Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Akbar, there was a man called as Mahesh Das. He was a normal man, neither rich nor poor. However he was a very intelligent young man.
One day Akbar went hunting into the jungle. While chasing a deer, he went deep into the forest and lost his way. Mahesh Das used to collect wood in the forest and heard the King calling for help. He was familiar with the forest.
He searched and found the king. He helped the King reach the palace. The Emperor was so happy that he rewarded Mahesh Das with his ring.
The Emperor also said that he would give him a posting at his court. After a few days Mahesh Das was asked to come to court.
However he was stopped by the palace guard. Mahesh Das showed the guard the ring which the king had given to him. The guard was very greedy and thought that Mahesh Das was sure to get more rewards by the king.
The guard agreed to allow him inside the court but only on one condition. The condition was that Mahesh Das had to give him half the reward that he would get from the Emperor. Mahesh Das was a very intelligent man and accepted the condition.
Mahesh Das entered the court and bowed to the King who immediately recognized him.
King Akbar asked him, “You have done a great deed and have made me very happy. What do you expect as a reward from me? Ask and it shall be granted.”
Mahesh Das said, “My King, as my reward, I want 50 lashes from you with your best whip.”
The courtiers and the King were all stunned. They thought that Mahesh Das was mad.
Akbar asked Mahesh, “What is the reason behind your request?”
Mahesh Das said, “My King, for my reason to be explained properly, I wish to call the guard who was at the gate.”
King Akbar said, “Bring the guard to me immediately.”
The guard was brought before the King. The guard was very happy and thought that he was going to be rewarded.
Mahesh Das said, “My dear King, this kind guard let me inside on one condition that I should pay him half the reward I receive from you. I want you to teach him a lesson. Please give 25 lashes to this guard so that I can keep my promise to him. After that, please give me 25 lashes as well, as I have to fulfill my promise to him.”
The King then ordered that the guard be given 25 lashes to both of them. The guard was also punished with 5 years of imprisonment. The King was very happy with Mahesh Das.
King Akbar said, “You shall be called as Raja Birbal from now. You will be one of my ministers from today.”