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.
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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.