Dharma: Babur’s Conquest for Self Throughout his conquest across the Indian sub-continent, Zahir ud-dinMuhammad Babur (1483-1531) found an inherent entitlement to rule. Reflectingin his memoir,
Babur alludes to his dharma by defining his roleas the leader of Mughal empire. “Since we had always had in mind to takeHindustan, we regarded as our own territory the several areas [...] which had long been in the hands of the Turk,” writes Babur, “We were determined to gaincontrol ourselves - be it by force or peaceful means” (Thackston 271). Here,Babur’s dharma was to acquire territory preemptively understood as his. Dharma,however, would come in conflict with kama - a reality Babur uniquely accountsin his memoir.
provides an intimate portrait of a leader contemplating on his pleasures and fears, in pursuit of dharma. “I do not intend by what I have written to compliment myself,” Babur describes, “I have simplyset down exactly what happened” (Thackston xviii). Babur’s stated intentionsmodestly match the efforts that he made to both justify and ruminate his path inlife, in writing a memoir.Babur’s belief of his “entitlement” to rule sources from lineage, onethat merges the Mughals and the Khans. His maternal side had ties to theMughals, who were nomads that preferred not to settle. This lifestyle of constantrelocation made the Mughals exemplary on the battlefield. Babur’s paternal side,on the other had, came from the Timurid background - one which settled into