The episode of the woodcutter

It is said that some dervishes accompanied Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) on one of his travels. During the journey one of the dervish companions asked: "Hazrat, what is meant by `eyes of elixir' ?" At that moment, at a distance not too far away a woodcutter, was about to pick up his wood. With one look, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) sent out his spiritual attention to the woodcutter, who became still, staring in the sky. Turning to the dervish, The Saint said: "Do you see that woodcutter over there? He will answer your question on our return journey."

It is said that on the return journey, they passed the woodcutter who was still staring into the sky. Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) once again gave his spiritual attention to the woodcutter. With one gaze the woodcutter returned to his normal original state. He fell at the feet of the Saint, sad and pleading him to return him to the state that he was in. The Saint asked the woodcutter to explain what he had experienced so that his companions could understand what is meant by `eyes of elixir'.

The woodcutter said: "Sir, the other day you were passing by when you looked towards me. As soon as your gaze fell on me, I experienced a state of illumination, peace and happiness. I felt myself being drowned in the ocean of Allah's, light and mercy, annihilated in a blissful extreme happiness. Please sir, for the sake of Allah, return me to that delightful and ecstatic state again".

The Saint turned to his companion dervishes and said: "You have received your answer to your question from the woodcutter himself. This, what you have witnessed is but a small drop from the reality of what is meant by `eyes of elixir`. You cannot understand and withstand the full force of its reality."

Turning to the woodcutter he told him to carry on with his work, advising him not to be hopeless, as his inner state was now luminous and that from time to time, he would be experiencing the same state of ecstatic great joy.

Bidding him farewell, the Saint carried on his journey. By Allah, what an eyesight! Such is the reality of the Faqir's of Allah. With one gaze they turn a woodcutter into a Gnostic of Allah. With one gaze they turn a `dead' heart into a `living' heart, to remain always immersed in the remembrance of Allah.