ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

The Prabodhacandrodaya drama composed by king Jasvant Singh of Marwar


Pastore Rosina - Gent University, Gent, Belgium


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


This paper focuses on the Prabodhacandrodaya drama composed by king Jasvant Singh of Marwar (1626-1678), a significant political figure in 17th century North India. The text stands untranslated and unstudied extensively up to this date but belongs to a series of writings where the sovereign treated Vedantic themes in Brajbhāṣā. It is one of the first Hindi versions of the Prabodhacandrodaya story at our disposal and, differently from the majority of Hindi retellings of it, it is composed in prose rather than poetry. The Prabodhacandrodaya is an allegorical piece, often reinterpreted by authors who wished to support a Vedantic philosophical viewpoint together with bhakti (devotion). Interestingly, bhakti seems to not have a role in Jasvant Singh’s text. Therefore, this paper aims to shed light on some novelties of the mahārāja’s Prabodhacandrodaya, at the levels of the plot and structure and of the philosophical and religious debates the Jodhpur sovereign wished to deal with. This exploration constitutes a first step into a reconsideration of Jasvant Singh’ figure as self-fashioned philosopher and, more broadly, of the literary genres of philosophical expression in early modern North India.