Mohammed Shah

Some thirty years after the death of the great Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, the throne of Delhi was occupied by one of his descendants named Mohammed Shah. He was a man who loved luxury and took delight in sense-pleasures and allowed the administration to vegetate.

The country grew in disorder. Corruption, jealousy, plunder, ruled the hearts of the officials. The chief occupation of the Emperor was to enjoy dances and listen to the music of young singers, have jovial people at his table, hold poetical contests and indulge in profligacy of a very base type. The army was in a state of decay and the treasury was fast becoming empty.

Nadir Shah, a free-booter of the Caspian Sea region, rose to power and conquered Persian Afghanistan and other neighbouring countries by means of the sword. He invaded India and after a march of a few weeks captured Peshawar, a frontier town of Mogul India. The fact was reported to the Emperor.

He asked: “How far is Peshawar from here?” “About fourteen hundred miles, your Majesty”.
“Then there is no need to worry; the invader may die on the way, his army may perish in the heat; besides, there is ample time for us to defeat him yet”.

He continued with his amusement and luxury, till Nadir Shah captured Lahore, the capital of the Punjab. Still the Emperor did not resist, and said: “He is yet too far”. The reports came that Nadir Shah was at Kamal, some thirty miles from Delhi. The Emperor still continued with his music, dancing and drinking.

A mock battle was fought at the walls of Delhi and Nadir Shah entered the capital and the imperial palace without any difficulty.

He sacked the city of Delhi, burned part of it and massacred thousands of men, women and children.

The Emperor bought his liberty by giving him anything valuable he wanted, including the famous Koh-i-noor diamond which today decorates the crown of the Queen of England.

How true are the words of the Upanishad: “Arise, awake, waste not a single day”.


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