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2&                         AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.
This ecclesiastical party which in its narrow-minded
folly considered itself in possession of the whole truth,
stands opposed to the noble skeptic Akbar, whose doubt of
the divine origin of the Koran and of the truth of its
dogmas began so to torment him that he would pass entire
nights sitting out of doors on a stone lost in contemplation.
The above mentioned brothers Faizi and Abul Fazl intro-
duced to his impressionable spirit the exalted teaching of
Sufism, the Mohammedan mysticism whose spiritual pan-
theism had its origin in, or at least was strongly influenced
by, the doctrine of the All-One, held by the Brahman Ve-
danta system. The Sufi doctrine teaches religious tol-
erance and has apparently strengthened Akbar in his re-
pugnance towards the intolerant exclusiveness of Sunnitic
The Ulemas must have been horror-stricken when they
found out that Akbar even sought religious instruction
from the hated Brahmans. We hear especially of two,
Purushottama and Debi by name, the first of whom taught
Sanskrit and Brahman philosophy to the Emperor in his
palace, whereas the second was drawn up on a platform
to the wall of the palace in the dead of the night and there,
suspended in midair, gave lessons on profound esoteric
doctrines of the Upanishads to the emperor as he sat by
the window. A characteristic bit of Indian local color!
The proud Padishah of India, one of the most powerful
rulers of his time, listening in the silence of night to the
words of the Brahman suspended there outside, who him-
self as proud as the Emperor would not set foot inside the
dwelling of one who in his eyes was unclean, but who
would not refuse his wisdom to a sincere seeker after truth.
Akbar left no means untried to broaden his religious
outlook. From Gujerat he summoned some Parsees, fol-
lowers of the religion of Zarathustra, and through them
informed himself of their faith and their highly developed