While Shri Nathji was at Calcutta, Mr. Khera and several other devotees remained in attendance upon him.
One day Shri Nathji went out for a walk, dressed elegantly in his smartly tailored black achkan, a silken orange turban on his head, white chooridars, black well-polished shoes, and a walking stick he used with a swagger, as was the fashion amongst the royalty during those days.
All who saw him walk on the streets were fascinated beyond measure. Never before had the streets of Calcutta witnessed such beauty in human form. It was as if the glowing sun of the skies had come down upon earth. The radiance of Shri Nathji’s divine personality gripped the hearts of all. The halo around his face carried a feeling of intense love for humanity and all who came within its orbit felt this love. Shri Nathji was using his walk as an excuse to give his darshan and blessings to the people of Calcutta, who would otherwise never have had the chance to set eyes upon him.
Shri Nathji’s verse was ringing out in silent notes as he walked on the streets of Calcutta:
Vo Shaahe husn bhee shaayad inhee raahon se guzaraa hai
Thhaihar jaao main do sajde yahaan kar loon vahaan kar loon
The Emperor of Glory has passed along these very paths,
Wait awhile! Let me prostrate a little here, and a little there!
Shri Nathji, who was not attached to the material things of the world, used them as tokens of his love for the people of the world. He had once said that God was the greatest materialist because it was He who had created the material world! And for those who saw God in His world the material things of the world were gifts from God.
As he was walking down the street with a number of his devotees, he came across a jeweller’s shop. Shri Nathji entered the shop. The jeweller ran forward to greet him. He mistook Shri Nathji for a Maharaja, and brought forth several boxes of jewellery.
I have not come in to buy anything, said Shri Nathji.
But the jeweller would not listen. He brought a number of rings for Shri Nathji: Here are some excellent imitations, he said, take these, if you won’t buy the real thing! Here is one for Rupees three hundred, another for two hundred …
While Shri Nathji was examining the rings, the jeweller approached Shri Nathji’s attendant, Mr. Khera, and asked him:
Which State does the Maharaja belong to? Ye kiss State ke Maharaja hain?”
And Mr. Khera replied: Ye uss State ke Maharaja hain jahaan toone mar ke jaanaa hai!
“He is the Maharaja of the State you must go to after death!
In the meanwhile, Shri Nathji had decided to buy three rings so as not to break the man’s heart.
How much do these cost? Shri Nathji asked the jeweller, I will purchase them.
For you, Sir, said the jeweller, they cost nothing. They are my offerings to you!
No, said Shri Nathji, at this price they are too expensive.
But I’m not charging anything, said the jeweller.
That is why they are so expensive, said Shri Nathji, you must charge me something, if only your original cost!
The man sold two rings to Shri Nathji for twenty rupees and thirty rupees. If this had been the cost price, then the sale price of two hundred and three hundred had been exorbitant!
The next day, the jeweller arrived at Shri Nathji’s residence carrying a large basket of fruits.
Please accept them, he said to Shri Nathji, I have no words with which to thank you. After you had left my shop, a Maharaja arrived and purchased goods worth lakhs! It was the biggest sale I ever had!
Shri Nathji laughed and said: You sold me the rings at a greatly reduced price, and look at the reward you got! Had you charged me nothing, your reward would have run into crores!
It was to save the jeweller from his failing business that Shri Nathji had made an excuse to enter his shop and to buy the rings from him. Whenever Shri Nathji entered any shop, home or office, Divine Grace went there with Him, and those who had been blessed by his presence received rich rewards, material as well as spiritual. All of Shri Nathji’s actions were an excuse provided by him to bless humanity and to bring people peace and prosperity.
Shri Nathji would frequently say in Persian:
“Raihmate Haq bahaa nami joyad
Raihmate Haq bahaanaa mi joyad
The Grace of God does not seek a price;
The Grace of God seeks an excuse!”
The shopkeepers at Mussoorie, Dehra Dun and Lahore knew of the divine benedictions that followed Shri Nathji’s visits and would vie with each other to attract Shri Nathji into their shops.
Shri Nathji would always pay their bills– even if they over-charged out of force of habit–and at the same time give them his Blessings. No matter which shop Shri Nathji entered, that shop would have the biggest sale of the day after he had left.
Shri Nathji would sometimes say that he, too, was a shopkeeper who had opened a shop of Love Divine:
Ham ne bhee kholi hain yaan jinse Muhabbat kee dukaan
Yaa Khudaa koyi khareedaare Muhabbat aaye
I, too, have opened a shop containing the wares of Love,
O Lord, would that a buyer of love come!