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CHANDRASHEKHAR

confused roar of sounds embracing the farthest quarters of the globe. That roar was the combined effect of the wind, rain and clouds; along with it were heard the crack of snapping branches, the shriek of terrified animals, the rumhle of up-rooted boulders rolling down the hill and the tumult of the frantic waves of the Ganges afar. On a hill-stone Shaibalini sat crouching with her head hanging down, the cold rain driving against it all the time. Branches of trees, creepers, and shrubs dashed and re-dashed against her body and currents of water flowing from the summit with fearful rapidity drenched her up to the hips and ran along.

Thou inanimate Nature! Millions of bows to thee! Thou hast no mercy, no tenderness, no love, no compunction for the destruction of beings. Thou art the mother of endless misery, and yet from thee flows all the blessings of life ! Thou art the source of all happiness! Thou art all-beneficent, all—supplying, all-beautiful! My bows to thee! O awfully terrible, many—shaped goddess! Yesterday you fascinated the creation with the moon as the beauty—spot on your forehead, the tiara of stars on your head and your world-bewitching smile. You strung garlands of ripples on the Ganges and hung pendant moons on the ripple-links; you inflamed millions of diamonds in the sands of the beach; you poured a blue pigment into the heart of the Ganges, and on it how happily you floated young youths and maidens—as though you knew well to caress and well you did caress! But what a change to-day! You are a treacherous destroyer. What makes you play with the lives of created beings I do not know. You have neither intelligence, reason nor animation, but you are all-pervading, all-mastering, all-destructive and all-powerful. Thou art the illusory shroud of the Creative Impulse, thou art the