The Alchemy of Love
( 43 )
The poets of Persian describe devotion( Ishque ) as alchemy: Alchemists believed that there is a matter in the universe with the name ' Ikseer ' or 'Kimia' which has the capacity to transmute the matters. They exhausted centuries to discover it. The poets borrowed this term and said that the real Alchemy, which has the potential to cause a change, is love and devotion, because devotion can change the nature. Devotion is absolute "Ikseer" and has the quality of alchemy, i.e., it transmutes one metal into another. Men are also of different metals like gold and silver. It is devotion which makes a cardiological organ the heart; if there is no love there is no heart, it is only a piece of mud and water that each heart which lacks pangs is not a heart, The melancholic heart is nothing but a handful of mud:
Oh! God give me a warm, enkindling bosom.
In that bosom a heart which should be all affectionate.
The vigor and strength are from the by-products of devotion; love generates vigor and makes a brave out of a coward.
A domestic hen, as long as it is all alone, collects the plumage on its back, walks leisurely, becomes restive for finding an insect to eat, flees away on a slight alarm and shows little resistance even against a child; but when this very fowl, has a brood, love and devotion get entered into its living figure and its habits are changed: It. drops down the plumage, collected on its back as an indication of preparedness and self-defense, assumes the warring position, so much so that its echo becomes more forceful and braver. Earlier, it would flee on apprehending a danger but now it would assault in case of such an apprehension and would lead a bold aggression; this is love that has made a daring animal out of a timid hen.
( 44 )
Love and devotion transforms the ugly and sluggish into handsome and smart. So much so that it makes a brilliant out of a stupid. The boy and the girl who in their single life never worried themselves about anything, unless it directly concerned them, but as soon as they enter into mutual attachment and organize a matrimonial life, each of them for the first time finds concerned with the fate of the other. At that time the canvas of their desires expands. And when they have become parents of a son, their whole nature is completely changed. That boy who was lazy and sluggish has now become smart and active, and that girl who would never rise from her bed even per force would now leap like lightning on hearing the cry of her cradle-rider. What is that power which has made both of them so sensitive? That is nothing but love and devotion. Devotion makes a generous out of a miser, a powerful and forbearing out of a weak and impatient.
This is because of devotion, that a selfish hen, which was always worried to collect grain for self preservation, as soon as it became of brood on finding a single grain it calls the chickens to feast. Or to that mother, who till yesterday was a listless daughter always slumbering and eating, weak and irritant, love has now given her the strength to resist hunger, to forbear toil, to resign indolence, to be patient and forbearing and to withstand all the labours of being a mother.
In the parlance of poetry and literature, in chapters about the effects of love, we often enjoy one phenomenon and that is the intuition as bounty of love.
The nightingale has learnt to sing from bounty of flowers, otherwise
All this eloquence and lyric were never arranged in her beak.
( 45 )
Although prima facie the bounty of flower is a factor external to the figure of nightingale yet in fact it is nothing but the power of love itself.
Do not think that Majnoon became Majnoon himself.
It was Laila's attraction which pulled him from the fish to the star.
Devotion awakens the latent potentialities and liberates the stifled and suppressed faculties, like splitting of an atom and discharge of atomic energy. Devotion is intuitive and emboldening. Many poets, philosophers and men of art are people of love and devotion hence powerful. Love gives perfection to soul and reveals marvelous latent potentialities. From the viewpoint of perception it is intuitive, and from the view point of qualities of sentiments it enhances the will power; and when it ascends to the climax, it performs wonders and miracles.
It purifies the soul from contamination and pollution, in other words, love is a purifier. Love, by washing away the beastly qualities arising out of selfishness, apathy and indifference like miserliness, parsimony, cowardice lethargy, arrogance and self-conceit; destroys and annihilates hatred and vindictiveness. No doubt, failure and deprivation may happen in love and it may generate problems and animosities.
( 46 )
Love makes bitterness sweet.
Love transmutes copper to gold.
If the love is relatable to spirit, it enlightens and enriches the soul; but if it is relatable to body, it would result in its deterioration and degeneration. The effect of spiritual love is just the converse of material love. Material love brings about pessimism, pale face, feeble limbs and defect in digestion and indisposition in muscles. Perhaps the consequences of material love are all destructive but this is not so in the case of spiritual love. Then what should the object of love be? and how should one benefit from it? Leaving aside its social effects, the effect of spiritual love on individual is perhaps complimentary because it generates vigor, tenderness, unification and determination, and eliminates weakness, impurity, dissension and stupidity. It removes deviations that are called "intrigue" by the Quran, eradicates fraud and transmutes impostor to virtuous:-
The master soul annihilates the body, thereafter reconstructs it,
( 47 )
Virtuous is the soul who for the sake of love and happiness,
Gave away his home and hearth, property and wealth,
He robbed his house of the precious treasure, and filled it with wealth more,
He sucked away the water from the riverbed,
Thereafter he inundated it with water and benefited from it,
He pierced the skin with the spear, thereafter he spread a new layer,
The perfect, who know the secret of quest,
Are perplexed, intoxicated and enamored,
Not so much perplexed as to turn back on him (beloved),
Rather so perplexed as (to be) absorbed and lost in the loved one.