When Shri Babaji was at Jammu there was a man living next door to him who was staying with his young nephew. One day the young boy contracted a deadly fever from which there was no relief. A renowned Vaid–Ayurvedic Doctor–was called to see the boy, and began to treat him. The Vaid said with absolute confidence that he would cure the boy with his medicine. The Vaid had become vain and arrogant because of the many cures he had affected and assumed that the powers of life and death lay in his hands.
One day the Vaid left instructions with the household members before going: “See to it that he is given only elaaichee paani–cardamon water–and nothing else.”
When Shri Babaji Bhagwan came to know of the plight of the sick boy next door he sent his devotee, Shri Harvilas, to tend to the sick boy and help him in any way that he could. The boy’s uncle welcomed the gesture.
Shri Harvilas began to look after the boy. While he was alone in the house with the boy, the boy asked for soda water, begged for it desperately. Shri Harvilas wanted to quench the thirst of the boy and brought the soda water for him. The boy had barely taken a sip of the soda water when he collapsed and fell down dead on his bed. Harvilas was too shocked for words. The boy’s uncle and relatives came and saw what had happened. They called the Vaid, who made enquiries. Upon being told by Harvilas that he had given the boy a sip of soda water, the Vaid immediately flared up and began blaming Harvilas for the death of the boy.
“Alas!” lamented the Vaid, “if only you had not given him the soda water he would not have died. My medicine would definitely have cured him!”
Harvilas was so disconsolate that he immediately ran to Shri Babaji Bhagwan and fell at his feet sobbing, saying: “I have committed a great sin! I gave the sick boy soda water and he died! I am responsible for his death! O Babaji, please save me!”
Shri Babaji Bhagwan listened to the whole story and then said to Harvilas: “Son, do not be disturbed! It was not your fault. Can anyone die from a sip of soda water?”
Harvilas said, “But Bhagwan! The Vaid is saying so, and everyone believes him!”
The uncle of the boy was convinced that the medicine of the Vaid would have cured him had he not met with this premature death. The uncle recalled however that the sick boy had fervently prayed for lancets to be applied to him to drain out blood from his system, as was the prevalent treatment of the time. However the Vaid had refused the lancets and had insisted upon his own treatment and medication.
Shri Babaji Bhagwan went to the house of the boy next door where his dead body lay, cold and motionless, awaiting the preparations for the funeral. Shri Babaji Bhagwan said to the people gathered in the house: “The Vaidji is saying with absolute confidence that his medicines would have cured the boy. And at the same time he is blaming Harvilas for giving the boy soda water which he claims led to the boy’s death.”
Then, turning to the Vaid, Shri Babaji Bhagwan said: “Vaidji! No one can die from a sip of soda water. Do not be agitated unnecessarily. Also your belief that your medicine would have cured the boy is wrong. But if that is what you think then you can have the chance of curing him even now. Before the boy had died he had been asking that lancets be applied to his body. Apply lancets to his body now, immediately. It is possible he may be revived.”
The Vaid was aghast and said: “ But Maharaj – what are you saying? The boy is dead now! His body is cold. We Hindus never apply a lancet to a dead body.”
Shri Babaji Bhagwan said: “Do as I say! If there is any sin in doing this, I shall take the sin upon myself.”
The Vaid obeyed Shri Babaji Bhagwan and applied a lancet to the dead body.
Suddenly the boy sat up, and, before the assembled group could recover their wits, he began hurling invective and abuse at the startled Vaid! All were astonished beyond belief. No one could understand what had brought the dead boy back to life.
It was the miracle of Shri Babaji Bhagwan. However Shri Babaji Bhagwan did not want it to remain a miracle and allowed the people to think that it was the lancet that had brought the boy back to life.
There were some who thought that it was possible that there was still life in the body at the time the lancet was applied. But they also recalled the words of the Vaid who had said: “ I cannot apply a lancet to a dead body.”
Shri Babaji Bhagwan then turned to Shri Harvilas and said: “Harvilas, you are now free of the sin you had thought you had committed.”
Harvilas at once said: “Yes, Bhagwan! It is due to your mercy and grace.”
Shri Babaji Bhagwan turned to the Vaid and said: “Vaidji, the boy has come back to life. It was your assertion that if you had been given the chance your medicine would cure him. You have the chance now to administer whatever medicines you may like. He will be with you all night. Tomorrow morning he shall die again!”
And even as the uncle of the boy watched in subdued silence, the Vaid administered whatever medicines he could all night long. But with the coming of the morning, the boy died, just like Shri Babaji Bhagwan had predicted.
The Vaid came to see Shri Babaji Bhagwan in the morning and Shri Babaji Bhagwan said to him: “Vaidji, you are paying the price for your pride. It is God that cures and not man. Your ego has led you to believe that you have the power of life and death over your patients and can cure anyone you like, but you have seen how helpless you can be in the face of the Will of God. I have to tell you, that unless you give up your pride, you too shall one day fall a prey to the same disease and die from it despite all your medicines.”
This was not a curse but rather a prediction of the inevitable and inexorable law of Nature that shows man that his strength and intelligence are of no consequence before the Divine Will.
The Vaid was too vain and conceited to listen to Shri Babaji Bhagwan and continued in his old ways, administering medicine with pride and arrogance. Within a short time he contracted the same disease that the boy had died from. He tried his best to cure himself with his own medicines, and for a while even succeeded. But soon enough he had a relapse. The disease became relentless. It hit him again and again so that his life became miserable.
Shri Babaji Bhagwan who was an epitome of love and mercy heard of the plight of the Vaid and said:
“Tell the Vaid to bow his head before God and to ask for forgiveness from Him for his pride. Let him realize now that his ego was for naught, and his assertions were without foundation. There is only One who has the power of life and death in His hands, and that is God. All others are mere instruments in His hands.”
During those days there was an unending stream of miracles of this type that followed Shri Babaji Bhagwan wherever he went. But, almost always, Shri Babaji Bhagwan put a veil over these occurrences so that people would not become unduly attached to them and pursue him merely for their sake. Shri Babaji Bhagwan would so transform the minds of people that they would forget these miracles soon after they had occurred, as if they had never happened.
Shri Babaji Bhagwan would often say: “Such miracles surprise many people. But then there is nothing surprising about them because they all stem from God who is All Powerful and for whom nothing is impossible.”
Shri Babaji Bhagwan would often say: “Any person who dissociates himself from God and tries to bring profit or loss to others is blinded by his own ego. He does not realize that it is not in his hands to cause profit or loss to anyone, and that it is God alone who can do this. Similarly any person who believes that anyone can cause him any profit or loss, other than God, is, likewise, ignorant. It is God alone who has this power. However if a person keeps God with Himself all the time, and relegates all his successes in life to God, then he can give any amount of benefit to the people of the world. It will be the Will of God that will be fulfilled in this way, and the credit for the good acts done will go to the person through whom these acts are accomplished.”