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SHREE SHOOKDEO JEE said,--O great king! Shree Krishnù Jee, acquainted with the secrets of the heart; having heard Soodama's speech, and understanding what his many wishes were, said laughingly, "Brother! what present has your wife sent for me; why do you not give it to me, but keep it pressed down under your arm?"

Having heard this, O great king! Soodama was abashed, and his spirits began to droop, when Krishnù hastily snatched the bundle of rice from under his arm; having then opened it, and eaten two handfuls of rice with the greatest avidity, when he had taken the third mouthful, Shree Rookmunee Jee laid hold of the hand of Huri and said, "O great king! you have given him two worlds, will you not keep some place for your own habitation; this seems to be a brahmin of excellent disposition and very good family, a great religious ascetic, and one who has abandoned all terrestrial objects, because he has not exulted on obtaining wealth, I know, therefore, that he looks upon gain and loss alike, rejoices not at obtaining nor sorrows at losing." When Rookmunee Jee had thus spoken, Shree Krishnù Chund Jee said, "Beloved! this is my best friend,

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how can I enumerate his many excellent qualities? He remains constantly immersed in the love of me; and in comparison with that love looks upon the pleasures of the world as grass."

Having narrated thus much, Shree Shookdeo Jee said to the Raja Pureechit,--O great king! Krishnù, having addressed many speeches and explanations to Rookmunee Jee, brought Soodama into the house; having after this entertained him with delicacies of all kinds, and given him betel, Huri took Soodama and placed him upon a bed like foam; he was fatigued and knocked up by the journey, and enjoyed a pleasant sleep upon the bed; Krishnù having then sent for Bishokurma, said, "Go now and build a very beautiful house for Soodama of gold and jewels, and place in it the eight fruits of ascetic severities, and the treasure of Kouverù, consisting of nine gems, in order that no desire of his may be unsatisfied."

When Krishnù had thus spoken Bishokurma went and built the house instantly, and returned; having mentioned to Krishnù that he had done so, he went home; early in the morning Soodama rose, and went to take leave of Krishnù, after having bathed, and finished his religious meditations, adoration and worship, Shree Krishnù Chund Jee was at that time quite unable to speak; but remained gazing immersed in affection, with downcast eyes, and stupified, Soodama, having taken leave and made a salutation, went homewards, and on the road began to reflect, "I did well in not asking Krishnù for any thing; had I asked him he would certainly have given it, but he would have thought me greedy and avaricious, no matter, I shall be able to explain all the circumstances to my wife. Shree Krishnù Chund Jee treated me with the greatest respect and honour, and considered me as free from avarice; this is for me equal to a lakh of rupees."

With these thoughts in his mind Soodama, O great king! came near his village, and was surprised at not perceiving either his former residence, or broken hut, but a populous

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city like that of Indrù's. On seeing this, Soodama was very much grieved, and began to say, "Lord! what hast thou done? I had one affliction, and thou has given me another: what has become of my cottage, and where has my wife gone? From whom shall I enquire, and where shall I search for them?" Having thus said Soodama went to the gate, and asked the door-keeper, "Whose is this very beautiful house?" The door-keeper replied, "It belongs to Soodama, the friend of Shree Krishnù Chund. When upon hearing this Soodama was on the point of speaking, his wife, who had seen him from the inside, came up to her husband, dressed in fine clothes and jewels, adorned from head to foot, having eaten betel, and applied perfumes, and accompanied by her female companions; falling at his feet, she threw down silken cloths for him to walk upon; and, having joined her hands, thus spoke, "Why are you standing there, come into the house, and banish all anxiety from your mind; after you left, Bishokurma came, who built this house in a second."

O great king! when Soodama had heard his wife speak thus, he went into the house; and on seeing the great profusion of wealth, was very much dejected. The brahminee said, "Husband! people are rejoiced at obtaining riches, but you are sad, what is the reason of this? Please kindly tell me, that the perplexities of my mind may be removed?" Soodama replied, "Beloved! this wealth is very deceptive, it has deceived, is still deceiving and will continue to deceive the whole world. Krishnù has bestowed it upon me, not having confidence in my affection; when have I asked it from him, that he has given it to me? This is why my mind is sad." The brahminee said, "Husband! you did not ask any thing from Shree Krishnù Chund Jee; but, being acquainted with the secrets of the heart, he knows the thoughts of each individual; in my mind there was a desire for wealth, which

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[paragraph continues] Krishnù has satisfied; do not form any other opinion in your mind upon this subject."

Having recited thus much, Shree Shookdeo Jee said to the Raja Pureechit,--O great king! whoever shall hear and repeat this story, shall never, having come into the world, suffer any affliction; and in the end shall go to the celestial paradise.

Next: Chapter LXXXII