Emperor Akbar once asked his minister Birbal , " Well, Birbal , You often repeat that your Bhagavan is everywhere" .
Birbal replied, "Yes, Badshah ! Bhagavan is everywhere . There is absolutely no doubt in this ".
Akbar pulled the diamond ring off his finger and asked Birbal , "Is your Bhagavan in this ring, too ? " .
Birbal answered , "Yes, Badshah ! Bhagavan is certainly in the ring ".
"Then can you make me see Him ? " asked the Emperor .
Birbal had no answer to this . He asked for more time ; the Emperor allowed him six months in which to find an answer or to show Akbar, Bhagavan in the ring .
Birbal went home ; he was puzzled . He knew there was a solution to the problem ; but only Bhagavan knew it . He decided not to face the Emperor again without an answer to his question . Birbal took shelter in his Ishta-deva Narayana and sought Bhagavan's divine intervention .
After a few days, a little Brahmachari came to Birbal's house for alms . He asked Birbal , "What ails you, Prabhu ?" . Why do you look so sordid and miserable ? . You are a Bhaktha and Bhakthas should have no reason for misery ?. Equanimity and bliss are the marked characteristics of a Bhaktha . "
"True, replied Birbal : "The heart is convinced , but the intellect can not flame words for it ." Birbal then narrated all that transpired between him and Emperor . He also appraised about the Hindu-haters in the palace who are licking their lips to taste the blood of "Infidel" Birbal, if he fails to show Bhagavan in the ring .
" Is this what you are worrying about ?" , exclaimed the little Brahmachari in amazement. "I can give you the answer in a moment ; but will you allow me to talk to your Emperor personally ? ".
Birbal replied in the affirmative and took him to the imperial court and addressed the Emperor, " My Lord ! This little Brahmachari will give the answer to your question . "
Akbar inwardly appreciated the grace and boldness of the little boy and was curious to hear him . He asked the boy , " If your Bhagavan is all-pervading , can you show me your Bhagavan in my ring ? " .
"O King !"replied the Brahmachari , "I can do so in a second ; but I am thirsty ; I can answer the question after I have taken a glass of curd " .
The Emperor at once had a glassful of curd given to him . The Brahmachari began to stir the curd and said " O Emperor , I am used to drinking good curd which has butter in it . I do not like this stuff which your bearer has brought and which does not yield butter at all."
" Certainly , this curd is the best available . replied the Emperor . "Remember , little one , that you are partaking of the product of the Emperor's personal diary . "
The Brahmachari said " Very, well ! If your Majesty is so sure this cup of curd contains butter in it , please show me the butter . "
Akbar laughed aloud and said " I thought so ! O ignorant child ! You do not know that butter can be got out of curd only after churning it ; and yet you have the audacity to come here claiming to show me your Bhagavan ! ".
" I am not a fool , Badshah Sahib ," replied the Brahmachari quickly . "I only gave you the answer to your question " . Akbar was puzzled . The little Brahmachari said to him,
" Your Majesty ! In exactly the same manner, Bhagavan is residing within everything . He is the indwelling presence , the Self of all , the Light of all lights , the Power that maintains the universe . Yet one can not see Him with one's physical eyes . A vision is only a projection of one's own mind before the eye of the mind . One can realize Bhagavan intuitively and see Him with the eye of wisdom ; but before that, one has to churn the five sheaths, and the objects, and separate the butter , the Reality , from the curd, the names and forms . "
The young Brahmachari had thus answered Akbar's question and the Emperor greatly impressed . He wanted to know more and asked, " Child ! Now tell me , what is your Bhagavan doing all the while ? "
The Little Brahmachari replied , " Well , your Majesty , it is Bhagavan who lends power to our senses , perception to our mind, discernment to our intellect, strength to our limbs ; it is through His will that we live and die . But man mainly imagines that he is the actor and the enjoyer . Man is mere nothing before the supreme Power Bhagavan who directs the movement in the universe. It is a twinkling of an eye, when compared to the unimaginable age of the universe, that empires rise and fall , dynasties rise and perish , the boundaries of the land and the sea wax and wane , and we find a mountain range where there had been a sea, a new sea where there had been a plateau . It is in a twinkling of an eye that we find millionaires become paupers and paupers become millionaires , and a King becomes wandering exile by a tryst of destiny and a Vagrant becomes a King . So many planets are created , sustained and dissolved every moment in this universe . Who is behind this gigantic phenomena ? . It is Bhagavan and none else . To realize Bhagavan , one has to give up vanity , the feeling of doership , arrogance and pride . For God-realization , one has to surrender oneself entirely to His will , which can be discerned through cultivation of purity , emotional maturity , and intellectual conviction . To realize that Bhagavan , one has to efface oneself and feel that one is mere instrument of Bhagavan's will . "
This was a life changing experience for Emperor Akbar to learn wisdom of the Vedas from a Hindu Rishi . And thus the survival of Vaidic Sanatana dharma in the Mughal Empire .
Bhagavan Sri Krishna says in Srimad Bhagavad-Geeta ( 9.17-18 ) , " I am the sustainer and ruler of this universe, its father, mother and grandfather, the one worth knowing, the purifier, the sacred syllable OM, and three Vedas-- Rg, Yajur, and Sama.
I am the goal, the master, the in-dwelling witness, the abode, the refuge, and the dearest friend. I am the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed . "