Sunday, January 9, 2011

Story: Tenali Rama & the Greedy Priests

Ramakrishna earned the affection and the esteem of the king and the people. He was a comic poet and looked, like an ignorant man; but he was pious and on the side of justice. He used his humour to set things right whenever injustice was done.

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.

Krishnadevaraya 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 Priests, the king's mother died.

The religious rites connected with her death went on for several days. Meanwhile, the king called a few Priests and said, "My mother's last wish was to offer mangoes to Priests. 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 Priests replied: "Your Highness, only if you offer mangoes made of gold to Priests will your mother's soul rest in peace."

Ramakrishna came to know of this. The next day he went to the houses of those Priests, and asked them to come to his house next to perform his mother's ceremony.

The Priests came to Ramakrishna's house after receiving the gold mangoes from the king. Ramakrishna's servants closed all the doors of the house. They brought red-hot iron bars and stood before the Priests!

The Priests were taken aback. Then Ramakrishna told them His mother had knee pains and as remedy wanted Ramakrishna to burn her with read hot rods but she died before he could do it. So he now wanted to execute her wish. When the Priests said he was unjust towards them, Ramakrishna says there is nothing unjust because they had just taken golden mangoes from the king.

Then the Priests understood their folly and left the golden mangoes at Ramakrishna's house and left.

Later when Krishnadevaraya asked Ramakrishna why he had behaved like that with the Priests, Ramakrishna says the palace treasury should not be exploited by these selfish people it is not there to feed lazy follows. It is there to serve the people.

Tenali Raman once again helped the King to distinguish right from wrong, and also made it sure that the Government existed to serve the common man, and not for a handful of few.

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