Once a learned Pandit came to Akbar’s court and expressed his desire to test the intelligence of his courtiers. Emperor Akbar was very proud of his set of learned and highly decorated courtiers and he was sure that they would be able to clear whatever test the Pandit gave them. Thus, he granted Pandit’s wish. Next day all the courtiers gathered in the Emperor’s durbar and waited for the Pandit to arrive. The Pandit reached the court at the appointed time. He had a pot covered with a cloth in his hand. He put it in front of the courtiers, and said, “If any one of you can tell me what lies in this pot, I would accept my defeat.”
There was pin drop silence in the court. Nobody knew how to tell the contents of a covered pot. Then Birbal came forward, he uncovered the pot, peeped inside and said, “There is nothing inside the pot. It is empty!”
The Pandit said, “This is cheating! You opened the pot.”
Birbal replied, “But, Panditji, you never said not to open it in the first place!”
The Pandit understood that the clever minister of Emperor Akbar had outwitted him. He humbly bowed to the Emperor and left.
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