THE PLUNDERERS WHO GO ABOUT AS RELIGIOUS

THERE was a goldsmith who kept a jewellery shop. He looked like a great devotee, a true Vaishnava, with beads round his neck, rosary in his hand, and the holy marks on his forehead. Naturally people trusted him and came to his shop on business. They thought that, being such a pious man, he would never cheat them. Whenever a party of customers entered the shop, they would hear one of his craftsmen say, 'Kesava! Kesava!' Another would say after a while, 'Gopal! Gopal!' Then a third would mutter, 'Hari! Hari!' Finally someone would say, 'Hara! Hara!' Now these are, as you know, different names of God. Hearing so much chanting of God's names the customers naturally thought thai this goldsmith must be a very superior person. But can you guess the goldsmith's true intention? The man who said 'Kesava! Kesava!' meant to ask, 'Who are these? Who are these customers?' The man who said 'Gopal! Gopal!' conveyed the idea that the customers were merely a herd of cows. That was the estimate he formed of them after the exchange of a few words. The man who said 'Hari! Hail!' asked, 'Since they are no better than a herd of cows, then may we rob them?" He who said 'Hara! Hara!' gave his assent, meaning by these words, 'Do rob by all means, since they are mere cows!'