Gangabai Bhutt had brought richly embroidered silver-laced costumes for Shri Nathji and Mateshwari along with costume jewellery and a silver flute and mukat head- dresses that looked like silver crowns. These were supposed to be like the dresses that Lord Krishna and Radha wore during the ages gone by. Gangabai Bhutt firmly believed that Shri Nathji and Mateshwari were the incarnations of Lord Krishna and Radha.
All her letters addressed to them would refer to Shri Nathji as “Prabhuji” or “ Bhagwan” and to Mateshwari as “ Radheji”.
She insisted, with the fervour of an ardent devotee, that Shri Nathji and Mateshwari put on these dresses and appear before the devotees in them.
Shri Nathji was reluctant, as was Mateshwari. Ganesh Prasad Bhutt dismissed the devotional fervour of his wife by saying:
“Of what use going into the past. Has Shri Nathji got nothing else to do but to don a mor-peacock feather, and mukat-crown, for your sake?
“Kyaa Bhagwan ko mor mukat paihan ne ke siva koyi kaam naheen hai?
“I like him in his present dress of the modern age. He is God, no matter what dress he wears. We have not seen Lord Krishna or his dress but we have seen Shri Nathji walking in our midst in flesh and blood. What more do we want? I love his turban, achkan and chooridars!”
Bhutt would be irked by his wife’s obsession with the gods and goddesses of the past and would say to her:
“God walks the streets these days in human form!
“Bhagwan to aaj kal sarrkon par ghoomaa karte hain!”
He would be referring to Shri Nathji walking on the roads.
Bhutt would say to Shri Nathji:
“Prabhuji, Rama aur Krishna to aap men mujhe nazar aate hain, magar aap uss se bhee zyaadaa kitne anant hain uskaa main andaazaa bhee naheen lagaa saktaa!
“Prabhuji, I can see Rama and Krishna in you but the infinity of your forms is unfathomable!”
However Shri Nathji was not one to displease anyone, far less a staunch devotee like Gangabai, and he agreed to put the clothes on.
The date was December 23, 1944, and the place was 166 Anarkali, Lahore. All the devotees were waiting breathlessly with anticipation. Mrs. Gangabai Bhutt was besides herself with joy. She could hardly control her happiness and her body was trembling with emotion.
Suddenly, Shri Nathji and Mateshwari arrived in the room, unannounced. The vision was too powerful and too blinding for those present. As Shri Nathji raised his hands to bless the gathering in the room, the Glory of His Light was so blinding that all present swooned and collapsed on the floor. Shri Nathji and Mateshwari had revealed themselves in their real form.
It was not the sight of Radha and Krishna but rather the revelation of God in the fulness of His Glory. The revelation came from within the souls of all present. Mrs. Gangabai Bhutt and Ganesh Prasad Bhutt were in tears and in a state of collapse themselves.
Jab vo aayaa to gum gaye bas ham
Uske jalve men vo asar dekhaa
When He came, we lost ourselves
So great was the power of His Glory
Nigaahe naaz se uski hazaaron masto bekhud hain
Nashe ki ek duniyaa hai muhabbat chashme jaanaa ki
His beauteous gaze has filled thousands with self-forgetfulness
It is a world of intoxication, the amorous eyes of the Beloved
In the words of Nazar Qawwaal of Lahore, who used to sing in Shri Nathji’s darbaar:
Nakaab ko be nakaab kar de, hijaab ko be hijaab kar de
Kasam hai maasoomiyon ki tujhko nizaame fitrat kharaab kar de
Lift up Thy veil and unveil Thyself, give up Thy concealment and reveal Thyself,
We swear by the innocents, come and change the face of existence itself
The revelation of God in the fulness of His Glory would have drowned the world in a sea of light. It was a revelation too powerful to last for long, and therefore Shri Nathji had to shut off His Inner Light.
Nashaa pilaake giraanaa to sab ko aataa hai
Mazaa to tab hai jo girton ko thhaam le Saaki
‘Tis easy to intoxicate and make one fall,
But what a joy if thou wouldst save the falling, O Saki!
Shri Nathji had often said to his devotees:
“I appear before you from within a thousand veils.
“Main hazaar parde daalkar aapke saamne aataa hoon!
“Otherwise you would not be able to bear the revelation of my inner self. When Lord Krishna revealed Himself in his Viraat Roop to Arjuna, Arjuna could not bear to look upon Him and had to ask him to shut off the divine vision!”
However there was a difference between the revelation that Lord Krishna gave to Arjuna and the revelation that Shri Nathji gave to his devotees.
In the case of Arjuna, the Viraat Roop was a frightening, awesome appearance of the Lord, in which worlds were being created and destroyed, where the Lord stood with innumerable faces that were the faces of birth and death, where the joy of creation was mingled with the act of destruction. The infinity of arms and heads that appeared before Arjuna were too powerful and too dreadful to behold, and Arjuna’s hair stood on end with fear.
It was the voice of Lord Krishna speaking to Arjuna in the Geeta:
Sarv dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraj
Give up all thy beliefs and take refuge in me!
It was difficult for Arjuna to surrender himself, without fear, to the Lord, after having seen the awesome, frightening appearance of the Viraat Roop.
But it was easy for the devotees of Shri Nathji to surrender themselves before such a loveable image of beauty – God appearing before them as Shri Nathji.
The revelation that Shri Nathji gave was that of Satyam Shivam Sundaram – a revelation that was the pinnacle of Love and Beauty. In Shri Nathji were personified the words: God is Love and God is Beauty.
Truly had the verse been said by Shri Nathji:
Na too phool banke chaman men aa
Na too maah banke falak pe aa
Ye tamaam jalve samet kar
Kissee aam faim phaban men aa
Come Thou not as a flower in the garden
Come Thou not as the moon in the sky,
Leaving aside these glories,
Come Thou in a form that we can understand!
The desire of Gangabai Bhutt was fulfilled by Shri Nathji. Soon, thereafter, Shri Nathji returned in the clothes that he always wore. However, the devotees were as thrilled as ever to see Shri Nathji in his usual apparel. He looked even more beautiful in his blazing orange silk turban and dark achkan and white chooridars than he had ever done before.
This was not the first time that Shri Nathji had put on a Krishna costume. During the days of his youth, some devotee had pressed him to wear a similar costume where he was shown as Lord Krishna blessing Arjuna, represented by Prem Nath.
Shri Nathji used to say: “I appear before people in various guises and various dresses, each more charming and attractive than the other – hoping to draw them to myself!”
It is the voice of a devotee:
“The Beloved comes before me,
In garments that are new,
In faces that are new,
To capture the heart of His loved one!”