STAR IS BORN
Star is Born
The sun was slowly fading away, and darkness was settling in, when Aditya arrived from working in the fields all day. The children were playing outside, and Maya, who was eight months pregnant, was resting in bed.
When he approached Maya, he noticed that she was sweating profusely and moaning. “Thank God you are here. It seems the baby wants to come out early. Go fetch the midwife. Please, hurry,” she murmured.
Without uttering a word, he placed his tools down and ran out the door.
Although this was her third pregnancy, there was something different about this one. Things were happening quickly. The unborn child was in a rush to come into the world.
When Aditya arrived with the midwife, Maya had already given birth to a baby girl. They were amazed at what they saw. A glowing white light was encircling the baby. Furthermore, the baby's eyes were wide open, and she was smiling as if greeting them.
Undoubtedly, she was a beautiful child. Her skin was a rich burnt sienna color; her eyes were large and ivory black with a penetrating look to them; her hair was silky jet black.
Word began to spread immediately around the village. Everyone was eager to catch a glimpse of the baby with the glowing white light.
The villagers began to gather around the humble house. One by one, they approached the baby. Each one noticed that the light was emanating from the baby’s heart chakra. Realizing that the baby was no ordinary child, the people began to pray.
In the midst of all the excitement, a visitor appeared. No one had ever seen him before. Everyone remained silent as he began to speak.
“This child is the product of millions of prayers. She is a gift from God. He has heeded the cries of His children and has sent a star to light the way and cleanse the souls of all those who are suffering. After today, the memory of this day will be expunged from your minds. Although you will not recall anything, your souls will know that God has blessed you all. Go back to your homes and praise the Lord for He has not forgotten you,” revealed the visitor.
When the man vanished, the crowd began to disperse. As they walked home, the sound of prayer and song praising God was heard.
The next day, everything was back to normal. No one remembered the visitor or the occurrences of the day before. The light encircling the baby was no longer visible.
Tara, the name her parents had given her, was born into a family that was poverty-stricken. Tara, along with her two siblings and parents, lived in a one-room shack that had no electricity or running water.
Although their living conditions were deplorable, the family never lacked love for God or each other. When things went from bleak to bleaker, the family always maintained a good disposition. Their household was rich in love and hope.
As a young child, Tara was detached from the other children her age. When children were playing make believe, she was in the middle of the field meditating.
The first time Tara went into the field, she was approximately five years old. For hours, her parents desperately searched for her. When they finally found her, her mother became frantic. “How dare you wander off without telling anyone. We have been looking for you for hours. I thought something bad had happened to you,” her mother exclaimed.
With a smile on her face, Tara got up, walked over to her mother, hugged her thigh and said, “Why were you frightened? I was with God, and He will always protect me.”
Immediately, her mother felt a bolt of calmness shoot down her body. With tears rolling down her cheeks, she hugged and kissed Tara.
The words of Tara brought tears to Aditya's eyes. He hugged his wife and Tara and walked away.
Whenever Tara disappeared, they knew exactly where to find her. She would be in the middle of the field in a state of spiritual ecstasy.
Down the road lived a family of much better means than Tara’s family. Aala, the wife, was calling her oldest son, Akeem, to go get Bandu, the village’s herbalist. Her husband, Aamir, had been feeling sick for two weeks, and was not getting better.
Bandhu arrived and went to work immediately. After checking Aamir’s tongue, eyes and pulse, he began jotting down some notes. He prescribed several herbs to be given three times a day. After instructing the family on the cooking procedure, he said he would return by the end of the week.
Faithfully, the family administered the herbs as directed by Bandu. By the end of the week, there was no visible improvement. His condition continued to deteriorate.
When Bandu arrived, he noticed that Aamir’s physical appearance had deteriorated. He asked the family if they had been following his orders correctly. When he was told that everything was done according to his directions, he shook his head as in disbelief. It was his belief that Aamir was suffering from a stomach virus, and the prescribed herbs should have addressed the problem.
Once again, Bandu prescribed a stronger batch of herbs, and said he would return in a few days. When Bandhu arrived, he was baffled by Aamir’s physical state. No improvement was visible. He was losing weight rapidly and could no longer sit or talk. Bandu recommended that the family consult a medical doctor.
Since the village did not have a doctor, Akeem traveled to the next village. The doctor agreed to visit his father. When the doctor arrived, Aamir appeared to be in a semi conscious state. He was extremely fragile and emaciated. The doctor examined Aamir, took some blood and wrote a prescription. He believed that he had a stomach ailment that was complicated by his lack of nourishment. He said he would be back by the end of the week.
Once again, Akeem headed to the next village to attain the prescribed medication. For the entire week, the medication was given as directed by the doctor. However, the situation remained the same.
The blood test results revealed a rare blood disease. Although the doctor wanted to do more tests, his resources were limited.
As soon as the doctor arrived, he informed the family of the test results. Moreover, he explained that there was nothing more that he could do. He felt that Aamir’s body was shutting down slowly. He advised them to prepare for the worst.
The family was distraught by the news. The next day, they decided to make the necessary funeral arrangements. Death was inevitable.
Two days later, the family had gathered to pray while Aamir was dying in the adjacent room. Suddenly, they heard voices coming from his room. They looked at each other and simultaneously said, “What was that?” They got up quickly and rush to Aamir’s room. When they walked in, they saw Tara and Aamir talking and laughing. Aamir got up suddenly and said, “Can I get something to eat? I am starving."
The family could not believe what they were seeing and hearing. Aamir, who was on his deathbed, was now talking, laughing and standing. He even wanted something to eat. They rushed to his side and began hugging and kissing him. They were so excited that no one noticed that Tara had disappeared.
With much joy in her voice, Aala turned around and said, “Tara, how did you get here? Tara, where are you? Where is Tara?” They looked around the house and could not find her. She had vanished.
They all rushed to Tara’s house to see if she had gone home.
Maya heard a knock on the door. She and Aditya got up and opened the door. It was the family from down the road. “Yes, how can we help you?” Aditya said.
“Forgive us for this late hour visit, but we want to know if Tara is here. She was at our house and disappeared suddenly," Aala said.
“Tara, at your house? You are mistaken. Tara has been sleeping for hours. Come in and see for yourself,” Maya said.
When they approached Tara, she was sound asleep.
“This cannot be. We all saw her talking and laughing with our father,” replied Akeem.
Then, Aamir spoke, “Maya was in my room. She told me that God wanted me to get up from bed for it was not my time to go. She also said that there was much for me to do in this world. Then, she held my hands. Suddenly, I was sitting up, talking and laughing. How can this be?”
With tears in his eyes, Aamir kneeled next to Tara and prayed. In minutes, the two families had joined together to pray.
The next day, a goat and a large basket with fruits, vegetables and rice were left in front of Tara’s house.
Tara had become well known for her spiritual and miraculous acts. Her spiritual gifts grew stronger each day. She possessed the ability to be at several places at one time.
During meditation, she would leave her body and visit distant villages. People would see her in the flesh preaching and healing the sick.
Although Tara had attained very little educational schooling, men of high scientific and religious studies were stunned by the spiritual knowledge she possessed. Tara easily explained complex spiritual questions that perplexed the minds of the most respected scholars. It was said that the knowledge she possessed came directly from God.
News of Tara’s spiritual abilities began to spread rapidly. People from distant lands began arriving at her village in search of physical, emotional and spiritual healing. The relatively small village was over swarmed with outsiders.
In order to maintain the stability of their village, the villagers build a substantial size hut on the outskirts of the village. There, Tara attended to the needs of the multitude that arrived each day.
Meanwhile, in a camp, many miles away, a terrorist group was in training. One of their missions was to recruit and train young men from the surrounding villages to become terrorists.
As they began infiltrating the surrounding villages, they noticed that their religious tactics were not working. The villagers' demeanor was not what they expected. They were touched by Tara’s loving heart. Their minds could not be corrupted. They believed it was their duty to help and love their fellowman, instead of harming them. One man, they encountered, spoke of forgiving his enemies. The unknown force that guided Tara had cleansed their souls of all hate.
They soon discovered the name of their adversary. Her name was Tara, and they needed to stop her.
When the men went back to the campsite and informed their commander of what had transpired, he ordered his men to abduct the woman and bring her to him.
He had a mission to fulfill, and no one was going to interfere with his plans. If necessary, he would put an end to Tara’s life.
Maya got up to open the door. It was a man inquiring about the whereabouts of Tara.
“Excuse me," said the stranger," does Tara live here? I wish to see her. My mother is gravely ill, and I was told that Tara possesses healing power.”
“Tara is not here. She is meditating. If you walk straight ahead, you will see a hut. She sees people there. Take your mother there. She will be there in an hour or two,” Maya said amicably.
The man thanked her and walked away.
For two days, the man followed Tara learning her daily routine. By six o’clock in the morning, she was on her way to the fields. She remained there isolated and in deep meditation for several hours. It was the perfect opportunity to abduct her.
The next day, Tara headed to the fields to meditate. On the way, a stranger approached her.
“Hello, are you lost?” she asked politely. The man smiled and replied, “I am not lost. This is where I need to be.” Grabbing her arm, he pulled her towards him. By now, another man appeared in a car. He threw her inside the car and drove away. Tara did not struggle or cry for help. It was as if she knew what was about to happen.
When they arrived at the campsite, several men had gathered around. Suddenly, the commander appeared and greeted Tara. “So, you are the one who has been preaching a lot of nonsense.”
“Tie her to the tree and leave her there for now,” he ordered one of his men.
For two days, Tara remained tied to a tree without food or water. Never once did she complain.
A hearing had been arranged to determine her fate. She was brought to the main tent. Everyone from the campsite was there.
The commander commenced the hearing. “You will be given a chance to repent and retract your teachings. Only a witch can do the things you do. We have reached the conclusion that you are a witch who uses sorcery to twist and corrupt the minds of the people. Confess your sins.”
Tara spoke without any hesitation. “How can my teachings of love or the healing of the sick be the work of sorcery? How can you sit there and claim to be doing God’s work when you are destroying everything he has created? Right this minute, God is here. He is not here to praise you for your work. He is here to witness your madness. A powerful evil force is manipulating your thoughts and actions. You are not the cure. You are the disease. Your immense hate for humanity has blocked God from entering your heart.”
"You have talked enough. Since, you will not confess to anything, I sentence you to die by fire as soon as possible," the commander exclaimed.
After hearing the death penalty, the men began yelling fiercely and continuously, “Burn the witch.”
All the preparations for Tara’s execution were in progress. When the arrangements were completed, she was tied to a wooden pole located in the center of the campsite. With a mocking smile, the commander lit the area where Tara stood.
Tara graciously smiled and closed her eyes. In a matter of seconds, the fire was in full force. As the fire was consuming Tara's delicate body and the air was filled with the stench of burnt flesh, laughter and harsh words filled the air. "Burn witch, burn” the men chanted.
Then, something extraordinary and unexpected happened. From the intense burning fire, a brilliant light in the form of a woman emerged. It was Tara’s spirit. It had stepped out of the body.
Immediately, the commander stepped forward in disbelief.
"You cannot kill that which does not exist,” Tara said.
Infuriated by the words, the commander pulled out his machete, which was on the side of his belt, and lunged towards Tara’s spirit. “You will definitely die. Death to the witch!” he exclaimed.
Suddenly, the commander became motionless and began to evaporate slowly to a thin film of dust.
After witnessing the dissolution of the commander, some of the men ran away while others kneeled and begged for forgiveness and mercy.
The light from the fire was so intense that people from surrounding villages began to appear in search for answers. Where is the light coming from? Why is it not spreading? What does it mean? Is it a sign from God? Were just a few questions that were on the lips of the villagers.
As they approached the area, they were in awe. There in front of their eyes was a bright light in the form of a woman kneeling as if praying.
By now, a large crowd had gathered. They kneeled and began to pray.
Tara’s spirit got up and addressed the crowd. “God had sent me into your world to spread his love to all his children. He wants everyone to know that without love, you are just empty shells. In order to receive love, you must give love. Love is not something you just say; it is something you feel deeply inside. Love needs to be nurtured in order for it to grow. What difference does it make if you are from a different caste, race, religion, social or educational status. You are all one created by our Father in heaven.”
“Take the ashes of my body and share it with others. Where there is hate, may my ashes generate love; where there is sickness, may my ashes generate health; where there is hopelessness, may my ashes generate hope and faith; and where there are destructive thoughts, may my ashes generate love, peace and light.”
Slowly, Tara’s spirit began to transform itself into a bright shining star. When the transformation was completed, the star began drifting away. It was the brightest star in the star-filled night sky.
Meanwhile, the fire had subsided, and people began collecting the ashes.
As they walked away to their respective homes, the sound of prayer and song praising God was heard.
The events of the night were glorious and unforgettable. They were imprinted in the hearts of the villagers forever.
Tara's spirit continues to visit the homes of those suffering from physical, emotional and spiritual pain. She takes away their pain and fills their hearts with love.
Whenever you see a flicker of light flashing in front of your eyes, do not discard the vision. It could be Tara paying you a visit. Instead, go to the window, look up to the sky and thank her for coming into your home.
Star is Born