The Mughal Empire was founded by Babur in 1526 and expanded under subsequent Mughal rulers. However, it was during the reign of Aurangzeb that the empire reached its greatest extent. One of the more interesting aspects of Aurangzeb’s reign was the story of his brother, Dara Shikoh, and his passion for Hindu scriptures.
The Mughal Prince
Dara Shikoh was the eldest son of Shah Jahan and was born in 1615. He was the most beloved of all of Shah Jahan’s sons and was seen as the rightful heir to the throne. He was well-educated and had a deep understanding of both Islamic and Hindu scriptures. He was known for his tolerance and had a great appreciation for the Hindu culture.
Aurangzeb, the third son of Shah Jahan, had a different approach to religion and politics than his brother. He was a strict adherent to Islamic law and was known for his intolerance of other religions. He was determined to expand the Mughal Empire and to ensure that the Islamic faith was the only one practiced. This led to a rivalry between Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh for the throne.
A Passion for Hindu Scriptures
Despite the rivalry between the two brothers, Dara Shikoh was still a passionate follower of Hindu scriptures. He was an avid reader of the Vedas and Upanishads, and he was deeply influenced by the teachings of Hinduism. He was also known for his translations of the Hindu texts into Persian, which made them accessible to a wider audience.
The Prince and His Beliefs
Dara Shikoh was a firm believer in the unity of all religions and believed that there was truth to be found in all faiths. He was a proponent of religious tolerance and argued that the differences between religions were superficial. He believed that there was a common core of truth shared by all religions.
Aurangzeb was deeply disturbed by his brother’s beliefs and felt that they threatened the unity of the Mughal Empire. He was determined to prove that Islam was the one true faith and that all other religions were false. He ordered Dara Shikoh to be executed for heresy and for his refusal to accept the supremacy of Islam.
The Impact of His Beliefs
Despite his untimely death, Dara Shikoh’s legacy still lives on. He was a passionate believer in the unity of all religions and he is