ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

A Novel Model of Mind in Bīdel’s Sinai of Enlightenment


Keshavmurthy Prashant - McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies, Montreal, Canada


31 – The Forms, Genres and Languages of Early Modern Indian Philosophy


 This essay argues that Ṭūr-i ma‘rifat or Sinai of Enlightenment, a monsoon verse travelogue composed in 1228 Persian couplets in the late 1680s by ‘Abd al-Qādir Khān Bīdel of Delhi, allows us to infer a novel model of mind. It argues that its novelty lay in its synthesis of two models in Neoplatonism and Tantra for how the mind relates to its objects of knowledge. It then sets forth the poem’s relations with its lyric precedents in Persian and Braj Bhasha and with concepts of selfhood in Avicenna (d.1037) and Mullā Ṣadrā (d.1636), arguing that the ghazal-informed attention to natural phenomena that it upheld to its readers as a cure for their ailment was irreducible to any of these precedents, commending it to our attention as an original vision of mind.