198. The Emperor's Caravansary



Strolling through the garden, Emperor Akbar and Birbal met a sadhu.
"How did you get here?" the emperor asked.
"How did you?" replied the sadhu.
"This is my palace!" exclaimed the emperor.
"I see no palace," replied the sadhu, "only a caravansary."
The emperor was speechless with rage.
"Tell me," said the sadhu, "who lived here before you?"
"My father."
"And before him?"
"His father."
"Guests come; guests go. You see: only a caravansary."
The emperor smiled. "A good lesson. What may I give you in return?"
"Just move along," said the sadhu. "You're blocking the sun that warms me."

Inspired byA Caravan from Hindustan: The Complete Birbal Tales by James Moseley
Notes: This story is titled "Caravanserai" in the book. Compare the famous story of Diogenes and Alexander.


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