The Emperor and the Holy Book
One day, the Emperor said to Birbal, “Birbal, in your holy-book, it is written somewhere that, once Lord Vishnu ran all alone, upon hearing the cries of an elephant. He didn’t even take his servants along. Why was it so? Weren’t there any servants?”
Birbal said, “Huzoor, I shall answer your question at the right moment!”
Several days later, Birbal called the servant whose duty was to take the Emperor’s grandson for a stroll everyday. Birbal gave him a dummy of the Emperor’s grandson made of wax.
He said to the servant, “Today you take this dummy in place of Emperor’s grandson for a walk. Then pretend to have slipped near the tank in the garden. But, you should fall in such a manner that this dummy gets thrown into the water. Your success- ful performance will fetch you a handsome reward!”
The servant did as Birbal had asked him to do. As soon as he came near the tank, he, know- ingly slipped and fell down throwing the dummy into the tank.
The Emperor saw this happening from his balcony. He at once rushed to the spot and jumped into the tank with his clothes on. But he found a dummy of his grandson in the water and realised his mistake.
Birbal was standing near the tank. He said, “Your Majesty! Why did you yourself rush to the tank to save your grandson? Didn’t you have servants? Why didn’t you bring your servants with you?”
Birbal explained, “Your Majesty, just as your grandson is dear to you, so are the devotees of Lord Vishnu to him. That’s the reason why on hearing the cries of the elephant for help, he himself ran to save him.”