Krishnadevaraya was waiting for his special courtier Tenali Rama Krishna. All the courtiers were angry and disappointed with the special respect given to Tenali RamaKrishna by the King.It was then Tenali Ramakrishna entered the court and saw everyone were serious about something. He came to know about the reason for seriousness and with no hesitation asked the royal court for their permission to answer the question.
He quickly responded that 12-4 is zero. The king was happy and satisfied with Ramakrishna’s answer. The court was unsatisfied with answer and demanded explanation.
Ramakrishna thus explained that year has 12 months and is divided into 3 seasons –summer, rainy and winter. Each season has 4 months. These seasons are important for prosperity of the crops. When the 4 months of rainy season is removed from the year, then there are zero crops and hence the answer is 0. Rains are eagerly waited for by the King because he was very keen on the welfare of healthy crops and happy farmers. Hence, Tenali Ramakrishna rightly read the heart of his King, thus enlightening right answer to King’s satisfaction
Continuing to the explanation he mentioned that when a question is asked, it should be judged by the virtue of person who asked and then should be answered. A great king like Krishnadevaraya will never ask such a simple question and if asked will have a reason behind. King was very happy with the explanation and the courtiers were ashamed of their senselessness.