KING Krishnadeva Raya and his courtiers were watching the proceedings of the court when Tenali Raman began to yawn. Seeing his boredom, the king remarked angrily, “Tenali, why are you yawning so early in the day? Did you not sleep yesterday night? Since you seem to be so bored, then why are you sitting here? Go and leave the court before you put everyone else to sleep also.”
Tenali Raman quietly left the court, but after he had left, the king and also the other courtiers lost interest in the court proceedings. The king could not concentrate at all on what was going on in the court and left early for his chambers.
Gradually three days passed and still there was no news of Tenali Raman. The king became worried as he feared that possibly he had been too harsh with his courtier. So he sent message all over the kingdom announcing that if anybody reported news about Tenali Raman, he would be adequately rewarded.
One day, a tribal youth visited the court and said, “Your Majesty, one of your courtiers by the name of Tenali Raman had come to stay among us. He became a great devotee of Sadhu Gangadas. Yesterday, Tenali Raman went to take a bath in the river flowing nearby and slipped in the water and got washed away. I have been sent by Sadhu Gangadas to inform Your Majesty about his departure from this world.”
King Krishnadeva Raya lost colour and became so depressed that for the next three days he did not attend court, grieving at the loss of his favourite courier. Even many others in the court began to miss his presence even though they were jealous of his proximity to the king.
The king decided to send for the tribal youth. His soldiers went and brought the tribal youth in front of the king, who said, “Can you take me to your Sadhu Gangadas? I want to talk to him and see for myself as to what made Tenali Raman so fond of the sage.”
The next day the king set out with his soldiers and guards to meet the sage, with the tribal leading the way. When they reached Sadhu Gangadas’s hut, the king fell at his feet and said, “I have lost my most faithful and intelligent courtier. Can you suggest some way to get over his death? I wish I had not turned him out of the court that day.”
Sadhu Gangadas immediately stood up and pulled away his false beard and moustache to reveal his true identity. It was none other than Tenali Raman dressed as Sadhu Gangadas. The king embraced him and admonished him for running away from the court.