That very night, even as Shri Nathji was saying these words, Akola had been hit by a terrible flood. Hundreds and thousands of people were uprooted from their homes, scores of houses washed away, there was destruction and devastation as the raging waters sought to engulf the entire city. The Morna River was in spate from the incessant rain. The dam was threatening to burst.
But Shri Nathji’s words had filled the atmosphere with his spiritual strength.
The moment Shri Nathji uttered his powerful words in a commandment, the flood began to subside, and in an incredibly short time–almost within hours– the raging waters receded miraculously.
The city was saved from doom. The citizens of Akola had escaped a dreadful calamity in store for them. It was Shri Nathji once again re-writing destiny, erasing the parts he did not like and adding fresh ones.
All the newspapers in the country carried the news of this sudden calamity, begun and halted within so short a time.
No power of man could have halted the unleashing of Nature’s wrath. Only He, who controlled Nature, could halt it.
Amidst the thundering of the clouds and the raging of waters, Shri Nathji’s devotees had remained calm and unperturbed. Had the waters come upon them they would still have remained at peace, because they had found a Saviour in Shri Nathji and had come to accept everything as a measure of His Will. Their invisible notes appeared to ring out everywhere even as the waters raged fiercely:
Ai premi bhakto, niraash na honaa
Fikr kee kyaa baat hai
Maahaan aashirvaad dene vaale
Saathi mile hain Nath Bhole
O beloved devotees do not despair!
Let nothing cause you fear,
For that Giver of Great Blessings
Shri Nath Bhole is with you!
And, then, everyone understood. Shri Nathji had remained all this time in Akola, only to save the city from this doom. He had remained there to be with his poor devotees in their hour of trial.
And Shri Nathji said:
Today my work here is finished. Yes, there has been some devastation, some loss–but let us be thankful for the devastation and loss that was not! All of us together, along with the prayers of the devotees, and the Grace of God, have helped avert the disaster. When Lord Krishna lifted up the mountain of Govardhan, his devotees applied their sticks to it. It was difficult to decide whether it was Lord Krishna or the devotees who had raised the mountain!”
There was news that the waters had raged everywhere in the old city of Akola, entering the homes of people. But the waters did not enter the Bhola Nath Mandir there, and hundreds of people took refuge within this temple.
Shri Nathji continued:
“Now that this flood of destruction is over, let there be a flood of divine joy and happiness, a flood of peace and prosperity, a flood of spiritual radiance!
More days elapsed in the city. And, in the month of August, two days came close together, one of sorrow and the other of joy.
On the 5th of August 1967 Mahamateshwari had left her heavenly abode.
On the 15th August 1916 Mahamateshwari had entered the world.
Both the events were held at the Mahamateshwari Mandir at Akola. On Mahamateshwari’s birthday her temple glistened with lights like it had never glistened before. The illuminations spread divine rays all over the city from the roof- top of Shri Marathe’s multi-storeyed house. The Bhola Nath Mandir, too, had a sparkle of brilliant lights spread all over it.
A Preeti-Bhoj was held, a feast of Love, in which Shri Nathji sat and ate with his devotees at Akola in the house of the engineer, Shri Gavande, who lived opposite Prahlad Darshan. The food appeared to taste differently that day. It was filled with divine sustenance.
And finally, the day of departure from Akola arrived. As Shri Nathi had frequently said:
Khud makun begaanagi baare choon medaani
Ke charkh aashnaayaan raa za yak deegar judaayi mi dihad
Seek not to separate from each other so soon,
For surely the skies shall bring about a separation one day
As the weeping crowds watched Shri Nathji mount the train at the railway station, Shri Nathji turned and said to them, in a loud reverberating voice, even as the train began to move from the platform:
Sarva dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraj
Leaving aside all other paths, seek thou a refuge in me!
It was the Geeta, coming from the mouth of the One who had narrated it thousands of years ago. For the devotees, this was to be the last glimpse of their beloved Nathji on the soil of Akola. The city, without Shri Nathji, had become like a body without a soul. Shri Nathji had rained his pearls of spiritual bliss upon the city, and was bidding farewell.
As the wheels of the train rolled on, Shri Nathji sat by the window and looked out at his world. The landscape flew past him, the fields, the trees, the clouds in the sky, the creatures that walked upon the earth, their humble dwellings.
So often had Shri Nathji said that life on earth was like a journey. And here was the Creator Himself on that same journey, moving in a train as it sped with great speed, over the earth.
Shri Nathji looked at the flying landscape:
I came into this world. I lived amongst mortals as a mortal. I endured the agonies of the flesh to be with them, I gave them whatever I had. I spread my Message of Love. There were some who had ears for me and became mine. There were many who did not listen. This is the world I created, the world I must sustain till eternity.
“I came into it to change the world to one of peace and joy. The age of Truth, Satyuga, has dawned. But will the world ever change? Will the agonies of the flesh be ever stilled by the rising strength of the Spirit? Will mankind be ever free from suffering and sorrow? Or will I have to come again…?
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