Birbal In Exile


Emperor Akbar's moods were as changeable as the clouds in the sky. On that day, he was not in a very good mood. Birbal, seeing this, started doing a bit of him to cheer his master's spirits up. Hearing from Birbal that casually passed a harmless personal remark, Akbar got wild. He at once banished Birbal from his sight: Birbal was to leave the palace and the city, Agra.

Soon afterwards, Akbar realised his folly. He missed his confidant, and regretted his decision he took on the spur of the moment. His search for his favourite went in vain.

Emperor Akbar contemplated to have a substitute to Birbal who would entertain him. One day, there came a saint, accompanied by two disciples, to the royal court. The disciples claimed that their teacher was a walking Encyclopaedia.

As the emperor had the idea of a substitute, he raised to the occasion. He asked his ministers to test the holy man's wisdom.

The saint was prepared to stand before the test with these words:

"I have never claimed to be wise; Nevertheless, I am ready for the test."

The ministers started asking the saint questions, and he answered them, one by one, most satisfyingly.

"Who is the man's best friend?"

"His own good senses."

"Which is the deepest trench in the world?"

"A woman's heart."

"What is undying in music?"


"What travels faster than the wind?"


"Which is the sweetest thing on earth?"

"A baby's smile."

It was Akbar's turn to question the saint:

"Who is the gravest enemy of the king?"

"His whimsical humour"

Akbar felt elated at this answer and he offered the saint a seat of honour. He was sure that the saint must have super-natural powers. He inquisitively enquired of him:

"Saint, can you perform miracles?"

"Why not?" replied the saint.

"Then, Holy sir, can I meet my missing confidant, Birbal?"

"Why not?" -- With these words, the saint pulled off his beard, and hair.

And lo behold! It was a great miracle. The holy man transformed himself into his beloved Birbal.

Emperor Akbar stepped down to embrace the saint turned Birbal.