When Shri Nathji had visited Nagpur, Poornima, the daughter-in-law of the Governor, Shri Mangal Das Pakvasa, had come for Shri Nathji’s darshan. At the time her husband was not at Nagpur. She had this intense desire to bring her husband for Shri Nathji’s darshan, but Shri Nathji had left Nagpur after a very short stay.
In June 1949 she was in Mussoorie with her husband and she came straight for Shri Nathji’s darshan. Along with her husband was a friend of his, Shri Ghan Shyam Das Birla, who was the foremost businessman of India at the time.
As Poornima came to the verandah of Shri Nathji’s residence, St. Andrews, the first person she met there was Mateshwari. She did not know who Mateshwari was, and so addressed her rather perfunctorily, saying: “Do we have to remove our shoes as we come in here?”
“Kyaa yahaan joote utaar kar aanaa parrtaa hai?
And Mateshwari replied: “There is no such rule here, but if you ask me, one must remove one’s ego before coming here, – and, if that cannot be removed, one can at least remove one’s shoes!
“Yahaan to ahankaar utaar kar aanaa parrtaa hai, magar agar ahankaar naheen utartaa to joote to utaar hee dene chaahiyen!”
As Poornima and her husband and Birla sat before Shri Nathji, and Birla was introduced to him, Shri Nathji said:
I have a great respect in my heart for businessmen, not because they earn money, but because they understand the meaning of profit and loss. They will never undertake any venture, which will result in a loss to them, and they will never allow an opportunity for profit to escape them. Surely God should be a desirable target for them!
Shri Nathji continued:
Birlaji, jo vyapaar aap kar rahe hain uss vyaapaar kaa sambandh kiss cheeze se hai?
Tell me, what is your vocation in life associated with?”
“Mere shareer se,” said the businessman, “it is associated with my body.”
“Iss shareer kaa antt hai?” said Shri Nathji, “is there an end to this body?”
“Shareer kaa antt to hai,” said the businessman, “yes, there is an end to the body.”
“To phir iss vyaapaar kaa kyaa huaa? What then will become of the business?” Shri Nathji asked him.
“Uskaa bhee antt ho gayaa!” said the businessman, “that too shall come to an end.”
And Shri Nathji continued: “Main aise vyaapaar ko kyaa kaaroon ke jisko chhorr denaa hai!
In other words, we are busy earning that which we must leave behind!”
The businessman was touched to the heart and said to Shri Nathji:
This is something we knew all the time. Yet, today, when it comes from your mouth, it assumes a great degree of significance. Should we, then not carry on with our business? To kyaa ham iss vyaapaar ko naa karen?”
“Zaroor Karen!” said Shri Nathji, “main to chaaohoongaa ke Bharat kaa har aadmi Birla ban jaaye, Bharat ki har eenth sone ki ho jaaye, – magar Ravana ki Lanka naa bane!
“By all means do your work. It is my wish that every man in the country become another Birla, that every brick in the country turn to gold, – but it must not become like the golden Lanka of Ravana!”
Said Shri Nathji, “I would also advise you to look to your real profit and loss. Whatever one earns is for this world, which one must leave behind. And one earns nothing for the world, which is to come! I would urge you to engage also in that business which shall last forever!
“Iss vyaapaar ko to karen, magar isske saathh saathh uss doosre vyaapaar ko bhee karen jisne hameshaan raihnaa hai.”
And then he gave an example:
You are in darkness. You light a match-stick to dispel the darkness. But the flame flickers. It can go out at any moment. Even if it were to last, its life would not be very long. What does wisdom suggest? Before this tiny flame of the match-stick dies out, you should transfer it to a candle, which will burn the whole night long until the sun comes out. The smaller light is converted to a greater light. It is no longer afraid of dying. In a like manner, before this short physical life of man comes to an end, it must convert itself into eternal life.
“O man! Having come into this world, seek to know God. And the time shall surely come when everlasting life shall appear before you by itself.”
Shri Nathji recited one of his favourite verses:
“Nidaaye raihbare kaamil mere kaanon men yoon pahunchi
Ke saudaaye jahaan ke hee abhi soodo ziyaan tak hai
The voice of the Perfect Master reached my ears!
Art thou still lost only in the gains and losses of this world?”
The visitors went away greatly satisfied. They carried away with them Shri Nathji’s blessings which were going to be with them in this world and the next, and which were the real earnings of life.