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Eastern Encounters pattern
Eastern Encounters

Drawn from the Royal Library's collection of South Asian books and manuscripts

CAT. NO. 5

Verses of Persian poetry by Muhammad Husayn Kashmiri and Mir Ali

Mughal, <i>c.</i>1600

A composite page: black ink and opaque watercolour including gold metallic paint on marbled, gold-flecked and dyed papers; set into margins of gold metallic paint on blue paper | 37.0 × 24.0 cm (folio); 23.1 × 14.1 cm (panel) | RCIN 1005061

On this folio, two pages of calligraphy written by Muhammad Husayn (see cat. no. 1) have again been arranged alongside a poetic qita (‘fragment’) written by Mir Ali (see cat. no. 4). The verse on the left is from Sa’di’s Bustan (‘Fragrant Garden’) and proposes that ‘a king is poorer than a dervish’ because to be ‘a beggar free from care is better than a troubled king’. Tales of kings and beggars abound in Sufi poetry, representing opposite poles of the material and spiritual condition: ignorance and greed versus wisdom and detachment. 


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