(Translated from the Persian)
§ 1. Young Aurangzib fights with an elephant.

WHEN the Emperor Shah Jahan was staying at Lahor, he often engaged in [witnessing] elephant-combats in the garden of Shalamar. Once the governor of Bengal sent him 40 highly praised fighting elephants. The Emperor sat at the balcony, while the four princes (his sons) witnessed the sport from horseback. One elephant fleeing from its opponent came towards the princes. Three of the Emperor's sons fled to the right and left. Only Muhammad Aurangzib, who was four­teen years old, stood firmly without moving at all. The runaway elephant passed by him. The pursuing prince charged it with the spear he held in his hand. A blow from the elephant's trunk hurled the horse down to the ground. Aurangzib leaped up and seizing the spear again turned to the elephant in order to throw it at its head. At this juncture the servants came up, and the Emperor in great agitation descended from the balcony. Aurangzib slowly proceeded towards his Majesty. Itimad Khan, the nazir, who had come near,— on the strength of his being an old servant, he having come over to the Emperor's service from the house of the prince's maternal grandfather Asaf Khan,— cried out in a loud tone, “You are coming away slowly, while the Emperor is in an awful state [of alarm].” The prince replied in a low tone, “If the elephant were here I might have walked faster. But now there is no reason to be agitated!” When Aurangzib reached his father, the Emperor presented one lakh of Rupees as propitiatory offerings (nisar) for the prince and said, “My child, thank God that it has ended well! If (God forbid it!) the matter had taken a different turn, what a dishonour would it have been!” Aurangzib salamed and replied, “If it had ended differently there would have been no dishonour in it. The shame lay in what my brothers did. [Verse]

Death drops the screen even over emperors,

What dishonour is there in it?”

Text.—Ir. MS. 15a & b, MS. N. 25b—26b.

Notes.—The true account of the incident is thus given in the Padishahnamah of Abdul Hamid, i. A. 489-492:—Shah Jahan was witnessing an elephant combat from the balcony of Agra Fort (28th May, 1633). His three elder sons were on horseback on the ground. Two elephants named Sudhakar (tusked) and Suratsundar (tuskless) were ordered to fight. Sudhakar, on seeing its rival running away, charged Aurangzib, who kept his horse from turning back, and wounded the elephant on the forehead with his spear. The fireworks (rockets, charkhis, &c.,) discharged by the servants had no effect on the elephant, which felled Aurangzib's horse with its tusk (not trunk). Aurangzib jumped down from the saddle in time. Shuja, forcing his way through the crowd and smoke, struck the brute with his spear, but his horse reared and threw him down. Jai Singh's horse shied. Meantime Suratsundar returned to the attack, and Sudhakar ran away from the princes. Aurangzib was just 14 years of age at the time. The Emperor presented him with 5,000 gold coins, the elephant Sudhakar, and other gifts of the total value of two lakhs of Rupees.

Itimad Khan was an eunuch presented to Shah Jahan by his father-in-law, Yamin-ud-daula Asaf Khan.