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TENALI RAMAKRISHNA

A Lesson to the Greedy

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. It injustice was done in the court or outside, he used his weapon of humor to set things right.

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. She thought that if, in her old ages, she gave away fruits as gifts her charity would be perfect. She told her son of her desire.

Krishnadevaraya who had great respect for his mother immediately got delicious
mangoes from Ratnagiri. But alas! On the auspicious day when she was to present those fruits to Brahmins, the king's mother died.

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

Ramakrishna came to know of this. The next day he went to the houses of those
Brahmins, and said, "My mother's cere- mony is on the same day as that of the king's mother. Please come to my house straight from the palace."

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

The Brahmins were taken aback. Then Ramakrishna told them: "Venerable ones, my mother suffered from rheumatism. One day, unable to bear the pain, she called me and asked me to burn her skin with a red-hot iron bar; she said that would relieve her rheumatic pain. I could not disobey my mother's command. But before I could fulfil her last wish, she died. I want to burn your skin with these red hot iron bars so that her soul may have peace." He and his servants approached the Brahmins. The Brahmins began to cry and run about. They thundered at Ramakrishna: "How unjust! Ramakrishna, are we not your guests? Do you want to insult us?"

Ramakrishna replied: "There is nothing unjust in this. Have you not accepted golden mangoes from the king, to fulfil the last wish of his mother? In the same way is it not your duty to fulfil my mother's last wish?" Then wisdom dawned on the Brahmins.They felt ashamed of their greed and begged Ramakrishna to forgive them. They left golden mangoes in his house and went away.

Later, Krishnadevaraya asked Ramakrishna: "Why did you insult those Brahmins?" Pat came his reply: "Your Highness, 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."

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Tenali Ramakrishna - A Scholar and a Poet, who exposed superstition and stupid pride to ridicule
About Tenali Ramakrishna
Introduction
A Care-Free boy
The Boy's Yearning
'I Shall Get Education'
No, Not Even This
A Story
The Devotee Of Mother Kali
'Mother, It Occured To Me....'
A Cowherd
Half The Prize
Ramakrishna In 'Krishna Leela'
The Comic Poet
A Scholar, The Enemy Of Vanity
The Scholar From Kashi Humbled
You are Here! A Lesson To The Greedy
How Does The Water Appear..?
'Hide Your Head'
Ramakrishna And His Family
Humour Without Malice
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