[[found only in Smith
1813, not in Forbes or the Urdu text]]
In the name of God, most
The Bagh O Buhar, compiled (for
the use of the most Excellent of Great Nobles, Privy Counsellor to the
Mighty King of England, the Marquis Wellesley, Governor General, may he
ever be great in dignity! who is the Protector and Patron of the College
of Fort William) by Meer Ummun of Dhailee from the Nou-turz
Morassa, which was translated by Utah Houssain Khan, from the
Persian Tale of the Four Durwesh, at the desire of Mr. John Gilchrist,
may he ever be great!
VERSE BY SOUDA (1)
The water, with which I have
purified my style,
Is dulcet, and superior in lustre to
the water of the Pearl,
My pen says that sweetness of expression,
Is a quality, which flows spontaneous
from my tongue.
Souda now has done, and prays O pen!
That your friends may be happy, and
your enemies confounded.
(1) Commonly called
Ruffee oos Souda, the most celebrated Poet of Hindoostan, especially
in the Oordoo language, that language which has been so correctly
displayed to us by Mr. John Gilchrist; and which was scarcely known, and
imperfectly studied, before he taught us to appreciate its merits, and
acquire its construction.
THE PETITION OF MIR AMMAN,
Which was Presented to the Gentlemen
Managers of the College [of Fort William].
May God preserve the gentlemen of great dignity, and the appreciators of
respectable men. This exile from his country, on hearing the command [issued
by] proclamation,/1/ hath composed,
with a thousand labours and efforts, the "Tale of the Four Darweshes,"
[entitled] the Bagh O Bahar/2/
[i.e. Garden and Spring,] in the Urdu, e Mu'alla/3/
tongue. By the grace of God it has become refreshed from the perusal of
all the gentlemen/4/ [of the
college]. I now hope I may reap some fruit from it; then the bud of my
heart will expand like a flower, according to the word of Hakim Firdausi,/5/
who has said [of himself] in the Shahnama,
"Many sorrows I have borne for
these thirty years;
You gentlemen are yourselves appreciators
of merit. There is no need of representation [on my part]. O God! may the
star of your prosperity ever shine!
But I have revived Persia by this Persian
I having in like manner polished the
Have metamorphosed Bengal into Hindustan."/7/
~~ MIR AMMAN'S PREFACE.
"IN THE NAME OF GOD, MOST MERCIFUL AND GRACIOUS."
The pure God! what an [excellent] Artificer
he is! He who, out of a handful of dust, hath created such a variety of
faces and figures of earth. Notwithstanding the two colours [of men], one
white and one black, yet the same nose and ears, the same hands and feet,
He has given to all. But such variety of features has He formed, that the
form and shape of one [individual] does not agree with the personal appearance
of another. Among millions of created beings, you may recognise whomsoever
you wish. The sky is a bubble in the ocean of his [eternal] unity; and
the earth is as a drop of water in it; but this is wonderful, that the
sea beats its thousands of billows against it, and yet cannot do it any
injury. The tongue of man is impotent to sound the praise and eulogy of
Him who has such power and might! If it utter any thing, what can it say?
It is best to be silent on a subject concerning which nothing can be said.
"From earth to heaven, He whose
work this is,
And blessings on his friend, for whose sake
He created the earth and heavens, and on whom He bestowed the dignity of
If I wish to write his praise, then
what power have I;
When the prophet himself has said, 'I
do not comprehend Him.'
After this, if any one pretends to it,
he is a great fool.
Day and night the sun and moon wander
through their course, and behold his works--
Yea, the form of every individual being
is a sight of surprise:
He, whose second or equal is not, and
never will be;
No such a unique Being, Godhead is every
But so much I know, that He is the Creator and Nourisher.
In every way his favour and beneficence
are upon me."
"The pure body of Mustafa
is an emanation of Divine light,
And blessings and salvation be on his posterity,
who are the twelve Imams./10/
For which reason, it is well known that
his body threw no shadow./8/
Where is my capacity, that I should
sufficiently speak his praise;
Only with men of eloquence this is an
"The praise of God and the eulogy
of the prophet having here ended;
The reasons for compiling this work are
these, that in the year of the Hijra, 1215, A.D. 1801, corresponding
to the/12/Fasli year
1207, in the time of his Excellency the noble of nobles, Marquis Wellesley,
Lord Mornington, Governor-general, (in whose praise the judgment is at
a loss, and the understanding perplexed, and in whom God has centred all
the excellent qualities that great men ought to possess. In short, it was
the good fortune of this country that such a chief came here, from whose
happy presence multitudes enjoy ease and happiness. No one can now dare
to injure or wrong another; and the tiger and the goat drink at the same
ghat;/13/ and all the poor
bless him and live,)/14/ the
pursuit of learning came into vogue, and the gentlemen of dignity perceived
that by acquiring the Urdu tongue, they might hold converse with
the people of India, **003**
and transact with perfect accuracy the affairs of the country; for this
reason many books were compiled during this same year, according to orders.
Now I begin that which is requisite
to be done.
O God! for the sake of the posterity
of thy prophet,/11/
Render this my story acceptable to the
hearts of high and low."
To those gentlemen who are learned, and
speak the language of Hindustan,/15/
I address myself, and say, that this "Tale of the Four Darwesh" was originally
composed by Amir Khusru,/16/
of Dihli,/17/ on the following
occasion; the holy Nizamu-d-Din Auliya, surnamed Zari-Zar-bakhsh,/18/
who was his spiritual preceptor, (and whose holy residence was near Dilli,
three Kos/19/ from the fort,
beyond the red gate, and outside the Matiya gate, near the red house),
fell ill; and to amuse his preceptor's mind, Amir Khusru used to repeat
this tale to him, and attend him during his sickness. God, in the course
of time, removed his illness; then he pronounced this benediction on the
day he performed the ablution of cure:/20/
"That whoever will hear this tale, will, with the blessing of God, remain
in health:" since which time this tale, composed in Persian, has been extensively
Now, the excellent and liberal gentleman,
the judge of respectable men, Mr. John Gilchrist, (may his good fortune
ever increase as long as the Jamuna and Ganges flow!) with kindness said
to me, "Translate this tale into the pure Hindustani tongue, which
the Urdu people, both Hindus and Musalmans, high and
low, men, women and children, use to each other." In accordance with his
honour's desire, I commenced translating it into this same dialect, just
such as any one uses in common conversation.
But first this guilty being, Mir Amman,
of Dilli, begs to relate his own story: "That my forefathers, from the
time of King Humayun, served every king, in regular descent, with zeal
and fidelity; and they/21/
also (i.e. the kings), with the eye of protection, ever justly appreciated
and rewarded our services. Jagirs, titles and rewards, were plentifully
bestowed on us; and we were called hereditary/22/
vassals, and old servants; **004**
so that these epithets were enrolled in the royal archives./23/
When such a family (owing to which all other families were prosperous)
dwindled to such a point! which is too well/24/
known to require mention, then Suraj Mal, the Jat,/25/
confiscated our Jagir, and Ahmad Shah the Durrani,/26/
pillaged our home. Having sustained such various misfortunes, I abandoned
that city, which was my native land, and the place of my birth. Such a
vessel, whose pilot was such a king, was wrecked; and I began to sink in
the sea of destitution! a drowning person catches at a straw, and I sustained
life for some years in the city of 'Azim-abad,/27/
experiencing both good and bad fortune there. At length I left it also--
the times were not propitious; leaving my family there, I embarked alone
in a boat, and came in quest of a livelihood/28/
to Calcutta, the chief of cities. I remained unemployed for some time,
when it happened that Nawwab Dilawar Jang sent for me, and appointed me
tutor to his younger brother, Mir Muhammad Kazim Khan. I stayed with him
nearly two years; but saw not my advantage [in remaining there any longer.]
Then, through the assistance of Mir Bahadur 'Ali Munshi, I was introduced
to Mr. John Gilchrist (may his dignity be lasting.) At last, by the aid
of good fortune, I have acquired the protection of so liberal a person,
that I hope [[for]] better days; if not, even this is so much gain, that
I have bread to eat, and having stretched my feet, I repose in quiet; and
that ten persons in my family, old and young, are fed; and bless that patron.
May God accept [their prayers!]
"The account of the Urdu tongue
I have thus heard from my ancestors; --that the city of Dilli, according
to the opinion of the Hindus, was founded in the earliest times,/29/
and that their Rajas and subjects lived there from the remotest antiquity,
and spoke their own peculiar Bhakha./30/
For a thousand years past, the Musalmans have been masters there. Mahmud
of Ghazni/31/ came [there first];
then the Ghori and Lodi/32/
became kings; **005**
owing to this intercourse, the languages of the Hindus and Musalmans were
partially blended together. At last Amir Taimur/33/
(in whose family the name and empire remain to this day), conquered Hindustan.
From his coming and stay, the bazar of his camp was settled in the
city; for which reason the bazar of the city was called Urdu./34/
Then King Humayun, annoyed by the Pathans, went abroad [to Persia]; and
at last, returning from thence, he punished the surviving [Pathans], and
no rebel remained to raise strife or disturbance.
When King Akbar ascended the throne,
then all tribes of people, from all the surrounding countries, hearing
of the goodness and liberality of this unequalled family, flocked to his
court, but the speech and dialect of each was different. Yet, by being
assembled together, they used to traffic and do business, and converse
with each other, whence resulted the common Urdu language. When
his majesty Shahjahan Sahib-Kiran/35/
built the auspicious fort, and the great mosque,/36/
and caused the walls of the city to be built; and inlaid the peacock throne/37/
with precious stones, and erected his tent, made of gold and silver brocade;
and Nawwab 'Ali Mardan Khan cut the canal/38/
[to Dilli]; then the king, being pleased, made great rejoicings, and constituted
the city his capital. Since that time it has been called Shajahan-abad,
(although the city of Dilli is distinct from it, the latter being called
the old city, and the former the new,) and to the bazar of it was given
the title of Urdu-e Mu'alla./39/
From the time of Amir Taimur until the
reign of Muhammad Shah, and even to the time of Ahmad Shah, and Alamgir
the Second, the throne descended lineally from generation to generation.
In the end, the Urdu language, receiving repeated polish, was so
refined, that the language of no city is to be compared to it; but an impartial
judge is necessary to examine it. Such a one God has at last, **006**
after a long period, created in the learned, acute and profound Mr. John
Gilchrist, who from his own judgment, genius, labour and research, has
composed books of rules [for the acquisition of it]. From this cause, the
language of Hindustan has become general throughout the provinces, and
has been polished anew; otherwise no one conceives his own turban, language
and behaviour, to be improper. If you ask a countryman, he censures the
citizen's idiom, and considers his own the best; "well, the learned only
know [what is correct]."/40/
When Ahmad Shah Abdali, came from Kabul
and pillaged the city of Dilli, Shah 'Alam was in the east./41/
No master or protector of the country remained, and/42/
the city became without a head. True it is, that the city only flourished
from the prosperity of the throne. All at once it was overwhelmed with
calamity: its principal inhabitants were scattered, and fled wherever they
could. To whatever country they went, their own tongue was adulterated
by mixing with the people there; and there were many who, after an absence
of ten to five years, from some cause or other, returned to Dilli, and
stayed there. How can they speak the pure language of Dilli? somewhere
or other they will slip; but the person who bore all misfortunes, and remained
fixed at Dilli and whose five or ten anterior generations lived in that
city, and who mixed in the company of the great, and the assemblies and
processions of the people, who strolled in its streets for a length of
time, and even after quitting it, kept his language pure from corruption,
his style of speaking will certainly be correct. This humble being [viz.
Mir Amman], wandering through many cities, and viewing their sights, has
at last arrived at this place.
N O T E S
The proclamation of the Marquis Wellesley, after the formation of the college
of Fort William; encouraging the pursuit of Oriental literature among the
natives by original compositions and translations from the Persian, &c,
"The Bagh O Bahar," i.e. "The Garden and Spring;" which may be better
called, "The Garden of Spring," or the "Garden of Beauty." The less appropriate
title of "Bagh O Bahar" was chosen merely in order that the Persian
letters composing these words, might, by their numerical powers, amount
to 1217, the year of the Hijra in which the book was finished. --Vide Hind.
Gram., page 20.
Mir Amman himself explains the origin and derivation of these words in
his preface, and we cannot appeal to a better authority.
Literally, "in consequence of its being traversed or walked over."
Hakim Firdausi, the Homer of Persia, who wrote the history of that country,
in his celebrated epic entitled the "Shah-nama," or Book of Kings.
I have translated into plain prose all the verses occurring in the original.
I have not the vanity to think myself a poet; and I have a horror of seeing
mere doggrel rhymes-- such as the following-- "Mighty toil I've borne for
years thirty, I have revived Persia by this Parsi." These elegant
effusions are of the "Non homines, non Dī, &c." description. [note
by F himself]
That is to say, he has introduced the elegance and correctness of the Urdu
language, or that of the Upper Provinces, into Bengal. In fact, the Bengalis
who speak a wretched jargon of what they are pleased to call Hindustani,
(in addition to their native tongue,) would scarcely be understood at Agra
or Dilli; and those two cities are the best sites to acquire the real Urdu
in perfection; there the inhabitants speak it not only correctly but elegantly.
[note picked up from S]
The Muhammadans believe that the body of their prophet cast no shadow.
means "The Chosen," "The Elected," one of Muhammad's titles.
As a general rule, all Muhammadan books begin with a few sentences devoted
to the praise of God and the eulogy of the prophet Muhammad; to which some
add a blessing on the twelve Imams.
The twelve Imams are the descendants of the prophet, by his daughter Fatima,
who was married to her cousin-german 'Ali, who is considered as the first
Imam; the other eleven were the following, viz., Hasan, the son of 'Ali;
Husain, the son of 'Ali; 'Ali, surnamed Zainu-l-'Abidin, son of Husain;
Muhammad, son of the last mentioned; Ja'far Sadik, son of Muhammad; Musa-l-Kazim,
son of Ja'far; 'Al-i Raza, son of Musa; Muhammad, son of 'Ali Raza; 'Ali
'Askari, son of Muhammad; Hasan 'Askari: and lastly Muhammad Mahdi. With
regard to this last and twelfth Imam, some say, very erroneously, that
he is yet to appear. Now the fact is, the twelfth Imam has appeared. He
lived and died like the rest of the sainthood; otherwise what would be
the use of praying for him? The Muhammadans offer up prayers for the dead,
but I never heard of their praying for the unborn.
See note 10 above.
Much nonsense has been written about this Fasli aera. We are told
that "it dates from the Christian year 592 3/4"! but the fact is that it
was established no further back than the reign of Akbar. It was engrafted
on the Hijri aera in the first year of that monarch's reign, with this
proviso, that the Fasli years should thenceforth go on increasing
by solar calculation, and not by lunar; hence, every century the Hijri
aera gains three years on the Fasli, and in Mir Amman's time the
difference had amounted to nearly eight years.
A ghat is a long flight of steps, of stone or brick, leading to
a river for the purpose of bathing, drawing water, embarking or disembarking.
It is a high object of ambition in India, among the wealthier classes of
natives, to construct these ghats, and this species of useful ostentation
has produced some magnificent structures of the kind on the rivers Ganges,
and Jumna, which are of great public utility.
The reader will do well in the first place to pass over this very clumsy
parenthesis in the original; and return to it after he has finished the
rest of the paragraph.
The Honourable Company's European servants, civil, military, and medical.
A celebrated Persian poet of Dilli; his odes are very elegant, and have
great poetical genius; he was, as a Persian poet, inferior to none [S:
"except Hafiz"]: he is the original author of this "Tale of the Four Darwesh."
The author seems to use Dilli or Dihli indifferently for
the northern metropolis of India, vulgarly called Delhi.
Zari Zar-bakhsh means the bestower of gold; Nizamu-d-Din Auliya was a famous
holy personage of Upper India, and holds the first rank in the list of
the saints of Hindustan. His shrine is at Dilli, and resorted to by thousands
of devotees, and many tales are told of his inspired wisdom, his superior
beneficence, his contempt of the good things of this world, and his uncommon
The Kos is a measure of distance nearly equal to two English miles,
but varying in different provinces.
The Muhammadans, after being cured of sickness or wounds, also their women,
after recovery from child-bed, always bathe in luke-warm water; which is
called the ablution of cure.
A mere novice in the language would say that Mir Amman writes "bad grammar"
here! He uses the singular pronoun "wuh" instead of "we."
Now Mir Amman distinctly tells us that he gives us the language as it is.
He did not make it-- and, furthermore, nothing is more common among Hindustani
writers than to use the singular for the plural, and "vice versā." --Vide
Grammar, page 114.
Mr. Ferdinand Smith adds the following note: "How proud the slave seems
of his chains! --but such is the nature of Asiatic minds, under the baneful
influence of Asiatic Despotism." Now, this criticism is absurd enough.
Have not we in England the titles of "Ladies in waiting," "Grooms," &c.,
innumerable, which honours are borne by our nobility and gentry?
The family of Taimur, or Tamerlane; a pageant of which royal race still
sits on the throne of Dilli, under the protection of the British government.
He is happier, and has more comforts of life, than his family have had
for the last century.
Literally, "why explain that which is self evident"; a Persian saying.
The founder of the Jut principality; they were once very powerful in Upper-Hindustan.
Ranjit Sing, Raja of Bhartpur at the commencement of the present century,
who so gallantly defended that place against our arms, was a son of Suraj
Mal, who was killed while reconnoitring the Mughal army. The Jats are the
best agriculturists in India, and good soldiers in self defence; for since
the spirit which Suraj Mal infused, evaporated, they have always preferred
peace to war. They built some of the strongest places in India.
Ahmad Khan, the Durrani or Afghan, became king of Kabul after the death
of Nadir Shah. He was the father of Taimur Shah, who kept Upper Hindustan
in alarm for many years with threats of invasion. Shuja'u-l-Mulk, whom
we seated on the throne of Kabul some fifteen years ago, was descended
'Azim-abad is the Muhammadan name of Patna. On the Muhammadan conquest,
many of the Hindu names of cities were changed for Muhammadan names, such
as Jahangir-abad or Jahangir-nagar for Dacca, Akbar-abad for Agra, Shahjahan-abad
for Dilli, &c.
Literally, "water and grain."
Literally, "has existed during the four jugas," or fabulous ages
of the Hindus, i.e., since the creation of the world.
The Bhakha, or Bhasha, par excellence, is the Hindu dialect
spoken in the neighbourhood of Agra, Mathura, &c. in the Braj district;
it is a very soft language, and much admired in Upper Hindustan, and is
well adapted for light poetry. Dr. Gilchrist has given some examples of
it in his grammar of the Hindustani language, and numerous specimens of
it are to be found in the Prem Sagar, and other works published
more recently. [S: "It is to be regretted that the B,hak,ha is not
more generally known to Europeans in this country.]
Mahmud, the first monarch of the dynasty of Ghazni, was the son of the
famous Sabaktagin. Ha invaded Hindustan in A.H. 392, or A.D. 1002. The
dynasty was called Ghaznawi, from its capital Ghazna, or as now commonly
written Ghazni. [S: "Mahmood is equally famous as a lover."]
Two dynasties of kings who reigned in Upper Hindustan before the race of
Timur, (or Taimur as it is pronounced in India) invaded Hindustan A.D.
The bazar, that part of a city where there are most shops; but the
word is applied to various parts of a city, where various articles are
sold, as the cloth bazar, the jewel bazar, &c.
Shahjahan was the most magnificent king of Dilli, of the race of Taimur,
Sahib Kiran was one of his titles, and means, Prince of the Happy Conjunction;
i.e. the conjunction of two or more auspicious planets in one of the signs
of the Zodiac at the hour of birth. Such was the case at the birth of Taimur,
who was the first we read of as Sahib-Kiran. As a contradistinction, Shahjahan
is generally called Sahib Kirani Sani, or the second Sahib Kiran. It never
was applied, as Ferdinand Smith states, to all the emperors of Dilli. It
may be mentioned, that a very extraordinary conjunction of the planets
in the sign Libra took place in A.D. 1185, just about the period of Jangis
Khan's appearance as a conqueror; but I am not aware that he was thence
called a Sahib Kiran, as he did not happen to be born under the
The fort, or rather fortified place, of Dilli, and the great mosque, called
the Juma' Masjid.
The famous Takhti Ta,us, or peacock throne, made by the magnificent Shahjahan,
the richest throne in the world; it was valued at seven millions sterling.
Tavernier, the French jeweller and traveller, saw it and describes it in
his work. It was carried away by Nadir Shah when he plundered Dilli in
The expensive and useless canal which brought fresh water to Dilli, whilst
the limpid and salutary stream of the Jumna flowed under its walls. The
advantages of irrigation to the country, through which it passed, were
nothing compared to the expense of its construction.
Literally, "the supreme camp or market." [S: "The Great Bazar. Oordoo,
Bazar; Moulla, Great."]
A Persian expression.
Shah 'Alam the emperor of Dilli, was then towards Patna, a tool in the
hands of Shuja'u-d-Daula, the Nawwab of Lakhnau, and Kasim 'Ala Khan, the
Nawwab of Murshid-abad.
Alluding to the confusion which reigned in Upper Hindustan after the assassination
of 'Alamgir the Second, and the flight of Shah 'Alam. Upper Hindustan was
then in a sad plight, ravaged alternately by the Abdalis, the Marhattas,
and the Jats-- the king a pageant, the nobles rebellious, the subjects
plundered and oppressed, and the country open to every invader-- though
this was near 100 years ago, and although they had some government, justice,
and security from 1782 to 1802, yet the country had not even then recovered
from the severe shock. [S: "It is to be hoped the upright nature of British
legislature will restore it to its former splendour, at the time of Shajehan