When we talk about Islamic invaders and their tortures to those following the Sanatan faith, we keep wondering why nobody ever taught these invaders a lesson. The fact is that all these Islamic invaders who tortured innocent Indians never lived to see themselves enjoying the wealth – Mahmud of Ghazni died of malaria and tuberculosis; after he broke the ruby Shivling at Somnath, he tried to escape with his army through the Thar desert.

He could not take back the pieces of the Shivling (though biased history books say that he put them in the steps of the Jama Masjid of Ghaznavi) or the loot because he lost most of his army and possessions in the scorching heat of the desert and also because of deceit of his troops (is it any wonder?). He never recovered. Tipu Sultan was also stabbed by his own soldier & therefore his death is never discussed in biased history books. He too could not survive his horrifying onslaught on Travancore – he had to pay a huge ransom to Bajirao Peshwa’s army too, to free his own Mysore. Babur, who brutally defeated Ibrahim Lodi, is said (again by biased historians) to have sacrificed his life for his son Humayun, but other historians say that he was poisoned. Mohammed Ghori who tried to insult Prithviraj Chauhan by torturing him, was killed by Prithviraj himself – he could not prove himself to be greater than our Prithviraj Chauhan. Aurangzeb died a miserable death, atoning for his sins. KARMA…

Today we shall see how Akbar tried to challenge our Saints and Gods too, but failed miserably. What followed was that Akbar had to bow his head to them and accept defeat.


Dhyanu Bhakt or Dhyanu Bhagat as he was called was a great devotee of Jwala Ji – Devi in the form of a glowing, inextinguishable flame (Jyoti). With hundreds of devotees he would head out to a Yatra every year on foot, to the temple of Jwala Mukhi Mata, at Himachal Pradesh. Once, somebody poisoned Akbar’s mind saying that Dhyanu thought of his Maa as greater than the Emperor Akbar. King Akbar wanted to test the powers of Mata Jwalaji. He cut off the head of the horse he was riding and said that if the powers of Mata Jwala were authentic, She would put the head back on the horse and make it alive. Dhyanu Bhakt called it as a sin but still asked him to keep the head and the torso of the horse intact for a month. The king agreed and allowed him to do the rest of his pilgrimage.

Dhyanu Bhagat proceeded further and upon reaching Mata Jwalaji Temple, pleaded for Her kripa. He prayed that the horse be made alive again and when even after many days, Maa did not respond, the great Bhakt, cut his own head in front of Maa Jwala and offered it to Her. She appeared immediately and put the head of Her devotee back on his body and gave him life again. Back in Delhi, with the Kripa of Maa Jwala, the head of the horse also got attached to its torso and became alive. Amazed, Akbar still did not want to believe in the powers of Maa Jwala and sent his General to Jwalaji to test Her presence in this world. The General tried to extinguish the Jyotis by putting various thick sheets of iron on top. However the powerful and miraculous Jyotis of Maa Jwala came above tearing the iron sheets. He then flooded the auspicious Jyotis with the running water. When the temple was completely flooded with water, the Jyotis started floating over the water.

Akbar realized his mistake of testing Maa’s powers. He decided then to walk barefeet to Maa Jwalaji and offer a ‘sava mann’ (one and a quarter quintal) Chhattra (umbrella to be put on top of God) of Gold as an apology. Maa Jwala Devi refused to accept the same as the Gold Chhattar changed colour and became an unknown metal or alloy. Seeing this Akbar fell at Her feet and begged for forgiveness for the sin of testing Maa Jwala. Maa is said to have forgiven Akbar. He later prayed to Maa with offerings of Paan, Supari, Dhwaja (flag), Nariyal(coconut) and Chunari (Stole).This Chhattra is still on display in the temple premises as a memento. Scientists have not been able to come to a conclusion about the alloys in the Chhattra.


Akbar once imprisoned Tulsidasji unfairly. While in prison Tulsidas ji composed the Hanuman Chalisa and kept reciting it for many days. It is said that a horde of monkeys descended upon and started troubling the people of Fatehpur Sikri. Finally Akbar had to accept that Tulsidas ji was indeed a true Bhakt and free him after asking for his forgiveness. Read more about this in this blog –

Akbar mocked Goswami Tulsidas’s faith in Lord Rama : What happened after that changed Akbar forever


Tansen (earlier Ramtanu) was the son of a priest, Mukund Pandey. He learnt music from his Guru, Swami Haridas. Swami Haridas was a simple person who was steeped in Bhakti. Tansen went on to become the court singer of Akbar. Once, when Akbar questioned Tansen as to whether there was a greater singer than him, Tansen, with complete humility replied that his Guru was a better singer. Akbar expressed a desire to listen to Swami Haridas sing.

Tansen told Akbar that there was no way he could get Swami Haridas to come to court and sing for Akbar. Swamiji never sang on request … he only sang for the Lord. The only way Akbar could get to hear him would be if they went to his hut and Akbar heard him from far. One story says that Akbar and Tansen went to his hut at 3 in the morning and hid themselves at a distance from the river where Swami Haridas would come to bathe. When Swamiji finished his ablutions, he sat and recited a bhajan in praise of Sri Hari (Vishnu). It was so soulful that Akbar and Tansen had tears in their eyes. Another story says that Tansen went to meet Guruji and sang in front of him … while singing he made a mistake purposely and Swami Haridas corrected him by singing the bhajan himself. While singing the bhajan, he was so immersed in it that tears rolled down the eyes of Tansen & Akbar who was listening at a distance. Either way, when Tansen bid goodbye to his Guru, he met Akbar who was completely astounded at the devotion and expertise of Swami Haridas.

When Akbar asked Tansen, “Why is it that your Guru sings better than you?”, Tansen replied simply, “I sing to please the Emperor of Hindustan … He sings to please the Emperor of Emperors.” Akbar had to bow down to the higher power.


Once when Akbar was distraught about something, he happened to hear a bhajan which gave him immense peace of mind. He asked Tansen about the bhajan and was told that Meerabai, the Queen of Chittor, had composed the bhajan. Meerabai was a great devotee of Sri Krishna and her life was devoted to singing the praises of Sri Krishna. Akbar expressed a desire to listen to Meerabai in person. Since the ruler of Chittor and Akbar were always at loggerheads, Akbar decided to go there dressed as a mendicant. Tansen and Akbar reached the temple where Meerabai was singing and dancing to the bhajan composed by her. It is said that Akbar was so moved that he placed a diamond / pearl necklace at her feet. Reportedly Meerabai told him that she had no need for material pleasures and she advised him to offer it to Sri Krishna.

*** This incident cannot be proved historically since some records say that Meerabai had passed away before Akbar became the Emperor.

While many Islamic rulers were unmatched in their cruelty in converting people to the Islamic fold, Akbar is believed to have not resorted to violence in converting people. It is a different story that he did resort to violence to subdue the other kings of that time, the most notable being his cruel behaviour to the family of the very brave Rana Pratap. By bowing down to the many holy people (Hindu and Muslim) of his time, Akbar made sure that the people of India take his name without any hatred for him.

Jai Hind !!!

Rati Hegde

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