King Krishnadev Rai of Vijayanagar won a battle against a neighboring kingdom. His victory was celebrated all over the kingdom.

The king thought, "To commemorate this grand victory, a Pillar of Victory must be built right in the heart of Vijayanagar."

The task of building the Pillar of Victory was assigned to an artisan. The artisan was a very talented, hardworking and honest man. He was dedicated to his art. Within a period of twelve months, he built a magnificent pillar. It had beautiful, intricate designs carved on it.The artisan was paid well for his outstanding accomplishments.


When the king saw the Pillar of Victory, he was extremely pleased with the artisan. He said to him, "I am impressed with your skill. Ask whatever you wish for, and it will be granted to you." 

The artisan joined his hands and said humbly, "Your Majesty, I have been paid well for my job. I do not wish for anything except your blessings." 

The king said "But you just cannot refuse today. You must ask for something. The courtiers, who were present there also persuaded the artisan to ask for something.

The courtiers, who were present there also persuaded the artisan to ask for something.



They said to him, "This is a golden opportunity for you. Therefore, you must make the most of it and ask for something that will make the rest of your life easy and comfortable." The artisan said, "I cannot accept anything but the remuneration due to me." When the king heard this, he felt quite hurt. "I really want to give a handsome reward to this artisan. And how can he refuse me?" he thought. And so the king insisted that the artisan asks for something.

Tenalirama had not yet come to the court. And in his absence, there was none who could solve the problem. The poor artisan felt very helpless against the king's repeated insistence.
At last, the artisan emptied his bag of tools, held it before the king and said,
"If you insist on giving me something please fill this bag with the most valuable thing in the whole world." The king ordered his attendants, "Fill this bag with the most precious gems, jewelry, and diamonds.

" At once the artisan said,
"Are gems, jewelry, and diamonds the most valuable in the world?" The king looked at the courtiers and asked them, "Which is the most valuable thing in the world?" 

The courtiers looked at one another. They had no answer to this question. At last, the king sent for Tenalirama.

The king asked him, "Tenalirama, which is the most valuable thing in the whole world?" Tenalirama quickly replied, "Well, that depends on the receiver."

Before coming to the court, Tenalirama had obtained all the details from the attendant. 

He asked, "Who wants the most valuable thing in the world?"

 "Me," said the artisan and held his empty bag before Tenalirama.

Tenalirama took the bag in his hands, opened it wide, and moved it up and down vigorously. Having done this at least seven times, he quickly closed the bag.



Returning the bag to the artisan, Tenalirama said, "Here, take this. I have filled your bag with the most valuable thing in the whole world." The artisan was delighted. He took his bag and went home. 

The royal priest asked Tenalirama, "We all know you did not put anything into the artisan's empty bag. Yet when he left the court, he looked completely satisfied!" Tenalirama said "Well, what did you see then? I filled his bag with air. Air is the most valuable thing in the whole world. Can we live without air?"

Everyone in the court praised Tenalirama for his good judgment


The air is the most invaluable in this world

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