It was during this time that Smt. Durga Deviji, the wife of Shri Babaji Maharaj, left the world.
She had given birth to two sons, Shri Bhola Nathji and Shri Prem Nath. She left her physical body four years after the birth of their first son, Bhola Nathji in 1902. She was ill for almost two years before the end came at Batala. The last moments of her life revealed her intense spiritual nature. At first she was loath to part from Shri Devi Das and the children. She was worried who would look after the children after she was gone, especially now that Shri Devi Das had left his office.
Shri Devi Das said to her, Do not worry about the children. He who has sent the children into the world will also care for them! And he added, But if it pains you to part from us then we shall all go with you!
At this Smt.Durga Devi said: “No, no! You must all stay in the world. It is my prayer that you live forever! And then Shri Babaji Maharaj spoke to her soothingly for a long time sitting by the side of her bed.
Shri Babaji Maharaj defined death in a beautiful manner:
Maut kyaa hai? Zindagi kaa ek khoobsoorti se doosri khoobsoorti men badal jaana!
What is Death? It is one beautiful state of life transforming itself into another beautiful state!
Zindagi duniyaa ko dikhaati hai –
Aur maut Khuda ko dikhaati hai!
Life reveals this world,
While death reveals God!
Zindagi kyaa hai?
Jisne chale jaanaa hai.
Maut kyaa hai?
Jisne aanaa hai!
What is life?
That which must go.
And what is death?
That which must come!
“If death separates us from the temporary joys of the world, it brings us to that happiness which never ends. Death is that silence in which the tumult of the world does not exist. It is that bliss in which there is no sorrow.
“One must not be afraid of death on two occasions: firstly when it has not to come, and secondly when it has to come!
“Maut se do vakt naheen darnaa chahiye: Ek, jab use aanaa hai. Doosraa jab usne naheen aanaa hai!
“Death cannot come to the body–for the body is dead matter anyway, and how can death come to that which is already dead? Death cannot come to the soul either because the soul is immortal. Hence there is no such thing as death. If at all we can think of death, then it is merely a separation of the body from the soul.
“The soul has no physical relationships. It is not made of solid matter. It is not the father or mother of any soul, nor is it the son or daughter of another soul. Its relationship is with God alone, like the relationship of a part with its whole.
“We must live out our lives on earth like an actor who has two selves. The first is his real self in which the relationships of the stage do not exist. And the second is his stage self in which he is related to all on the stage. He must never identify his real self with his stage self, for this would mean sorrow in every scene of separation.
“He must always know that his real self is beyond the life and death portrayed on the stage. He must know that he shall exist behind the curtain even after his stage self has ‘died’ on the stage as part of the play.
“He must perform his part on the stage in a manner that will be pleasing to the Director of the play and he must go to him when the play is at its end and take his reward from his hands.
“God is the Director of this drama of life and death upon earth, and man the actor who must go to Him when the curtain has fallen on this stage of the world. The real relationship of man is only with the Director of the play.
“Man must work with two ‘I’ ‘s. The first is the ‘I’ of his body with which he does his worldly tasks and which forms a web of relationships with the people around him. At the same time he must remember his real ‘I’ which lies beyond life and death and which has a relationship only with God.
“He must always know that the relationships he forms in the world are only temporary – like those of an actor playing his part on stage. He must play his part well, but the moment he begins to be overly affected by the sorrows and joys that his relationships bring, he must recall his real self which is beyond them, and thus be at peace within.
“For one who is merged in God at the time of death and free of all attachments of the world, death becomes a union with God. For a drop of water to annihilate itself in the ocean is everlasting life.
Man must tell himself: No one is in reality mine and I do not in reality belong to anyone upon this earth. My relationships on earth are like the relationships of an actor with his fellow actors on stage–relationships which are in fact non-existent, which are like a zero.
When nothing belongs to you how can you be separated from it? Man must neither desire life nor fear death. Death exists only for one who does not wish to die. For him who welcomes death there is no death but eternal life.
“He who sees death as a measure of God’s Will and identifies himself with that Will does not die, for he has given up his ego before the Divine Will.
“To die before one’s death- in this alone lies salvation. This does not mean suicide, rather it means destroying the ego within oneself, destroying the false ‘I’ of the stage, and merging oneself into the real ‘I’ which is eternal and immortal.
There is something with you. If you give it away of your own free will, you will feel no pain on its going, on the contrary you will feel happy; but if it is forcibly taken from you then you will be pained. In a like manner death does not exist for one who willingly offers his life to God at the time of death. He becomes immortal. Death exists only for one who does not wish to die. When leaving the world one should go, unattached to all relationships, and keeping the remembrance of God with him.
On listening to the words of Shri Babaji Maharaj, his wife, Smt. Durga Devi, said:
I am now absolutely at peace within and am prepared to leave the world! I neither desire life nor do I fear death! I am free from all attachments and am going in the thought of Him who sent me into the world. Can ever death be more desirable than this? I have no desires within me at this time. Such a death is the envy of even the saints and sages! I am going, content in His Will which is taking me away!
Shri Babaji Maharaj however added: You can become all right if you so wish. Nothing is impossible with God who is All Powerful.
But Smt. Durga Devi said: No, I do not wish to recover. I am going now with the peace you have given me. I do not wish to get well now and then go later at another moment when such peace may be missing. I leave the children in the care of Mother Nature.
When Devi Dasji asked her what she desired most at such a time, she asked him to read from the Sacred Scriptures of the Japji Sahib of the Sikhs. And even as Devi Dasji’s voice recited the words of the holy book, Durga Devi closed her eyes to the physical world around her and entered the spiritual realm. Her voice appeared to ring out:
“Jalvaye anvaar ke darshan se main behosh hoon
Main mari naheen yoon hee zaraa khaamosh hoon
“I am lost in the sight of that Glory Divine,
I have not died but have merely become silent.”
She was the most beautiful woman in the world, and was exceptionally beautiful even in death. Her words of consolation went out to her children upon earth:
My children, do not be afraid, I am always with you. I remain close to you like the air. I smile at you from the glittering moon. I reveal myself to you in the rays of the sun and let you play in my sunshine. I am present in the stars. I exist as the greenery in the leaves and trees around you. I sway in the ocean as its waves. I exist in your hearts as remembrance. I am the light of your eyes. I am the bliss of your hearts Never think of me as separate from you because I am with you all the time in every face of the world.