A Battle to Baffle

Answer the following questions:

1. What announcement unnerved the Courtiers and Pundits?

Ans. Pandit Shahane had come there to challenge all the pundits in the kingdom. This announcement unnerved the Courtiers.

2. What suggestion was proposed by the first scholar?

Ans. The first scholar with the permission of emperor proposed to call Tenali Raman to find a solution to their problem.

3. What was the condition put forth by Tenali Raman?

Ans. Tenali Raman put forth a condition to make him the Chief Pundit of the empire.

4. How did Mantriji introduce Pundit Shahane?

Ans. Mantriji introduced Pundit Shahane as the most revered and honoured master scholar of the ancient scripture- The Pride of India.

5. How did Tenali Raman make his entry to Emperor’s court?

Ans. Tenali Raman was carried on a palanquin. Two pundits were following him carrying a huge bundle in silken cloth. In this way Tenali Raman made a royal welcome in the court.

6. What scripture did Tenali Raman wish to debate upon?

Ans. Tenali Raman wished to debate upon the merits of ‘tila-kashta-mahishabandhana’.

7. Why was Pundit Shahane defeated?

Ans. When Tenali Raman told Pundit Shahane to discuss the merits of the scriptures of ‘tila-kashta-mahisha-bandhana’. Panditji failed to understand it. Pandit Shahane had read thousands of scholarly works in Sanskrit. But he had never even heard of ‘tilakashta-mahisha-bandhana’. He walked up and down in deep thought and gave up. Finally he conceded defeat and accepted Tenali Raman as the greatest of all scholars.

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8. What explanation did Tenali Raman give about the name of the strange scripture?

Ans. Tenali Raman told the emperor the meaning of ‘tila-kashta-mahisha-bandhana’. ‘til’ meant ‘sesame’, ‘Kashta’ meant sticks or stems of sesame plants that were held in his hands and ‘Mahisha’ meant a buffalo and ‘bandhana’ meant rope used to tie up something.

9. How did the emperor and courtiers react?

Ans. The emperor and courtiers laughed when they heard the meaning of ‘tila-kashtamahisha-bandhana’.

Think and answer:

1. What was Pundit Shahane’s claim as a scholar?

Ans. Pundit Shahane’s claim as a scholar was his mastery of all scriptures.

2. Why did Pundit Shahane visit Vijaynagar?

Ans. Pundit Shahane wanted to challenge all pundits of Vijaynagar so he visited Vijaynagar.

3. What do you learn about Pundits of Vijaynagar?

Ans. The Pundits of Vijaynagar were reluctant to take up the challenge put up by Pundit Shahane.

4. What punishment did the emperor threaten the Pundits with?

Ans. The Emperor threatened the Pundits that they would be exiled from Vijaynagar if they were not able to win debate with Pundit Shahane.

5. Why was Tenali Raman summoned to the court?

Ans. Tenali Raman could certainly find a solution to the predicament so he was summoned to the court.

6. On what condition did Tenali Raman agree to take up the challenge?

Ans. Tenali Raman agreed to take up the challenge only if he would be accepted and honoured as the Chief Pandit.

7. Why was Tenali Raman taken to the court in a palanquin?

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Ans. Tenali Raman was taken in the court in a palanquin because he had demanded that he should be given the honour and respect of the chief Pundit.

8. How did Tenali Raman outwit Pundit Shahane?

Ans. When the debate started, Tenali Raman began by discussing the merits of ‘tilakashta-mahisha-bandhana’. This was difficult phrase for Pundit Shahane. He had read thousands of scholarly works, but had a never heard such a phrase. So after pondering over the phrase for a long time he gave and accepted defeat. Thus, Tenali Rama outwitted Pundit Shahane.

9. What did the bundle in silken cloth contain

Ans. The bundle in the silken cloth contained stems of sesame plants and some rope used to tie buffaloes.

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