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To rely on God after making a decision, and be thankful to Almighty for all you have achieved (the lesson of humility and submissiveness to the Almighty) :
In the opening chapters of his biography “Tuzuk-E-Babari”, Babur has given the entire credit of his achievements to the creator of heaven and the Earth. He further writes that he wouldn’t have been victorious had the almighty not bestowed mercy upon him. His military brilliance was par excellence, but the credit was given to God alone.
His colossal faith in the almighty can be seen in this couplet he had written in “Tuzuk-E-Babari”:
“If a sword shook the Earth from her place,
Not a vein would it cut till God wills.”
Don’t let the failure and defeat demoralise you (The lessons of hope, courage and optimism) :
In 1501, Babur was defeated at Sar-E-Pol and lost his major principalities Samarkand and Farghana. Losing these small principalities made way for him to concentrate in the N.W part of India. He defeated Ibrahim Lodi in 1526 (the first battle of Panipat) and became the founder of one the mightiest empires the world has ever witnessed.
If the goal is significant, then be bold enough to take a radical approach (The lesson of ambition and endurance ) :
The use of gunpowder and prioritising cavalry (horseback) earned him success in 1526 when he was invited to attack Ibrahim Lodi. Ibrahim Lodi’s elephant army couldn’t survive in the rugged terrain of the North-Western part of India in the month of Monsoon. And Lodi was defeated brutally. Before him, gunpowder was never used by any of the rulers on the Indian land.
To have the utmost compassion for the people you ruled upon ( The lesson of altruism ) :
In his will to emperor Humayun, Babur appealed to him to discourage cow slaughtering as India would worship cows. He emphasised preserving the Hindu culture and their custom.
To respect righteous people, And never shy away from taking advice from the people who hold a different opinion than yours (The lesson of magnanimity) :
Being a follower of the Naqshbandi school of Sufism, he respected Sufi saints and the righteous people of his time.
Therefore, he would seek their blessings and opinions in times of crisis.
For the respect of Sufi saints, he writes:
“Although we are not dervish by heart and soul, we hold faith in them
Don’t you dare say kingship and Sufism are divorced? We are kings but slaves to Sufis. “
To never push back your intellectual horizon (The lesson of understanding) :
He was fond of reading and a keen learner. His intellectual horizon can be seen in his biography “Tuzuk-E-Babri,” where he wrote a marvellous genre of literature. The choice of words, the emotions, the style of writing depict his great intellect.
To never forget your roots and origin :
Babur had successfully adopted Indian culture, but he never ceased to live by his Turkish identity. He wrote his biography in the “Chagatai Turk” language. All his poems were written in Turkish and Persian. His love for his ancestral place can be traced to the fact that he had been buried in Kabul, Afghanistan. This couplet had been written for the praises of his native places
“Kābul in Spring is an Eden of verdure and blossom;
Matchless in Kābul the Spring of Gul-i-bahār and Bārān.”
To pour your heart into whatever you do :
Be it ruling, waging wars or writing poems, he was exceptionally well in everything. His military techniques paved the way for his heirs. His autobiography had taught the world the art of writing.
Make your heart and conscience your best friends and turn to them in a situation of crisis.
He writes in his book that he has never been regretful for anything he has done, for he had always listened to his heart and soul.
“Except my soul, no friend worth trust found I (wafādār tāpmādīm);
Except for my heart, no confidant found I” (asrār tapmadim)
His love of nature :
What makes Baburnama the most admiring is the minute details of nature he articulated beautifully. With his advent, the magnificent gardens (Chahbahar) were created on land engrossed with just religious architecture. Babur was conscious of nature.
The ruler would mention flowers and trees when he had to talk about any of his principalities. The mighty ruler would get overwhelmed when he would see flowers, birds and trees.
I hope this article was helpful to know the lesser-known facts about one of the greatest rulers the world has ever witnessed. It’s Babur’s writing that has inspired me to expand my intellectual horizon. There is this special place for him in my heart that I know will never cease to exist.