The wisdom of Birbal was unparalleled during the reign of Emperor Akbar. But Akbar’s brother in law was extremely jealous of him. He asked the Emperor to dispense with Birbal’s services and appoint him in his place. He gave ample assurance that he would prove to be more efficient and capable than Birbal. But before Akbar could take a decision on the matter, the news reached Birbal.
Birbal resigned and left. Akbar’s brother in law was thus made the minister in place of Birbal. Akbar decided to test the new minister. He gave three hundred gold coins to him and said, “Spend these gold coins in such a manner that I get a hundred gold coins here in this life; a hundred gold coins in the other world and another hundred gold coins neither here nor there.”
The minister found the entire situation to be a maze of confusion and hopelessness. He spent sleepless nights worrying how he would get himself out of this mess. Thinking in circles was making him go crazy. Eventually, on the advice of his wife, he sought Birbal’s help. Birbal said, “Just give me the gold coins. I shall handle the rest.”
Birbal walked the streets of the city holding the bag of gold coins in his hand. He noticed a rich merchant celebrating his son’s wedding. Birbal gave a hundred gold coins to him and bowed courteously saying, ‘Emperor Akbar sends you his good wishes and blessings for the wedding of your son. Please accept the gift he has sent.’ The merchant felt honoured that the king had sent a special messenger with such a precious gift. He honoured Birbal in return and gave him a large number of expensive gifts and a bag of gold coins as a return gift for the king.
Thereafter, Birbal went to the area of the city where the poor people lived. There he bought food and clothing in exchange for a hundred gold coins and distributed them in the name of the Emperor.
When he came back to town he organized a concert of music and dance. He spent a hundred gold coins on it.
The next day Birbal entered Akbar’s Darbar and announced that he had done all that the king had asked his brother-in-law to do. The Emperor wanted to know what he had done. Birbal repeated the sequence of all the events and then said, ‘The money that I gave to the merchant for the wedding of his son – you have got back while on this earth as return gift. The money I spent on buying food and clothing for the poor – you will get it in the other world. The money I spent on the musical concert – you will get neither here nor there.” Akbar’s brother in law understood his mistake and resigned. Birbal got his place back.
Moral of the story: The money you spend on friends is returned or reciprocated in some form or the other in this life only. The money spent on charity gets converted into blessings from God which will be your eternal property. The money spent on pleasures is just frittered away. So think wisely before you spend your money.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
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ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
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AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
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REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
RHYTHM … in poems
(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
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