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Prince of peace

Portrait of Shahjahan -- From the collection of recent photographs -The Delhi Administration organising an exhibition -'The Saga of Shahjahanabad' - consisting of photographs and historical records about the city between early 18th century to the mid- 19th century. The venue of the exhibition interestingly was the 300-year old Dara Shikoh Library building, named after the son of Shahjahan, which now houses the Department of Archaelogy of the Administration at the Delhi College of Engineering Complex. Photo: The Hindu Archives/N. Srinivasan  

On 20 March 1615 at Akbar Fort, a child was born. The father of the child, Mughal Emperor Shahjahan was prostrating as this child was supposed to be the heir of his kingdom and legacy.

As the year 2015 happens to be the 4th birth centenary of Prince Dara Shukoh, let the world understand him and his ideas to become a better place.

Fraternity to Inculcate Vedic Erudition & Senses (FIVES), an NGO, has planned year long events on this occasion with the theme — Hum Hind. To start with, FIVES organised a talk on the topic — If Dara Shukoh was the King! — this Friday at India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi.

This child was born withmystic abilities. He was a combination of the qualities of his two ancestors Humayun and Akbar. From the first he inherited the habit of reading and learning and from the second he believed in oneness of the almighty. He was known as Prince Dara Shukoh. Prince Dara Shukoh was lucky among all the Mughal princes for being the disciple of the spiritual stalwarts of that time. In his early days, he had Mulla Abdul Latif Saharanpuri as his teacher who made him understand the importance of learning. This encouraged him to learn even more.

Later Dara became the disciple of Mian Mir and was next to him at the time when this mystic soul laid the foundation stone of the Golden Temple. His learning from the sufis was compiled for the future generation by him in a series of books “Safinat-ul-Auliya” (1640 AD), “Sakinat-ul-Auliya” (1643 AD), “Risala-e-Haq Numa” (1647 AD) and “Tariqat-ul-Haqiqat” and “Hasanat-ul-Arifeen” (1653 AD).

“Risala-e-Haq Numa” is a revelation about yoga. “Majma-ul-Bahrain” was the book which was the result of nine years of research and study regarding the two doctrines — Brahmavidya and Quran. “Majma-ul-Bahrain” by Dara is a testimony to the similarities between Sufism and Hinduism. He travelled about 14,000 kilometers in search of knowledge. From Ajmer to Delhi, to Agra, Allahabad, Varanasi, Kashmir, Gujarat, etc. he travelled and interacted with mystic persons to gather knowledge about god, soul and life.

His book “Mukalama Baba Lal wa Dara Shukoh” is a compilation of the dialogue between him and Baba Lal regarding the queries of the author about Kashi, Hindu mythology and various gods and goddesses, about Braj, exact recitation of Om, Panchabhuta, the aatma (human soul) and the paramaatma (divine soul). He also understood jyotish vidya (astrology) and is said to have written a book on this topic in Sanskrit.

He travelled to Varanasi where he learned Sanskrit and studied the Upanishads. Inspired by the hidden treasures in the Upanishads, hetranslated them into Persian as “Sirri-i-Akbar”. This book happens to be a remarkable parallel about the tauhid or unity of god which is present in Quran and Upanishads alike. He was not only an avid author but was also a poet and a painter. “Iksir-ul-Azam” happens to be his diwan consisting of his ghazals, rubaiats on Sufism and Qadirism — doctrines of mysticism. His paintings are considered to be important in Indo-Persian Art style of painting.

Dara devoted his life for understanding the similarities between various religions of this world and propagated the same.

His ideology was similar to the one of Kabir and Emperor Akbar from the 15 and 16 century which was later followed by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in the 19 century. He propagated the concept of oneness of all human beings.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 12:51:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/prince-of-peace/article7015511.ece

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