Deccan Nursery Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 78 pages of information about Deccan Nursery Tales.
oilman drove her off out of the house.  The queen left the town and walked along until she came to a river with abundant water in it.  But directly her eyes fell on the water, it all flowed away and left the water-bed quite dry.  She then journeyed on until she came to a beautiful lake, but when her glance rested on the lake, it became full of worms, and the water began to stink.  And, when the cowherds came as usual to water their cattle, the cattle would not drink the stinking water, and they had to go home thirsty.  By chance a Gosavi, or holy man, came that way and saw the queen, and she told him her story.  The holy man took her to his house and treated her as his own daughter, and she did her best to serve him faithfully.  But, at whatever thing she looked, it would either disappear or become full of worms and maggots.  At last the holy man searched for the cause of this by means of his inner knowledge.  And thus he learnt that she had incurred the sin of spoiling the worship of Shiva, which the Apsaras had first taught the priest.  Unless that sin were atoned for, her evil glance would never be purified.  So the holy man prayed to the god Shiva, and the god was pleased with him; and when the holy man interceded with him on the queen’s behalf, the god said that he would forgive her if she began and completed properly the rites which she had spoiled when her husband was performing them.  The queen did so, and the god’s anger vanished.  Suddenly there rose in the heart of her husband, the king, a wish to see his queen, and he sent out messengers on every side to look for her.  At last one of the messengers saw the queen in the holy man’s hermitage and went back and told the king.  The king was overjoyed, and, taking his chief minister with him, he journeyed to the hermitage.  He threw himself at the holy man’s feet and then loaded him with presents.  And the holy man was pleased and said, “O King, I have treated your wife exactly as if she had been my own daughter.  She has lived here just as if she had been in her father’s house.  Now take her with you back again and once more go through the marriage ceremony with her.”  The king consented, and both he and the queen prostrated themselves before the holy man, and then they both returned to Atpat.  And they celebrated their home-coming with the greatest splendour.  And the rest of the king’s reign was as happy as possible.  And we shall be just as happy if we honour Shiva like the King of Atpat did.

CHAPTER XVI

The Rishi and the Brahman

Once upon a time there was a town called Atpat.  In it there lived a Brahman.  For many years he lived happily and cultivated his fields of rice and grain.  But one day his wife gave up the observances imposed on her, and, as a result, the whole house was stained by her conduct, and pollution hung like a black cloud over it.  Her husband should have driven her out, but he had not the heart to do so.  So he, too, incurred the blame of his wife’s sin.  In course of time they died, and, as a punishment for their wickedness, the husband became in his next life a bullock, and the wife became a dog.  But the gods so far relented as to find them a home in the house of their only son.

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Deccan Nursery Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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