By Sripad Bhakti Raksak Swami Maharaj
Pilot Nixon flew his airplane to locate the defense abilities of the Germany army during World War I. He was accompanied by four colleagues, all of whom belonged to the air force, when they entered German airspace and hid their plane in the clouds. Nixon needed a clear view of the defense sites, so he took the risk of lowering his plane. Suddenly he was shaken by an impact. His plane had been hit. The Germany army was opening fire on him, unexpectedly the plane went up in flames.
In his biography Mr. Nixon wrote, “I firmly asserted that I was not a believer in God. I noticed that my burning plane was losing altitude quickly and it was inevitable that it would become visible. There was no way I was going to survive. I muttered, ‘If there is a God, save me.’ I blacked out after that. I didn’t know what happened. I regained consciousness after a long time. When I could understand what they were saying, they told me I had been unconscious for almost two months. When I asked about my colleagues, they found a way to tell me that the burning plane had entered back into French territory and fell straight down, nothing stayed in place, everyone was dead. My pulse was very slow but it was steady, so they took me to the hospital in Paris, and the doctors worked hard to save me. When everyone was arguing over the details of the crash, I started to put together all the details minute by minute in my head. After I remembered how I muttered, ‘If there is a God, save me!’ I got chills down my spine, and ever since that day I have firm faith in God and His existence”.
He continued to write, “after I was discharged, I began to attend church frequently and inquire about God to different priests. Since then I thought that if God dos exist, I should find him and talk “Him”. I wasn’t satisfied with the answers I got and I finally started to read various sacred texts. My desire to meet God and become more involved day after day, was still not satisfied. After all, He saved me the other day, and I should meet my savior”.
Someone had advised me to visit India to learn more deeply about God. They told me that the sages of ancient India had profoundly investigated this topic. I renounced the air force and arrived in India to learn more about God.
The full name of this man was Ronald Nixon, who later became a professor at the University of Lucknow. He and Dr. Gyanendra Nath Chakravarty (vice chancellor) had met long before in England, and since then had been good friends. Dr. Gyanendra has appointed him Professor of the English department at the University of Lucknow.
In the Gita, Sri Krishna says “I help those who search for me sincerely”. Dr. Chakravarty’s wife, Srimati Manika Devi was a devotee of Krishna. She taught and explained Hindu scriptures to Professor Nixon, specifically the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Vedanta and the Srimad Bhagavatam. In time, she initiated him and gave him the name Sri Krishna-Prema.
Later on, Nixon established a center in Mirtola (approximately 14 miles from Almora in the state of Uttar Pradesh) under the name “Uttar Vrindavan”.
They say Professor Nixon reached the realization of the Supreme Lord in that place, and was then able to speak to the Lord. In this way, the Lord granted his wish.
The essence of this story is that Professor Nixon had concluded that he was a firm non-believer in God, but despite that, he developed a strong faith in God due to his accident. This means that God exists. There are many examples to prove this fact. The only way to notice His existence is by giving yourself to Him. A sincere and absolute renunciation will take you to him. For example, to receive any type of education, we have to surrender to a teacher. Surrender means that you’re accepting that the teacher is a greater scholar than you in the sphere of education, so he imparts this education on you once you have surrendered to him. Similarly, once we surrender to the Supreme Lord, he imparts his knowledge on us so that we may reach Him.