A Pot Full of Intelligence :
One day a messenger arrived in Akbar’s court from Sri Lanka. He had a strange request indeed. He said, “Your Majesty, the whole world knows about the intelligent and learned courtiers that adorn your court. The king of Sri Lanka has sent me here to get a pot full of intelligence.”
Suddenly the court was filled with whispers, “A pot full of intelligence, so weird!”
“The Sri Lankan King wants to make a fool of us!”
“I don’t think we can fulfill this request at all.”
Just then Birbal got up and said, “Your Majesty, we can arrange a pot full of intelligence but we need some weeks to do so.”
The messenger replied, “Oh, time is no concern for us. I can wait for some weeks.”
Birbal went home and called his servant, “Get some small mouthed earthen pots for me.”
Within few minutes, the servant came back with a dozen such pots. Birbal and the servant
went to the place where many pumpkins had been planted. Birbal took the pots and placed the plant’s flower inside the mouths of the pots. Then he gave instructions
to the servant that the pots must not be removed till instructed.
A few days later, Akbar enquired about the pots of intelligence. Birbal told him, “Your Majesty, it will take a few weeks more and the pot will be filled to the top with intelligence.”
A fortnight later, Birbal went to check the pumpkin plants. He saw that the pumpkins had grown to the size of the pots. He called the servant and asked him to remove the pots full of pumpkins carefully.
Next morning, in Akbar’s court, he called upon the Sri Lankan king’s messenger, “Sir, I present you a pot full of intelligence.”
Birbal’s servant stepped forward with an earthen pot whose mouth was covered with a cloth. The messenger took the pot.
Birbal said, “Sir, being a most valuable thing, we keep the intelligence in precious pots. So, I request you to empty the pot and return it without a scratch on it. The fruit of intelligence will be effective only if removed without damaging it.”
At this the messenger looked inside the pot. He was taken aback.
Birbal continued, “If the king of Sri Lanka wishes for more intelligence. I have about
ten more of such pots.”
The messenger thought that he had surely been outwitted by Birbal. His King should not have challenged Akbar courtiers. The messenger left without a word and took the pot with him.
Then King Akbar requested to see the pot of intelligence for himself. Soon Birbal sent for them. The servant arrived with ten more such pots. King Akbar peeped into one of them and burst out laughing on seeing the pumpkin, “Oh, surely Birbal has gifted the King of
Sri Lanka enough intelligence to last a lifetime.”
A Pot Full of Intelligence
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