Sunday 20 August 2017

Swami Vivekananda - Sister Christine : 39

After his death the kingdom fell into other hands and Babar's heir, Humayun, became a fugitive. In the deserts of Sind, with only a handful of followers, he fled from place to place, in danger of his life. Here he met the exquisite young Mohammedan girl Hamida, married her, and shared with her his most unhappy fate. We saw him giving up his own horse to her while he walked at her side. And in the deserts of Sind was born her only son, later to become the Emperor Akbar. So reduced in circumstances was Humayun at that time, that he had no gifts for his followers with which to celebrate the event, except a ped of musk. This he divided among them with the prayer: "May my son's glory spread to all parts of the earth. even as the odour of this musk goes forth!"

Humayun regained the empire, but he was not to enjoy it long; for in the forty-eighth year of his age he met with a fatal accident in his palace at Delhi and died, leaving his throne to his only son, Akbar, then little more than thirteen years old. From that time until his death at the age of sixty-three Akbar was the undisputed master of India. There have been few figures in history with such a combination of qualities. His nobility and magnanimity put even his great general, Bairam, to shame. While still a boy, when his enemy was brought before them, and Bairam, putting a sword into his hand, told the young King to kill him, he said. "I do not kill a fallen foe." His courage was unquestioned and won the admiration of all. Few excelled him in sports: no one was a better shot, a better polo player, or a better rider. But with it all, he was severely ascetic in his habits. He did not take meat, saying "Why should I make a graveyard of my stomach?" He slept only a few hours every night, spending much time in philosophic and religious discussions. Mohammedan though he was, he listened to teachers of all religions — listened and questioned. Whole nights he spent in learning the secrets of Hindu yoga from the Brahmin who was pulled up to his Kawa Khana (buzh).

In later years he conceived the idea of establishing a new religion of which he was to be the head — the Divine Religion, to include Hindus, Christians, and Parsees as well as Mohammedans.

King of kings though he was, he had the faculty of making real friends. There were three who were worthy to be the friends of this Shadow of God: Abul Fazl, his Prime Minster; Faizi the poet laureate; Birbal the Brahmin minstrel; and his brother-in-law and Commander-in-chief, Man Singh. Two Hindus and two Mohammedans, for there were two brothers Fazl. His friends shared not only his lighter moments but stood by his side in the Hall of Audience and followed him into battle. We see them making a line of swords for him when his life is in danger in a battle with the Rajputs. They, Mohammedan and Hindu alike, become adherents of the new religion and support him loyally in all his undertakings. Never was a man blessed with truer friends. This is rare enough in ordinary life, but almost unheard of regarding one in so exalted a position. His empire extended from Kabul to the extreme parts of Southern India. His genius as an administrator enabled him to pass on a united empire to his son Salim, later known as the Emperor Jehangir. Under this "Magnificent son of Akbar" the Mogul court reached a splendour before which all previous ideas of luxury paled.

To be continued.... (Memoirs of  Sister Christine)

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

विवेकानन्द केन्द्र कन्याकुमारी (Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari)
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