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YASHPEH
International Folktales Collection

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Story No. 643


The Brahman’s Clothes

Book Name:

Folklore of the Santal Parganas

Tradition: India

There was once a Brahman who had two wives; like many Brahmans he lived by begging and was very clever at wheedling money out of people. One day the fancy took him to go to the market place dressed only in a small loin cloth such as the poorest labourers wear and see how people treated him. So he set out but on the road and in the market place and in the village no one salaamed to him or made way to him and when he begged no one gave him alms. He soon got tired of this and hastened home and putting on his best pagri and coat and dhoti went back to the market place. This time every one who met him on the road salaamed low to him and made way for him and every shopkeeper to whom he went gave him alms: and the people in the village who had refused before gladly made offerings to him. The Brahman went home smiling to himself and took off his clothes and put them in a heap and prostrated himself before them three or four times, saying each time. “O source of wealth: O source of wealth! it is clothes that are honoured in this world and nothing else.”

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