Once upon a time, there was a kingdom called Vijayanagara. It was ruled by a wise king by the name of Krishnadevaraya. He was able to rule the kingdom properly with the help of his ministers and army. Among them was a well known minister by the name of Tenali Raman. He was known for his wit and humour and king Krishnadevaraya was personally fond of him.
One day, king Krishnadevaraya narrated to his ministers about a place called heaven which he had heard. It was so beautiful and serene that he wanted to see it for himself. So, he asked his ministers as to where he could find this place. No one had a clue and so all were silent. Then Tenali Raman said that he could show heaven if he was given 10,000 gold coins and 2 months time. All the other ministers in the court began to laugh after hearing this. King Krishnadevaraya however said to them that Tenali Raman must have something in mind if he has made such a request. Hence, he obliged and granted him 10,000 gold coins as well as 2 months time.
Eventually, 2 months passed and Tenali Raman did not appear in court. The king was getting irritated and he asked the other ministers as to his presence. But no one was aware of his whereabouts. The next day, Tenali Raman came to the court and told the king that he had found heaven. King Krishnadevaraya was pleased and guided by Tenali Raman, he set off along with his army and ministers to see heaven. Tenali Raman took them along with him to a beautiful forest.
There, he told the king that this was an ideal place to rest for the time being. The king agreed too as it was a very serene place and soon all of them set up camp there. After that, the king asked one of his ministers as to why he was not informed of this place. The minister replied saying that even he was not aware of such a place until now. Again Tenali Raman was not to be seen and the minister suggested to the king that maybe he would have run off as he had 10,000 gold coins with him. The king told him to stop making such remarks and just as he finished, Tenali came holding a basket of mangoes. He offered them to the king so that he could satisfy his hunger. After the king finished eating, Tenali then told the king to look around. There were animals grazing and birds flying as it slowly drizzled. Trees bearing fruit and beautiful flowers stood, spreading their fragrance. It was a serene and peaceful scene. Tenali Raman then asked the king if there was any heaven greater than nature itself and to this the king had no other choice than to agree. Then the king asked Tenali as to what he had done with the 10,000 gold coins. Tenali said that he had used the money to plant trees around the kingdom, so that the entire kingdom would become a heaven for all the people. The king was very pleased to hear this. Thus, Tenali Raman showed king Krishnadevaraya that heaven existed on earth and it was accessible to all.
Moral – One need not seek for heaven elsewhere, as it is present in the form of nature all around us.