When Devi Das was still a child a very unusual event had occurred in his life. His father, Lala Hargopal Mehta, who had been a very righteous man all his life, suddenly decided to leave the world.
One day, when he was in excellent health, he called together all his family members and relatives. He then lay down on the floor of his house and covered his body with a white sheet. His family members were aghast, and asked him what he was doing.
I am preparing to leave the world, he said, the last moments of my life have come!
Everyone was surprised, because he was apparently in the best of health. They began to cry with grief.
Why do you weep? It is I, who must weep. I spent the time of my life amidst attachments towards you and the world. But you still have time. Seek your salvation, energetically, he said.
No matter whether you become prophets or Kings or Emperors, never forget that, one day, you must lie down on the floor like I am doing today. This moment must come before all. The swift current of time leaves only Death in its wake!
And Lala Hargopal Mehta recited this PersianVerse:
Umram bahavas guzasht, hai haat!
Yak dam ba Khudaa na raft, hai haat! Sheeshaye umram barsange fanaa shikast, hai haat!
Hai haat! Hai haat! Hai haat!
My life was spent in the pursuit of desires–alas!
Not a breath was spent in the quest of God–alas!
The mirror of my existence was shattered to pieces,
On the Rock of Death–alas!
Alas! Alas! Alas!
And with the utterance of this verse, he covered his head with the sheet, and left his body. It was a self-willed death, which was the envy of even saints and sages.
His legacy to the world was this warning. Time was slipping by. When one was a child, one was too young to know of anything; when one was a youth, one was lost in the pleasures of the flesh; and when one was old, one was racked by illness and disease. There was no time to know of God. Such was the plight of man. Childhood gave way to youth and youth gave way to old age–and finally, old age gave way to Death. Man had to hasten and seek to know God before the end of life came. This was the real purpose for his existence in the world.