One of India’s great emperors was Akbar. There is an incident in his life recorded in Akbar Mamaz – “the biography of Akbar.”
One day he was just chit-chatting with his friends…. And he had around him the very best, wisest, most creative people chosen from every part of the country.
His court jester was standing just by his side.
By the way, you should understand it: in all the courts of all great emperors there used to be a jester, whose whole function was to keep the court from becoming too serious, to keep the court light, playful – once in a while, an explosion of laughter.
It was a great insight to have a court jester, and he used to be one of the wisest men of those days – because it was not an easy phenomenon.
Birbal was Akbar’s court jester. And as they were discussing, Akbar slapped Birbal – for no reason at all.
Now you cannot slap the emperor back, but the slap has to go somewhere – so he slapped the person who was standing next to him.
Everybody thought, “This is strange!” There was no reason in the first place. Suddenly, as if a madness had got hold of Akbar, he slapped poor Birbal. And that man is also strange. Rather than asking, “Why have you slapped me?” he simply slapped the man who was standing by his side!
And that man, thinking perhaps this was the rule of the court, slapped the next person. In a chain, it went all over the court.
And you will be surprised: that night, Akbar’s wife slapped him! And he said, “Why are slapping me?”
She said, “That is not the question; a game is a game.”
He said, “Who told you that this is a game?”
She said, “We have been hearing the whole day long that a great game has started in the court. The only rule is you cannot hit the person back, you have to find somebody else to hit. And somebody has hit me – so your slap has come back to you, the game is complete!”
In this big world, thousands of insane games are going on, and you are all participants – of course in very small measures, according to your capacity. But remember, the slap is going to come back to you sooner or later. Where else will it go?
Whatever comes to you, remember, it is your doing.
Perhaps you have forgotten when you started it. The world is big, it takes time. But everything comes back to its source – that is one of the fundamental rules of life, not a rule of a game.
So if you are suffering, if you are miserable, if you are tense, full of anxieties, anguish, don’t just console yourself that this whole world is ugly, that everybody else is ugly, that you are a victim.