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Kiyokazu Okita

Kiyokazu Okita is currently an assistant professor at Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, Tokyo. He is also a research follow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies where he leads together with Dr. Rembert Lutjeharms an international collaborative research project The Gosvāmī Era: The Founding of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism in Early Modern South Asia. Okita obtained his D.Phil. from the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford in 2011. His doctoral thesis focuses on Vaiṣṇava Vedānta in Early Modern North India. Based on his thesis, he published a monograph Hindu Theology in Early Modern South Asia (Oxford University Press, 2014). In his current project God as Paramour: Ethic and Aesthetic of Emotion in Early Modern South Asia, Okita examines a complex relation between devotion (bhakti), aesthetic delight (rasa) and ethics (dharma) in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism.


Role in the Project: I am interested in studying and comparing the Bhāgavata Purāṇa commentaries written in Sanskrit during the late medieval and the early modern periods. In my first monograph Hindu Theology in Early Modern South Asia, I presented a comparative study of four commentaries written by Madhva (13th century), Śrīdhara (14th century), Vijayadhvaja (14th century), and Jīva (16th century) on the so-called Catuḥ-śloki-bhāgavata (Bhāgavata Purāṇa 2.9.32-35). Recently I have been translating various commentaries on the first three verses (1.1.1-1.1.3) of the Bhāgavata. So far, I translated the commentary by Madhusūdana Sarasvatī (16th century) with S. Bhuvaneshwari, and those written by Madhva and Vijayadhvaja with Anusha Rao. Currently I am working on Śrīnātha Cakravartī's commentary (16th century) on the first three verses. S. Bhuvaneshwari and I are also translating Vopadeva's Harilīlā, an indexical work on the Bhāgavata, and its commentary.

Bhagavata-related Publications:

  • 2019 "Bitextuality in Bhāgavata Purāṇa X.29." The Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, 66: 3, 1043-1048.

  • 2018 “Ethics and Aesthetics in Early Modern South Asia: A Controversy surrounding the Bhāgavata Purāṇa Book X”, International Journal of Hindu Studies, Special Issue, Translating the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, ed. by Anand Mishra and Monika Horstmann, 22: 1, 25-43.

  • 2017 “From Rasa to Bhaktirasa: The Development of A Devotional Aesthetic Theory in Early Modern South Asia”, The Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, 65: 3, 1066-1072.

Book chapters

  • 2014 “The Bhāgavata Purāṇa in Four Verses: Jīva Gosvāmī's Kramasandarbha” in Ravi M. Gupta (ed.) Caitanya Vaisnava Philosophy: Tradition, Reason and Devotion (Farnham: Ashgate), pp. 61-66.

  • 2013 “From Ontology to Aesthetics: A Bengal Vaiṣṇava Interpretation of an Upaniṣadic Passage So ’ham” in Imre Banga (ed.) Bhakti beyond Forest: Current Research on Early Modern Literatures in North India, 2003-2009 (Delhi: Manohar Publishers), pp. 197-214.



Address: Bldg#10, Room 649, Sophia University
7-1 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan, 102-8554

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