Once upon a time a foolish brahmin came to visit Birbal with a strange request. He wanted to be addressed as ‘pandit’. Now, the term ‘pandit’ refers to a man of learning. But unfortunately this poor brahmin was uneducated. Birbal tried to explain the difference to him saying that it was not correct to call an uneducated man a pandit and because of this very reason it would be improper to call him so. But the silly brahmin had his heart set on this title.
So, as usual, Birbal had a brilliant idea. He said that as the brahmin was an uneducated man he should hurl abuses and stones at anyone who dared to address him by the very same title he wanted. Then Birbal called all his servants to himself and ordered them to call this lowly brahmin a pandit. The brahmin was very pleased. But the moment the servants started calling out to him as ‘pandit’ he pretended to be very angry and started to abuse them loudly. Then he picked up a few stones and hurled them in their direction. All as per clever Birbal’s advice.
All this shouting and screaming drew a crowd. When people realised that this brahmin was erupting every time anyone called him ‘pandit’, they all started to tease him. Over the next couple of days, he would constantly hear the refrain ‘pandit’ wherever he went. Very soon the whole town started referring to him as ‘pandit’ much to his delight.
The foolish brahmin never realised why people were calling him in this manner. And was extremely pleased with the result. He thanked Birbal from the very bottom of his foolish heart.
Full Moon, Quarter Moon
Once Birbal went to Persia at the invitation of that country’s King. Parties were extended in his honor and rich gifts heaped up near him. On the eve of his departure to home, a nobleman asked him as how he would compare the king of Persia with his own King. Birbal said – “Your King is the full Moon, whereas mine could be like a quarter Moon.” The Persians got very happy to hear this analogy.
Now Birbal got home and he found that Emperor Akbar was furious with him. He demanded angrily – “How could you belittle your own king? You are a traitor.” Birbal said politely – “No, Your Majesty, no. I cannot belittle you. What I said there meant – “The Full Moon diminishes and disappears onward, while the quartered Moon grows gradually day by day. What I, in fact, wanted to tell the world that your power is growing day by day while the King of Persia’s is about to decline now.”
Akbar grunted in satisfaction and welcomed Birbal back from his journey with a warm embrace.
The Monkey and the Wedge
A merchant once started building a temple in the middle of his garden. Many masons and carpenters were working for the merchant. They took time off every day to go to the town for their lunch. One day, when the workers left for lunch a batch of monkeys landed at the temple site and began playing with whatever caught their fancy. One of the monkeys saw a partly sawed log of wood and a wedge fixed in it so that it does not close up.
Curious to know what it is, the monkey began furiously tugging at the wedge. At last the wedge came off, not before trapping the legs of the monkey into the rift of the log. Very soon, not able to get his legs out of the closed wood, the monkey died.
Moral of the story : Never poke your nose into others affair.