While at Naini Tal, Shri Nathji met Shri Krishna Dutta, who had great reverence for him and had known him for over twenty years at New Delhi.
His father before him, and his mother and sister, had served Shri Nathji whenever he stayed at their house in Delhi at 15, Barakhamba Road. Shri Nathji had developed a high fever in their home once, but continued to receive visitors still, and to go up and down staircases in his weakened state, despite protests from the Krishna Dutta family.
We had a great reverence for you before, and knew you were very great–but the real extent of your greatness was only understood by us after we had the honour of serving you with our own hands directly! said Shri Krishna Dutta’s mother.
Shri Krishna Dutta had heard the sermons of Shri Nathji several times in Mussoorie, and he was a great admirer of Shri Nathji.
Shri Nathji visited the boat club in Naini Tal at the invitation of Shri Krishna Dutta. The Boat Club was a place where the elite of the city and the businessmen from the plains mingled together in an atmosphere surcharged with wine and song, cards and smoke.
At the Boat Club in Naini Tal–in an atmosphere that was purely materialistic–Shri Nathji sat with Shri Krishna Dutta and gave him his inner light. Shri Nathji’s spiritual waves spread out towards all who entered the club. His blessings were for everyone.
Krishna Dutta offered to get wine for Priya Nath, but was very surprised to know that Priya Nath did not touch drinks despite his four-year stay in America. They all had tea instead.
One might well have thought–what was a spiritual person like Shri Nathji doing in a club, in the midst of an eat. drink and be merry group?
The answer to that was provided by Shri Nathji himself: Love even atheists, for God is present in them! Besides, God was everywhere in any case–even inside a Club.
One consequence of Shri Nathji’s visit to the Club was that, for the first time in its history, religious readings from the Ramayana were organised in it, in the days that followed!
As Shri Nathji left the smoke-filled atmosphere of the club, he spoke of the Divine Club he had opened:
“Ham ne bhee kholi hai yaan jinse Muhabbat kee dukaan
Ya Khudaa koyi khareedaare muhabbat aaye
I, too, have opened a shop of Love Divine,
O God! Would that a buyer of Love arrive!”
The Club Shri Nathji had opened had the canopy of the Universe as its roof, and the vastness of Shri Nathji’s heart as its hall.