Akbar or Akbar the Great or Abu’l-Fath Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar I was the third ruler of Mughal dynasty in India and remained king from 1556 to 1605. Like many other scholars and historians, Swami Vivekananda too felt that Akbar was the greatest and the best Mughal king.
In this article we’ll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda‘s quotes and comments on Mughal Emperor Akbar.
- Akbar the Great became practically a Hindu; educated Mohammedans, the Sufis, are hardly to be distinguished from the Hindus; they do not eat beef, and in other ways conform to our usages. Their thought has become permeated by ours.[Source]
- Akbar’s, though more to the purpose, was only a parlour-meeting.(on Akbar’s religious council and Din-e Ilahi)[Source]
- Europe was born in the sixteenth century A.D. i.e. about the time when Akbar, Jehangir, Shahjahan, and other Moghul Emperors firmly established their mighty empire in India.[Source]
- Even if the kings be of as godlike nature as that of Yudhishthira, Ramachandra, Dharmashoka, or Akbar under whose benign rule the people enjoyed safety and prosperity, and were looked after with paternal care by their rulers, the hand of him who is always fed by another gradually loses the power of taking the food to his mouth.[Source]
- For three ruling generations from Akbar, learning, wisdom, and arts came to be much esteemed in India.[Source]
- The great Akbar, the Mogul Emperor, was practically a Hindu.[Source]
- The number of kings like Akbar, in whom the subjects find their life, is far less than that of kings like Aurangzeb who live on the blood of their people![Source]
Excerpts from Sister Nivedita’s Book
Time: May-June 1898, Place: Almora
Again it would be an eager résumé of the history of India or of the Moguls, whose greatness never wearied him. Every now and then throughout the summer he would break out into descriptions of Delhi and Agra. Once he described the Taj as “a dimness, and again a dimness, and there — a grave!”
Another time he spoke of Shah Jehan, and then, with a burst of enthusiasm: “Ah! He was the glory of his line! A feeling for and discrimination of beauty that are unparalleled in history. And an artist himself! I have seen a manuscript illuminated by him which is one of the art treasures of India. What a genius!”
Oftener still, it was Akbar of whom he would tell, almost with tears in his voice and a passion easier to understand, beside that undomed tomb, open to sun and wind — the grave of Secundra at Agra.
Time: 16 August 1898, Place: Srinagar, Kashmir—[Source]
Today the Swami passed on to the talk of Akbar and sang us a song of Tânsen, the poet-laureate of the emperor:
Seated on the throne, a god amongst men,
Thou, the Emperor of Delhi.
Blessed was the hour, the minute, the second,
When thou ascendest the throne,
O God amongst men,
Thou, the Lord of Delhi.
Long live thy crown, thy sceptre, thy throne,
O God amongst men,
Thou, Emperor of Delhi.
Live long, and remain awakened always,
O son of Humayoon,
Joy of the sun, God amongst men,
Thou, the Emperor of Delhi!
Then the talk passed to “our national hero” Pratâp Singh, who never could be brought to submission. Once indeed he was tempted to give in, at that moment when having fled from Chitore and the queen herself having cooked the scanty evening meal, a hungry cat swooped down on that cake of bread which was the children’s portion, and the King of Mewar heard his babies cry for food. Then, indeed, the strong heart of the man failed him. The prospect of ease and relief tempted him. And for a moment he thought of ceasing from the unequal conflict and sending his alliance to Akbar, only for an instant. The Eternal Will protects its own. Even as the picture passed before his mind, there appeared a messenger with those despatches from a famous Rajput chief that said, “There is but one left amongst us who has kept his blood free from admixture with the alien. Let it never be said that his head has touched the dust”. And the soul of Pratap drew in the long breath of courage and renewed faith; and he arose and swept the country of its foes and made his own way back to Udaipur.