pointers. Firstly, the inscription on the iron pillar near the so-called Kutub Minar refers to the marriage of
the victorious king Vikramaditya to the princess of Balhika. This Balhika is none other than the Balkh
region in West Asia. It could be that Arabia was wrestled by king Vikramaditya from the ruler of Balkh
who concluded a treaty by giving his daughter in marriage to the victor. Secondly, the township adjoining
the so called Kutub Minar is named Mehrauli after Mihira who was the renowned astronomer-
mathematician of king Vikram’s court. Mehrauli is the corrupt form of Sanskrit ‘Mihira-Awali’ signifying a
row of houses raised for Mihira and his helpers and assistants working on astronomical observations
made from the tower.
Having seen the far reaching and history shaking implications of the Arabic inscription concerning king
Vikrama, we shall now piece together the story of its find. How it came to be recorded and hung in the
Kaaba in Mecca. What are the other proofs reinforcing the belief that Arabs were once followers of the
Indian Vedic way of life and that tranquillity and education were ushered into Arabia by king
Vikramaditya’s scholars, educationists from an uneasy period of “ignorance and turmoil” mentioned in
In Istanbul, Turkey, there is a famous library called Makhatab-e-Sultania, which is reputed to have the
largest collection of ancient West Asian literature. In the Arabic section of that library is an anthology of
ancient Arabic poetry. That anthology was compiled from an earlier work in A.D. 1742 under the orders of
the Turkish ruler Sultan Salim.
The pages of that volume are of Hareer – a kind of silk used for writing on. Each page has a decorative
gilded border. That anthology is known as Sayar-ul-Okul. It is divided into three parts. The first part
contains biographic details and the poetic compositions of pre-Islamic Arabian poets. The second part
embodies accounts and verses of poets of the period beginning just after prophet Mohammad’s times, up
to the end of the Banee-Um-Mayya dynasty. The third part deals with later poets up to the end of Khalif
Abu Amir Asamai, an Arabian bard who was the poet Laureate of Harun-al-Rashid’s court, has compiled
and edited the anthology.
The first modern edition of ‘Sayar-ul-Okul’ was printed and published in Berlin in 1864. A subsequent
edition is the one published in Beirut in 1932.
The collection is regarded as the most important and authoritative anthology of ancient Arabic poetry. It
throws considerable light on the social life, customs, manners and entertainment modes of ancient
Arabia. The book also contains an elaborate description of the ancient shrine of Mecca, the town and the
annual fair known as OKAJ which used to be held every year around the Kaaba temple in Mecca. This
should convince readers that the annual haj of the Muslims to the Kaaba is of earlier pre-Islamic
But the OKAJ fair was far from a carnival. It provided a forum for the elite and the learned to discuss the
social, religious, political, literary and other aspects of the Vedic culture then pervading Arabia. ‘Sayar-ul-
Okul’ asserts that the conclusion reached at those discussions were widely respected throughout Arabia.
Mecca, therefore, followed the Varanasi tradition (of India) of providing a venue for important
discussions among the learned while the masses congregated there for spiritual bliss. The principal
shrines at both Varanasi in India and at Mecca in Arvasthan (Arabia) were Siva temples. Even to this day
ancient Mahadev (Siva) emblems can be seen. It is the Shankara (Siva) stone that Muslim pilgrims
reverently touch and kiss in the Kaaba.
Arabic tradition has lost trace of the founding of the Kaaba temple. The discovery of the Vikramaditya
inscription affords a clue. King Vikramaditya is known for his great devotion to Lord Mahadev (Siva). At
Ujjain (India), the capital of Vikramaditya, exists the famous shrine of Mahankal, i.e., of Lord Shankara
(Siva) associated with Vikramaditya. Since according to the Vikramaditya inscription he spread the Vedic
religion, who else but he could have founded the Kaaba temple in Mecca?