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CHANDRASHEKHAR

“While you were talking with Shaibalini,” said Ramananda Swami, “from her gestures and movements I could gather that she was no longer mad, and it further seemed to me that she had not altogether forgotten you.”

“Shaibalini told me,” said Protap, “that I should not meet her again in this world. I was certain that so long I was alive, there could be no happiness for her and Chandrashekhar. I decided that my life should not stand as a thorn in the side of those who are extremely dear to me and who are my greatest benefactors. Therefore, in spite of your injunctions I came to this battle-field to lay down my life. If I were to live, there was yet a chance of Shaibalini’s mind being unsettled some time or other. Hence I take my leave.”

Ramananda Swami was melted into tears. No one else had ever seen that generous flow in Ramananda’s eyes before. “You are a true philanthropist in this world,” said Ramananda Swami, “we are mere sham. In the life to come yours is certain heaven—heaven eternal and without diminution.’

After a short silence Ramanada Swami continued, ‘Listen my son, I have penetrated your heart. The conquest of the world itself cannot compare with the conquest of your passions. Did you love Shaibalini?”

The sleeping lion was roused. The corpse-like Protap suddenly grew strong and electrified, and roared out in a frenzied vehemence. “What canst thou understand, thou ascetic! Who is there in this world that can comprehend this love of mine? Who can appreciate how passionately I have loved Shaibalini or the last sixteen years! My attachment is not of the flesh-——it is another name for a yearning for self-sacrifice. In my veins, in my blcod, in my very bones, this love has