This story is about that incident between the two when Akbar asked Birbal these four questions: (1) Where does God live? (2) What is his duty? (3) What does he eat? and, (4) Why does he take human form although he can do everything by mere willing?
While Birbal could answer three questions easily, he asked for the king’s permission to give him some time to answer the fourth one.
Read on to find out what were Birbal’s answers
Where does God live?
God is all‑pervading. He gives his ‘darshan’ to the holy devotees in their hearts. You can see Him in your heart.
What is his duty?
He pulls down those who are in a high level and elevates those who are fallen. His duty is to cause constant change.
What does he eat?
He eats the ‘ahamkar’ (ego) of the ‘jivas’ (human beings)
In the meantime, when Birbal was finding the answer to Akbar’s fourth question (Why does he take human form although he can do everything by mere willing?), he went to a nurse who was nursing the child of Akbar. He asked her to help him with the answer to his fourth question.
He told her that when Akbar comes and sits by the side of the tank to play with the child, hide the child in a certain place and bring a toy‑child. He asked her to pretend drowning the toy-child in the tank and wait for Akbar to react.
When Akbar returned from his evening walk, he sat on a bench by the side of the tank. He then asked the nurse to bring the child. The nurse slowly went by the side of the tank, pretended to tumble down and threw the toy‑child into the tank.
Akbar at once hastened to jump down into the tank to rescue the child. But when Birbal intervened and asked him to not be so hasty, Akbar was annoyed at the impertinent behaviour of Birbal and ordered him to be punished.
Birbal said that he has answered his fourth question. Explaning to Akbar, Birbal said that even though there were so many servants to rescue his child, out of affection for the child he himself wanted to jump into the water.
Even so, although God can accomplish everything by mere willing, yet he comes out himself out of love for his devotees to give them his ‘darshan’. Akbar was pleased and presented Birbal rich presents of shawl and a diamond ring