Posted on: 5 June 2019

Digital Rare Book:
Ain-i-Akbari of Abul Fazl-i-'Allami
Translated into English by Col. Henry Sullivan Jarrett
Revised and annotated by Jadunath Sarkar
Published by The Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta - 1948
Volume 3

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Book contents:

(1) The Boundaries of Hindustan and a Brief Description Thereof

India--Its Boundaries, Seasons, Natural Beauty, and Crops; Ethnography of Hindustan; On the Inferior and Superior Cosmic Phenomena; The Instutution of the Gharyal [a gong]; The Order of the Spheres; Circumferences of the Spheres; Lunar Stations; Magnitudes of the Fixed Stars

(2) Description of the Earth

Description of the Insular Continents; Description of Jambu Dwipa; On Terrestrial Longitude; On Terrestrial Latitude; Extent of Desert and Habitable Land; Division of the Earth and Countries; Places Beyond the Climates, adjoining the Equator [divided into five "Climates]; To find the Distances of Places; Singular Results arising from Accident of Location; The Scale of Notation; The Quarters of the Globe

(3) "Animal Life" [meaning living beings, as opposed to geography]

Languages; Fauna; Weights and Measures; Jeweller's Weights; Banker's Weights; Other Trade-weights

(4) The Learning of the Hindus [="people of Hind"]

Description of the Nine Schools; The Sixteen Predicaments [sources of knowledge]; Vaiseshika; Mimamsa; Vedanta; Sankhya; Patanjali

(5) [on various doctrines]

Jaina; Bauddha [Buddhism]; Nastika
(6) The Eighteen Sciences (Atharah Vidya)
Karma-vipaka; Svara; Answers to inquirers; Agama; Sakuna; Garuda; Indra-jala; Rasa-vidya; Ratna-pariksha; Kama-sastra

(7) [on the arts and sciences]

Sahitya [literature]; Sangita [music]; Four Kinds of Instruments; On the Classes of Singers; The Akhara [a dance presentation]; Gaja-sastra [care of elephants]; Salihotra [care of horses]; Vastuka [architecture]; Supa [cooking]; Rajaniti [statecraft]; Vyavahara, or, the Administration of Justice

(8) [on religious life]

The Four Periods of Religious Life; Worship of the Deity; Isvara-puja, or Divine Worship; Yajna, or Sacrifice; Dana, or Alms giving; Sraddha, or Ceremonies in honour of deceased ancestors; Avataras, or Incarnations of the Deity (Matsyavatara, or Fish-Incarnation; Kurmavatara, or Tortoise-Incarnation; Varahavatara, or Boar-Incarnation; Nara-sinha, or Man-Lion-Incarnation; Vamana, or Dwarf-Incarnation; Parasuramavatara, or Incarnation of Rama with the axe; Ramavatara, or Rama-Incarnation; Krishnavatara, or Incarnation as Krishna; Buddhavatara, or Buddha-Incarnation; Kalkyavatara, or Kalki-Incarnation); Unclean Things; Purifiers; State of Purification; Improper Dress; Prohibited Food; Ceremonies in Cooking and Eating; Rules of Fasting; Enumeration of Sins; Interior Sins

(9) [more on religious life]

Sacred Places of Pilgrimage; Customs of Marriage; Sringara, or Ornaments of Dress; Jewels; Workmen in Decorative Art; Ceremonies at Childbirth; The number of Festivals; Ceremonies at Death; Meritorious Manner of Death

(10) Comers into India

Adam; Hushang; Ham; Jamshid; Zohak; Garshasp; Isfandyar of the Brazen Body; Nariman, son of Garshasp, the son of Utrut; Sam, son of Nariman; Zal, son of Sam; Faramarz, son of Rustam; Bahman, son of Isfandyar; Alexander of Greece; Mani the Painter; Bahram Gor; Burzuyah; Muhammad Qasim; Amir Nasiruddin Sabuktigin; Amir Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi; Sultan Mas'ud; Sultan Ibrahim, son of Sultan Mas'ud; Sultan Mas'ud b.-Ibrahim; Bahram Shah b.-Masaud b.-Ibrahim; Khusrau Shah b.-Bahram Shah; Sultan Mu'izzu'ddin Muhammad Sam; Sultan Qutbu'ddin Aibak; Malik Nasiru'ddin Qabachah; Sultan Shamsu'ddin Iltutmish; Sultan Ghiyas u'ddin Balban; Sultan Muhammad b.-Sultan Malik Shah Saljuqi; Sultan Jalalu'ddin Mankburni; Turmatai Novian; Malik Khan Khalaj; Tahir; Mankuyah; Sari Novian; Timur Novian; Abdu'llah Khan; Saldi; Qatlagh Khwajah; Targhi Novian; Ali Beg and Tartak; Kapak Mughal; Iqbalmand; Khwajah Rashid; Lord of the Fortunate Conjunction (Timur); Baber; Humayun

(11) Saints of India (Awliya-i Hind)

[a discussion of Sufi orders]; Shaykh Baba Ratn; Khwajah Muinu'ddin Hasan Chishti; Shaykh 'Ali Ghaznavi Hajubari [=Hujwiri]; Shaykh Husayn Zanjani; Shaykh Bahau'ddin Zakariya; Qutbu'ddin Bakhtyar Kaki; Shaykh Faridu'ddin Ganj-i Shakkar; Shaykh Sadru'ddin Aarii; Nizamu'ddin Auliya; Shaykh Ruknu'ddin; Shaykh Jalalu'ddin Tabrizi; Shaykh Sufi Badhni; Khwajah Karak; Shaykh Nizamu'ddin Abu'l Muayyad; Shaykh Najibu'ddin Muhammad; Qazi Hamidu'ddin Nagori; Shaykh Hamidu'ddin Suwali of Nagor; Shaykh Najibu'ddin Mutawakkil; Shaykh Badru'ddin; Shaykh Badru'ddin Is'haq; Shaykh Nasiru'ddin Chiragh-i-Dihlavi, or the Lamp of Delhi; Shaykh Sharaf (u'ddin) of Panipat; Shaykh Ahmad; Shaykh Jalal; Shaykh Sharafu'ddin Muniri [=Maneri]; Shaykh Jamalu'ddin Hansawi; Shah Madar; Shaykh Nur Qutb-i-Aalam; Baba Is'haq Maghrabi; Shaykh Ahmad Khattu; Shaykh Sadru'ddin; Shaykh Ala'uddin Muhammad; Sayyid Muhammad Gesudaraz (Long Hair); Qutb-i-Aalam; Shah Aalam; Shaykh Qutbu'ddin; Shaykh 'Ali Payrav; Sayyid Muhammad Jaunpuri; Qazi Khan; Mir Sayyid 'Ali Qawam; Qazi Mahmud; Shaykh Maudud al-Lari; Shaykh Haji Abd'ul Wahhab al-Bokhari; Shaykh Abdu'r-Razzaq; Shaykh Abdu'l-Quddus; Sayyid Ibrahim; Shaykh Aman; Shaykh Jamal; Khizr; Elias

- By Prof.Frances Pritchett


Portrait of the Aged Akbar
c. 1640-1650
Attributed to Govardhan (c.1596-1645)
India, Mughal court, 17th century
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

The soulful modeling of Akbar’s aged but dignified face argues strongly in favor of the attribution of this work to the imperial court artist Govardhan. This posthumous portrait of the celebrated third Mughal emperor would have been made at the end of his career for Akbar’s grandson Shah Jahan, who reigned from 1626 to 1648. Shah Jahan glorifies his own august lineage by lionizing Akbar and having him portrayed in a formal, symbolic way that Akbar himself never would have commissioned. Christian angels in European style praise him from the heavens, while mythical birds of paradise swoop at the edge of the radiance emitted from the nimbus of the divine light of his rule. He originally grasped an orb, which was changed to a necklace. The sensitively articulated body of a young cow reclines at ease in the presence of a lion, indicating the harmony and peace of his noble rule. The artist used the dignified nim-qalam style of painted drawing with only touches of gold and hints of color. Heavy outlines were added at a later date, along with pinprick holes used for copying the composition onto another sheet of paper.

Image and text credit:
The Cleveland Museum of Art

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