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XV

PARWATI AND THE PRIEST

ONCE upon a time there was a town called Atpat. In it there was a temple to the god Shiva. One day when Shiva and his wife Parwati were walking about they happened to come to this temple. They sat down there and began to play saripat. [1] After some time Parwati seeing a priest close by asked him who had won, she or Shiva. "Shiva," the priest replied. Parwati became very angry and cursed him, so that he became a leper, and the pains which overtook him were absolutely unendurable. One day a band of Apsaras [2] came down from heaven to the temple. They saw that the priest who lived in it was a leper, and they asked him the reason. He told them

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  1. Saripat is a kind of draughts.
  2. Apsaras are attendants on the gods.