I asked Baba if he could give me something for my flatulence. Perhaps it was the unfiltered river water I was drinking. He showed me the boils on his legs. “I can’t cure my own boils,” he told me, “If you cure my boils, I’ll cure your gas. Every time I heal someone, I get boils. The stronger the disease, the longer the boils last. I don’t know why I put myself through this. All for these ungrateful idiots who go out and get sick again.”
“What they call Ayurveda is not Ayurveda,” Gangotri Baba said to me one day, while speaking to a learned pandit. “This wise brahmin tells me he has exhausted the treasure house of Ayurveda, in searching for a cure for his beloved wife. He has gone to all the great healers without any result, and I am his last hope.” Baba laughed and then turned to the pandit to lecture him. “You don’t know the first thing about Ayurveda, pandit ji,” he said, “Now, go home, and standing on the north side of your house, walk north until you come to the first mango tree. It doesn’t matter whether it is ten meters or ten kilometers. Climb up the tree and pick three of the topmost leaves. Then return home, and sitting on your threshold, place the three leaves in a chillam, and smoke them. Your wife will be cured.”
And the wife was cured, but the disease, probably cancer, was so powerful that not only did Baba get large and cancerous-looking boils on his legs, but I got them as well. The pandit was ecstatic, and brought flowers, fruits, and sweets from the finest sweet shop in Nainital, and a gift of money. Baba accepted the gifts but told the pandit in the most abusive language to leave us alone to suffer our boils in private. Afterward, Baba told me that the gifts would only make the boils worse.