Author: Anant Pai
Publisher: India Book House
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
TALES OF NARADA VOL- 520
The divine sage Narada is the most popular figure in Puranic lore. No event of significance takes place in the Puranas that Narada does not have a hand in. He is depicted as a messenger always on the move, visiting the devas, the manavas and the asuras and honoured by all. He is a great devotee of Vishnu.
Although Narada is always referred to with respect in mythology, he is often misunderstood and ridiculed by the common people as a carrier of tales and a mischief maker. However, Narada’s so-called mischief invariably brings about the down fall of the wicked and furthers the cause of the good.
It is tough to be a famous junior, and more so when the senior happens to be Akbar, the Mughal-e-Azam. This was the tragedy of Jahangir.
It was a personal tragedy in which neither Anarkali nor Noor Jahan had any role, though popular stories associate these two women, more than anyone else, with the personality of Jahangir.
The events described here are based on the memoirs of Akbar and Jahangir and other historical records.
RAMAN – THE MATCHLESS WIT
The triumph of the little man over the mighty is a recurring theme in literature. Sometimes he does it with a sling and stone, but more often, like Tenali Raman, with nimble wit. He was a Telugu poet and the court jester of Krishnadeve Raya, (1509-1529), the emperor of Vijayanagara.
Tenali Raman was the Birbal of the South and many stories which have passed into folklore, are attributed to him. Some of these have been obviously invented to show his ready wit.
BIRBAL THE WITTY VOL- 558
The wit and wisdom of Birbal had endeared him not only to Akbar, but also to a vast majority of the subjects of the Mughal empire. He had the rare distinction of achieving immense popularity during his lifetime, next only to that of Akbar. He was a good administrator, a good soldier and, perhaps what pleased Akbar the most, a good jester. Less known is the fact that he was also a good poet. He wrote under the pen-name, Brahma and a collection of his poems is preserved in the Bharatpur museum.
Though popularly Known as Birbal, his real name was Maheshdas. It is believed that he belonged to a poor Brahmin family of Trivikrampur, (now known as Tikawanpur), on the bank of the River Yamuna. It was only by virtue of his sharp intellect that the rose to be a minister at the court of Akbar. His phenomenal success made many courtiers jealous of him and if the popular accounts are to be believed, they were ever busy plotting against him. According to the popular legend even his death, while he was on an expedition to Afghanistan at the head of a large military force, was due to treachery. Though he was killed in the battle, the expedition wass successful and subdued the turbulent province.
Akbar had found in Birbal a true friend and sympathizer. Of the handful of followers of the Din-e-Elahi, the new faith preached by Akbar, there was only one Hindu-Birbal.