DescriptionTHE LEARNED PANDIT
The gentle wit and wisdom of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa pervades this collection of tales. Drawing upon common weaknesses - arrogance, greed and narrow-mindedness among others - he makes us laugh even as we recognise some of our petty weaknesses.
BIRBAL THE CLEVER
Birbal had proved himself to be the most reliable minister at court, time and again. He dispensed justice, dealt diplomatically with other rulers, led military expeditions and composed poetry. In addition, he also rescued Akbar from the dangers of arrogance and unfettered power. Most importantly, he made the Great Mughal laugh.
GOPAL THE JESTER
With his presence of mind and unfailing humour, Gopal, the barber, not only made the king of Krishnanagar laugh in the midst of worry or boredom, but he also resolved grave matters of state with surprising ease. Bullies and misers, dreamers and the narrow-minded, all got a taste of his wit, much to the delight of readers.
BIKAL THE TERRIBLE
Bikal is the original 'He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named'. The best way to ward off Bikal the Terrible is to avoid taking his name. The word Bikal inspires such fear and awe that even a tiger gets scared of Bikal and tamely allows himself to be fooled by two daredevils. This is a delightful folktale from Madhya Pradesh.
FRIENDS AND FOES
In the Mahabharata, when Yudhishthira asks Bheeshma what the right conduct of a king should be, the wise Bheeshma answers in the form of stories. Cats and mice, crows and swans, leopards and jackals, all serve to show how a king must deal in times of crisis, doubt or personal problems.
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