It is said that once when Akbar had lost his way, Mahesh Das, aka Birbal had helped him find his way to his capital, Agra. It was an interesting encounter in which Mahesh Das had immensely impressed the Emperor by his quick wit. The ......
It is said that once when Akbar had lost his way, Mahesh Das, aka Birbal had helped him find his way to his capital, Agra. It was an interesting encounter in which Mahesh Das had immensely impressed the Emperor by his quick wit. The Emperor had gifted his royal ring to Mahesh Das and invited him to join his court.
After some days, Mahesh Das decided to go to Agra to meet the Emperor. The sentry at the main gate did not allow him to enter. Mahesh Das then showed him the ring that the Emperor had gifted him. The guard was very greedy. He thought that if he allowed this young man to go inside, he will get more rewards and gifts from the Emperor and then he would ask the boy to share them with him. So, the sentry agreed to allow Mahesh Das to go inside the court on one condition- that he would give him half of the reward he would get from the Emperor. Mahesh Das accepted the condition.
Mahesh Das went inside and presented himself in front of the Emperor. He greeted the Emperor and showed the ring to Akbar.
Akbar immediately recognised the young man and said, “Oh young man! It is so good to see you. Tell me what do you want from the King of Hindustan?”
“Jahanpanah! I want to be flogged! I want 50 lashes from you as a reward,” replied Mahesh Das.
Everybody in the royal court was stunned. They thought that he was mad. Akbar was also greatly surprised by the young man’s strange request and asked him the reason.
Mahesh Das said he would only tell him the reason after receiving his reward. Akbar knew that there must be something going on in the clever young man’s mind and asked his guards to flog him as per his wish.
After the twenty fifth lash, Mahesh Das asked the guards to stop and requested the Emperor to call the sentry who was at the main gate.
The sentry was summoned in the court. He was happy at the thought that he was being called for his reward. To his surprise, Mahesh Das told the Emperor,”Jahanpanah! This sentry of yours had let me in on the condition that I would share half of my reward with him. I want to keep my promise, so I request you to give the remaining twenty five lashes to him.”
The Emperor and all the courtiers were amused at the young man’s wit. Akbar ordered fifty lashes of the whip for the sentry along with 5 years of imprisonment. He then, rewarded Mahesh Das with a permanent place in his court and gave him a new name, ‘Birbal.’ He was so fond of Birbal’s wit and sense of humour that he bestowed him with the title of ‘Raja’ and included him in his special committee of nine advisers, who were also known as ‘Navratans.’
Because of his razor sharp wit and presence of mind, Birbal soon became a close friend of the Emperor.
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