Kasturi If you kick my part once I shall kick yours thrice. In their excitement they took no notice of the pain and cries of their dear dear husband. Poor Mani Ram was trying to get up, but was pre- vented by the shower of kicks which went on till he began to writhe in pain and cry for help. Now a thief, who had come to steal, lurked in a corner of the liouse, and was wiiiting for the hour when the husband and wives w'ould go to bed and be fast asleep. He had waited and watched for about three hours, w'hen the cries of the wTctchcd husband collected neighbours all round the house.
So he could not make good his escape and was easily seized — people think ing that it was he wdio was the cause of the alarm. The thief then related the whole story to the amusement of all present, and as a reward for the tale he was let free. He would sing in season and out of season, though his voice was unbearably squeaky. It was a dread- ful ordeal to listen to tlie shrill piercing noise when he brayed out his rhymeless and tuneless music. His father and mother tried their best to cure liim of his passion for singing, but to no effect.
They then hit on the plan of turning him out into the street the moment he opened his lips to sing. The boy gave his lungs free exercise in the street till the neighbours got tired of liis songs. I am sick of it. This is too bad ; I must have a place where I can use my gift ; therefore, I am not going to be stopped here. So to get rid of his noise lie made him an offer. Your success in exorcising her will bring you money.
They siiid she was suffering from a strange malady which no physician could cure. The boy went up to the landlord and said, " I will cure your daughter, my lord. As pre-arranged the spirit left the girl as soon as the boy made his appearance and she gradually got better. The boy had his reward and went home. He would daily walk out to a lonely spot in another part of the forest and start his singing.
Birds and animals left the place,. The spirit wlio intended not to meet the boy any more, was very angry at seeing him come to treat tlic Princess. The boy had now a good time of it in his part of the forest where he was free to enjoy the practice of his favourite art. Kalu and Cliamcli, husband and wife. The couple lived in peace for a long time, but one day they fell out over a cow.
They had no cow but they were proposing to buy one. I must make butter and buttermilk, and none but my dear httle calf will have the milk. I love milk and milk I must have. The quarrel went on in tliis strain tiU they agreed on a plan to decide if they should have milk or butter. Both of them w'ent to bed and covered themselves with blankets, agreeing that the one who first made the slightest movement or utterance should lose in the dispute. They doggedly kept still and silent, forgetting all about their duties at the palace.
The man who went to fetch Kalu and Cliameli shouted to them at the top of his voice, but they would ncitlier stir nor speak. He hastened to the palace to report that Kalu and Chameli had both died. The Royal Consorts were grieved at the sad news and ordered the funeral of the couple.
Thus Kalu and Chameli were put on biers wrapped as they had been in their blankets, and were carried to the place where dead bodies were biinit. Vet they would not move or speak. The King then thought he would go himself and make sure of the cause of their death. So he went to the place and declared he would give a reward of a hundred rupees to the man who could tell him the truth to the sudden death of Kalu and Chameli. Let me have my reward.
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No milk, only butter. Note—ln Bengal the story goes that the bone of contention between a Brahman and a Brahmani was three Koi fish. Either of them wanted two, and would give the other the odd one. The pupil was struck with wonder at the miraculous skill of his teacher. When they had left the patient's house the pupil pressed the physician hard to explain how he could know, by feeling the pulse, that the patient had eaten an orange. Now, any man with a grain of sens e could conclude that the patient had eaten an orange. He became furious and said. How can you get better when you have eaten a panther?
Tlie villagers gathered together at the landlord's house to make merry at a drinking-bout. They were far gone in hquor when a man broke in with tlic news that he had found a plate of living gold shining in the river. The land- lord was at once seiz ed w ith t he des ire of pos- sessing it. So he, at the heacTof all his party, proceeded to the spot where the great discoverer led them. Is it not gold? Eventually they set to work and caught many fish but not the gold plate.
The plate kept shifting its place with the dechne of the moon and finally dis- appeared altogether as tlie moon set. But the people of Baglolegdon thought that the gold dish had sunk deep into the water, and their progeny still cast nets and dive down to the river bed in the hope of finding the precious piece of gold. At a great elephant-fair in Northcni engal a dealer was showing a pair of elepliants o a zenundar landlord. At a critical point m the bargaining between them, the dealer saw a simpJe peasant approach the elephant examine a part of his gigantic iramc.
I saw you spotting his one defect. But I found out to my nishment that the stupendous mass is a living ammal of flesh and blood. The letter was to be addressed to his landlord who lived in a town not very far off.
Why need you go and read the letter for them? Then Rama, having rubbed his eves repUed snapped his fingers! Lome, shut the door. The doctor may not be in his dispensary," the servant said. They will always coine out delightful to taste. I can never praise them enough, Your Majesty. O I I love the white brinjals, T simply adore them. I like them better than the w. They are infinitely better than the white which are simply uneatable on account ofv.
It is not the brinjals that you are praising. The servant in over-zeal to please the master washed the as well, and thus spoilt the paint and orations. The gentleman got very angry '1 told him never to do tilings beyond his ual orders. After some time the servant s asked to light a fire in the bedroom, so at the smoke might drive the mosquitoes it. Soon the curtains caught fire and of the house was burnt down. The only thing that might happen in the natural order was, he thought, the death of his master.
So on his way to the Doctor's house he made all arrangements for the funeral ceremonies. Now, along with the Doctor came in the kins- men and the bier w-ith other materials for the carrying away and the burning of the dead body ; and then came the party of mourners, beating their breasts and crying out in a rhyth- mical bewailing. But what for is all this funeral arrangement? You must now give me credit for foreseeing a possible happening. I have not left anything undone in order to meet the possible event of your death.
The friend's house was rather far off, and as the miser took good care never to pay for the luxury of a drive, he set out early to walk the distance. He nearly reached his destina- tion when it struck him that he had forgotten to put out the lamp in his room.
He turned back at once and ran towards his house as fast as he could to avoid the tremendous waste of oil that would be caused by the burning of the lamp. Having arrived at his front door he called out to his servant and asked if the lamp in his room was still burning. You cannot teach your master a lesson in economy! By the order of the King he was to be half- buried in the ground and then trampled on by an elephant.
Accordingly TenaJiram was led out of the city of Vijaynagaram and was buried breast-deep somewhere near a public road. But the elephant that was to tread on him suddenly became mad and made towards the crowd that had gathered. Thus poor Tenaliram was left alone in this awful plight, trembling under the shadow of a terrible death. Ere long there came a hunch-back, who was much surprised to find a man in such a pitiable state. Who has buried you alive like that?
I am simply dying with impatience to see whether I have been made straight by this treatment. So he entreated Tenaliram to do him a friendly turn by burying him in the same way as he himself had been. Tenaliram was only too glad to do it and to make haste to depart, leav- ing the man in the hope that the physician would soon return and take care of him.
But imagine their amazement at seeing a stranger buried in the place of the real culprit. Sir Physician, I have not been quite one hour yet since your patient put me in here. But you may drag me out to see if the hump on my back is all right. I must say I was not prepared for the honour you are going to do me by giving me a ride on the elephant in order to parade the success of your skilful treatment.
Take that man out and let him explain what he says. So he had a pleasant surprise when Tenaliram made his appearance before him. He was keenly eager to know how the victim of his wrath could have escaped the fate to which he had been doomed. Fire cannot bum me, water cannot melt me, the sea cannot drown me, and elephants cannot trample on me. I am proof against these, your Majesty.
The whole court was much amused to hear the story and the King readily granted Tenali- ram his pardon.
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The Maharaja had already been bothered by too many applications of tliis nature and had on many occasions been taken in by artful beggars with bogus claims to charity. So, cold as the month of January was, he agreed to be in the water for one night in order to win the large sum of money. The Maharaja was nonplussed by the man's willingness to undergo such a severe ordeal. But he did not believe he would pass through it successfully and appointed sentries to keep watch on him while he was in the water.
Early the next morning the Maharaja was eager to know the result of the arrangement. He hoped the Brahman had failed in the attempt. Is it possible? We kept a very strict watch. Go and tell him that I am not going to pay him the money, for he has not fulfilled the condition. He availed himself of the warmth of the light on the balcony. He felt too miser- able to walk and sat down by the palace gate. Gopal Bhdnd consoled the Brahman and said, If you come and stay at my house, I will make the Maharaja change his mind. When he got them he caused the bamboo to be erected in front of his out-house and placed a pot at the top of it.
Then he made a fire at its foot and seated him- self near it, feeding the fire to keep it ablaze. The man who went to summon the jester was struck by the unusual sight of a bamboo pole, a pot at its top, and a fire at its foot. He, however, concealed his amazement and gave the Maharaja's message. I am simply starving and I must have a feed before I can go out. My wife is not well, so I am cooking my own food. Then the Maharaja asked some of the courtiers to go and see what the matter was with the jester.
They also came back and reported the strange process of his cooking and concluded by sajing : — "Your Highness, there is no doubt that Gopal Bhind has gone mad or he is possessed. There is no other explanation of his erratic action," The Maharaja was very much surprised and went in person to see w'hat had gone wrong with the jester. Gopal Bhind received the Maharaja with respect and said : " I am very sorry for the trouble I have caused your Highness. But you see I could not go before I had finished my cooking, I am too poor to keep a cook and my wife is indisposed, and so I am compelled to prepare food myself.
However, I shall not be long. I will have only rice to-day and I am going to have it as soon as it is boiled. How can you boil rice by this process of cooking? Is it not clear to you? How can the pot be heated at all by a fire at such a distance? If the light of a lamp on the balcony could warm the body of a man in the tank, my fire here certainly can heat the pot there.
Well, I am really very sorry for the Brahman, and I want to make amends for my unfair treat- ment of him. Can anyone find him? The Maharaja ordered his treasurer to pay him two thousand rupees instead of one. One day the King and the courtiers walked out into a field in whjch tobacco was grown. At one end of the field there stood a donkey, silently gazing at the leaves of the tobacco plants, but making no attempt to eat them. So these Ulema were always seeking to pay him back in his own coin by exposing some point of his ignorance. One day an earthquake shook the Capital of the Emperor, and the Monarch was eager to know the cause of the strange phenomenon.
So the council of learned men were summoned and called upon to account for it. Now the Ulema found an opportxmity to make Birbal confess for once that he was ignorant. He boasts of his knowledge of the stars and taunts us with our ignorance of things so far off. Now, let him come forward with an explanation for the quaking of the earth on which he lives. The gold flows from your hands into ours and so the friction is alike on both. What do you say of their palms? J There is hardly any man that is not blessed with your Majesty's bounty.
If there be any such, he must have been wringing his hands in disappoint- ment. He then had recourse to a strange way of announcing himself. Can you show me the Heaven and the patli that leads to it? When I was sent down by my Father, I was told to look to matters relating to this earth, and not to Heaven which He reserves for Himself.
He wondered why the jackals howled so lustily from time to time in a neighbouring jungle. The wily courtier drew the amount and pocketed it— paying, of course, his fellow- sycophants their due share. The King at once sent for the courtier and asked ; — Have you not yet attended to the wants of these poor complainants?
An overcast morning sky. And quarrel between lovers, The beginning is pompous But in little action it ends. A Sanskrit verse. The husband loved the wife and the wife the husband. They had petty quarrels from time to time, but they soon made up their differences. One day it happened that they were both in a mood to quarrel seriously with anybody. The wife suspected that tlie husband did not love her as before ; and the husband was worried over the loss of some money, of which he had never told his wife.
So she was in a sour temper ready to vent it on him for nothing ; and he was so low- spirited that he would do jinything to avoid being vexed. I asked for some. You would not even speak a word! Has it come to this? I left my father, I left my mother, and I left all my relations for you and you alone!
You always throw that in my teeth! I am quite fed up with it. I will not live under the control of a mother-in- law nor will I slave away for your brothers and sisters in a joint family. I wiU never never do it, even if you cut me to pieces! I have been a henpecked husband and a woman has lorded it over me. So I am going to give up the world — wife and all.
To-day I become a Yogi never to return home to see you humpy, and down in the dumps. A dutiful son does not leave parents when he is married ; but he and his wife both live with tnem, studying their comforts and happiness more than their own. If you are going to leave me I know how to look after myself. I will go and earn my living by selling vegetables and fruit. In his heart of hearts the Sddhu wished that he might meet his wife, and the vegetable-girl wished she might meet her husband, each being eager to show' tlie other the transformation.
It w'as the transformed husband and wife. Their eyes met, and spoke a different language from what their tongues had uttered in the morning. Down dropped the begging bowl from his hand and the basket slid dowTi from her head ; and he and sjie were Ipcjcedin a loying embrace. At nightfall the couple were back at the same house in the same happiness of old old love. Aiakshya Unde6aable, i. He was walking about in a town when some sweets in a confectioner's shop attracted his attention. He knew but a word or two of Hindustani. So without speaking a word he went up to an assortment of sweets and pointed them out with his finger.
The confectioner, thinking that he wanted to know the name only said " khdjd. The confectioner demanded the price of them ; but the Cabuli, not understanding him, walked away. The confectioner made a complaint to the Kotowal Pohce Officer. You get all for nothing there. You go and point out a parti- cular kind of sw'eetmeat and you are at once told to eat it. The police will come and honour you gratis. You get a shave for nothing, a hair-dye for nothing, a donkey to ride and music to accompany you — all for nothing.
Excellent country! O NE day, some girls were bathing in a stream. So they all began to cry. Some women wefe passing by, and on being told that one of the grls had been drowned, they too began to cry. People carne ruiimng from all sides, and hearing of tlie sad accident they also began to cry some time and attracted the attention of some officers who obtained divers and fishermen to search for the dead body. Nets were drawn up and down the river, but the corpse of the drowned girl was nowhere to be found. I cannot say which of us IS droNvned.
What was the cause of their death?
What became of the steward? His medicine seldom failed in its effect ; and the effect was ever- lasting. For, after his treatment the soul of his patient would leave the body for good, never again to be attacked by any disease. A poor man had an only son who fell ill. The physician was called upon to treat him, but for the first day he was not so successful as usual. The father complained that the boy had excessive p? The physician gave some medicine and promised to come next morning to see the effect.
But it was extinct, freed from the frame of flesh and bones by the physician's efficient treatment. Tliere were only three men and four at least were required to carry the bier. So they com- pelled the physician to aid them in carrying the corpse to the crematorium. Some time after, the same physician had a call to attend a sick man. He would not go unless he had a guarantee to find four men ready at the house of the patient. The men, who came to take liiin, wondered why he imposed that condition and asked what he required the four men for.
So I have made it a rule not to go to the house of a patient who cannot shew me before- hand four persons ready to carry his dead body to be burnt. But the son was sucli an idiot that he could learn nothing of the lore of Hindu medicine. The poor father was hopeless of his son's future ; and, wliile on his death-bed, he said : " Haridas, in spite of my best efforts I have not been able to make you learn anything of our hereditary profession.
But I give you one secret which wall enable you to keep up the appearance of a physician. One day an old woman came to him and asked for some medicine that would enable her to find her lost cow. Haridas at once gave her a big dose of Kalimirchi. The poor woman had no rest that night and she had to come out of her cottage to cool herself in the open air.
In the small hours of the morning she found her cow grazing in a bush not far off from the house. But the woman thought it was the effect of the medicine and cried out in ecstasy arousing her neighbours. Thus Haridas was proclaimed far- and wide as a wonderful physician, whose medicine had the effect of restoring even lost cows. Soon after this incident the Raja of the country sent for Haridas. His territory was going to be invaded by an enemy and he had not sufficient forces to oppose liim ; so he asked Haridas to prescribe some medicine to defeat the enemy.
Haridas at once prescribed Kali- mirchi. An enormous quantity of Kaliinirchi was therefore accumulated and powdered. Then the powder was mixed with flour wliich was sent to the grocer of the frontier to be supplied to the enemy's camp — as the flour of the best quality. The medicine was sure in its effect, for when the officers and many soldiers of the invading army had eaten bread made of this flour they felt as if they had been poisoned ; and thus put about, they beat a hasty retreat.
Then was Haridas installed in world-wide Fame! He did not sleep but dozed day and niglit, and was haunted by dreams and fancies. One night he forgot to latch the door of his cottage, and while he was dozing and dream- ing, a thief stole in and ran away with one of his brass pitchers. The opium-eater felt very crestfallen at find- ing himself thus robbed, for he had always boasted of his being wide awake day and night.
He therefore made up his mind to tempt the thief in again and then catch him. So the next night he kept his door ajar and placed another pitcher near it. The tluef was jolly glad to find himself invited to steal away another pitcher. When the opium- eater discovered that he was twice robbed he could not contain his rage.
He tried the same plan on the following night, but with the same result. Thus baffled once and again in his attempt to catch the thief, the opium-eater lashed himself into a fury. He swore by many names that a common thief should not overreach a man of his skill and caution, and he devised such a plan as would outdo any thief, namely, to place himself at the very spot from which his pitchers were stolen.
He fancied himself to be a vessel, being sure that the thief would take him as such and play into his hands, to be seized and brought to book. The thief, who had the pleasure of being pre- sented with a pitcher every night, came at his usual hour. But great was his surprise to find the opium-eater sitting near the door with his hands and feet tiickedin and dozing away. He stamped his feet and coughed aloud ; but that did not arouse the opium-eater, who still lay silent and motionless.
Then he picked up a pebble and threw it at him. Thereupon the thief took a bamboo rod and gave him a push with it. The thief could now understand the meaning, and without waiting to enjoy the fun any longer, he gave him a sound kick and ran away. When in the morning he was aroused by his neighbours, he sprang to his feet and cried out : Defeated! He did not make bold to carry me away.
Oh, had he but once lifted ine I should have held him in a vicehke grip till he was put in the lock-up. She daily admonished him, till at length the opium-eater was aroused to understand the state of affairs. You will see how active I can be, and what is my worth!
In a few months hence you will roll in wealth— in gold and silver, I say. Deeds are better than words, so you had better prove your words by deeds. He had not gone far away from his village when he sat down to rest, and presently fell into a doze. Night had faUen when he woke up, and seeing some light in the distance, he directed his steps towards it. He walked on till he reached a village, and seeing a big house not far off from him he went and knocked at the front door. When a woman, with a veil on, had answered the door, he begged for food and a bed for the night.
Strangers depend on the hospitality of the inhabitants. I can- not, therefore, admit you. The opium-eater was glad to follow the woman, who led him to a room and gave him water with which to wash liis hands and feet. She then cooked some food and served it to her guest, who remarked : — " How like my own house this one looks! It did not take the opium-eater long to per- ceive that after a day's journey he had arrived at the place whence he started. Ill An opium-eater was once returning home at midnight. In a lane he was challenged by a police constable who was going his round.
To avoid being suspected as a thief, he quickly pressed close to a wall and stood up against it still and silent. The constable chedlenged thrice, but getting no response, went up to the dumb figure and asked many questions ; but there was no reply. You must hang yourself in the Police Station, at least for tliis night. Another man was deemed to be a goat and he was sacrificed before the Kili. They then took the supposed Kili and Shiva and the head of the sacrificed man to the Ganges to be thrown into the waters [a cere- mony which is called bisarjan, by which the spirit of the god or goddess is supposed to leave the image.
Next day, when they were all hauled up before the police court, the woman was asked what had become of the head of the sacrificed man. That man used to come and used to smoke too. But I cannot, call to mind if he had a head at all. The police made active searches, and at last presented to His Majesty two men whom they described as the very laziest in the world. Place both the men in a wooden house and set it on fire.
There should be men ready to put out the fire as soon as our test is finished. While the pohce had been scouring the country in search of the laziest man, they tumbled upon two men lying under a date palm. On the cheek of one of them lay a ripe date which had fallen from the tree, and he stretched his tongue in vain to draw it into his mouth.
Have we eaten your salt so long as to be unfaithful to your Heir Apparent? We will die rather than allow a hair of his to be touched. It was not long before he became a nuisance to the whole state. He turned out the old trusted officials and filled their places wth unworthy men. These bad men worried the honest citizens and maltreated all.
Insults like this and oppressions by the new officials of no birth or breeding filled the land with discontent and people clamoured for io8 ULLU RAI justice. Complaints after complaints were sent up to the Moghul Emperor, who at last decided to depose the unfit ruler. But before taking steps he deputed one of his Wazirs to make sure if UUu Rai was really as big a fool as reported. The Wazir was due at his capital in a day or two and he did not know what to do.
Only do as 1 tell you. Dismiss aU these unworthy rogues and call in the old officials — this is the first step you have to take. Bear in mind that you are to stop speaking the moment I give the signal for it by puUing a rope, one end of which wiU be tied to the girdle of your trousers and the other wiU be in my hand in the adjoining room. Rehearsals were held day and night tiU UUu Rai learnt how to receive the Wazir, how to address him, and how to carry himself.
The arrangement of the rope was, of course, not forgotten. The Wazir was quite charmed with the manners of Ullu Rai and at once thought that the reports against him were base- less. To keep up the conversation he had to say something. So he ventured a question of his own, Do they try to turn you upside down? His ministers could dupe him as they liked. One day the Raja was insulted by the chief of a neighbouring State.
I must punish him for it, so make preparations for war. But wait, he is very powerful. We could make a spear loo miles long so that baithe ut tndre sitting here we may strike there. Go, have the spear made without any delay. Ihe spear must be made wholly of steel in order to pierce aU the enemy s soldiers. What do you think it will cost? Will half a million rupees suffice? But everything must be done with the stnctest secrecy. The case would tlien be reversed — Ut bciiihe a mare sitting there, strike here.
Then we shall all be killed. Y'ou must make haste lest it should fall into the hands of the enemy. The cost would be about as much as it has been to make it. Don't you see the risk of delay? Then take another half million from my treasury and split up the spear as soon as possible. The Raja could hear the din of hammering on the imaginary spear and the reports that the work of splitting it up was in full swing.
They try to the defects of the boy or the girl going to be married. So a clever match-maker managed to arrange the marriage of a blind girl with a handsome boy. He said that the girl was so bashful that she would not anyhow allow her veil to be completely taken off. Now, bashfulness in a girl was reckoned as a merit, and the boy's party consented to the marriage without any further examination. So the wedding came off and when the priest had finished his rites in uniting the couple, the bride's match-maker cried out : — " The bride — my blind client — has scored a success. But he could not, as he was lame.
She cruelly reproached her husband for not being able to remove liis poverty, the sting of which she could bear no longer. The Brahman took Ids wife's admonition to heart and silently walked away. When he had gone a long way off from the village he sat down to rest under the shade of a tree. He was all but dead with hunger and fatigue and was going to say his last prayers. It wiU give you such little money as you ask it for, in order to meet only your daily wants. The Brahman was jolly glad to get a godsend to remove his poverty.
It was midday and he had not the strength left to walk back home. So he went to the landlord of the nearest village and asked for his hospitality. The landlord received liim well and gave him provisions to cook for his meal. While the Brahman was away bathing the landlord tested the power of the shell by asking for some money which was forthwith given. He was too greedy to part with such a precious money-making instru- ment.
So, when after having finished his meal the Brahman asked leave to go and to have his conch-shell back, the mean landlord denied all knowledge of such a thing being entrusted to his keeping, and turned away the Brahman as an impudent liar. Dazed by this fresh stroke of adversity and smarting under the landlord's dishonest trick the poor Brahman came back to the spot where he had met the mendicant and bitterly lamented his lot.
He passed the whole night under the tree. Looking up, his eyes caught those of the same mendicant who had met him before and who was standing before him. He at once went on his knees and prayed for some fresh favour to save him from sure death. The men- dicant consoled him and gave him another conch-shell with instructions that he should go back to the same landlord and refuse to give him the second shell until he had returned the first. You may teU the landlord to ask it for any amount. The landlord was very glad to see the Brahman with another conch-shell, accredited with greater magical powers.
As desired by the Braliman he at once asked the shell to give him one thousand rupees. The landlord's heart gave a bound to hear this big offer. He begged the Brahman to sell him the shell. Otherwise he threatened to take it by force. Give me back my first shell and this is yours. The landlord was impatient to see a room filled up with coins.
So he ordered one of his rooms to be emptied and whitewashed. Too small, ask for more," promptly answered the shell. Too small, ask for more," was the ready response of the shell. But to each of his demands the same answer was given — viz. The boy flung a lette at them pointing to a line which ran as folio. Chachaji uncle died to-day.
The letter was dated five days ago. I read it out to you. Then how could he die on the 3rd? But this letter comes from Bard Bhdiyd elder brother who cemnot write what is false.
Pejorative terms for people
The grocer, of course, had faith in the influence of stars and consoled himself witli the belief that the new-born prince and his babe would have the same fate in life. At his twentieth year the prince went out hunting and was successful in flagging many animals. While returning he strayed into the Himalayan kingdom of a Raja who received him cordially and gave him in marriage his only daughter — a princess of matchless beauty whom the prince had already met romantically in the woods near her palace.
When the prince came home with his trophies of the hunt, his handsome wife and immense wealth in the shape of a wedding dowry, the grocer was animated with the desire of sending liis son out hunting in the belief that he would meet with the same good fortune. So, he equipped liim with a rusty spear he had in his house and gave him a hearty send-off assunng him of the grand luck that was in store for him. He was roaming about in the forest aimlessly, till he found a big frog jumping away across his path.
He could not rise, but held the frog fast and would not let it go. The grocer was impatient to know what luck his son had achieved. So he followed in his track and finding him nowhere in the forest cried out at the top of his voice : Son, son — where are you, my dear? Come follow up your hunt.
You are sure to have a great fortune. Then he said : — " Poor me! A fool that I was to believe m Fate and harbour ambition. Hundreds of men came forward to answer his questions with the object of winning the tempt- ing reward, but they failed and met death at the hands of the unrelenting giant. At last he entered the territory of a Raja who was very timid and wanted to get rid of him with presents and plausible words without producing any candidate for answering his questions.
But a cowherd boy came up boldly and offered to face the giant's questioning. The Raja tried to dissuade the audacious boy from rushing into the mouth of what seemed to him to be sure death, but the boy stuck doggedly to his resolve. Eventually he was introduced to the giant as the only man in the Raja's terri- tory who had ventured to come forth and answer his questions. So before a large assembly presided over by the Raja, the giant and the pigmy cowboy stood face to face. Thereupon the giant stretched up both his arms towards the boy and then waved them towards the sky.
The boy stretched his hands towards the earth and then gave a bound. The Raja was eager to know why he had spared the boy's life — which favour he liad not extended to any other mortal ; but at the same time he expressed his pleasure at seeing the poor boy treated so mercifully by him.
You know', Raja, my questions were very hard, especially as they were put by signs. But the boy is very clever and he has succeeded where all others failed. He answered by showing two fingers that there are two : matter and spirit. I cannot wait and must leave at once. I am proud to think that my State has produced such a clever boy as you, who has had the wit and knowledge to answer questions which baffled the best intellects of all other States.
But what I cannot understand is this ; how could you have the genius to read his questions and whence did you have all this knowledge of science and philosophy to answer them? Oh, Raja," the boy interposed, "it was very easy. I by signs showed that I would come down to the ground quite safe and bolt away. The giant makes the sign with his clenched fist, representing a round object, which the boy takes for a threatened blow. He could cite any passage from any of the six philosophies, grammar and mythology. But he had very little common sense. His wife was very glad to see him back after such a long time, and felt a great regard for the vast learning for which he had become famous.
I am going to fetch some water for you from tlie well, and there is no other person here. I shan't be long.
In a few minutes the milk began to boil over. The Pandit becoming alarmed fell to repeating all the mantras prayers he had learnt and sutras aphorisms , but without avail. His wife came hurrying back and seeing that the milk was over- flowing poured some water into it, and it at once settled down. The Pandit was taken aback by what seemed to liim a miracle. Oh, thou goddess, I pray to thee. He had a younger brother, who was not at all well-read but had a good deal of practical experience and common sense. This younger brother was proud of his elder and had great reverence for him.
He was always devoted and dutiful, as a younger brother ought to be in an Indian family. The Pandit, too, was much attached to him and relied on him for everything in household affairs. The Pandits of Benares are often invited by the rich Hindus in all parts of India to their religious rites or festivals, especiaUy Shrdddhas funeral rites. They and the local Pandits hold what is called Shdstrdrthas or discussions on such topics as are of religious or philosophical importance. After the discussion is over they are honoured by the host with gifts [viddya.
On their way back they visit out-of-the way places, where they have good receptions as well as gifts for the display of their learning. Once our Pandit, attended by his brother, was touring in the country on his return from a Shdstrdrtha. They left a village about four o'clock in the morning and had a good long walk before they arrived at another by eight. So the Pandit sent his brother to the Raja in order to announce his arrival. The Raja made an appointment to receive the Pandit and also sent him Hour, rice, ddlf clarified butter, salt, vegetables and faggots, etc. His brother, after a bath, said his prayers and then cleared a spot to lay his stove, which con- sisted of three stone-pieces.
He made the flour into dough, t and lighting the fire he began to cook the vegetables. On his arrival at the Palace the Pandit was asked by one of the courtiers the meaning of a word which was outside his vocabulary. This gave the courtiers an opportunity of jeering at the learning of a Pandit of Benares. Other people sit down to smoke after a walk of a few miles and then resume journeying. X Dough is made first in order to give it time to soak well.
VVe, Pandits, are not Yogis. We are only scholars. So the reading of your thoughts is quite beyond me. The poor Pandit took offence at this, left the palace in disgust, and returned to his brother, who was waiting for him with the prepared meal. The Pandit looked dreadfully cross and refused food. So the brother asked the cause and was told what had taken place at the palace. This docs not seem to be a place for you, the people are evidently idiotic and only fit to be handled by an idiot like myself.
Many a Pandit has come and gone, but none has answered my question. Now can you tell me what my thoughts are? You want to lead a pious life and then to attain heaven. Now, tell me before all if I have not told you the truth? When the brothers met, great was the astonish- ment of the real Pandit to learn how successful his unlettered brother had been where he, with all his knowledge and learning, had failed ; and he was now convinced that it is not always learning that scores a victory.
On looking down he found to liis amazement a white feather sticking in what he had spat out. He pondered long to guess how it came there and at last arrived at the con- clusion that it had come through his throat.
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A depressing thought took hold of him and he had no peace of mind until he could mention this extraordinary happening to his wife, pledg- ing her to secrecy. His wife promised to tell nobody about it. Presently a neighbouring lady called to see her and the first thing the wife said to her was : " My dear , my mind is too full of one thing, but I promised my husband I would tell no one. You know I am never nosy. What do you think of me? Do you take me to be a gossip?