The Jivamala
The Life of a Persecuted Healer

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The Life Meagan Fierghan

This is the life of Meagan Fierghan, who was a healer and a victim of the Catholic Church's wrath. This life illustrates the kind of afterlife that results from a painful and unjust death. It also shows the importance of renunciation of past hatred and fear in order to be free of such passionate emotions.

However, it is difficult for an individual to give up these emotions when they are seemingly justified because of immoral actions expressed towards an innocent victim. This is where the Bhairava who is a karma specialist becomes important. He can take this burden away from his student by verifying that the evil doers have been punished. He may take it upon himself to activate the seeds of karma so that they come to fruition, and those responsible for unjust deeds experience the punishing results of their actions.

The visualization given by the Bhairava in Section Seven can be used by anyone who wishes to free him or herself of hatred and anger from the past.

Section One: The Soul That Screams in the Night
I am your healer self, who was burned alive for my trouble. I have lived in a half-sleep since that time, until I have been called forth. I have not taken a new body. I have hardened myself against pain.

I was born in a land of pestilence and plague, where cripples were common and pain was an accepted part of life. Torture of one's enemies was common, and complaining was scorned. Women who screamed during childbirth were considered to be self-indulgent, vain, and unwilling to accept the burden of Eve's guilt.

I grew up in a rocky area with hard people, bound to work and rejecting luxury as coming from the devil. There was no music, dance, painting, or sculpture, and no beauty outside the wasteland in which we lived. My family was large and self-righteous, valuing males as workers, and seeing females as liabilities. Book-knowledge was only for monks, who roamed into the villages as priests. They wore brown robes, with black cloaks. They told of God's wrath and punishment.

I found this belief harsh and cold, and I cared for animals as I grew up who were warm and soft. I sought warmth.

Section Two: I Grew Up Hard

I was lonely, and alone, crushed beneath the sheer weight of work and poverty. My love of animals was seen as wasteful and shameful - it was hard enough for humans to survive, why waste time on dumb brutes? But I watched them and saw how they cured themselves when there were hurt. I toiled at pulling weeds, gathering wheat and vegetables, raising sheep and goats, carding and spinning wool, gathering wood for fires, cooking, washing, and caring for sick family members. The last activity became my main job, and I liked it best, and I soon came to care for sick neighbors as well. I was neither fair nor ugly, but serious looking, and I dressed as simply, and as warmly as I could. I was not vain or flirtatious, as many girls were, and I worked hard for my family. Life was dull and grim, and there was little to enjoy.

But then a priest came to live in our village who was a healer. He had left his order, on a far rocky mountain, to see the lowlands, and work in the world. He could read, and he came with many books. His dress was different than our monks - he dressed all in black, and the center of his head was shaved. He was young and intelligent.

Section Three: I Found a Friend

He came one day while I was caring for a sick man, a farmer who had hurt his leg, which was green and blue at the gash. I was washing his leg with a special water made from mold that I found at night on rocks near the shore. He watched me wash out the wound, and moisten it with oil, and wrap it with clean rags. He came to bless the man, and tell him that God could heal those whom he loved, and he loved mankind. He told the man to pray, and he gave him some prayers to remember.

He walked out with me while we spoke of patients in the area, and their illnesses. I told him the histories of those families that I knew. He told me of his interest in healing, and how he left the monastery because he wanted to heal the world. He had had a dream where God told him to go out into the world as Jesus had, to be a disciple who walked in his footsteps. He said that in the monastary, people would pretend that they felt what people in the bible felt, but they did not follow what the bible told them to do. The bible did not say Christians should be locked in monasteries - Jesus said people should follow him, and heal in his name. I asked why people did enter monasteries, and he said it was out of ignorance, and fear of the world's problems. I said that people were entitled to be afraid and to hide - perhaps only the brave could follow in Jesus' footsteps. He smiled and we became friends.

He came from a wealthy family, and had money. I worked for him, and he paid me as an assistant at healing. My family grudgingly accepted this, as they wanted the money, and could do the household chores themselves. His family hoped that his entrance into a religious life would bring wealth, and that he would become a bishop, and have fur robes, and jewels in his rings. But he disappointed them - he did not rise in the church, but left it to pursue a poor and lonely career. They would not turn him out to starve, but their hopes were lodged with his brother, a prosperous merchant.

Sometimes he would travel to other countries to find out about a healing technique described by a sailor or a trader, but he always came back. I lived with my parents, brothers, sisters, and relatives, but spent my happiest hours with him. He taught me to read, and I read the bible (or most of it), his works of poetry and traveler's tales, and the histories of kings. I was happy until the strangers came, and with them accusation.

Section Four: They Came with Hatred

I was twenty-two when they came. They were dark and dour men, priests themselves, who came to find the work of the devil. We had heard from travelers that they came from village to village, killing people who worked for the devil. My friend Kieran said they were sent by powerful men in the church, to make sure that everybody stayed under the Church's control. He said that he might be in trouble with them, because he had left his monastery. But he said that if they should attack him, it was likely that his family's wealth would protect him.

They came to our village late one day, and went to the church, and to a priest who had come to visit from another town. They wanted to know about everybody in the village, took notes about them, writing in one of the large books that they carried. We saw them go from house to house, demanding information in the name of God, and the Church. People knew that they had people killed, and feared them.

I was walking to work for Kieran, when they stopped me on the road, and demanded to know what I was doing. I told them of my work, and of how Kieran and helped the community. They looked upon me with suspicion, but let me go.

When I came to Kieran, to work for him, he said that the men had been there, and that they would come again. They had accused him of witchcraft, of being an apostate for leaving the monastery, and of keeping me as a concubine, and fellow slave of Satan. He said that I must be willing to show my virginity to the town's women, and that I must say that I learned of healing only through the observation of nature, God's gift to mankind.

They came later in the day with ropes, and they bound us. They took us before the elders of the town and accused us of healing in Satan's name. People were afraid to disagree with them, and my family would not miss one more mouth to feed. They accused him of heresy, and sorcery, and they accused me of immorality, and being a wife of Satan. He stood up before them, and told them to contact his family, wealthy English nobles known to the king. He also said that I had never known him, or any man, and could be examined by any of the village's women. When they heard of the family, they grew pale, and looked at each other. But they would not admit they were wrong. They put us in separate prisons, one for men, and one for women. They had accused seven people of sorcery, and immoral acts with Satan. The other women looked at me fearfully. Two were beautiful and had rejected the attentions of town leaders in favor of younger men. One women was old, and poor, and babbled. We told each other of our innocence of these charges.

I was taken out after a few hours, and brought to the house of the headman's wife. There were two women with her. I was told to lay down on the floor, and they pulled off my clothing and poked at my private areas. They hurt me, and I cried out. They went into the next room, and I heard them talking with the men. One women was willing to say that I had known men, but the other would not lie, and said straight out that I was innocent of contact with men. The men grumbled loudly, and then I was taken back to the prison room.

We were all taken the next day to the town square. They said that because Kierian was a priest, he must be tried by a special church court, and that he would be taken with them when they left the town. But the rest of us, including the other men accused of worshiping Satan, would be tried that afternoon. All who had evidence must give it to them, or be damned.

Section Five: I am Accused

We were tied together, and stood in the town square. The dour men had their large books, and read us their accusations. The two pretty girls had been accused by the elders they had rejected who said that the girls concocted potions to sway the minds of the men in the community. When those men who loved them protested this, the elders said they only did this because they had been fed the potion in their meals. The elders said that they both had seen the girls in the woods in the deep of night, walking to meet Satan in the darkness. They accused the girls of fornication with Satan. The girls could not protest against such powerful men, and it was likely that they could not pass the test of virginity.

The old women had no idea what was going on, and just babbled to herself. The judges said that she was speaking to Satan - it was clear that she was not speaking to anybody present.

The men were accused only as associates and servants of Satan, but not his slaves. This meant that they had acted wrongly, but must have been deluded. Therefore, they were given a chance to donate money and land to the Church to pay off their crimes. They were wealthy men, but they did not have many friends in the community, and I do not think they knew that if the trial went on, their enemies would testify against them, even falsely. Both were willing to donate everything they owned to the church.

I came last, and was a difficult case for them. Women were always concubines of Satan, but I had never known a man, and the headman's wife was firm on this. Therefore, they accused me simply of sorcery, and of healing using powers from Satan. I told then that I healed only from watching animals cure themselves., and that I had never used Satan's name, or prayed to him. They called upon people who I had healed, and their families, but they were grateful for my help. They all said that I had never once mentioned Satan.

They were indecisive, but they looked again at Kierian, who was out of their reach. I knew that they wanted to punish him, a rebel monk, and they would punish me in his place. They said that Satan had clouded the minds of the witnesses, so that they could not hear me invoke him. Nobody but members of the Church had the right to question God's will or try to avert God's judgment of disease or death. Since as a healer I had done this, I was automatically guilty. We would all have our punishment the following day.

As we were taken away, back to the prison room, I heard the dour men tell the village of the importance of purification by fire. It wiped out Satan's power on earth, and brought his minions to their fiery fates. Fire was God's punishment, for his angels held swords of flame.

The next day we saw posts in the village square, and we were bound to them. They said that these were to be set afire. We had never heard of such a punishment - people were killed with swords or hanged with ropes, but not with fire. Perhaps people did this in foreign countries, but not here. Yet, here we were.

They told us to renounce Satan as they sat the posts alight. The pretty girls screamed their renunciation, but of course it was too late. The dour men really did not care if they believed in Satan or not. They wanted to have examples of the power of the church, and they wanted to please the elders. I suspect there was some agreement between the men and the elders, though I could not tell what it was.

I did not renounce Satan. It would have done no good, and besides, I had never encountered Satan. I vowed my hatred as flames caused searing, unspeakable, unbearable pain. I wish I had some of my own sleeping drinks, but I could not get to them. I swore to hate the Church forever, never to join or help them in any way, and never to heal again. Had the people I had healed spoken up more strongly, or offered payment to the church, I am sure that I would have lived. I had no sins of the body, and that was what concerned them most. Kierian could do nothing - the more he wanted me alive, the more determined they would be to kill me.

I did not scream, but concentrated all of my being on my hatred of these men, who knew that I was innocent, and killed me anyway. I prayed fiercely that their futures would be cursed, and I hope that they were. My will became like a flame, and I saw it pierce the hearts of my judges like a set of spears. Two fell backwards. I died in horrible pain, but I did not experience it for long, for I sought death. I knew people who clung to life for the sake of their families, but this was not for me. Kieran was gone. The world was gone. I sought oblivion.

But I did not get it. My soul shot out of my body like a comet, glowing with anger and hatred. I never had patience with injustice. I found myself in the darkness, an area of clouds, where I could neither see nor hear. This is the first time I have spoken in a very long time. I was killed unjustly, and imprisoned unjustly.

I do not know why I am here. It seems that, in some way, I am you, though I know I am not you. I do not know if you can get me out of this place, but if you can, I would be grateful. I am Meagan, late of Colwell. My parents were Jocasta and Calan Fierghan. Our town was in a rocky area, about twenty miles from the sea.

Please free me, if you can.

Section Six: Flaming Out

The flames stayed with me for a long time, flaming my mind. I was full of the outlines of the town flaming, fiery skies over the water. Great windy sheets of flame running over the rocks, fire in the eyes of my memories.

Then there was black darkness, without depth or sensation. I stayed there forever and a day. Then there was you. Then there was him.

Section Seven: The Bhairava Speaks with Meagan

I saw a great figure in the dark skies, dressed in battle armor from long ago. He wore gold bracelets around his arms, and held a mirrored shield and a spear. He asked me, "Do you wish to be free?" I answered, "Yes, Lord".

He said, "Then think of all of your anger and hatred, and make a great bonfire of them before me". I tried to do that and concentrate all of the hatred I had towards those evil men and towards the community that would not defend me, and I created a fire of dark red flame with great amounts of smoke and blood coming out of it, and the smell of burning flesh.

The warrior said:

"Leave this behind. I shall take care of revenge. It is no longer your responsibility - you are free of this burden. I will take you to another place, where you will have a happier life. You must leave anger and hatred behind."

I agreed to do this. I had no idea of how to take revenge anyway. It was not an area in which I had any skill. I would be glad to leave it to an expert and this warrior appeared to be an expert. I told him that I trusted him, and that these men had committed great wrong. He nodded silently.

Great winds came through the darkness. The black clouds around me were torn away, and I was in a great cage of fear and anger. The warrior cast his spear at it, and it fell into pieces. I was suddenly out under the night sky, with grey clouds dancing across a bright moon.

There were long ribbons of images, and each image seemed like a living thing. These images went on and on through the skies in all directions. The ribbons danced as well, and they bound me and pulled me through space. I walked across a great bridge of stars, and entered a garden where I fell asleep beneath a tree.

The warrior gave me a white robe, and a bag of golden coins. He said that my looks were different, and that I was now in a new land. I must live life as richly as I could.

Section Eight: I am Reborn

I awoke in a different kind of place. There was bright blue water, and the area was rich with trees. It was a thick forest very different from where I had lived. I still had a long white robe, and the gold. It seemed that this was pilgrim's dress, yet I could surely not be seeking shrines of the men who had killed me. My head was veiled so that only part of my face showed. I hid the gold inside.

Some men came out of the forest, and spoke with me, but I could not understand their language. They had a servant and he could speak many languages, including mine. I told him my story, and how I came to be there.

He said:

"Do not tell this story to anyone - they will think you are insane. I will tell my masters that your lands have been taken by invaders, and that you are on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and to the great sites of the Prophet. Are you a virgin? Then they will protect you for innocent women must always be protected. Say that you have vowed never to speak of your past."
I did not know what to do, so I listened to him. The men were courteous, and allowed me to travel with them. They too were on pilgrimage, and were impressed that a women would travel such dangerous roads. I did not know anything of Islamic religion, but the servant, Hasan, instructed me. He said that Mohammed was a great man, who had lived a few hundred years ago, and we were coming down to the land of his birth.

He taught me the language, and at first, I learned only the words for food and drink. One companion was named Israfel and the other Jellamine. I told them I did not wish to give my name. They accepted that, and named me Amina.

I thought that much of the religion sounded reasonable. There were no priests or churches, no monks cloistered in rocky fortresses, and no single leader of the religion who told people what to do. Each person obeyed God and prayed on his own without a church. It was not important to swallow God's body to make him come into your foul and sinful body. All people were equal before God, and nobody could condemn another person without evidence. The devil was only a disobedient spirit, without real power.

This was an enormous distance to cover. We travelled by foot, and by boat, and later by mule. My guides supported me in my travels. It was a great and strange miracle to have ended up in such a place. I had never left home before and I got to see many amazing things.

Section Nine : I am Made Whole

We travelled for many months. I did not seem to be a different person, though I was smaller and less muscular, and my features were different. I had large dark eyes. I rarely saw myself, except in the rivers at evening, so I could not describe myself well.

We came to accept each other as we travelled. I was taken as a sister, to be protected and helped on the way. They never asked about my past, except to know that I was a virgin, and not from an enemy group. I remembered something of healing - when Jellamine came down with a fever, I nursed and bathed him with cool water every two hours. I found plants that would let him sleep, and stop the pain at the bazaar in the next town we reached. I changed his dirty linens. When he found what I had done, he asked if I were willing to be legally adopted as his daughter. I was willing. He was a good man, and would protect me as others had not.

I learned much of their religion, and others as we travelled. My healing techniques were based on knowledge of herbs and temperatures. Their's were based on words, and small religious objects. Jellamine told others that I had saved his life, and that might have been true, but I had sworn not to be a healer again. Family is one thing, but profession is another. Hasan the servant told me that they thought me an orphan that was cast out by a heartless family that I was too kind to condemn. I thought this was a good story. Girls married early here, and I seemed to be in my late teens. However fathers could dedicate their daughters to learning, as teachers of young girls, and they assumed that I must have been taught my knowledge of healing. I told them that I could read in my own language, and they were impressed.

We continued to the Holy Land, a place of rock and desert. Its harshness reminded me of my home. One night in my dreams, I saw the warrior standing bright in his armor. He said:

"Do not fear. Now do all that you could not do in the past. Your tormenters have received their punishment."
I awoke shaking, but glad to know this. We walked to the sacred sites, and I followed the actions of my friends. As they did, I did. We changed our clothes, and took special vows. There were many other people on the pilgrimage, and many had requests for God. I too had a request: Let me find a place in life. Let me know what is true, let me not be harmed, let me be happy.

At the Holy City, my friends met men known to them. Only one of the men was interested in me, and I was introduced as Jellamine's adopted daughter. This interested him even more, and the men went out and talked into the night. I always slept in a tent with the men, behind a clothe screen.

In the morning, Jellamine said his friend had seen me in a dream several weeks before, as the proper wife for his son. He was older, and had travelled much, and my age would not be a problem. Was I interested in such a marriage? If so, it could be arranged, and a women could be found to examine me.

I was not interested in being married. I told them that I wished to serve God, and to learn about him, and to follow his will in my life. Jellamine returned to speak with the man, and later they came back to us with two other men. One had a long white beard, and bright eyes - he was a wandering sage, who danced and sang to God. He was also a teacher of the second man, who had dark skin and hair, and a sense of power and grace, like a horse or a stag. He was the son that Jellamine wanted me to marry. His name was Illudin.

The old man said, "So you do not want to marry, but you want to learn about God and do his will? What do you think marriage is? This is God's decree for women in the world. It is what God wants you to do."

I said, "God has given me a mind to learn, and a heart to care for others. I do not want to be shut away from the world. I want to act in it, to learn about it, and to learn about God and his gardens. Women are like servants for too many people. I have my own knowledge, and my own gold. I prefer to stay a virgin. A married woman is like a camel."

The younger man smiled. He said:

"I have no desire to marry a camel. My father saw you in a dream as my fated wife, and I trust him. God would not let the devil fool him. You are meant to be my wife."

"I am willing to have you continue your education. I know that you come from far away, and am willing to learn of your people. My teacher is a wanderer, and I go on frequent pilgrimage. You would not be trapped in the house. You could come with me."

"I know you would be a faithful wife. I have heard from your fellow travelers that you have never been seen to look upon a man with lust, and that you have been modest, and acted suitably. You are wise and have experience of other countries. I am willing to bargain with you, and to make a contract that would be suitable to us both."

I thought about this. I could not travel with these men forever, and I know of no other place to go. I told him that I must think it over. I also wanted to know his history.

He said:

"I am Illudin, son of Kaladin. I do trading, and am a scribe, and I do accounting for many businesses. I have never been married before, though I have had hand-maidens, and I do not intend to take another wife. Your sons will inherit my wealth, and half of the wealth of my father. I own land, have many animals, and fruit trees. If you choose, you can have servants."
I said:
"My concern is with learning."
He said:
"I have many teachers, and we sometime have different ones stay with us. I too am interested in learning, and I will not treat you as an ignorant person."

I went off to contemplate this, and told him I would speak with him tomorrow. Hasan followed me and said:

"I think God wants you to marry him. Dreams are important, and the dream came to his father which proves that it is not just human lust. I have never heard anyone speak ill of him, and he is healthy and strong. I have spoken with his family servants, and what he has told you is true. Also, he offers you great freedom."

I also spoke with him and his father, and told them something of the story you told me when we met. His servants and family were honest. I too must be honest. We could not send a women into their family dishonestly, so that later they could claim you were insane, and go to war with our family. His father was hesitant, but Illudin said:

"This is God's will. Perhaps the jinns took her from her past home. The ways of God are mysterious, but he has brought her here. I accept her."
His father said:
"Her past is gone. She is Jellaudin's daughter."

I went off to think, and the fact that they were willing to accept my past, strange as it was to them, was important to me. Perhaps all of this was God's plan - for how else could I meet my true husband on that poor and rocky coast? He is handsome, and noble, and strong. He is educated and spiritual. He will give me freedom.

I will be a good wife to him.

Section Ten: I am Bound and Free

I know little of this world, but I know that I have some choices. I came here mysteriously, and I have travelled mysteriously, but the Lord Warrior tells me that my tormenters have been punished. Who knows how many they have killed? By now it must be that years have gone by, and surely some man has responded with anger to the death of his wife and daughter. I wonder what has become of Kerian, my friend and teacher, who was taken away with the men. Did they force him back into the church? Did they burn him as they burned me? I wish that there was some way to know his fate - perhaps his family's money saved him in the end. I wish he could have saved me.

But then, I would not have a chance at marriage here. I would have lived in work, and cold, and poverty, hated by my family, and tolerated by those I healed. There was no happiness for me there.

Here my life is strange, but there is great potential. I have learned a strange language, learned to wear long robes with brightly-colored sashes, learned to cook strange animals with spices that are hot and strangely shaped.

I do not believe that I suffered on the rocky coast as a mere introduction to my life here. I think that the warrior, and perhaps yourself, came to my rescue to help me in my time of distress. Fot that, you both have my thanks. I think I was freed from darkness in order to learn, and I will do that.

I am bound by my choice of marriage, but I am free in my choice of learning. For these people, marriage is a choice of life and death. I have known adultresses punished and exiled, but here they are killed and by their own families. However, men have never attracted me in that way. So I think I will be free of suspicion. I have never greatly trusted men, though I think that these men are trustworthy - at least as far as their religion goes. They have the right to kill me, if they wished to.

In this life, I am bound and free, and I will try to help others. I will not be a healer. I would be a servant first. You came to help me because I was in trouble, and I thank you. With this marriage, I hope that my troubles are at an end.

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