Saturday, July 30, 2011



Birbal's wisdom was unmatchable in the whole of the Empire of Akbar's empire. 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, for he would be more efficient and capable than Birbal. Before Akbar could take a decision on this, the 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 300 gold coins to him and said, "Spend these gold coins on such a way, that I get a 100 gold coins here in this life, a 100 gold coins in the other world and another 100 gold coins neither here nor there."


The minister was confused. He spent sleepless nights worrying over how he would  get himself out of this mess. He was going crazy. Eventually, on the advice of his wife, he sought Birbal's 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 100 gold coins to him and bowed courteously saying, "The Emperor Akbar sends you his good wishes and blessing for the wedding of your son. Please accept the gift he has sent." The merchant felt honoured that the king had sent a special messenger with a precious gift. He honoured Birbal and gave him a large number of expensive gifts and a bag of gold coins as a return gift to the king.


Next, Birbal went to the area of the city where the poor lived. He bought food and clothing in exchange for a 100 gold coins and distributed them in the name of the Emperor. When he came back to town, he organized a music and dance party. He spent a 100 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 money I gave to the merchant for the wedding for his son you will get back while on this earth. The money I spent on the poor, you will get in the other world. The money I spent on the music concert, you will get neither here nor there."