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Dr. Herman Winick was a nuclear scientist at Harvard University’s nuclear laboratory, CEA – the Cambridge Electron Accelerator. He was a friend of Priya Nath and had acted as host to him during the early days of his sojourn in America. He was a nuclear physicist, Jewish by religion, but with no strong feelings for religion either way.
Priya Nath had always found him by his side whenever he was faced with any problem in America. He was the living epitome of the adage: A friend in need is a friend, indeed!
He drove around in an old Ford station-wagon, which he would not exchange for a better car. He would not shift to California despite better prospects there. His father was a successful businessman and had asked him to join him in his business, but he preferred the calm of academic life mainly because he had a very high sense of ethics. He once said to Priya Nath: The fact is that I am content!
Priya Nath had written to Shri Nathji about his friend and Shri Nathji had marvelled at his sense of contentment. It was one of the greatest of spiritual wealths that a man could possess.
Shri Bhutt Sahib had once said to Shri Nathji: Prabhuji, you have made me a Chief Justice, and I am grateful for that. But the greatest thing you have given me is contentment!
Shri Nathji would quote Shri Babaji Maharaj:
I am content with what God has given me as my share, and commit to my Creator my every care. To do good in the past has, indeed, been His Will. He will do good as well in what is to come still.
It was but natural that such a one as Dr. Winick be destined to meet God, for he possessed one of God’s greatest treasures.
These are the real spiritualists, Shri Nathji would say, referring to people like Dr. Winick.
The moment Dr. Winick heard Shri Nathji had arrived in America, he dressed up in his best suit and came to greet him at Dr. Smith’s house.
Dr. Winick, Shri Nathji said, I have a very large place in my heart, even for atheists!
Dr. Winick was greatly impressed by Shri Nathji’s capacity to explain complex spiritual truths using simple examples and parables.
“He is only trying to help mankind,” Dr. Winick would say. And about Shri Nathji’s capacity to convince the intellect he would say: He weaves a web around you and before you know it, you are caught in it.
Shri Nathji was pouring greater spirituality into Dr. Winick’s soul than the scientist was aware of. Dr. Winick had become a spiritual receptacle for Shri Nathji’s divinity.
He would invite Shri Nathji to his home, where his children would go into waves of ecstasy upon setting eyes on him. They would be fascinated by Shri Nathji’s turban, and would wrap towels around their own heads in emulation of it.
Shri Nathji had brought two turbans with himself. Dr. Winick, with characteristic American humour, would explain to his children: Priya’s father keeps an extra turban, like a spare tyre in case of an emergency.
Shri Nathji would greatly enjoy playing with the Winick’s children, Lisa, Laura and Lee as also with their dog, Sweetie.
Dr. Winick would be concerned about Shri Nathji’s rest and recreation, and would take Shri Nathji for a boat-ride in Swan Lake in a Boston garden, driving the boat with the oars himself. This was the scene of Kewat in the Ramayana being re-enacted in America. Shri Nathji would have to row the boat for Dr. Winick, in return, across the waters of the bhav-saagar, the ocean of life and death.
Shri Nathji once said to Dr. Winick:
God is beyond relativity and comparisons. He has no attributes or qualities, alone, by Himself. It is only man that derives a variety of relationships from Him. Take the example of a person who is a scientist at work, a husband to his wife, a father to his children and a son to his father, a friend to a friend and an enemy to an enemy. Alone by himself, the person has no qualities or attributes. It is only relative to others that he assumes various relations.
Shri Nathji often referred to Dr. Winick as a true Karma Yogi–one who was in the world doing his works actively and sincerely, and still out of it. His heart was so pure that God had entered into it as Contentment. It was a strange form of God-realisation. Dr. Winick never asked any questions of Shri Nathji, but always sat and listened in silence, absorbing every word, every thought. He was spiritual without any outward pretense to spirituality.
Though neither Dr. Winick nor his family were at any time aware of Shri Nathji’s Divine Power, his protecting shield was ever by their side–just like they had stood by the side of Priya Nath when he was in need. It was Shri Nathji’s turn to fulfil the adage:
A friend in need is a friend, indeed.