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Is it true that Mughal Emperor Akbar became a devotee of Maa Durga?

Sanatan Dharma is one of the most ancient religions; it refers to Hinduism in the modern era and is followed by a vast majority of people in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and different other countries. Histologically, the roots of Sanatan Dharma date back to the ancient era, when no other religion existed. Sanatan Dharma is known for its preaching, which is relevant even in today’s modern era, and for being one of the world’s third-largest religions.

Although there are many misconceptions about Hinduism among the general public, a lot of people believe that in Hinduism there are more than 33 crore, or 330 million, deities, which is true but not understood properly by the people. As per the Vedas, Lord Vishnu is the supreme god among them all, whereas Lord Shiva apparent from the forehead of Lord Vishnu and a lotus is appeared from the belly of Lord Vishnu, on which Lord Brahma was sitting. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma is a part of Lord Vishnu or are incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

During the war of the Mahabharata, Shri Krishna imparts the knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. He says in a statement that Lord Shri Krishna is actually an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and then Arjuna requests that Lord Shri Krishna show him his “Virat Roop” in Hindi and in Sanskrit it is “Vishvarupa” which translates to “having all shapes, universal form“. Lord Shri responds by telling Arjuna that forget about the common man it is even impossible for the Gods and Goddesses to see his Virat Roop. Arjuna repeatedly requests Lord Shri Krishna, and he agrees to show his Virat Roop in response. Before showing his Virat Roop, He bestows Arjuna with divine vision so that Arjuna can see the Lord’s Virat Roop. When Shri Krishna shows his Virat Roop, even after having divine vision, Arjuna cannot see him completely because it is impossible to see where the Virat Roop of Lord Vishnu begins and ends.

According to the Bhagavad Gita, the entire galaxy resides inside the Lord Vishnu and he is in every particles in the universe.

Now coming to the main topic which is whether it is true that Mughal ruler Akbar became a devotee of Maa Durga?

The Mughal Emperor Akbar presented the Goddess Jawala Maa with a gold parasol after witnessing and experiencing a divine miracle, but the gold turned into a different material as an indication that the goddess rejected his offering. As per the Hindu texts, Mughal Emperor Akbar will be considered a devotee of Goddess Jawala Maa, an incarnation of Goddess Shakti, even if the goddess declined his offering.

As per the Hindu texts, Maa Durga is an incarnation of “Devi” or “Shakti“. The Gupt Navratri is celebrated in the devotion to Maa Durga and her nine avatars.

Nine Avatars Of Durga
The Nine forms of Durga celebrated during Navaratri are; Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatr | ShotgunMavericks, wikimedia.org licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0

The nine avatars of Maa Durga include Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidhatri. The devotees of Maa Durga fast for 9 days and worship her.

Mata Jawala Ji temple is one of the Shaktipeeths of Mata Shakti, it is situated in the Jawalamukhi, Himachal Pradesh. As per Hindu texts, Pandavs discovered the Mata Jawala Shaktipeeth and it is believed that the tongue of Mata Shakti fallen here. Unlike the other temples, there is no idol to be worshiped; instead, “Naav Jawala” is worshiped, which is the fire coming out of the earth over which the temples were built.

According to a story, Dhyanu Bhagat was a great devotee of Maa Durga during the Mughals were ruling the India. Dhyanu Bhagat along with 1000 devotees was going to worship the Mata, but they were stopped by the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s armed forces. Dhyanu Bhagat was prosecuted before the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Mughal Emperor asked Dhyanu Bhagat that where you are going along with so many people, Dhyanu said that I’m going to worship Maa Jawala Maa. Akbar asked, who is this “Jawala Maa” and what will happen over going there? Dhyanu responded, that there is Jyoti (flame) which is burning from years without oil and we all go their to worship every year.

Dhyanu Bhagat On His Horse
Dhyanu Bhagat on his horse

Akbar said that if you are really a true devotee, then your mother goddess must be protecting you. To testify, Akbar asked his army men to behead the horse of Dhyanu Bhagat and said that if “Jawala Maa” is really a goddess, then she might be competent enough to join the head of the horse. Dhyanu Bhagat pleaded with Akbar to keep the horse’s head and body safe for a month.

Akbar accepted his proposal and permitted him to go on the pilgrimage. After reaching the Jawala Maa temple, Dhyanu Bhagat worshipped the whole night. At the time of Aarti, Dhyanu Bhagat said, “Mother, you are the innermost and know everything; emperor Akbar wishes to put me to the test, and you are requested to maintain my modesty by making the horse alive.”

It is said that Goddess Jawala Maa made the horse come alive, after which Akbar got surprised and visited the temple. He didn’t believe in what he saw, and to test, he asked his men to throw water on the flame, but even after throwing the water, the flame kept burning. Akbar realised his mistake and offered a gold parasol, which the mother refused to accept, and the gold turned into a different material, which can still be seen in the temple.

Isrg KB Web Team
Isrg KB Web Team
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