One day, a holy man met Tenali Rama and observed him closely. He could see a divine spark in Rama, which prompted him to take Rama to a Kali temple. There, he whispered a sacred hymn in his ears and said, "Keep chanting this before the Goddess and she will grant you boons."
Rama did accordingly. Soon Goddess Kali appeared before him and said, "My child! I'm pleased with you. I'll grant you a boon. Here are two bowls. One is filled with milk and the other with curd. You can take any one of these. If you consume the milk in this bowl, you'll become a scholar. If you consume the curd instead, you'll become rich."
Immediately, Rama grabbed both the bowls from Her hand and gulped down the contents of both. The Goddess, who was taken aback by his action, said with a frown, "Why did you take both,when I asked you to take one of them only?"
"Kindly forgive me, mother!" pleaded Rama. "You'll certainly appreciate the fact that becoming a scholar without any wealth is of no use in this world. Now tell me whether I was wrong in taking both!"
The Goddess could not help smiling at Rama's shrewd reply. "I'm very much impressed with you," remarked the Goddess. "You'll become popular as a court jester. You'll possess both intellect and wealth."
After blessing Rama, the Goddess disappeared.