Tenali Rama could solve most of the complex problems very easily. Thus he was a favorite courtier of King Krishnadevaraya, who very often rewarded Tenali with gifts.
One such day, after solving a difficult problem, Tenali Rama received lots of coins from the Krishnadevaraya. But he just did not have enough space in his jacket pocket to carry back all the coins. So Tenali Rama opened his Turban and kept the remaining coins in the fold of his turban and kept it back on his head.
After that, he graciously bowed in front of the king for his kindness. Unfortunately. as he bowed, the turban fell down from his head. And the coins from inside spilled out, rolling all over the corners of the court.
Tenali Rama immediately started chasing the coins. He went to all the corners and under the chair of the courtiers picking one by one coin.
All the other courtiers started laughing at Tenali Rama’s behavior. They started whispering amongst each other about the greediness of Tenali Rama, saying he is not ready to let go of even a few coins.
Even the king was surprised and wondered why is Tenali Rama behaving like this. After Tenali collected all the coins and secured them safely back in his turban, Krishnadevaraya asked him, “Tenali why could not you let go of even a few coins? Surely you are not in that much dire need!”
Tenali Rama replied, “My King, I have plenty to live comfortably, by your graciousness. However, all these coins have your face on them. If they are left on the floor, someone will unknowingly stamp on them. How can I let it happen to our king?”
Now Krishnadevaraya was immensely pleased. Other ministers on the court sat in silence at being proven fools.