Story of Tenaliram: Gift of Elephants | Tenalirama was very dear to the king because of his intelligence. Tenali had a solution to any problem that came upon the king. For this reason, the king used to give something to Tenali as a gift.
Once the king, being pleased with Tenali, gifted him 4 elephants. Tenali could not even return the gift given by the king. So Tenaliram was in a dilemma about what to do now.
Because it was not an easy task for him to raise an elephant. Tenali was a poor Brahmin, it is a different matter that the king used to give him some gifts from time to time.
But he could not keep four elephants. He knew that elephants needed a lot of grain to feed. For him, taking care of his family was a big problem.
Story of Tenaliram
But without any protest, Tenalirama brought the elephants to his home as the king’s gift. As soon as Tenalirama’s wife saw Tenali with four elephants, she was shocked.
And when she came to know that these elephants are now taking care of them, she said that there is no place for us to live, where will you keep these four elephants?
We have grains to eat for ourselves, not what we will feed them. If the king had given us four cows in place of these four elephants, at least we would have lived by drinking their milk.
After listening to his wife, Tenali made a plan to get rid of these elephants. He got up and said to his wife, “I will make some arrangements for these elephants, don’t you worry.”
Tenali took the elephants with him to the Kali temple. After going there, he first applied tilak to all the elephants, then dedicated all the elephants to Goddess Kali. and left them there.
Story of Tenaliram – Gift of Elephants
The four elephants started roaming in the city. Some good people would have given those elephants something to eat, and sometimes those poor elephants would remain hungry and damage the crops of the people.
Soon the elephants became weak and the townspeople also started getting troubled by those elephants. Seeing this condition of the elephants, some people went to the king and told the king about Tenali’s elephants.
The king was very angry after hearing Tenali’s treatment of elephants and ordered Tenali to appear in court. When Tenali came to the court, the king asked Tenali,
“Why did you leave the elephants in the city, I gave you those elephants as a gift?”
Tenali told Maharaj that he had gifted elephants to him. If he had refused to take them, then Maharaj might have been angry with him.
Thinking this, he accepted those elephants, but he cannot raise them, because he is a poor universe. How could he bear the extra burden of those four elephants?
So he dedicated these elephants to Goddess Kali. Maharaj was listening very well to Tenali when Tenali said,
Story of Tenaliram
“Sir, now you tell me if you had given me a few cows instead of these four elephants, then at least I would have fed my family by drinking their milk.”
The king found Tenali’s words correct and realized his mistake, what would a poor person do to the elephants?
Maharaj said, “If I give you a cow, will you do the same to them?”
Tenali said, “No sir, the cow is a holy animal, I will also get milk from it, which my children will drink and I can also feed the cows, I will thank you instead of leaving the cows.”
Maharaj immediately ordered that Tenali should be given four cows as a gift and those four elephants should be brought back from the city to the royal palace.
What we learned from Tenali Rama Elephant Story:
We learn from this Tenali Rama Elephant Story that we should take decisions according to the situation. A sword can never be used in place of a needle, nor can a needle be used in place of a sword. ( fruit’s name in Hindi & English )
( Tenaliram Story: The Division of Diamonds )