Akbar is often regarded as one of the few Mughal rulers who , for most part of his life, did not trouble the Hindus. Historians often claim that he equally loved and respected Hindus, and did not oppress the Hindus of his kingdom. There are various reasons given behind Akbar’s secularism. However, as it has been the norm, the interesting account of Goswami Tulsidas and Akbar has been deleted from history books and is often called as “myth”. It was an incident involving Akbar and Goswami Tulsidas, after which Akbar ordered that no Hindus should face any problem in his kingdom.

In Priyadas’s biography of Goswami Tulsidas, the great saint who composed Ramacharitmanas, he mentions a miracle performed by Tulsidas. Once while a funeral procession of a man was about to start, the widow of the man came and touched the feet of Tulsidas. Tulsidas blessed her as “Saubhagyawati” (which means someone whose husband is alive). Hearing Tulsidas bless her as Saubhagyawati, she started to weep profusely and said that her husband had died. Since Tulsidas had referred to her as Saubhagyawati, he was shocked on hearing the reality and he uttered the name of Rama. Soon, the dead man was miraculously brought back to life.

When the news of this miracle spread everywhere and reached the ears of Akbar, he summoned Tulsidas to his court. However, Tulsidas refused to go the emperor’s court as he was busy writing the verses. Enraged at this, Akbar sent his men and forcefully brought Tulsidas to his court, and asked him to perform miracles. Tulsidas declined by saying “It’s a lie, all I know is Rama.” Angry at this, Akbar imprisoned Tulsidas at Fatehpur Sikri, and in a fit of rage said, “We will see this Rama.” While Tulsidas ji was in the prison, he created a verse in the praise of Lord Hanuman and kept chanting it for days. An army of monkeys descended upon the town and wreaked havoc in all corners of Fatehpur Sikri, entering each home and the emperor’s harem, scratching people and throwing bricks from ramparts.

After this incident, an old maulvi advised Akbar that this was the consequence of imprisoning the Fakir (referring to Tulsidas). Akbar personally went to the prison, fell at the feet of Tulsidas Ji and apologized. It is said that, all of a sudden the monkeys left the palace. Since then, Akbar started to respect Tulsidas immensely and ordered a farmaan that no Hindu should ever be harassed by anyone in his kingdom.


Kshitij Mohan