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circulated day and night. Man did never know of it, and never could. Oh, why did you introduce this subject in my parting moments! I know that this love is destined only to bring forth evil, therefore I resign my being. My mind is tainted. Who can say Shaibalini’s mind will not fail again! ‘There is no remedy for it except my death; hence I surrender my life. You are now in possession of this hidden secret——you are wise, you are familiar with the Shastras, tell me what is the atonement for my sin. Am I guilty in the eye of God ? If so, can my present atonement wipe of my guilt?”

“I do not know,” replied Ramananda Swami. “Human intelligence is powerless here; the Shastras are mute; it is only the Lord of that sphere where you are going, who can answer this question. But this much I can tell you, that if there is any merit in the subjugation of the senses, then eternal heaven is yours. If there is any virtue in the control of feelings, then even the gods are not virtuous like you. If there is heaven in self-abnegation, then your right to it is even greater than that of Dadhichi[1] May I be as successful in the subjugation of the senses in my life to come, is my earnest prayer ! ”

Ramananda Swami ceased. Slowly Protap’s life ebbed out. On a grassy bed lay the golden tree of spotless brilliancy.

  1. Once on a time, so says the Mahabharata, the gods were hard pressed by the demons. The former then went to Brarnha, the creator, for advice and redress Bramha told them to go to a holy sage by name Dadhichi and ask for his bones, by which they would be able to make thunderbolts for the destruction of the demons. On the gods approaching Dadhichi and representing to him the sore straits in which they had been placed by the demons, he gladly yielded up his breath, The gods then took his bones, made thunderbolts out of them and drove the demons away.