Shri Nathji would recall with great affection the loyalty of Sahadeva Tayal who remained with him day and night during those difficult days of 1943 at Dilaram Estate, Mussoorie, when Shri Nathji needed someone to help him out of bed each time he got up.
“Sahadevaji!” he would call out in the middle of the night.
And there would be Sahadeva wide-awake, answering: “Gee Huzoor!”
When Shri Nathji asked him:
“Sahadevaji! How do you get up and answer at once, each time I call out to you in the night?”
Sahadeva repled: “Huzoor I never go to sleep, lest you call.”
Shri Nathji would ever recount Sahadeva’s words as well as his devotion before people, in the years that followed.
Sahadeva Tayal was the grandson of Sir Ganga Ram, the famed philanthropist, whose statue stood in New Delhi, and about whom it had been said. He earned like a warrior, and he spent like a saint!” In later years, he was to become the founder of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi.
After the death of his first wife, Sahadeva Tayal had become mentally deranged and spent some time in a mental hospital. His brother, Anand Deva, and a certain Master Durga Das brought Sahadeva to Shri Nathji: Please take care of him we leave him with you!” This was in 1935 in Lahore.
The change that came over Sahadeva was marvellous to behold. His insanity vanished. A new man emerged–filled with an Inner Light. He found God in Shri Nathji.
It had been his ambition ever since he had been in school to go out into the forests and mountains in search of God. He could not find God when he was sane, so God came to him when he was insane.
Paagal, means insane, Shri Nathji said,
and yet the word can be divided into two parts: Paa+gal, in Punjabi, which means, ‘he who has understood’! So surely you have understood God!
Shri Nathji described the state of the devotees of God with the following verse:
Kaun kaihtaa hai rindon ko tere hosh naheen
Inko jo hosh hai vo hosh ko bhi hosh naheen
Who would say thy devotees are devoid of sense?
Even sense has not the sense that they can sense!
Then again Shri Nathji would refer to the Face of Glory which was in reality his own face, that could fill the hearts of people with untold bliss:
Aa zaraa dekh le iss chehraye nooraani ko,
Dil men gar dard naheen, ishq naheen josh naheen
Come and behold this Face of Glory Divine,
If thou hast not with thee pain, love or enlightenment
Sahadeva Tayal became a very loyal devotee of Shri Nathji and stayed so for over forty years. His one chant in life was: “Nathji, Nathji!” His became a mind that knew neither worry nor fear nor pain.
I have found one solution for all my problems, he would say, and that is the name of Shri Nathji!
His brain and memory became instruments of God. They contained minute recollections of his association with Shri Nathji over the years. Every single word, every single incident associated with Shri Nathji was recorded in his mind for posterity. He would often feel that his brain had become like a tape-recorder or television set that brought back the past of Shri Nathji vividly.
He was greatly devoted to Mateshwari who looked after him like a mother.
Sahadevaji, she once said to him, no matter what happens here, think of it as God and only God!”
Her exact words in Punjabi were:
“Aithhe jo kuchh vee hoye onnu Rabb hee Rabb samjho!”
And Sahadeva Tayal said: Divine Mother, you have taken away the illusory world of Maayaa from me!
“Mataji aapne to meri Maayaa hee har lee!”
Once when he was in his home at Hissar, there was a power failure in the city. Sahadeva placed the photograph of Mateshwari in place of the idol of Lakshmi in his home, and prayed before it. At that very instant, the lights came on.
Many a time it would appear that Sahadeva was emptied of self and possessed of Shri Nathji. He had written one uncompleted verse:
Aarzooye zindagi hai Nath teri chaakari
My Life’s desire is to serve Nath.
Shri Nathji’s finest moments of spiritual inspiration would occur before Sahadeva. Coming down a fight of stairs, Shri Nathji suddenly snapped his fingers, and said to Sahadeva:
“Sahadevaji! Raihmat iss tarah hoti hai!
“The Grace of God comes in a moment, like this!
Shri Nathji had frequently said:
It takes time for the twinkling of an eye lash, but it takes not even that much of time for God realisation! The Grace of God can come in an instant!
With respect to himself, Sahadevaji would often say:
Radde khalaayak maqboole Khudaa!
That which the world has discarded, is accepted by God.
Sahadevaji would often say, jokingly:
It is my experience that if you hide anything from Shri Nathji, you will lose it!
And he would relate the story of his cousin who did not wish to offer his car to Shri Nathji for one evening in Lahore, because petrol was expensive. The man lost his purse in the bazaar and spent the entire day searching for it all over town and wasting precious petrol he had sought to preserve.
Shri Nathji used to say:
If man runs after God, he gains God as well as the world; but if man runs after the world, he loses the world as well as God!
There was a time in Mussoorie in 1948 when a sum of rupees thirteen thousand rupees was urgently required to safeguard Shri Nathji’s house. Sahadeva asked permission from Shri Nathji to go to his home town at Hissar and procure the amount by attempting to sell a piece of his land which had remained unsold for years.
When he reached Hissar, he discovered, much to his astonishment, that a buyer was prepared to purchase the land at the price Sahadeva had wanted.
Sahadeva immediately decided to sell the land to him and asked for thirteen thousand rupees as earnest money. The buyer gave him the earnest money and left, after promising to pay the full amount later when the sale was finalised.
Sahadeva rushed with the amount to Mussoorie and saved the situation there. Shri Nathji praised him for his devotion and service.
Later he met Shri Nathji after one year and said: “The prospective buyer of the land who gave me the earnest money of thirteen thousand simply disappeared! He never showed up again! I am convinced it was you in the guise of the buyer who gave me the money! You wished to give me greatness while it was you who were doing everything behind the scene!”
Shri Nathji would never tire of speaking of Sahadeva’s gesture before his devotees.
Sahadeva Tayal had received a state of enlightenment from Shri Nathji which was the envy of saints and sages. Occasionally he would slip back into his old ways and habits, but Shri Nathji’s strength would always bring him back.
Sahadevaji, Shri Nathji once said, it makes no difference to me if no one comes to me. You and I are enough–it is a Divine Love Society of two!
Shri Nathji was angry with Sahadevaji at one time, and he said to him:
It was a strange variation of Get out!
When God is angry with his children, he only wishes to draw them closer to himself! Shri Nathji said.
Sahadeva Tayal’s devotion to Shri Nathji was so great that, in 1947, when Shri Priya Nath, the younger son of Shri Nathji was seriously ill in Mussoorie, he said to Shri Nathji:
Take the life of my son, Bedu, but let Shri Priya Nathji recover!
Priya Nath recovered miraculously there-after and Sahadeva’son, Bedu, remained well, too.
Shri Nathji had granted a peculiar boon to Sahadeva. Whatever Sahadeva prayed for, was given to him. And Sahadeva seldom asked for anything for himself, his prayers were always for the welfare of the Divine Family of Four – the Chaturmoorti Bhagwan – Shri Nathji, Mateshwari, Pran Nath and Priya Nath.
Though Shri Nathji had numerous devotees all over India, he did not appear so relaxed with anyone as he did with his Sahadeva. He used to say to Sahadeva:
I have made myself one year older than you, so that you might always feel young!
Once when Sahadeva appeared to be acting as if he were in a state of divine intoxication, someone said to him:
“Sahadevaji–are you in your senses? Aap hosh men to hain?”
And Sahadeva replied:
“Who can remain in his senses after setting eyes upon Shri Nathji!
“Nathji ko dekh kar kaun apni hosh men raih saktaa hai!”
The state of those intoxicated by Divine Love was described by Shri Nathji in his verse:
Na tan dekhtaa hoon na jaan dekhtaa hoon
Ke ik baihre hasti ravaan dekhtaa hoon
I look not upon this body, I look not upon this life,
I see only the Ocean of Existence surging around me
Shri Nathji described the extinguishing of the ego of man in the following words:
Teri nazaron ke taraahun ne diyaa usko urraa
Jo khudi mere liye thhee pardaa daare zindagi!
The Grace of thy sight, set to flight
The ego that was the veil of my life
The mere glimpse of God was enough to vanquish the ego within man, which could not be extinguished by a thousand devices, nor by spiritual austerities and meditation.