Emperor Akbar once decided to test Birbal’s wit. So, he gave Birbal three hundred coins and told, ” Spend the coins in a way that for hundred coins, I get the return in this life. For another hundred coins, I should get the return in my next life. And the remaining hundred coins should be neither here nor there.”
Birbal agreed to the challenge and took the coins, and left. On the way, he passed the marriage of the son of a rich merchant. Birbal went to the merchant. Presenting him a hundred coins, Birbal said that the Emperor sent his best wishes for the wedding.
Seeing that the king has sent him gifts through a special messenger, the merchant became very happy. He accepted the coins gracefully. In return, the merchant gave many precious jewels to Birbal for the King.
Birbal spent another 100 coins buying some food and clothes and distributed them amongst poor people in the kingdom. The people were happy and blessed the king.
With the remaining 100 coins, he organized a music concert.
After this, Birbal went back to the court and informed the king that he had spent the 300 coins as per the king’s wish.
Akbar became curious. He asked, ” How did you do this, Birbal?”
Birbal explained, “The money I gave to the merchant, you got the return in this life as jewels and gifts. The one I spent on poor, you will get the fruit of it in next life. The money spent on the music concert is just gone. You will neither get the return in this world nor in next world.
Akbar smiled and agreed with Birbal that the money was indeed spent justly.
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