I salute to Sri Amrit Nathji Maharaj!
By the grace of Nathji Maharaj, Babaji Sri Narhari Nathji ordered me to get the book ‘Sri Vilakshan Avdhoot’ translated in English in 2003. So I began to look for a translator for this job. After I talked to some translators, I came to know that this particular job did not involve just translation. It needed someone who had an immense knowledge of religion and metaphysics in addition to being proficient in the English and Hindi languages otherwise the translation will not do justice to the original text. Someone told me the name of a journalist from the newspaper Hindustan, Mumbai. Once he read the book, he told me he was not equipped to translate this book and suggested the names of a few other translators. I contacted various journalists from Hindi newspapers in Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai but all of them said that they were not capable enough to translate this text.
Finally one day when Anand was on his way to the Buchasia Scindia School in Gwalior, it struck him that there was a teacher in that school by the name of Mr. Atma Ram Sharma who is a scholar of Hindi, English and Sanskrit! And to our great joy, he told Anand that he was quite capable to translate this text in its true sense. And because he had also taken his retirement already so he took up the task of translating this text. When Anand and I met him later, we ended up talking about this and that is when we got to know that he has a deep interest in religion and metaphysics. He himself had been practicing meditation for quite a few years. It had taken us more than a year to find the ideal translator for this job!
He began to translate the book and was doing a very good job with it. But suddenly one day, he had a heart attack and was admitted in the hospital for almost a whole month so that he could recuperate. Till that time, only the prose section had been translated. Once he was discharged, Mr. Sharma told me that I should get the anthology section of the book translated by someone else, as he was incapable of doing much at the time. He had become mentally and physically broken after the heart attack. In fact he said that he was now prepared to go to heaven and be close to God. And it just slipped out of my mouth, “Sir, this is a task that you will have to do. It will be extremely difficult to find another person with your capability.” He told me not to keep any such hope and he did the entire billing. Finally, I just said that if you ever have the strength or desire to work again, do let me know and I left.
I felt desperate. Finding another translator not only seemed difficult but impossible because translating the anthology section was a much more complex task than translating the prose section. On one hand I felt like giving up completely but on the other I felt this faith taking root inside me. I felt that it was the grace of Sri Amrit Nathji that such a skilled translator had completed the translation of the prose section so it just could not be that he does not end up translating the anthology section. And because of this faith, I did not even bother looking for another translator.
There was no end to my surprise when out of the blue I got a call from Mr. Sharma 40-45 days later to tell me, “Dilip, I started work on the anthology section of the book 15-20 days ago. I guess it was the kindness and great vision of Amrit Nathji that I found the physical and mental strength within me to work on this again. I will only work on the tasks for Amrit Nathji now. And the most amazing thing is, I read a part of the anthology once and the English translation for it comes to my mind within moments. And that too in the form of poetry even though I had never written poetry in English in these 70 years of my life!” He finished the job in just 7-8 months.
I then sent the translated version of ‘Vilakshan Avdhoot’ to Mr. Vishwanath, of the newspaper Hindustan for editing and proofreading. He completed that task in a month and also commented that the translation of the book was of the highest standard and even the English poetry was so delightful that a scholar who is an English poet must have done this job. He praised the depth of the words and phrases used and said that we could not have found a better translator if we tried. Anyway, we sent the suggestions and corrections made by him to Mr. Sharma so that they could be incorporated and then the English translation was complete. After the book had been typeset, it was sent to him for proofreading one last time.
Finally, the only thing left was the ‘Scheme of Translation’ that has to be given as a preface to the book. I was leaving for Europe at that point of time. I sent it to him by courier and called him on the way to request him to finish this last task. When I returned from Europe about 15 days later, I found a letter from him on my table. It contained a detailed ‘Scheme of Translation’ that he had sent within a few days of my request. The next day I got to know from Anand that Mr. Sharma had passed away 7-8 days ago. I was speechless.
This is the splendor and glory of Sri Amrit Nathji. After that, I completely believed that it was the mercy and glory of Sri Amrit Nathji that gave Mr. Sharma a new lease on life so he could have the honor of performing this task.
Greetings and respects to this divine majesty from the bottom of my heart!