Dara shikoh A life sketch in brief

5 11 2007


Picture : Dara Shikoh Cured

Source: allaboutsikhs.com

Source from “A daydream By Khurram Ali Shafique. DAWN:
The Review, March 15-21, 2001″

Dara was born on 20 March, 1615. He was the eldest son of Prince Khurram (later Shahjehan), the heir apparent of the emperor Jehangir.

He was, however, about twelve years old when along with Aurangzeb (three years younger) he was sent as a hostage to his grandfather after the failure of Shahjehan’s revolt.

When Shahjehan took over the throne in 1628, he made no secret of his desire for Dara to inherit the throne from him.

he got married in 1637, he immediately developed an obsession for his wife that was to last till her death shortly before his own.

He was formally initiated in to Qadiriyya ?ufi silsila by Mulla Shah into the Qadiriyya silsila sometime in 1639 or 1640.

In 1640 he initiated formally into the Qadiri Order of Sufism, and the same year he came up with his first book, Sakinatul Auliya. It was a collection of biographical sketches of notable Muslim saints.

Dara’s intellectual pursuits took a steep turn upon his meeting Baba Lal Bairagi, a Hindu Gnostic. Dara has recorded his conversations with Baba Lal in a short book titled, Mukalama Bab Lal wa Dara Shikoh.

FAiled attempt invasion of Qandahar in 1655, where Shahjehan finally agreed to allow Dara to lead an army.

in 1657, Dara Shikoh came out with his greatest masterpiece: Sirr-e-Akbar (The great secret), a translation of the Upanishads into Persian. Completed in 1657 with the help of several pandits from Veranasi Dara Shikoh’s translation of Upanishads is usually regarded in high esteem by the scholars in that field. It is also suggested by some historians that the Persian translation of Upanishad probably made it most accessible to the Europeans of the time as they were more familiar with the Persian language than they were with Sanskrit.

In 1657, Dara Shikoh was 43, Shah Shuja 41, Aurangzeb 39 and Murad 33. All of them were governors of various provinces: Dara was the governor of Punjab, Murad of Gujarat, Aurangzeb of the Deccan and Shah Shuja of Bengal. Two of them emerged as clear frontrunners in the race: Dara Shikoh and Aurangzeb.

In 1658, Shahjehan fell ill and Dara took over as the acting emperor, just as was expected of him. Aurangzeb quickly made a coalition with Murad and defeated Dara Shikoh at the famous Battle of Samogarh.

Once, Dara Shikoh (the eldest son of emperor Shah Jahan), came to Guru Har Rai asking for help in the war of succession with his brother the Murderous Aurangzeb. The Guru had promised his grandfather to use the Sikh Cavalry only in defense. He, never the less,helped him to escape safely from the bloody hands of Aurangzeb’s armed forces by having his Sikh warriors hide all the ferry boats at the river crossing used by Dara Shikoh in his escape.

Two months after his coronation in June 1659, Aurangzeb enacted a speedy trial of Dara Shikoh where the judges declared him a heretic and the unfortunate prince was condemned to death in August 1659.

It is said that when Dara saw his executioners approaching him he declared that a prince must never die without putting up a brave fight. A kitchen knife was all he could lay his hands on, and he went ahead fighting the swords of his aggressors with this pitful weapon. He was eventually assassinated and it is said that the city of Delhi was shrouded in official mourning when the body of Dara Shikoh was displayed in its streets. He was later laid at rest, quite aptly, inside the premises of Humayun mausoleum.

the elder son of Emperor Shãhjahan( r. 1627-1658 AD.) fell ill. Inspite of the best efforts of Hakims. he could not be cured. The rare medicine needed for his ailment was nowhere available. Information reached the Royal Hakim that required medicine was available with Guru Har Râi (1630-1661 A.D.). He came personally to the Guru Sahib and requestcd for the medicine. Guru Sahib gave him the rare medicine required for the treatment and also sent a pearl which was to be ground into fine powder and taken with the medicine.


FACT has started the commissioning of the next project after "Shivaji" Dara Shikoh

31 10 2007

Fact exhibition: Darashikoh translating vedas elder brother of aurangazeb

FACT EXHIBITION: Prince DARA SHIKOH parded as prisoner his guilt trying to translate vedas into Pesian

This image is from the online gallery of the British Library
One might ask Why Dara now ? The answer lies in his tolerence and rather more than that the respect for other religions a sufi himself, there was and is no doubt the History of India would have been completely richer and wonderful if he was the Emperor. The world needs more him and the world shall know much more after this exhibition…. about the Sufi student and saint.

Dara Shikoh (with Mian Mir and Mulla Shah) c.a. 1635

FACT has started the commissioning of the next project after “Shivaji” Dara Shikoh. A small intro courtesy WIKIPEDIA

For a detailed and analysed history of Dara one can always visit Beyond ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ – Dara Shikoh’s Quest for Spiritual Unity by Yoginder Sikand

Or this nice piece Sarmad the Armenian and Dara Shikoh By Majid Sheikh

Dara Shikoh (1615–1659) was the eldest son of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. His name is from Persian داراشكوه meaning “The possessor of Glory”. He was favoured as a successor by his father and his sister Jahanara Begum, but was defeated by his younger brother Aurangzeb in a bitter struggle for the Mughal throne.

Dara Shikoh was a gentle and pious Sufi intellectual, one of the greatest representatives of that uniquely Indian synthesis sometimes referred to as the “composite culture”. He was an erudite champion of mystical religious speculation (which made him a heretic in the eyes of his more orthodox brother and the coterie around him) and a poetic diviner of syncretic cultural interaction among people of all faiths. Historians have speculated how different India would have been had he prevailed over his less enlightened brother Aurangzeb. Dara was a follower of Lahore’s famous Qadiri Sufi saint Mian Mir, whom he was introduced to by Mullah Shah Badakhshi (Mian Mir’s spiritual disciple and successor). He devoted much effort towards finding a common mystical language between Islam and Hinduism. Towards this goal he translated the Upanishads from its original Sanskrit into Persian so it could be read by Muslim scholars. His translation is often called “Sirre Akbar” or The Greatest Mystery, where he states boldly, in the Introduction, his speculative hypothesis that the work referred to in the Qur’an as the “Kitab al-maknun” or the hidden book is none other than the Upanishads. His most famous work, Majma ul-Bahrain (“The Mingling of the Two Oceans”) was also devoted to finding the commonalities between Sufism and Hindu Monotheism.