Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/117

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“You shall let your hair grow on to matted locks.”

“Anything further?"

“Only once at the close of day you shall go out in the village for alms, and in course of your begging you shall recount your evil deeds from village to village."

“My evil deeds cannot hear recounting. Is there no other expiation?”

“Yes, there is.”

“What is it?”


“I prefer to take the vow—who are you?”

Shaibalini got no answer. In a plaintive voice, again she said, “Whoever you might be I am not anxious to know, but I take you for one of the hill-gods and I make my bow to you. Kindly tell me one thing more—where is my husband?”


“Shall I not meet him again?”

“You shall meet him when your expiation is over.”

“After twelve years?”

“Yes, after twelve years.”

“How long can I live after taking this vow? If I should die in the meantime?”

“Then you shall meet him in your last moments.”

“Could I not by any means get sight of him before that? you are a god, you must know.”

“If you want to meet him now, then you must live in this cave day and night, all alone, for a week. This week you must think of your husband daily and hourly, no other thought should find place in your mind. During this time you shall go out once in a day at the fall of dusk to gather fruits and vegetables. You must not eat your fill with them, so that your hunger may remain