Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Tenali Raman outwits Goddess Kali

Tenali Ramakrishna was known for his sharp wit and hailed from a town called Tenali. Lazy as he was, he used to nap under every possible tree that met his eyes. One day, a sage who was passing through the farm where Tenali Raman (as he was popularly known) was lazing around, called him and asked him to do any job that he pleased to earn a living. Raman told the sage that he was not educated and therefore did not get any job.

The sage took him to the temple of Goddess Kali and asked him to recite a mantra 100 times. “This”, the sage told Raman, “will help you gain the required knowledge. Once you obtain the knowledge, do not waste your time. Instead hunt for a job and you will get it.”

Raman went to the temple and repeated the mantra 100 times. Pleased with Raman’s devotion, Goddess Kali appeared before him and asked him to choose between a bowl of milk and curd.

Raman was in no haste. He asked the Goddess to explain the significance of the two. Kali told Raman that the bowl containing milk represented knowledge, and the bowl containing curd represented money. Once again, Tenali Raman thought carefully before replying. He asked the Goddess how a choice is possible when he did not know the taste of either the milk or the curd. So Goddess Kali extended both the bowls to Tenali Raman, who instantly grabbed both the bowls and drank the curd and the milk.
Before Choosing Tenali asks the Goddess to explain...

Though Goddess Kali was annoyed at being outwitted, she asked him why he drank out of both the bowls. Raman replied that knowledge without wealth was useless and wealth without knowledge was dangerous. The goddess was pleased with Raman and blessed him with both wealth and knowledge.

Raman went on to prove that if you do not reply in haste and take your time to make the right move, you can get both ‘either’ and ‘or’ and no choice is really mutually exclusive. Patience and humour are the two key factors which help you open the door to success!