Dara Shikoh

Submitted by Jamuna Rangachari

www.toanewworld.com 

Born in the lap of luxury, he craved the company of saints and ascetics and sought to understand the truth from all the sources of divine wisdom.

This is not only true of Buddha and Mahavira, but also of an almost forgotten Mughal prince, Dara Shikoh.

· Who did not relinquish or give up the world but constantly strove to improve himself spiritually.
· Who studied not only the Quran, but the gospels, psalms and the Hindu scriptures.
· Who translated the Upanishads, the Bhagvat Geeta and the Yoga Vishist into Persian

Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shahjahan, the great grandson of Emperor Akbar, the crown prince of the Mughal empire. was born in Ajmer in 1024 AD, after his father prayed earnestly to Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer for a worthy son.

He was inclined towards spirituality from the very beginning; reading from the Quran, the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed and sought the company of Sufi saints. In later years, he read the Gospel, the Psalms, the Old and New Testaments and the Vedas and Upanishads.

Convinced that the truth contained in the Upanishads was the same as the one in the Quran, he wrote a book on comparative study of the Upanishads and the Quran “The mingling of the oceans”, “Majma-ul-bahrain” in Persian and Samudra Manthan in Sanskrit. He found and commented on many things in common between the two religions, in an attempt to look at the higher truth in both, rather than focusing on petty differences.

He asked and he received; he sought and he found; in that sense, his lifetime was a wonderful journey; for not many souls have progressed so much spiritually in a single lifetime.

Ironically, a great scholar of Islam, was accused of betraying his faith and killed by his brother Aurangazeb.