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Raja Birbal (1528–1586) (real name: Mahesh Das or Maheshdas Bhat) was the Grand Vizier (Wazīr-e Azam) of the Mughal court in the administration of the Mughal emperor Akbar. He one of his most trusted members along with being a part of Akbar's inner council of nine advisors, known as the navaratna, a Sanskrit word meaning nine jewels. Birbal was the only person other than Akbar who was a Din-i-Ilahi believer. He is considered one of the world's most intelligent and clever administrator during the medieval period.

Birbal's duties in Akbar's court were mostly military and administrative, but he was also a very close friend of the emperor, who appreciated Birbal for his wit and wisdom, often involving humorous exchanges. These and other stories have become part of a rich tradition of folklore and legend.

Early years

Born Mahesh Das in 1528 in the village Ghoghara, Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh. A Brahmin by birth, he grew up in a moderate household and was educated in the regional and Persian languages. Birbal was a poet and author, whose wit and wisdom led the Emperor Akbar to invite him to be a part of the royal court and to bestow upon him a new name - Birbal (Bir means Brain, Bal means Strong). Akbar also conferred on him the title of Raja.

Meeting with Sikh Guru

According to Giani Gian Singh, the author of the Book Twarikh Guru Khalsa in 1626, Raja Birbal met Guru Amar Das, the third guru of Sikhism. He and his army had their meals in the Langar, when some...
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