Devotion to God must be perfect; only then can it be real. To illustrate this, Shri Nathji used to tell the legendary story of the lovers–Sohni and Mahiwal. Theirs was not an ordinary love; it had the element of the divine in it. Sohni would cross the dark and dangerous waters of a river each night to reach her beloved, Mahiwal, on the other shore. She would carry an earthenware pot-a, matka-with her, to help her float across the river. Her jealous sister-in-law replaced the matka with one made of weak clay. Sohni went across the river using this matka.
In the middle of the river, she saw the vision of her beloved, Mahiwal. She saw the mole on his face. And it struck her that the mole should not have been there. At that very instant, the matka sank, and with it, Sohni. The saints and sages were shaken in their meditation. Why did real love sink? Was it not God’s injustice?
And the revelation was flashed across to them: Real Love had ceased to exist when Sohini saw the imperfection of the mole in her lover! Real love saw only perfection. The lane of love was a difficult one. It would not brook any insufficiency– not even of the width of a hair.
A devotee had to see perfection in God. It was only thus that he could retain a lasting relationship with Him.
Whenever Shri Nathji gave examples of the lover and the beloved–like that of Yusuf and Zulekha, or Laila and Majnu, or Shereen and Farhaad–he would be referring to Divine Love.
It was God that put the divine beauty into Laila, which attracted the heart of Majnu, he would say.
The difference between ordinary love and divine love is that ordinary love takes one to a consciousness of the body and the senses, while divine love takes one above such a consciousness. Ordinary love is physical in nature, divine love transcends the physical. It is spiritual in nature. It is like the love between Radha and Krishna.Shri Nathji would give the following definition of a genuine lover in Persian:
Aashikee raa shash nishaan baashad ai pissar
Aahe sardo rang zardo chashm tar
There are six signs of Love, O Son!
Cold sighs, a paleness of the face and eyes wet with tears;
Gar turaa pursand cheh deegar kudaam
Kam khuro, kam guftano guftam haraam
And if thou ask for the other three–
These are a giving up of food and talk,
And a giving up of sleep!