There was once a minister in the court of king Krishnadevaraya by the name of Sundar. He was jealous of Tenali Raman. He had also received insults due to Tenali outwitting him several times. So now, Sundar was planning to take revenge on Tenali Raman by any means necessary. At the same time, there was the royal priest too, who was jealous of Tenali. So, Sundar decided to hatch a plan with the royal priest to plot the downfall of Tenali.
That night, the royal priest met Sundar at his home. They spoke to each other about Tenali and his wisdom which was making others look inferior to him. The priest said that the king too was a blind fool for trusting whatever Tenali said. Like this, they spoke for sometime, spilling out their hatred for Tenali in particular. The royal priest cautioned Sundar that Tenali Raman was too smart and he must be dealt with caution. Sundar then thought of poisoning the king’s mind against Tenali. The priest too agreed with this line of action but said that as he is not senior enough to speak to the king about such matters, this must be carried out by someone else. Sundar agreed to do this part.
The next day, when the king was sitting alone in the garden of his palace, Sundar walked up to him and started to complain about Tenali Raman. The king then told him to raise whatever complaints he had during the time of the court and not at other odd times. Sundar was dejected and went away. The king then thought to himself on how Sundar had raised a number of complaints against Tenali.
During the court, the king demanded Tenali to give an explanation for the complaints raised against him. Tenali said that he cannot provide an answer immediately and he needed a few days’ time. The king then ordered him to not come to the court until he had a proper explanation. As Tenali Raman walked out, the royal priest and Sundar were smiling gleefully.
At night, Tenali Raman took the king to the residence of Sundar. There, both of them looked inside the home through a window. The king was surprised to see the royal priest and Sundar sitting together. As they were watching, Sundar was smiling happily and said that next, he would convince the king to exile Tenali from the kingdom. The priest remained silent and did not say anything. The king and Tenali then left. As they were returning, the king pardoned Tenali and sought his help to free the royal priest from the clutches of the devious Sundar. Tenali accepted.
On another day, Tenali invited Sundar and the royal priest for a grand feast at his home. Tenali made sure to sit next to Sundar. As they were eating, Tenali whispered a secret to Sundar. The royal priest saw this and got suspicious. As Tenali was about to leave, he commanded Sundar loudly not to reveal the secret. After Tenali left, the royal priest went to Sundar and demanded him to reveal the secret. Sundar said that Tenali had just mumbled some gibberish to him and in fact he had not said anything at all. The royal priest did not believe him and getting angry, he walked out of the house. This indicated the end of his friendship with Sundar.
Later, Tenali narrated to the king what had happened. He said that he created a misunderstanding which was enough on its own to break their friendship. The king was happy that the royal priest was saved from the clutches of the devious Sundar.
Moral – One must always be careful with whom they become friends with.