The illnesses that came to Shri Nathji’s body were never his own. A striking illustration of this was seen when Justice Raza visited him at Lucknow. The judge was suffering from severe abdominal pain. He sent word inside to Shri Nathji that he had come for his darshan. That very instant Shri Nathji developed a severe abdominal pain in exactly the same spot.
Shri Nathji had this peculiar habit of taking all kinds of illnesses and symptoms upon himself– which were merely the reflections of the sufferings of humanity around him.
I take the sufferings of other persons upon myself, because I can endure them, while they cannot. And, ultimately, I vanquish the suffering, after allowing it as a guest within my body for a while, Shri Nathji would say.
Shri Nathji would narrate his symptoms to the devotees closest to him, in all probability to test their love for him.
R.R.Khanna had become so distressed at Shri Nathji’s propensity for taking the illnesses of the world upon himself that he would be afraid to take Shri Nathji close to any hospital. He had even gone on a hunger strike to protest against Shri Nathji taking other people’s illnesses upon himself.
Once he said to Shri Nathji in a light vein:
Huzoor! All the blood in my body has been drained already from worrying over your health. I suggest you tell your symptoms and complaints to that large over-sized friend of yours, M.P. Khanna. He must have plenty of blood in him and could do with a loss of weight!
Indeed, though Shri Nathji had many devotees there was none of them who could claim to be Shri Nathji’s friend. Lord Rama did not have any friend described in the Ramayana. Lord Krishna had only one friend and that was Sudama. In Shri Nathji’s life there was only one who could lay claim to be Shri Nathji’s friend.