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Dara Shikoh

Dara Shikoh- Relevance for UPSC Exam

General Studies I- Medieval History.Dara Shikoh_3.1


The Vice President has released the Arabic Version of “Majma Ul-Bahrain” of Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh.

Who was Dara Shikoh?

  • Dara Shikoh, who was Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s son and expected heir, was killed on the orders of his brother Aurangzeb in 1659 after losing the war of succession.
  • He was the eldest son and heir-apparent of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
  • Dara was designated with the title Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba (Prince of High Rank) and was favored as a successor by his father and his older sister, Princess Jahanara Begum.
  • In the war of succession which ensued after Shah Jahan’s illness in 1657, Dara was defeated by his younger brother Prince Muhiuddin (Aurangzeb).
  • He was executed in 1659 on Aurangzeb’s orders in a bitter struggle for the imperial throne.

Legacy of Dara Shikoh

  • Dara was a liberal-minded unorthodox Muslim as opposed to the orthodox Aurangzeb.
  • He authored the work Majma Ul-Bahrain (The Confluence of the Two Seas), which argues for the harmony of Sufi philosophy in Islam and Vedanta philosophy in Hinduism.
  • It was Dara Shikoh who was responsible for making the Upanishads available to the West as he had them translated.
  • He had commissioned a translation of Yoga Vasistha.
  • A great patron of the arts, he was also more inclined towards philosophy and mysticism rather than military pursuits.
  • He translated the Upanishads and other important works from Sanskrit to Persian. He was convinced that the Upanishads are what the Qur’an calls ‘Al-Kitab Al-Maknoun’ (The Hidden book).


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