The Kingdom of Vijayanagar was ruled by King Krishnadevaraya. One day, a very beautiful woman wanted to showcase her work to the king. She opened a box and took out the most delicate sari that was made of the thinnest fabric.
One could almost see through the fabric, yet the design was very beautiful. The king and the courtiers were impressed. They had never seen a dress woven so beautifully.
She said to the king, “Oh great King! I am a famous weaver and I know many secrets such as weaving this fabric. My best work is something I am researching on now and shall belong only to you. It is a beautiful, delicate and strong fabric which cannot be seen by the naked eye.”
She continued, “If you give me 1000 gold coins and a place to weave, my weavers and I can work and display this material before you, My King!”
The king was very impressed with the work. He completely believed in her and gave her the 1000 gold coins and also a room to stay in the royal guest house.
In six months, the lady and her workers lived in the royal guest house. They enjoyed the expensive royal service and grand meals. However, even after one year there was no fabric exhibited by the weavers.
The king said, “My two courtiers. Check on the progress of the celestial fabric. It has already been one year.”
The inspectors were greeted by the lady and she took them to the location where the weavers were working. They seemed to be working so seriously that they didn’t even notice the presence of guests in the room.
The inspectors were surprised to see no looms, sewing needles or even a thread. The weavers were pretending to weave.
The inspectors stood there confused and asked, “What is going on? What are we supposed to see?”
The lady said, “The celestial fabric can be seen only by those whose heart is pure and whose parents’ hearts are pure. Look closely. I am sure that you can see the magic fabric created by our weavers!”
The inspectors thought, “I cannot see the thread. That must mean that I am a bad person or my parents are bad people. I should lie to her.”
They said that they can see the thread and appreciated the beauty of the work done. They also conveyed the same to the king as well.
Listening to such praises of the work being done by the weavers, the king became even more enthusiastic to see greatness of the fabric.
After few days, the king ordered his men to bring the weavers to his court along with the finished product.
The royal court was packed with spectators wanting to have a look at this celestial fabric.
As a part of their introductory speech, the weavers addressed the gathering and said, “Divine material has been used in making of this fabric.
Hence, it is only visible to the ones with a pure heart along with the purity of their parents.”
There was silence. No one could see the fabric. In order to save from the embarrassment, they all said, “It is incredibly beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful than the fabric.”
Finally, the king and Tenali Raman entered the court to see the fabric. The lady repeated the same dialog. King Krishnadevaraya could not see the fabric.
King Krishnadevaraya said to Tenali Raman, “Tenali, I cannot see the fabric. Is it because I am impure?”
Tenali replied, “My King, there is no fabric there. This lady is cheating all of us.”
This king said, “I am suspicious. Can you prove that the weavers are cheating?”
Tenali made a plan. He said to the lady, “This work is really beautiful. The king is eager to see you wear this beautiful fabric. Can you come wearing only this fabric and nothing else?”
The lady started to sweat. She knew that Tenali had tricked her and she could not wear the fabric as there was nothing except air. The lady fell on the king’s feet and begged for forgiveness.