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Books > History > Majma-Ul-Bahrain or The Mingling Of The Two Oceans By Prince Muhammad Dara Shikuh
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Prefatory Note

I have great pleasure I presenting the third edition of the work entitled Majma-ul-Bahrain by Prince Muhammad Dare Shikuh, which is a reprint of the first edition of this work, to the scholarly world. The Asiatic Society published its first and second editions respectively in May 1929 and in April, 1982. I had the proud privilege of writing the preface to the second edition of this work. Again, I got the opportunity of writing a Foreword to the present edition.

It should be noted that the "Muslim intellectual perception of Hinduism" would help us to understand how "the establishment of Turkic rule in India opened up many opportunities of contact between Hinduism and Islam". Learning Sanskrit al-Biruni (d. after 1050 A. D.) translated Sanskrit Classics into Arabic and he wrote Kitab fi tahqiq malil-Hind for acquainting his 'Ghaznavid rulers with Hinduism'. He also observed "at the level of the common people, anthropomorphism is found in Hinduism, Islam, Jewry and Christianity." The initiative taken up by al-Biruni for translating Sanskrit works into Arabic was undertaken at a later period by some other Muslim Scholars, who were well conversant in Sanskrit Language.

Several Muslim rulers "ordered the translation of various Sanskrit works into Persian in order both to satisfy their own intellectual curiosity and to increase Muslim understanding of Hinduism. "There was no doubt that the Maktab Khana, a translation bureau of Akbarm "helped considerably to change the Muslim perception of Hinduism. " The 'most remarkable' productions of this bureau were "the translations of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and the Yoga Vashishta." Akbar thought that the translation of texts from both Hinduism and Islam "would form a basis for a united search for truth" and would also "enable the people to understand the true spirit of their religion". In this way the Emperor "sought to heal the religious differences amongst his subjects." As a result of the translation of Sanskrit works into Persian, the Muslim intellectuals became aware of 'the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy.'

At a later period Akbar's Sulh-I-Kulh or path of uninterrupted peace in relationship with all people, was carried on by Prince Dara Shikuh, who translated the Upanishad from Sanskrit into Persian "in order to discover Wahdat al-Wujud doctrines hidden in them". He criticized the Hindu theologians for "hiding the Upanishadic truth from both Hindus and Muslims." He believed that "his translation would help mystics of both faiths. "In his work Majma-ul-Bahrain (The Mingling of Two oceans), Dara Shikuh "tried to prove that an appreciation of the achieved only by the elite of both religions." He compared the Islamic Sufi concepts with those of Hindu mysticism and came to this conclusion that "they were identical." Though his theological discourses, Dara Shikuh infused the spirit of liberalism into the medieval Indian life and expanded the horizon of Indian mind.

The publication of the third edition of this work indicates that the scholars and general readers who are engaged in studying Indian theological discourses are attracted to Dara Shikuh's views.

Foreword to the Fourth Edition

The fourth edition of Majma'ul-Bahrain is an evidence of the fact that the spirit of eclecticism, powerfully expressed by Prince Dara Shikuh in this work, is still appreciated by those historians, religious persons and intellectuals who believe in religious harmony. Dara Shikuh, who was born in Ajmer in 1024 A.H., was certainly influenced by Mu'in-ud-din Chisti, the great mystic saint, whose tomb is situated in Ajmir. In "Introduction", M. Mahfuz-ul-Haq gives a good account of Dara Shikuh's life and times which has considerable historical importance the Prince himself was a notable intellectual. He was the author of ten dissertations and four tracts. He was also a poet of considerable merit. Dara Shikuh appreciated the arts, and he was himself a calligrapher. A large number of books were written at his request by numerous author, one of whom was Babalal Mandiya, who was a Hindu. In Majma'-ul-Bahrain the Prince mentions a Hindu saint named Baba Lal Bairagi, who was a Vaisnava, and whom the Prince admired. There is no doubt about the fact that Dara Shikuh was well-acquainted with the ideology of the Nirguna Saints like Kabir, Pipa, Namdev and other sages who repudiated communalism and propagated religious harmony in a plural society. The Yogavasista was translated into Persian language at the instruction of the Prince. Dara was initially influenced by Sufism. Later he appreciated the Nirguna Sant-tradition, and in particular, such ancient works as the Yogavasista and the Upanisads, and the Gospels and the Pentateuch.

This is the context of Majma'-ul-Bahrai, in which a philosophical approach to the necessity of religious harmony is found. The work is the evidence of a highly cultured mind, and a culmination of the religious liberalism of Akbar the Great. Prince Dara had not renounced Muhammadanism. He was not a heretic. But like Akbar, he felt the necessity of maintaining communal harmony in a plural society, for which he was killed by his fanatical younger brother Aurangzib.

Majma'-ul-Bahrain is a brilliant manifesto of harmony and has, therefore, considerable historical and theological interest.

Foreword to the Third Edition

I have great pleasure in presenting the third edition of the work entitled Majma-ul-Bahrain by Prince Muhammad Dara Shikuh, which is a reprint of the first edition of this work, to the scholarly world. The Asiatic Society published its first and second editions respectively in May 1929 and in April, 1983. I had the proud privilege of writing the preface to the second edition of this work. Again, I got the opportunity of writing a Foreword to the present edition.

I should be noted that the "Muslim intellectual perception of Hinduism" would help us to understand how "the establishment of Turkic rule in India opened up many opportunities for contact between Hinduism and Islam". Learning Sanskrit al-Biruni (d. after 1050 A.D.) translated Sanskrit Classics into Arabic and he wrote Kitab fi tahqiq malil-Hind for acquainting his 'Ghaznavid rulers with Hinduism'. He also observed that "at the level of the common people, anthropomorphism is found in Hinduism, Islam, Jewry and Christianity." The initiative taken up by al-Biruni for translating Sanskrit works into Arabic was undertaken at a later period by some other Muslim Scholars, who were well conversant in Sanskrit Language.

Several Muslim rulers "ordered the translation of various Sanskrit works into Persian in order both to satisfy their own intellectual curiosity and to increase Musilim understanding of Hinduism" there was no doubt that the Maktab Khana, a translation bureau of Akbar, "helped considerably to change the Muslim perception of Hinduism." The 'most remarkable' productions of this bureau were "the translations of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and the Yoga Vashishta." Akbar thought that the translation of texts from both Hinduism and Islam "would form a basis for a united search for truth" and would also "enable the people to understand the true spirit of their religion". In this way the Emperor "sought to heal the religious differences amongst his subjects." As a result of the translation of Sanskrit works into Persian, the Muslim intellectuals became aware of 'the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy.'

At a later period Akbar's Sulh-i-Kulh or path of uninterrupted peace in relationship with all people, was carried on by Prince Dara Shikuh, who translated the Upanishad from Sanskrit into Persian" in order to discover Wahdat al-Wujud doctrines hidden in them". He criticized the Hindu theologians for "hiding the Upanishadic truth from both Hindus and Muslims." He believed that "his translation would help mystics of both faiths." In his work Majma-ul-Bahrain (The Mingling of Two Oceans), Dara Shikuh "tried to prove that an appreciation of the deeper elements in Sufism and Hindu mysticism could be achieved only by the elite of both religion." He compared the Islamic Sufi concepts with those of Hindu mysticism and came to this conclusion that "they were identical." Through his theological discourses, Dara Shikuh infused the spirit of liberalism into the medieval Indian life and expanded the horizon of Indian mind.

The publication of the third edition of this work indicates that the scholars and general readers who are engaged in studying Indian theological discourses are attracted to Dara Shikuh's views.

Foreword to the Second Edition

The founder of the Asiatic Society, Sir William Jones, initiated discussion on religions of different countries in a comparative manner. A new branch of human knowledge, Comparative Religion, developed and progressed in this way in our country. Efforts were made by the Asiatic Society to unfold various aspects of social and religious life of the Asiatic peoples. The publication of the Bibliotheca Indica Series, started in 1849, was a collection of works representing Oriental literature and containing original text editions as well as translations into English including bibliographies, dictionaries, grammars and studies. The New Series had begun in 1860, and is still continuing. In this Series, in 1929, the Asiatic Society published the original Persian Text of Majma-ul-Bahrain (1654-1655) by Prince Muhammad Dara Shikuh (1615-1659). In the same year the English translation of this text along with notes and variants was done by Professor M. Mahfuz-ul-Haq of the Presidency College, Calcutta. Professor Haq consulted five Manuscripts of Majma-ul-Bahrain available in different parts of India in preparing the present text. He also used the Arabic version of Majma-ul-Bahrain. But he could not secure a copy of Urdu translation of this work by Gocul Prasad.

It is gratifying to note that Professor Haq received ungrudging assistance from several noted scholars in editing this work. at the initial stage. Dr. Surendra Nath Das Gupta was associated with it and made some important suggestions. Professor Nilmoni Chakravarti helped Professor Haq in identifying and transliterating the Sanskrit term. As regards the vast Islamic bibliography and Quaranic literature Professor Haq got help from his teacher and colleague Dr. M. Hidyat Husain. The urge for acquiring knowledge on comparative religion was so strong that the scholars of different communities could move together to produce such a valuable work.

The attention of the scholars to the works and ideas of Dara Shikuh was, however, drawn by the famous historian William Irvine, who is a letter to Sir Jadunath Sarkar in August 1905, pointed out: "The losing side (e.g. Dara Shikuh's) always gets scanty justice in histories". Sir Jadunath threw enough light on the career and character of Dara Shikuh as 'a soldier and a politician' in his History of Aurangzib and he suggested to Dr. Kalika Rajan Qanungo the idea of a monograph on Dara Shikuh. Accordingly, Dr. Qanungo took up the study of the tragic career of the Philosopher-Prince and published his work Dara Shukho in 1935. In his study of Dara Shikuh Dr. Qanungo took his clue from the observations of William Irvine. Afterwards a very learned article entitled Les Entretiens de Lahore, by Huart and Massignon came out in the Journal Asiatique in October-December 1926 which gave 'a new turn' to Dr. Qanungo's study.

In spite of the second edition of Dr. Qanungo's works, which was published after a lapse of about seventeen years, and the monographs and papers of Rezaul Karim (Sadhak Dara Shikuh, Calcutta, 1944), Bikramjit Hasrat (Dara Shikuh, life and Works, Santinikutan, 1953), Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji (Sanskrit Silpa Itihas, Calcutta, 1976) and Syed Muztaba Ali (Jubaraj-Raja-Kahinir Patabhumi, 1381 B.S.) on this aspect, the study of Dara Shikuh did not progress much. Realizing the importance of the study of Dara Shikuh in the present context of Indian life, Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji as President of the Dara Shikuh-Rammohun Institute, in collaboration with its Secretary Rabiuddin Ahmed, organized a seminar in Calcutta on the Life and Thoughts of Prince Dara Shikuh on 20-21 March, 1976 in which prominent scholars took part.

In this way the ground was prepared by several scholars to develop the study of Dara Shikuh in our country. I am presenting the second edition which is a reprint of the first edition of Majma-ul-Bahrain to the scholarly world with this expectation that they would come forward to make "a correct assessment of the place of Dara Shikuh in the history of India and a proper appraisal of his thoughts and ideas which are of great importance even today."

Preface to the First Edition

The 'science of religion' has in the last fifty years developed and progressed in many way. We have the comparative, the historical, the sociological and the psychological methods. Of late a new school has arisen which is well-exemplified by its forerunner James (Varieties of religious Experience), and latterly by Otto (Das Heilige and Die Religi-onen), a school which relegates history, and philosophy to the background to concentrate in the first place on the religious experience itself. Pratt in his recent work The Pilgrimage of Buddhism applies the principle in a practical way and rightly says : "To give the feeling of an alien religion it is necessary to do more than expound its concepts and describe its history. One must catch its emotional undertone, enter sympathetically into its sentiments, feel one's way into its symbols, its cult, its art, and then seek to impart these things not merely by scientific exposition but in all sorts of indirect ways." Non schlae sed vilae is the motto of this school.

Nevertheless, history and philology will remain indispensable accessories. And also in the historical method there is development and subdivision. A group of phenomena of great interest and importance, but, scarcely as yet touched upon, is the one furnished by what may be called the symbiotics of religion. In Europe, the confluence of paganism and Christianity has submerged all paganism without destroying it. In Java, the confluence of Indonesian animism, Hinduism and Islam has produced a doctrinal, terminological and sentimental complex which is difficult to analyse and is an example of permeation without suppression. In China, Confucianism and Buddhism have remained unmixed side by side, whilst Buddhism has intimately influenced Taoism, chiefly in the popular strata. In India, likewise, Hinduism and Islam have remained oil and water, though a subtle influence has perhaps been exercised upon later Islamic mysticism and magic by the surrounding Hindu atmosphere. On the contrary the purely artificial individual endeavours of an Akbar and a Dara Shikuh to introduce Hindu thought and speculation into Persian literature have remained almost completely isolated and sterile. A little literary theological island has been created which has remained uninhabited and from which no travelers have undertaken further voyages into the world of Islam. The rich and fertile results of the introduction of Greek thought into the Arabic and the mediaeval western world in this instance counterbalanced by an entire lack of consequences, and the effort was still-born. Nevertheless syncretistic and irenistic tendencies are always interesting and deserve attention. The sharply defined and definitely circumscribed literary activity of the few notable Muhammadans who have sought to transplant Indian thought into the Islamic would is of such a nature and moreover connected with incidents of human and dramatic value.

It is difficult to decide where to begin inn this study: with the artificial endeavours of rulers, like Akbar or Dara Shikuh or with those of humbler mystics without autocratic influence. One might either prefer to approach the problem through translations such as the Persian translation of the Upanisads or through systematic treatises such as the one that forms the subject of the present volume. The whole subject has been scarcely touched. Speyer in his De Indische Theosophie has in one of his chapters dealt with the influence of Indian theosophy on the West and has shortly spoken about Kabir, the Sikhs, Akbar, and Ram Mohan Roy. De Massignon has recently published and translated the conversations between Dara Shikuh and Baba Lal Das. 'Abdul Wali has dealt with the relations between Dara Shikuh and Sarmad (journal, A.S.B., Vol. XX). The most fundamental discussion, however, hitherto, of Indian influence on Muhammadan mysticism seems M. Horten Indische Stromungen in der islamischen Mystik (Heidelberg 1927 and 1928). The two parts of the work contain ample bibliographical references.

Now Professor Mahfuz-ul-Haq comes, in the present publication, with a contribution of singular interest for this subject. It is not that this" Mingling of the two Oceans" proves to be a book of deep insight or great spirituality. On the contrary, it seems 'poor in spirit' and largely verbal. But it gives us a starting point. From this little book we can work backwards and forwards. It is an apt focus for further research.

Professor Haq, by his painstaking translation, and by the fullness of his annotation, has deserved well of his readers and has made easy the task of students in this particular field who may be neither Sanskritists nor Persianists. Above all, by his careful and straightforward work he has taken away a false glamour with which the tragic death of its author had endowed the booklet as long as it remained scaled. But in this connection a word of caution suggests itself. We feel that the absence of the glow of true inspiration in the treatise is obvious. But is this poverty of quality of true measure of Dara's attitude and endowments" from other data known concerning his it is legitimate to regard this question as one open to a certain measure of doubt. Have we not rather to esteem the matter-of-fact substance and the terminological comparisons of the treatise not as the measure of his vision but as the measure of his prudence? After all he was executed as a heretic. Could he in his time and in his circumstances have said more than he did in this work without danger of dire consequences? All these are matters of speculation, but of great human interest. We shall only know for certain when his whole oeuvre is made accessible to us, and we are grateful to Professor Haq for having made a beginning. Dara Shikuh, whether he was great of soul or only an aristocratic but small dabbler in great things, will remain a tragic figure in human history. As the last continuator of a short line of activity begun by his great grandfather, the great Akbar, he is also an historical figure in the development of Indian thought. For all these and many other reasons we welcome the present work in which from beyond the gulf of death the voice of Hindu-Muslim Unity has been given life again, insistent, sincere, and tragic.

 

CONTENTS
    Page
1 Foreword V
2 Contents VII
3 Table of Transliteration VIII
4 Errata VIII
5 Introduction 1
6 Synopsis of Contents of the English Translation 36
7 English Translation 37
8 Synopsis of Contents of the Persian Text 78
9 Persian Text 79
10 Variants 117
11 Indexes 135
  (1) Names of Persons 135
  (2) Technical Terms, Important Words. Sects. Sufi Order, etc. 140
  (3) Books mentioned in the Text and the Notes 145
  (4) Places mentioned in the Notes 146

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Majma-Ul-Bahrain or The Mingling Of The Two Oceans By Prince Muhammad Dara Shikuh

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Prefatory Note

I have great pleasure I presenting the third edition of the work entitled Majma-ul-Bahrain by Prince Muhammad Dare Shikuh, which is a reprint of the first edition of this work, to the scholarly world. The Asiatic Society published its first and second editions respectively in May 1929 and in April, 1982. I had the proud privilege of writing the preface to the second edition of this work. Again, I got the opportunity of writing a Foreword to the present edition.

It should be noted that the "Muslim intellectual perception of Hinduism" would help us to understand how "the establishment of Turkic rule in India opened up many opportunities of contact between Hinduism and Islam". Learning Sanskrit al-Biruni (d. after 1050 A. D.) translated Sanskrit Classics into Arabic and he wrote Kitab fi tahqiq malil-Hind for acquainting his 'Ghaznavid rulers with Hinduism'. He also observed "at the level of the common people, anthropomorphism is found in Hinduism, Islam, Jewry and Christianity." The initiative taken up by al-Biruni for translating Sanskrit works into Arabic was undertaken at a later period by some other Muslim Scholars, who were well conversant in Sanskrit Language.

Several Muslim rulers "ordered the translation of various Sanskrit works into Persian in order both to satisfy their own intellectual curiosity and to increase Muslim understanding of Hinduism. "There was no doubt that the Maktab Khana, a translation bureau of Akbarm "helped considerably to change the Muslim perception of Hinduism. " The 'most remarkable' productions of this bureau were "the translations of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and the Yoga Vashishta." Akbar thought that the translation of texts from both Hinduism and Islam "would form a basis for a united search for truth" and would also "enable the people to understand the true spirit of their religion". In this way the Emperor "sought to heal the religious differences amongst his subjects." As a result of the translation of Sanskrit works into Persian, the Muslim intellectuals became aware of 'the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy.'

At a later period Akbar's Sulh-I-Kulh or path of uninterrupted peace in relationship with all people, was carried on by Prince Dara Shikuh, who translated the Upanishad from Sanskrit into Persian "in order to discover Wahdat al-Wujud doctrines hidden in them". He criticized the Hindu theologians for "hiding the Upanishadic truth from both Hindus and Muslims." He believed that "his translation would help mystics of both faiths. "In his work Majma-ul-Bahrain (The Mingling of Two oceans), Dara Shikuh "tried to prove that an appreciation of the achieved only by the elite of both religions." He compared the Islamic Sufi concepts with those of Hindu mysticism and came to this conclusion that "they were identical." Though his theological discourses, Dara Shikuh infused the spirit of liberalism into the medieval Indian life and expanded the horizon of Indian mind.

The publication of the third edition of this work indicates that the scholars and general readers who are engaged in studying Indian theological discourses are attracted to Dara Shikuh's views.

Foreword to the Fourth Edition

The fourth edition of Majma'ul-Bahrain is an evidence of the fact that the spirit of eclecticism, powerfully expressed by Prince Dara Shikuh in this work, is still appreciated by those historians, religious persons and intellectuals who believe in religious harmony. Dara Shikuh, who was born in Ajmer in 1024 A.H., was certainly influenced by Mu'in-ud-din Chisti, the great mystic saint, whose tomb is situated in Ajmir. In "Introduction", M. Mahfuz-ul-Haq gives a good account of Dara Shikuh's life and times which has considerable historical importance the Prince himself was a notable intellectual. He was the author of ten dissertations and four tracts. He was also a poet of considerable merit. Dara Shikuh appreciated the arts, and he was himself a calligrapher. A large number of books were written at his request by numerous author, one of whom was Babalal Mandiya, who was a Hindu. In Majma'-ul-Bahrain the Prince mentions a Hindu saint named Baba Lal Bairagi, who was a Vaisnava, and whom the Prince admired. There is no doubt about the fact that Dara Shikuh was well-acquainted with the ideology of the Nirguna Saints like Kabir, Pipa, Namdev and other sages who repudiated communalism and propagated religious harmony in a plural society. The Yogavasista was translated into Persian language at the instruction of the Prince. Dara was initially influenced by Sufism. Later he appreciated the Nirguna Sant-tradition, and in particular, such ancient works as the Yogavasista and the Upanisads, and the Gospels and the Pentateuch.

This is the context of Majma'-ul-Bahrai, in which a philosophical approach to the necessity of religious harmony is found. The work is the evidence of a highly cultured mind, and a culmination of the religious liberalism of Akbar the Great. Prince Dara had not renounced Muhammadanism. He was not a heretic. But like Akbar, he felt the necessity of maintaining communal harmony in a plural society, for which he was killed by his fanatical younger brother Aurangzib.

Majma'-ul-Bahrain is a brilliant manifesto of harmony and has, therefore, considerable historical and theological interest.

Foreword to the Third Edition

I have great pleasure in presenting the third edition of the work entitled Majma-ul-Bahrain by Prince Muhammad Dara Shikuh, which is a reprint of the first edition of this work, to the scholarly world. The Asiatic Society published its first and second editions respectively in May 1929 and in April, 1983. I had the proud privilege of writing the preface to the second edition of this work. Again, I got the opportunity of writing a Foreword to the present edition.

I should be noted that the "Muslim intellectual perception of Hinduism" would help us to understand how "the establishment of Turkic rule in India opened up many opportunities for contact between Hinduism and Islam". Learning Sanskrit al-Biruni (d. after 1050 A.D.) translated Sanskrit Classics into Arabic and he wrote Kitab fi tahqiq malil-Hind for acquainting his 'Ghaznavid rulers with Hinduism'. He also observed that "at the level of the common people, anthropomorphism is found in Hinduism, Islam, Jewry and Christianity." The initiative taken up by al-Biruni for translating Sanskrit works into Arabic was undertaken at a later period by some other Muslim Scholars, who were well conversant in Sanskrit Language.

Several Muslim rulers "ordered the translation of various Sanskrit works into Persian in order both to satisfy their own intellectual curiosity and to increase Musilim understanding of Hinduism" there was no doubt that the Maktab Khana, a translation bureau of Akbar, "helped considerably to change the Muslim perception of Hinduism." The 'most remarkable' productions of this bureau were "the translations of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and the Yoga Vashishta." Akbar thought that the translation of texts from both Hinduism and Islam "would form a basis for a united search for truth" and would also "enable the people to understand the true spirit of their religion". In this way the Emperor "sought to heal the religious differences amongst his subjects." As a result of the translation of Sanskrit works into Persian, the Muslim intellectuals became aware of 'the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy.'

At a later period Akbar's Sulh-i-Kulh or path of uninterrupted peace in relationship with all people, was carried on by Prince Dara Shikuh, who translated the Upanishad from Sanskrit into Persian" in order to discover Wahdat al-Wujud doctrines hidden in them". He criticized the Hindu theologians for "hiding the Upanishadic truth from both Hindus and Muslims." He believed that "his translation would help mystics of both faiths." In his work Majma-ul-Bahrain (The Mingling of Two Oceans), Dara Shikuh "tried to prove that an appreciation of the deeper elements in Sufism and Hindu mysticism could be achieved only by the elite of both religion." He compared the Islamic Sufi concepts with those of Hindu mysticism and came to this conclusion that "they were identical." Through his theological discourses, Dara Shikuh infused the spirit of liberalism into the medieval Indian life and expanded the horizon of Indian mind.

The publication of the third edition of this work indicates that the scholars and general readers who are engaged in studying Indian theological discourses are attracted to Dara Shikuh's views.

Foreword to the Second Edition

The founder of the Asiatic Society, Sir William Jones, initiated discussion on religions of different countries in a comparative manner. A new branch of human knowledge, Comparative Religion, developed and progressed in this way in our country. Efforts were made by the Asiatic Society to unfold various aspects of social and religious life of the Asiatic peoples. The publication of the Bibliotheca Indica Series, started in 1849, was a collection of works representing Oriental literature and containing original text editions as well as translations into English including bibliographies, dictionaries, grammars and studies. The New Series had begun in 1860, and is still continuing. In this Series, in 1929, the Asiatic Society published the original Persian Text of Majma-ul-Bahrain (1654-1655) by Prince Muhammad Dara Shikuh (1615-1659). In the same year the English translation of this text along with notes and variants was done by Professor M. Mahfuz-ul-Haq of the Presidency College, Calcutta. Professor Haq consulted five Manuscripts of Majma-ul-Bahrain available in different parts of India in preparing the present text. He also used the Arabic version of Majma-ul-Bahrain. But he could not secure a copy of Urdu translation of this work by Gocul Prasad.

It is gratifying to note that Professor Haq received ungrudging assistance from several noted scholars in editing this work. at the initial stage. Dr. Surendra Nath Das Gupta was associated with it and made some important suggestions. Professor Nilmoni Chakravarti helped Professor Haq in identifying and transliterating the Sanskrit term. As regards the vast Islamic bibliography and Quaranic literature Professor Haq got help from his teacher and colleague Dr. M. Hidyat Husain. The urge for acquiring knowledge on comparative religion was so strong that the scholars of different communities could move together to produce such a valuable work.

The attention of the scholars to the works and ideas of Dara Shikuh was, however, drawn by the famous historian William Irvine, who is a letter to Sir Jadunath Sarkar in August 1905, pointed out: "The losing side (e.g. Dara Shikuh's) always gets scanty justice in histories". Sir Jadunath threw enough light on the career and character of Dara Shikuh as 'a soldier and a politician' in his History of Aurangzib and he suggested to Dr. Kalika Rajan Qanungo the idea of a monograph on Dara Shikuh. Accordingly, Dr. Qanungo took up the study of the tragic career of the Philosopher-Prince and published his work Dara Shukho in 1935. In his study of Dara Shikuh Dr. Qanungo took his clue from the observations of William Irvine. Afterwards a very learned article entitled Les Entretiens de Lahore, by Huart and Massignon came out in the Journal Asiatique in October-December 1926 which gave 'a new turn' to Dr. Qanungo's study.

In spite of the second edition of Dr. Qanungo's works, which was published after a lapse of about seventeen years, and the monographs and papers of Rezaul Karim (Sadhak Dara Shikuh, Calcutta, 1944), Bikramjit Hasrat (Dara Shikuh, life and Works, Santinikutan, 1953), Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji (Sanskrit Silpa Itihas, Calcutta, 1976) and Syed Muztaba Ali (Jubaraj-Raja-Kahinir Patabhumi, 1381 B.S.) on this aspect, the study of Dara Shikuh did not progress much. Realizing the importance of the study of Dara Shikuh in the present context of Indian life, Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji as President of the Dara Shikuh-Rammohun Institute, in collaboration with its Secretary Rabiuddin Ahmed, organized a seminar in Calcutta on the Life and Thoughts of Prince Dara Shikuh on 20-21 March, 1976 in which prominent scholars took part.

In this way the ground was prepared by several scholars to develop the study of Dara Shikuh in our country. I am presenting the second edition which is a reprint of the first edition of Majma-ul-Bahrain to the scholarly world with this expectation that they would come forward to make "a correct assessment of the place of Dara Shikuh in the history of India and a proper appraisal of his thoughts and ideas which are of great importance even today."

Preface to the First Edition

The 'science of religion' has in the last fifty years developed and progressed in many way. We have the comparative, the historical, the sociological and the psychological methods. Of late a new school has arisen which is well-exemplified by its forerunner James (Varieties of religious Experience), and latterly by Otto (Das Heilige and Die Religi-onen), a school which relegates history, and philosophy to the background to concentrate in the first place on the religious experience itself. Pratt in his recent work The Pilgrimage of Buddhism applies the principle in a practical way and rightly says : "To give the feeling of an alien religion it is necessary to do more than expound its concepts and describe its history. One must catch its emotional undertone, enter sympathetically into its sentiments, feel one's way into its symbols, its cult, its art, and then seek to impart these things not merely by scientific exposition but in all sorts of indirect ways." Non schlae sed vilae is the motto of this school.

Nevertheless, history and philology will remain indispensable accessories. And also in the historical method there is development and subdivision. A group of phenomena of great interest and importance, but, scarcely as yet touched upon, is the one furnished by what may be called the symbiotics of religion. In Europe, the confluence of paganism and Christianity has submerged all paganism without destroying it. In Java, the confluence of Indonesian animism, Hinduism and Islam has produced a doctrinal, terminological and sentimental complex which is difficult to analyse and is an example of permeation without suppression. In China, Confucianism and Buddhism have remained unmixed side by side, whilst Buddhism has intimately influenced Taoism, chiefly in the popular strata. In India, likewise, Hinduism and Islam have remained oil and water, though a subtle influence has perhaps been exercised upon later Islamic mysticism and magic by the surrounding Hindu atmosphere. On the contrary the purely artificial individual endeavours of an Akbar and a Dara Shikuh to introduce Hindu thought and speculation into Persian literature have remained almost completely isolated and sterile. A little literary theological island has been created which has remained uninhabited and from which no travelers have undertaken further voyages into the world of Islam. The rich and fertile results of the introduction of Greek thought into the Arabic and the mediaeval western world in this instance counterbalanced by an entire lack of consequences, and the effort was still-born. Nevertheless syncretistic and irenistic tendencies are always interesting and deserve attention. The sharply defined and definitely circumscribed literary activity of the few notable Muhammadans who have sought to transplant Indian thought into the Islamic would is of such a nature and moreover connected with incidents of human and dramatic value.

It is difficult to decide where to begin inn this study: with the artificial endeavours of rulers, like Akbar or Dara Shikuh or with those of humbler mystics without autocratic influence. One might either prefer to approach the problem through translations such as the Persian translation of the Upanisads or through systematic treatises such as the one that forms the subject of the present volume. The whole subject has been scarcely touched. Speyer in his De Indische Theosophie has in one of his chapters dealt with the influence of Indian theosophy on the West and has shortly spoken about Kabir, the Sikhs, Akbar, and Ram Mohan Roy. De Massignon has recently published and translated the conversations between Dara Shikuh and Baba Lal Das. 'Abdul Wali has dealt with the relations between Dara Shikuh and Sarmad (journal, A.S.B., Vol. XX). The most fundamental discussion, however, hitherto, of Indian influence on Muhammadan mysticism seems M. Horten Indische Stromungen in der islamischen Mystik (Heidelberg 1927 and 1928). The two parts of the work contain ample bibliographical references.

Now Professor Mahfuz-ul-Haq comes, in the present publication, with a contribution of singular interest for this subject. It is not that this" Mingling of the two Oceans" proves to be a book of deep insight or great spirituality. On the contrary, it seems 'poor in spirit' and largely verbal. But it gives us a starting point. From this little book we can work backwards and forwards. It is an apt focus for further research.

Professor Haq, by his painstaking translation, and by the fullness of his annotation, has deserved well of his readers and has made easy the task of students in this particular field who may be neither Sanskritists nor Persianists. Above all, by his careful and straightforward work he has taken away a false glamour with which the tragic death of its author had endowed the booklet as long as it remained scaled. But in this connection a word of caution suggests itself. We feel that the absence of the glow of true inspiration in the treatise is obvious. But is this poverty of quality of true measure of Dara's attitude and endowments" from other data known concerning his it is legitimate to regard this question as one open to a certain measure of doubt. Have we not rather to esteem the matter-of-fact substance and the terminological comparisons of the treatise not as the measure of his vision but as the measure of his prudence? After all he was executed as a heretic. Could he in his time and in his circumstances have said more than he did in this work without danger of dire consequences? All these are matters of speculation, but of great human interest. We shall only know for certain when his whole oeuvre is made accessible to us, and we are grateful to Professor Haq for having made a beginning. Dara Shikuh, whether he was great of soul or only an aristocratic but small dabbler in great things, will remain a tragic figure in human history. As the last continuator of a short line of activity begun by his great grandfather, the great Akbar, he is also an historical figure in the development of Indian thought. For all these and many other reasons we welcome the present work in which from beyond the gulf of death the voice of Hindu-Muslim Unity has been given life again, insistent, sincere, and tragic.

 

CONTENTS
    Page
1 Foreword V
2 Contents VII
3 Table of Transliteration VIII
4 Errata VIII
5 Introduction 1
6 Synopsis of Contents of the English Translation 36
7 English Translation 37
8 Synopsis of Contents of the Persian Text 78
9 Persian Text 79
10 Variants 117
11 Indexes 135
  (1) Names of Persons 135
  (2) Technical Terms, Important Words. Sects. Sufi Order, etc. 140
  (3) Books mentioned in the Text and the Notes 145
  (4) Places mentioned in the Notes 146

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