Sunday, March 20, 2011

Aurangzeb's Last Days

LAST DAYS OF AURANGAZEB [1619-1707]


History has recorded that the last great Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb usurped the throne after imprisoning his own father and killing his brother. At the height of his conquest of the country, he practically ruled as much of India as no one since the time of Chandragupta Maurya. When he died in 1707 A.D. at the ripe old age of 88, he was a much hated and despised man.

Aurangazeb led a life of religious bigotry noted for unmentionable cruelty. He therefore acquired more foes than friends. His fondness for wars and the intense desire to become a overlord made the Mughal Empire bankrupt. Even the citizens and his own army became sick of wars. He was the sole advocate of wars. In fact, he told one of his Grand Viziers “So long as a single breath remains in this mortal life, there is no release for me from war”.

Constant waging of wars and the passage of time were taking a heavy toll on him. But Aurangazeb took no notice. In 1705 when he was reaching 86 years, he finally wound up his last military campaign when he was engaged in a siege in conquering an insignificant fortress near Bijapur. Exhausted completely, he felt like returning to imperial Delhi, the seat of the Mughal capital. The homeward march began, but as Aurangazeb reached Devapur on the Krishna River in Bijapur province, he fell violently ill and the journey had to be stopped. He had to rest there for six months till October 1705.Thereafter the emperor was carried in a palanquin. On 20th January 1706 the entourage reached Ahmednagar. By now the illness became too serious and prevented further journey. Aurangazeb had to spend his last miserable year here. During his illness there was none with him dear and near. His rebel son, Akbar, had died in Persia in 1704 his daughter had died two years earlier. His sister also passed away sometime in 1706.His only companion was his spinster daughter and his last wife Udipuri Mahal, reputedly a Georgian slave girl he had appropriated from his Brother Dara Shikoh’s entourage. But Aurangazeb was a lonely man, indrawn and combating with death,

He fell ill again in 1707.However, he would not give up his religious duties. Five times a day, for three days, he insisted on saying public prayers. His nobles suggested to him that he could ward off evil influences by making a gift of an elephant and a valuable diamond but he dismissed the suggestion as smacking of Hindu practices which he despised. Nevertheless he recommended that the court send four thousand rupees [the price of an elephant] to the chief Kazi for distribution to the poor. And should he die, he further commanded “Carry this creature of dust quickly to the first burial place and consign him to the earth without any useless coffin”. That was the voice of the puritan in Aurangazeb. The great Mogul would have none of the pomp associated with the burial of monarchs.

In a letter to his son Azam he wrote: “I came alone and I go as a stranger. I do not know who I am nor do I know what I have been doing. The time which I have passed in power has left only sorrow behind it. I have not been the guardian and protector of the empire. Life, so valuable, has been squandered by me. God was in my heart but I could not see Him. Life is transient, the past is gone and there is no hope for the future----I fear for my salvation, I fear my punishment. I believe in God’s bounty and mercy, but I am afraid because of what I have done”.

In a similar letter to his other son Kam Bakhsh, he wrote “Soul of my soul, I am going home. I grieve for your helplessness, but what is the use? Every torment I have inflicted, every sin I have committed, every wrong I have done, and I carry the consequences with me. Strange that I came into the world with nothing, and now I am going away with this stupendous caravan of sin---I have sinned terribly and I do not know what punishment awaits me”.

Meanwhile Aurangazeb made preparations for his death. He would divide his empire among his sons to prevent a bitter war of secession and to avoid fighting between armies and slaughter of mankind. He wrote a will. In it he said that a sum of four rupees and two annas, the price of the caps he had sewn in his lifetime, be spent on his death shroud and another sum of three hundred and five rupees which he had earned copying the Koran, be distributed to fakirs. He wanted no ostentation. He was to be buried bare-headed, the coffin covered with white cloth, but no canopy and no musicians. Bitterness still ruled his heart as he drew closer to death. Said his testament “Never trust your sons nor treat them during your lifetimes in an intimate manner”

It was 21st February 1707.Aurangazeb said his morning prayers and returned to his sleeping quarters, but quickly fell into a trance. He continued to tug at his rosary. His stiffening fingers pressing desperately at bead after bead. His lips were mumbling something which none could understand. For one moment this mighty Mogul Monarch was hovering between life and death. At eight o’clock the movement of the fingers stopped. The rosary fell silent. Aurangazeb was dead. He had died, as always wanted, on a Friday, the Muslim Sabbath.

“The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power;
And all that beauty, all that wealth, ever gave
Await alike the inevitable hour
The paths of glory lead but to the grave”


-Gray in ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’.


B.M.N.Murthy

ARTICLE NO. 405---LAST DAYS OF AURANGAZEB
Created: Friday, August 24, 2007

17 Comments:

At April 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM , Blogger christche said...

i wish he reborn as a poet..

 
At May 13, 2014 at 10:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wealth & Power never can ensure Happiness, sometimes in a whole life time Man will not realize this fact............
all born shall die in between what you do is what matters........

 
At March 21, 2015 at 12:45 PM , Blogger teja krishna said...

Let he be an atheist in his next life if possible because he was enough mad with religious beliefs which are more than enough of many lifes of birth.

 
At July 24, 2015 at 11:22 AM , Blogger TruFac said...

Do not glorify or make sentimental posts. Aurangzeb was terrorist and killed over 4.6 millions of innocent Hindus. Google to know truth before posting pathetic article. HE WAS NOT GREAT OR MIGHTY. He was fanatic and filthy islamic terrorist.

 
At July 2, 2016 at 7:44 AM , Blogger Surender Sharma said...

Tyrant, a sinner , a killer and debauched. Nototious character who should have never been born.

 
At July 2, 2016 at 7:44 AM , Blogger Surender Sharma said...

Tyrant, a sinner , a killer and debauched. Nototious character who should have never been born.

 
At July 17, 2016 at 9:51 AM , Blogger somnathbpal@gmail.com said...

Died after living like a bigot. At the last hour he realized whatever he had done in the name of his faith were wrong. Too late to realize the truth.

 
At July 17, 2016 at 9:52 AM , Blogger somnathbpal@gmail.com said...

Died after living like a bigot. At the last hour he realized whatever he had done in the name of his faith were wrong. Too late to realize the truth.

 
At August 28, 2016 at 4:50 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

His tomb is in Khultabad in Ahmed Nagar. The death date mentioned in ASI plaque is 23rd March 1707. The date mentioned in this article is 21st February 1707; which is not friday as mentioned, but is Monday. So which is correct? While writing such articles, pl. make sure to verify the details so that readers should have the right to know the truth.I had visited his tomb 11.06.2016.

 
At August 31, 2016 at 12:22 AM , Blogger Chanchal Datta said...

Islamic terrorism was at its heights during the long career of Aurangzeb the great 'ghatak ' in the name of Islam. What Jehadis are doing today are the same thing. Rather, Aurangzeb is a perfect pioneer to these jehadis. Not only that most of the muslim population in India are likely to stand behind Aurangzeb, even today , as whatever Aurangzeb did was for protecting Islam, as always claimed by Aurangzeb.

 
At August 31, 2016 at 12:23 AM , Blogger Chanchal Datta said...

Islamic terrorism was at its heights during the long career of Aurangzeb the great 'ghatak ' in the name of Islam. What Jehadis are doing today are the same thing. Rather, Aurangzeb is a perfect pioneer to these jehadis. Not only that most of the muslim population in India are likely to stand behind Aurangzeb, even today , as whatever Aurangzeb did was for protecting Islam, as always claimed by Aurangzeb.

 
At September 1, 2016 at 12:54 PM , Blogger Vilas Patil said...

Khultabad is in aurangabad district not in ahemadnagar

 
At November 20, 2016 at 10:07 AM , Blogger KAMALJIT SINGH said...

True

 
At November 20, 2016 at 10:13 AM , Blogger KAMALJIT SINGH said...

Jajiya Tax from non-muslims was a big mistake of his rule. His eldest sister Jahanara Begum was noble and well learned person.One of his daughters who wrote under the pen name Makhi was imprisoned for life too was very talented.Most barbaric act of his was to behead his elder bro Dara Sikoh n roshanara begum serving it to their father Shah Jahan

 
At November 20, 2016 at 10:19 AM , Blogger KAMALJIT SINGH said...

Roshnara Begum ,sister of Aurangjeb was the Most notorious,corrupt and adulterous royal lady of those times,who was subsequently poisoned by Aurangjeb.

 
At November 20, 2016 at 10:27 AM , Blogger KAMALJIT SINGH said...

Auranjeb was a master of Stealth warfarre. His intelligence network was remarkable.

 
At August 18, 2018 at 7:13 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

The biggest criminal ever born

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home