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Chapter 4: A Pure Flame of Love

Love is like a diamond in a mine; it has not yet been cleaned, it is still covered with dirt. For centuries it has lain together with pebbles and stones - its shine is lost. Love is like a diamond which has just been taken from a mine - it has not yet been cleaned, it has not yet been in the hands of a jeweler, it has not yet been touched by a chisel. Right now, only someone who is capable of looking at it very deeply can realize that it is a diamond. You cannot see what it is yet. This is why devotion is not seen in love - because love is like an uncut diamond. The same diamond has come to its refinement in a Meera, in a Daya, in a Sahajo; there is a shine on it, it has received the art of a jeweler’s hands. Then it glitters. Much needs to be cut away.

The Kohinoor is the biggest diamond in the world. It weighed three times more on the day it was found. Only a third of it has remained after all the cutting, trimming and polishing. But its value has increased every time it has been trimmed. It has become more beautiful as new facets have emerged. Because it weighs only a third of its original weight, it should be less valuable today than on the day it was found - if you were to look from the point of view of weight. But it had no value on the day it was found. Its value has come through its refinement, through being polished.

There was a famous Western sculptor, Michelangelo. One day, as he was walking along, he noticed a large piece of marble lying by the side of the road near a marble shop. He had seen it many times, it had simply been dumped by the side of the road. He went into the shop and asked the shopkeeper the price of this abandoned piece of rock. The shopkeeper said, “It has no price. It is completely worthless. No sculptor wants to buy it. Take it if you want, we will be glad to be rid of it. You can have it free of charge, as long as you pay to take it away.”

Michelangelo took the stone away. As he was taking it, the shopkeeper asked him, “What will you do with this worthless piece of rock? It is useless.”

Michelangelo said, “I will let you know in a few months.” After some time, he invited the shopkeeper to come to his home. There was a statue of Jesus lying in Mary’s lap. The shopkeeper was spellbound. He said, “I have seen many statues, but where were you able to find this rare piece of marble?”

Michelangelo replied, “This is the same stone that you threw away and I took for nothing.”

The shopkeeper could not believe him, “That crude piece of rock has nothing in common with this statue. They have nothing in common at all. How did you realize that such a worthless stone could be turned into this statue?”

Michelangelo replied, “Whenever I passed your shop, this statue used to call out to me from inside the rock. It asked me to free it, to take it out of its prison, to release it from its bondage.”

I want to tell you that devotion lies imprisoned within the prison of love. And love calls out for its release. The day devotion is released from love, the day it emerges refined and purified, you find the divine. Love is like a nugget of gold which is full of impurities; devotion is gold which has passed through fire and been refined and cleansed. All the rubbish has been burned away, only the pure gold remains. Devotion is the purest form of love and love is an impure form of devotion.

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