Biography as geography

Anne Feldhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Lılā caritra, the first literary text in Marathi, is a prose biography of Cakradhar compiled by his followers in the last quarter of the thirteenth century. The close attention to place in the Lılā caritra is key to understanding not only this text from long ago and far away but also the attachment to particular places in other highly mobile worlds, including our own. The Lılā caritra follows Cakradhar's ascetic peregrinations, as well as journeys made by the many people who came to see him or attempted to return to his presence (his sannidhan). The text's attention to the details of Cakradhar's daily life, including the places he visited, is motivated by bhakti (devotional love). In order to soothe the pain they felt at his absence, the community of Cakradhar's followers practiced remembrance of the things he had said and done, and made pilgrimages to the places where he had stayed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-766
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Asian Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bhakti
  • Biography
  • Geography
  • Hagiography
  • Mahanubhav tradition
  • Marathi literature
  • Memory
  • Mobility
  • Pilgrimage
  • Relics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History


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