Sahaj Parikh

History of Religions, South Asian Religions, Hindu Traditions, Bhakti Traditions, Vernacular Bhakti Traditions, Lived Religious Traditions
HSSB 3048
Office Hours:
By Appointment
Time Period: 2023-2024
Personal Website:


A Ph.D. student in the department, Sahaj holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in History from the University of Delhi. He also has a master’s degree in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara (2023).

With his specialization in modern Indian history, he is particularly interested in history’s cultural and anthropological aspects. Owing to a great interest in understanding religion, how it functions, and its impact on society, he works under the supervision of Professors Barbara Holdrege, Vesna Wallace, and William Elison, exploring questions of bhakti, vernacular poetry and its role in the formation of devotional communities.

Sahaj is the language instructor for Hindi, teaching RG ST 11A-B-C in the Religious Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara. In the past, as a teaching assistant at UC Santa Barbara, he has worked with Professor Christopher McAuley, Professor Lisa Sideris, Professor Jude Akudinobi, and Professor Jaime Alves.

Sahaj is a recipient of the Radhadevi Srinivas Tiwari Prize for outstanding research and performance in the History Section at the 50th session of the All India Oriental Conference – 2020.

His publications include:

  • “Angkor Wat: An Epitome of ‘Cultural Convergence’ between Cambodian and Indian Traditions” in Kalyana Mitra: Volume 6: Architecture. Blue Rose Publishers. 2023. pp. 291-304.
  • “Dynamics of Distance Devotion: Letters Exchanged between Indian Ascetics and the Gujarati Diaspora in East-Africa from 1933-50.” In ‘Shodh Samhita’ – Journal of Fundamental and Comparative Research – All India Oriental Conference 50th Session Special Issue. 2020. 164-188
  • “Linguistic Pluralism within the Sufi and Bhakti Movements.” The Journey of Indian Languages: Perspectives on Culture and Society – Volume 3, New Delhi, India. 3. 39-41.
  • “The Martyr and the Mahatma: Gandhi’s Actions and Reactions after Bhagat Singh Embraced the Gallows.” Edited by Mita Hussain. Vani (Golden Jubilee Issue), University of Delhi, India 25–1. 17-19.