Becoming A Professional Jester
In the northern country there is a village named Tennali. In it was born a Brahman boy named Rama. Once a Sanyasi met this boy in the street and wondering at his beauty and rare qualities taught him a certain incantation and said:- “My dear fellow, if you, in the course of a single night, repeat this incantation in the presence of the goddess Kali three crores of times, she will appear before you with her one thousand faces. If you be not overcome with fear of her presence you can secure from her whatever boons you may desire.” From the day Rama was waiting for an auspicious time to go to the Kali temple near his village. And duly as the time came, he stood before the goddess and repeated the incantation as he had been taught. At the end Kali appeared before him with her one thousand faces, two hands and fearful shape. The little fellow, however, was not at all afraid, but laughed at the goddess. Whereupon Kali asked him in a stern voice, “Why do you laugh?” And Raman replied:- “Mother, we men have each but one nose and two hands’ yet when we catch cold, we find it very difficult to blow our single nose with our two hands. If ever you who have one thousand noses should suffer from cold I wonder how little those two hands will avail you!” Pleased at the lad’s wit the goddess said “Ah boy! inasmuch as you have jested with me you shall from this day become a jester-Vikatakavi.” And the boy said readily “Mighty goddess, you have given me a very find boom. If I read my title from right to left I am a jester, and if from left to right, I am a jester still.” The goddess was all the more pleased about this and said:- “For your intelligence you shall be a court-jester and all in the king’s assembly shall ever praise you for your wit.” After having said so, the goddess vanished. And Rama ever since the day attained more and more celebrity as a jester and at last reached the court of Rayar and continued to live there.