Category Archives: Birbal Stories

Story of how Birbal Cooks Breakfast

Once Akbar and Birbal were taking a stroll. Winter was at its peak at that time of season. A thought came to Birbal’s mind, and he expressed to the Emperor, “A man can do anything for money.” Emperor also thought something, and he just dipped his finger in the almost freezing water of a nearby pond. He drew his hand immediately, and replied Birbal, “I don’t think so. Do you think somebody can stand in this almost freezing water for the whole night for money?” Birbal said, “I think so.”
Birbal told that he can find such a man who can stand in this water for the whole night for money. Akbar couldn’t believe, so he accepted the challenge and said that he would give one thousand gold coins to that man.
Next day Birbal brought a man who was very poor and thin. He told the King that that man would stand in that water. “Good” the King said and sent him to that pond. Because he did not believe this, so he sent some guards too to see whether he was really standing in that almost freezing water for the whole night.
The man went away. Next day the man came back to claim his prize. Akbar asked his guards about the whole thing and they said, ” Yes Huzoor, he stood there the whole night.” Akbar asked that man, “Just tell me how did you stand in that cold water the whole night ? ” The man said, ” There was a lamp post at some distance. I just gazed at it for the whole night. Heat of that lamp was my only hope. “
Akbar refused to give him his prize saying that since he got the heat from that lamp, he was not in the cold water absolutely. Hearing this, the man got very disappointed and went away. When Birbal heard this, he didn’t like it. Next day he didn’t come in the court. Akbar got worried about him and send his men to bring him to the court.
The men went to his house and came back with the message that Birbal was cooking his breakfast and only after eating that he will come to the court. One hour passed, two hours passed, several hours passed. Evening fell, but there was no sign of Birbal. Now Akbar got impatient, and got ready to see him himself.

So he went to Birbal’s house. What he sees, that Birbal is sitting in a room, fire was burning and a pot was hung about 8-10 feet higher than the fire. The King asked, ” Birbal what are you doing? ” Birbal replied, “Huzoor I am cooking my khichri.” Hearing this King and his people laughed loudly. Akbar said to him, “Birbal you can’t cook your food in this way. It is not getting enough heat to be cooked.”

Birbal said, “If that man can get the heat from such a distance to keep him enough warm to stand in this cold water for the whole night, then why my food can’t be cooked in this way?”

King understood the point, and returned to his palace. Next day he called that man and gave his prize to him.

Story of Birbal’s Child

Birbal arrived late for a function and the emperor was displeased.
“My child was crying and I had to placate him,” explained the courtier.
“Does it take so long to calm down a child?” asked the emperor. “It appears you know nothing about child rearing. Now you pretend to be a child and I shall act as your father and I will show you how you should have dealt with your child. Go on, ask me for whatever he asked of you.”
“I want a cow,” said Birbal.
Akbar ordered a cow to be brought to the palace.
“I want its milk. I want its milk,” said Birbal, imitating the voice of a small child.
“Milk the cow and give to him,” said Akbar to his servants.
The cow was milked and the milk was offered to Birbal. He drank a little and then handed the bowl back to Akbar.
“Now put the rest of it back into the cow, put it back, put in back, put it back…” wailed Birbal.
The emperor was flabbergasted and quietly left the room.

Story of Birbal’s Choice

One day Emperor Akbar asked Birbal what he would choose if he were given a choice between justice and a gold coin.
“The gold coin,” said Birbal.
Akbar was taken aback.

“You would prefer a gold coin to justice?” he asked, incredulously.
“Yes,” said Birbal.
The other courtiers were amazed by Birbal’s display of idiocy.
For years they had been trying to discredit Birbal in the emperor’s eyes but without success and now the man had gone and done it himself!
They could not believe their good fortune.
“I would have been dismayed if even the lowliest of my servants had said this,” continued the emperor. “But coming from you it’s. . . it’s shocking – and sad. I did not know you were so debased!”
“One asks for what one does not have, Your Majesty!” said Birbal, quietly. “You have seen to it that in our country justice is available to everybody. So as justice is already available to me and as I’m always short of money I said I would choose the gold coin.”
The emperor was so pleased with Birbal’s reply that he gave him not one but a thousand gold coins.