Once King Krishnadeva Raya was discussing with his courtiers. While discussing, suddenly the talk started on cleverness. In the court of Maharaja Krishnadev Rai, from Rajguru to many other courtiers were jealous of Tenaliram. In such a situation, to humiliate Tenaliram, a minister said in the court, “Maharaj! There are more than one intelligent and clever people in the court and if given a chance, we can all present our cleverness in front of you, but?
Maharaj Krishnadev was surprised and asked, “But what minister?” On this the commander said, “Maharaj! I will tell you what is in the mind of the minister. Actually, apart from Tenaliram, no one is given a chance to prove his cleverness in this court. Every time Tenali Rama takes away the credit for cleverness, so how can the rest of the court show their worth?”
Maharaj Krishnadev Rai understood after listening to Senapati that all the people of the court have come against Tenali. After this Maharaj remained calm for some time and started thinking in his mind. That’s why Maharaj’s eyes went to the incense burning in front of the idol of God. Seeing the incense stick, Maharaj got the idea of testing all the courtiers.
He immediately said, “All you courtiers will definitely be given a chance to prove your cleverness. Until all the courtiers prove their cleverness, Tanali will not come in between. Hearing this, the people present in the court became happy. He said, “Ok Maharaj! You tell me what we have to do? King Krishnadevraya pointed towards the incense stick and said bring two hands of smoke for me. Whoever can do this work will be considered more intelligent than Tenaliram.
After listening to Maharaj, all the courtiers got thinking and started discussing among themselves that how is this possible, can the smoke be measured? After this, all the courtiers tried their hand to prove their cleverness, but no one could measure the smoke. As soon as someone tried to measure the smoke, the smoke flew out of their hands.
When all the courtiers accepted defeat, then one of the courtiers said, “Maharaj! According to us, smoke cannot be measured. Yes, if Tenali can do it, we will consider him more intelligent than us, but if he cannot do it, then you will have to consider him like us. The king smiled and said, ‘Why Tenaliram! are your ready?” On this Tenaliram bowed his head and said, “Maharaj! I have always followed your orders. Will definitely do this time also.
After this Tenaliram called a servant and said something in his ear. After listening to him, the servant immediately went out of the court. There was silence all around in the court. Everyone was eager to see how Tenaliram defeats the king with two hands. That’s why everyone’s eyes fell on the servant, who had returned to the court with a two hand long tube made of glass.
Tenaliram put the mouth of that glass tube on the smoke coming out of the incense. Within no time the entire glass tube was filled with smoke and Tenali quickly closed the tube by putting a cloth over the mouth of the tube and turning it towards Maharaj said, “Maharaj! Take two hands of smoke. Seeing this, a smile appeared on Maharaj’s face and he took the hose from Tenali and looked at the courtiers.
Everyone’s heads were bowed down in shame seeing Tenaliram’s cleverness. There some courtiers were also in favor of Tenaliram. They all had respect for Tenaliram. Seeing Tenaliram’s intelligence and cleverness, the king said, “Now you must have understood that it is not possible to equal Tenaliram.” The courtiers could not say anything in response to this and they silently bowed their heads.
Learning from the story:
We should respect the intelligence of others and should not be jealous of someone’s cleverness.