Saturday, 4 July 2009

Francisco Vaz de Guimaraes' Khrista Purana

This evening Diego Nunes produced a printed copy of the Khrista Purana. I got a shock: I thought Nelson's translation was finally in print. It turned out instead to be Simon Borges' version of the Khrista Purana, unfortunately without proper acknowledgement of authorship. But there are reasons for this, as will be indicated below.

So what is this Borges' version of the KP? It seems it is the KP in the language of Vasai-Bassein and Uttan, which Borges refers to as 'East Indian boli.' The author, I am learning, is not Thomas Stephens but rather a Fr Francisco Vaz de Guimaraes. However, Vaz wrote it in Portuguese; an unknown person translated it into East Indian boli. In that sense, then, the 'authorship' is really a complex matter.

But whatever: one more item for the Indian Christian Bibliography. Simon Borges' Khrista Purana. Or Francisco Vaz de Gimraes' Khrista Purana according to Simon Borges. An important historical record of the devolution of a great work into the purposes for which it was meant: catechesis of the 'Rudes' .
From Borges' Introduction:
According to available information, the first Khrista Purana was written by Fr Francisco Vaz de Guimaraes in Portuguese. This seems to have been first published in 1551 in Portugal, according to the historian Fr. Antonio Lerte. This was subsequently translated into East Indian dialect and published in the Roman script in Lisbon in 1659. The translator's name however is not mentioned. The book was published, once again in the Roman script, in Bombay in 1876. It seems to have been published repeatedly, despite the fact that Thomas Stephens' Khrista Purana had been published in 1614 and had attained great popularity and renown. Thus Vaz' Khrista Purana was published in the Devanagari script by Thomas Carvalho of Manickpur in 1922, and reprinted in 1927; in the Roman script by Luis Francis Gonsalves of Thana; and in an abridged form in 1960 by John D'Mello of Manickpur.
I need to note, however, that Nelson Falcao has problems with some of the information given above....


  1. I had suggested it a long time ago... that Nelson try the Khrista Purana.. as an audio version... It will definitely be top of the Charts.. at least in the indian scene... will be popular in the Vasai-Uttan region... younsters & osenior alike will applaud the laudable efort... If Times Music & Tips Music & name what you will can come up with chants, ragas... sagas.. why can't we???? Besides.. one-up on Simon Borges too.... (i understand this may be a very radically crack view)

  2. Nelson is more than game. Just quite a bit on his plate right now: PP, Adm, Prof., ET, ...