The Odd Questions

Akbar and Birbal image in kingdom
The Odd Question|Akbar and Birbal

The odd Questions is an Amazing Bedtime story for kids

Emperor Akbar was a very moody person. No one could ever tell, what would suddenly come to his mind. One day, he announced, “Who so ever will answer the following questions will get a big reward.”

The questions were,

  1. Now it is present and it is also present afterward.
  2. Now it is absent and even afterward, it is absent.
  3. Now it is present but afterward, it is absent.

The answers had to be given with suitable examples.

No one could understand anything. But, Birbal said to the Emperor, “Your Majesty, to find out the answers to your questions, it is necessary to visit the town.”

Then, both of them disguised themselves sages and went to the town’s market place. After entering a shop, Birbal said to the trader, “We want four thousand rupees to give education to my guru’s son.”

The trader was telling his manager to give the money when Birbal further said, “I will not simply take your money, Sir, but for every rupee, I will hit your head with my wooden – slippers!”

The servants of the shop became furious on hearing this and came forward to punish Birbal. But the trader asked them to keep quiet and said, “If my money is going to be utilized for a good purpose I am willing to bear your beating!

Saying so, he bent his head to be hit. But, Birbal and the Emperor came down and left the shop. Then Birbal said, “Did you see? This means that what the trader has today, means money and good intention. Because of his good conduct, even after death, he will attain heaven. This means that what he has today, he will also have tomorrow,”

Further, on the road, they came across a beggar. While he was begging, a person gave him enough food. Birbal approached the beggar and asked him, “Give us some food, we are hungry.” But the beggar drove them shouting, “Get out! Go away!

Then Birbal said, “He will not even be able to please God and so, this means that what he does not have today he will not even possess tomorrow.”

Sometime later, they saw a hermit busy meditating in a temple. Birbal placed some money before him. But the hermit immediately said, “Please take it away, it is like poison for me. I don’t want any of it.”

Birbal then said,” Maharaj, this means that now it is absent but afterward, it is present. Now, he is neglecting all these pleasures but tomorrow, he is bound to attain them.

“And Maharaj, the fourth thing is in your case. Because of your good deeds in your previous life, you are today enjoying pleasures and possess money and valuables, etc. and if you will continue with your goodness and justice you will have it afterward also. But if your conduct would be wrong, everything will fritter away.”

The Emperor was very much pleased with Birbal’s clever and honest answers


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