Akbari Mahabharata

Akbari Mahabharata :

Birbal once arrived in King Akbar’s chamber carrying a heavy book. On enquiring, Birbal told the King that he is holding the Mahabharata - a holy book of the Hindus. King Akbar wished to read it so Birbal left the Mahabharata with the King.

A few days later King Akbar summoned Birbal and said, “Birbal, I want you to write an Akbari Mahabharata. You can take as much money as you want.”

Birbal got worried at such a strange request which could not be fulfilled at all.

But Birbal said, “Of course, Your Majesty! It will be done. But I need two month’s time and fifty thousand gold coins to spend on.”

“I agree to your demands, Birbal.”

Birbal went home with a worried face.

“Mahabharata is a holy book written by a great sage. How could Akbar’s Mahabharata be created?”

As he pondered he had an idea. He spent some money to buy a tonne of waste papers. Then he gave away the rest of the money to Brahmins and poor as alms. After resting well for two months, Birbal arrived in the royal court. On seeing him, King Akbar asked, “Birbal, I had asked you to write Mahabharata about my Mughal dynasty. What did you do about it?”

“Your Majesty, your work is in progress. Ten Brahmins are busy writing it. If you can give me five thousand gold coins more, then I can employ five more Brahmins to complete the task sooner.”

King Akbar agreed and Birbal took leave for another month. At the end of the month, Birbal made bundles of waste papers and bound them up as many heavy volumes of a book. He took all the volumes of the book to court.

There he said to the King, “Your Majesty, I have the Akbari Mahabharata ready but before presenting its volumes, I need permission to seek the Queen’s advice.”

With the King’s permission, Birbal took the books to the Queen and said, “Her Majesty, His Majesty had ordered a royal Mahabharata to be written. I have got it created by great learned persons and I have brought it with me to show you.”

“Oh, that’s a great thing, Birbal!” exclaimed the Queen.

“But, Her Majesty, there is a problem.”

“Yes, tell me, if I can help you,” the Queen said.

“Her Majesty, you know that in the Mahabharata, Draupadi had five husbands. As you are one of the characters of the royal Mahabharata, so in the book you also have five husbands. And as you know Draupadi had been disrobed in the royal court by Dusshasana, so you as a character in this book are undergoing the same.”

“Keep shut, Birbal. How dare you say that? I don’t want to hear anything,” the Queen grew angry.

“But, Her Majesty, the royal Mahabharata must be much like the original....”

“No… I will have none of this nonsense. Get me those silly volumes. I’ll burn them to ashes.”

Birbal had achieved just that he had wished for.

The Queen got her maid to torch the volumes of the books Birbal had brought. Birbal slipped way and informed King Akbar about that. The King became very angry at the news. He rushed to the Queen’s palace. By the King arrived there, the books rather the waste papers had turned to ashes. Being asked the reason to do so, Queen told King Akbar as to why she had torched the Akbari Mahabharata. On hearing the reason, King Akbar got alarmed. He promised the Queen that there would be no royal Mahabharata of the Mughal dynasty.

Later on Birbal confessed to all that what he had done with the waste papers and the money. King Akbar felt happy at Birbal’s honesty and rewarded him for his wit.

Akbari Mahabharata

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