§ 46. Kings should never rest.

After the conquest of Bijapur and Haidarabad, the prime-minister petitioned the Emperor, “Praised be God! that through the grace of the Great Omnipotent and the never-to-decay fortune [of your Majesty], two great kingdoms have been conquered. It is now good policy that the imperial standards should return to Paradise-like Hindustan (i.e., Northern India), so that the world may know that nothing more remains for the Emperor to do [here].”

The Emperor wrote [across the letter], “I wonder how an all-knowing hereditary servant like you could make such a request. If your wish is that men might know that no work now remains to be done, it would be con­trary to truth. So long as a single breath of this mortal life remains, there is no release from labour and work. (Verse)

The traveller in the path of long hopes needs no guide.
So long as a breath remains, the path of life is not smooth.
It is hard that my runaway heart longs for home,
The dew has so passed away and yet it still remembers the garden.

If Shah Jahan had not chosen to stay at Delhi and Agra, but had been constantly out on tour, his affairs would not have come to the pass that they actually did. If out of regard for good manners you do not [again] make such a request, and can bear the hardships of the expeditions for capturing forts,—then in future I shall turn to the siege of forts. (Verse)

What fear of danger has the man drowned in love?
What anxiety about headache has the man who has lost his head?

Praised be God that in whatever place and abode I have been, I have by passing [through it] withdrawn my heart from all things connected with it, and made death easy for myself. (Verse)

Untie little by little the knot tying your heart [to earthly things],
Or else, Death will snatch away this string all at once and unawares.”

Text.–Ir. MS. 17b and 18a