The Moguls seemed to have cast a spell over Swami Vivekananda. He depicted this period of Indian history with such dramatic intensity, that the idea often came to us that he was perhaps telling the story of his own past. We often wondered whether we saw before us the re-incarnation of the mighty Akbar. How else could he have known the thoughts, the hopes, the purposes of the greatest of the Moguls?
One of his beliefs was that, before one reached the life in which the enlightenment was to be achieved, one must have run the whole gamut of experiences — suffered every tragedy and the direst poverty, and enjoyed to the utmost all that the world has to offer — wealth, adulation, fame, power, ecstatic happiness, dominion. "Millions of times have I been emperor." he would say in his exuberant fashion. Another idea was that, after lives of effort in which complete success had not been reached, there came a final life of worldly attainment, in which the aspirant became a great emperor or empress. This precedes the last life in which the goal is reached. Akbar, it is believed in India, was a religious aspirant in the incarnation before he became emperor. He just failed to reach the highest and had to come back for one more life in which to fulfil his desires. There was only one more re-incarnation for him.
So vividly did Swami depict these historic figures for us — rulers, queens, prime ministers, generals — that they seemed to become for us real men and women whom we had known. We saw Babar, the twelve-year old King of Ferghana (Central Asia), influenced by his Mongol grandmother, and living a hard rough life with his mother. We watched him later as King of Samarqand for one hundred days, still a boy and delighted with his new possession as though it were some super-toy; his chagrin and dismay when he lost the city of his dreams; his struggles, defeats, and conquests. The time came when we saw him and his men booted and spurred, crossing the great mountain passes and descending on to the plains of India. Although an alien and an invader, as Emperor of India, he identified himself with the country, and began at once to make roads, plant trees, dig wells, build cities. But his heart was always amongst the highlands of the land from which he came and where he was buried. He was a lovable, romantic figure, founder of one of the greatest dynasties within the history of man.
The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji
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