Sakhi of Guru Har Rai Saving Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s Son Dara Shikoh.
Sick Son of Shah Jahan
The Emperor Shah Jahan had four sons by different wives: Dara Shikoh, Shuja Muhammad, Aurangzeb, and Murad Baksh. Dara Shikoh was the heir-apparent, and was very dear to his father. Aurangzeb was very cunning, clever and ambitious, and was fixated on succeeding to the throne. (The name Aurangzeb means – fit for the throne) He administered tiger’s whiskers in a dish to his eldest brother and he became dangerously ill as a result. Astrologers were sent for, pirs and fakirs were called, all known charms, spells and incantations were tried but to no avail. Wise men were assembled together and they came to the decision that until the tiger’s whiskers could be removed, there was no hope of a recovery.
They were of the opinion that if two ounces of chebulic myrobalan (scientific name: termininalia chebula; known in Ayurvedic medicine as Aralu, credited with having laxative and stomachic properties) and a clove weighing one masha were administered, his health could be restored.
The Emperor searched everywhere for the ingredients but they could not be found – it was only until his Prime Minister, who had heard of the Gurus’ fame, was informed that there were available from the Gurus’ storehouse, that hope was restored.
Guru Har Rai Saves Dara Shikoh’s Life
Although the Emperor was hostile to the Guru, yet as the Guru’s house was a mine of sympathy and compassion for all, there was no doubt that he would grant the articles required. The Emperor humbled himself before the Guru and sent a letter.
The Guru was pleased that the Emperor had such confidence in him as to write such a friendly letter, and consented to give the required medicines. “Behold,” said the Guru, “with one hand man breaks flowers and with one hand offers them, but the flowers perfume both hands alike. The axe cuts the sandal tree, yet the sandal perfumes the axe. The Guru ought, therefore, to return good for evil.”
The ingredients were weighed and it was explained that these medicines would cause the hardest substance taken to be digested. To these ingredients, the Guru added a pearl which was to be ground and used as a subsidiary remedy.
The Emperor was naturally very pleased and forgot all his enemity with the Guru, and vowed that he would never again cause him annoyance. His medicine was administered and effected a speedy and complete cure.