Shri Bhutt Sahib, Mrs. Bhutt, Shyam Lal and all the others present, congratulated Dr. Babtiwale on the success of his grand spiritual venture.
Dr. Babtiwale found a profound change come over his own life. As Shri Nathji became deeply engrained within the depths of his soul, he acquired the devotion of Surdas and Tulsidas.
He began writing bhajans on Shri Nathji–beautiful songs that would be on the lips of hundreds with the passage of time. He would sing them himself, and dance with spiritual ecstasy.
It was one of the wonders of the modern age to see a medical doctor transformed into a saint. He and Dr. Purekar were later to spend the rest of their lives singing the bhajans of Shri Nathji. It was not an ordinary singing, because it came from the heart. Their souls had become like musical instruments vibrating to the tunes the Divine Musician chose to play on them.
Dr. Babtiwale wrote hundreds of bhajans, and indeed, when he died, he was still writing them, which was not to say that he had given up practising medicine. He remained a medical doctor by profession, attending to his chores and accepting them as the work of God. His songs would be called eternal by the people of Akola: “Amar Geet”.
Had it not been for Dr. Purekar, the first ambassador from Maharashtra, and Dr. Babtiwale, his representative who came later, Shri Nathji might never have known of the faraway town of Akola. These men were like Bhagirath who had brought the Ganges down to the earth. They brought God to Akola.
The songs of Babtiwale that became legend over various parts of Maharashtra contained a yearning of the human soul for the Universal Soul. The devotees would sing them over and over again.
Mere Bhola Naathaa ko milne chalaa
Apne Preetam se aanand lootne chalaa
I go to meet my Bhola Nath
I go to my Beloved, to bring a wealth of Bliss
Dr. Babtiwale had but one mission in life – to light the lamp of faith in the hearts of all:
Govind ko ik aas jivan men
Prabhu yash deep jalaaun ghar ghar men
Govind has but one yearning in life
To light the lamp of the Glory of Prabhuji in each and every home.
Mar jaaun Prabhu ke charnon men
Armaan poori karo re Prabhuji
Let me die at thy feet O Lord!
Fulfill Thou this desire of mine!
In almost all of Dr. Babtiwale’s songs there was this reference to death, as if he were aware of his approaching end in life.
Truly had it been written: Those whom the Gods love, die young. In a few years, Govind Babtiwale was to join the Universal Form of Shri Nathji that resided in Eternity. The inner light that Shri Nathji had given him had become too strong for his soul, which desired to rent the veil of the human form and mingle completely into its Master.
For years afterwards his songs were to be on the lips and in the hearts of many.
There was a time when Dr. Babtiwale and a host of devotees would travel long distances to be with Shri Nathji at Mussoorie on his birthday. The poor people of Akola would save their year’s earnings for that special occasion when they would go singing to their Lord and Master.
Not dazzled by the array of Rajas and Maharajas, and nawabs and seths and judges and lawyers, these poor devotees of Shri Nathji would sing with ecstasy in their midst in the verandah of Savitri Nivas.
Dr. Babtiwale, in particular, would be so carried away by divine bliss that he would be the first to begin dancing, alone by himself, cymbals in his hands.
It was a scene of devotion people had merely read about in the books of old.
To the people of Mussoorie, it was a revelation. One had read of Kabir reciting his verses, of Surdas and Tulsidas reciting theirs with divine ecstasy.
Shri Nathji had similarly affected the hearts of his lovers. If devotion to an invisible God could produce such fervour as was seen in the past, surely devotion to a visible God, and one as divinely beautiful as Shri Nathji, could raise the soul to greater heights.
Shri Nathji’s nearness would inspire some of the most learned of his devotees to verse and song. Nawab Istafa Khan, Mr. and Mrs. Bhutt, Manjul Kavi, Sohan Lal, Charan Das, Mrs. Shakuntala Mehra, Kasturilal, Ram Lal, Bal Ojarkar, Dr. Purekar, Dr. Babtiwale were all examples of such a vibrant faith. If one were sitting in the presence of God – what could one do to please him, except sing out the devotion within oneself?
Amongst all of Shri Nathji’s devotees, the Maharashtrians were the most vocal when it came to expressing their devotion through music.
The passing away of Dr. Babtiwale did not put an end to this phase of devotional singing. Others took up his verses and sang them in the tunes he had composed.