There was a villager who declared that he had tremendous occult power, and many people believed him. If you say you are an occultist, some will believe it and some will not believe it. If you say you are a doctor, some will believe it and some will not believe it. Then, if your powers do not work or if your medicine does not work, you are in trouble.
Some villagers had tremendous admiration for the so-called occultist, while others did not believe him. Many people hated him. When he went to the market, everybody used to give him anything that he wanted for free. Some people gave him things out of fear that something would happen, because they believed he was a great occultist, while others used to give him everything free out of admiration.
One day the occultist went to a shop to get something. This particular shop owner hated the occultist. He was not afraid of him, and at the same time he did not believe in his occult power. The occultist grabbed something, and the shop owner said, “You have to pay.”
The occultist said, “No, I do not pay anybody. Do you not know who I am? I am the greatest occultist.”
The man said, “I do not believe you.”
“You do not believe me? All right, tonight you will see what happens inside your stomach. Tonight, I am telling you! Give me what I want!”
The shop owner said, “Nothing will happen. I will not give you anything!” Then the occultist went away.
When the shopkeeper went home, he told his wife and children what had happened. He was laughing. He said, “I tell you, I will be able to prove that he is a rogue. He does not have any occult power.”
Unfortunately, the wife and children got frightened. They said, “Something will happen, something will happen!” The shopkeeper himself did not believe it, but the fear of his wife, his children and also some neighbours entered into him. Then the poor fellow started getting a severe pain in his stomach. Look what imaginary fear can do! He started vomiting, and he was suffering and suffering. The pain was only increasing hour by hour, even minute by minute.
His dear ones, friends and neighbours came to his side, and they were so furious. They said, “How could the occultist punish him like this?”
Then they all went to the great occultist. They said, “You are so bad! Just because he did not believe you, why did you punish him?”
The occultist said, “I told him that if he did not give me what I wanted, something bad would happen. Why did he not listen?”
The relatives, friends and neighbours got so furious that they were about to strike the so-called occultist and beat him up. Then the occultist cried out, “I do not have occult power, I do not have occult power!”
They asked, “Then how did it happen? If you do not have occult power, why is he suffering?”
The man said, “Believe me, believe me, I do not have occult power! I was telling lies all along. Some people believed me and some hated me, but I am telling you that I do not have occult power.”
They said, “Then why is our friend suffering?”
The man said, “I am praying to God to cure him. I am praying to God!”
They said, “You do not have to pray to God. We are doing it.” Then they thrashed him and threw him out of the village. Once he was out of the village, all the pain of the poor fellow who was suffering disappeared.
Look what fear can do! The man had no occult power. His claims were all false, but fear is like that. There is an Indian story in which the father tells his son, “Tigers kill people.” A few hours later the older brother hangs a picture of a tiger on the wall. The little child asks, “What is it?” When the older brother tells him it is a tiger, the child gets frightened and faints just because he has heard that tigers kill people.
If an occultist tells you something and you do not believe it, then you are in trouble. Again, if you do believe it, you are also in trouble. The man did not believe in the occultist, but his wife and children got frightened. They said, “Something will happen!” All their fear entered into his stomach, and then he suffered like anything. The best thing is only to pray to God, and never to deal with occultists. Never go near occultists! Either out of fear or out of something else, you will be in serious trouble.