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The Magic Doe

Qutban Suhravardi's Mirigavati

by Aditya Behl(trans.) ; Wendy Doniger(ed.)
The Magic Doe by Aditya Behl
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Mirigavati or The Magic Doe is the work of Shaikh Qutban Suhravardi, an Indian Sufi master who was also an expert poet and storyteller attached to the glittering court-in-exile of Sultan Husain Shah Sharqi of Jaunpur. Composed in 1503 as an introduction to mystical practice for disciples, this powerful Hindavi or early Hindi Sufi romance is a richly layered and sophisticated text, simultaneously a spiritual enigma and an exciting love story full of adventures. The Mirigavati is both an excellent introduction to Sufism and one of the true literary classics of pre-modern India, a story that draws freely on the large pool of Indian, Islamic, and European narrative motifs in its distinctive telling of a mystical quest and its resolution. Adventures from the Odyssey and the voyages of Sindbad the Sailor--sea voyages, encounters with monstrous serpents, damsels in distress, flying demons and cannibals in caves, among others--surface in Suhravardi 's rollicking tale, marking it as first-rate entertainment for its time and, in private sessions in Sufi shrines, a narrative that shaped the interior journey for novices. Before his untimely death in 2009, Aditya Behl had finished this complete blank verse translation of the critical edition of the Mirigavati, an epic romance that is also the symbolic key to a secret Sufi mystical tradition and a gem of Indian and world literature.
Oxford University Press; December 2011
230 pages; ISBN 9780199842933
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Title: The Magic Doe
Author: Aditya Behl; Wendy Doniger