Priest

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The Priest, the Tiger and the Jackal

The Priest, the Tiger and the Jackal

One day a priest was walking along a country road when he came upon a tiger, shut up in a strong iron cage. The villagers had caught him and shut him up there because he had started preying on their fowl and cattle. As soon as the tiger saw the priest, he pleaded, “Oh, Brother Brahmin, please let me out to get a little drink! I am so thirsty, and there is no water here.”...

Two Girls and a Lotus

On top of a three-hundred-foot hill was a quaint old temple. A hunched, old man performed puja here. Enshrined in the centre of the temple was a beautiful idol. Usha and Lalita, two good friends, enjoyed talking to the kindly temple priest and watching him adorn the beautiful idol with multicoloured flowers. Often in the morning, Usha and Lalita climbed the hill, dancing between the rhododendron bushes, jumping, singing and playing hide-and-seek. Woken from its slumber, a dovelet would coo sleepily, “Coo!...

The Making of the Goddess

The Making of the Goddess

On an ordinary day, the names Kumartuli and Krishnanagar would not make much of a difference to a Bengali. But come Durga Puja, and these two ordinary towns near Calcutta, become the focus of great attention. For it is here that the clay idols of Durga are made. This age-old tradition of clay sculpture has been preserved by the community of Pals. Months before the Puja, clay artisans start to breathe life into the images of Durga....

Peru's Barefoot Librarians

Peru's Barefoot Librarians

Twelve year-old Leonardo Herrera had never seen a book in his life although he knew how to read. He and his friends used to carve letters and numbers on cactus leaves after seeing their teacher do the same on small blackboards. He belongs to poor peasant family in Bambamarca in Peru. His family grows maize and potatoes in a place which is 12,000 feet above sea-level. But Leonardo wanted to see what a book looks like....

The Priest's Successor

The Priest's Successor

There was once a famous temple, high up in the hills of Assam. The priest of this temple was widely respected and known to be a great scholar. When he grew very old, he started searching for a younger priest who could take charge of the temple after his death. But, much to his dismay, he could not find any suitable person. As the priest lay on his deathbed, he called the trustee of the temple and told him, “After my death, make sure that only a “human being” replaces me as priest of this temple....

Gaseous twist to the Delphic legend

Gaseous twist to the Delphic legend

August 26: In ancient Greece, like a magnet, the shrine at Mount Parnassus, in Delphi, attracted people from all over Europe. They were drawn by the prophetic powers of the Pythia, or priestess of Apollo, who was famous as the Oracle of Delphi. It was said she could foretell everything, from the result of wars to new twists in day-to-day family problems. But, from where did the Oracle get her prophetic powers? Legend says that high priest of the shrine, Plutarch, thought that the Pythia got her prophetic powers by inhaling some special gases, which would lead her to a state of trance....

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