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SHREE SHOOKDEO JEE said,--O great king! I will now relate the history of Soodama how he went to Krishnù, and his poverty was put an end to; do you listen with attention: in the direction of the southern quarter is the Dravis country, where brahmins and traders dwelt as kings, under whose government adoration and remembrance, and meditation upon Huri were practised in each house; and all men performed penance and sacrifice; and respected religion and offered gifts; and reverenced virtuous and holy men and cows, and brahmins, thus they all dwelt there, thinking of none but Huri. In that country was a brahmin, named Soodama, who had been instructed by the same spiritual preceptor as Shree Krishnù Chund, very humble, emaciated and poor, so that there was no thatch upon his hut, and he had nothing to eat, One day Soodama's wife being greatly frightened and grieved at their poverty, went to her husband in a state of alarm, and said trembling, "O great king! we are greatly troubled by this state of poverty; if you wish to put an end to it, I will point out a plan of doing so." The brahmin asked, "What plan?" She replied, "Shree Krishnù. Chund, the root of joy, lord of the three worlds, and an inhabitant of Dwarka is your chief friend, if you go to him our poverty will depart,

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because he is the bestower of wealth, virtue, desires and final happiness."

O great king! when the brahmin's wife had thus explained to her husband, Soodama said, "O beloved! even Shree Krishnù Chund does not give any one any thing, without that person giving him something first, I know well, that during my whole life, I have not given any thing to any one and without having given, whence shall I receive? I will, however, go as you suggest and come back after seeing Shree Krishnù Jee." On hearing these words the brahmin's wife tied up a little rice in an old white cloth and brought it and gave it to her husband as a present for Krishnù and placed before him a string, a brass pot and a staff. Then Soodama having cast the string and the brass pot upon his shoulders and placed the bundle of rice under his arm, taking the staff in his hand, set out for the city of Dwarka, having propitiated Guneshù and meditating upon Shree Krishnù Chund Jee.

O great king! going along the road, Soodama began to say to himself, "I am certainly not destined to be rich; but, by going to Dwarka, I shall see Shree Krishnù Chund, the root of joy." With these thoughts in his mind Soodama arrived at the city of Dwarka after a journey of less than nine hours, and there beheld a city, surrounded on all sites by the sea. All round the city were forests and groves, producing flowers and fruits. At the ponds, pools and large wells of masonry, wheels and leather buckets were in full play, herds of cows were grazing in different places, and the cowherds' children, who accompanied them, were engaged apart in sports.

Having recited thus much, Shree Shookdeo Jee said,--O great king! Soodama, having beheld the beauty of the forests and groves, went into the city, and saw very elegant houses of gold, covered with jewels, shining in full splendour. At the different places of meeting, the descendants of Judoo were seated, forming courts like that of Indrù: in the markets, roads and cross-roads, things of different kinds were sold; in each house,

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and in various places, songs were sung, and gifts and adoration offered in honour of Huri, and Krishnù's praises were celebrated; and the inhabitants of the whole city were highly delighted. O great king! beholding all these sights, and making enquiries for the abode of Shree Krishnù Chund, Soodama went and stood at the great entrance gate of Krishnù's house; and timidly enquired from some one where Shree Krishnù Chund lived. The man replied, "O divinity! go inside the house, Shree Krishnù Chund Jee is seated opposite on a jewelled throne."

When, O great king! Soodama, having heard this went inside, Shree Krishnù Chund, on seeing him, descended from his throne; and, advancing to meet him, seized his hand with the greatest affection, and led him in; having then placed him upon his throne, he washed his feet, and took the water, with which his feet had been washed; after this, smearing his body with sandal, putting unbroken rice upon his forehead, and decorating him with flowers, placing perfumes and lamps before him, Krishnù performed adoration to Soodama; having done so the lord of the Judoos joined his hands, and made kind enquiries regarding his health, &c., &c.

Having proceeded thus far in the narrative, Shree Shookdeo Jee said to the Raja,--O great king! on beholding this behaviour on the part of Krishnù, Shree Rookmunee Jee and the seven queens, and the sixteen thousand eight hundred wives and all the descendants of Judoo, who were then present, began to say to themselves, "What virtuous act has this poor, weak, dirty, shabbily dressed brahmin done in a former birth, that the lord of the three worlds has treated him with such great respect?"

O great king! Shree Krishnù Chund, acquainted with the secrets of the heart, knowing the thoughts of them all at that time, began in order to remove the perplexities of their minds, to talk to Soodama upon subjects, connected with their spiritual

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preceptor's house, "Brother! do you recollect one day, when the preceptor's wife sent you and me to bring wood; and when we had brought the wood from the forest, and fastening the bundles on our heads went home, there was a storm and rain; and it rained very heavily, wet and dry places were inundated with water; I and you got wet, and suffered great annoyance, and remained in the cold all night under a tree; early in the morning, the divine preceptor came to search for us in the forest; and with the greatest kindness, and giving us his blessing took us both with him to his house." Shree Krishnù Chund Jee after this again said Brother! from the time you quitted our divine spiritual preceptor's house, I have not received any tidings of you, where you were, and what you were doing; by coming now and showing yourself, you have made me very happy, and have purified my house." Soodama replied, "O sea of compassion and brother of the poor! O master! acquainted with the secrets of the heart, you know every thing; there is nothing in the world, which is concealed from you."

Next: Chapter LXXXI