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Tellings and Texts

Francesca Orsini
Katherine Butler Schofield


Texte intégral

1abhang Marathi devotional song

2acharya religious master

3adhyay chapter of a book

4advaita non-dualistic

5ahl-e bait the family of the Prophet Muhammad

6‘alam standard that is part of Muharram commemoration of Imam Husain’s martyrdom

7alankara figure of speech

8alankarashastra lit. science of ornaments, rhetoric

9arilla short poetical form in Brajbhasha

10arthav exposition

11azan call to prayer

12bada notebook

13band baja music with brass band

14bandijan musician

15basti neighbourhood

16batin hidden, esoteric

17bayaz poetic scrapbook

18bhajan devotional song

19bhakha lit. language, term for Hindi

20bhaktamal biographical compilation of devotees and saints

21bhakti lit. “sharing”, devotion

22bhang drink laced with marijuana

23bhanita poet’s signature line at the end of a poem

24bhattarak head of Digambara Jain institution

25bhava emotion

26bhramargit lit. “songs of the bee”, song-poems in which Krishna is compared to a bee which sucks nectar from many flowers

27bol syllable, drum/dance mnemonic

28brahmachari celibate

29brahman the ultimate reality underlying all phenomena

30buzurg elder, important man

31charan panegyric singer and genealogist in the Rajput domains

32charya Bengali sung poem

33chaumasa, chaturmasa the four months of the rainy season, in which itinerant ascetics do not travel

34chaupai quatrain

35daitya, dait race of giants who fought against the gods; in Persian translations of Sanskrit texts usually assimilated to asuras and rakshasas, demons

36dapha genre of Newar devotional singing

37darbar court

38dargah lit. threshhold, sufi shrine, see also khanqah

39darshan polysemic word, may mean ritual and mutual viewing of god/spiritual master and devotee or system of philosophy

40dastan story

41devata god

42dhadhi musician specialising in drum and sarangi accompaniment and panegyric and martial singing

43dharma religious duty

44dhatu the melodic component of a song (as in dhatu-matu)

45dhrupad (also dhurpad) preeminent courtly song genre in Braj language

46dhyana, ragadhyana poetical description of the iconic form of a raga (see below)

47din faith

48divan, diwan book of poetry

49doha verse couplet

50drishtant example, verse used as an example

51dunya, duniya the world

52gaddi seat

53ghazal Persian and Urdu lyrical poem

54gita song

55goshti, goshthi (religious) discussion

56gotra clan lineage

57gunigana knowledgeable audience

58guru master, teacher

59guthi voluntary society

60gyan goshti knowledge discussion

61hadis traditions of the Prophet

62hun kar lit. “hmm”, listener’s assent that prompts a storyteller to continue

63‘ibadat worship

64imam the twelve leaders of Shi‘a Islam; leader of a mosque

65imambara, imambargah Shi‘a commemoration hall

66islah critique and correction of poetry

67jati caste, community (see also qaum)

68jawab response (as in call and response, Q & A)

69jinn spirits, lower than the angels, who appear in human and animal form

70kahani story

71kalam discourse

72kalawant hereditary court musician of high status

73kalima, kalma Muslim declaration of faith

74karamat miracles performed by saints

75Karbala location of a battle in 680 CE which gave rise to the split between Sunnis and Shi‘is and which Shi‘is commemorate every year during the month of Muharram

76karma lit. action, and the consequences that each action has in one’s past, present, or future existence

77katha story

78kathak, kathakar, kathavachak storyteller (kathak only began to designate a dance form in the twentieth century)

79kavi poet

80kavitt, kavitta poem, which may also be sung

81kavya poetry

82Kayasth professional scribal caste

83khanqah sufi monastery, see also dargah

84khandan family, hereditary lineage

85khatima concluding section of a text

86Khatri professional caste of scribes and merchants

87khayal virtuosic courtly song genre

88kinnara celestial musician in Buddhist and Hindu mythology

89kirtan religious song form

90kirtankar religious public performer of kirtan

91lazzat taste, pleasure (see also zauq)

92lila dance, play

93madrasa school, teaching institution

94mahant head of a monastery (math)

95mahatmya text describing the greatness of a place, a god/goddess, or a sacred text

96mahfil, mehfil assembly, gathering

97mahotsav (devotional) festival

98maidan public park

99majlis (pl. majalis) assembly, gathering

100maktab literary school or circle

101malfuz (pl. malfuzat) sayings (of a sufi saint)

102manaqib an Arabic biographical-hagiographic genre about the qualities of noble individuals

103mandali small group

104mandir temple

105mangalkabya Bengali genre of narrative poetry about the relationship between gods, humans, and places

106mansabdar Mughal officer

107marsiya sung or recited Muharram elegy in poetical form

108marsiya-go performer of marsiya

109ma ‘ sumin pure and flawless ones

110masjid mosque

111masnavi Persian or Urdu narrative poem

112matam physical self-mortification during Muharram ritual

113math monastery

114matu the textual component of a song (as in dhatu-matu)

115maulvi, mawlawi person who has completed full course of Arabic and Persian studies

116mazhab belief

117mela fair

118mo‘jizat miracle stories

119mohajir, muhajir migrant to Pakistan from India, usually at Partition

120muktaka independent verse

121musha‘ira Persian and Urdu poetry recital

122mushkil-kusha resolver of difficulties

123naga warrior ascetic

124nama Persian narrative, chronicle

125namaz prayer, one of the five mandatory Islamic prayers

126naqqal actor, mime

127nayak hero, protagonist

128nayika heroine, protagonist

129nayika-bhed poetic genre detailing the different types of heroines

130nazar offering

131niqabposh hidden, in disguise

132niti lit. ethics or policy, genre of instructional texts

133nitya lila lit. “eternal play”, the notion that Krishna is eternally playing with the milkmaids of Braj in a higher sphere (loka)

134niyaz ritual offering

135niyaz kahani ritual stories

136nritya dance

137ojas martial spirit

138pakhawaj double-headed barrel drum that accompanies dhrupad songs

139pan digestive made of betel nut and leaves

140panchali Bengali genre of performed poetry

141pande, pandit educated Brahmin or (among Jains) temple ritual specialist; scholar

142parchai biography

143parhna to read

144paryushana season of sermons given by Jain monks during the rainy season

145patur (a) courtesan, female singer/dancer

146pir sufi master

147pirzada living descendent of a sufi saint

148pothi manuscript book, often compilation

149prasad offering received back with god’s blessing

150prasang, prastav context of an example

151pravachan spiritual discourse

152prem-katha love story

153Purana lit. old, compilation of narratives about gods, communities, and places

154qasba small town

155qasida Arabic, Persian, or Urdu ode/praise poem

156qaum caste, community (see also jati)

157qawwal, qavval professional sufi musician who also performed at court

158qawwali song performances of qawwals, usually at sufi shrines

159qiyamat, qayamat the Day of Judgement in Islam

160qissa story

161qissa-khwan storyteller

162raga melodic mode

163ragamala lit. garland of ragas; 6 male ragas each with 5 wives called raginis

164raja king (also maharaja, great king)

165rajguru royal guru

166rakshas demon

167ramat itinerancy in a group of followers

168ramshala place where Dadupanthi ascetics spend the rainy months

169ras lila performance of Krishna’s life

170rasa juice, sentiment, one of nine affective essences

171rasika connoisseur

172rishi seer, sage

173riti lit. style, courtly style of poetry in Brajbhasha

174ritigranth manual of poetics

175sabad lit. word, devotional song-poem

176sadhu ascetic

177sadhvi female ascetic

178sajjada-nishin current head of a sufi shrine

179sakhi poetic couplet, often gnomic in kind

180sakhi the female confidante of the nayika

181salam greeting; the first item in a series of performances

182sama ‘lit. audition, sufi musical assembly

183samasyapurti poetic game in which poets are given a word or part of a verse and have to complete it to a set metre

184sampradaya religious group, association

185samskara polysemic word which means life-ritual and ceremony, and the trace and influence that actions and thoughts leave

186sangita music, dance, and drama; lyrical arts

187sangitashastra musical science, music treatise

188sant lit. “good man”, holy person in a devotional context

189saqi-nama poems addressed to the saqi or cup-bearer

190sarvangi comprehensive compilation of devotional songs

191satsang congregation of devotees with music and discourses

192savab religious merit

193sayyid descendant of the Prophet Muhammad

194seva service

195shakti the power of the goddess

196shauq desire, pleasure

197shudra lower caste

198silsila lit. chain, lineage

199sipara chapter of the Qur’an

200soz Persian or Urdu elegy to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husain (the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson) and his family at Karbala

201stotra hymn

202sufi mystical branch of Islam, based on observance of a path under the guide of a pir

203sukhan speech, discourse

204sunna to listen, to hear

205svadhyaya self-study

206tabarruk blessed food

207tabla set of two drums that is the pre-eminent accompaniment to classical music genres

208takhyil deception

209tala rhythmic cycle

210tamasha spectacle, and a Marathi performance genre

211tappa courtly Panjabi song genre

212tarikh chronogram

213tariqa sufi path and organisation

214tasha drum associated with Muharram

215ta‘sir effect, impact

216taza-gui “fresh speech”, new style of Persian poetry in Safavid and Mughal times

217ta‘ziya, tazia replica of a mausoleum used in Muharram processions

218tazkira biographical dictionary, prosopography (usually of poets or sufi saints)

219tirthankara one of the 24 founding Jinas

220‘urs lit. “marriage”, death anniversary of a sufi saint.

221ustad master

222vacana speech

223vaggeyakar song-poet

224vani (also bani) lit. speech, collected sayings of a saint or poet

225varnashrama the system of four major castes (varna) and four stages of life (ashrama)

226varta story

227vira heroic, the heroic sentiment (rasa)

228virah the longing and pain of separation

229virahini woman pining for her absent beloved

230virakt renunciant, in the specific case, Dadupanthi itinerant sadhu

231virudavali panegyric genre panegyric made of linked chain of epithets

232vistar exposition (of a raga)

233vrat-katha ritual story with vow and fast

234wazn rhythmic emphasis in a poetical or musico-rhythmic cycle

235yuga epoch

236zahir apparent, exoteric

237zakir one who remembers

238zauq taste, pleasure, see also lazzat

239zikr, zekr repetitive chanting in sufi ritual practice

240ziyarat pilgrimage


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