Synopsis: : In Favour of Govindadevji Historical Documents Relating to a Deity of Vrindaban and Eastern Rajasthan 1st Published
Sri Govinddevji, a Family Deity of Amber's Kachavaha dynasty, now dwells in Jaipur, along with his consort Radha. His first appearance. however, he made in Vrindaban where he came to reside in the great Temple built for him by Raja Mansingh and consecrated in 1590. Govinddevji was a symbol of Mansingh's power and became a focus of Political interaction of the Mughal Emperor and the Kachavahas and, hence, an object of imperial and royal patronage. In the end of the seventeenth century, Govinddevji and Radha, accompanied by Vrindaban's tutelary goddess, Vrndadevi, were taken to the Amber territory to protect them from damage by the hands of iconoclasts. This was in the latter part of Emperor Aurangzeb's rule when, with the crisis of the Empire, regional Hindu Kingdoms became increasingly self assertive. Thus, that move from Vrindaban to Amber, the patrimonial land of the Kachavahas, also marked the Kachavaha ruler's assertion of regional power and identity. Govinddevji and his consort eventually came to reside in the palatial temple in the precincts of the City Palace of Maharaja Savai Jaisingh's new capital, Jaipur. The rise of the deity to the status of a symbol of regnal power also meant the rise of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and the deity's custodians to power in the Kachavaha territory.
The documents published in this Book span more then three and a half centuries. In their own Style which is that of fiscal and other official papers, they tell of the fortunes of Govinddevji. Apart from their importance as testimonies of Religious policy, they also permit Insight into the administrative and diplomatic usage of the Kachavaha Chancery, an aspect which the author has attempted to highlight.
Monika Horstmann (Monika Boehm-Tettelbach) is Professor of Modern Asian Studies at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg. She has specialized in North Indian Bhakti religion and its relations with the state. Her books include an edited volume, Bhakti in Current Research, 1979-1982(1983); Crossing the Ocean of Existence : Braj Bhasa Religious Poetry from Rajasthan (1983); and Dadu: Lieder (1991).
Heike Bill holds an M.A. in Persian. She is currently working for a human welfare organization and engaged in relief work for women victims of war in Afghanistan.
2. The Documents : Diplomatic and Administrative Aspects :
i. Appendices :
a. Divans of Amber and Jaipur (1660 to 1812)
ii. The Calendrical System
iv. Measures, Weights and Currency
v. Siyaq Numerals
3. Calendar of Documents
4. Texts and Translations