I refresh my words with the name of God
For his name guides to Reality.
For to this end gave He us tongues
Speech* cannot rival Praise in weight
What weight can God-knowing Reason assign to it?
In the desert which casts down the litter
Men cannot tread with speech's foot
The orator whose fame resounds to the sky
Utters in this plain the cry of lamentation.

Alas, Alas! What strength has an accidental atom tossed about in the desert of bewilderment and thirst to attempt the comprehen­sion of the stablished Sun? What force has it to rise from the hollow of Error to the height of Recognition? How can it reckon potsherds of its fancies and the frayed tinsel of its knowledge among the rareties of the storehouse of truths and the excellencies of sub­stantive treasuries?


The Divine mysteries are not comprehended by us
Nor is the ocean contained in the cowry!*
Neither sage nor simpleton can grasp them
The chamaeleon* is blinded, even as the bat.

But simple-minded terrestrials convert into materials for Divine praise, whatever perfections they find in the record of their own conduct, or gather from the volume* of enlightenment, and although the incomparable Personality be excluded from their ken they regard those things as the Divine Attributes. Inasmuch as the unequalled Creator chants His own praise with the glorious voice 2 of His marvels and recites the tale of His panegyric with creation's tongue, even if I admitted that there could come to any one the heaven-measuring power of eulogising God, still such an one would stay his hand when so great a blaze of the sun of truth was presented to his eye and ear, and would not turn to his own skill nor lift the head of understanding from the abyss of ecstacy. And let praise for ever and ever be given to the divinely chosen ones, who are the gardeners of the aromatic herbs of morals, and the unveilers of spiritual and physical mysteries, for that they have in this glorious audience hall consigned the books of their own knowledge to the waters* of silence, and have trodden the line of ignorance, folded up the pages of their eloquence and opened a tongueless* tongue. Therefore it is far better that this wanderer in bewilderment's desert should address himself to the recording the events of a rule which is conjoined with eternity and should by one* great performance in some degree set in order two arduous tasks!


Glory to God the Incomparable, the Formless
That He hath made such a mirror of His beauty as the Shāh.
His glorious substance is beyond thought's ken
And his letter is beyond Reason's line,—Glory to Him!

His (Akbar's) keen eye is the astrolabe* of the substantive sun— his truth-discerning heart is the celestial observatory of Attributes— he is of noble lineage, of joyous countenance—of right disposition— of open brow—of well-proportioned frame—of magnanimous nature— of lofty genius—of pure purpose—of enduring faith—of perfect wisdom—begirt with varied talents—of wide capacity—of high honour—of splendid courage—of right judgment—of choice counsel —of generosity unfeigned—of boundless forgiveness, abundant in graciousness—at peace with all-compendium of dominion—of plen­teous sincerity—multiple of single-minded warriors—abounding in wealth—accumulator* of the world's rareties—of pure heart—unspot­ted by the world—leader of the spiritual realm—of enduring alert­ness! How has he been gathered together into one place? Or how doth a single body upbear him on the shoulders of genius?


Sphere of wisdom and vision, Akbar Shāh the Only One
Whose brow has opened on the earth like the dawn
A king whose eyes have been lessoned by the heart
A king who has been taught by Wisdom in person.

Glory be to God the Creator, who hath made the adorner of the kingly throne a witness of His lovely and awful attributes, and hath made the standard-bearer of God's shadow an ensample of His glo­rious praises.


An Alexander-minded Elias* the producer of the fountain
Determiner of the Pole-star, expounder of the Almagest
The substance of kingship and saintship is in him
The magazine of divine mysteries is in him
From his great power, he is the head of princes
From his wondrous wisdom, he is the famed of epochs
While night and day endure, may his night be day 3
May his kingdom's jewel illumine the night.

If (even) by rising and falling (i.e., stumbling) I cannot attain to the court of his praise (because) auspicious speech has not been granted to me, nor the glory of wisdom vouchsafed, and if I address myself to the beginning of that task with a short-fingered hand and a broken pen, I shall be involved in a typhoon of shame, and shall find no path* to the shore of the ocean! How shall I describe in mortal speech his noble qualities and glorious gifts which are known to those who preside over the heavens? Who shall dare to advance beyond the limit of his capacity? 'Tis true enlightenment to turn away my heart from this and to address myself to my noble task with the help of the arm of Faith. I must accept the secret message and withhold my soul from the suggestions of the devilish carnal spirit (deo-nafs),* and by legitimate necromancy make my inner and outer man dazzling to the eyes of the profound and critical. I must fulfil in some measure the various obligations of expressing thanks and carry on the task of adorning dominion. I must suspend in the antechamber of my being the charm for awakening the sleepers and the talisman for insensing the infatuated.


I wrote in this book the thought
That a memorial of me might remain in the world
Perhaps on beholding this garden
Friends may utter a benediction on me
By virtue of imploring the genius of the ancients,
May my* heart and speech accord.

When favour was shown to me the empty-headed one, and the door of design was opened for me, a ray was cast upon my clear heart to the effect that a separate volume should be indited for every thirty years of the transactions of the earth's lord, so that the heavy burden of expectancy should be lightened somewhat for the students of the age, and that mortals might be cheered by learning something of the wondrous fortune of the world-ruler. And also that there might be for all—both those near and those afar off—a general distribution of the Divine abundance. With this view, the series of endless epochs was begun at the commencement of the existence of the Lord of the saints. With this heavenly note the drums of joy beat high.


I hope that this record may become valuable
That it may be impressed on the world and be a thing of joy.
From the blessing of the wise king's approbation.
It receives both its name and its fame.

Though this is the middle of the seventeenth Divine year from the accession of thē Prince of rulers, yet a message of eternal dominion brought the mandate that the second cycle should be dated with reference to the time of the brightening of the face of the “Beloved of Creation” (shāhid-i-āfrīnish).


Let the second cycle begin from the Birth
May it be glorious, O God, by conquests
May the foot of his dominion be stable, and his fortune firm
May he be an eternal king in a fading world
A happy morn has dawned for the Age 4
May this orient light fill the western sky
The throne of his fortune's power long endures
Whom celestial auxiliaries have chosen.

One* of the occurrences of this time was that Sulaimān Kararānī who exhaled the breath of power in Orissa, Bengal and Bihar departed this life. Ascetic sages, and politicians who had regard to the repose of mortals, which is bound up with one rule, one ruler, one guide, one aim and one thought, recognised in the emergence of this event an instance of the helps of fortune, whilst those who were void of understanding and who made the agitation of the black-fated Afghans in the eastern provinces an argument in support of their own views, and opposed the expedition to Gujrat, were by this event cast into the pit of failure. Another faction whose narrow intellects could not comprehend the idea of marching to Gujrat and of overcoming it, and which indulged in foolish prattle, made the event a pretext for prating and urged the propriety of marching to the eastern provinces. As the God-worshipping Khedive reflected that the oppressed ones of Gujrat should be brought into the cradle of grace he did not give ear to these futilities and said with his holy lips that it was good that the news of Sulaimān's death had come during the march to Gujrat, for had it come while he was in the capital, assuredly he would, out of deference to the opinions of most of his officers, have addressed himself in the first place to an expedition to the eastern provinces. What necessity was there now for the Shahinshāh's personal visit to these countries after Sulaimān's death? Now the conquest of that country would be accom­plished by the skill and courage of the officers. Accordingly an order was sent to Mun'im Khān Khān-Khānān that he should conquer Bihar, Bengal and Orissa in concurrence with the other officers.