A Desperate Decision
By Vamsi Pingili
“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” ― Plato.
Vishwambhar decided to disavow the promise made to his father about not using psychic powers to bring suffering to others. His father, Chidambhar Yogi, a renowned psychic master and healer, had taken an oath from him before teaching it.
The injustice meted out to him by Avinash Verma and the ostracization of his family by villagers boiled his blood and led him to choose this decision.
As the villagers stopped tithing to the temple, and rejecting his healing services, Vishwambhar’s earnings suffered. The legal fight against Avinash Varma eroded his resources and forced him to mortgage his house and land to moneylenders in the neighboring village.
"Vishwambhar, when will you pay the loan amount? It is almost two months since you paid the interest, leave alone the principal," asked the pawnbroker.
"Please give me 2 months’ time. I will definitely repay your loan with interest," said Vishwambhar with folded hands.
"How do you plan to repay? You don’t have a regular income. Your vocation as a psychic expert has gone kaput because of your father’s besmirched practice," questioned the pawnbroker.
Vishwambhar’s face turned crimson and nerves engorged at the insult hurled at his father. He bit his lip and took a deep breath to calm himself.
“Since I have known your family for a long time, I’ll grant you 2 months. I won’t wait even a single day after 2- months," threatened the pawn-broker. "Be ready with cash. Else I’ll see to it, that you are put in jail.”
Sighing deeply, a dejected Vishwambhar took strides and left the place. He went and sat on the temple premises. His mind went into overdrive, recalling the events that changed the fate of his life.
The local landlord and village panchayat head, Avinash Varma, had approached Chidambhar Yogi to reveal the exact location of the hidden treasure in Undavalli Caves through his psychic powers. Chidambhar Yogi rejected his proposal and told him psychic techniques should not be used for selfish gains. Despite Avinash Varma’s proffered kickbacks and intimidations, Chidambhar hadn’t relented from his stand.
Consequently, Avinash Verma instigated the villagers, saying the four villagers had died because of the poisonous oblation offered by Chidambhar Yogi and that he was a quack and murderer. He cajoled and intimidated the villagers to avenge the death of their fellow villagers and led them to Chidambhar Yogi’s house.
Agitated villagers and his cronies attacked Chidambhar & Vishwambhar Yogi with sticks. Chidambhar Yogi sustained fatal injuries and succumbed even as Vishwambhar got away with a few broken bones and injuries.
Later, Vishwambhar learned that Avinash Verma hatched a plan and sent 4 of the villagers to Chidambhar Yogi for seeking healing and oblation for their ailments. He came to know that Avinash Verma got poison mixed in their oblation, oblivious to those 4 villagers and that they all died spitting out blood after drinking the oblation.
Vishwambhar was certain Avinash Varma never considered him a psychic expert to help him with his expedition. He also understood he didn't stand a chance to avenge his father’s death through other means except for psychic powers. He waited for right opportunity.
The clamors of the temple bell halted his train of thought. He eyed the youth tolling the bell, in wonder. From that fateful day, the people of the village stopped coming to the temple. Word was that Avinash Varma had threatened people not to solicit any healing from Vishwambhar in the future.
Vishwambhar’s wife and both children came out of their house, hearing the sound of the temple bell.
"Who are you? Are you new to this village?" Vishwambhar asked the youth who sounded the bell.
"I am Rithwij Varma, from Hyderabad. I have come to my uncle Avinash Varma’s house," said the youth.
Vishwambhar understood that Rithwij Varma was not aware of the recent developments in the village. He thought of taking advantage of this situation.
"How did you come to know of this temple? What brought you here?" asked Vishwambhar.
“I heard about this temple and psychic healer, Chidambhar Yogi, from my parents and uncle many times, erstwhile. When I came here, I expressed my desire to visit this place - but they warned me not to venture here. They have mentioned no reasons. This piqued my interest furthermore. I slipped from the house unnoticed and came here without informing them. Can I meet Chidambhar Yogiji?"
“Why do you want to meet Chidambhar Yogi? What is your interest?”
“I am a student of psychology and parapsychology. I am interested in studying the phenomena.”
Vishwambhar stared at Rithwij for a few seconds. A smirk spread across his face as he answered, “More than the academic interest, you seem to be searching for a remedy to your Haphephobia. You get panic-stricken when the opposite sex merely touches you. Am I right? Anyway, Chidambhar Yogi is no more.”
Rithwij stood agape for a few minutes. Intrigued and baffled at the correct diagnosis, Rithwij asked, “Who are you? How did you predict I have come here to seek answers for my personal problems? Can you cure it, please?”
“I am Vishwambhar Yogi, son of Chidambhar Yogi, and had learned and practiced psychic phenomena under the tutelage of my father. I can help you, but on one condition.”
What is it?
“Everyone in the village believes Chidambhar Yogi died because of evil powers. Each one is afraid and will not talk about it. That is why you shouldn’t reveal this to anyone in the village, especially to your uncle, Avinash Varma. If he comes to know about our meeting, he may stop you from coming over here.”
“Sure, no problem. I won’t reveal it to anyone, not even my uncle.”
“Ok. Also, don’t come here. Let us meet in the alcove behind the Hanuman Temple on the outskirts of the village."
“Fine. When shall we meet then?”
“We will meet tomorrow at 5 in the evening. Make sure no one follows you. Leave now.”
Ok. See you then. Rithwij left the temple and went to the house of his uncle.
Vishwambhar gloated over succeeding in his plan. Vishwambhar’s wife hearing the conversation asked him, “Why do you want to work with Avinash Varma’s relative? What if he gets to know about it? Who will take care of us, if something happens to you?”
Hi both sons looked at him with angst.
Vishwambhar looked reassuringly at all of them and said, “Nothing will happen to me. Don’t worry. I am trying to build friendship with Avinash Varma.”
As planned, Vishwambhar started healing Rithwij. Over the next few sessions, Vishwambhar, with his psychic powers, cured about 80-90% of the haphephobia experienced by Rithwij and won his confidence to the hilt. First, he displayed his prowess in Energy Medicine, foretelling future events, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis, and mesmerized Rithwij.He studied principles in theory but hadn’t witnessed the implementation of such phenomena in real time.
Using his psychic skills, Vishwambhar helped Rithwij overcome troubles in his career planning, love, and fiscal aspects. When Rithwij noticed the results and his life improved, Vishwambhar asked Rithwij to disclose to Avinash Varma, how much he has transformed Rithwij’s life.
Vishwambhar knew that the disclosure by Rithwij would create a chaotic situation in Avinash Varma’s house, and Rithwij may incur the wrath of his uncle. But he was confident it would reignite Avinash’s dormant desire to unearth the hidden treasures in the Undavalli caves.
As expected, Avinash Varma sent an emissary to Vishwambhar, asking him to come to a secluded place for a face-to-face meeting. Vishwambhar’s breath quickened, and his fists clenched, seeing Avinash Varma at the meeting. But he regained his composure and sat across from Avinash Varma. After a few seconds of uneasy silence, Avinash Varma cleared his throat and asked Vishwambhar how is he.
Vishwambhar replied, Fine.
“That incident shouldn’t have happened. That day, too, I came only to ascertain the truth from your father’s mouth. Villagers turned belligerent at the death of their kith and attacked your father. I offer my commiserations to you and your family.”
Thank you, replied Vishwambhar.
“Let us come to the point. I am happy you are continuing your father’s legacy. I heard about your exploits in psychic powers from Rithwij and that you are not disinclined to give-and-take policy. Had your father, too, believed the same, he would have earned a name and fame and lived a luxurious life. Anyway, I have come to you with a proposal. I know there is a hidden treasure in the Undavalli caves. But I don’t know the exact location. Searching for it, many teams have lost their lives inside the cave. If you help me by pointing out the exact location with the help of your psychic powers, I will pay you handsomely. What do you say?” asked Avinash Varma.
“I will help you, but I want 10 crores of rupees and all of it in advance. Without my help, you cannot unearth the treasure. One more thing, I will not come with you into the cave. If you give me the map of the caves, I will only pinpoint the location on the map. Search the treasure yourself, and overcome hurdles or dangers en route, if any.”
“If you won’t come along with us, how can we identify that spot? No way, you must travel with us. And 10 crores are too much an amount.” argued Avinash.
“Think again. It’s you who want the hidden treasure. I won’t come, but I will give directions and mark the spot on the map. I’ll help you from here through my psychic powers to reach the spot. As for my charges, I don’t agree to anything less. If you don’t concede to my demand, let us call it quits.”
“I don’t know how much wealth is there in the caves and what would be its value. What if it doesn’t turn out to be so valuable, after all?
“Decide for yourself. If you want my services, pay me 10 crores. However less the value of the treasure maybe, I hope it will not be less than 100 to 200 crores of worth.”
“I will pay you 3 crores in advance and rest after I get the treasure. I had to spend money to plan and take a team with me.”
“No. If you are interested, agree to pay 7 crores in advance and the rest after coming back with the booty.
Fine. I will meet you after getting the region’s map. See you, then.”
Ok. Bye, said Vishwambhar.
Both left feeling happy they were nearer to their final destination.
After Vishwambhar handed over the map with the directions and location of the treasure, Avinash paid the advance of 7 crores to Vishwambhar as agreed.
All the while, Avinash jumped up and down, talked non-stop, gesticulating passionately and grinning ear to ear, pulled Vishwambhar, and hugged him tightly.
Vishwambhar smiled to himself, put an arm around Avinash Varma, and wished him the best of luck.
Vishwambhar called the pawnbroker and paid the outstanding with interest ahead of the stipulated date.
Avinash planned the expedition to the minutest detail and prepared a checklist of essential resources and services. He recruited capable people with unique skill sets and experience to perform various odd and specialist jobs required for such a big operation. He sourced food, medical supplies, emergency equipment, and vehicles.
The 15-member junta set out on the expedition slyly on an auspicious day. Avinash Varma couldn’t contain his excitement. The journey up to the cave went on smoothly.
Vishwambhar Yogi, applying telepathy, guided Avinash Varma, and the team traveled for 5 days and nights inside the cave before reaching an antechamber. In the process, Avinash Varma lost a few of his crew to the blistering gas.
At the antechamber on the 5th day, they were greeted by an obnoxious smell and lakhs of bats. Vishwambhar using his psychic healing triggered bats to attack the crew. He spotted crew bitten and scratched by bats, apart from defiling members with their guano (poo).
Vishwambhar watched Avinash Varma jump up and down, laughing boisterously, clapping hands and stomping his feet, seeing bags of treasure. He noticed the crew fill the bags with booty, and start their return journey. It appeared to him the crew was exhausted and suffering from some ailment.
An evil smile spread across Vishwambhar’s face as one crew member after another died, affected by some disease, fatigue, and lack of oxygen. He exulted in seeing Avinash Varma and two others become deathly sick, abandon the wealth, and exit the cave tottering.
A contented smile beamed across Vishwambhar’s face when Avinash Varma fell unconscious after reaching the village, and doctors declared that his condition was critical.
With clenched fists and tears streaming down, he looked up and bowed his head as if paying homage to his departed father.
The doctors attending Avinash Varma and others did tests and confirmed that a new virus had affected them. They quarantined the three people, but the damage was already done. The virus passed on from one to another; in no time, the whole village got infected.
Avinash Varma paid for his evil deeds and died a miserable death.
Vexed with the shortage of doctors and medicines - especially the limited success of existing drugs on the virus - villagers now looked towards Vishwambhar Yogi for help. Everyone queued before his temple to seek healing from Vishwambhar, using his psychic powers.
Vishwambhar came out of the house and asked, "Why have you all assembled in front of my humble cottage?"
The villagers said, “Yogiji, we have come for your healing.”
Vishwambhar laughed loudly. He said, “You came to me for healing!!! But you killed my father, saying he was a quack, and then shunned me. How come you have come to me now for healing? I have learned this healing from my father. I am also a quack by those standards.”
The villagers replied in unison, “We didn’t kill your father, Yogiji. Avinash Varma and his goons killed him.”
Vishwambhar thundered, “But you didn’t speak in my father’s favor that day, despite all of you benefiting from his psychic powers, free of cost. Why? You were also equally responsible for it.”
A villager elder said, “Son, Avinash Varma threatened us. We didn’t have any option but to close our mouths. Please forgive us.”
“Baba, you were not only silent, but you also sided with him and falsely accused my father of murdering those 4 people with his healing. Now, when your life is in jeopardy, you have again come to me for healing. I don’t want to be labeled a murderer like my father. Sorry, I won’t offer my services to you. You all may leave now.”
Vishwambhar turned his back on their pleas and went inside his house. Dejected, the villagers went back to their homes, cursing their luck.
Vishwambhar felt he had exacted retribution for their wrongdoing. His egoistic, boisterous laughter thundered across the room.
Meanwhile, Vishwambhar’s sons and wife, too, got infected by the virus and fell ill. Vishwambhar tried his healing techniques to cure his wife’s and sons' illnesses. However, it showed no signs of abating. All his psychic powers failed. He began pacing in front of the temple restlessly, praying to God to rescue his family.
He ran to doctors and begged them to visit his house and treat his family. But because of the shortage of personnel, the doctors said they were helpless.
Crestfallen, he sat on the temple steps. The sweat and tears flowed down his face as the pitter-patter of his heart reverberated in his ears. For the first time, he realized; how the villagers would have felt when he turned down their request to save them from the deadly virus. He had an epiphany; he remembered his father saying that psychic powers only work when used for the benefit of others selflessly. When used for personal gains, their effectiveness decreases and brings bad karma to the user. He understood unless he let go of hatred, revenge, and ego from his heart and filled it with love, forgiveness, and humility. He knew only then he might be able to save his family.
He went inside his house and started looking at the manuscripts to find out what he must do to regain his psychic powers. After reading the manuscripts, he understood he had to clean his chakras and awaken his kundalini through meditation. He knew the process was fraught with danger, as one wrong step could lead to him becoming insane or losing his life. He sat in the lotus position and spent hours together doing meditation.
Then, he summoned all sick villagers to assemble in the temple courtyard. He also asked his sons and wife to sit in the courtyard, along with villagers.
He invoked God, his guru lineage, and the healing spirits & angels and started his mass healing process. He projected streams of Chi energy, continuously removing the negative energy and pumping in the positive energy until the virus infection and its causative factors were expelled and burned out. Then Vishwambhar fell backward on the ground, exhausted - having spent all of his power. His wife and sons rushed towards him.
All the villagers recovered from the effects of the virus, including his sons and wife. The villagers rejoiced and prostrated before Vishwambhar Yogi. He asked his wife to take care of herself and the sons. Vishwambhar dedicated most of his wealth to the welfare of the villagers.
Vishwambhar turned towards the villagers and asked for their forgiveness. He looked at them with his hands folded and breathed his last. Shouts of “Long Live Vishwambhar Yogi... Vishwambhar Yogi, the greatest psychic healer” rent the air.
By Vamsi Pingili