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.
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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.