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SHREE SHOOKDEO JEE said,--O great king! the works of Bhugwut are wonderful; every one knows this, whoever worships Huri will be poor; and by serving other gods, a man will be rich. Compare the state and habits of Huri and Muhadeo; one is the husband of Luchmee, the other of Devee; the one wears a garland of flowers, the other, a necklace of skulls; the former has a quoit in his hand, the latter a trident; one supports the earth; the other, the Ganges; one plays upon a pipe, the other, upon a cow's horn; one is lord of the celestial paradise, the other, an inhabitant of Keilas, the former besmears his body with sandal, the latter rubs ashes on it; one wears cloth, the other, a tiger's skin; one reads the Vedas, the other, the science of Astrology; one rides upon the sovereign of the feathered race, the other, upon the bull Nundee; one dwells among cowherds' children, the other, amongst ghosts and goblins. The habits and nature of each of the two lords are the reverse of those of the other. Fix your affections on either of the two according to the nature of your desires."

Having recited thus much of the history, Shree Shookdeo Jee said,--O great king! Shree Krishnù said to the Raja Joodisthur,--"O Joodisthur! I destroy by degrees all the

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wealth of him, to whom I show favour: because brothers, wives, sons and relations abandon the poor, and then a spirit of devotion springs up in their minds; and, from being occupied in religious devotion, they, having abandoned the fascinations of riches and the world, become free from all attachments, and worship me with zealous attention, and through the glory of their adoration, obtain an everlasting emancipation from matter, and a reunion with the deity." After having thus spoken, Shookdeo Jee added,--O great king! by worshipping other gods, the desires of the mind are fulfilled, but final salvation is not obtained.

After having related this story, the sage said to Raja Pureechit,--"O great king! on one occasion as Bikasoor, the son of Kusyp, came out of his house, desiring to perform penance, he met Narud, the sage, on the road. On seeing Narud Jee he made a salutation; and, standing before him with joined hands, enquired, with the utmost humility, "O great king! which of the three deities Bruhmù, Vishnù or Muhadeo grants boons most quickly, do me the kindness to say, in order that I may practice devout austerities in his honour?" Narud Jee replied,--"Listen Bikasoor! amongst these three deities, Muhadeo is the greatest granter of boons, he neither loves delay, nor is he easily angry. Behold! Shivù Jee, being delighted at the performance on his part of a slight penance, gave a thousand arms to Suhusrajooraun, and destroyed him, being enraged at a slight fault he had committed."

Narud, the sage, having thus spoken went away; and Bikasoor began, when he came home, to perform severe penance and offer up sacrifice in honour of Muhadeo. In the course of seven days, he cut off with a knife, and offered as a burnt offering all the flesh of his body; on the eighth day, when he resolved to cut off his head, Bholanath came, and having laid hold of his hand said,--"I have been highly pleased with thee, ask from me

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whatever boon thou desirest, and I will now grant it to thee." When Shivù Jee had thus spoken, Bikasoor, with joined hands, replied,--"Be pleased, O lord! to take compassion upon me, and now grant me this boon, that on whose head soever I may place my hand, he may be reduced to ashes instantaneously." On his uttering these words, Muhadeo Jee granted him the boon he had asked; which when he had obtained, he went to put his hand upon Shivù's head; Muhadeo was alarmed, and quitted his seat and fled, and the demon also ran after him, and carried on a close pursuit of Sudashivù. At length Muhadeo went in a state of very great agitation to Vishnù's heaven; seeing, that he was greatly afflicted, Shree Moorari, the friend of his worshippers, the lord of paradise, the abode of mercy, took compassion upon him, and assuming the appearance of a brahmin went before Bikasoor and said, "O prince of demons! explain to me why you toil in pursuit of Shivù?" On hearing this question, Bikasoor explained all that had occurred, then Bhugwan said, "O chief of demons! it is very strange that an intelligent person like you should commit error, who believes any thing to be true, which this naked, mad jogee says, who eats bhang and thornapple; he constantly dwells in cemeteries, rubbing his body with ashes, and having snakes twisted round him; assuming a terrifying appearance, and accompanied by ghosts and goblins, who will believe what he says?" Shree Narayun proceeded to say, "O chief of demons! if you think that what I have said is untrue, place your hand on your own head and see."

O great king! on hearing the lord speak thus, when Bikasoor, who was deprived of sense through the influence of the delusive power, placed his hand upon his own head, he was burnt up, and became a heap of ashes; there were musical rejoicings in the capital of Indrù on the death of the demon; and the gods, raising shouts of victory and exultation, began to

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rain down flowers; the celestial dancers, musicians and choristers celebrated in songs the excellent attributes of Huri, who, having at that time, greatly glorified Muhadeo, allowed him to take leave, and granted Bikasoor salvation.

Shree Shookdeo Jee said,--O great king! whosoever shall hear or recite this story, shall doubtlessly obtain beatitude by the favour of Huri and Muhadeo.

Next: Chapter LXXXIX