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Godly and June

In a certain district there was a monastery in a secluded spot. In it lived a holy man named Godly, who in course of time acquired a great sum of money by selling finely woven garments, the numerous offerings of the faithful for whom he performed sacrifices. As a result, he trusted no man, and kept his treasure under his arm by night and day.

Now a rogue named June, who took other people’s money from them, observed the treasure under his arm, and reflected: “How am I to take this treasure from him? In the first place, I cannot pierce the wall of the cell, which is compactly built of solid stone. And I cannot enter the door, which is too high. I will talk to him, win his confidence, and become his disciple, for he will be in my power when I have his confidence.

Having thus made up his mind, he drew near to Godly, uttered the words: “Glory to Shiva. Amen,” fell flat on his face, and spoke with deference: “O holy sir! All life is vanity. Youth slips by like a [59} mountain torrent. The days of our life are like a fire in chaff. Delights of the flesh are as the shadow of a cloud. Union with son, friend, servant, wife, is but a dream. All this I discern clearly. What shall I do that I may safely cross the sea of many lives?”

On hearing this, Godly said respectfully: “My son, blest are you, being thus indifferent to the world in early youth.

When he had listened to this, June clasped the holy man’s feet and said deferentially: “This being so, holy sir, pray do me the favour of imposing a vow.”

“My son,” answered Godly, “I am ready to oblige you. But you must not enter my cell by night. For renunciation is recommended to ascetics, to you and to me as well.

So, after taking the vow, you must sleep in a hut of thatch at the monastery gate.”

“Holy sir,” said the other, “your prescription is the law of my life. I shall need it in the next world.” So, the sleeping arrangements being made, Godly graciously gave him initiation and granted discipleship. June for his part made the holy man very happy by rubbing his hands and feet, bringing writing-paper, and other services. Still, Godly kept his treasure under his arm.

As the time passed in this manner, June reflected: “Dear me! Do what I will, he does not trust me. So shall I kill him with a knife in broad daylight? Or give him poison? Or butcher him like a beast?” While he was reflecting thus, the son of a pupil of Godly’s came from the village, bearing an invitation.And he said: “Holy sir, pray come to my house for the ceremony of the sacred thread.” And when Godly heard this, he started with June.

Now as he travelled, he came to a river, seeing which he took the treasure from under his arm, wrapped it carefully in his patched ascetic robe, worshiped the appropriate gods, and said to June: “June, I must step aside. Please keep careful watch of this robe and of the necessary until I return.” With these words he moved away. And as soon as he was out of sight, June seized the treasure and decamped.

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