Top 20 Famous Akbar and Birbal Stories for your Kids with Interesting - Valuable Moral
|Best Akbar and Birbal Stories for your Kids with Life Lessons|
Birbal Stories are very famous and popular in India among all ages of people. They are also called by another name Akbar-Birbal Stories.
Most of us grew up listening to the famous stories of the great King Akbar and one of his courtesans, Birbal, who was known for his intelligence and wittiness. These stories not only amused us, but they also taught us about the important virtues of life because they imparted us with a valuable moral at the end. If you wish to teach some good values to your child through story-telling, you can read to your kids at bedtime.
Here are 20 of the most famous Akbar–Birbal stories. Let your children be amazed at the smartness of Birbal!
1.The number of crows in Akbar’s kingdom
One day Emperor Akbar and Birbal were taking a walk in the palace gardens. It was a nice summer morning and there were plenty of crows happily playing around the pond. While watching the crows, a question came into Akbar’s head. He wondered how many crows were there in his kingdom.
Since Birbal was accompanying him, he asked Birbal this question. After a moment’s thought, Birbal replied, “There are ninety-five thousand four hundred and sixty-three crows in the Kingdom”.
Count Of All The Crows In The Kingdom
Amazed by his quick response, Akbar tried to test him again.
Akbar asked him, “What if there is a higher number of crows than the number you just mentioned?”.
Birbal replied, “Then, crows from the neighbouring kingdoms must be visiting.”
Then Akbar asked, “What if the number is fewer than what you mentioned?”. Birbal calmly replied, “Then, the crows must have gone on a vacation to the neighbouring kingdom.”
Emperor Akbar, thereby, realized that Birbal's wit was a hard nut to crack. Nevertheless, he realized his administrative folly on statistical data.
*Valuable Moral: “There is always a way if you think with ease.”
2.What came first, the chicken or the egg?
The tales of Birbal’s unparalleled wit and wisdom had reached faraway lands.
Once a scholar visited Akbar’s court with the thought of challenging Birbal’s intelligence. The scholar told the king that he is the smartest and even Birbal would not be able to answer his questions.
Akbar called Birbal to the court and told him what the scholar claimed. Birbal accepted the challenge that the scholar had posed for him.
|What came first, the chicken or the egg?|
The scholar asked Birbal, “Do you want to answer a hundred easy questions or one difficult question?” Birbal said that he wanted to answer the difficult one. The scholar said, “Tell me Birbal, what came first, the chicken or the egg?”
Birbal thought for a while and said, “Chicken came first”. The scholar mocked Birbal and said, “How can you be sure?” Birbal immediately replied, “I had only promised to answer one question, and therefore, I will not reply”. The scholar felt ashamed of his claim and left with a heavy heart.
*Valuable Moral: Presence of mind helps solve even the trickiest of problems.
3.King Akbar’s Stolen Ring
One fine day, Akbar lost his ring that his father had gifted to him.. When Birbal arrived in the court, Akbar told him “I have lost my ring. My father had given it to me as a gift. Please help me find it.”
Birbal said “do not worry your Majesty, I will find your ring right now.”
He said ”Your Majesty the ring is here in this court itself, it is with one of the courtier. The courtier who has a straw in his beard has your ring.”
|King Akbar’s Stolen Ring|
The courtier who had the emperors ring was shocked and immediately moved his hand over his beard. Birbal noticed this act of the courtier. He immediately pointed towards the courtier and said, ”Please search this man. He has the emperors ring.”
Akbar could not understand how Birbal had Managed to find the ring. Birbal then told Akbar that a guilty person is always scared and will be the first one to react.
*Valuable Moral: A guilty conscience will always give it away. A Guilty Conscience need No Accuser.
4.Distance Between the Truth and False
One day Akbar asked his courtiers if they could tell him the difference between truth and falsehood in three words or less.
The courtiers look at each other in bewilderment, but couldn't find an answer.
The emperor finally turned to Birbal. 'Four fingers' said Birbal. The emperor was confused, but Birbal elaborated.
'That's the difference between truth and falsehood, your Majesty. Everything you see with your own eyes is the truth. But what you hear with your ears may or may not be true. More often than not, it's likely to be false.
' But Akbar didn't get the point of ' four fingers.' To which Birbal replied – 'The distance between one's eyes and one's ears is the width of four fingers.'
|Distance Between the Truth and False|
*The moral of the story is to trust your eyes and nothing else. You don't have to believe everything you hear.
5.The Pot full of Wit
Once upon a time, King Akbar got so mad at Birbal that he told Birbal to leave the kingdom and go away. Heartbroken, Birbal left the kingdom and took refuge at a farmer’s house in a nearby village. Birbal assumed a new identity and started working as a farmer.
After a couple of weeks, Akbar started to miss Birbal and hence asked his soldiers to find where he is and bring him back to the kingdom. The soldiers searched from one end of the kingdom to another but could not find Birbal.
Akbar then came up with an idea to find Birbal. He sent word across the kingdom that the head of each village has to send him a pot full of wit. Anyone who cannot send the pot full of wit can instead fill up the pot with gold and diamonds and send it to him.
The people in Birbal’s village found the announcement absurd and were wondering how to fill the pot with wit. Birbal stepped in to help and came up with a way to give the king what he wanted. He put a small watermelon into the pot without separating it from its vine. He watered it every day and grew it big enough so that all the space in the pot was taken up.
Birbal then separated the watermelon from the vine and sent the pot to the king. The instruction that was sent with the pot read, “You can find the wit in the pot if you carefully remove the watermelon without cutting it.” Akbar realised that only Birbal could have sent the pot. He travelled to the village himself and brought Birbal back to the capital.
*Valuable Moral: Even the toughest questions can be answered cleverly if you think hard.
These stories, like Akbar–Birbal’s, serve as a channel to teach kids about morals that they can keep in mind throughout their lives. What’s your favourite story from these? Let us know in the comments.
6.Gold Coin and Justice
Just like any other day in King Akbar’s court, once Akbar asked Birbal, “My dear Birbal if I tell you to choose between justice and a gold coin, what will you choose?”
Without taking long to answer, Birbal replied, “My lord, I will choose a gold coin, without a doubt”. Everyone including King Akbar was aghast at Birbal’s instant reply and thought that this time Birbal had fumbled for once.
King Akbar said, “I am very disappointed in you. Why would you choose something of lesser value like a gold coin over something as valuable as justice?”
Birbal replied with a grin on his face, “My kind King, there is no dearth of justice because there is justice everywhere in your kingdom. I felt no need to ask something that I have in abundance but my lord, I surely fall short of money, and a gold coin would be nice”.
Listening to this reply, Akbar was speechless, but he had a big smile on his face. He felt overjoyed with the reply and rewarded Birbal with 100 gold coins.
*Valuable Moral: One should choose one’s words wisely.
7.The Foolish Thief Who Robbed the Merchant
One day, a rich merchant went to Birbal and complained to him that his house was robbed. He also told him that he suspects one of his servants to have robbed the house.
Birbal went to the merchant’s house. On getting the hint from the merchant, Birbal summoned all the servants and told them to stand in a straight line. When asked about the robbery, everyone denied doing it, as expected...
|The Foolish Thief Who Robbed the Merchant|
Birbal then handed over one stick of the same length, to each one of them. While dispersing, Birbal said, “By tomorrow, the robber’s stick will increase by two inches”.
The next day when Birbal summoned everyone and inspected their sticks, one servant’s stick was shorter by two inches. On being asked by the merchant about the mystery of finding the real thief, Birbal said, “It was simple: the thief had cut his stick by two inches, fearing that it would increase in size”.
*Moral: No matter how hard you try, you can never hide the truth for long. Among the many Akbar Birbal stories for kids, this one happens to be a favourite for both my kids!
8.The farmer who bought a well
A poor farmer once bought a well from a rich man so that he could irrigate his land using the water from the well. The farmer paid the price quoted by the rich man. The next day, when the farmer when to draw water from the well, the rich man stopped him and disallowed him from drawing water. He said that the farmer had bought only the well and not the water from him. So, he cannot draw any water from the well.
Not knowing what to do, the farmer went to the king’s court and told Akbar about his predisposition. Akbar handed over the case to Birbal.
Birbal visited the rich man who was causing problems to the farmer. The rich man reiterated what he told the farmer, to which Birbal said, “Since you have sold the well and not the water to the farmer, you will have to move all the water or pay rent to the farmer to keep the water in the well.”
The rich man realised his ploy was not going to work and let the farmer use the well from the water.
*Valuable Moral: Do not try to deceive people as you will end up paying the price. If you cheat, you will pay for your deeds.
9.Whose Bag of Money
The court was set up Emperor Akbar was watching the kingdom. The concierge then informed that two people wanted to come to settle their quarrel.
The king summoned both of them. Both entered the court and stood before the emperor.
What did the king say to the people who came to settle the dispute …
Say what is your problem? The king asked.
‘Huzoor my name is Kashi, I am a Teli and do business of selling oil and Huzur is this butcher.
He came to my shop and bought oil and also took my bag full of money. When I grabbed it and asked for my bag, it started telling it as its own;
“There will definitely be justice, now you say what do you have to say?” The king told the butcher. ‘Huzoor, my name is Ramadan and I am a butcher, Huzoor, when I counted the money on the sale of meat at my shop today and picked up the bag, it came to me and snatched the bag from me. Now I am deposing my right on that, Huzoor, give me the poor’s money back. ‘
The king got confused after listening to both of them. He could not understand to whom he should pass judgment. He asked Birbal to decide.
Birbal took a bag of money from him and sent the two out for a while. Birbal ordered water from a servant in a bowl and took out some coins from that bag and poured it into the water and watched the water carefully.
Then said to the king- ‘Huzoor, by pouring coins in this water, the oil is not stirring even a small fraction in the water. If these coins were of oil, they would have smeared oil on the coins and that oil would have been seen in water also. ‘
The king also put coins in the water, looked at the water carefully and then agreed with Birbal.
Birbal called them both to the court and said- ‘I know whose bag is this. Kashi, you are lying, this bag is from the Ramzan butcher. ‘
‘Huzoor, this bag is mine.’ Kashi spoke once again.
Birbal showed him a bowl of water containing coins and said, “If this bag belongs to you, then there must be some oil on these coins, but you also see … the oil is not even visible.”
Kashi became silent
Birbal gave Ramzan butcher his bag and had Kashi put in jail.
Who is King Akbar?
There was a Mogul Emperor in India, Akbar The Great (1542-1605). His full name was Jalaludden Mohammed Akbar Padshah Ghazi and he ruled India from 1560 to 1605. He himself was illiterate, but he invited several learned people in his court. Among these people, nine were very famous and were called Nav Ratna (nine jewels of the Mogul Crown) of his court. Among these nine jewels, five people were more famous - Tansen, Todarmal, Abul Fazal, Maan Singh and Birbal.
Akbar's son Prince Sultan Salim, later known as Jehangir wrote that nobody could make out that Akbar was an illiterate. Akbar was a very hard-working King. It is also said about him that he slept only three hours a night.
Who is Birbal?
Birbal (1528-1583) is surely one of the most popular figures in Indian history equally regarded by adults and children. Birbal's duties in Akbar's court were mostly administrative and military but he was a very close friend of Akbar too, because Akbar loved his wisdom, wit and subtle humor. He was a minister in the administration of Mogul Emperor Akbar and one of the members of inner council of nine advisors. He was a poet and an author too.
It is believed that he was a son of poor Braahman of Trivikrampur on the banks of River Yamuna. According to a popular legend, he died on an expedition to Afghanistan at the head of a large military force due to treachery. It is also said that when Birbal died, Akbar mourned him for several months.
10. Magic Ass
One day Emperor Akbar gave his queen a very unhappy precious necklace. The queen was very happy to see the precious precious necklace.
Akbar – here’s your gift for you.
Rani – It is very beautiful. I do not even have such a necklace. I liked it very much, it is very beautiful.
Akbar – Yes, why are you beautiful as well? I have made it with special craftsmen. Special for you
Rani – I like it very much. I will always keep it with me. Will not let it separate from itself. I am very happy where there is shelter.
Akbar – We are very happy, you liked this necklace. Whenever you wear it, we will see your love in it.
Rani – Thank you where shelter!
Then in the morning when the queen rises to sleep and is ready to take a bath, she does not get her necklace. She becomes very sad.
Rani – Where did the necklace go, I still kept it here, I kept it here when I slept at night, where did I go, my necklace was lost somewhere. Maid and maid are here.
On the call of the queen, a maid comes there.
Maid – What happened, Your Highness!
Rani – Our necklace has been lost somewhere, help us find it, we had kept it here before nightfall, but now it is not there.
Maid – Your Majesty, wear another necklace, you have many necklaces.
Rani – No, no, not at all, that necklace is a very special necklace. We were given a lot of love by the shelter. We want the same defeat, no one else wants it.
saying this, the queen sits down in despair, then Akbar comes there shortly.
Akbar – What happened to you, why are you sitting so sad?
Rani – Where shelter, the place where the necklace you gave us as a gift, it is lost somewhere.
Akbar – What is lost, what is lost, what do you want to say, if you dropped it or not.
Rani – Where Concealment I kept it here before going to sleep at night, then do not know where it went. Forgive us where shelter is, we were not able to protect your gift. (And she started crying)
Akbar – the Empress, don’t you cry. It was just a small gift, we will make a better necklace for you and we promise you. And we will also find you that necklace. Just don’t worry. Today you stay in our room.
The soldiers take you and other soldiers and slaves and go to every corner of the room of the queen and find the necklace.
Soldier – That… That, where there have been burglaries in other parts of the shelter palace. We all tried hard to catch the thief but did not succeed. Till today we could not catch that thief.
Akbar – Is it not stolen in other parts of the palace? To find the necklace first in the Queen’s room, if we do not find it there, we will think of something else.
Soldier – Where shelter we all found defeat everywhere but the defeat was not found anywhere.
Akbar – Now the matter is serious, now only Birbal can solve this matter. Soldiers Birbal should be called to us now, we want that necklace tonight.
Birbal – Why did you remember the shelter where I went so many nights?
Akbar – Actually, Birbal, we have given our queen a precious precious necklace as a gift, but when the queen woke up in the morning, the necklace was not there. Rani is very sad, we cannot see her sad. You have to find the necklace tonight.
Birbal – Well, this is the case, where shelter is a sure thing, a thief is one of the soldiers and slaves. To find this out, I have to call one of my friends.
Akbar – Friend, which friend and why do you want to go, tell us, we give your friend Bulba.
Birbal – No, only I can go where my refuge is. My friend is not such a friend, he has magical powers, which will help us catch the thief.
Akbar – Go Birbal, now we too will be waiting impatiently to meet your friend.
Birbal – Where shelter you just call the soldiers and maidens guarding the queen’s room, I just bring my friend.
Then in a while, Birbal comes to the palace with a donkey.
Akbar – Birbal, what a joke, we told you to bring your friend, this is a donkey.
Birbal – Where my shelter is my friend, who comes with magic power, this will help us catch the thief.
Akbar – How will it help you, how will it tell you who the thief is?
Birbal – Where the shelter is, send soldiers and slaves one by one inside this tent and all of them have to hold the tail of the donkey and say that I did not steal. When all these people will catch the tail of the donkey, then my friend will tell who the thief is.
Akbar – Okay! Soldiers and slaves, all of you, hold the tail of the donkey one by one.
And then all the soldiers and maids hold the tail of the donkey –
Birbal – Now I ask my friend who is the thief.
(After some time) where we have to sniff the hands of all these. And then after sniffing hands, this soldier is a thief.
Soldier – No, where I did not steal the shelter, I have served you for so many years. The testimony of this donkey proves nothing.
Akbar – Birbal, how can you say that this is a thief. How can you understand the matter of donkeys?
Birbal – Where the shelter I had put special perfume on the tail of that donkey. So I asked all these to hold the tail of the donkey and where I also knew that the thief would not catch the tail of the donkey for fear of being caught. The fragrance of that perfume was coming from everyone’s hands. But when I sniffed his hands, he could not smell it. Therefore, this is a thief.
Akbar – Namak Haram, we will punish you.
Soldier – Please forgive me where shelter is not. I was greedy. Please forgive me. I will return everything stolen. Just forgive me
Akbar – No, you cannot be forgiven, your hole in the plate you eat, take the soldiers, and put it in the dungeon.
Birbal once again, you cleverly got the thief caught, thanks Birbal! thank you!
Birbal – Thank you where shelter!
11.Protection from footprints of an elephant
Once, Emperor Akbar had a serious feud with Birbal over an issue. He removed Birbal from the post of Diwan and appointed his wife’s brother in place of Birbal. Disguising his identity, Birbal started living in a nearby village.
One day, the emperor decided to visit a dargah. While returning from there, he saw footprints of an elephant. He decides to find out his brother-in-law’s intelligence. He asked her to guard that mark for three days. Later the emperor went back to his palace and the first day passed the footprint to his brother-in-law, the new diwan did not get any food, passed through the second day without even eating.
He was starving on the third day and became very weak indeed. On the fourth day, he somehow pulled himself up to the emperor and said, “Look at the wall, I could clearly see the footprints of the elephant as per your instructions that his new divan lacked novelty and was like Birbal Were not able or quick. So, he found a way to get her back.
He announced that all the zamindars of nearby villages should bring wells with them, otherwise they would have to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000 each. All the zamindars were astonished to hear this strange order and wondered how they could make an inanimate thing like a good trick and go to the emperor’s court with them.
The order of the emperor of the village where Birbal lived was also heard. Birbal thought of a plan and asked the zamindar of his village to act accordingly. The zamindar along with some other villagers went to meet the emperor, but he did not enter his capital. They stayed outside the city and sent an emissary to the king, “Hazur, according to your orders we are here with our well, now you have to send your well to welcome them.”
When Akbar heard this, he understood that it could only be Birbal’s mind. He immediately sent his men to find and bring back Birbal. When Birbal arrived at the court, the emperor warmly welcomed Birbal and made him his Diwan. And then, the emperor asked Birbal to protect the footprints of the elephant.
Birbal promised to complete the work and left the court. He fixed an iron bar near the footmark and tied a rope of 50 yards to it. He then told the villagers that the houses that would come inside the circumference of that rope would be demolished to protect that footprint.
People requested him not to do so and offered him money to not demolish their houses. He also promised to protect the footprints of the elephant day and night. In a short time, Birbal has spent Rs. 1 Lac. He deposited that money in the royal treasury and told the king that the work was done and Rs. 100,000 was deposited in his treasury.
The emperor called his brother-in-law and told him, “You were hungry for three days and achieved nothing, but Birbal protected the footprint by earning only one lakh rupees a day.” The brother-in-law accepted the fact that Birbal was in fact the most qualified candidate for the post of Diwan.
*Valuable Moral: You can succeed by thinking creatively and motivating others to accomplish your goal, even if the task seems impossible.
12.Hundred Gold Coin
The wisdom of Birbal was unparalleled during the reign of Emperor Akbar. But Akbar’s brother in law was extremely jealous of him. He asked the Emperor to dispense with Birbal’s services and appoint him in his place. He gave ample assurance that he would prove to be more efficient and capable than Birbal. Before Akbar could take a decision on this matter, this news reached Birbal.
Birbal resigned and left. Akbar’s brother in law was made the minister in place of Birbal. Akbar decided to test the new minister. He gave three hundred gold coins to him and said, “Spend these gold coins such that, I get a hundred gold coins here in this life; a hundred gold coins in the other world and another hundred gold coins neither here nor there.”
|The wisdom of Birbal was unparalleled during the reign of Emperor Akbar|
The minister found the entire situation to be a maze of confusion and hopelessness. He spent sleepless nights worrying how he would get himself out of this mess. Thinking in circles was making him go crazy. Eventually, on the advice of his wife, he sought Birbals help. Birbal said, “Just give me the gold coins. I shall handle the rest.”
Birbal walked the streets of the city holding the bag of gold coins in his hand. He noticed a rich merchant celebrating his son’s wedding. Birbal gave a hundred gold coins to him and bowed courteously saying, “Emperor Akbar sends you his good wishes and blessings for the wedding of your son. Please accept the gift he has sent.” The merchant felt honored that the king had sent a special messenger with such a precious gift. He honored Birbal and gave him a large number of expensive gifts and a bag of gold coins as a return gift for the king.
Next, Birbal went to the area of the city where the poor people lived. There he bought food and clothing in exchange for a hundred gold coins and distributed them in the name of the Emperor.
When he came back to town he organized a concert of music and dance. He spent a hundred gold coins on it.
The next day Birbal entered Akbar’s darbar and announced that he had done all that the king had asked his brother-in-law to do. The Emperor wanted to know how he had done it. Birbal repeated the sequences of all the events and then said, “The money I gave to the merchant for the wedding of his son – you have got back while on this earth. The money I spent on buying food and clothing for the poor – you will get it in the other world. The money I spent on the musical concert – you will get neither here nor there.” Akbar’s brother in law understood his mistake and resigned. Birbal got his place back.
*Valuable Moral: The money you spend on friends is returned or reciprocated in some form or the other. The money spent on charity gets converted into blessings from God which will be your eternal property. The money spent on pleasures is just frittered away. So when you spend your money, think a little, if not a lot.
13.The Three Questions
King Akbar was very fond of Birbal. This made a certain courtier very jealous. Now this courtier always wanted to be chief minister, but this was not possible as Birbal filled that position. One day Akbar praised Birbal in front of the courtier. This made the courtier very angry and he said that the king praised Birbal unjustly and if Birbal could answer three of his questions, he would accept the fact that Birbal was intelligent. Akbar always wanting to test Birbals wit readily agreed.
The three questions were
1. How many stars are there in the sky
2. Where is the centre of the Earth and
3. How many men and how many women are there in the world.
|Akbar asked Birbal the three questions and informed him that if he could not answer them, he would have to resign as chief minister|
Immediately Akbar asked Birbal the three questions and informed him that if he could not answer them, he would have to resign as chief minister.
To answer the first question, Birbal brought a hairy sheep and said, “There are as many stars in the sky as there is hair on the sheep’s body. My friend the courtier is welcome to count them if he likes.”
To answer the second question, Birbal drew a couple of lines on the floor and bore an iron rod in it and said, “this is the center of the Earth, the courtier may measure it himself if he has any doubts.”
In answer to the third question, Birbal said, “Counting the exact number of men and women in the world would be a problem as there are some specimens like our courtier friend here who cannot easily be classified as either. Therefore if all people like him are killed, then and only then can one count the exact number.”
*Valuable Moral: There is Always a Way.
14.Birbal’s Khichri (Rice)
On a cold winter day, Akbar and Birbal took a walk along the lake. A thought came to Birbal that a man would do anything for money. He expressed his feelings to Akbar. Akbar then put his finger into the lake and immediately removed it because he shivered with cold. Akbar said, “I don’t think a man would spend an entire night in the cold water of this lake for money.” Birbal replied, “I am sure I can find such a person.” Akbar then challenged Birbal into finding such a person and said that he would reward the person with a thousand gold coins.
Birbal searched far and wide until he found a poor man who was desperate enough to accept the challenge. The poor man entered the lake and Akbar had guards posted near him to make sure that he really did as promised. The next morning the guards took the poor man to Akbar. Akbar asked the poor man if he had indeed spent the night in the lake. The poor man replied that he had. Akbar then asked the poor man how he managed to spend the night in the lake.
|Birbal’s Khichri (Rice)|
The poor man replied that there was a street lamp nearby and he kept his attention affixed on the lamp and away from the cold. Akbar then said that there would be no reward as the poor man had survived the night in the lake by the warmth of the street lamp. The poor man went to Birbal for help.
The next day, Birbal did not go to court. The king wondering where he was, sent a messenger to his home. The messenger came back saying that Birbal would come once his Khichri(Rice) was cooked. The king waited hours but Birbal did not come. Finally, the king decided to go to Birbal’s house and see what he was up to.
He found Birbal sitting on the floor near some burning twigs and a bowl filled with Khichri(Rice) hanging five feet above the fire. The king and his attendants couldn’t help but laugh.
Akbar then said to Birbal “How can the Khichri(Rice) be cooked if it so far away from the fire?”
Birbal answered, “The same way the poor man received heat from a street lamp that was more than a furlong away.”
The King understood his mistake and gave the poor man his reward.
*Valuable Moral: A small ray of hope is enough to inspire the one who is ready to work hard to turn his dream into a reality.
15.The Hens and The Rooster
Once King Akbar thought of playing a trick on his favourite minister, Birbal. He confided in all other ministers and shared his plan with them.
As per the plan, all the ministers had to carry an egg each the following day, hidden inside their robes. The next day, Akbar told his courtiers that he had a dream – according to it, if the ministers fetch an egg each from the royal pond, it will prove their loyalty towards him.
After narrating his dream, Akbar asked all his ministers to do the same and show him their loyalty. As planned, all the ministers pretended to look for the eggs, and within no time all of them returned an egg each that was already hidden inside their robes.
Birbal kept looking for the egg, but couldn’t find any. When Birbal reached empty-handed, everyone sneered at him, and they were smiling at each other. Birbal could gauge the entire scenario and went up to the king and made the loud rooster-sounds.
The King was perplexed and asked Birbal why he did so, upon which Birbal replied, “My King, I am not a hen, and therefore, I could not fetch you any eggs; but I am a rooster, and this is what I can do best”.
Listening to this, everyone burst into a hearty laugh.
*Valuable Moral: Self-confidence helps in dealing with difficult situations.
16.Who Is the King
Once Birbal was sent as an ambassador to another kingdom. The King of that kingdom had also heard stories about Birbal’s sharp intellect and wanted to test the same.
The King made all his ministers dress up like him, and they all sat in a line to test Birbal.
When Birbal entered the courtroom, he was amazed to see everyone dressed in the same clothes and sitting on a similar kind of throne.
Perplexed, Birbal took a moment to observe everyone and then went up to one of them and bowed in front of him. It was the King himself, who then was surprised beyond words. He stood up and hugged Birbal and also asked him how he could guess so.
Birbal smiled and answered, “My lord, the kind of confidence you exuded, no one else did, and they also kept looking at you for approval”.
The King felt amused and praised Birbal for his unmatched intellect and presence of mind.
*Valuable Moral: Intelligent people can comprehend a great deal through observation.
17. Fear or Love?
“I think my people love me,” beamed Akbar during his stroll with Birbal in the royal garden.
“You are right your majesty. But people also fear you,” came the reply from Birbal.
Akbar frowned, “I do not believe it.”
“I will prove it Jahanpanah,” Birbal said and shared his plan with Akbar.
|Fear or love?|
The next day, Akbar announced that he is going to the jungle for a dangerous hunt. As a prayer, his subjects should pour a cup of milk into the large tub placed at the center of the royal palace courtyard.
The next day, Akbar found that the tub was filled with watery milk. Several subjects only poured water, assuming that the others would get milk and their water would get camouflaged.
The following day, Akbar made a similar announcement but this time said that he will check the people pouring the milk. When Akbar returned, he found the tub overflowing with fresh milk.
“Didn’t I tell you, sir?” asked Birbal. “This time people poured pure milk because they were afraid that you will find out there is no milk in it. Your subjects care for you, but they also fear and that is why they filled the tub with milk this time.”
18.Shorten the road
Akbar was on a long road journey to a neighboring kingdom on a hot day. The heat vexed him. He complained about the long road to Birbal.
Birbal commented that he could shorten the road.
“Really? Please do that if possible,” said the intrigued Akbar.
“Sure, your majesty. But before that you have to solve five riddles,” came Birbal’s reply.
Akbar agreed. Birbal started asking the riddles one after the other. Akbar would take time to solve the tricky riddles.
|Shorten the road|
Right when Akbar solved the fifth riddle, he said, “Too bad you could not shorten the road and I managed to solve all your five riddles,” he said triumphantly.
Birbal smiled. “But I have shortened the road huzoor. We are at the destination.”
Akbar noticed that they had reached their destination.
Aren’t the stories full of wit and intellect? Such stories help children develop their presence of mind while having a good laugh. And kids can read them at any time – whenever they are bored or feeling low.
19.The daring culprit
“I have a problem to share and want a solution right away,” Akbar announced in his court one day.
“Last evening, someone dared pull a hair from my mustache. What punishment should the person be given?”
There was murmuring in the court.
“He should be flogged!” came the reply from the prime minister.
“No, he should be banished from the kingdom!” exclaimed the treasury minister.
There were demands for the maximum punishment for the culprit. Amidst all the noise, Birbal stayed silent.
“Don’t you have anything to say, Birbal?” asked Akbar.
“Jahanpanah. I recommend you to give the culprit some sweets.”
There was silence in the court. The courtiers were astounded by Birbal’s reply.
“I am surprised, Birbal. How do you expect me to reward someone who dared to pull my mustache?” asked Akbar.
“Your majesty, the only person who can dare to touch your mustache is your grandson. I am pretty sure you will not mind giving him sweets,” replied Birbal with a smile.
20.The list of blinds
One day emperor Akbar decides to give alms to all the visually challenged people in the kingdom. He orders his courtiers to make a list of all such people. The courtiers make the list ready and share it with the emperor.
Akbar takes a look at the list and says, “Very well. Take this list to Birbal. Make sure that these people get good alms tomorrow at the bazaar.”
Birbal looks at the list, goes to Akbar and remarks, “Your majesty, this list is incomplete.”
“What do you mean incomplete?” exclaims Akbar.
“Your majesty the list must be longer as we missed several such people. Give me a day’s time and I will prove it,” says Birbal.
|The list of blinds|
Akbar agrees. The next day, Birbal takes a frame of an old cot, sits at the crossroads of the bazaar, and begins weaving the cot with a string. A servant stands next to Birbal with a pen and a scroll.
A courtier passing by the bazaar sees Birbal, asks, “Hey Birbal! What on earth are you doing?” Birbal does not reply but mumbles to his servant, who then scribbles something on the scroll.
Soon, a crowd gathers around Birbal. Each time someone enquires Birbal, he mumbles to his servant, who then writes on the scroll. The news of Birbal’s antics reaches the court and Akbar arrives at the bazaar.
“What are you doing Birbal??” he asks.
Without replying, Birbal continues to weave the cot, takes the scroll from the servant’s hand, and hands it over to Akbar.
“Here is the list of blinds your majesty.”
Akbar looks at it and is shocked to see his name at the very end of the list.
“What nonsense is this?! Why is my name on the list?” the irked emperor asks.
“Jahanpanah, you and all the others in the list asked me what I was doing despite it being evident that I was weaving my cot. So, don’t you all deserve a place on the list?”
Akbar understands his folly and bursts into laughter. “Well done Birbal. You just opened my eyes by proving me blind!” says the amused Akbar.
How Akbar meet Birbal?
Akbar loved hunting and used to escape to go for hunting even from his studies. Well, later he became a better rider and hunter than any one of his courtiers. One day when Akbar went for hunting, he and his some of the courtiers went so fast that they left the others behind. As the evening fell, everybody got very hungry and thirsty, they found that they had lost their way and now did not know where to go.
At last they came to a junction of three roads. King was very happy to see the roads that now he could go reach his capital through one of these roads, but which road was to go to his capital - Agra. They were all thinking about it and could not decide it. In the mean time they saw a young boy coming along one road. The boy was summoned and Akbar asked him, "Hey young boy! Which road goes to Agra?" The boy smiled and spoke, "Huzoor, everybody knows that road cannot move so how these roads can go to Agra or anywhere else?" and laughed at his own joke.
Everybody was silent, didn't say a word. The boy said again, "People travel, not the roads. Do they?" Emperor laughed at this and said, "No, you are right." The Emperor asked again, "What is your name, young boy?" "Mahesh Das" The boy replied and asked the Emperor, "And who are you Huzoor? What is your name?" The Emperor took out his Ring and gave it to the boy. "You are talking to Emperor Akbar - the King of Hindustaan (India). We need fearless people like you. You come to the court, with this Ring I will recognize you immediately. Now tell me the way to get to Agra. We have to reach there soon?"
Mahesh Das bowing lowly pointed towards the road going to Agra, and the King headed on that road.
That is how the Emperor Akbar met the future Birbal.
*What’s your take on Akbar and Birbal stories? Tell us in the comment section below or share the stories!
*The exchanges between Akbar and Birbal have been recorded in many volumes. Many of these have become folk stories in Indian tradition. Birbal's collection of poetry published under the pen name Brahm are preserved in Bharatpur Museum, Rajsthan, India.
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