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Shri Nathji’s book, The Rays of light, was sent by Ram Rattan Khanna to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., America. The year was 1934. Lying amongst hundreds and thousands of books, its unusual orange cover caught the eye of a lady, Emma E. Ploner.
She opened the book and saw the photograph of Shri Nathji inside. Her heart was at once attracted by the holiness and beauty with which the picture was endowed. She took the book and read it. A spiritual transformation came over her, as if she had awakened to a new world containing a living Master.
She was a member of the Rosicrucian sect. In Shri Nathji’s writings, her heart found what it had been searching for. It was as if the highest of spiritual truths propounded by her own sect had come alive. Shri Nathji’s teachings were so universal in nature that everyone found his own within them. His writings touched the very heart and soul of Emma E. Ploner.
She wrote a letter to Shri Nathji, and much to her great delight received a reply. She wanted to come to India to meet Shri Nathji and she set out on the long journey by ship. But Shri Nathji had ordained otherwise. Due to the impending war, the ship carrying Emma turned back.
Emma was disconsolate. The desire to see Shri Nathji had become very intense in her heart. It was a desire that had to find fulfilment.
One morning, Emma came out of her house into the garden. Much to her great astonishment, she saw Shri Nathji sitting on the garden chair outside, looking at her and smiling. He was dressed in a turban, a long sherwaani, and chooridars. The divine bliss that filled her heart and soul at the sight was something that was to remain with her for the rest of her life.
She ran inside to put on a better dress to welcome the dignified visitor. When she came out of the house again, Shri Nathji was gone!
It was neither a dream nor a vision. It was the living presence of Shri Nathji. For a moment, Emma had thought Shri Nathji had arrived at her house from India. But upon looking around, she soon became convinced that Shri Nathji had, in some mysterious manner, fulfilled her desire for darshan, reaching out to her from across the oceans. Shri Nathji had often said, “Every intense desire must find fulfillment.
Emma wrote to Shri Nathji and asked him why he had appeared before her so suddenly and then disappeared.
Shri Nathji replied: I appeared before you in America to let you know that I was always with you, and I disappeared only because I had entered your heart.
Shri Nathji made a mistake in spelling the name of Emma. He spelt it as Ema, omitting one ‘m’. Far from correcting Shri Nathji, Emma immediately changed her name to Ema. Her friends and relatives were surprised.
Her reply was: I had been spelling my name wrongly all these years. My master has corrected me.
A deep spiritual bond was established. For Ema, Shri Nathji was an incarnation of the divine. It was a realisation that came to her from within.
Ram Rattan Khanna sent cardamoms touched by the hands of Shri Nathji to Ema in America. He sent a letter along with the prasaad and explained its significance: Eat the cardamoms only after you have purified yourself, he wrote to Ema. Cardamoms were a sanctified offering Shri Nathji gave to people.
For a little while, Ema was puzzled. She had bathed herself and worn new clothes. But how could she purify her inner self? How could she clean her heart? Surely purity meant inner purity as well. How can I eat the cardamoms without being pure from within? She kept on asking herself.Just as she had begun to despair, she thought she distinctly heard the cardamoms speak to her: Ema, if you could purify yourself, of what use would the cardamoms be?
And then she understood. Only the cardamoms could purify her. They would do so, even as they entered into her body.
For many years, Ema corresponded with Shri Nathji, and Shri Nathji sent her spiritual solace and peace of mind through his written words. There came a time when Shri Nathji visited America thirty years later. By that time, Ema had become a very old lady in her nineties. She had also shifted to a new address which Shri Nathji did not have. Her relationship with Shri Nathji was to remain purely on the spiritual plane. One glimpse of Shri Nathji was all she had been destined to have–when Shri Nathji had appeared in her garden for a brief moment. For the rest, it was as if she had been writing letters to an invisible God, and receiving a reply in return.
Shri Nathji would never tire of speaking of Ema in his sermons. The ‘m’ that Ema had deleted from her name, had become immortal.
She always looked upon Shri Nathji as a Great Soul who was one with the other Great Souls that had appeared in the past on this earth.