Early Hindi Texts (Brajbhasha)

Readings of a variety of early modern Hindi literary texts are offered either as a core or an optional course for students enrolled into the M. Phil in Modern South Asian Studies. Those who wish to continue their Hindi studies after going through an elementary course in Oxford or elsewhere can also attend provided the course is not full. Admission for students from outside the Faculty is subject to availability and to the approval of the course tutor.

These classes are held once or twice a week and constitute in translating into English and interpreting the selected texts. Along with a close reading and translation of the texts their socio-cultural context is also presented. Students will normally be given a basic vocabulary and should prepare their texts with the help of dictionaries in advance. They will sometimes have to present short Hindi essays about various topics related to the texts. The course normally presents a 5-10 hour weekly workload.

The texts read vary each term but they include passages in Brajbhasha and in other early modern literary dialects, such as Avadhi, Sadhukkari and early Khari Boli. Normally an introductory course is held in Michaelmas term followed by more specialised classes later. Specialised classes include writings by one particular author (Vishnudas, Kabir, Tulsidas, Bajid, Anandghan, Thakur etc.) or thematically arranged readings, such as Hindi’s earliest texts, Rama-narratives, Krishna-poetry, Court Poetry, Nagari Rekhta texts, Ritimukt poets etc.

Dictionaries: Students are advised to provide copies of
R. S. McGregor: The Oxford Hinid-English dictionary (OUP)
Kalinath Prasad et al. (ed.): Brihat Hindi Kosh. (Gyanmandal Ltd. Varanasi)

They are also advised to consult Shaymsundardas (ed.): Hindi shabd-sagar I-XI. (Nagiripracharini Sabha, Varanasi) http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/dasa-hindi/ and John T. Platts’s A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi and English (Munshiram Manoharlal, New Delhi). http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/platts/index.html

as well as

Winand Callewert et al.: Dictionary of Bhakti I-III. (D. K. Printworld, New Delhi, 2009).

Sitaram Lalas: Rajasthani Sabad Kos I-IV. (Chaupasni Shiksha Samiti, Jodhpur, [1961]).
Dvaraka Prasada Sarma: Sahityik brajbhasha kosh I-III. (Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, Lucknow).
Dindayalu Gupta & Premnarayan Tandan: Brajbhasha sur-kosh I-III. (Lucknow University, Lucknow 1962).
Kishorilal: Ritikavya shabd-kosh. (Allahabad, 1976).

Further courses in Hindi:

Elementary Hindi language classes, for students enrolled on the B.A. in Sanskrit or M.Phil. in Modern South Asian Studies, and Early Modern Hindi literary texts, for students enrolled on the M.Phil. in Modern South Asian Studies.