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Var Kona

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Var Kona is a collection of 23 meditations, which are written in Urdu Kai in a poetic form known as thaa'du–kao, "fortress verses". In general thaa'du–kao poetry is written or recited by men and women walking a patrol beat or stationed to a wall, and as such the subject matter tends to be things that are of interest or concern to common soldiers, while the metrical beat is that of the march.

The subjects of such poems tend to be military history and tactics, strategic thought, family and clan life, proper conduct, honor, humor and how to get ahead. Of the last genre of such poetry, Var Kona is considered the peerless example — the 23 cantos of the book are all concerned, one way or another, with how to advance and achieve victory in various pursuits and in various situations.


War is the mother and the father of all things.
It is the egg from which civilization hatches —
it is the fist which topples the last tower.

If you would be the Supreme Commander,
you must make the Dance of Sar serve you —
you cannot be the servant.

If you find yourself fighting a battle you have not chosen, it may be wise to run.
Anyone can be surprised: Sardo does not love a fool.

— Sara Jodok, Var Kona, Canto Seven: Retreat


The major philosophical statement of the book would largely be found in the opening canto, "Hatching", in which Jardok discusses the nature of power and the circumstances into which one is born.


Power has no clan name.
Power has no kao.
Power has no sex, no nation, no temple, no treasury, no fane.

Power belongs to those who dare to wield it,
even as it seduces and comforts those who surrender to it.

From the lowest to the most high, there is none without it.
None of us chose the place of our hatching –
we choose instead the place where we will end —
whether it be in the gutters or upon the tallest kao.

Listen well, my sibling, and I will make you the Most High.

— Sara Jardok, Var Kona, Canto One: Hatching 1–32

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