Raksha could not believe how cold it had become. Wearing only the white robe of the initiate, he had willingly descended the steps into the stone-slabbed tomb. Like his father before him and all the other young men of his village this was to be the most important of his so far, young life. His body would outwardly be the same but braving the perils of this night he would emerge in the morning imperceptibly and subtly, be changed. In his mind, and in the eyes of his village, he would be a man. Illuminated by the torch of his companion who had accompanied him into the cell but who had quickly and silently departed, he was aware that his bed for the night, a cold stone bench without even a layer of straw or a pillow was the only item that could be considered furniture. The stone-flagged floor had glistened with the pools of water that he could hear slowly dripping, monotonous, irregular from the rough-hewn rock ceiling, just a few feet above his head. Luckily there appeared to be no water dropping onto his bed space. He walked slowly around the bench and contemplated how long it would take for his eyes to grow accustomed to the darkness. He knew that the door was to his left but could not judge the distance to it. There was only one thing to do. Adopting his favourite position he sat cross-legged on the hard floor and pulling his robe tightly around him and over his head he clasped his hands, shut his eyes and with eyes closed, started his meditation. This way he would not feel the pangs of hunger or the cold that would surely envelop him throughout his night-long ordeal. His breathing became shallow and he started to feel the sense of serenity that came with his faith in the Gods of his fathers and the teachings of his Holy brothers. By attaining this semi-comatose state he knew that he would be protected from all the unseen demons of the night whom the evil underground dwellers would surely send to torment him in his vigil. All he could do was rely on his inner strength and self-discipline. It would be a long night and he expected many spiritual and mental battles before the morning.