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36                        AKBAR,, EMPEROR OF INDIA.
stood nearer to God than other people. This is already
apparent in the title 'The Shadow of God" which he had
assumed. The reversed, or rather the double, meaning
of the sentence Allahu akbar, "Akbar is God," was not
displeasing to the Emperor as we know. And when the
Hindus declared him to be an incarnation of a divinity he
did not disclaim this homage. Such a conception was noth-
ing unusual with the Hindus and did not signify a com-
plete apotheosis. Although Akbar took great pains he
was not able to permanently prevent the people from
considering him a healer and a worker of miracles. But
Akbar had too clear a head not to know that lie was a
man,a man subject to mistakes and frailties; for when
he permitted himself to be led into a deed of violence he had
always experienced the bitterest remorse. Not the slightest
symptom of Qaesaxomamajcan be discovered in Akbar.
Akbar felt that he was a mediator between God and
man and believed "that the deity revealed itself to him in
the mystical illumination of his soul."41 This conviction
Akbar held in common with many rulers of the Occident
who were much smaller than he. Idolatrous marks of ven-
eration he permitted only to a very limited degree. He
was not always quite consistent in this respect however,
and we must realize how infinitely hard it was to be con-
sistent in this matter at an Oriental court when the cus-
tomary servility, combined with sincere admiration and^
reverence, longed to actively manifest itself.
Akbar, as we have already seen, suffered the Hindu
custom of prostration, but on the other hand we have the
express testimony to the contrary from the author Faizi,
the trusted friend of the Emperor, who on the occasion of
an exaggerated homage literally says: "The commands of
His Majesty expressly forbid such devout reverence and as
often as the courtiers offer homage of this kind because of
"Noer, II, 314, 355.