Eyed or Without Eyes
“Birbal, tell me, have most of the people eyes or they don't?” the Emperor asked.
The Emperor thought that the world was full of people with eyes, because one could not hide anything from them. They see it and start asking questions about it. The people seemed to have eyes all over.
But Birbal disagreed saying. “People are blind.”
Then Emperor asked Birbal to prove his point.
Birbal brought a piece of cloth and wrapped it around his head. Then, he took Akbar out in the street.
“What is this?” Birbal asked many people.
“It is a turban,” they replied without any exception.
Birbal removed the piece of cloth from his head and put it around his neck.
“What is this?” he asked the people.
“That is a muffler,” came the answer.
Birbal, then wrapped the same piece of cloth around his waist and asked, “What is this?”
“That is a dhoti,” all the people replied.
Birbal said, “See, Huzoor, all these people were with eyes and yet they could not see the reality. This is just a piece of cloth, but when it was used in different ways people called it by different names and thought that those names were different things.”
“So,” continued Birbal, “the world is full of people who are not aware of the reality and I call such people, blind.”