The Spiritual Journey of Dara Shukoh

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  • Social Scientist

    The Spiritual Journey of Dara ShukohAuthor(s): Tasadduq HusainSource: Social Scientist, Vol. 30, No. 7/8 (Jul. - Aug., 2002), pp. 54-66Published by: Social ScientistStable URL: .Accessed: 29/03/2014 21:43

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    The Spiritual Journey of Dara Shukoh

    The Mughal Emperors, in general, were great scholars by themselves and patronized scholarship in all forms, be it worldly science, or the religious and mystical one. Right from Babur to Bahadur Shah Zafar, most of them persistently occupied themselves with patronizing the learned scholars of both creeds, Islam and Hinduism. It was with Akbar, however, that the interest in religious matters took a dramatic turn, and the emperor began to consider what the implications of the great mystical theories were in the realms of both spirit and the worldly life.

    He claimed to have realized his Rabb-i Navy, the enlightened form, residing in the 'Alam-e Misal (the world of form), resembling the Platonic world of Ideas as put forword in Shihabud din Suhrawardi Maqtul's Ishraqi philosophy (illuminationism). Akbar's special minister and spokesman Abul Fazl, justified Akbar's own mystical status by inverting Maqtul's assertion about the illumined man's worldly power and wrote in the Ai'n-i Akbari that a just king (Badshah-i 'Adil) is illumined by Divine Light (farr-i izidi) and 'kingly luminiscence' (Kaiwan-Khura). Dara Shukoh, inheriting this legacy always made high claims about himself embodying the divine light, and thus being a sufi of the first order without putting on a sufi appearance and even after participating in the court business and his own political schemes. One cannot understand Dara Shukoh's combination of political ambitions with aspirations to obtain spiritual truth unless we keep in mind what may be called the Akbari version of the Ishraqi doctrine.

    There was yet another link too with Akbar: the latter's deep interest in the philosophy of quasi-pantheistic thought that stemmed from Ibn 'Arabi. If all worldly difference are illusory, this applies as much

    * Centre of Advanced Study in History, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh

    Social Scientist, Vol. 30, Nos. 7 - 8, July-August 2002

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    to religious or sectarian difference as to any other. The principle of Sulh-i Kul (Absolute Peace) required that such difference should be tolerated; and such tolerance required the guidance of the Insan-i Kamil, which Akbar could, of course, be held to be, without need of any explicit claims. Both these concepts were borrowed from the rich body of thought and speculation in the writings of Ibn'Arabi and his disciples, but were put (as is the case with Ishraqi thought) to unexpected use by Akbar and Abul Fazl - to sustain the character of the Mughal Empire not only as a multi-religious state but also as a (hopefully benevolent) despotism.

    Once Ibn 'Arabi's quasi-pantheistic philosophy, known shortly as that of wahdat al-wujud, unity of all existence within God, became the imperial creed, as it were, all Islamic mysticism (tasawwuf) was now seen as covered by its light. Once this happened, the attractions of Sankaracharya's Vedanta, which was, perhaps, even more absolutely pantheistic in its ultimate version of truth were bound to exert their pull. Jahangir put the matter shortly but most significantly when he said that 'the science of Bedant [Vedanta] is the science of tasawwuf'.3

    The assertion is important, for, it concedes that sufism, which was placed at the spiritual heart of Islam, was infact identical with Vedanta, increasingly percieved to be the dominant darshana of Hinduism. Dara Shukoh, did not invest this notion, he inherited it; but he wonderfully elaborated it and endeavoured to prove it in detail.

    One must assume that given his interest, Dara Shukoh was not only aware of sufi literature but also of works of brahmanical authorship that had been translated in Akbar's time. This included the translation of an abridgement of Yogavasishtha, which Dara Shukoh was not satisfied with, so that he sponsored a fresh translation completed by Habibullah in 1655-56.4 At Akbar's court had also been translated the Mahabharata under the title Razmnama; and this Akbar had regarded very highly. This must, of course, have included the celebrated Bhagvadgita.5

    On the other hand, Dara Shukoh's reading in sufic literature and attachment to sufi practices must have begun early. However, Qanungo in his book on Dara Shukoh writes an interesting story of the inclination of Dara Shukuh towards sufism. Till he was married with Nadira Begum, Dara was not inclined towards Sufism but was a Muslim with ordinary theological views. As a prince he enjoyed all the luxuries of royal life and was completely satisfied with his life- style. After the death of his baby daughter, the newly wedded couple were drawn into a gloom. In the meantime Dara accompanied


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    Shajahan in his train to Kashmir. During his sojourn at Lahore, Shahjahan along with Dara went to visit Miyan Mir in his shrine (khanqah). The atmosphere of his shrine touched Dara's heart and he decided to swear allegiance to the revered Miyan Mir after returning from Kashmir. At this juncture, he showed keenness in the study of sufism. Dara began his pursuit from Lahore on the way to Kashmir.6 At the time of his return in December, the same year (1634) from Kashmir he had read a lot of sufi literature including the mystic works of Shaikh Junaid of Baghdad and the famous poet Rumi. The royal train stopped again at Lahore and the Emperor paid a third visit to Miyan Mir's shrine. Dara expressed his desire to become his disciple (murid) to which Miyan Mir agreed. Dara, however, could not become his disciple, because the aged mystic himself died before initiating him into Qadiriya order. Nevertheless, he called him his spiritual guide. Dara Shukoh was actually initiated into the Qadiriya order by Mullah Shah Badakhshi, a worthy successor of his preceptor Miyan Mir.

    We may not be concerned with the historicity of the event described; nevertheless, the story is interesting and speaks of the potentialities in sufism to provide solace and gain influence. It is also narrated that Dara Shukoh was himself born near Sagartal in Ajmir after three daughters of Shah Jahan, who had eagerly prayed to God in the shrine of Khawaja Mu'iunduuin Chishti at Ajmer, made especially famous by Akbar. This must also have been dinned into the young prince's ear to make him concerned of the efficacy of sufistic prayers.

    In addition to his sufistic ecstacies, Dara had some love for the unusual, including jugglery and magic. Magicians were occasionally invited in the court to present their show. Abdul Wahid, a contemporary court historian, writes of one such anecdote of Shaikh Nazir exhibiting his karamat in the court. The show astonished the audience including Dara Shukoh. I think this was a pastime for the royal family and had nothing to do with spiritualism. Dara Shukoh's interest in such practices encouraged and patronized them.7

    During the course of his spiritual journey, particularly after becoming the disciple of Mulla Shah Badakhshi, Dara Shukoh wrote many important sufi tracts. In his Risala-i Haqnuma Dara himself describes the stage he reached in the pursuit of the sufistic path (suluk). One night, Dara claimed to have heard the voice of an angel (hatif) in his dream four times continously telling him that he had been imparted knowledge which no other king ever received.8 Such claims are

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    commonly made by many sufis. One need not however, doubt the sincerity of Dara's belief.

    But Dara was not simply a part-time sufi. He has contributed substantially to sufi literature, notably to the history of sufism. He started his scholarly works with the Safinatul Auliya (completed in 1640), which presents a short biographical notices of a number of sufis of different orders in India and abroad. The book is divided into eight chapters beginning with the praises of the Prophet, the pious Caliphs, some of his companions, some companions of the companions, the twelve Shi'ite Imams, and the four Sunni Imams. The other six chapters describe five major and some minor sufi orders; and the last one deals with the female sufis.9

    The accounts of earlier mystics have been borrowed mainly from the Kashfu'l Mahjub of Hujwiri, the Tazkiratul Auliya of Attar and the Nafahatul-Uns of Jami. Dara was so much influenced by Jami that he imitated his style in this book.10 The account of the Qadiriya saints which he presents rather vigorously is borrowed from the Akhbarul Akhyar of Shaikh Abdul Haq Dehlawi.11 Dara again makes claims of having many visions in the dreams. He saw the four Caliphs according approval to his book. 2 He also saw himself circumambulating the tombs of Imam Musa Kazim and the Ghausul Azam in Baghdad.13 S.A.A. Rizvi wrongly charges him with being an orthodox Sunni by quoting the example of Sanai, but he forgets that Dara in the beginning of his books includes all the Shi'a Imams in his eulogy. Dara was absolutely convinced of the importance of sufis. He followed it as a conviction that the preceptors are next to the prophets in the eyes of God14 and are indispensible for purposes of guidance and education in religion. God deputes them in the world to look after the welfare of human beings by helping them in their needs without any discrimination of creed and colour, for, all are the servants of God.

    The second tazkira that Dara Shukoh wrote (in 1642-43) was entitled Sakinatul Auliya, in which he remembered the Qadiriya saints. The book is divided in two parts. The first contains the reminiscences of the Qadiriya order and the second deals with living sufis. Miyan Mir, however, is the pivotal person and much of its portion is devoted to him and his sister Bibi Jamal Khatun. Although he acknowledges the importance of all the five major orders, yet, he continues to press for the superiority of the Qadiriya order. For, Abdul Qadir Jilani, the propounder of this order, claimed to have his feet on the neck of the saints of other orders and to have learnt the sufi precepts directly


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    from the Prophet.1s. These statements are ecstatic in nature and should not be taken literally. The former claim metaphorically aims at establishing Abdul Qadir's importance over other saints and the latter shows his rivalry with Ali's descendants. Dara Shukoh, however, is covinced of the priority of Qadiriya order and advised others to follow the same. The Qadiriya order in those days became very popular because of the royal patronage. Sakinatul Auliya, however, is a more mature treatise, written in a better style which is Dara's own.16

    Dara also wrote another important treastise on sufism, the Risala- i Haqnuma, the 'Compass of Truth'. The book was written for the neophytes of sufism. In this book, Dara, proclaims himself a preceptor and addresses the novices as disciples without using the terms pir and murid (guide and disciple). The treatise discusses sufi doctrines including those of wahadat al-wujud and spiritual ascent. Dara Shukoh, before writing this book, studied all available literature on the subject like Ibn Arabi's Futuhat al- 'Makkiya, and Fusus al-Hikam the Lam'at of Fakhruddin Iraqi, Lawami' and Lawaih of Nuruddin Jami and so on.17 In his Risala, Dara claims that he has written this tract after a revelation received during the year 1645 when he was on tenterhooks because of anxiety regarding the illness of his beloved wife, Nadira Begum. Further he also claims that whatever he has prescribed therein is in conformity with the practices of the Prophet himself. If his claim is taken to be true, one may come to some perilous conclusions, for instance, that the Prophet practised the holding of breath in Ghare Hera, that he heard psychic sounds, that he fixed attention on centres flooded with illumination.18 Regarding the Prophet's holding of breath there is no evidence but a tradition of Bukhari confirms the Prophet's hearing of bizarre sounds. This could also be controverted. Dara Shukoh, however, by this time had learnt some yoga practices and considered them essential for the neophytes. The Risala-i Haqnuma describes the practices commonly performed over the ages by the sufis.

    In the sufi discourse the unity of God is the most essential one. This is, indeed, also the core of the Semetic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, with the difference of interpretation and approach. Dara regarded it as the central feature even of religions like Hinduism. He was right in affirming it, for he studied such commentaries of the Upanishadas as emphasized monotheism. The difference of interpretation and approach was not important for him, as he thought these to be merely linguistic in nature. Dara, however, like other sufis, gave his own interpretation of the unity of god.

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    Union with God is the ultimate goal of sufism. Despite many obstacles and impediments in the path (suluk), the sufis pursue it out of sheer love of God. The union is experienced only after the annihilation of the self, the stage at which a sufi becomes completely unconsious of himself. His identity is fully lost. He becomes non- existent (adam). It is a stage when even the realization of his being non-existent becomes impossible. At this juncture he sees nothing but God manifesting in all garbs. His urge of becoming one with Him is satisfied but nay, he has no sense of being satisfied. Union with God confirms the unity of God.19

    For sufis, the unity of God is paramount to Truth. It has to be experienced, not learnt. Its knowledge, however,depends on the will of God, for He is the Truth and One who can impart such knowledge. It is this reason that different sufis, from the very beginning, have understood it differently. Each one of them has been imparted this knowledge in accordance with his capacity. But, many of them could not realize the secret that their knowledge of Truth is not perfect. They often mistook the part as the whole and claimed to have realized the final Truth. Sufis often enough, have criticized each other for making tall claims but at the time of describing their own experiences repeated the same mistake.

    Dara Shukoh calls himself a complete unitarian allowing no shadow of duality in God. Unitarianism on this plane is quite Islamic in nature. The Quran has emphatically, described God as being One, conceding no element of dualism of any kind. Dara Shukoh found in the Vedanta of Shankara a confirmation of this belief, but, of course, much more as well, for here he also encountered pantheism.

    Dara Shukoh asserts that God promised him to impart the knowledge of unity of God and he waited for it for long quite anxiously.20 In the meantime, he visited many contemporary mystics to learn the lesson for the attainment of gnosis. In addition to his princely duties he studed sufi literature and practised such exercises as could lead him to this goal. But since it depends on God, he had to wait patiently. Dara, at last, claimed to have received gnosis leading to the union with God, confirming His Oneness.

    In the Risala and the letters to Shah Dil Ruba, a contemporary mystic, Dara Shukoh describes three stages of the unity of God. In the first stage, as Dara affirms, a sufi annihilates his own self to have union with God and realizes oneness with Him in reality but remains separate in appearance. At this stage he sees 'God is all and he is nothing'. Briefly he has the sense of his own non-existence, (adam)21


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    The second stage is called the intoxication of union (sukrul' jam) which means that the sufi is completely intoxicated. He loses even the sense of non-being (adam). He realizes God is all and the distinction of 'I' and 'Thou' becomes meaningless.22 Dara asserts that having reached this stage, he stopped worshipping God and begun to worship idols, nay, himself. This is the stage where sufis make the apparently blasphemous utternaces such as 'ana-al-Haq' ('I am Truth/ God') by al-Mansur.

    Dara emphatically supports such utterances and substantiates it with his own experience and speaks of it in his letter no. 4 to Shah Dil Ruba and in his Risala. This is the stage where a vedantin utters 'Brahmosmi' meaning 'I am the Brahman'. This stage is characterized by the realization and Dara himself writes 'God is all eyes, all faces, all ears etc'. He now is an absolute pantheist. He himself asserts that the externals of Islam have been abandoned and the real infidelity has been revealed to him. He has become an infidel which perhaps metaphorically means that the kufr and Islam refer only to externalities. So far as the internalites are concerned they tend to become one.23

    The third and the most important stage of the unity of God in Dara Shukoh's mysticism is the 'Unity in Plurality'.24 The concept may not be of his creation. He has, however, given it a new meaning and dimension and thus increased its connotation. He has used the concept to seek Hindu-Muslim integration and tried to remove the seeds of discord with the help of his sufi observations. We have already stated that Dara's efforts in this direction were not of a political nature, but derived from an ideological framework resting ultimately on pantheism to which both the sufi and vedantin rendered allegiance.

    Dara in his Risala and other subsequent works such as Majma' al-Bahrain tries to draw a distinction between a sufi and the average man. In the first place, he makes it clear that like many of his sufi predecessors he believes in the uncompromising monotheism of the Quran, but he is not a common musalman who dreams of conquering others with the help of his sword. He is a sufi, the one who loves God and His creatures and conquers them with his invincible love of mankind. The sufi declares a crusade against (1) his own self which he achieves by both self-restraint and self-mortification and (2) against others who deny the oneness of God, but his method is different. He resolves the conflict with the help of love. A sufi conquers hearts. Dara is right. He never despises those who do not share his beliefs. For Dara, having realized the unity in diversity (Wahidiyah), the first

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    principle, evidently, is 'One is many and many are One'. The diversity of polytheism, is, in fact, reduced to one. We can keep up an underlying faith in monotheism even in a state of infidelity. The Hindu-Muslim distinction is basically a difference of language. Their belief systems are two different paths leading to the same destination. A sufi reaches these conclusions after the realization of unity in diversity. Dara, rejecting the common belief, holds that men quarrel because of their ignorance of truth and vulgar persistence in obstinacy. They also pay no attention to the wise advice of the sufis who know the truth and understand the real nature of infidelity, polytheism and monotheism. Dara persuades the elect to understand and carry out the underlying unity.25

    Explaining the unity in plurality, Dara in his Risala addresses his imaginary pupils and teaches them the lessons of pantheism. He says God is everywhere, every particle is His manifestation, God with His attributes animates the universe. He also wants that we cannot understand Him with the similitude of His manifestation. He is in all names and above them. Tashbih and tanzih are the two aspects by which we understand Him. This seem to be akin to Shankara's philosophy of nirgun and sagun brahman. It also signifies Ibn 'Arabi's concept of God, for he believes we cannot know Him unless we know ourselves. In Maima al-Bahrain and in his preface to Sirr-i Akbar, he emphatically expounds this conviction.

    The Risala also contains another important sufi doctrine of Dara Shukoh called the spiritual ascent. Dara Shukoh, like many other sufis, believes in many worlds ('awalam). These different planes of existence are realized at the stage of Sobriety of union (sah al-jam). The stage resembles what Ibn 'Arabi calls 'difference after union' (farq-badal-jam}). This stage a sufi realizes, after experiencing complete oneness in the intoxication of union (sukr al- jam) that man and God, cannot, be completely one. There shall remain the distinction of master and slave. The manifest and the manifested cannot be equal. These are the forms which can any moment be withdrawn. Dara Shukoh considers that the intoxication of union is the highest spiritual ascent which cannot revert except through retrogression. He holds that the spiritual path is a circle and a neophyte reaches the point he starts from. He calls this mystic journey spiritual descent. In the stage of 'sobriety of union', a neophyte returns to the law of truth. He starts practising shari'a with greater vehemence. If this be the truth, Dara Shukoh, himself never retraced his position after 'ascent' but, he could not convince the orthodox theologians of his mystical truths.

    Dara Shukoh speaks of four planes of existence (awalim) (1)

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    'Alam-i Nasut (2) 'Alam-i Malakut (3) 'Alam-i-Jabarut and (4) 'Alam- e-Lahut.26 The first is the world of matter. A sufi in this material world may become perfect if he retires to seclusion and practises meditation. The second is the world of angels ('Alam-i Malakut) which is also called the world of spirit or forms ('Alam-i Misal). At this plane of existence the perishability of the world of matter is realized. The spirit of the neophyte loses contact with his body. He becomes all spirit and hears enchanting sounds. Dara, speaking about this plane of existance, describes the importance of the yogic exercise of holding breath which he ascribes to Ghausul Azam, the great Qadiriya saint. It becomes evident that such exercises were performed even outside India. Dara refers to Prophet Mohammad having performed such practices. Describing the advantages of the regulation of breath and pronoucing 'La-ilaha il Allah' while inhaling and exhaling, Dara says that a sufi hears peculiar sounds of the divine words. He refers to the Prophet hearing peculiar sounds like that of the tinkling of the bells and of boiling water before receiving the Revelation. These psychic sounds, besides being pleasant, impart knowledge of the divine secret.

    The third is the 'Alam-e Jabarut'. It is the place of existence where a novice forgets the diference of 'I' and 'Thou'. At this stage the neophyte becomes unconscious of himself and of the earlier planes of existence, Malakut and Nasut. Alam-i Jabarut is the world of divine attributes. In his support, Dara quotes Jami who had earlier described the characteristics of this world and had regarded it as the highest spiritual ascent.

    Still higher is the Alam-i Lahut. It is the world of Huwiyah ('Thatness'), the world of divine essence, universality and purity. This sphere is the cause of all other worlds (jabarut, malakut and nasut), which means that it is the spirit and the other worlds are its body.

    The Huwiyah of Dara may be explained with reference to the doctrine (in Persian formulation 'Hama Ust' 'He is all'), held by Ibn 'Arabi. The devotee considers himself to be the essence ('Aian) of the divine Being. He does not care to get deep into the controversy of 'I' and 'Thou'. From here starts the spiritual descent of a sufi who then regains his consciousness.27

    These four planes have their equivalents in the Upanishadas. nasut is jagrat, malakut is svapna, jabarut is susupti and lahut is turiya.28

    Dara Shukoh's interest in the unity of God compelled him to study the books of other religions. In his pursuit he went through the book of Moses, the Psalms and the Bible and then he studied the holy

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    Scriptures of Hinduism. Though it was very late that he met Sarmad, some time well after 1651, when Sarmad was at Haidarabad, Dara might have introduced him to the Pentateuch.29 Though it is difficult to agree with him, Dara found, more similarities between Hinduism and Islam than between other religious. At one place, he quotes the verse of the Quran in which God has spoken of its preservation in a hidden book, 'That (this) is indeed a noble Quran in a Book kept hidden which none toucheth save the purified, a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.' Dara surprizingly argues that the book kept hidden refers to neither the book of Moses, the Psalms nor the Tablet but the Upanishadas.30 Such an interpretation could not, of course, be acceptable to Muslim scholars. Dara seems to be quite enthusiastic in finding out the resemblances. He, however, made extensive study of Hinduism with the help of eminent scholars of his time. To present a case of identity between Hinduism and Islam, a comparision of wahdat al-wujud with Vedanta could perhaps be the most convenient. He therefore, chose to write a valuable treatise named Majma'ul Bahrain" (Confluence of two Oceans) for bringing out the points of agreement between the two schools.

    In the school of wahdat al-wujud of Ibn-al-'Arabi, the divine names and attributes ultimately become one with His essence. Jamal and jalal (beauty and sublimity) are the two important attributes which human beings perceive quite frequently. Dara identifies them with three gunas: sattva, rajas and tamas of Hindu philosophy. Sattva is creation, rajas is preservation and tamas is destruction. He also identifies the three important angels, Jibrail, Mikail and Israfil with Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara (Siva). At another place he identifies Brahma with Adam, the first man and Prophet, with whom the revelation of Vedas commenced.31

    Dara again identifies the angels with devata, the Absolute and Necassary Being with Nirgun and Nirankar, Allah with Om, Huwa (He) with Sab and Mazhar-i Atam with avatara (incarnation) and believes incarnation to be the source of the manifestation of His power (Qudrat).32

    Dara describes three categories of Prophets: 1. those who saw God with their inward or outward eyes. 2. those who heard the voice or words. 3. Those who heard the angels.

    He explains it in other words. Prophets like Noah emphasized transcendence (tanzih) and could not make much impact. Their teachings followed destruction instead. Prophets like Moses emphasized immanence (tashbih) which led the way to


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    anthropomorphism. Prophets like Mohammad combined both transcendence nad immanence. His teaching were perfect in all respects and benefited humanity at large. He also classifies the sufis in accordance with these categories and criticizes the former ones. In the third category he includes the four Caliphs, the descendants of the Prophet, some of his companions and the sufis of the Qadiriya order, including Miyan Mir and his other contemporaries. Of Hindu saints he includes in this list Baba Bairagi; Kabir curiously enough is omitted.33

    Dara also believes that ancient India must have witnessed the glory of the Prophets. The people in this part of the world must have received the guidance of God. Although he does not allude to it Dara must have drawn the inspiration from the verse of the Quran saying that God has sent the prophets to every part of the world to deliver his message. India being a very large country could not remain unblessed. On account of it, Dara believes that all the four Vedas are revealed books.34

    In Dara Shukoh, we thus see a rare combination of contraditions. A rational thinker and a practising mystic, a prince by virtue of his birth, a sufi by temperament. A person always leading a luxurious life, wearing royal cloaks of silver and gold, underneath hiding a human heart purified by prayers and penitence, bearing boundless love of humanity and God, a thoroughgoing unitarian, picking up, like a bird, the food of his desire from wherever available. All these apparent contradictions were summed up in his personality. He wanted to go where argument led him. He always showed keen interest, genuiue concern and relentless inquisitiveness in the search for truth. Although he was aware of the harshness that grew around him, particularly in the group of the Ulama (theologians) against his radical ideas, yet he never cared, for in his Diwan, he wrote:

    Heaven is where there's no mullah, Nor any desputation, nor noise from the mullah'.34 He steadily persisted his search of Truth and as he claims,

    penetrated to the core of the divine secrets. As a unitarian he had a bold vision. He had experienced both spiritual ascent and descent. Despite his poignant ideas, he always claimed to be a true Muslim, but it was not the sectarian Islam of the Ulama, but a compassionate Islam - what he believed to be the true essence of the faith - that Dara so resolutely stood for.

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    1. Abu'l Fazl, Ain-i Akbari, ed. H.Blochmann, Bib. Ind., Calcutta, 1867-77, I, p. 2. Irfan Habib in Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 59th session, Patiala, 1998, p. 332-3, 33pn., draws attention to the close parallel between Abu'l Fazl's works and those of Shihabuddin Maqtul in his Partau-nama ed. and transl. Hussein Ziai, Costa Mesa, Calif. 1998, p. 84. Except that in Maqtul it is not the just king, but the assiduous worshipper of the 'Light of Lights' who receives 'the kingly light' (Khurra-i Kayani) and 'lumious ray' (Farr-i nurani).

    2. I draw here heavily on the argument in Irfan Habib, Proceedings, pp. 331-2, 334-5.

    3. Jahangir, Tuzuk-i Jahangiri ed. Sayyid Ahmad, Ghazipur and Aligarh, 1863- 64, p. 176.

    4. See D.N.Marshall, Mughals in India - a Biobliography Survey, I, Bombay, 1967, p. 75 (no. 251), p. 128 (no. 402-x).

    5. See M.Athar Ali, 'Translations of Sanskrit Works at Akbar's Court' in Iqtidar Alam Khan (ed.), Akbar and his Age, New Delhi, 1999, pp. 173-76.

    6. Kalika Ranjan Qanungo, Dara Shukoh, I, second edn., Calcutta, 1952, pp. 72-73.

    7. Ibid, p.74. 8. Ibid., p.73. 9. For the description of the work with a listing of its MSS, see C.A. Storey,

    Persian Literature, a Biobiolography Survey, 1(2), London, 1953, pp. 996- 98; and S.A.A. Rizvi, A History of Sufism in India, I, Delhi, pp. 129-30.

    10. Safinatu'l Auliya,Lucknow, 1872, pp. 83-216. 11. Refered to in Safinatu'l Auliya, p. 69. 12. Ibid., p. 33. 13. Ibid., p. 58. 14. Ibid. 15. Ibid., pp. 13, 20. 16. For a description of this work with MSS, see Storey, Persian Literature, pp.

    998-9. Compared to the Safinatu'l Auliyas only a few MSS of this work survive.

    17. S.A.A. Rizvi, History of Sufism, p. 134. 18. Ibid., pp. 136-7. 19. How the sufi experiences his approach to God and what torments and joys

    lie there is the narration with which the early sufi composition start. This is especially brought out in R.C. Zalkhner, Hindu and Muslim Mysticism, New Delhi, 1994. The experiences recorded in the Indian and sufic texts are so closely similar that one can only believe that similar assumptions independently made to similar results, even if the field is a spiritual or psychological one. Zaekhner, of course, holds that Indian influences are perceptible here.

    20. Qanungo, Dara Shukoh, p. 85, quoting the Introduction to the Safinatu'l Auliya.

    21. Dara Shukoh's letter to Shah Dil Ruba, No. 3. 22. Ibid, Letter No. 4. 23. Cf. Qanungo, Dara Shukoh, pp. 86-89. 24. Letter to Shah Dil Ruba, No. 5


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    25. Dara's Majma'al-Bahrain, ed. & transl. M. Mahfuzul Haq, Bib.Ind., Calcutta, 1929: Dara's introd. Cf. Qanungo, Dara Shukoh, p. 92.

    26. Risala-i Haqnuma, Nawal Kishor ed., Lucknow, 1874, pp. 16-17. Cf. Rizvi, History of Sufism, pp. 135-8.

    27. Risala-i Haqnuma, pp. 1-20. 28. Majma'al-Bahrain, pp. 88-89. 29. This speculation is in Qanungo, Dara Shukoh p. 100. Sarmad was a former

    Jewish rabbi, and his desciple Abhai Chand translated the Book of Genesis for the author of the Dabistan-i Mazahib, Bombay letter, A.H. 1292, pp. 194-202.

    30. Dara Shukoh, Introduction to Sirr-i Akbar. 31. Majma'al Bahrain, p. 88 32. Ibid., p. 99. 33. Ibid., p. 101 34. Ibid. 35. Diwan-i Dara Shukoh ed. Ahmad Nabi Khan, Lahore, 1969, p. 54. Dara

    Shukoh wrote under the poetic pseudonym of Qadiri. His hatred of the mullah went so far that in the same ghazal he says: In the city where the mullah has his house There can be no wise man there! (ibid., p.55)

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    Article Contentsp. [54]p. 55p. 56p. 57p. 58p. 59p. 60p. 61p. 62p. 63p. 64p. 65p. 66

    Issue Table of ContentsSocial Scientist, Vol. 30, No. 7/8 (Jul. - Aug., 2002), pp. 1-100Front MatterEditorial Note [pp. 1 - 2]Rg Vedic and Harappan Cultures: Lexical and Archaeological Aspects [pp. 3 - 12]The Mughal Encounter with Vedanta: Recovering the Biography of 'Jadrup' [pp. 13 - 23]Partition Narratives [pp. 24 - 53]The Spiritual Journey of Dara Shukoh [pp. 54 - 66]Faltering Development and the Post-Modernist Discourse [pp. 67 - 83]Book ReviewsIndia's Democracy [pp. 84 - 91]"...A Hitherto Unseen Solution..." [pp. 92 - 95]

    Back Matter [pp. 96 - 100]