AKBAR & BETTLE LEAVES


AKBAR & BETTLE LEAVES

     The Moghul emperor Akbar was very fond of eating pan (betel leaf). His immense liking for pan was a well known fact, not only to Birbal but also to all the courtiers. One day, while in the court, Akbar looked at his courtiers and questioned, “Of all the leaves, which leaf is the best?”
     Though everyone knew Akbar’s liking for the betel leaf, none answered because they were not sure what to answer, if the emperor asked them why and how betel leaf was superior to otherleaves.
     On hearing Birbal’s argument, emperor Akbar realized that it was impossible to alter the laws of creation, however mighty one might be. He thanked Birbal for enlightening him and also for breaking his false pride.
     When emperor Akbar turned to Birbal for an answer, Birbal rose from his seat and said, “Oh Lord! Betel leaf is far more superior to any other leaves.” As anticipated, emperor Akbar asked, “why is it superior and what makes it so significant?”
     Birbal replied, “Lord! There are many excellent qualities to mention, in a betel leaf. It helps in digestion of the food, which is why pan is chewed after having food.
     Secondly, when a pan is offered to enemies, it indicates desire for friendship and peace. Thus, on offering it, even foes can be turned in to friends. Not only these Lord! Betel leaf is significant because of another reason too.”
     “And what is it?” asked the Emperor. Birbal smiled and replied, “Betel leaf is the greatest leaf in the world because daily it reaches as high as your majesty’s lips, something for which no other leaf had been fortunate enough. The fact that you chew it everyday, makes it far more superior to others”
     Emperor Akbar was amused on hearing Birbal’s witty reply and appreciated him for his intelligence.

No comments