Mahābhārata (Zayn al-‘Ābidīn translation) | Monography or Translations of known period | Survey | Perso-Indica

Monography or Translations of known period
Mullā Aḥmad, Mahābhārata (Zayn al-‘Ābidīn translation)

Zayn al-‘Ābidīn, the ruler of Kashmir (r. 1418-1419 and 1420-1470), allegedly sponsored a translation of the Sanskrit epic Mahābhārata into Persian. Pīr Ġulām Ḥasan Šāh Khūyihāmī mentions the translation in his Tārīḫ-i Ḥasan, a late-nineteenth-century work, and attributes it to to Mullā Aḥmad (Shukla 1974, p. 188). Mullā Aḥmad also translated the Rājataraṅgiṇī, a Sanskrit work of Kashmiri history, into Persian, and numerous other translations between the two languages are known to have been patronized by Zayn al-‘Ābidīn (Ernst 2003, p. 178). The Zayn al-‘Ābidīn translation of the Mahābhārata is not mentioned by Śrīvara, author of a Sanskrit-language history of the king’s reign (Jainataraṅgiṇī). If such a translation was executed, it does not appear to be extant.


Dhar, Kashi Nath, ed., 1994, Śrīvara's Zaina Rājataraṅgiṇī, New Delhi, Indian Council of Historical Research - People's Publishing House. Ernst, Carl, 2003, “Muslim Studies of Hinduism? A Reconsideration of Arabic and Persian Translations from Indian Languages,” Iranian Studies, 36, 2, pp. 173–95. Shukla, N. S., 1974, “Persian Translations of Sanskrit Works,” Indological Studies, 3, 1–2, pp. 175–91.

Audrey Truschke

Originally published: 28 March 2019
How to quote this article:

Truschke, Audrey, , 2019, "Mahābhārata (Zayn al-‘Ābidīn translation)", Perso-Indica. An Analytical Survey of Persian Works on Indian Learned Traditions, F. Speziale - C. W. Ernst, eds.,

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Main Persian Title: Mahābhārata (Zayn al-‘Ābidīn translation)
Original Sources:
Other Persian texts quoting this Original Source:
Razm-nāma, Mahābhārat (Ādi and Sabhā Parvans), Aśvamedha Parvan, Udyoga Parvan, Virāṭa Parvan, Mal‘ūn-nāma.
Approximate period of composition: 1420-1470
Place: Kashmir
Commissioner: Zayn al-‘Ābidīn