Sivananda was a learned man of Sivapuri. Several poets of the place used to send him their compositions for his opinion. The promising ones always received praise and encouragement from his. Poet laureate Achuthananda, however, had only scorn for them. He went about claiming that he was the only learned man in the kingdom.
Whenever people mentioned Achuthananda to Sivananda, he would tell them that the poet laureate was a learned man. Achutananda was aware of this, but he would always describe Sivananda as an unlettered person.
The king came to know this and one day, he sent for Sivananda. “It’s all right that you praise Achuthananda, but why is it that he doesn’t have a good word about you?”
“Though we hold differing views about people’s writings,” explained Sivananda, “we were under the impression that what we think about each other was correct. Now, I find that I was wrong in my belief.”
Achuthananda, who was listening to the conversation between the king and Sivananda, could only hang his head in shame.
Credit: Chandamama, February 1995