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SOMA, THE WASHERWOMAN

water in her hand and sprinkled it over herself. Now the secret of Soma's power was this:—

She had acquired great merit by observing every Monday the following practices: She would get up early, bathe, dress in silence, make various gifts to Brahmans, and then walk one hundred and eight times round a peepul tree. But now by sprinkling water over herself she had transferred the whole of her merit to Gunvanti. By this means the little bride had been able to restore her husband to life, and the wedding ceremony finished amidst the happiness of all. Soma then took leave to go, and started on her homeward journey. When she reached the seashore, the wind was blowing, and the great waves came rolling in, and the spray was splashing over the rocks. But now that she had given away all her merit to Gunvanti, she had none left by means of which she could jump across the seven seas. She sat down forlorn by the bank of a river. Then she got up, bathed in the water, and prayed to the god Vishnu. Next she took one hundred and eight sand-grains in her hand, and then walked one hundred and eight times

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