The Royal Treatment

Akbar was a great Mughal emperor who ruled our land for a long time. He had a wise and able minister called Birbal. Birbal was known for his valuable advices to the king. Akbar loved his wisdom and humor which were not only witty but also intellectual. Birbal was a great Bhakta and chanted the Ram Nam always.
Once Akbar and Birbal ventured into the forest for hunting. It was past midday and they had gone deep into the woods. Both of them felt very hungry. They halted beside a huge tree. The king said, ‘We have come far too away from our kingdom. There is no way we can go back to our palace for food.’
Birbal nodded.
The king went on, ‘Come on. Let us go to the nearby village and ask someone for some food. We can satiate our hunger and then return.’
Birbal refused to come. He said he was not willing to accompany the king and sat under the tree and started chanting Ram Nam.
The king was rather amused by his minister’s behaviour. He laughed at Birbal for sounding foolish! He said, ‘If you continue to sit here and chant this name, you will not even get a drop of water!’
Birbal was not the least perturbed by the king’s words. He continued to chant the Ram Nam.
Akbar said, ‘Ok! I don’t care whether you accompany me or not! I’m going. You are only going to starve to death!’ Saying so, Akbar went to the nearby village.
The king went to the nearby village and in the outskirts he found a small house. He was accorded welcome and given food. The king fulfilled his hunger and also had some food packed for Birbal.
When he returned, he gave the parcel to Birbal. Birbal, relishing the food, remarked, ‘Behold the greatness of the Ram Nam! The king himself had to go begging for food! And lo! This subservient minister being served food verily by His Majesty! ’
Akbar smiled. He had understood the meaning of Birbal’s words and acknowledged the power of Ram Nam.

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