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CHANDRASHEKHAR

the lotus, the dust in the air, an insect in the fire. Oh! why was I tempted, why did I not die?

He who had told her to meditate on her husband in this way, was a veritable pilot in the illimitable ocean of the human heart—he knew every thing. He knew that this mystic charm could turn the ever-flowing river into a new channel, that the rock is split with this thunder-bolt, the sea is drained at such a draught, the air is stilled by such a spell. The ever—flowing river of Shaibalini’s heart turned, the rock gave way, the sea was dried up and the air was stilled; Shaibalini forgot Protap and began to love Chandrashekhar.

Let man close all the avenues of his senses, let him obliterate them altogether and control his mind with all its functions withdrawn, and then let it run in one fixed course after closing up all other passages—in such a state what can the mind do? It must follow the same single course, the mind must settle in it and must adhere to it. On the fifth day, Shaibalini did not touch the fruits and vegetables she had gathered; on the sixth, she did not go out for them; and on the morning of the seventh, she said to herself, “ Whether I get sight of my husband or not I am determined to die to-day.” At night it seemed to her as if in her heart a lotus had bloomed and Chandrashekhar was sitting on it in a posture of divine con- templation, while Shaibalini transformed into a bumble-bee was buzzing about his lotus-like feet.

On the seventh night, a silent darkness reigned. In that cave of rough stones, alone in the midst of her meditation, Shaibalini lost her senses. She saw divers visions. Now she found herself sunk in a terrible hell; countless serpents, hundred cubits long, spreading their ten thousand hoods coiled round her body. With their ten thousand jaws spread out, they moved on to swallow