Outwitting Fate – Part VI
Then the holy man said, ‘I”ve to go do something else now. Tell me where your sister is. She was two years old when I last saw her. Where is she now?”
The sage’s son choked on tears when his sister was mentioned. ‘Don’t ask about her” he said. ‘She’s lost to the world. I am ashamed of her and sont want to even think of her at this happy time.”
The disciple said ‘never mind. Just tell me where she is.” ‘She is in the next village. She is the village prostitute,” said the sage’s son finding it hard to say.
Then the holy man took leave of the sage’s son after blessing him and his wife and children. He set out for the village where she lived. He reached her house before nightfall and knocked at her door. The door was opened at once for no one in her profession ever waited for a second knock. When she looked out, she was surprised to see a holy man at her door.
‘Do you know me?” he asked. She did not. He explained who he was. When she heard that he was her father’s disciple she wept bitterly. Shame at the thought that she, the daughter of a great sage, was now a common prostitute stung her to tears, and she fell at his feet. Then she explained how poverty had brought her to this pass and how miserable she was. He consoled her and said, ‘daughter, my heart burns to see how necessity has driven you to this wretched life. But you can do something about it. If you”re willing to follow my advice, you can live a different life. Shut your door to night and say that you will open it only to a person who brings you a large measure full of pearls. Do it just for tonight and I will talk to you in the morning”
She was disgusted with the life she led, so she readily agreed, in spite of all her doubts, to follow the holy man’s advice. She bolted the door. When her customers came and knocked on it, she told them from within that her price had gone up: it was nothing less than a large measure of pearls. Her customers thought that she was crazy and they left. The night was coming to a close and she was worried: who was there in the village who could bring her a measure full of the best pearls?
But Brahma’s prophecy had to be fulfilled somehow. So, when no mortal came to her that night as a customer, in the small house of the night Brahma himself disguised himself the shape of a young man and visited her with a measure of pearls, and stayed the night with her. She now had a god for a lover.
He left at dawn. The sage’s daughter told the holy man that after all a man, a wonderful man, had visited her with a measure full of pearls. The holy man knew his suggestion had worked. He said, ‘from today on, you”re the purest of women. There are few people in the world who can afford to bring you a measure of pearls every night. So, whoever brought it to you last night must continue to bring them to you every night. He”ll be your only lover and husband. No one else must ever touch you. Just do as I say. Sell all the pearls he brings you every day and spend all the money you get on feeding poor. Keep nothing for the next day. Hoard nothing. Give it all away. The day you fail to do this, you’ll lose your husband and fall back into your old wretched life. Will you do as I say?” To be contd. in the last part