As ratified by historians like Tomila Rapar and Hirfan Abib –
Once upon a time, there lived a great sufi saint called Aurangzeb. When he came of age, he felt bad for his father Shahjahan, who was burdened with the stressful task of running an empire and killing infidels.
So Aurangzeb very kindly relieved his father of the burden of kingship and sent him to a comfortable retirement retreat for the elderly in Agra. His older brothers craved for peace and poetry, so he sent them to paradise, where they could be in peace forever.
Aurangzeb was not only a Sufi saint, but he was also an expert on Hindu scriptures. He believed that too much money made Hindus materialistic and hence, hindered their spiritual growth.
Aurangzeb persuaded Hindus among his kingdom to voluntarily donate their money to the treasury so that they could then focus their energies on worship of the Divine. This voluntary spiritual donation he called the Jiziya!
He realigned the architecture of great Hindu temples of Kashi and Mathura because he wanted to encourage Hindus to focus their energies internally, to solve the deep mysteries of the soul, and not be obsessed with silly, extraneous things like temples.
Aurangzeb believed that the ultimate goal of every Hindu was to break the cycle of rebirth and attain Moksha. Aurangzeb helped millions of Hindus in their spiritual quest by releasing their souls from the pitiful cages they called bodies. Thus, he helped a whole generation of Hindus attain Moksha.
He called the great Maratha King Shivaji to Agra to discuss the possibility of starting Marathi schools in Agra. However, Shivaji did not appreciate the Mughal method of teaching using the Mughaltessori method and went back to Maharashtra in a huff.
Pained by this Rising Intolerance exhibited by Shivaji Maharaj, Aurangzeb decided to visit Shivaji’s kingdom in Maharashtra to study fort architecture.
While Aurangzeb and his peaceful disciples were planning this educational tour of Maharashtra, Shivaji Maharaj died. Aurangzeb then called his son Sambhaji to discuss the Education system of Maharashtra.
Aurangzeb then gave such a powerful talk on the joys of organ donation that Sambhaji voluntarily offered to donate both his eyes. Aurangzeb accepted Sambhaji’s offer gladly and personally helped him take out his eyes.
In fact, Aurangzeb was a great champion of organ donation. While in Delhi, his powerful lectures on the subject had even convinced the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur to donate his entire head!
Aurangzeb was so impressed by the growth indices of Maharashtra that he chose to spend his last days in Aurangabad after setting up a small scale unit of hand-woven skull caps! He awarded himself the “Best Weaver Of The Century’ award which he then promptly returned to protest against Rising Intolerance under the Maratha rule.
This act of awarding himself was to be the source of great inspiration to Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi a few centuries later, when they awarded themselves the Bharat Ratna!
– Shefali Vaidya