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DECCAN NURSERY TALES

You should therefore obey them, and you should honour the king as if he were Shiva himself. In this way you will attain to full merit and ascend to Shiva's heaven, Kailas." Vasishta then blessed the first queen. She prostrated herself before him, and, giving up all thought of quarrelling, went away and busied herself with her dairy work.

Then Vasishta turned to the second queen and asked, "What are you quarrelling about?" She replied, "Why should I be just a cookwoman?" The rishi thought for a while and said, " Lady, in a former life you were the wife of a poor Brahman, and you used to beg your food from door to door. But every Monday you used to fast, and whatever grain you begged that day you used to cook and offer to the god Shiva. And he was pleased with your devotion. Therefore in this life he made you one of the queens of Atpat. And because you cooked for the god Shiva, he directed the king to put you in charge of his kitchen. Therefore, obey the god's directions and give a great feast to all in Atpat. In this way you will gain the favour of Shiva, and he will take you with him to Kailas." Then he blessed the second

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