Make a Difference Story | Tenali Raman

Make a Difference Story

Tenali Raman’s popularity went beyond Vijaynagar into what is now Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Tenali Raman was an outstanding poet and scholar. He was fluent in several languages, including Tamil and Kannada.

The king was once on vacation with his family and some courtiers on a beautiful beach. The sun shone brightly one morning, and it was a lovely day. So, the king decided to go for a walk down the beach. He noticed a man wandering back and forth between the surf’s edge and the beach as he walked.

As the king got closer to the beach, he saw that the tide had left hundreds of starfish on the sand.

The king was perplexed by the task’s seeming futility. There was a lot of starfish. Many of them were doomed to death. As he got closer, the man kept picking up the starfish one by one and dumping them into the sea.

As he approached the man, the king shouted, “Tenali, it’s you! You must be insane. Thousands of kilometers of the seashore are covered in starfish. You’re not going to make a difference.”

Tenali turned to face the king. He then leaned down, picked up another starfish, and tossed it back into the sea. He returned his attention to them and said, “My Lord, it made a difference to that one!”

The king was taken aback and realized what Tenali was saying. He thanked Tenali for demonstrating the value of all living things.

The next day, a hunter presented the King of Vijaynagar with a magnificent parrot. The Queen enjoyed having a pet and taught the lovely bird to chant spiritual words such as ‘Hare Krishna.’

When the king heard the parrot repeat holy words, he declared it a sacred bird and put it in a golden cage, feeding it only the finest grains. Tenali paid a visit to the king one morning. “Tenali, our bird is more holy than you because it only says the holy words,” said the king.

The bird chirped ‘Hare Krishna’ when the Queen made it talk.

As per Tenali, “My Lord, the bird will only speak what you instruct it to. What makes it a holy parrot?”

Tenali was offended, so the king challenged him to prove himself. Tenali walked outside and brought a cat close to the cage. When the parrot saw the cat, it became terrified and began fluttering its wings in the gilded cage. In agitation, it even climbed the golden wires and made various noises.

The Queen requested that the parrot speak ‘Hare Krishna,’ but the bird recited everything but ‘Hare Krishna!’

The king realized his error and released the terrified parrot.

However, the king was still irritated by Tenali and warned him not to be too clever. Tenali was offended and remarked, “My son has a nasty temper, Lord. So I gave him a bundle of nails and instructed him to pound a nail into the fence every time he lost his anger. He’d driven 37 nails into the wall on the first day.

Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of pins he hit every day went down. He knew holding his temper was simpler than driving those nails into the fence.

“Finally, a day came when he didn’t lose his cool. I advised him to pull out one nail daily to control his temper. After a few days, he told me all the nails were gone. ‘You did well, my son, but look at the gaps in the fence,’ I remarked. The fence will never look the same again.

When you’re angry and say hurtful things, they leave scars like this one. A knife can be inserted into a man and drawn out. The wound will not heal no matter how often you repeat, “I’m sorry.” Try to keep your cool the next time you’re tempted to say something you regret.”

The king immediately apologized and praised Tenali.

Unfortunately, the priest of the royal temple died a few days later. The king asked Tenali to select a new priest. Tenali went to the temple and told all the applicants that they had time to climb the rocky slope to the temple. The walkway was littered with thorns and stones.

The tournament was over when almost all the contestants arrived at the temple. After a while, a shepherd entered the temple carrying a wounded man.

“Young man, what happened to the person with you?” Tenali inquired. The shepherd responded, “Sir, I witnessed this man screaming in anguish while grazing my cattle on the mountainside. He’d fallen and injured himself. So I assisted him in climbing the mountain so that he could compete in the competition.”

Tenali carefully looked at the hurt man and saw that the shepherd had taken the thorns off his body.

Tenali told the shepherd, “Congratulations on becoming the new priest! A difficult route is accessible to anyone. “But only a selfless person would care about what’s best for other people.” The king said that Tenali had made a great choice.

Tenali continued, “When I was a young man, my Lord, I desired to alter the world. I found it difficult to change the world, so I attempted to transform my country. When I realized I couldn’t alter the country, I turned my attention to my hometown. I couldn’t change the place, so I sought to change my family as I grew older.

As I grow older, I realize that the only thing I can change is myself and that if I had changed myself a long time ago, I might have impacted my family. My family and I have the potential to make a difference in our community. Their influence could have altered the country, and mine could have changed the world.”

Tenali had made another wise argument, according to the king.

The following day, a peculiar blue-colored man visited the king’s court. He told the king, “Greetings, Your Majesty! Neelketu from Neeldesh here. In my realm, there are many fairies. I’ve come to invite you all to attend the fairies’ dance.”

The king was overjoyed and accepted Neelketu’s proposal right away. Neelketu, on the other hand, had a condition. He stated, “Greetings, Your Majesty! You must travel to the fort created on the city’s boundaries.”

That night, the king walked alone to the fort, where Neelketu greeted him. However, Tenali jumped out of the bushes before the king could enter the defence, and the Vijaynagar army surrounded them.

Tenali informed the king, “Greetings, Your Majesty! Our adversary’s defence minister is Neelketu. He aimed to take you inside the fort and have his warriors kill you.”

Tenali said, “When he arrived today, sweat had removed some of the blue colors he had applied to himself before entering the court. I became wary of him and directed my servants to track him down. They figured out his plan, so I came here to save you.”

Tenali was hugged by the king and thanked for saving his life.

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