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Biography as Geography

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 December 2019

Anne Feldhaus*
Anne Feldhaus ( is Foundation Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University, Tempe.


The Līḷācaritra, 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 Līḷācaritra 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 Līḷācaritra 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 sannidhān). 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.

Research Article
Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2019 

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Biography as Geography
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