Chapter 3: Chyavana’s Charity

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Maya and Hari struggled to keep up with Aniruddha as he walked ahead though he seemed to be walking at an even pace. Hari ventured his first words since he had arrived but couldn’t seem to be able to work his mouth open.

Aniruddha commented without turning back –

“We are now going to meet Rishi Chyavana who has what you want. You will need to earn his charity though.”

” Charity, my lord?”

“Yes, the Chyawanprash in its pure form is rarer than the Amrit, that you and your Guruji guards. Chyavana will not part with it easily.”

Maya blurted – “But I need it to heal my mother!” before composing herself and exclaiming – “My lord, my mother’s memory is gone and she lies in a waking coma. Guruji told me this Chyawanprash is the only cure for whatever is ailing her.”

” I know, dear child. But I doubt it will be as simple as asking him to give it to you. But here we are at his hermitage. You can ask him yourself.”

Both Hari and Maya were surprised to find themselves at the entrance of a small hermitage. How had they gotten here so quickly?

The sage opened his eyes and smiled before beckoning to them.

“Welcome. I am aware of your journey here and the reasons for it. I serve the Lord’s purpose as you do. I will give you the Chyawanprash but you will need to give me something in return.”

Hari had finally worked his jaws open.

“What would that be, Maharishi?”

“Zeus’s lightning bolt and Thor’s hammer.”

Maya stiffened.

“Aren’t they mere myths? How and where are we supposed to find them?”

The sage smiled again before answering:

“Is the Lord here a myth then? Given sufficient passage of time, all events and all personalities fade into myth and folklore.”

Hari interjected : “But, but, we thought our lord is here and all the stories we heard were real. How can he be both him and Zeus and Thor?”

“The Lord is himself and Zeus and Thor all at once. And scores of other deities around the world. He manifests in the form he is worshipped in.”

“Can’t he then, give you these items?” Maya wondered.

It was Aniruddha who now responded: “No, that is your destiny. That is what you are here for.”

Hari gently enquired of the rishi – “Maharishi, can you let us know the reason as to why you need it? That knowledge may be useful in this quest.”

The rishi replied: “What is known as Zeus’s bolt and Thor’s hammer are but split versions of Indra’s Vajra. Dadichi’s** sacrifice that gave us the Vajra should not be in vain. We need this for the Lord’s use in the war.”

Maya and Hari exchanged stunned looks.

“How do we get this? Which time period should we travel to?”

Aniruddha said: “We cannot tell you that. But what I can give you is a clue. Go to your historical year 1910. You need to find a cook in the New York who will guide you to Thor.”

“How do we find him?”

“Look in the news archives.”

Maya and Hari doubtfully glanced at each other before disappearing in a flash of light.

Author’s note: This is the third chapter of the novella “The God, The Girl and The Gem” I am publishing as a part of Blogchatter#AtoZChallenge.

Fun Facts:

(1) ** To read more about Dadichi’s sacrifice, click here.

(2) Chyawanprash as sold in the Indian alternative medicines shop today is very different (obviously!) from the one held by Chyavana.

(3) Spoiler: Yes, you are going to meet Zeus, Thor and a certain “not to be named yet” scientific celebrity in the coming days.

(4) You can read the sample chapters of my earlier published work for more exploits of Maya and Hari here.

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