Akbar wanted to ask Birbal a question to test him. Akbar said, “My dear Birbal, if I tell you to choose between Justice and one gold coin, what would you choose.
Birbal thought for a moment and said, “My King, I shall choose the one gold coin without a doubt.”
The King and all his courtiers were surprised and shocked by the answer which Birbal had given them. This was not like Birbal. Birbal always stood for Justice and for him to choose a simple gold coin over Justice made Akbar sad.
Akbar said, “I am extremely disappointed in you, Birbal. How could you choose one gold coin over Justice? Is Justice not important to you?”
Birbal said, “My King. In this Kingdom, there is Justice everywhere. We have never failed to provide Justice to anyone, rich or poor, intelligent or stupid. If I ask you for Justice, I will not be able to find anyone or anything where there we have failed to provide Justice.”
Birbal continued his explanation, “One must ask for what one does not have. I feel that I am always short of money and the Gold coin will be nice. Justice will always prevail in this Kingdom and hence I do not want to ask for it again when there is no need.”
Akbar was speechless. He had a big smile on his face. Birbal had not failed him and that is all that he wanted to hear. He awarded Birbal with 100 gold coins.
Moral: One should choose one’s words wisely.