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PARWATI AND THE PRIEST

on the lake, it became full of worms, and the water began to stink. And, when the cowherds came as usual to water their cattle, the cattle would not drink the stinking water, and they had to go home thirsty. By chance a Gosavi, or holy man, came that way and saw the queen, and she told him her story. The holy man took her to his house and treated her as his own daughter, and she did her best to serve him faithfully. But, at whatever thing she looked, it would either disappear or become full of worms and maggots. At last the holy man searched for the cause of this by means of his inner knowledge. And thus he learnt that she had incurred the sin of spoiling the worship of Shiva, which the Apsaras had first taught the priest. Unless that sin were atoned for, her evil glance would never be purified. So the holy man prayed to the god Shiva, and the god was pleased with him; and when the holy man interceded with him on the queen's behalf, the god said that he would forgive her if she began and completed properly the rites which she had spoiled when her husband was performing them. The queen did so, and the god's anger vanished. Suddenly there rose in

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