One day, Emperor Akbar was walking through the market and saw a woman hugging and kissing a child.
King Akbar said to Birbal, “Would you say that the child looks very ugly and unattractive?”
Birbal said, “I would say that he is not as cute as some children are. I would not say he looks unattractive.”
King Akbar continued speaking, “Though the child was ugly to look at, the woman is calling him the most attractive child in the world.”
King Akbar said to Birbal, “Birbal, I wonder how a woman could shower so much love on a child who is not cute.”
Birbal replied politely, “My King, for every mother, her own child is the most beautiful child in the world. Just as you and your wife believe that your children are the most attractive in the world.”
The King did not agree to the response and wanted a better answer. The next day, the royal court met. Birbal ordered all the women in the court to find and bring the most beautiful child in the world and bring them to court.
The next day, each woman brought one child. Some had long hair, some had no hair. Some had long projecting teeth and some had no teeth. Some were fat, some were thin. They each presented their children before the King.
Each of the women swore, “This is the most beautiful child in the world, my King.”
Birbal asked, “Did anyone bring a child which is not your own?”
No woman raised their hand. Each of them had brought their own child to court since they truly believed that their child was the most beautiful in the world.