Anquetil Duperron found a copy of Sirr-e-Akbar, Dara Shikoh’s translation of Upanishads and royally defaced the name, in the usual European style as Oppenk’hat. At the start of the book, Dara gives the author’s introduction to the work. This preface, where Dara says Upanishads are a commentary of the Quran, is considered to be the apostacy backbone of Aurangzeb’s campaign against Dara. Ironically, the Europeans were not able to understand the book and it took almost 50 years after this book for them to give a sane explanation of this book. Maxmuller wrote the language Dara used is too tough but, it’s upto the reader to infer the intellectual faculties of the European scholars. While I was sweating over the prospect of translating the Latin version into English, I came across a translation, happily, in Edinburgh Review, Or Critical Journal, Volume 1, Issues 1-2 and the same is presented below.

In the name of God, the merciful the compassionate. Praise to that being, whose antique mysteries are comprised by all inspired writers in the phrase (Bismilla) ‘in the name of God’, and thanksgiving, which is the commencement of all books in the sacred Koran, refers to that dread name, which includes the host of angels, the inspired scriptures, the prophets and the patriarchs.

When Dara Shikoh, the resigned worshipper of God, visited Kashmir in the year of the Hegira 1050 (AD 1640) by the blessing of the Most High, and the unlimited efficacy of his divine will, he met with Mola Shah, the chief of the learned, the teacher of teachers, the instructor of instructors, the guide of guides, versed in the subtleties of Unitarianism; may he be joined with God!

As that prince already relished the pleasure of seeing the learned of each sect, and of hearing the sublime doctrines of Unitarianism; had perused various treatises of the Sufi philosophers, and even composed some himself, the thirst of exploring the unitarian doctrines (which are a boundless ocean) daily increased, and his mind attained a degree of acuteness and subtlety, which would have been impossible without the immediate assistance and favour of the divine will. Now the sacred Koran being frequently obscure, and few at this day being found capable of explaining it, he determined to read all inspired works; that the word of God might furnish a commentary on itself; and what is concisely expressed in one book might be elucidated by a reference to others; the abridged, by the more diffuse.

With this view he perused the Pentateuch, the Gospels and the Psalms; but the unity of God was obscurely and enigmatically expressed in these works; nor did he derive more instruction from the simple translations of hired linguists.

He next desired to ascertain how it happened, that, in Hindustan the unity of God is the frequent theme of discourse, and that the ancient philosophers of Hind(both those who published and those who concealed their tenets) neither denied nor objected to the doctrine of the Divine unity, but on the contrary, held it as an axiom. Unlike the ignorant race of the present day, who set up for philosophers, though they have fallen into the tract of bloodshed and infidelity, denying the attributes and unity of God, and contradicting the proofs of that doctrine derived from the Koran and authentic traditions: these may be considered as the banditti on the path of God.

In the course of this inquiry it was discovered that amongst the Hindus four inspired books were held peculiarly sacred, viz. the Rik Veda, the Jajur Veda, the Sam Veda and the Athervana Veda, which had descended from the skies to the those times, of whom Adam (purified by God) may blessings attend him! was the chief, containing rules and precepts, and this doctrine (viz. the unity of God) is clearly expressed in those books.

The essence of those works which relate to religious rites, and meditations on the unity of God, is comprised in the Upanisada, which was extracted by the prophets of those days, illustrated by copious commentaries and expositions, and has always been read and considered as an excellent epitome.

As the object of this explorer of truth (Dara Shikoh) was, not the acquisition of languages, whether Arabic, Syriac, Iraki or Sanscrit, but the proofs of the unity of the Supreme Being, he determined that this Upanisada, which might be considered as a treasure of Unitarianism, should be translated into Persic, without adding or expunging, and without bias or partiality, but correctly and literally, that it might appear what mysteries are contained in those books, which the Hindus so carefully conceal from Moslems.

As the city of Benares, which is the seat of Hindu science, was a dependeney of this explorer of truth, (Dara Shikoh), having assembled the Pandits and Saniassis, who are now the expounders of the Vedas and Upanisadas, he caused a translation to be made of this Upanisada, or mysterious secret, which comprises the object of the researches of so many theologians. This was completed in an impartial manner, in the year of the Hegira 1067 (AD 1656). Every difficulty, and every sublime doctrine which had occurred before, but could not be explained was elucidated by this ancient compilation; which without doubt is the first of inspired works, the fountain of truth, the sea of Unitarianism; not only consentaneous with the Koran, but a commentary upon it.

It seems evident that the following text of the Koran relates to this ancient book, viz “The holy scriptures are in that book which is concealed; which none can expound but the man of pure heart; and which was sent from the skies by the Preserver of mankind”. Now, this description is not applicable either to the psalms, the Pentateuch, nor the gospel; and from the expression ‘sent from the skies’ it cannot apply to the Book of Fate. But the Upanisada, the original of this book is a very ancient work, a mysterious secret; and comprehends all the conditions specified in the holy text, which doubtless refers to it. From it, this adorer of God knew and understood what before was unknown and incomprehensible. But, exclusive of the benefits resulting from it to himself, his posterity and friends, let the searcher after truth, laying aside his prejudices, and the pleasures resulting from sensual gratification, dispassionately peruse this translation of the great arcanum as the word of God; and if he understand it, he will remain free from terror and anxiety, in the perpetual practice of virtue.’

Latin version of Anquetil Duperron’s Oupnek’hat

Laus dzati (enti), quod, vox pes rs bismillah  (in nomine I. Dei), in omnibus libris samavi (coelestibus), e secretis antiquis ejus est; et alham am alketab (inspiratio primee souratae), quod in Koran madjid (glorioso) : designatio (illius) cum esm (nomine) supremo ejus est; et cuncti malaieh (legati Dei, ngeli), et libri samavi ex anbia ve aolia (a prophetis et amicis Dei emissi); et omne (id omne) comprehensum in hoc esm (nomine) est. Verum, postea quam fakir absque tristitia Mohammed  Daraschakoh, in anno mille et quinquaginta (1050) rs  hedjri, quo cum Kaschmir (in rov Kaschmir), paradiso  simili, iverat; cum vi attractiva eenaiet Alhi (favoris Dei) et beneficio na monteha (non terminato, infnito) faustae (ejus) voluntatis, perfectum kamalan (perfectorum) cremorem aarfan,  ostad ostadan, pir piran, peischvai peischvaian, mohed hakaiek agah (decus doctorum, magistrum magistrorum, senem senum, ducem ducum, unitarium (unitatis Dei assertorem), veritatum conscium), Molaschah, pax rS Allah (Dei) et excelsi (super illum)! invenit.

Et cum gustus (voluptas) rS videre doctos cujuslibet sectae, et audire verba excelsa unificationis, simul (ei) provenisset, et plurimos libros mysticos cum conspectu (in conspectum suum) attulisset, et resalha (scripta breviora) composita fecisset; et sitis rS petere tohid (unifeationem), quod mare est sine fine, momento cum momento (in dies) amplior (aucta) fieret; et sententias (opiniones) subtiles (arduoe) cum corde (ad cor ejus) pervenirent, quod status earum, nisi cum verbo Alhi (Dei), et magisterio (documento) dzat na monthai (entis non finiti) possibilitatem non habet : et cum (in) Koran venerando (augusto), et Fourkan  nobili (benigno) plurima aenigmatice dicta (tecta) sint, et hodie scientes illa pauci inveniri queant; (Darasciiakoh) voluit, quod omnes libros samavi (coelestes) cum conspectu (in conspectum suum) afferrent, ut ab ipsis iliis (eliceret) verbum Alhi (Dei), quod ipsum interpretatio sui ipsius est; et si in (uno) libro contractum sit, in libro altero fuse expositum inventum fiat, et ex illa fusa expositione istud compendium scitum efficitur.

Intuitum super Toret (legem Moysis), et Andjil (euangelium J. Christi), et Zabour (psalmos Davidis), et alios codices conjecit: verum expositio tohid (unijicationis) in illis etiam (libris) compendiosa et aenigmatica (tecta) erat ; et ex interpretationibus paucis, quas homines a commentariis fecerant, petitum cognitum non redditum est.

In pede illius fuit (hinc evenit), quod, e quo respectu (qua causa) in Indoustan, unitatis contemplatore, sermocinatio tohid (de unificatione) multa est; et theologis externis et internis sectas antiquae indicas, super vahedat (unitate) negatio, et super mohedan (unitariis) sermo non est; quin potius pes aestimationis (illis) est super rS (praecipuum ducunt) contradicere (repugnare) insipientibus hujus temporis, qui se ipsos doctos (esse) firmatum dederunt; et, in pede (victimis) occisionis, et vexationis, et impietatis, et negationis (veri), Deum cognoscentibus et unitariis lapsis, omnibus verbis tohid (unificationis), et cuncto (quod) e Fourkan laudando, et oraculis authenticis prophetias pura; manifestum est, resistentiam ostendunt, (et) viam latronum viam Dei efficiunt.

Post a vcrificatis his gradibus {his cognitis) compertum fuit, quod in medio hujus tribus antiquae, prae omnibus libris samavi (coelestibus), quatuor libri asmani (coelestes), quod, Rak Beid, et Djedja Beid, et Sam Beid, et Athrban Beid, sit, super anbiai (prophetas) illius temporis; quod major illorum [‘ Brahma, qui] Adam sefieullah (selectus d Deo), et (super quem) pax! est, cum cunctis praeceptis delapsi (sint): et haec significatio ex ipsis his libris apparens est.

Et optimum (purior pars) horum quatuor librorum, omnia secreta selouk (religiosi instituti), et eschghal (applicationum animi) unificationi purae, in illo contenta sunt; et illud Oupnek’hat nominant.

Et prophetae illius temporis, cum illum (librum) separatum fecissent, super ilio commentaria, expositiones et explanationes (diductiones) integras scripserunt; et semper illum, melius (optimum) religionis opus (hoc) ut sciverunt, legunt (legebant).

Huic (Principi) veritatis indagatori ipsi elucidatae, cum intuitus super principium vahedat (unitatis) entis foret (fuisset), cum lingua arabica, et syriana, et eerakana (persika, et) sahnscreta (samskretica), voluit quod haec Oupnek’hatha (rS OupneKhat capita), quod thesaurus unificationis erat: scientes illum in ista tribu etiam pauci manserant : cum lingua persidi (in linguam persicam), sine minus et plus, et absque affectu (studio) animi, cum interpretatione, recto (sincero) cum recto, voce cum voce (de verbo ad verbum) cum translate ostendisset (fecisset), intelligerent, quod haec collectio (synagoga), quae illum (librum) ab homine islamico (fideli), hoc quantum (tantopere) coopertum et absconditum habent, hoc quodnam secretum est.

Et, ut in his diebus, urbs Benares, quas porta scientiae; hujus tribus est, dependentiam cum (ab) hoc veri indagatore habebat, rS Pandetan et Saniasan, qui completo (convenienti) tempore (rS Beid et) rS OupneK’hat scientes (facti) fuerant, cum congregatos fecisset, ipse (Daraschakoh) hoc kholasseh (optimum) unificationis, quod Oupnek’hatha, id est, secreta tegenda sit, et monthai (scopus) petitionis cunctorum aoulia Allah (amicorum Dei) est, in anno mille, sexaginta et septem rS hedjri, sine affectu animi (studio, e samshreto) translatum ciim ostendisset (reddidisset); et quodlibet difficile, quodlibet verbum altum, quod volebat et petens illud fuit, et quaerebat et non invenit; ex hoc kholasseh (optimo) libro antiquo, quod, sine dubio et ambiguitate, primus liber samavi (coelestis) et fons verificationis (agnitionis pro vero), et mare unificationis est, congruens Koran glorioso, quin imo, explicatio illius est. Et manifeste apparens fit, quod hoc aieteh (comma, versus) genuini in veritate hic liber antiquus est; quod aieteh cum (in) Koran benefaciente, in libro (est) abscondito, non perveniens nisi ad mundatos a rab (domino) mundorum: id est, Koran benefaciens in libro est, qu6d ille liber absconditus est, (et) eum comprehensum non faciunt nisi cor quod purificatum sit, et descendere factus (demissus) a nutritore (conservatore) [mundi et] mundanorum : et cui [cuivis] cognitum fit, quod hoc aieteh, in veritate, Zabour, et Toret, et Andjil non est ; quin imo, e verbo tanzil (descendere facto), hoc modo manifestum efficitur, quod in veritate, louh mahfouzz (tabula asservatorum, cui aeterna rerum fata inscribuntur), etiam (aieteh) non est:(ef) cum Oupnek’hat, quod secretum abscondendum, est, principium (originale exemplar) hujus libri sit, et rS aiethai rS Koran gloriosi, genuine in illo inventa fiant; proinde cum verificatione (certum efficitur), quod liber absconditus, hic liber antiquus sit.

Et ex hoc (libro), cum hoc (huic) fahir (Daraschakoh) non scita, scita; non intellecta, intellecta fuerunt

Et, nisi a rW (praeter) utilitatem capientes fieri, ipsum (Daram) et natos ipsos ejus, et amicos ipsos ejus, et petentes veritatem, petitum et intentum cum non fuerit; fortunatus, qui, ut affectum animi infelicem (pravum) transire fecit (reliquit), pure (sincere), cum modo Dei (excelso) hanc translationem, quod cum secreto akbar (per secretum magnum) designatum redditum, translationem (me) verbi Alhi (Dei), ut scivit, derelictionem partiali tatis, ut monstravit, legit et intelligit, sine cessatione, et sine metu, et sine tristitia, et liberatus (salvus, beatus), et mavid (confirmatus) (in hoc statu) est futurus

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