When the Commander-in-chief of Vijaynagar State got a son, he invited the king, Maharaja Krishnadevrai and his entourage for a gala feast. The King readily accepted the invitation and promised to come at the appointed time.
Next day along with Tenalirama and other courtiers, the king reached the Commander's house. When they saw the baby the king opined: 'A very sweet baby! May he become as vigilant and brave as his father is!' Seeing the baby Tenali said: 'The boy is really very fortunate. When he grows up he would definitely outshine his father in every sphere!'
Tenali's this prognostication made the king ask him: 'How can you say with such certainty now, Tenali? Tenali: 'Maharaj! The promising children appear so even in the cradle. One can always prognosticate looking at one's basic property!'
Although the remark made by Tenali was forgotten by the king, the jealous courtiers again tried to pollute the king's mind against Tenali. They told the king in private: 'your majesty! We very much doubt the prognostication made by Tenali when he saw the commander's son. His remark made out of an attempt to flatter the commander. He is becoming a sycophant and loosing his intelligence!' 'But how can you say,' the king asked, 'That Tenali made that remark out of flattery. He is a sharp man and can visualises future much better than any of you can hope to visualise. He has a very keen insight!' 'That is what we wish to test, Your Majesty! He can't predict anything merely by observation.' The courtiers insisted.
'But how you propose to conduct the test?' the king again asked. Although he had faith in Tenali's intelligence and foresight, yet he also wanted further confirmation of this fact. Moreover, he thought to have some enjoyable past-time!
Then a courtier suggested: 'I have thought of a devise. Kindly have two small gold pitchers made. One of them should be hollow and other solid. But outwardly they must appear identical!'
'Then', the king again asked. 'Then, Your Majesty! Get those two pitchers hanged at some distance from Tenali- then Tenali should be asked to identify the solid and the hollow pitchers merely by looking at it. He should not be allowed to touch them at all!'
'Well,' said the king visibly pleased: 'It is a nice way of testing him. But together with this test I'd also attach a condition and then I would see how smart he is!'
Next day the pitchers were made ready. The king had them hanged quite far and high!
Then the king summoned Tenali and asked: 'Tenali! Do you still maintain the assertion you made the other day that merely by observation a things basic property or a child's promising qualities can be prognosticated correctly?'
'Yes, My Lord', said Tenali.
The Maharaja then showed him the two identical pitchers hanging from quite a distance. Don't you see them, Tenali! These I've got specially made to test your intelligence,' 'yes, Your Honor! I see them', replied Tenali!
'One of the pitcher is solid and the other is hollow! Go and look at them and identify which is which', ordered the king and added: 'If you Identify then correctly then you'd get these gold pitchers as the award and should you fail, then you've to give equal amount of gold as used in making the pitchers! Agreed?'
'Agreed, sir,' said Tenalirama and went ahead to identify them.
Tenali reached near the pitcher and began to observe them minutely. He also heaved a long sigh to make the onlookers believe that he is facing a really ticklish problem. Tenali looked nervous apparently, and the jealous courtiers were greatly enjoying the discomfiture suffered by Tenaliram. Many of them were passing derogatory remarks at Tenali's intelligence. But undaunted by their disturbing remarks, Tenali continued to observe the pitchers and heave long sighs. After some time, Tenali declared: 'Maharaj! The pitcher on the right is the hollow one and on the left is solid!'
The king was delighted to find Tenali's observation unerring. But he still asked: 'Tenali, how could you identify?' 'It was not difficult, Your Majesty, explained Tenali, 'if you want you can get the veracity of my observation confirmed.'
'Yes Tenali! You have identified correctly. But, would you spell out how you could identify them?'
'when I watched them closely,' said Tenali, 'I concentrated on the chains the pitchers were hanging by whose support. Then I could know which was heavy and which was light. The chain from which the solid pitcher was hanging was taut owing to the weight, while the other chain was not as taut. Moreover, my exhalations couldn't make any effect on the solid one while the chain of the hollow one did vibrate a little by my sighs. And thus I could know I could easily identify them!'
'Oh---very well done, Tenali' exclaimed the king and gave the two gold pitchers to Tenali as the award. Then bowing in respect to the king, Tenali went out happily with two valuable and costly pitchers in his each hand. The jealous courtiers were drawing a long face at yet another victory of Tenalirama!