Once upon a time, Birbal was not present in the court. Taking advantage of this, some ministers started filling Maharaj Akbar’s ears against Birbal. One of them started saying, “Maharaj! You give every responsibility only to Birbal and his advice is taken in every work. It means that you consider us unworthy. But, it is not so, we are also as capable as Birbal.
Birbal was very dear to Maharaj. He didn’t want to hear anything against them, but he worked out a solution so as not to disappoint the ministers. He said to them, “I want the answer of one question from all of you. But, keep in mind that if you people cannot answer this, then all of you will be sentenced to death.
The courtiers hesitated and said to Maharaj, “Th.. It is okay Maharaj! We accept this condition of yours, but first you ask questions.
The king said, “What is the biggest thing in the world?”
Hearing this question, all the ministers started staring at each other. Maharaj saw his condition and said, “Remember that the answer to this question should be accurate. I don’t want any awkward answers.”\
On this, the ministers asked the king for a few days’ time to answer this question. The king also agreed to this.
After coming out of the palace, all the ministers started searching for the answer to this question. The first said that the biggest thing in the world is God, then the second started saying that the biggest thing in the world is hunger. The third denied the answer of both and said that God is not a thing and hunger can also be tolerated. Therefore the answer to the king’s question is neither of these two.
Slowly time passed and all the days taken in the delay also passed. Still, on not getting the answer to the question asked by the king, all the ministers started worrying about their lives. On finding no other solution, they all reached Birbal and told him their whole story. Birbal was already aware of this. He told them, “I can save your life, but you have to do as I say.” Everyone agreed to Birbal’s talk.
The very next day, Birbal got a palanquin arranged. He gave the task of lifting the palanquin to two ministers, got the third one to hold his hookah and the fourth one to lift his shoes and himself sat in the palanquin. Then all of them were indicated to walk towards the king’s palace.
When everyone reached the court with Birbal, Maharaj was surprised to see this scene. Before he could ask Birbal anything, Birbal himself spoke to the king, “Maharaj! The biggest thing in the world is ‘thunder’. Because of their thunder, all of them have lifted my palanquin and brought it here.
Hearing this Maharaj could not help smiling and all the ministers stood with their heads bowed in shame.
Learning from the story
We learn from this story that we should never be jealous of someone’s ability, but should try to improve ourselves by learning from it.