Papaji and the Scorpions

We were staying in the Ved Niketan ashram in Rishikesh. There were many black scorpions in the area at that time and many pilgrims were being stung. The bites of these scorpions were extremely painful. The pain usually lasted for about forty-eight hours. Even the people who were staying in the Ved Niketan ashram were being bitten. People began coming to me because I could cure them without any medicine. News of this spread to Swarg Ashram and other places. Every evening four or five people would come, usually writhing in agony. They would be carried in crying, but a few minutes later they would walk out smiling.

I was once staying in Nemisharanya. This is a famous pilgrimage site where in ancient times eighty-four thousand rishis performed tapas. The site of their tapas is a tank called Chakra Tirth. It received its name at the end of the Mahabharata war because this was the place that the sudarshan chakra [Krishna’s discus] fell on the ground and plunged deep into the earth.

Jagadacharya Swami Naradananda had arranged to hold a massive vedic ritual there. Thousands of pandits were involved and tents had been erected to accommodate one lakh [100,000] people.
I was on my way to attend one of the functions – a reading of the Gita by Naradananda Swami – when I saw many people walking in a procession. I stopped one of the men to ask where they were all going.

He said, ‘We are carrying the body of a man who has been bitten by a large poisonous scorpion. There is no doctor in the area, so we are rushing him to the nearest government hospital before his condition deteriorates any further.’

I noticed a woman who must have been the sick man’s wife. She was crying and cursing the gods.

She beat her chest a few times and cried out, ‘We have come here on a pilgrimage! Why have you given us so much suffering?’

I went up to her and said, ‘This is not a serious problem. If you will give me your permission, I can cure him in a few minutes. The nearest government hospital is forty miles away. You don’t need to waste your time going all the way there.’

The other people in the group told her to ignore me.

‘Don’t stop and talk to people like him,’ they said. ‘We are wasting valuable time. We have to get him to hospital quickly. This man is just a quack. He will ask for money and then give some useless cure.’

I ignored their remarks and spoke again to his wife.

‘I am only asking for one minute of your time. I am not asking for any money. What can you lose by letting me try?’

The wife reluctantly consented. I told the porters to lay the body on the ground. I could see that the affected ankle was black and swollen.

I drew a yantra near the wound and in less than a minute he was completely cured. Much to everyone’s amazement, he stood up and started laughing. The wife wanted to give a gold necklace from around her neck while her husband tried to force Rs 1,000 on me. I refused to accept anything. All the people in the group wanted to know where I was staying in case they too got bitten. Word spread and after a few days I was seeing ten to twelve people every day. The area was infested with snakes and scorpions, so I never lacked patients. After about a month, though, when the crowds became too much, I left quietly and went back to Hardwar.

Excerpt From Nothing Ever Happened Volume Two, pages 69-70
By David Godman