Source: 'A Translation of the Memoirs of Eradut Khan, a Nobleman of Hindostan, containing interesting anecdotes of the Emperor Alzmgeer Aurungzebe and of his successors Shaw Aulum and Jehaundar Shaw; in which are displayed the causes of the very precipitate decline of the Mogul Empire in India'. Trans. [from the Persian] by Jonathan Scott, Captain in the service of the Honourable East India Company and Private Persian Translator to Warren Hastings, late Governor-General of Bengal, &c. &c. &c. London: John Stockdale, 1786, pp. 8-9.
These two letters are not part of Iradat Khan's actual text, but have been inserted by the translator with the following note: "It may not be amiss to insert here two letters written by Aulumgeer to his sons, Azim Shaw and Kaum Buksh, a few days before his death" (p. 7). All annotations in parentheses are those of the translator.

Aurangzeb's Last Letters

I. To Shaw Azim Shaw

Health to thee! My heart is near thee. Old age is arrived: weakness subdues me, and strength has forsaken all my members. I came a stranger into this world, and a stranger I depart. I know nothing of myself, what I am, and for what I am destined. The instant which passed in power, hath left only sorrow behind it. I have not been the guardian and protector of the empire. My valuable time has been passed vainly. I had a patron in my own dwelling (conscience), but his glorious light was unseen by my dim sight. Life is not lasting; there is no vestige of departed breath, and all hopes from futurity are lost. The fever has left me, but nothing of me remains but skin and bone. My son (Kaum Buksh), though gone towards Beejapore, is still near; and thou, my son, art yet nearer. The worthy of esteem, Shaw Aulum, is far distant; and my grandson (Azeem Ooshawn), by the orders of God, is arrived near Hindostan. The camp and followers, helpless and alarmed, are, like myself, full of affliction, restless as the quicksilver. Separated from their lord, they know not if they have a master or not.

I brought nothing into this world, and, except the infirmities of man, carry nothing out. I have a dread for my salvation, and with what torments I may be punished. Though I have strong reliance on the mercies and bounty of God, yet, regarding my actions, fear will not quit me; but, when I am gone, reflection will not remain. Come what may, I have launched my vessel to the waves. Though Providence will protect the camp, yet, regarding appearances, the endeavours of my sons are indispensably incumbent. Give my last prayers to my grandson (Bedar Bakht), whom I cannot see, but the desire affects me. The Begum (his daughter) appears afflicted; but God is the only judge of hearts. The foolish thoughts of wojmen produce nothing but disappointment. Farewell! farewell! farewell!

II. To the Prince Kaum Buksh

My son, nearest to my heart. Though in the height of my power, and by God's permission, I gave you advice, and took with you the greatest pains, yet, as it was not the divine will, you did not attend with the ears of compliance. Now I depart a stranger, and lament my own insignificance, what does it profit me? I carry with me the fruits of my sins and imperfections. Surprizing Providence! I came here alone, and alone I depart. The leader of this caravan hath deserted me. The fever, which troubled me for twelve days, has left me. Wherever I look, I see nothing but the Divinity. My fears for the camp and followers are great; but, alas! I know not myself. My back is bent with weakness, and my feet have lost the power of motion. The breath which rose, is gone, and left not even hope behind it. I have committed numerous crimes, and know not with what punishments I may be seized. Though the Protector of mankind will guard the camp, yet care is incumbent also on the faithful, and my sons. When I was alive, no care was taken; and now I am gone, the consequence may be guessed. The guardianship of a people is the trust by God sommitted to my sons. Azim Shaw is near. Be cautious that none of the faithful are slain, or thtir miseries fall upon my head.I resign you, your mother and son, to God, as I myself am going. The agonies of death come upon me fast. Bahadur Shaw is still where he was, and his son is arrived near Hindostan. Bedar Bakht is in Guzarat. Hyaut al-Nissa, who has beheld no afflictions of time till now, is full of sorrows. Regard the Begum as without concern. Odiporee, your mother, was a partner in my affairs, and wishes to accompany me in death; but everything has its appointed time.

The domestics and courtiers, however deceitful, yet must not be ill-treated. It is necessary to gain your views by gentleness and art. Extend your feet no lower than your skirt. The complaints of the unpaid troops are as before. Dara Shekkoh, though of much judgment and good understanding, settled large pensions on his people, but paid them ill, and they were ever discontented. I am going. Whatever good or evil I have done, it was for you. Take it not amiss, nor remember what offences I have done to yourself; that account may not be demanded of me hereafter. No one has seen the departure of his own soul; but I see that mine is departing.