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of the anchorite's natural prey, Satara to Poona, and then to the simple pious pilgrims who Bombay. When I had spent were flooking to Pandharpur, the money, I would have reThe anchorite pointed to a turned to Atibaleshwar, for I comfortable little mound and was tired of sight-seeing. But said " Apan basa” (be seated), I had spent the shares of the
“ and then, lighting my oheroot other Gurav8 as well as my and enjoying its fames, began own, so, instead of returning his story
home, I went northwards from “Until a little more than Poona to Khed. There is a & year ago, Sabib, I was, as temple at Khed, and a sacred I have said, one of the Gurave pool where the villagers round of Atibaleshwar. It is our about go and bathe, and I had duty, as you know, to sweep the thought that I would make the temple floor and courtyard; Khed as holy 88 Dnyandev and until the monsoon before made Alandi. The Sahib last, that was my life's work. knows the story?” Bat often in those terrible “Yes," I said, “I know it four months, when the never. well. The great saint buried ending rain pours down, I had himself alive at Alandi in the often wished that I could leave very spot which the Lord Atibaleshwar and go and see Krishna pointed out to him.” the wide world outside. But I “Hoy, Sabib,” went on the feared that if I did I should anchorite, "and I, too, gave be exoluded from the temple out that I would bury myself on my return. One day, how- alive at Khed. I told this to the over, a cultivator of Jor an. Brahmane, but at first they earthed a pot full of gold coins only laughed at me. But and ornaments that had be. when I told them that they longed, so men_said, to the would profit muob, in that More family of King Shivaji's pilgrims from Junnar and time. This led to a great deal Nasik would go to Khed on of trouble. We Guravs of the road to Pandharpur before Atibaleshwar had come to Jor they had given away all their because of the heavy rain, and money, they entered into my we demanded and received a soheme. They went through share of the treasure. Then the town saying that a very the sub-inspector of police holy man had come and was heard of it, and, pretending about to bury himself alive to aot on behalf of the Sarkar, to do honour to the Lord came to Jor and made the Krishna. I went into an open villagers give their shares to space in the town and sat him. The Guravs all entrusted motionless as if in a trance, me with their shares, and I When men asked me why I hid in the woods. Then the had come, I said that the Lord Assistant Colleotor oame and Krishna bad bidden me bury had the sub-inspector arrested, myself at Khed, just Bat I feared that I should also Dayandov had buried himself be arrested, so I went vid at Alandi; and I added that
the Lord Krishna had promised love philtres for their husme that pilgrims who visited bands and for charms and my grave on the thirteenth of amulets for their children. In the dark half of Kartik would this way I colleoted nearly gain as much merit as if they fifty rupees, and I wished to had that day visited the shrine leave Khed and start a similar of Dnyandev at Alandi.
business in some other town. “The news that I was going ship. But when, one night, I to bury myself like Dnyandev, thought of going, I found that and that Khed would there. the villagers had posted senafter become as holy as Alandi, tries all round the open space spread through the town. All where I had camped, for it the youth of the place readily seems that some doubted my game forward to dig me a good faith, and all were detergrave, and all the towns. mined that they would get people came to supply me with their money's worth, and that, rich food in their gratitude whether I liked it or not, I that so great & saint should should take samadhil in the have deigned to sanctify their grave that they had dug for township."
Now it so chanoed that Just then a band of well-to- the sub-inspector of police, a do pilgrims started to cross Brahman, had recently married the river in a ferry-boat. My a young wife. At first she came friend the Gurav sprang to to me to buy a love philtre for his feet and said, “Sahib, you her husband, who was chilled must exouse me; I must en- with age. But afterwards she able those pilgrims to aoquire oame because she grew to love merit by giving me alms." me. The night following that With these words he would of my attempted flight-for have left me, but I slipped a sbe used to slip out of her ten-rupee note into his begging house after her evening meal bowl and said, “Nay, Bhatji, —she notioed that I was more you must finish your story.” thoughtful than usual, and she The Gurav's eyes glittered asked the cause, I told her when he saw the note, and about the cruelty of the vilblessing me, he said, “May lagers, and I confessed to her you be rich and happy always, that I had never meant to O incarnation of Yudhishtira!” bury myself. I feared that on Then he continued his story. hearing this she would have “It was then, Sahib, only the turned and left me. But to month of Bhadarpad (August). my surprise, she threw her So all through Bhadarpad and arms round my neck and wept Ashwin (September) the good with joy. Beloved,' she people of Khed brought me oried, this is indeed good milk and fruits, and women
I feared 80 that I oame and gave me money for should lose you in a few days'
Samadhi ghenen (to take samadhi) is the phrase used when a saint buries himself alive.
time; and now I know that me never relaxed their watch, we shall live together and be and were as wakeful as ever. happy always! Then we I could not sleep, such was my talked and plotted together; foar; always, too, I hoped and at last she hit upon this against hope that the Brahman plan. She would steal me a woman would come and gave sepoy's aniform from her hus- me. Nor did my hope prove band's lines and, dressed in it, false. Two hours after mid. I would safely slip through night I heard a voice whisper, the oordon which the villagers not far from me, “Maharaj! had drawn round me.
This I have come.' I could see plan seemed to me excellent; nothing, because, as you know, bat it was easier to make than Sahib, the nights are moonless to carry through. Evening on the thirteenth of the dark after evening she came to me half of the month. But I knew to say that she had failed to from the voice that it was the secure the sepoy's uniform, 80 sub-inspector's wife. She had striotly were strangers kept not been able to steal a sepoy's out of the lines. The bright dress, 80
she had actually half of Kartik came and went; brought me her own husband's then the first week of the dark uniform covered with silver half; then followed the 8th, braid. I tore off my anchorite's
; 9th, 10th, and still the sub-in- robe, I slipped on the subspootor's wife had not brought inspector's uniform, and with a me the sepoy's clothes. On the bold step I marched through 11th the villagers fasted to the ring of sentries. The purify themselves for my Brahman girl followed me, samadhi. On the 12th they carrying my anchorite's gown broke their fast, and feasted tied ap in & bundle. The in my honour; and I, too, had villagers, thinking me to be the to join in their feast, although sub-inspector on his rounds, let my tongue olove to my palate as pass by them and out of the with fear; for, unless I escaped town. We walked as fast as that night, the next day would we could for the rest of the be my last. My grave had night towards Bhimashankar, been dug eight feet deep, & for I knew that the sub-inspecblaok - buok's skin had been tor and the villagers would join spread over the bottom of it, in hunting us down. When and a stack of wood, the smoke the sun rose, I took off the of which was to stupefy me uniform and, hiding it in a when the mouth of the grave oavity in a dry torrent-bed, pat was being closed, was piled up on again my anchorito's gown.
ap in & corner. Happily, the Then we hid in a little wood villagers did not expeot gaiety and rested_there throughout from an anchorite, so after they the day. When darkness fell had feasted they left me, con- we set out again, and before fident that next day I should morning we had reached the make their town holy for ever. hills, and I know that we were Bat the sentries posted round fairly safe. The Brabman girl
had brought some food with her, Maharaj. It has truly been and she bought some more from said that a Sudra can never the hillmen's huts. Thus we become & Brahman, even had strength to make our way though he bathe in the Ganges.' to one of the peaks of Bhima- Then pulling her sari (mantle) shankar, from which one can forward over her head, she ran look down many hundred feet to the edge of the cliff and into the Konkan. There we sprang off it into spase. For made ourselves a little hut and some minutes I was too shocked lived together as happily as to do anything, then I crept ever Rama and Sita did on the to the mountain's edge and banks of the Godavari. One looked over. At first I saw day, however, the Brahman nothing; then I made out ever girl, on going to a neighbouring 80 far below me a red spot, village, heard that the sub- which I knew to be the Brahinspeotor was still searching for man woman's clothes. I would us, and that in a day or two he have fled from the place at and his sepoys would beat all once, but it was growing dark the jungles on Bhimashankar. and I had heard of a man. I knew then that if we stayed eating panther in the forest. we should be taken, and I also So I stayed the night in my knew that that rakshas (devil) hut, covering my head oareof a sub-inspector would surely fully with my sheet; for I hand me over to the villagers feared that the bodiless spirit of Khed to bury alive. Istormed of the Brahman girl might and oursed myself for over enter my mouth as I slept, and having left Atibaleshwar; and possessing me, bring me to at last I told the Brahman ruin. Next morning I rose girl that she must leave me and and, after performing
my sandreturn to her husband. But hyas, orept again to the edge truly, Sahib, I had no inkling of the oliff and saw the red of what was to follow. I, in spot untouched. The jackals deed, thought only how to save had not found her in the night. myself. She threw herself at But as I looked, I became aware my feet and cried and implored of a blaok speok in the sky, and me not to leave her, promising then another and then another. me that she would save me, as I knew then that the valtures she had saved me before. But had seen her body, and that when fear has hold of a man, before evening they would he will not listen to reason. have eaten it. I went back Losing all patience, I pushed to my hut, and, picking up my her violently from me and went small belongings, ran as fast to perform my evening sand- as I could from the accursed hyas (prayers); for at all times, place. By great good fortune Sahib, I have strictly observed i escaped the toils laid for me the rites of our religion, Seeing by the sub-inspector, and I that I would not yield, she made my way northwards to rose to her feet and, salaaming, Nasik. There I met a Brahsaid bitterly, ‘Farewell, then, man priest, who fed and eared
for me like a father; and when feet, seized his iron-shod staff, he died of cholera, as he did and for a moment I thought two or three months later, he he would have strook me with left me all his small savings. it. “Nay, Bhatji,” I spoke After mourning for him and soothingly to him, “be not barning his body and throwing angry. I did but jest." But his bones into the Godavari, I he was not to be oajoled. The oame here to worship the Lord pleasant garrulity had gone Krishna.”
not to return. Just then he “You were fortunate," I spied another likely boatload said, “in finding so kindly a of pilgrims crossing the Bhima. priest. Bat I was at Nasik at He pioked up his begging bowl, the time, and I heard evil men threw away his oigar-end, and gay - for there are evil men growling under his breath, even in so holy a place as "Aanakhi gappa marayala Nasik—that the old priest did mala kahi vel nahi” (I have no not die of oholera, but because more time to waste gossiping he ate arsenio by mistake,” here), he strode off towards his
In sheer malice I had drawn predestined proy. A minute or a bow at a venture. It oor- two later I heard his voice tainly seemed as if my random raised as before, half threatenshaft hit the mark. All the ing, half whininggood humour left the anchor- Alms, alms! In the name ita's face. He sprang to his of God, give me alms !"