In news- Recently, the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that Dara Shikoh was ‘deliberately’ not given due importance by certain governments due to prejudiced politics.
A brief note on him-
- Dara Shikoh was the eldest son and heir-apparent of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
- He was born on 11 March 1615 in Ajmer, the land of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, to whom his father Shah Jahan had prayed for a son.
- He was designated with the title Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba and was favored as a successor by his father and his older sister, Princess Jahanara Begum.
- He had developed a keen interest and proficiency in Sufi mysticism and the Quran at a young age.
- At the age of twenty-five, Dara wrote his first book, Safinat-ul-Awliya , a concise document detailing the lives of the Prophet and his family, the Caliphs and of saints belonging to the five major Sufi orders then popular in India.
- He was initiated into the Kadiri order of Sufis by his pir (spiritual guide), Mulla Shah.
- He was a follower of the Armenian Sufi-perennialist mystic Sarmad Kashani,as well as 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 had completed the translation of fifty Upanishads from their original Sanskrit into Persian in 1657 so that they could be studied by Muslim scholars.
- His translation is often called Sirr-i-Akbar (“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 Confluence of the Two Seas”), was also devoted to a revelation of the mystical and pluralistic affinities between Sufic and Vedantic speculation.
- He had also commissioned a translation of Yoga Vasistha.
- Other works by him include ‘Risala-i-hak Numa’ (The Compass of the Truth), the ‘Shathiyat or Hasanat-ul-Arifin’ and the ‘Iksir-i-Azam’.
- He had developed a friendship with the seventh Sikh Guru, Guru Har Rai.
- In the war of succession which ensued after Shah Jahan’s illness in 1657, Dara was defeated by his younger brother Prince Muhiuddin (later, the Emperor Aurangzeb) in the Battle Deorai.
- He was executed in 1659 on Aurangzeb’s orders in a bitter struggle for the imperial throne.