Many years back in a calm, serene hermitage in erstwhile Magadha, the great saint Anudho Sen used to teach his disciples.
He was a person of great honor & was considered a luminary during his time. People all over Magadha used to worship this cherished celibate.
The hermit was in death bed & he knew that his days were numbered.
It was high time for the saint to pass on his knowledge & prowess attained through hard perseverance & intense penance to one of his attendants. The legacy should be handed over to the correct person.
Out of his many followers who were righteous, honest, and unpretentious; the following four stood out:
But the noble soul was in a dilemma whom to choose. He thought of a simple trick to judge their capabilities. He called them & told “My treasured disciples, you people are true apostles of my knowledge. But I need to select one from you chosen guys. I am giving you a task. Arrest the air & bring it to me & you have 24 hours to expedite.”
They were in total disarray. Next day in the morning, only Shloka turned up & he was holding a Hand Fan made of palm leaves.
He came forward “O great Saint, I have arrested the air & brought it here.”
Anudho Sen was overjoyed & he was happy that the right person had been figured out.
He accounted “Come, my boy, come close to me today. I will transfer all my knowledge to you so that after me you can go & enlighten this world/universe with your revered knowledge. But the transfer is conditioned. You can’t employ this knowledge for your benefit.
Most importantly, you can never marry a woman & get settled in life. If you ever do so, she will embrace death the very next day. Your duty will be selfless service to mankind & nobody ever should be able to hunt your true identity. May God bless you?”
With these last words, the coveted soul left the mortal body.
Shloka, as was instructed by his master, left the hermitage & started visiting cities/towns/villages attending people’s distress & helping the hapless lots. It had happened many times that beautiful/wealthy/powerful women fell for him but he deftly administered those issues.
After a long journey of five relentless years, visiting countless places, he arrived at a tranquil small village called Kaushambi. As he got engaged in his daily routine, Kaushambini, the daughter of the village chief saw this handsome young man & got besotted with him. Kaushambini tried to win his heart but failed. One day she came crying to him & said” Shloka, am I not beautiful? Why you are not ready to accept me as your life partner?”
Shloka: “O lady, you are as beautiful as Rose, as pious as a baby’s smile, as soothing as a cool breeze. As the gospel goes: the lady who marries me will die the very next day, my Master has foretold that. Plz, forgive me. I am helpless.”
She replied “If that is the case, I am ready to be your wife for a night. It’s better to die the next day rather than deserting you.”
Shloka said” Ok as you wish. Tomorrow at the early hours we will wed in Kali Temple.”
The very next day, Kaushambini was at the temple but Shloka was nowhere.
Kaushambini was not seen in the village thereafter & nobody knew where Shloka had left.
History forgot to record this indelible tale of this deceiver!!