Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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OF THE GREAT MOGOL                        5

Darius : the second Sultan Sujah, or the Valiant Prince :
the third was Aureng-Zebe, or the Throne's Ornament;
and the name of the youngest was Morad-Bakche, or the
Desire Accomplished. Of the two daughters, the elder
was called Begum-Saheh, or the Chief Princess; and the
younger Rauchenara-Begu?n, the Light of Princesses, or
Princess of the Enlightened Mind.i

It is usual in this country to give similar names to the
members of the reigning family. Thus the wife of Chah-
Jehan—so renowned for her beauty, and whose splendid
mausoleum is more worthy of a place among the wonders
of the world than the unshapen masses and heaps of stones
in Egypt—was named Tage Mehalle,^ or the Crown of the
Seraglio ; and the wife of Jehan-Guyre, who so long wielded
the sceptre, while her husband abandoned himself to
drunkenness and dissipation, was known first by the appel¬
lation oi Nour-Mehalle, the Light of the Seraglio, and after¬
wards by that of Nour-Jehan-Begum, the Light of the World.

The reason why such names are given to the great,
instead of titles derived from domains and seigniories, as
usual in Europe, is this : as the land throughout the whole
empire is considered the property of the sovereign, there
can be no earldoms, marquisates or duchies. The royal
grants consist only of pensions, either in land or money,
which the king gives, augments, retrenches or takes away
at pleasure.

^ Dara Shikoh was born in 1615, and murdered by order of his
brother Aurangzeb in 1659. Sultan Shujah, born in 1616, is said to
have been drowned with all his family in Arakan by the Raja of that
country in 1660, but see pp. 111-114.

Aurangzeb, who ascended the throne in 1658 under the title of
Alamgir (Conqueror of the World), was born in 1619, and died in
1707. Murad Bakhsh, born in 1624, and murdered by order of
Aurangzeb in 1662.

^ Properly, Mumtaz Mahal, daughter of Asaf Khan, wazir, the
brother of Niir Jahan Begum, wife of the Emperor Jahangir. She was
born in 1592, married in 1612, and died in child-bed a few hours after
the birth of her daughter Raushan Ara Begum, in the year 1631.
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