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Shri Nathji had a place in his heart for all – the rich and the poor, believers and atheists, pious men and sinners, and he would often quote the following verse:
Bandaao saahibo mauhtaajo gani ek huye
Teri sarkaar men pahunche to sabhi ek huye
The rulers and the ruled, the beggars and the kings,
Become one within thy doors, the moment they have reached Thee.
During those days, a Rai Bahadur frequently visited Shri Nathji’s darbaar in Mussoorie, and heard his sermons with rapt atten­tion. One day the Rai Bahadur found a solitary moment and he said to Shri Nathji:
“Huzoor, I have a confession to make. I come to your sermons in a state of drunkenness. I consume alcohol -sharaab before I come. It is an impertinence, no?
Rai Bahadur, Shri Nathji said, I admire your determination. You come here to listen to the name of God even though you are under the influence of the sharaab. There are many who drink only milk, but who never come.
“Aap to sharaab pee kar bhee Bhagwan kaa naam sun ne aa jaate hain. Log to doodh pee kar bhee naheen aaite!
Why don’t you tell me to stop drinking? said the Rai Bahadur.
You consider drinking wrong?” Shri Nathji asked.
Yes, said the Rai Bahadur.
Then if you know it is wrong, yourself, what is the point in my reminding you of it? You can drop the habit yourself, said Shri Nathji.
Why don’t you order me? said the Rai Bahadur.
I don’t wish to, said Shri Nathji, I know it is a habit to which you have been addicted since years, and that you cannot give it up suddenly. Today, you have begun to question the habit and to consider giving it up, tomorrow you might give it up yourself.
“I shall wait for the awakening to come from within you. If I order you to stop drinking, you won’t be able to obey the order. Once you have disobeyed my order, you will be afraid to come before me. Today, you come with a free mind. I do not wish to stop your progress. You will go from darkness to light yourself.
“But I can do one thing. I can give you the taste of the Divine Intoxication that will make you forget forever the intoxication of wine.
Bayaa ai shaikh dar khumkhaanaye maa
Ke sharaabe khur dar kausar na baashad
Come hither,O Shekh, into my drinking tavern,
And drink of that wine not found even in Heaven
As the days went by, the Rai Bahadur gave up his addic­tion, as Shri Nathji had predicted.
Such was Shri Nathji’s method of reform. It was unique. Far from placing restrictions and giving explicit orders to people, he would never impose his own will on anyone, but rather wait for the goodness within people to come out by itself.
Shri Nathji often said that the real meaning of the word “Sharaab” in Persian was “Aabe shar” which meant a water that excited passions.