Once upon a time, the kingdom of Vijayanagar was filled with various cases of theft and other such problems. So, the various ministers and the king discussed finding a solution for these problems. Finally, they arrived at a conclusion that it was best to consult sage Durmananda on their next course of action. This sage was very famous as he had spent many years doing penance in the Himalayas. So, the king and the ministers set out to see this renowned sage.
Eventually, they entered a cave where they found a sage deeply engrossed in his meditation. The sage opened his eyes and asked the king as to what was the purpose for his visit. The king then explained the problems to the sage as he looked deeply at the king. The sage then said that the king had come at the right time and if he was late, the entire kingdom would have been destroyed. The king looked on and the sage told him to listen carefully to God who will be speaking next.
A voice then boomed from behind the sage and everyone listened to the voice keenly. The voice told them to listen to whatever the sage had to say and then they would be relieved from all their troubles. Everyone was filled with awe after hearing this voice, but one became very very suspicious. It was none other than Tenali Raman. Tenali told the king to wait before he made any offerings. He then went to the room behind the sage. Once Tenali went inside, the sage became very nervous and was looking front and back.
Once again, the voice of God spoke and this time it told the king not to trust the sage as he was a thief. The king did not know what to make of this when Tenali exited the room with another man. This man was the impostor who was pretending to be the voice of god. The king then threatened the sage to reveal his identity and at that time, the sage panicked and said that he was a spy from the neighbouring kingdom. Both the men were thrown into prison and Tenali was awarded for his wit, which saved the kingdom.
Moral – One must always be careful of people who try to cheat in the name of God.