There was a time when Shri Nathji was travelling in the first class compartment of a train. A ticket conductor entered the compartment and wanted to see Shri Nathji’s ticket. His heart was instantly gripped by the divine personality of Shri Nathji, and the next instant he requested for a few moments with him.
May I sit down in your compartment? he asked Shri Nathji.
Now it is my turn to ask you for a ticket! Shri Nathji said humorously, what applies to all must apply to you as well. You are now desiring to sit in my train. You must buy a ticket. Or else show the one you have.
The conductor fell at Shri Nathji’s feet, and said, Sir, I have taken your darshan. This is my ticket! I have come before you like an empty vessel of clay. This body of mine is like a hollow vessel. Fill it with the nectar of life!
Not all people who met Shri Nathji were fortunate enough to retain a lasting relationship with him. Many, like the ticket conductor mentioned above, met him for brief moments only, and never saw him again the rest of their lives. But the brief contact was like a spark that lit their souls. They never forgot Shri Nathji for the rest of their lives, and the brief spiritual truth they acquired from him lasted them a lifetime. A brief glimpse of the Avatar was all they were entitled to have in their lives. When Shri Nathji went to the cities large crowds would gather around him inquisitively. If he were inside a car, they would peep inside and try to catch a glimpse of him. It was a curious humanity peeping at God.
Shri Nathji laid great emphasis on physical nearness. There was his verse in Persian:
“Sohbate yak saayate baa aulia
Behtar az sad saalaye taayat be riyaa!
One moment spent in the company of a man of God,
Is better than a hundred years of meditation”
Shri Nathji once said, I boarded a train, and stood near the door, holding the handle. The compartment was full. There was no place for me. After some time, a man got up and gave me his seat. I sat down and began speaking to him. The others in the compartment listened. And then all of them got up to give me their compartment. In a like manner, I enter your hearts. I take a tiny space within, and gradually insinuate myself into the whole of it.
Mahatmas could only show the path to salvation, but an Avatar could take one there with his spiritual power alone.