38 AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA. Parsees he took the worship of the fire and of the sun as to him light and its heat seemed the most beautiful symbol of the divine spirit.44 He also adopted the holy cord of the Hindus and wore upon his forehead the colored token cus- tomary among them. In this eclectic manner he accommo- dated himself in a few externalities to the different reli- gious communities existing in his kingdom. Doubtless in the foundation of his Din i Ilahi Akbar was not pursuing merely ideal ends but probably political ones as well, for the adoption of the new religion signified an increased loyalty to the Emperor. The novice had to declare himself ready to yield to the Emperor his property, his life, his honor, and his former faith, and in reality the adherents of the Din i Ilahi formed a clan of the truest and most devoted servitors of the Emperor. It may not be without significance that soon after the establishment of the Din i Ilahi a new computation of time was introduced which dated from the accession of Akbar to the throne in I556' After the new religion had been in existence perhaps five years the number of converts began to grow by the thousands but we can say with certainty that the greater portion of these changed sides not from conviction but on account of worldly advantage, since they saw that mem- bership in the new religion was very advantageous to a career in the service of the state.45 By far the greatest number of those who professed the Din i Ilahi observed only the external forms, privately remaining alien to it. In reality the new religion did not extend outside of Akbar's court and died out at his death. Hence if failure here can be charged to the account of the great Emperor, yet this very failure redounds to his honor. Must it not be counted as a great honor to Akbar that he considered ** M. Elphinstone, 524. 45 Noer, I, 503.