Boiram Khan retires

The Emperor Akbar’s father died when Akbar was quite young, so for some time a very wise man named Boiram Khan ruled the kingdom in Akbar’s name. When Akbar finally took charge of his kingdom, Boiram Khan remained as one of the commanders of Akbar’s army. Unfortunately, he became very haughty and undivine and began doing many wrong things.

Akbar was very grateful to Boiram Khan because he had helped him so much during his youth. But complaint after complaint kept coming against this commander because he was killing people for no reason. Finally Akbar said, “The best thing is for Boiram Khan to retire and spend the rest of his life in Mecca.”

Even on the way to Mecca Boiram Khan was fighting and killing people. People attacked him because he had been very unkind, so Boiram Khan and his followers fought against the attackers. At one point one of Akbar’s great admirers, a brave lieutenant, came and attacked Boiram Khan. The commander and his group counter-attacked and killed the lieutenant. All of a sudden, Boiram Khan’s eyes became filled with tears. His soldiers said to him, “You were such a great general. Once upon a time you were Akbar’s only adviser. You protected his kingdom. We have never seen you in tears before. Why are you crying today?”

The commander said, “My young friends, what have I done with my strength? I curse my life more than anybody else on earth. Because of my strength and power, today I have caused the death of hundreds of beautiful and powerful human beings. If I didn’t have such strength, such capacity, then I would not have been able to kill such powerful people. They had so many good qualities. They were very brave; that’s why they fought. Only because I happened to be stronger was I able to kill them. This strength of mine — is it a blessing or a curse?”