More Details about Akbar’s Sun Worship (Post No.11,388)

More Details about Akbar’s Sun Worship (Post No.11,388)


Post No. 11,388

Date uploaded in London – 23 OCTOBER 2022                  

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 Five years ago, I wrote an article about Akbar’s interest in Sun Worship (Surya Namaskara). In a footnote to a sloka in Rajatarangini of Kalhana (History of Kashmir) R.S.Pandit gives more interesting details of Sun Worship of Moghul emperor Akbar.

Kashmir is famous for Sun Worship . It was ruled by Hindu Kings until 12th century. Later Muslim rulers invaded and captured power . But yet Babar and Akbar followed some ancient customs.

Here is what R S Pandit says in his translation of Rajatarangini from Sanskrit into English:

Sloka 7-709

Thinking there had been divine anger owing to the destruction of the image of Taamra svaamin (Sun), he (Kashmir king) proceeded to seek refuge with Maartanda to save his life.


Foot note to sloka 709 in Seventh Taranga of Rajatarangini (raajataranginii)

This is the famous shrine at Matan, according to Prof.Foucher “rise proudly like a Greek Temple on a promontory”. Apparently, sun worship was prevalent in Kashmir in the time of Kalasa. We know that Akbar attempted to revive the worship of the sun.

The Portuguese account is as follows: It is quite true that he held the law of Mahomed of no account but he was much addicted to the worship of the sun to which he made prayers four times a day, namely in the morning when he rose, at noon , on retiring to bed and again at midnight. On each occasion he repeated as many as a thousand and fifty names of the luminary, which he counted by means small balls threaded like our paternosters, but consisting of beautiful precious stones.” This is corroborated by Badaoni , who tells us that people used to crowd every morning “opposite the window near which his Majesty  used to pray to the sun…….. No sooner his Majesty finished saying the thousand one names of the “Greater Luminary” and stepped into the balcony, then the whole crowd prostrated themselves” (Muntakhab ut-law-arikh Vol.II, page 336)

The worship of the “dazzling Surya” is still the living faith of India of millions of people including the remnant of the ancient Iranians , the Parsis. It is being revived in recent times through physical culture exercises known as ‘Surya Namaskars’ which the Maratha generalissimo at Panipat Sadasiva Rao Bhau practised thousand times a day.

Rajatarangini English Translation, Year 1935


My Old articles:

Akbar was a Hindu Saint in his Former Life! (Post No.3988) › 2017/06/10 › akbar-was-a-…

10 Jun 2017 — Akbar worshipping sun, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore. Compiled by London Swaminathan. Date: 10 June 2017.

Babar | Tamil and Vedas › tag › ba…

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20 Aug 2018 — Akbar did worship Sun God like Hindus. But not many people knew what Babar did. Picture shows Babur standing on a strip of white cloth.

Tags- Sun worship, Akbar, Portugese, Badaoni

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