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Friday, 17 November 2017

Akbar Misses Birbal

One morning Akbar came to court looking very dull. “O King, you look tired with puffy eyes. What’s wrong?” asked Birbal casually.

“How dare you say that I don’t look good this morning?” yelled Akbar. “You lack basic manners and I don’t want you here anymore. Get out!”

image source: google images

There was total silence as Birbal walked out never to return. A week later, Akbar felt sad for his outburst and sent his guards to fetch Birbal. Alas, he was nowhere to be found. “How do I find Birbal?” mused Akbar. Finally he came up with a smart plan.

The next day Akbar announced. “The man who can answer this riddle will be rewarded handsomely. He must walk to the palace tomorrow morning half in shade and half under the sun.” Many tried, but could not succeed.

At last an old farmer came carrying a cot, “Your highness,” he went on. “The rope in this cot provides me half shade and the gap in between allows the sun light. So I have fulfilled your conditions.”

Akbar understood that he was sent by Birbal. “I ‘ll give you the reward. But, before that show me who gave you this idea?” he asked. The farmer took Akbar to Birbal.
Akbar embraced Birbal and took him back to the palace.

The End

Birbals Choice

One day King Akbar was feeling bored, he loved to think up riddles for his courtiers to answer. ‘The only person in my court who can answer my questions is Birbal. He’s  a clever guy and I really enjoy his wisdom,’ thought Akbar.

“Birbal, I have a riddle for you,” said Akbar.

image source: google images

“If you were given a choice between justice and a bag of gold coins, what would you choose?”

“That’s simple, your majesty. I would choose the gold coins, of course,” answered Birbal.

There was a silence in the court. The courtiers were shocked at this answer.

“He chose money over justice. Can you believe it? Birbal is greedy! “ shouted the courtiers. Even to Akbar this answer was disappointed.

“What? How could you choose the gold coins, Birbal?”

“I never expected you to be greedy like the others. I thought you would choose justice over gold,” said the king finally when he had gotten over his shock.

“Your highness,” said Birbal, smiling, “I asked you what I do not have. In your kingdom, there’s justice for everyone. So, I asked you for gold! “

Delighted with this answer, Akbar gave Birbal a bag of gold coins.

The End

Tenali Raman –The Wise Use of the Mouth

King Krishnadevaraya and the queen were very fond of flowers. So there were many varieties of colourful and beautiful flowers in the palace garden. The king and queen visited the garden every morning and evening, they instructed the gardeners to take care of the garden well.

There were many varieties of roses in the garden. The gardeners used to pluck the roses, take them to the queen every day. But, on some days they did not bring the roses. So, the queen was angry with the gardeners and enquired them the reason for not bringing the roses. But the gardeners did not have an answer.

image source:google images

The queen angrily angrily asked, “Why are you not answering? Tell me the reason. Do you pluck the roses and sell them in the market?”

“No, Your Majesty. Don’t mistake us. We never think of treachery to the kingdom,” replied the gardeners.

“Then, why can’t you bring the roses here?” asked the queen again angrily.

“Oh! Queen! The roses are stolen in the garden. We are not able to find out how the roses are vanished away from the garden. Please forgive us.”

“Okay, you can go. I shall tell the king to strengthen the security,” said the queen. Then the gardeners bowed their heads and went out. The queen then went to the king to complain about the theft of roses in the garden. The king was shocked to hear about the theft. The queen also asked the king to strengthen the security in the palace garden.

The king immediately asked the minister to appoint guards’ to take care of the garden and to catch the thief.  The next day, the garden was surrounded by guards’. The guards’ were very alert and did not let anyone inside the garden other than the gardeners.

The guards’ noticed a small gap in the fence. A man’s head was peeping inside the fence through the gap, they immediately acted very fast and caught him red-handed. The held him very tight, that the man could not escape. The guards brought him out of the fence, he had roses tied to his lap. The guards presented him to the chief guard and confined him in the prison.

The chief guard immediately met the king and informed him about the theft and how he was caught red-handed. The chief also told the king that the thief had the roses tied to his lap. The chief also mentioned to the king that the thief was none other than the son of Tenali Raman. The king got really angry and asked the chief to bring Tenali Raman immediately.

As soon as Tenali Raman came to the king he said “Oh! King! The guards have imprisoned my son for theft of roses in the garden.”

Then the King said “Tenali, don’t you know that your son has been caught red-handed?”
“Oh King! My son won’t involve in such kind of theft, please enquire thoroughly to know how far it is true and then come to a decision,” said Tenali Raman.

The king ordered the guards to bring Tenali’s son there immediately. As the king ordered the guards brought him there.

Seeing him, the king asked Tenali Raman, “Is he your son?”

“Yes, your majesty,” asserted Tenali and requested him, “He won’t involve in thefts. Please believe me.”

“Tenali, though I repeatedly tell you, you don’t accept the crime. Guards, disclose the roses from his lap and show them to Tenali,” said the king.

The guards tried to take out the roses from his lap. But to their disappointement there was no rose.

“What are you doing, guards? Take out the roses,” urged the king.

But the guards were perplexed and told the king, “Three are no flowers” and added, “we caught him red-handed. But we are confused to see there are no flowers.”

“Oh King! Please believe us at least now. We do not have such a worse character,” said Tenali with contented mind.

The king thought for a while and not able to take any decision he let Tenali and his son go. They took leave of the king after thanking and greeting him.

Then the king called the guards near to him and asked, “Are you sure that he had the flowers?”

“Yes, your majesty, we are sure. We caught him red-handed and confined him in the prison,” said the guards.

The king again thought for a while and decided that Tenali might have played some tricks. The king further asked the guards, “When you brought Tenali to me, did he speak anything to his son?”

“Yes, your majesty, when he came along with us, he told something to his son.”

“What did he say to him?”

“He said that one who uses one’s mouth wise can survive. Such a dumb one like you can’t be benefitted in any way”

“Oh! Tenali has very wisely instructed his son. He too has wisely behaved.”

“We can’t understand anything, my dear king.”

“When Tenali told him on the wise use of the mouth, his son has eaten all the roses. That’s all,” said the king to the guards and he appreciated Tenali’s wisdom. The guards too came to understand the wisdom of Tenali.

The End

Tenali Raman and Thilakashta Mahisha Bandhanam

Once, a great pundit from a foreign land visited King Krishna Deva Raya’s court. He claimed that he had knowledge of all subjects and was an expert in every field. He challenged that he would argue with all of his wise ministers and defeats them. The king accepted his challenge. The pundit then proceeded to argue with the learned men of the kingdom on various subjects. The king’s ministers failed miserably.

Then, the king summoned his wisest minster, Tenali Raman. Tenali took a small bundle from his home, gave it the shape of a book and tied it up. Then, he went to the court and announced that he was ready to argue against the pundit but on the condition that the topic of their debate would be based on the great book “Thilakashta Mahisha Bandhanam”. 

The great pundit was stumped when he heard this because he had never heard of any such book. The next day, at the appointed time Tenali Raman appeared in court for the debate. But he was informed that the pundit had already gone away.

The King was also very keen to read the great book that Tenali Raman had mentioned, so he asked about the book to Tenali. Tenali laughed and replied that there was no such book called ‘Tilakashta Mahisa Bandhanam’. Inside the bundle, there was til which is called as ‘Thila’ in Sanskrit and some sheep dung which in Sanskrit is known as Kashta. These contents were tied by a rope made of buffalo’s hide which is called Mahisha.
Bandhanam refers to ‘tying’ in Sanskrit. This is how Tenali Raman tricked the pundit into believing that there was great book that the pundit was completely unaware of. The king appreciated Tenali’s intelligence and rewarded him.

The End

Tenali Raman in the Delhi Durbar

At the time when Krishnadevaraya ruled over Vijayanagar, king Barbar ruled over Delihi. Tenali Raman was a famous jester in King Krishnadevaraya’s royal court. When King Barbar heard Tenali’s tales of wit and intelligence, he wished to meet him. So he sent a messenger to Vijayanagar to request Tenali  Raman to visit Delhi.

image source: google images
With King Krishnadevaraya’s permission Tenali Raman went to Delhi with the messenger. In Delhi, Tenali Raman was welcomed and accomadated in a royal guest house. An appointment was fixed for Tenali Raman to meet the King Barbar.

Meanwhile King Barabr told his courtiers, Tenali Raman, the great witty jester from Vijayanagar has come to Delhi. Tomorrow in the royal court none of us must smile or laugh at his jokes. I want to test him as to how he will make us laugh and win a reward. The courtiers also agreed to King Birbal.

At the given time Tenali Raman arrived in the Delhi Durbar. He told many witty tales and jokes to courtiers and King Brbar, but all of them remained silent. No one even smiled at the jokes. This went on everyday for 15 days. From the 16 th day Tenali Raman stopped going to Delhi Durbar. He disguised himself and followed the king Barbar everywhere to note his daily routine. Barbar used to go for stroll by the river Yamuna with his Prime Minsiter every morning.

On the way they would give gold coins to the poor and the needy beggars. After seeing this, Tenali Raman made a plan. Next morning, Tenali dressed up as an old man. He took a spade and a mango sapling and sttod by the river Yamuna waiting for the King Barbar’s arrival. Seeing the king at a distance Tenali Raman started planting the sapling. King Barbar came to him and said, “Old man, you are very old, you won’t live long enough to enjoy the fruits of the tree you are planting. Why are you taking so much trouble?”

Tenali Raman replied, “Your Majesty, I enjoyed the fruits from the trees planted by my ancestors. This tree’s fruits will be enjoyed by the others. I find joy in giving to others. I am not planning this to myself.” The king was impressed by the reply and gave a bag full of gold coins. The old man thanked him and said, “Your Majesty you are indeed a great and kind king. People get the fruits when the tree has grown but you have given me the fruit of my labors even before I had planted the sapling.

The thought of helping others has really benefited me. “I like this thought of yours. You can now take this second bag of gold coins as a reward”, said King Barbar. “Oh, your Majesty, This tree will bear fruits once in a year only but before it has been planted you have filled my arms with fruits of joys twice said the old man.” King Barbar  said, I like your thoughts and I am impressed by them,” he also gave the third bag too to the old man.

Now the prime minister got worried and said to the king, your majesty let’s leave now, this man is too intelligent. His witty remarks will claim all the royal wealth from you. King Barbar laughed and got ready to walk away. At this time the old man said, your Majesty, can you give me just a look? When Barabar tuned to look, he saw Tenali holding a false beard in his hands. King Barbar burst out in laughing on seeing what Tenali had been up to.

The king said, “I am pleased Tenali. You have truly proved that you are witty and a great jester. King BArabr called Tenali to the court and gave him many more royal rewards. When Tenali returned to Vijayanagar, King Krishnadevaraya was proud to see how Tenali had saved grace. Tenali smiled and said, so your Majesty Iam fit for a reward from you too. King Krishnadeva Raya agreed with a smile and gave Tenali Raman 10,000 gold coins.

The End.

Tenali Raman - A Lesson to the Greedy

King Krishnadevaraya’s mother was a very orthodox woman. She had visited many holy places and had performed religious rites, she had given much in charity. Once she wanted to give fruit in charity and informed so to her son. The king who had great respect for his mother immediately got delicious mangoes from Ratnagiri. But on the auspicious day when she was to present those fruits to Brahmins, the king’s mother died.

                                               image source: google images

The religious rites connected with her death went on for several days. Meanwhile the king called a few Brahmins and said, “My mother’s last wish was to offer mangoes to Brahmins. But she died before the wish could be fulfilled. What should I do now that she might earn the merit for giving away the fruits?”

The greedy Brahmins replied, “You Majesty, only if you offer mangoes made of gold to Brahmins, your mother’s soul will rest in peace.”

Tenali Raman came to know about this. The next day Tenali Raman went to the houses of those Brahmins, and asked them to come to his house to perform his mother’s ceremony. The Brahmins came to Tenali Ramans house after receiving the gold mangoes from the king. Ramans servants closed all the doors of the house. They brought red-hot iron bars and stood before the Brahmins. They were shocked to see this.

Then Tenali Raman told them that his mother had knee pains and as remedy wanted Tenali Raman to burn her with red-hot iron bars. But she died before he could do it. So he now wanted to execute her wish. Then the Brahmins said it was unjust toward them. Tenali Raman said, “There’s nothing unjust toward them, because they had just taken golden mangoes from the king.” Then the Brahmins understood their folly and left the golden mangoes at Raman’s house .

Later when the King asked Tenali Raman why he had behaved like that with the Brahmins, Raman said the palace treasury should not be exploited by these selfish people. It is not there to feed lazy people, it’s there to serve the people of the Kingdom.

The End

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Tenali Raman and the Three Dolls

The great king Krishna Deva Raya had a lot of wise ministers in his court. The wisest of them was Tenali Raman. One day, a merchant came to the king’s court from a foreign kingdom. He saluted the king and the said, “Your Majesty, I have heard from many people that you have very wise minister in your court. But with your permission, I would like to test the wisdom of your ministers.” This aroused the king’s interest and he gave the merchant his permission.
image source:google images

The merchant gave the king three dolls that looked identical. He said, “Though these dolls look similar, they are different in some way. If your ministers can find out the difference, I will bow to their wisdom. But if they can’t, I will assume that there are no wise ministers in your court. I will be back in thirty days for the answer.” The king asked all of his ministers except Tenali Raman to assemble.

He gave them the three dolls and told them to find the difference in them in three days time. But at the end of three days, none of the ministers could figure out the difference. The king got worried and called Tenali Raman. HE said to him, “Tenali, I did not summon you before because I thought that this problem will be too simple. But since no one has been able to find the solution, it is up to you now.

Find the difference between these dolls. “Tenali took the three dolls and went away. The problem proved difficult for Tenali too, but at last, after a lot of effort, he figured out the difference. He went to the court with the three dolls on the day that the merchant had to return. Then, he announced in front of the whole court that he had found the difference between the dolls. He said, “These three dolls are different because one of them is good, one medium and one bad.”

“When everyone asked Tenali that which doll was which, he showed them a tiny hole that was present in the ears of each of the dolls. Then, he took a very thin wire and put it in the hole of the first doll’s ear. The wire came out from the doll’s mouth. HE did the same with second doll and the wire came out from the doll’s other ear. In the third doll, the wire went to the heart and did not come out.

Tenali Raman explained, “In the first doll, the wire went in through the ear and came out through the mouth. So, this doll is bad as it represents people who cannot keep a secret. In the second doll, the wire came out of the other ear. So, it is medium and represents harmless people who do not understand what is said to them. The third doll in which the wire went to the heart and did not come out, represents good people who will preserve the secret that you tell them.

“The king, the merchant and all the courtiers were very impressed with Tenali’s wise answer. Then Tenali said, “But there can be another explanation too. The first doll represents people who gain knowledge and spread it among others, so it is good. The second doll represents people who do not understand what they are taught, so it is medium. The third doll represents people who have knowledge but keep it all to themselves.

They do not teach anyone anything and so they are bad people. The king was even more impressed. He asked, “Can there be any other explanation?” Can you think of a third explanation to answer the king?

The End.