Saturday, April 09, 2005



Read a chapter on Akbar in a fascinating book "Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The saga of the great Mughals" by Abraham Eraly a few days back and was struck by how interesting Akbar is. This great Mughal ruler was a very inquisitive man ...a renaissance man of mughal kings....His interests were not limited to the usual conquests , political intrigues and debauchery which were the usual norms of kings and rulers all over the world but extended to Art (mughal miniature paintings were at it's height at this time and he also loved western art deeply), philosophical, religious and even scientific things....he at one time bought 20 babies and raised them with specific orders for the babies not to hear a single human words to prove his belief that humans have innate ability in some things including speech...but after four years the babies did not produce a single coherent word and he stopped the me, it's a pity he did not bring up these babies like normal but preventing them from any mention about RELIGION or GOD and see whether they'll come up with their own specific religion or moral codes....

His infamous creation of a fusion of religions...principally Islam and Hinduism... (Din Ilahi) was another interesting read.... He was deeply interested in religions and created a special hall in his palace (Fatehpur Sikri) where invited religious experts and holymen from all the major religions were invited to have discourse there and arguments went all night long..presided by him ....these discussions went on for years and in the end although he did not totally renounce Islam he somehow lost interest in Islam and got more attracted to some aspects of Hinduism (esp transmigration of soul) and Jainism.... he did not think very highly of Christian religion though despite having Jesuit preists at his court for more than twenty years....

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