Tenali Rama’s Entry Into Bhuvana Vijayam
Tenali Rama (Ramalinga) was mischievous during his childhood. His childishness cheered some and troubled some. His activities were pleasure to some and humiliation to others. Once, while Ramalinga was pursuing his academics, the provincial ruler visited the school as part of checking the standards of the school.
He questioned the children in the classroom, “Who among you is the most intelligent?”
Silence spread in the class. No child dared to give reply to the King’s question. Meanwhile, Ramalinga sprung up from his seat and answered with confidence, “I am the intelligent student in the class.” The King appreciated Ramalinga’s confidence and courage. Calling him closer, the King enquired him about several things and blessed him, “You will go places my child.”
Similarly, Ramalinga grew big and made his presence felt in history.
Ramalinga practiced poetry and composition along with command on language and grammar. Mingling with a group of minstrels, he learnt the art of spontaneous poetry composing techniques at Tenali.
He made himself a perfectionist in Sanskrit and Telugu (Andhra) languages. Gradually, in the natural process of growing up, he was married and was blessed with children. From then onwards, he was compelled to find ways to earn a living and feed his family.
He learnt that Vijaya Nagar ruler Sri Krishna Deva Rayalu was a revered patron for poetry and poets besides being a scholar in Kannada, Andhra and Sanskrit languages on par. Every poet and scholar with some skill in the vast Vijaya Nagar empire was longing for getting into the Bhuvana Vijayam, the royal court of Rayalu. Ramalinga headed for Vijaya Nagar with a similar thought and wish in him.
First, he approached the royal priest Thathacharya and laid his heart before him, after exhibiting his skills. Thathacharya promised Ramalinga to introduce him to the King Rayalu. Satisfied Ramalinga spent many a days in vain, waiting for the opportunity.
Ramalinga was vexed and started hunting for alternative ways that would gain entry into the court. He then located Nandi Thimmana, another scholar who had a permanent place in the royal court. Ramalinga approached Thimmana and appeased him with his expertise in spontaneous poetry.
Thimmana felicitated Ramalinga by presenting him with a Kashmir Shawl, which was presented to him by King Rayalu the previous day for his performance.
The next day, Ramalinga adorning the Kashmiri Shawl on his shoulders walked into the royal court. King Rayalu was discussing various issues with the courtiers at that time. Rayalu was surprised to see a stranger in the Shawl that was presented to Thimmana couple of days before. A straight question came from the King Rayalu, “Where did you get this shawl?”
With all humbleness Ramalinga replied, “My King! Thimmana could have satisfied you with his proficiency. I was fortunate enough to please that great personality with my poetry. Thimmana, pleased with my expertise…” he continued, “presented me this shawl felicitating me at his residence. I am wearing this to exhibit my competence.”
Sri Krishna Deva Rayalu was impressed by the way Ramalinga presented himself in the court. The King also appreciated the intelligence and presence of mind Ramalinga had. Immediately Rayalu offered a position to Ramalinga in his court.
Thus was the entry of Ramalinga into Bhuvana Vijayam