Indeed, the history of the world showed that the Great Spiritual Masters of the world had often been betrayed by their devotees who succumbed to their worldly habits of old.
It was nothing new for Shri Nathji to face this betrayal.
Shri Nathji had frequently recounted the story of Amir Ali Shah, the great devotee of Shri Babaji Maharaj, who suddenly turned against his Master for no apparent reason, and even sent an assassin to murder him. Later, he repented and wept and was bewildered at the evil feelings that had torn him.
Dwarka Singh of Lahore had lost his faith when Shri Nathji was married because he could not conceive of a Spiritual Master marrying. He suffered for his faithlessness later and was forgiven by Shri Nathji in the end.
Shri Nathji often said that when man began to judge God with his small intelligence and to find faults with Him, that was the end of his devotion.
Ranj kee jab guftagoo hone lagti hai
Aap se tum aur tum se too hone lagti hai
When tempestuous words change to argument,
From Thou it turns to Thee and from Thee to dissent
Sukhdev, as an air force officer, was a man with a volatile temperament, and had been facing court martial charges since one year. Bhutt Sahib had tried to intercede on his behalf with the government at Delhi, but the charges against him were not withdrawn.
He had been asked to vacate the flat at Mayfair Building, which had been given to him by the government. He was also in dire financial straits. Shri Nathji’s presence in his flat had given him peace and bliss, but this feeling was soon overshadowed by his own problems.
Shri Nathji had often quoted the words of Lord Krishna in the Geeta:
Sarvdharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraj,
Leave aside all other paths and seek thou a refuge in me.
Shri Nathji had, however, cautioned:
“Taking refuge in God does not mean that we should begin forcing God to listen to our prayers. It means we should surrender ourselves before His Will and wait to see what He will bring.”
“Iskaa matlab ye naheen ke ham Bhagwan ko apni manvaanen lag jaayen. Isska matlab ye hai ke ham uski maan nen lagen!
But Sukhdev was becoming impatient and could not wait for the Divine Will to unfold itself. He began to ask for money from those who came for Shri Nathji’s darshan, and even placed a price on their appointments with Shri Nathji. If he gave them tea in the evenings he would charge them for the tea.
When Shri Nathji found out about this, he called Sukhdev to himself and tried to restrain him. But Sukhdev’s mind had by then entered into that phase where faith and faithlessness were blending into one.
Those were the days when Shri Nathji and Mateshwari had wished to settle down in Bombay, which was a city the children liked immensely and where Mateshwari’s health had shown a marked improvement.
Even though the moist sea air was not good for Shri Nathji’s health, yet he was willing to shift to Bombay if it pleased Mateshwari and the children. As always, Shri Nathji had but to think of an idea, and his ‘sankalp’, wish, could translate it into reality.
A Sindhi gentleman came to him and said he was building a flat on Marine Drive, which he could give to Shri Nathji at a minimum cost of twenty five thousand rupees, which would cover his initial costs. This was a bargain no one could have expected in a posh area like Marine Drive.
Shri Nathji, Mateshwari and the children saw the flat and liked it greatly. It had five rooms in all. Shri Nathji agreed to pay rupees seven thousand as the earnest money and even purchased a blue coloured sofa-set for the flat. Shri Nathji and his family frequently went to the flat in the evenings and saw it being given final shape. The children would skate around on the smooth floors of the five rooms, which were liberally strewn with sawdust.
Shri Ram Lal Agarwal, who happened to be in Bombay at the time, promised to get the money from Akola for the purchase of the flat. He left Bombay for Akola, but though Shri Nathji waited for his return, there was no sign of him. It was a great betrayal.
In the meanwhile, Sukhdev was becoming aggressive. He said that he and his family would live with Shri Nathji in the new flat, which Shri Nathji was planning to buy. He had lost much of the fervour of his devotion and had become a purely worldly man saying in effect: “Since you lived in my flat I am going to live in yours!”
As Sukhdev’s attitude was worsening and bordering upon irreverence, Shri Nathji and Mateshwari did not think it wise to stay on at Bombay. The plans to purchase the flat were dropped. They could not wait any longer for Ram Lal to return from Akola.
Mateshwari was greatly afraid for the life and safety of Shri Nathji. The revolver episode at Mussoorie was still fresh in her mind.
One day, Shri Nathji, Mateshwari and the children went out for a walk, and, Mateshwari persuaded Shri Nathji to quit Bombay there and then. They never returned to Mayfair Building.
With the help of Brij, the lady whose prema bhakti, faith and devotion, had been restored to her by Shri Nathji in 1948, railway tickets were purchased, and soon, Shri Nathji, Mateshwari and Pran Nath and Priya Nath were on their way to Delhi by train.