Shri Nathji was to leave for London on Friday, March 29, 1963 at 8:45 p.m. by an Air India plane. He spent the day in the usual way as if nothing new was going to happen.
Shri Nathji had often said:
“When you go to see a cinema everything on the screen appears to be new to you, but to the producer of the film everything is old. He is merely watching that which he has already completed. In a like manner I have finished my work in the world. I am merely watching it unfold itself before my eyes along with you. The only difference is, that while you think of every scene as new, for me the scenes have already been enacted.”
Priya Nath saw Shri Nathji brush his teeth, comb his hair, change his vest and shirt, put on a sweater, change his chooridars, wrap his turban around his head slowly and meticulously as he had done every morning, and then put on his achkan and his shoes. Priya Nath helped Shri Nathji close the collar of his achkan as he had done many times before at Mussoorie, when Shri Nathji would lift up his chin and Priya Nath would attach the clip to a little hook in the cloth.
It was as if Shri Nathji were going to be before his eyes all the time as usual and not be going away. But as the inexorable hand of time ticked away the seconds, minutes and then hours, the time to leave for the airport arrived.
Shri Nathji embraced Priya Nath several times and patted him on his head and back. Mateshwari bowed before him in a farewell gesture.
Shri Nathji said: “Do not worry about anything.”
Shri Nathji began speaking to a small group of persons who had come to the house. His divine flow of words was going out just as powerfully and just as cheerfully as always. It was as if he was not going anywhere at all.
However he did make it a point several times to tell the devotees gathered there that they must look after Priya Nath and Mateshwari in his absence.
There was Charan Das, his old devotee from Lahore. As Shri Nathji stepped out of the door of his flat at West Patel Nagar, Charan Das burst out into a loud incantation from the Vedas in Sanskrit to the Lord, extolling His Divine Glory. All at once Shri Nathji’s face lit up with a Divine Light that had already become too brilliant.
A photograph was taken outside the house on the road. Shri Nathji stood in the centre with the shoulder-bag around his shoulder, and Priya Nath stood by his side, while around them were Charan Das and his family, Hargunlal Bhambhani, and Amir Chand Ahuja. These were the only persons who were going to see him off at the airport.
A taxi was taken for Palam Airport, and very soon Shri Nathji and the group of persons escorting him had reached the airport.
Within minutes Shri Nathji had gone inside and was no more visible. It was the one moment that Priya Nath had dreaded. As the group waited at the airport they finally heard the announcement that the Air India flight for London was taking off. The time was exactly 8:45 p.m.
Thus it was that on March 29, 1963, a plane carrying Shri Nathji left the soil of India. As the plane went up higher and higher in the skies, until it became a tiny dot, the lands and fields of India looked up at it in despair. God was leaving the country of his birth. Shri Nathji’s verse echoed from the skies.
Rooh kis rind ki pyaasi gayee maikhaane se
Mai urree jaatee hai saaki tere paimaane se
What thirsty soul left Thy Tavern, still in thirst,
O Saki! The wine from thy cup flies away after him.
Here was the Saki, Himself, flying away to satiate the thirst of hidden souls.
The Creator of the Universe had entered the metal frame of an aeroplane, and was flying over the countries of His Creation. Little did the people below realise that the sound of the aircraft engine they heard from the skies, was the sound of a plane carrying God. It would have been strange if someone were to point to the plane, from the earth below and say: There goes God!
People had come to think of God as a Being that existed up in the Heavens. For years now, he had been walking on the earth below. It was only at the age of sixty that Shri Nathji had stepped into the other areas of His Creation. It was as if Shri Nathji were leaving one room of his house and entering another.
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