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philanthropy of the Sages, he dilated on the benevolence of heroes such as Bhishma and others. He explained how only the benevolent are happy and others are not. Then he began to eulogise in a hundred ways the superior merit of altruism. He ransacked the entire range of religious books, the Vedas, History both sacred and profane, and other branches of knowledge, and freely cited illustration after illustration. He strung into a garland hundreds of mellifluous words pregnant with deep meaning after churning the ocean of his extensive vocabulary; he pillaged the whole store-house of literature and flung out verse after verse of succulent poetry, full of meaning and pure imagery; and over all he spread a halo instinct with an over-powering glow of his own unfeigned spiritual fervour. The strange words coming out of his musical throat, uttered in a faultless accent, sounded in the ears of Chandrashekhar like a trumpet-blast. Now they swelled into the deep rumblings of clouds and anon they melted into the sweet strains of the lute. The ascetic was amazed and charmed; a thrill passed across his frame; he stood up and reverentially touching Ramananda Swami’s feet said, “ Lord teacher! from this day I take my initiation from you.”

Ramananda Swami embraced Chandrashekhar.


MEANWHILE the letter carried by the ascetic had been duly laid before the Nawab. He came to know where Dalani was. To fetch her and Kulsam, palanquins were despatched to Protap’s house.