Persian literature, and some of them became profoundly attracted to Sufi mysticism. One such figure was Sital Singh, munshi to the raja of Benares, who (under the pen-name "Bi-khwud" or "Selfless") wrote a number of original Persian works on Sufism around 1800. His other writings include a commentary on the poetry of Ibn `Arabi, and a Persian treatise on Indian religions that influenced early British Orientalists. This paper introduces this cosmopolitan Hindu intellectual and describes his deep engagement with Persian Sufism.


For more information, contact:
Roshan Institute for Persian Studies
Roshan Institute for Persian Studies
301 405 1891

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