Tenali Rama Story: Handful Of Grain And One Thousand Gold Coins

In This Article

There once lived a beautiful lady called Vidyullatha in the city of Vijayanagara. She was known for her intelligence and knowledge of poetry and prose. She was also well-versed in dance and music. Despite her beauty and artistic talents, she was not regarded highly. This was primarily due to her pride and arrogance.

One day, she put up an announcement on her compound wall. It read, “Whoever defeats me in a battle of humor, wit, and scholarship will be rewarded with one thousand gold coins.”

The challenge hurt the ego of the scholars in the region. Almost all the scholars in the city took part in the contest but failed to defeat her.

One day, a firewood vendor stood in front of Vidyullatha’s house and began shouting, “Firewood…excellent firewood…best firewood in the city…

Unable to bear the voice of the firewood vendor anymore, Vidyullatha came out of the house and said, “How much are you willing to sell the load for?” 

The vendor replied, “Madam, I will not sell this load for money. But I will give it to you in exchange for a handful of grain.” Hearing this, Vidyullatha assured him that she would give him more than what he asked for and ordered him to dump the load in the backyard.

To this, the vendor replied, “Madam, there is no bargain in this deal. I will give you this firewood for a handful of grain and nothing more or less. A handful of grain, I repeat.

This irked Vidyullatha, and she said, “All right! I will only give you what you have asked for; now, unload the load and collect your grain.” 

Vidyullatha came out with a handful of grains and asked the vendor to take it. The vendor refused to take it and said, “Madam, I made it very clear that there is no bargain for this deal, I said a handful of grain, not less, not more. If you cannot pay the price, then give me one thousand gold coins and remove the invitation from your compound wall.” 

Now Vidyullatha lost her cool and shouted, “What is wrong with you? What nonsense are you talking about?” 

The vendor cut her in between and said, “I am not talking any nonsense. I have told you the price beforehand, and you agreed to pay. Now, if you cannot pay me my due, you must give me one thousand gold coins.”

 Now, both Vidyullatha and the vendor started to shout and argue. Vidyullatha decided to approach the provisional court for justice.

At the court, Vidyullatha presented her argument in front of the judge, saying, “My lord, I agreed to pay this firewood vendor the price he quoted for the firewood. Now, he is demanding one thousand gold coins. I need justice.” 

The judge turned to the vendor and asked for an explanation. The vendor said, “My lord, I told her clearly that the price for my firewood is a handful of grain.” 

The vendor continued innocently, “I made it clear that I needed a handful of grain, which means a grain that fits into a hand. She misunderstood it for a handful of grains.” 

Vidyullatha was speechless as she realized her mistake. The judgment was passed in favor of the vendor. Just then, the vendor removed his turban, and everyone was surprised to see Tenali Rama.

Moral of the story 

Do not be arrogant about your capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do the other courtiers react to Tenali Rama’s actions?

The courtiers are surprised to see Tenali Rama in disguise and are again impressed by his wit and humor.

2. What is the relevance of the story in today’s world?

The story’s relevance in today’s world lies in its lessons about avoiding arrogance and making informed decisions by carefully listening and avoiding assumptions.

3. How have the stories of Tenali Rama been passed down through generations in India?

The stories of Tenali Rama have been passed down through generations in India by grandparents, parents, and storytellers narrating them to children. Later, these folklores were adapted into books, comics, and television shows. In recent years, digital platforms and social media have helped further popularize and preserve these stories.

Key Pointers

  • The story revolves around Vidyullatha, a proud and intelligent lady who challenges scholars to a battle of wit for one thousand gold coins.
  • It concludes with the moral lesson that arrogance can lead to misunderstandings and undesirable consequences.
  • The story highlights the importance of humility, effective communication, and avoiding assumptions in interpersonal interactions.
Was this article helpful?
Like buttonDislike button
The following two tabs change content below.
Sharon Katy

Sharon KatyEducator

Sharon Katy is a teacher, author, blogger, and poet. Her passion for teaching emerged during her undergraduate years, leading her to pursue internships that eventually evolved into a full-time teaching career. Sharon worked as a teacher in various top schools of Hyderabad, India. After obtaining her master's degree in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, she embarked on her teaching...read full bio