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Akbar and Birbal – Who is Unfortunate?

When the king decides to behead a man for bringing bad luck to others, can Birbal save him or is he doomed?

One day, Akbar was watching a person getting whipped as he was begging for his life. He was crying out loudly for help when Birbal came in front of him. Birbal then intervened and stopped the whipping.

He went to the king and asked him as to the reason for this punishment being given to the man. The king then said that he got numerous reports that this man was causing bad luck for whoever saw his face. But in order to test this for himself, the king got him to stay overnight at the palace. In the morning, he saw the man’s face and ever since then he has had bad luck. He could not get a single morsel of food nor could he even sit down for a minute. Birbal was listening to all of this carefully.

Birbal then asked the king as to whose face did the man see in the morning. The king replied that the man had obviously seen his (king’s) face. Birbal then started to laugh loudly after hearing this. When the king asked Birbal as to why he was laughing, Birbal said that he (king) was the cause for the man’s misfortune. Akbar then understood that his judgement was wrong and he ordered the man to be released immediately. He also ordered for monetary compensation to be given to the man. The man was grateful to Birbal and the king as well for having been finally released.

Moral – One must not blame others for their misfortune. One must learn to accept responsibility for their own mistakes and learn from them.

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