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Akbar Birbal Chutkule

How Many Crows in the Kingdom?

Akbar Birbal Chutkule

Read more Akbar Birbal stories here.

Being Emperor Akbar’s favorite minister, Birbal used to solve many of his problems.

One day Emperor Akbar and Birbal were taking a walk in the palace gardens. It was a nice summer morning and there were plenty of crows happily playing around . Akbar was enjoying seeing so many crows playing.

Suddenly, while watching the crows, a question came into Akbar’s head. He wondered how many crows were there in his kingdom.

Since Birbal was accompanying him, he asked Birbal this question. Birbal looked at the crows and after a moment’s thought, Birbal replied, “There are ninety-five thousand four hundred and sixty-three crows in the Kingdom”.

Amazed by his quick response, Akbar tried to test him again, “What if there are more crows than you answered?”

Without hesitating Birbal replied, “If there are more crows than my answer, then some crows are visiting from other neighboring kingdoms”.

“And what if there are less crows”, Akbar asked. “Then some crows from our kingdom have gone on holidays to other places”. Akbar was very much impressed at this intelligent answer from Birbal.

Read more Akbar Birbal stories here.

How Many Crows in the Kingdom?

Journey to Paradise

Akbar Birbal ChutkuleRead more Akbar Birbal stories here.

As we all know, Birbal was not only Emperor Akbar’s favorite minister but also a minister dearly loved by most of the commoners, because of his ready wit and wisdom. People used to come to him from far and wide for advise on personal matters too.

However, there was a group of ministers that were jealous of his growing popularity and disliked him intensely.  They outwardly showered him with praise and compliments, but on the inside they began to hatch a plot to kill him.

One day they approached the king’s barber with a plan. As the barber was extremely close to the king, they asked him to help them get rid of Birbal permanently. And of course, they promised him a huge sum of money in return. The wicked barber readily agreed.

The next time the king called him to trim his beard, the barber started a conversation about the emperor’s father who he also used to serve. He sang praises of his fine, silky-smooth hair. And then as an afterthought he asked the king that as he was enjoying such great prosperity, had he made an attempt to do anything for the welfare of his ancestors?

The king was furious at such impertinent stupidity and told the barber that it was not possible to do anything because they were already dead. The barber mentioned that he knew of a magician who could come of help. The magician could send a person up to heaven to inquire about his father’s welfare. But of course this person would have to be chosen carefully; he would have to be intelligent enough to follow the magicians instructions as well as make on-the-spot decisions. He must be wise, intelligent and responsible. The barber then suggested the best person for the job – the wisest of all ministers, Birbal.

The king was very excited about hearing from his father and asked the barber to go ahead and make the arrangements immediately. He asked him what was needed to be done. The barber explained that they would take Birbal in a procession to the burial grounds and light a pyre. The magician would then chant some ‘mantras’ as Birbal would ascend to the heavens through the smoke. The chanting would help protect Birbal from the fire.

The king happily informed Birbal of this plan. Birbal said that it a brilliant idea and wanted to know the brain behind it. When learning that it was the barber’s idea, he agreed to go to heaven on condition that he be given a large some of money for the long journey as well as one month’s time to settle his family so that they had no trouble while he was gone. The king agreed to both conditions.
As we all know, Birbal was not only Emperor Akbar’s favorite minister but also a minister dearly loved by most of the commoners, because of his ready wit and wisdom. People used to come to him from far and wide for advise on personal matters too.

However, there was a group of ministers that were jealous of his growing popularity and disliked him intensely.  They outwardly showered him with praise and compliments, but on the inside they began to hatch a plot to kill him.

One day they approached the king’s barber with a plan. As the barber was extremely close to the king, they asked him to help them get rid of Birbal permanently. And of course, they promised him a huge sum of money in return. The wicked barber readily agreed.

The next time the king called him to trim his beard, the barber started a conversation about the emperor’s father who he also used to serve. He sang praises of his fine, silky-smooth hair. And then as an afterthought he asked the king that as he was enjoying such great prosperity, had he made an attempt to do anything for the welfare of his ancestors?

The king was furious at such impertinent stupidity and told the barber that it was not possible to do anything because they were already dead. The barber mentioned that he knew of a magician who could come of help. The magician could send a person up to heaven to inquire about his father’s welfare. But of course this person would have to be chosen carefully; he would have to be intelligent enough to follow the magicians instructions as well as make on-the-spot decisions. He must be wise, intelligent and responsible. The barber then suggested the best person for the job – the wisest of all ministers, Birbal.

The king was very excited about hearing from his father and asked the barber to go ahead and make the arrangements immediately. He asked him what was needed to be done. The barber explained that they would take Birbal in a procession to the burial grounds and light a pyre. The magician would then chant some ‘mantras’ as Birbal would ascend to the heavens through the smoke. The chanting would help protect Birbal from the fire.

The king happily informed Birbal of this plan. Birbal said that it a brilliant idea and wanted to know the brain behind it. When learning that it was the barber’s idea, he agreed to go to heaven on condition that he be given a large some of money for the long journey as well as one month’s time to settle his family so that they had no trouble while he was gone. The king agreed to both conditions.

In the duration of this month, he got a few trustworthy men to build a tunnel from the funeral grounds to his house.

And on the day of the ascension, after the pyre had been lit, Birbal escaped through the concealed door of the tunnel. He disappeared in to his house where he hid for a few months while his hair and beard grew long and unruly.

In the meantime his enemies were rejoicing as they thought that they had seen the last of Birbal.Then one day after many, many months with his hair and beard grown long and shaggy, he came out of hiding.

Read more Akbar Birbal stories here.

"Birbal!" cried the Emperor. "Where have you come from?" The king was extremely pleased to see him.
"From Paradise, Majesty. I spent such a lovely time with your father that he gave me special permission to return to earth." Birbal told the king that his father was in the best of spirits and had been provided with all the comforts except one.

The king wanted to know what was lacking because now he thought he had found a way to send things and people to heaven. Birbal answered, "Do you see my whiskers and long hair? Well, it seems very few barbers make it to Heaven. Your father asks you to send him yours at once."

So the king decided to send his barber to serve his father in heaven. He called both the barber and the magician to prepare to send him to heaven. The barber could say absolutely nothing in his own defense as he was caught in his own trap. And once the pyre was lit he died on the spot.Nobody dared to conspire against Birbal again.

Journey to Paradise

Birbal's Khichadi

Read more Akbar Birbal stories here.

On a cold winter day Akbar and Birbal took a walk along the lake. A thought came to Birbal that a man would do anything for money. He expressed his feelings to Akbar. Akbar then put his finger into the lake and immediately removed it because he shivered with cold.

Akbar said "I don't think a man would spend an entire night in the cold water of this lake for money."

Birbal replied "I am sure I can find such a person."

Akbar then challenged Birbal into finding such a person and said that he would reward the person with a thousand gold coins.

Birbal searched far and wide until he found a poor man who was desperate enough to accept the challenge. The poor man entered the lake and Akbar had guards posted near him to make sure that he really did as promised.

The next morning the guards took the poor man to Akbar. Akbar asked the poor man if he had indeed spent the night in the lake. The poor man replied that he had. Akbar then asked the poor man how he managed to spend the night in the lake. The poor man replied that there was a street lamp near by and he kept his attention affixed on the lamp and away from the cold. Akbar then said that there would be no reward as the poor man had survived the night in the lake by the warmth of the street lamp. The poor man went to Birbal for help.

The next day, Birbal did not go to court. The king wondering where he was sent a messenger to his home. The messenger came back saying that Birbal would come once his Khichri was cooked. The king waited hours but Birbal did not come. Finally the king decided to go to Birbal's house and see what he was upto.

He found Birbal sitting on the floor near some burning twigs and a bowl filled with Khichri hanging five feet above the fire. The king and his attendants couldn't help but laugh.

Akbar then said to Birbal "How can the Khichri be cooked if it so far away from the fire?"

Birbal answered "The same way the poor man received heat from a street lamp that was more than a furlong away."

The King understood his mistake and gave the poor man his reward.

Read more Akbar Birbal stories here.

Birbal's Khichadi

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