Sunday, February 5, 2012

Akbar and Birbal Story

Why Hair Does Not Grow on Palms

Birbal had unparallel sense of wit. It was his sense of intelligence and wit that brought Birbal so close to the Emperor Akbar.

One day Akbar was in quite a relaxed mood and was enjoying the company of Birbal. Suddenly the Emperor spread his both palm in front of him and noticed that there was no hair on his palms.

He asked, “Birbal, Can you tell me why there is no hair on my palms?”
Birbal gave a pleasing answer, “Jahaanpanaah, the reason is very simple. Everyday you donate generously to the poor and needy people with both of your hands. How can hair grow on such giving palms?” Akbar was very pleased with his answer.

However he decided to pull his leg for giving such a pleasing answer, so he asked him again - “If it’s so Birbal, then why there is no hair on your palms?”
Birbal at once replied, “Jahaanpanaah, reason is very simple. Hair of my palm have vanished due to continuous acceptance of gifts and rewards from you.” The clever answer of Birbal made the Emperor more eager to outfit Birbal.

He then asked his courtiers to show him their palms. As they showed their palms to him, he found that their palms were also bare, no hair on their palms too. So he asked Birbal again, “Now you must tell me why there is no hair on the palms of other courtiers?”
Birbal was too smart to outwit, he promptly answered, “Your majesty, the answer is obvious. Wherever I get rewards from you, the other courtiers rub their hands out of disappointment and envy. The continuous rub does not allow the hair to grow on their hands.”

Spiritual Comments
There is some spiritual importance of this Akbar-Birbal story. When we give something to somebody our love-power increases, and when that person receives it devotedly his gratitude-power increases. Because whatever we give to him it goes to him in the form of love; and while receiving it what he offers in return, comes to us in the form of gratitude. But the people who do not receive become jealous, and by being jealous they simply delay their own progress.

In the same way if we take the example of a Guru and disciple, when a Guru gives spiritual wealth to a disciple, the Guru can easily feel that it is Guru who is giving. And while the disciple is receiving that power from the Guru, he can feel that it is he who is receiving that wealth. If one can identify himself with Guru's offering and, at the same time, with the devoted qualities of the Disciple, then he becomes the giver as well as the receiver. Identification is not illusion. Identification is not deception. In the spiritual life one must always try to identify himself with the Truth that is coming from above and trying to manifest itself here on earth. Identification with Light and Truth is the only important thing in life. When a disciple identifies himself with his Guru’s consciousness, he becomes one with the Creator. And when he identifies himself with his disciples, he becomes one with the creation. When he becomes inseparably one with both the Creator and the creation, he gets the utmost joy.

By being jealous of what the giver has given or of what a receiver has got, one can never have joy or peace of mind. In order to be constantly happy, one has to identify himself with Reality’s Source and Reality’s Course, with Reality’s Glow and Reality’s Flow. Reality’s Source is the Master; Reality’s Course is the disciple. Reality’s Glow is the Master, Reality's Flow is the Disciple.

Read more Akbar Birbal stories at

Sushma Gupta


  1. GIVING to those who do not have something is a great concept and receivers must be very happy by receiving that.It is specially true in case of TEACHING where a teacher gives KNOWLEDGE to his students what they do not have; Teacher feels satisfied by giving knowledge while students feel satisfied too and express their gratitude in several ways.
    I read some more stories from Sushma's site. They are very interesting.

  2. Thanks. It is true. Teacher and Guru are the same but people now a days do not show such gratitude to their teachers, as they should.