Once Akbar said, to his ministers and those who were present in the court, “Tell me frankly, who is superior? Indra, the Lord of the Gods, or I? Be very frank.”
Everybody was shocked. Nobody dared to answer. They thought that if they said that Indra was superior to Akbar, Akbar would be displeased. And if they said that Akbar was superior to Indra, it would be a real lie. So they all kept silent.
But Birbal came forward and said, “I have the answer.”
Akbar said, “Then tell me.”
Birbal said, “You are superior.”
Akbar was outwardly amused and inwardly pleased. He said, “Prove it.”
“That is very easy,” said Birbal. “When the Creator created you and Indra together, he put both of you on the scale. On one side he placed you and on the other side he placed Indra. Just because you were heavier than Indra, you dropped down to earth and Indra remained up in Heaven. So you see, you are superior because you are heavier. You are more fulfilling on earth. That is why you have become the Emperor of the Earth.
Akbar was very happy. He thought, “Indra remains high because he is light and insubstantial. I have solid strength and power. That is why I remain on earth. I came down because of my superior power.”
In the spiritual life, every day each seeker sits on the scale. God places him on one side of the scale and on the other side God places his ignorance. The seeker always sees that his ignorance is heavier, much heavier than his own knowledge and wisdom. Then he feels miserable and tries to pray, he tries to meditate. Gradually he increases his knowledge and inner wisdom and simultaneously the other side, his ignorance, decreases. It becomes lighter and lighter.
Finally a day comes when only his knowledge side exists. On the other side of the scale there is no ignorance at all. It has all been devoured or illumined by his inner knowledge. When there is nothing on the ignorance side, the knowledge side drops onto earth again. This means that the seeker enters into the world to work for mankind with his newly acquired knowledge and wisdom and with this knowledge-power he tries to conquer the ignorance of the world.