The Birth of Vikat Kavi Tenali Raman | Tenali Raman Stories
Tenali Raman was a poet who lived in the court of King Krishna Dev Raya. He was wise and funny. He was one of the Asht Diggaj, or the Eight Poets, who were thought of as the King’s literary assembly’s eight pillars.
King Krishna Dev Raya liked Tenali Raman the most. He used his smarts and wit to get out of trouble and help people who were in need. Because of this, stories about this “Birbal of the South” have been told for hundreds of years.
Tenali Raman was the centre of attention among the children in his age group when he was a child. As a child, Tenali Raman liked to get into trouble. His inappropriate behaviour made some people happy and upset others. In the same way, his actions made some people happy and others feel bad. People often call Tenali Raman “Vikat Kavi,” which means “a joking poet.”
The story says that a wise man was passing through the village one day when he looked closely at young Tenali Raman and saw that he had a “celestial spark” shining inside him. Since the sage was on the path of devotion, he could also see that Tenali Raman was a natural leader and a smart person. He asked Tenali Raman to go somewhere with him. Tenali Raman accepted the invitation without asking, “Where to?” because he was not afraid of anything.
The sage and Tenali Raman walked away from the crowd and into the woods, where they found the temple of Goddess Mahakali.
The Sage did a special puja to please Goddess Mahakali. ‘Tenali,’ he told her, “My sweet kid! I am getting older and lacking the strength to do puja to ask the Goddess Mother for her blessings. You have everything you need to please the Mother and be blessed by Her.”
He then told Tenali a mantra in her ear and said, “Every evening, repeat this mantra repeatedly and pray to the Goddess Please, Mother, with all your strength and focus. You will get a lot of positive things from the Goddess Mahakali.” After he said this, the wise man left the place and never came back. Tenali soon made it a habit to walk to the Mahakali Temple in the woods daily. Every evening, he chanted the mantra and prayed to the Goddess.
Tenali continued to pray as time passed. With a lot of devotion, he repeated the mantra over and over. When he was done chanting one day, Goddess Kali stood in front of him, to his surprise. She had 108 heads and eight arms.
Tenali began laughing as soon as he saw the goddess. The goddess was very angry about this, and she asked him why he was laughing at her.
Tenali Raman begged her pardon and said, “When we have a cold, and our nose runs, it’s difficult to blow one nose with two hands. If you ever got sick, I wondered how you would handle 108 noses with eight hands. I thought this was a very funny idea.”
When she heard this answer, the goddess couldn’t help but smile. She gave him the gift of always using his wit to make people happy. She also told him that from now on, people would call him “Vikat Kavi.” Tenali Raman did not like this blessing. He told the goddess that the gift would not help him. The goddess came forward holding two bowls. The milk of wisdom was in the golden bowl, and the curd of wealth was in the silver bowl.
Tenali Raman’s eyes shone as he looked at her. The goddess kept talking, “If you drink milk, you’ll do well in school. If you want to take curd instead, you will be rich for the rest of your life. But be careful what you pick. You’re only allowed to take one bowl.”
The Goddess gave Tenali Raman the bowls and told him to choose one. The bowl he chose must be the one he drinks from to receive the blessing.
Tenali didn’t care what the Goddess said, so he grabbed both bowls from her hands and quickly drank the contents. The Goddess Mahakali was confused by this and asked him, “What did you do?” Tenali Raman replied humbly, “Oh, Mother! Jagadmata! What purpose is it to be smart if you don’t have money?
In the same way, having wealth without intelligence is pointless. So, I should have both, so I drank everything from both cups. Mother, please forgive me if I did something wrong.”
Mother Mahakali was happy to see how honest and wise Tenali was for being so young. Before she left, she gave Tenali Raman two gifts. She told me, “You’ll have both smarts and money. However, the money you’ll make from hanging out with the rulers will cause you problems. The poetry you write will be one of a kind.”
Mother Mahakali also told him that having so many pleasant things happen to him would make other people jealous so he would have a lot of enemies. But he would also be smart enough to know how to get out of trouble.
Tenali Raman was very happy with how the evening turned out. He thought this was the right thing for his nature and his ability to change. Tenali Raman was his name because he was from the village of Tenali. Vikat Kavi Tenali Raman was his name because Goddess Kali had blessed him.
The Rajguru of Vijaynagar travelled to the Kali temple at Tenali one day. He told Tenali Raman that he would meet the Emperor the next time he returned to Vijaynagar.
When Tenali Raman finally left Tenali and returned to Vijaynagar, it was clear that the Rajguru did not know him. Tenali Raman reminded the Rajguru of what he said he would do, but the Rajguru didn’t listen.
Not to be deprived of his chance of meeting King Krishna Dev Raya, one morning, Tenali waited near the River Tungabhadra. He walked to the river to take his morning bath.
After taking a bath, Tenali Raman jumped on the back of Rajguru and told him to carry him. Rajguru had no option as he didn’t want to create a scene. When a few people saw this, they ran to tell the King.
The King flew into a royal rage and climbed into his carriage, and came to find the culprit and punish him. However, Tenali Raman saw the royal carriage from afar. Immediately, he jumped off the shoulders of the Rajguru. Afterward, he put the Rajguru on his back. The King was amazed when he saw this. Just then, the Emperor of China had sent some peaches to the King with a note stating that the fruit gave long life to anyone who ate them. Tenali quickly grabbed one of the juiciest peaches and bit into it as the King looked at the fruit.
He was very angry. “You ate fruit meant for me!” he yelled. “You must die for this!” As Tenali was being taken away by the royal guards, he sighed loudly and said, “The Emperor of China is such a liar!” He says that the fruit will give you a long life. After just one bite, I feel like I’m going to die. What will happen to the person who eats the whole fruit?”
Tenali’s wit greatly amused the King. He not only let him go free, but he also gave him a dozen of the peaches he had almost died for. Tenali was also given the job of clown in the King’s court.
So, Tenali Raman’s name became well-known, and he left his mark on history.
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