When Shri Babaji Maharaj was at Lahore he was staying with a certain Pandit Dewan Chand, a leading intellectual of his time. On a sudden impulse, Shri Babaji Maharaj asked him one day: “ Pandit Dewan Chandji, is there any Khudaa kaa bandaa–man of God– in the city of Lahore, one who would be willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of the Divine Flame of that Reality?”
Pandit Dewan Chand said: “No, Maharaj, I do not think so.”
And Shri Babaji Maharaj said: “Then Panditji, is there any Bande kaa Bandaa in Lahore – one who loves those who belong to Him?”
Pandit Dewan Chand thought for a while and then said to Shri Babaji Maharaj: “Maharaj, yes I think there is one such person! His name is
Sardar Muhammad Ayub Khan who is the King of Afghanistan – Amire Kabul. The British are at war with Afghanistan and have arrested its king. He is being held in captivity by the British at Lahore. He has great love for God and His lovers. I think if he were to meet you his happiness would know no bounds, and you would also be pleased with me for choosing him.”
Shri Babaji Maharaj was always waiting for such a one. He had often said:
Dil meraa jis se baihaltaa, koyi aisaa na milaa
But ke bande mile Allah kaa bandaa na milaa!
Bazme yaaraan se phiree baade bahaari maayoos
Ek sar bhi usse aamaadaye saudaa na milaa.
I could not find one who could please my heart,
I met many a lover of idols but no lover of God,
From the assembly of friends the morning breeze returned in despair,
It could not find even one lover of God in this bargain.
Shri Babaji Maharaj was so moved that he said to Pandit Dewan Chand: “Call a fitan, I wish to see Amire Kabul.” A fitan was an elegant horse drawn carriage. Here was a strange sight. Shri Babaji Maharaj, who could not be moved by any force in the world, going out himself to meet a Bande kaa Bandaa– a lover of those who loved the Lord.
And it was thus that Shri Babaji Maharaj and Pandit Dewan Chand arrived at the residence of Amire Kabul. It was a huge mansion. The king had been kept under house arrest in this part of the city and was given a handsome monthly allowance for his subsistence. But he did not have the freedom to go wherever he wanted. Guards were posted at his house to ensure that he complied with the orders of the British Government.
When Shri Babaji arrived at his residence, he discovered that a young man was present there. He was the son of Amire Kabul. Amire Kabul was not at home. He had gone on a shikaar-hunt- in the forest. The young man was deeply touched by the personality of Shri Babaji Maharaj.
Shri Babaji Maharaj left word with him: “Unhen kaih denaa ke ham aaye thhe, magar aap maujood na thhe! Tell your father that I had come to see him but he was not at home.” Shri Babaji Maharaj wrote his title on a slip of paper and gave it to the son of Amire Kabul. The title read: Ghulam Rue Zameen–the servant of the earth. And after this brief meeting, Shri Babaji Maharaj left the place.
When Amire Kabul returned from the hunt he found his son in a strange state. He was in tears and was saying: “O Father! It was your misfortune that you were not at home. A Divine Being came to the house. His face was full of the Glory of God. It radiated Noor–Divine Light. He left this note and also said that I should tell you that he came to see you but you were not at home!”
Amire Kabul was overwhelmed at the state of his son. A desire grew in him to meet Shri Babaji Maharaj. However he was not allowed to enter the city of Lahore by order of the British Government, and therefore could not go to the place where Shri Babaji Maharaj lived. His son suggested that he invite Shri Babaji Maharaj to come again. Amire Kabul said: “No, son, you do not know the ways of saints. They come of their own calling, otherwise nothing may move them to come. But I have thought of a way. We shall call a number of people here and pray to Shri Babaji Maharaj to come here to enlighten all of us.”
Amire Kabul thereafter wrote to Shri Babaji Maharaj with intense earnestness and humility: “You were kind enough to come to my house today, but it was my misfortune that I was not at home and could not have your deedaar. I would have come to your place myself but there are restrictions on my movements. Please do not think of me as presumptuous if I earnestly pray to thee to come to my house again to enlighten me and my family, and many others here, who are all very anxious to meet you and to receive your blessings.”
Shri Babaji Maharaj was an ocean of love and forgiveness. He was moved by the man’s humility and earnestness and he decided that he would have to listen to the man’s prayers if only to establish a relationship with him. And he went to the abode of Amire Kabul a second time.
Amire Kabul, along with his son and family members, as also a large number of distinguished guests, amongst which were learned maulvis and intellectuals and the ministers and courtiers of Amire Kabul, were waiting for Shri Babaji Maharaj. The moment he appeared before them they were overwhelmed by the sheer force of his Divine Personality, which radiated the Glory of God.
Amire Kabul was so moved that he said involuntarily:
“ Na maalum ye bandaye Khudaa kaun hain ke jinke deedaar se mujhe aaj vo khushi mil rahi hai jo zindagi men kabhi naheen milee!
“Oh, what a man of God has appeared before us, the very sight of whom is filling me with such incredible happiness the likes of which I have never experienced before in my entire life!”
And Shri Babaji Maharaj replied: “Amire Kabul if you are experiencing this happiness then let me say that I too am experiencing the same happiness myself today!”
As Shri Babaji Maharaj spoke to the assembled group, the people present there experienced the same bliss that Amire Kabul was experiencing.
After Shri Babaji Maharaj had finished speaking he said to Amire Kabul: “ I am pleased with you! The Divine Power moves me to say: Ask what you will of me today!
“Chashme zadan men diyaa jaayegaa! It shall be given to you in the twinkling of an eyelash!”
Amire Kabul said to Shri Babaji Maharaj: “Hazrat, aap naaraaz ho gaye? Sire, have you become angry with me?”
“No,” said Shri Babaji Maharaj, “ on the contrary, I am very pleased with you, and that is why I have asked you to pray for any boon that you wish!”
And Amire Kabul continued: “Hazrat, you have told me to ask for a boon, and you know what I will ask for. I am a man of the world and will ask for the things of the world. I will again ask for the same things which have brought me to so much grief in life, the same ambitions and desires that drove me to sorrow shall once again take possession over me. Would you give these things to me again? Would you cast me back into the smouldering fires of the material world?”
Shri Babaji Maharaj said: “ I did not ask you to pray for the things of the world. You may pray for something spiritual instead!”
And Amire Kabul said: “Hazrat, then I ask you for only one thing.
“Jab aap uss darbaare aaliyaa men apne muraakbe men baithhe hon to meri yaad kar lenaa taake meraa naam vahaan ke jhaaroo bardaaron men likhaa jaaye!
“When you are in your divine court and absorbed in your divine meditations, then please think of me so that my name may be included amongst those who sweep the divine court!”
Shri Babaji Maharaj was immensely pleased with the humility of Amire Kabul and his love of God. He said: “So be it!” And blessed Amire Kabul, and left.
What Amire Kabul had asked for was an impossible thing. How could Shri Babaji Maharaj think of Amire Kabul when he was absorbed in meditating upon God? To be absorbed in the thought of God meant, in effect, forgetting everything else, including oneself, so how could Shri Babaji Maharaj even recollect Amire Kabul at a time like that?
But, then, as Shri Babaji Maharaj had explained: there were two kinds of meditation. The first kind is that in which the person is conscious of himself and is reaching out to God. He is concentrating his thought on God alone but is doing so consciously. The second kind of meditation is that in which the person totally forgets himself. His “I” disappears altogether. He is so absorbed in God that the line of distinction between himself and God vanishes. In fact there is God and only God, and nothing else. In both the states above it is not possible for a person to think of anyone else.
However those were the days in which Shri Babaji Maharaj had attained a state of absolute and complete union with God. In such a state he was not to make any conscious effort to meditate upon God and to merge himself into Him; rather he was in a perpetual state of union with God in which his “I” had vanished altogether and the “I” of God was working within him. Thus while being fully conscious of the world around him he was in a state of constant self-forgetfulness. It was with that “I” of God, therefore that Shri Babaji Maharaj thought of Amire Kabul. It was in fact God Himself thinking of Amire Kabul.