For a while Shri Nathji had even contemplated cancelling the coming Birthday Celebrations on the 23rd of June 1947, but now that Priya Nath was improving, he agreed to hold them.
The devotees from the plains were keen to come to Shri Nathji on that day. Devki Nandan Kasera had already begged to be allowed to come. Devki Nandan had addressed Shri Nathji as “Parmeshwar” in his letter, seeking permission to come.
No matter what happened, the faith of Shri Nathji’s devotees in his divinity remained as firm as ever. They knew that everything that was happening was part of his play or his leela upon the earth, and that Shri Nathji allowed all physical travails to come to him and his family so that he could lead the life of an ordinary person and serve as an example for the world.
Shri Nathji prepared to celebrate June 23, 1947 at Kahkashan. It was celebrated by him, not as his birthday, but rather as a special day to shower Divine Grace upon humanity. He had always said:
“Do not think I am speaking only to the few who are before me. I am keeping you before me while I broadcast to the whole world.
“Main saare vishwa ko broadcast kar rahaa hoon!”
And whenever Shri Nathji showered His Divine Grace on this day, the vibrations went out to all corners of the world, blessing and reviving a wounded humanity. India especially was in need of these blessings, as there was going to be such great turmoil in the land as had never been seen before.
Since Mateshwari was pre-occupied with looking after Priya Nath, Shri Nathji wrote the draft for the invitation cards that year with his own hands:
“ALL GLORY UNTO HIM
The Undersigned requests the pleasure of _____________company
On the auspicious occasion of the Birthday Celebrations of
His Holiness Swami Bhola Nathji Maharaj, Founder, Divine Love Society on
Monday, the 23rd June 1947 as per programme
Monday June 23rd
Lecture: God Realisation
At Majestic Cinema Hall
The Mall, Mussoorie 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Celebrations at his Own Residence,
Kahkashan, Spring Road, Mussoorie
5 pm -7 pm.
This was the first time in many years that Shri Nathji was celebrating his birthday on only one day, the 23rd of June, instead of two days, as in the years past i.e. on June 22nd and June 23rd. This was because Priya Nath was still weak from his illness and Mateshwari had to devote all her time and attention to him.
In the 1930’s when R.R. Khanna had been in constant attendance, Shri Nathji had given lectures at the Rialto Theatre located in the middle of Kulri Bazaar.
After that, when Shri Nathji had been living at Dilaram Estate in the years 1943 and 1944, his Birthday had been celebrated at the Savoy Hotel, where Shri Nathji lectured before the people in unbearable pain, with his arm in a sling.
During the years 1945, 1946 and 1947, when Shri Nathji had been living at Shadi Bhavan and Kahkashan, he had chosen Majestic Theatre for his birthday celebration lectures.
Majestic Theatre was located in the Library Area of Mussoorie. It had been an important Cinema Theatre during the days of the early British settlers, and the name “Majestic” had been preserved. However it became truly majestic when the divinely Majestic Personality of Shri Nathji entered into it.
Shri Nathji would walk all the way along Camel’s Back Road from Shadi Bhavan to Majestic Theatre to deliver his lecture on that auspicious day.
When he was at Kahkashan the distance to the theatre was less, since Kahkashan was also situated in the Library Area.
By now Shri Nathji’s figure had become familiar to the people of the city.
Shri Nathji would stand with his back to the large white cinema screen behind him. A table and a chair would be placed on the stage, where the lone figure of Shri Nathji would stand. There would be no one else on the stage. Mateshwari and the children would find a place in the front row of seats in the midst of the audience.
Majestic Theatre had a large sized but cosy hall, which had chairs in the front but sofas placed at the rear. During cinema shows the back seats were the most expensive and the front seats the cheapest. The rich and affluent would sit in the back while the poor would sit in the front. However, during Shri Nathji’s lectures, everyone wished to sit in the front so that they could be close to Shri Nathji and the distinction between the rich and the poor disappeared.
As Shri Nathji was fond of quoting the Urdu Verse:
Bandaao, saahibo, mauhtaajo, ghani ek huye
Teri sarkaar men pahunche to sabhi ek huye
The rich and the poor, the lowly and those with status,
All became one, the moment they reached Thee
Shri Nathji would always stand while speaking, uncaring for fatigue, no matter what the state of his physical health would be at the time.
Shri Nathji would always begin his lectures by first addressing Mateshwari and then the ladies and gents in the audience, calling all the ladies as “mothers” and “sisters”.
“Mateshwariji, mataao baheno aur upasthhith sajjano..”
People were thrilled to see him standing before them on the elevated stage, glowing with divine light like the Sun. On the 23rd of June his Divine Glory would be greater than ever. He would begin speaking in a soft but powerful voice, which would soon reach a crescendo that was incredible.
Even the people in the back seats could hear each and every word that he said, each and every syllable that he lisped.
His pronunciation of Hindi and Urdu was so perfect that not even the best scholars of these languages could have matched Nathji’s diction.
When he spoke, it was as if the language had come alive, as if the language was being spoken in the manner it had been meant to be spoken.
There was no microphone in the hall but Shri Nathji’s voice would reverberate with a divine echo that took it into the depths of the hearts of all present. Shri Nathji had to reach out to every person in the hall. And he would continue speaking thus without a microphone for over two hours, deluging the public in a sea of bliss from which they emerged only when Shri Nathji finished speaking.
The absence of time was absolute and complete in his presence. No one could deny this, not even the children. While the intellectuals were over-awed by the perfection of Shri Nathji’s logic, the children were hushed into silence by his parables.
Shri Nathji would say:
“The older persons listen to me with their minds and intellects, while the children listen to me with their hearts! Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
Notwithstanding its thrilling vibration, Shri Nathji’s voice was full of Divine Love. It was soft and melodious, the voice of an Eternal Friend.
Many would burst out into tears during his lecture, merely on hearing the sound of his voice.
The loving manner of his speech had become legend. The manner in which he would say “Sahadevaji,” carried volumes of divine grace. There were many persons who tried to imitate the manner in which Shri Nathji spoke, but no one could match him because of the divine love that accompanied his words which ordinary humans lacked.
Shri Nathji would be seen wearing a warm green achkan with thin stripes, a golden orange turban, white woollen chooridars that showed his calves to perfection, and well-polished black shoes.
He always gestured as he spoke. His gestures were divine. He seemed to be pointing to the heavens and the earth, uniting them together in a little wave of his hand. There would be a look of divine bliss on his face when he spoke on such occasions, but this would be accompanied by a look of love and genuine feeling for the sorrows of the world.
The people who sat and listened to him would go so much beyond space and time that when Shri Nathji finished speaking, they would remain glued to their seats as if lost in a world of self-forgetfulness.
It was only when Shri Nathji raised both his hands upwards in a gesture of blessing them that they realised that the lecture was over, much to their dismay.
However, the spiritual food they got from him on that day was enough to energise their bodies and souls for their tasks in life in the days to come. When the lecture was over the people could hardly return to reality. For a while they merely sat on their seats lost in a sea of self-forgetfulness, not wishing to believe that the lecture had finished.
Shri Nathji would say: “This is not the only voice with which I can speak to you. When I am gone, you shall hear me speaking to you within your hearts!”
After the lecture, Shri Nathji would speak with great love to each of the persons who came to touch his feet. Shri Nathji would go on speaking to people even when he was outside the hall and on the Mall Road, walking towards his home. His audiences would follow him as he came out of the theatre.
Shri Nathji had explained his disposition in a letter dated 22nd November, which he wrote to Ema, the lady in America, who had in 1934 seen the vision of Shri Nathji sitting in the lawn of her house in America:
“As fishes cannot live without water so the souls which are devoted to Him cannot derive any bliss in life unless they do His work. They do it because they cannot leave it. There is no unwillingness on their part to do it…”
And yet the people who gathered around Shri Nathji did not do so only to hear him speak. They wished to be near him to partake of his blessings and love, which relieved them of all the sorrows of life, and lived with them for years afterwards.