Fakir/Chapter Five: Appearance of Fakir
Appearance of Fakir
Time went on; Katya was 14 years old.
The spectators were no longer touched by the girl, who was hovering under the dome of the circus. All the complications of the number that Mr. Franz invented were not noticeable to the public. How many turns in the air were made, how difficult were the jumps in the performance … — spectators were not surprised by the skill of aerial acrobats!
Katya also worried that the previous ovations and cries of ecstasy had now been replaced by not too stormy applause and boredom among many of the public.
Mr. Lurie himself was indignant at the fact that everything in the number was now “old as the world”. He threatened to drive Mr. Franz out of the circus if he will not make a new number.
And then Franz came up with a “death number”: the net-trampoline is removed, the safety cord is uncoupled in front of everyone. And Katya must jump from under the very dome, every time seriously risking her life…
Tom offered to make a spare lodge, invisible to the public. But Franz did not even listen:
“To deceive the public is not good! You can play a fool and deceive fools, but I’m doing a real job!”
… Before the first performance, Tom admonished Katya:
“Do not uncouple the lodge! Number, after all, is very ‘raw’!… Spit on this audience, on this Franz, on the director!”
“No! When everyone shrinks from fear for me, and I jump — it will be so great! I must succeed!”
“Your head is turned by applause, desire for glory, triumph! Why risk your life so much? It’s just a manifestation of pride!”
“This is my skill!” — Katya pouted.
Then she embraced and kissed Tom:
“Everything will be fine!”
… Recently, Katya had become stubborn: she argued with Tom, insisting on her way even when she was clearly not right.
Tom accounted for all this as her “transitional age”. The girl is growing up! She does not like too much care. She wants freedom, admiration from others, fans…
* * *
Tom every time worried for Katya so much that in a few months of performances with her jump from under the dome, he had gray hair on his head.
He had an inner feeling that everything was going wrong… He was trying to figure out a way to change this.
He even spoke with the director, Mr. Lurie, so that he would give the order to ban this number.
But the conversation turned out to be fruitless:
“Mr. Lurie, I ask you: let’s cancel this number! Give me two weeks — and I will make for Katya no less spectacular number but without such a senseless risk!
This jump is conceived for execution incorrectly: the danger is too great, and it is very easy to make a mistake! And, no matter how hard to train, this risk will not be decreased! Yes, I understand: we all live under God and the days of our lives are numbered… But here — Katya tempts fate every time! You cannot do it this way!”
“Leave it, Tom! All is well! Katya herself agrees to this number. If she was afraid or did not want to…
And so, what you say is just ridiculous! Many circuses work without insurance — and there is nothing to worry about!”
Tom tried again:
“Yes, there is always a risk, even a biscuit can choke — and a person dies!” — Tom showed on the table where Mr. Lurie stood a vase with a biscuit and a cup of tea, and continued: — “But there is a risk senseless and unreasonable! Why do you need this horror in the hall before the jump, cries of nervous young ladies?! Moreover, in this number, there is almost no beauty! And the technique is very doubtful!”
“That’s enough, Tom! Do not object! Crowds stand in line for tickets for the sake of this number with a deadly leap! I do not intend to cancel anything! Conversation is over!”
Tom had realized that he was powerless to influence the situation.
… Everything was fine one, second, third, even fiftieth time… And then the terrible had happened…
Tom saw everything, standing behind the scenes.
Katya only hesitated for a split second… Flight in the air, coups… But the trapeze just slipped over the tips of her fingers…
If not Franz, but he, Tom, had pushed the trapeze, he would have caught this fraction of a second and accelerated the movement… But Franz… did not notice… And that had become fatal…
… In the arena — Katya’s flattened body, screams of spectators, panic… The entertainer calms the audience. Madame Matilda appears with dogs and monkeys…
… Katya was carried on arms to her room.
She’s still alive…
The agonizing expectation of a doctor…
His words sounded like a verdict:
“I’m powerless in this case… If she will not die in the next few days, she will remain a cripple, she will not even walk… So, perhaps, to die is the best way for a girl. I’m not a magician…”
… Tom followed the doctor:
“I have savings, I saved for my old age, I will give everything! Let’s take her to the hospital! Maybe it’s possible to do something!”
“You can pray if you believe in God. She could not even be brought alive to the hospital…”
… Tom looked desperately after the departing crew…
Snow fell on his red-haired wig, tears came from his eyes in despair and impossibility to help…
He did not even know what to ask from God: about a quick and painless death for Katya — or for her to survive?
At that moment the stranger touched his shoulder:
“Perhaps, I can help you?”
He was a tall Indian in the European dress of a rich man and in a snow-white turban. He introduced himself:
Tom heard this name.
In the circus world there are famous magicians who show old tricks, wrapping them in a new entourage. But there are also those who, under the mask of tricks, do what the experts in this matter cannot explain in any way.
There were legends about the fakir Ra-Mak-Mey, newspapers published articles about his miracles, or, on the contrary, there were the attempts to “expose” his tricks. But these attempts to “expose deception”, however, did not reveal the secrets of the magic of the fakir.
Tom also knew that their director sent to Mr. Ra-Mak-Mey a letter with a proposal to perform in his circus.
Fakir… His dark brown eyes were special. They — as if were opening a passage to other worlds…
Tom… suddenly has believed in the impossible, in a miracle…
“Katya fell from under the dome…,” — began to explain Tom inconsistently.
“Let’s go: we can help her in time!”
* * *
Katya was in coma. Life almost left her body.
The fakir told Tom not to enter and closed the door to the room, where he remained next to the girl’s body.
It took about half an hour.
Tom prayed without words. He invested all the forces of the soul in a request to God to save Katya, restore her health! He asked God to forgive him for having very seldom remembered Him all his life, he said that he was ready for any sacrifices, he was ready to give any promises and keep them, he was ready to give his life… Only let her live, let her recover!
When the door was opened, Tom thought that a wave of unusual warmth splashed out of the room, then — like ocean waters poured through that open door!
… He had recalled how several times in his childhood he felt what he himself called the Presence of God. In those years, as a child, he did not see the Divine Light, did not hear His words, but knew for sure: God is near! This was accompanied by a feeling of the great joy, tenderness, happiness! And then — all this… was forgotten behind the bustle and sorrows of an uneasy life…
Now he was covered with a wave of a state a thousand times stronger!
Then the wave subsided.
Katya breathed evenly and seemed to just be asleep, as if nothing had happened…
“She will now live in this body for a long time. The body is already healthy, but we will not wake her up for a while, so as not to embarrass others around with healing by the Will of the Higher Powers.”
“Do you know how to work miracles?”
“But it’s just the possession of knowledge that can be used to restore the matter of the body…
“Let’s go to have dinner and talk.”
They settled down in a quiet corner of a half-empty hall in a small restaurant next to the circus. Ra-Mak-Mey ordered them vegetarian food, juice, and water.
The dinner passed in silence, the conversation started after.
Ra-Mak-Mey peered into the space around Tom’s body and inside it for a long time, as if he saw right through the body and soul. Then he said:
“In fact, everything happens in accordance with the Divine Plan.
“As for the healing, there are different levels from which man can influence what surrounds him or her.
“Man is not only a body!
“And the human body, if to consider carefully, is not only bones, muscles, internal organs…
“However, all this consists of the smallest particles that are located in a certain way and move, interact according to the certain laws. There are — how would I say it? — ‘rules’, obeying to which — any material body is formed and manifested in this world.
“And there are invisible to the usual eye, as if nested within each other, layers within every body.
“And still there is a soul — a living immortal entity that must control this body.
“Both bodies and souls live according to the laws, created by God.
“And if you understood how it is possible to control processes in bodies — from the spiritual world, then it would not be surprising that one can restore any damage in the own body. This can be done by one in relation to one’s own body, but there are exceptional cases when one can help another in healing.
“You would be surprised that healing the body is much easier than healing the soul!
“Katya’s situation is a kind of advance for her, a chance to correct some of her own mistakes. And — what is most important — the opportunity to learn a lot and help other people.
“If we cannot explain it to her, then this tragic situation is likely to be repeated again — one way or another.”
Before Tom’s inner gaze, the images of the fall came, fear squeezed like a vise…
Fakir stopped the growth of this emotion in simple words, but it was clear that he seemed to read like in an open book everything that was happening in Tom’s thoughts and emotions.
“Fear is one of the most destructive emotions! Do not give in to it! You yourself taught this to Katya! To a person, fear can be useful only as a security deterrent from those processes and events to which the soul is not yet ready.
“I would not be able to heal Katya, prolonging the life of the soul in this body, if God did not point out the possibility of a very favorable further course of events, useful not only for Katya herself, but also for many other people.
“If Katya did not have the possibility of a complete spiritual transformation, then her further life in the material world would not make any sense!
“I’m telling you this because you, Tom, played an important part in the fate of Katya.
“By the way, you prayed and spoke of your readiness to carry out any errands from God!”
“Yes: I prayed and asked, I am ready!”
… Suddenly unpleasant thoughts slipped through Tom’s mind: what if the Hindu heals with not the Divine Force at all…
“Doubts destroy faith!” — Ra-Mak-Mey said and fell silent…
Tom thought: “God, direct me so that I serve You, but not some powerful but dark forces! Only to You, I gave promises! And thank You for saving Katya!”
Ra-Mak-Mey, as if listening to Tom’s thoughts and appreciating his resolve, continued:
“Jesus often said to the healed: ‘Your faith has saved you!’”
“Are you Christian?”
“Formally, no, but it does not matter. Do you think that Jesus Himself was a Christian — in the modern sense of the word?
“Most likely, if Jesus had come now to the Earth and started talking to people about God, heal — then all the ministers of all Christian churches would have declared Him to be a false prophet or even antichrist, just as the worshipers did in that old time.
“In fact, everything is so simple: THERE IS GOD! This is the basis and essence of faith!
“He is over all religious traditions and beliefs of mankind! He is the One for all people!
“He is the Creator of the entire universe!…
“However, and in India, most people only worship ‘god’ Ganesha or other fairy ‘gods’. They perform all sorts of rituals or do Hatha Yoga’s exercises. And they are sure that this is enough…
“You asked about my faith. I am not a slave of any religious doctrine.
“I will say another thing: almost all people worship God or ‘gods’, but only very few personally know Him Whom they worship!
“But Jesus knew the One Whom He called Heavenly Father.
“I, too, know the Divine. It is for me — the Reality.
“It is ONE! Although He is composed of Multitude.”
“Are you the Messenger of God?”
“I’m just man who has learned to look a little past the curtain of the ‘illusory world’ — into the Divine world and has studied some rules and laws by which the Divine Primordial Consciousness controls His Creation. I do not know everything, and I continue to study.
“And the one, who studies, inevitably wants to share the acquired knowledge and experience — with other people who might need it.”
… Tom and the fakir talked a lot this day and the next days. They became very close, because Tom had found someone who could answer questions about life and death, the purpose of everything that exists in the universe. These were the questions that long haunted the soul.
… Ra-Mak-Mey signed the contract with Mr. Lurie and stayed in the circus, preparing to show his number.
Tom invented a shortcut to the long eastern name of the fakir — and everyone in the circus began to call him simply Mr. Ram.