12 Facts About Banarasidas


Banarasidas was born in a Shrimal Jain family in 1587.

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Banarasidas's father Kharagsen was a jeweller in Jaunpur.

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Banarasidas received basic education in letters and numbers from a local Brahmin in Jaunpur for one year and then from another Brahmin named Pandit Devdatt at the age of 14.

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Banarasidas further completed his higher studies in astrology and Khandasphuta, a work on mathemetics.

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Banarasidas studied lexicographical texts like Namamala and Anekarthakosha.

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Banarasidas started his poetic and singing career with poems like Qutban's Mirigavati and Manjhan's Madhumalati, which were composed by Sufi poets in Hindavi verses.

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Banarasidas was influenced by the sermons of Gommatasara in 1635 by Rupchand Pande, spiritual teacher of Hemraj Pande.

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Banarasidas was one of the leading proponents of the Adyatma movement, which eventually led to the Terapanth sect of the Digambar Jains.

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Banarasidas appears to have been a better poet than a businessman; at one stage he relates how after incurring several business losses, his wife gave him twenty rupees that she had saved up.

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The work is notable for many details of life in Mughal times - Banarasidas lived during the reign of Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan.

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Banarasidas appears to have been an occasional chess partner of Emperor Shahjahan.

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Rohini Chowdhury's Hindi translation of Banarasidas' Ardhakathanaka has been published by Penguin Books India, 2007.

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