The Ninth Vibration and Other Stories HTML version

The Building Of The Taj Mahal
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful- the Smiting! A day when the soul
shall know what it has sent on or kept back. A day when no soul shall control aught for
another. And the bidding belongs to God.
Now the Shah-in-Shah, Shah Jahan, Emperor in India, loved his wife with a great love.
And of all the wives of the Mogul Emperors surely this Lady Arjemand, Mumtaz-i-Mahal
- the Chosen of the Palace - was the most worthy of love. In the tresses of her silk-soft
hair his heart was bound, and for none other had he so much as a passing thought since
his soul had been submerged in her sweetness. Of her he said, using the words of the poet
Faisi, -
"How shall I understand the magic of Love the Juggler? For he made thy beauty enter at
that small gate the pupil of my eye, And now - and now my heart cannot contain it!"
But who should marvel? For those who have seen this Arjemand crowned with the crown
the Padishah set upon her sweet low brows, with the lamps of great jewels lighting the
dimples of her cheeks as they swung beside them, have most surely seen perfection. lie
who sat upon the Peacock Throne, where the outspread tail of massed gems is centred by
that great ruby, "The Eye of the Peacock, the Tribute of the World," valued it not so
much as one Jock of the dark and perfumed tresses that rolled to her feet. Less to him the
twelve throne columns set close with pearls than the little pearls she showed in her sweet
laughter. For if this lady was all beauty, so too she was all goodness; and from the Shah-
in-Shah to the poorest, all hearts of the world knelt in adoration, before the Chosen of the
Palace. She was, indeed, an extraor- dinary beauty, in that she had the soul of a child, and
she alone remained unconscious of her power; and so she walked, crowned and clothed
with humility.
Cold, haughty, and silent was the Shah-in-Shah before she blessed his arms - flattered,
envied, but loved by none. But the gift this Lady brought with her was love; and this,
shining like the sun upon ice, melted his coldness, and he became indeed the kingly
centre of a kingly court May the Peace be upon her!
Now it was the dawn of a sorrowful day when the pains of the Lady Arjemand came
strong and terrible, and she travailed in agony. The hakims (physicians) stroked their
beards and reasoned one with another; the wise women surrounded her, and remedies
many and great were tried; and still her anguish grew, and in the hall without sat the
Shah-in-Shah upon his divan, in anguish of spirit yet greater. The sweat ran on his brows,
the knotted veins were thick on his temples, and his eyes, sunk in their caves, showed as
those of a maddened man. He crouched on his cushions and stared at the purdah that