Thursday, May 17, 2018

Quran and Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan

And He is the Forgiving, the Loving. (85:14 Quran)/ This new book, Quran and Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan, to be published by All Things That Matter Press gets its breath of life from the wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan. /A little over a century ago he came from India to US, then traveled to Eastern and Western Europe as far as Russia in an attempt to unite east and west in love peace and harmony./ Divinely inspired in music and in knowledge of esoteric and exoteric religions he strove toward teaching God-realization, not promoting any particular faith, not even his own in which he was born, Islam. /This book contains a selection of verses from the Quran which extremists ignore, picking only the ones which they can distort to suit the fever of their own hate, malice, injustice and intolerance. / These verses need no clerics, scholars or theologians to interpret or misinterpret by the very virtue of their all-encompassing rhythm of mercy, justice and compassion. / Each Surah begins with a quote from Hazrat Inayat Khan with clear explanation. /At the end of each chapter are chunks of his lectures or contemplations./ The concept of unity in all three faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam is the major theme resonating in all chapters of this book borrowed from the Quran and from the works of Hazrat Inayat Khan. /The Jews, Christians and Muslims, collectively known as, People of the Book, is a recurring theme throughout this book, validated by the Quranic verses./ God Realization as taught by Hazrat Inayat Khan a decade and a century ago is another theme of universal reality which binds humankind together under the Grace of Divine blessings given to all unconditionally regardless of their piety or shortcomings. /Self-Realization coming through the discipline of spiritual understanding reaches the rungs of final theme in later chapters of this book which explore and disclose the beauty of knowing oneself inwardly for attainment of living harmoniously with friends, families and nations./ Learning wisdom from within and unlearning what we have learnt from without, leading us toward a journey in esoteric realms free from dogma and orthodoxy./ It is more important to know the truth about one's self than to try to find out the truth of heaven and hell./ It is more important to find out the truth about oneself than to find out the truth about heaven and hell, or about many other things which are of less importance and are apart from oneself. /However, every man's pursuit is according to his state of evolution, and so each soul is in pursuit of something but he does not know where it leads him. /The first sign of realization is tolerance towards others. /There are the words of Christ: 'In the house of my father are many mansions' and those of the Prophet: 'Each soul has its own religion.' /This means that according to his evolution so man knows the truth and the more a man knows, the more he finds there is to learn. In order to attain truth one must make one's own life truthful./ This is life in its moral aspect. The more truthful one is in one's everyday life the more one practices this moral despite its great difficulty, the more one approaches the only religion which there is. Truth is the very self of man. /Truth is the divine element in man./ Truth is every soul's seeking. /Therefore as soon as the clouds of illusion are scattered, that which man now begins to see is nothing but the truth which has been there all the time. /He finds that the truth was never absent; it was only covered by clouds of illusion. By changing his own nature, by making himself more truthful, he disperses the clouds of falsehood within and without, and begins to see life as it really is both inwardly and outwardly. /From this time onwards, the meaning of religion becomes clear./ When a person really wants to find the way, it is not very far from him. /It depends on the sincerity of the desire to find it whether it is far or not./ What is necessary for finding it is not much reading, or discussion or argument, but a practical study of self. /One questions one's own self: what am I? /Am I a material body, or a mind, or something behind a mind? /Am I myself or my coat? /Is this object "me," or something different? /Is this body my cover, or myself?/ There is One Truth, the true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of all wisdom. /Hazrat Ali says, 'Know thyself, and thou shalt know God.' /The Sufi recognizes the knowledge of self as the essence of all religions; he traces it in every religion, he sees the same truth in each, and therefore he regards all as one. /Hence he can realize the saying of Jesus; 'I and my Father are one.' /The difference between creature and Creator remains on his lips, not in his soul. /This is what is meant by union with God. /It is in reality the dissolving of the false self in the knowledge of the true self, which is divine, eternal, and all pervading./ 'He who attaineth union with God, his very self must lose,' said Amir. Hazrat Inyat Khan/ 'Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.' Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mom Dearest

A pang of pain must be washed away inside the baptismal waters of poetry before I could write another word about my mom. She died in Pakistan, while I was here in USA./ Like the gnarled olive branches/ My soul/ Twisted in precious memories/ Gazes at my Mother/ Sick, helpless, dying—alone/ While I/ Gulfs apart in time, continents/ Write, write, write/ Boundless vacuums in life/ Empty days and dream nights/ Drift, journey, reach out/ One link to gentleness/ Mother/ How exquisitely tender/ The sense of pain/ The ribbon of reveries snaps/ Despair and isolation/ Agony most dear/ Mom dearest/ Could you tell me again/ Love hurts not/ Love is—not pain/ Would you write/ Just this once/ I live/ Love,/ Mom/ Mom cultivated in me the love for song and poetry, and love for words. / Not just words, but warm, soothing words filled with the light of joy and inspiration./ Paradoxically her love sweet and boundless became my haven and prison both for me that is./ I couldn’t endure the thought of being separated from her even for one day./ One particular incidence still brings tears to my eyes, when recollection seizes me with the pincers of loss and grief./ Though the incidence itself was not tragic!/ My cell of a prison was my college dorm, my first night away from home pressing upon me like the slabs of ice./ Mom was staying with friends, promising to visit me the next day before she returned home./ So terrified and lonesome I was in my unfriendly room that I cried myself to sleep. / The morning was no better than the night rigged with nightmares, and I had attended classes in some daze of pain and disconsolation./ A realization, rather revelation was dawning upon me that since I had never been away from mom, I had never known that how terrible and devastating this experience could be./ Afternoon was a long, dreary journey from corridors to classrooms. / And as I was hurrying back, rather fleeing to my lonesome refuge, I could see my mom sailing toward me gracefully. / In a flash, my feet had taken wings, and before I knew I had fallen into her eager embrace, weeping and sobbing./ So loud and uncontrollable was my distress that the men working in the yard had stopped their work, their eyes riveted to us./ Has someone died in your family, madam? One gardener was bold enough to ask my mom./ Since mom didn’t answer, still pressing me closer with an aching tenderness, another young man edged closer./ Why is she crying? The man stood anxious and solicitous./ Fortunately, no death in the family! Mom flashed him a sunny smile./ Just left her here last evening, and made the mistake of visiting her today?/ After returning home, mom began the crusade of instructing me in the art of living through her witty letters sealed with commandments./ This kind of learning was another painful revelation, but she guided me lovingly and pontifically. / Her letters had become my talisman, lending me the courage to graduate and then get married./ Continents away I was separated from her, but her letters kept coming, inspiring me with the need to write and befriend words which would be my friends forever./ Though the word-friends had abandoned me in my grief and misery at her death, yet I could be consoled with her words./ The beautiful memory of her had become a living proof of her love that she gave me all, becoming My All in pain and inspiration. / Mother’s day still clouds my eyes with the mists of tears, but I offer them to her sweet memory with one prayer of a caress./ Love you, Mom, Forgive!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Afghanistan

Afghanis, though hosting a potpourri of clan, race and culture have one common ideal amongst them, and that is their spirit of independence which defies even the thought of being ruled or subjugated. / They don’t regard Americans, Russians or Europeans as enemies, but their outlook toward foreign presence in their homeland is similar toward Arabs who have been trying to rule them for the past few decades in the name of Islam, and that outlook is disgust and bitterness with a sense of hopelessness. / To understand their fear, plight or behavior, it would be beneficial for the peace of the world, if we could have a brief overview of the history of Afghanistan. / This land and its people have endured centuries of raids, massacres, marauders and fortune-hunters, and yet have remained resilient in their spirit of independence against the hurricanes of woe, tragedy and devastation./ No one has ever been able to rule the fierce tribes of this land inundated with wild, treacherous valleys and terrains with the exception of Babur, the first Moghul of India./ Babur and later Moghuls in succession safeguarded Kabul as their precious Jewel to polish and preserve until the sixth Moghul emperor in line lost this jewel as well as the jewel of India by the grand folly of his zeal, savagery and intolerance./ Roundabout of the ancient Afghanistan/ 2000 BC-1500 BC/ Aryans came to Afghanistan—the time of Rigveda/ 628 BC/ Zoroaster introduces new religion in Balkh/ 330 BC-323 BC/ Alexander conquers Persia, Afghanistan/ 120 AD/ Buddhist culture flourishes under king Kanishka. / Buddha first given a human face one hundred and seventy-five feet in width and one hundred and twenty feet tall at the mountain of Bamiyan./ 400/ Invasion of White Huns. /They destroy the Buddhist culture, and leave most of Afghanistan in ruins./ 642/ Arabs invaded Afghanistan from the western city of Herat, introducing the religion of Islam./ 970/ Mohammed Ghazni consolidated the conquests of his predecessors and turned the city of Ghazni in Afghanistan into a cultural center as well as a base for frequent forays into India./ 1219-1221/ Mongol invasion by Genghis Khan with a massive destruction of the cities of Herat, Balkh and Bamiyan. / 1273/ Marco Polo discovers silk route on his voyage from Italy to China./ 1393/ Tamerlane conquers Afghanistan./ He chooses the city of Herat as his capital, rebuilding most of the Afghanistan’s infrastructure destroyed by his ancestor. His tomb is in Samarkand. / 1504-1530/ Babur is the undisputed lord of Kabul—king and padishah. /The city of Kandahar ruled by the Persians. /Kabul in possession of the Moghuls till Year 1709/ 1709-1738/ Mir Wais Hotak frees Kandahar from the Persians. / Later, Hotak’s son Mahmud Hotaki conquers Isfahan, the capital of Persia, assuming the title of Persian Shah. / Hotaki begins the reign of terror and is murdered by his cousin Ashraf Khan, who becomes the new Afghan leader. / Hotaki’s brother Shah Husayn rules Kandahar./ Nadir Shah from Persia conquers Kandahar, Ghazni, Kabul and Lahore./ 1747-1826/ Ahmad Shah Durrani, a Pashtun from the Abdali clan elected king in a loya jirga after the assassination of Nadir Shah./ He establishes the modern state of Afghanistan from his capital of Kandahar, uniting the fragmented provinces into one country./ His rule extended from Mashad in the west to Kashmir and Delhi in the east, and from Amu Darya (Oxus) River in the north to the Arabian sea in the south. / All the successive rulers till the Year 1818 were from the Durrani’s Pashtun tribal confederation./ 1826-1838/ Dost Mahmud gains control in Kabul./ The Great Game of British and Russian Empires sue for power and influence in Afghanistan. / Dost Mahmud is deposed by British, while the city of Herat is besieged by the Persians in the Year 1837 to retake Afghanistan from the clutches of British and Russia / 1839-1842/ First Anglo-Afghan war with British. Mohammad Akbar defeats British./ 1843/ Dost Mohammed returns, Afghanistan declares independence./ 1865/ Russia occupies Bokhara, Tashkent and Samarkand./ 1878/ Second Anglo-Afghan war with British. / Amir Sher Ali refuses to accept British mission in Kabul. / This conflict brings Amir Abdur Rahman to the throne while the British and Russians establish the boundaries of Afghanistan./ 1880/ Afghan woman by the name of Malalai carries Afghan flag forward after the soldiers carrying the flag are killed by the British./ 1919/ Abdur Rahman’s son and successor are assassinated./ Amanullah Khan takes control of Afghanistan./ Third Anglo-Afghan war with British. / The British relinquish control over foreign affairs by signing a treaty at Rawalpindi./ August 1919 becomes the Day of Independence for Afghanistan./ 1919-1929/ Amanullah Khan’s father-in-law and foreign minister gains support of Loya Jirga in implementing Article 68 of Afghanistan’s first constitution, which made elementary education compulsory./ Amanullah Khan was forced to abdicate in Year 1929 by the forces led by Habibullah Kalakani./ 1929-1973/ Amanullah’s cousin Nadir Shah defeats Habibullah Kalakani and becomes the king of Afghanistan./ In Year 1933 Nadir Shah is assassinated by a Kabul student in revenge killing, and his son Zahir Shah succeeds as the king of Afghanistan./ 1973-1978/ Daoud Khan succeeds as a ruler over the Republic of Afghanistan in a military coup against Zahir Shah. / The communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan splits into factions, one led by Nur Muhammad Taraki and Hafizullah Amin, and the other by Babrak Karmal. / 1978-1979/ The regime of Daoud Khan was overthrown by Nur Muhammad Takaki and Babrak Karmal. / Afghanistan becomes the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan under the rule of Nur Muhammad Taraki. / Many decrees were issued under the rule of Taraki, amongst them the rights of women. / Anahita Ratebzad—a leader of the Marxist group and a member of revolutionary council reported in the Year 1978 in the famous New Kabul editorial: Privileges which women, by right, must have are equal education, job security, health services and free time to rear a healthy generation for building the future of the country. / Educating and enlightening women now is the subject of close government attention./ Meanwhile USSR sets foothold in Afghanistan by contacting to build roads, schools and hospitals. / A band of students dubbed as Mujahideen, funded by United States government to weaken the power of USSR rebel against the new reforms in Afghanistan. / Amidst the bouts of violent uprising Nur Muhammad Taraki is overthrown by Hafizullah Amin, and Russians send troops to invade Afghanistan./ 1979-1989/ Nine years of soviet war and occupation against Mujahideen leads to civil war./ Meanwhile America, CIA, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia supporting and assisting Mujahideen, including the Yemeni Arab by the name of Osama Bin Laden. / During this time of chaos and warring factions, power shifts from Karmal to Najibullah and to Mujahideen./ 1992/ Civil war in Afghanistan, the collapse of Soviet Union, and Najibullah government overthrown by Mujahideen. / Mujahideen seize Kabul./ 1996-2001/ Mulla Omar rules Afghanistan./ 2001 December/ Hamid Karzai becomes the leader of Afghanistan./ Babur biography:/ Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur was born on February 14 1483 in the town of Andijan, in the Ferghana Valley which is in eastern Uzbekistan. / Ferghana Valley is about four hundred and twenty kilometer east of Tashkent, and seventy-five kilometer west of Andijan. / At the southern tip of Central Asia it cuts across the borders of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan./ During sixteenth and seventeenth century Afghanistan’s north kingdom of Balkh was ruled by Uzbeks. /West was ruled by Safavid rulers from Persia./ East was under the sway of the Moghuls. / Babur’s father Omar Sheikh was the king of the Valley of Ferghana. / After Omar Sheikh’s death, Babur on the rung of twelve summers was thrown into the jungles of warfare against his uncles and Uzbeks. / Babur lost Ferghana—the pearl of Uzbekistan while striving toward possessing Samarkand—the pearl of the East. /He won and lost Samarkand three times, and conquered Kabul in Year 1504. / Under his reign Kabul flourished as the center of poetry and literature, commemorating this land enriched by poets, saints, philosophers and astronomers./ The most famous amongst them Rabia, Rumi, Jami and Ulugh Beg. / Rabia in tenth century was born in the city of Balkh in Afghanistan and settled in the city of Basra in Iraq./ Rumi in thirteenth century was born and educated in Balkh in Afghanistan./ Jami in fifteenth century was born in the city of Herat in Afghanistan. / Ulugh Beg, though born in Persia became the governor of Samarkand. / He wrote accurate trigonometric tables of sine and tangent values correct to at least eight decimal places, and built his famous observatory in Samarkand./ Babur himself was a poet and an architect./ Writing poetry and his own memoirs!/ Designing palaces and planting gardens. / When he conquered Delhi and Agra in the Year 1526, becoming the first Moghul emperor of Hind, he ordered the construction of grand highway from Agra to Kabul, posting couriers every ten kilometers with a fresh supply of horses for the delivery of goods and messages./ Babur died at Agra in the Year 1530, longing for Kabul. / Later his remains were transferred to Kabul by his beloved wife Bibi Mubaraka, known as the Afghan Lady, and the emperor was buried in his own garden of Shahi-Kabul amidst glorious blooms and no monument to block the sunshine./ ‘With the slaughter of multitudes/We have grief and sorrow/Every victory is a funeral/When you win a war/You celebrate by mourning.’/ Tao Te Ching

Monday, February 5, 2018

Peace Memorial Revisited

'It's not the load that breaks you down. It's the way you carry it.' Lena Horne/ Today is the 91 Year death anniversary of Hazrat Inayat Khan and his teachings are being shared all over world as a mark of reverence and celebration/He came to America Year 1910 with a message of peace, unity and harmony in all religions/ Even after more than a century ago his message of love still resounds fresh and inspiring/Below is an excerpt form his teachings which is so pertinent to our times in throes of uncertainty/ Memorial Note:/ Hazrat Inayat Khan - July 5, 1882 - February 5, 1927/ Following a bout with pneumonia, Inayat Khan departed from this world on February 5, 1927, at the Tilak Lodge, located along the river Yamuna near Delhi, India./ His burial tomb is in the Basti Nizamuddin neighborhood of Delhi./ Inayat Khan described the essence of his spiritual message with the following words, which are offered here to commemorate his life and teachings:/ Our sacred task is to awaken among those around us and among those whom we can reach in the first place the spirit of tolerance for the religion, scripture, and the ideal of devotion of one another; our next task is to make man understand people of different nations, races and communities, also of different classes./ By this we do not mean to say that all races and nations must become one, nor that all classes must become one; only what we have to say is that whatever be our religion, nation, race or class, our most sacred duty is to work for one another, in one another's interest, and to consider that as the service of God. .../ The central theme of the Sufi Message is one simple thing, and yet most difficult, and that is to bring about in the world the realization of the divinity of the human soul, which hitherto has been overlooked, for the reason that the time had not come./ The principal thing that the Message has to accomplish in this era is to create the realization of the divine spark in every soul, that every soul according to its progress may begin to realize for itself the spark of divinity within./ This is the task that is before us./ Now you may ask, what is the Message?/ The Message is this: that the whole humanity is as one single body, and all nations and communities and races as the different organs, and the happiness and well-being of each of them is the happiness and well-being of the whole body./ If there is one organ of the body in pain, the whole body has to sustain a share of the strain of it./ That by this Message mankind may begin to think that his welfare and his well-being is not in looking after himself, but it is in looking after others, and when in all there will be reciprocity, love and goodness towards another, the better time will come./ The need of the world today is not learning, but how to become considerate towards one another./ To try and find out in what way happiness can be brought about, and in this way to realize that peace which is the longing of every soul; and to impart it to others, thereby attaining our life's goal, the sublimity of life./ 'People kill each other for idols/Wonder makes us fall to our knees'/Gregory of Nyssa/ Love from France/ '5 February 2018/ Dear Companions on the Path,/ I wish you a blessed Visalat Day!/ May the peace, blessings, and love of God be with you on this special day as we celebrate the earthly and heavenly life of our guiding spirit, Hazrat Inayat Khan./ Today, in the presence of many companions here at Fazal Manzil, and joined in thought and spirit with all of you throughout the world, I am issuing a Declaration announcing that Pirzadi-Shahida Noor-un-Nisa will henceforth be included in the Silsila of the Inayati Order./ Please see the Declaration in French, German, and English./ Stimulated by the discovery of a play by Pirzadi-Shahida Noor in the Astana Archive, over the last several months I have been deeply reflecting on her life and legacy. /It has become clearer to me than ever before that the time has come for our Order to truly claim her as an essential tradition-bearer of the Sufi Message. /Tremendous inspiration can be drawn from her writings, and even more from her life, which was a real-life Jataka tale./ God willing, Pirzadi-Shahida Noor’s play, Aede of the Ocean and Land, will be published this year./ It is a fascinating spiritual retelling of Homer’s Odyssey./ At Zenith Camp in Switzerland this summer a week will be dedicated to Pirzadi-Shahida Noor, chivalry, and Aede. /Please do come if you can. And this, we hope, will just be the beginning. Yours ever, Sarafil Bawa,

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friends Incarnate Alive

Friends Incarnate published by All Things That Matter Press—link to right, is producer’s dream come true./ Any producer interested in adapting this book to a movie please contact Phil Harris at his website: AllThingsThatMatterPress.com/ A little peek into the Story/ Gable the protagonist in this book, though no Don Juan, is lover incarnate in age of baby-boomers. /He is master of his own fate, reflecting mirror of his mind as some projection on TV screen, more like a restless spirit haunted by the demons of his own psyche. /His girlfriend Ethel gets married to his best friend Fabian, and thus begins the journey of his sinful passion and glorious madness. /Remaining true to his love lost and love unforgettable, he wades through the waters of a loveless marriage, then divorce and finally into the furnace of adultery with his own brother’s wife. /He himself tumbling down the rungs of depravity, clings to Ethel in his thoughts as one devotee to his patron saint. /His sister commits suicide, his brother dies and so does his friend Fabian, leaving open the gates of paradise for Gable and Ethel as Friends Incarnate./ Gable’s own villanelle below sums up this novel in all its entirety./ Let me sleep in peace, wake me up on Judgment Day/ My wearied and restless soul cries in plea/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Sorrows weep no more, aged grief has turned all gray/ Negation in nothingness dares to flee/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Spirit of agony has lost its power to slay/ The embittered heart in torments of glee/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Surcease has trodden all paths to pave the way/ Into the chambers of hope where blindness can see/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Lost youth at the altars of ruins need not pray/ The nemesis silent, sealed by God’s holy decree/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Roots of death in illusions have learnt to array/ The naked dreams in raiments of lies on life’s tree/ Let me sleep in peace, wake me up on Judgment Day/ All thoughts are dunes of sand, and mind a pot of clay/ Dialogue Excerpt/ “You are going to kill yourself, Gable, by shutting yourself off in your room all the time./ And pacing, if not writing.” Phoebe flung herself upon the crumpled bed, pouting her lips voluptuously./ “Are you really worried about your friend, Fabian, I mean, or thinking more about your friend Ethel, your beloved, your true love?” Her eyes were sparkling with a subtle challenge./ “You would never understand the meaning of true love, my evil temptress.” Gable’s look was feverish and incisive./ “Tempt me no more to sin, go away.”/ “You are a fool, Gable. An absolute fool to reject my love.” Phoebe scoffed./ “Your love for Ethel is a delusion, don’t you know that?/ Why can’t you forget her?”/ “Sin and lust are not love, Phoebe, you have succeeded in burying me alive inside the volcano of my own guilt and grief.” Gable murmured deliriously, resuming his pacing./ “What do you know about love?”/ “More than you do, my sinful lover.” Phoebe laughed seductively./ “At least, I absolve your sin with the gifts of joy and sweetness, which is me, each fiber in my flesh—since you tell me I have no soul, singing that love is not ever sinful.”/ “How I loathe you—and myself—” Gable pounced upon her with the fury of a man possessed, sealing her lips with kisses wild and terrible./ “Now leave, before I kill you.” He panted with rage and disgust./ “I have to go and see my sick friend.”/ ‘Love is the merchandise which all the world demands./If you store it in your heart, every soul will become your customer.’/ Hazrat Inayat Khan

Friday, August 18, 2017

Peace Prayer

Saint Francis of Assisi/ baptised as Giovanni di Bernadone/ b. 1182 -- d. 1226 A. D./ The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis/ "O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!/ Where there is hatred, let me sow love./ Where there is injury, pardon./ Where there is discord, harmony./ Where there is doubt, faith./ Where there is despair, hope./ Where there is darkness, light./ Where there is sorrow, joy./ Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not / so much seek to be consoled as to console;/ to be understood as to understand; / to be loved as to love; / for it is in giving that we receive; / it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; / and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life." / ________________________________________ This beautiful prayer, although often mistakenly attributed to St Francis, does not appear in any known writings of St Francis. / The prayer was apparently written in France during World War I, perhaps by a Catholic Priest, Father Bouquerel. / It is commonly known as the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis because it was often seen printed on a small card that had a picture of Saint Francis on one side and this prayer on the other side. /However, the card did not make any claim that the prayer was written by Saint Francis./ So, ironically, this beautiful prayer, which is so highly revered around the world, actually has nothing to do with St Francis. / The first known appearance of this inspiring prayer was in 1912 AD when it was published in the French magazine La Clochette. / It matters not who wrote these words./Divinely Inspired our world needs this prayer more than ever before to avert nuclear tragedies./ ‘Ignorance is the loneliness of isolation./The pain of discontent./The misery of being other./Misery is the pain of not realizing our true nature.’/Buddhist Saying.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Peace Ideal by Hazrat Inayat Khan

An ideal is beyond explanation./ To analyze God is to dethrone God./ Belief is like a staircase./ Each step takes one higher, but when one remains standing on a certain step of the staircase one does not progress./ Belief may nail the feet to the ground and keep one there standing on a certain spot on a staircase. /As a person evolves so his belief evolves, until he comes to that stage where he harmonizes with all the different beliefs, where he is no longer against any belief./ Then he is not nailed down any more; he is above all the different beliefs. Very often a person says, 'I cannot understand what God is. /Can you explain God to me?/ But if God were to be explained He would not be God. /To explain God is to dethrone God./ God apart, can one explain anything fine and subtle such as gratitude, love, or devotion, in words? /How much can be explained? /Words are too inadequate to explain great feelings, so how can God be explained in words?/ Since to analyze God means to dethrone God, the less said on the subject the better. / Everyone has his own imagination of God. /It is best if everyone is left to his own imagination./ However religious or pious, he cannot explain God; not even a mystic or philosopher can explain Him./ The ideal of God is the first lesson that must be learnt; and it cannot be learnt by analysis. /Therefore the intellectual mind which seeks for an analysis of God is always sure to be disappointed. /The philosopher spoke truly when he said, 'To analyze God is to dethrone God.' /Analysis can never portray even the ideal of God. /That is why every messenger, Muhammad, Christ, Moses, Abraham, emphasized the one word: faith. / It is the same with every ideal, even with the ideal of God. /An ideal is beyond explanation./ Where the flame of love rises, the knowledge of God unfolds of itself./ In love abides all knowledge. /It is mankind's love and interest in the things that in time reveals their secret, and then man knows how to develop, control, and utilize them. /No one can know anybody, however much he may profess to know, except the lover, because in the absence of love the inner eyes are blind. /Only the outer eyes are open, which are merely the spectacles of the inner eyes. /If the sight is not keen, of what use are the spectacles? / It is for this reason that we admire all those whom we love, and are blind to the good qualities of those whom we do not love./ It is not always that these deserve our neglect, but our eyes, without love, cannot see their goodness. /Those whom we love may have bad points too, but as love sees beauty, so we see that alone in them./ Intelligence itself in its next step towards manifestation is love. /When the light of love has been lit, the heart becomes transparent, so that the intelligence of the soul can see through it./ But until the heart is kindled by the flame of love, the intelligence, which is constantly yearning to experience life on the surface, is groping in the dark. / Love is like the fire; its glow is devotion, its flame is wisdom, its smoke is attachment, and its ashes detachment. /Flame rises from glow, so it is with wisdom, which rises from devotion. /When love's fire produces its flame it illuminates the devotee's path in life like a torch, and all darkness vanishes. /If this love expands to embrace the whole creation of the Heavenly Father, it raises man to be among the chosen ones of God./ Peace is perfected activity; that is perfect which is complete in all its aspects, balanced in each direction and under complete control of the will./ It is useless to discuss the peace of the world. /What is necessary just now is to create peace in ourselves that we, ourselves, become examples of love, harmony and peace. /That is the only way of saving the world and ourselves. Peace is independently felt within oneself./ It is not dependent upon the outer sensation. /It is something that belongs to one, something that is one's own self. / Peace is not a knowledge, peace is not a power, peace is not a happiness, but peace is all these./ And besides, peace is productive of happiness. /Peace inspires one with knowledge of the seen and unseen, and in peace is to be found the divine Presence. /It is not the excited one who conquers in this continual battle of life. /It is the peaceful one who tolerates all, who forgives all, who understands all, who assimilates all things./ The one who lacks peace, with all his possessions, the property of this earth or quality of mind, is poor even with both. /He has not got that wealth which may be called divine and without which man's life is useless. /For true life is in peace, a life which will not be robbed by death. / The secret of mysticism, the mystery of philosophy, all is to be attained after the attainment of peace./You cannot refuse to recognize the divine in a person who is a person of peace. /It is not the talkative, it is not the argumentative one, who proves to be wise./ He may have intellect, worldly wisdom, and yet may not have pure intelligence, which is real wisdom. /True wisdom is to be found in the peaceful, for peacefulness is the sign of wisdom. /It is the peaceful one who is observant. /It is peace that gives him the power to observe keenly. /It is the peaceful one, therefore, who can conceive, for peace helps him to conceive. /It is the peaceful who can contemplate; one who has no peace cannot contemplate properly./ Therefore, all things pertaining to spiritual progress in life depend upon peace./ And now the question is what makes one lack peace?/ The answer is, love of sensation./ A person who is always seeking to experience life in movement, in activity, in whatever form, wants more and more of that experience./ In the end he becomes dependent upon the life which is outside, and so he loses in the end his peace, the peace which is his real self. / The first thing is to seek the kingdom of God within ourselves, in which there is our peace. /As soon as we have found that, we have found our support, we have found our self. /And in spite of all the activity and movement on the surface, we shall be able to keep that peace undisturbed if only we hold it fast by becoming conscious of it./ Do not limit God to your virtue. /He is beyond your virtues, O pious ones!/ There is no such thing as impossible. /All is possible./ Impossible is made by the limitation of our capacity of understanding. /Man, blinded by the law of nature's working, by the law of consequences which he has known through his few years life on earth, begins to say, 'This is possible and that is impossible.' /If he were to rise beyond limitations, his soul would see nothing but possible./ And when the soul has risen high enough to see all possibility, that soul certainly has caught a glimpse of God./ Many have been resentful towards God for having sent them misery in their lives, but misery is always part of life's experience. /Some may become very angry and say, 'This is not just', or 'This is not right, for how could God who is just and good allow unjust things to happen?'/ But our sight is very limited, and our conception of right and wrong and good and evil is only our own, and not according to God's plan./ It is true that as long as we see it as such, it is so for us and for those who look at it from our point of view; but when it comes to God the whole dimension is changed, the whole point of view is changed./ It is for this reason that the wise in all ages, instead of trying to judge the action of God, have so to speak put aside their sense of justice for the time being; and they have tried to learn one thing only, and that was resignation to the will of God. / The Being of God is recognized by His attributes. /Therefore man speaks of God as the just God./ He sees all power, all goodness in God; but when the situation is changed, when he sees God as injustice, he begins to think that God is powerless, and to judge the action of God. /But one must look at this from a different point of view. /Human beings are limited, imperfect, and yet we try to judge the perfect Being, or His perfect action, from our own imperfect standpoint./ In order to judge, our vision must become as wide as the universe; then we might have a slight glimpse of the justice, which is perfect in itself./ A man's inclination is the root of the tree of his life./ The real inclination of every life is to attain to something which cannot be touched or comprehended or understood. /The hidden blessing of this knowledge is the first step to perfection. /Once awake to this fact, man sees there is something in life that will make him really happy and give him his heart's desire./ He can say, 'Though there are many things in life which I need for the moment, and for which I shall certainly work, yet there is only that one thing, around which life centers, that will satisfy me: the spiritual attainment, the religious attainment, or, as one may even call it, the attainment of God.'/ Such a one has found the key to all happiness, and has found that all the things he needs will be reached because he has the key to all. /'Seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you. /Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.' /This kingdom of God is the silent life; the life inseparable, eternal, self-sufficient, and all-powerful. /This is the life of the wise, whatever be the name given to it; this is the life which the wise contemplate./ It is the face of this life that they long to see; it is the ocean of this life that they long to swim in; as it is written: 'In Him we live and have our being.'/ Yes, teach your principles of good, but do not think to limit God within them. /The goodness of each man is peculiar to himself./ What is man to judge the doings of God from his limited standard of good and bad? /He knows not beyond what he knows. /He says he knows if he knows one cause, but there is cause after cause, hidden one behind another; and when once the soul perceives the Cause of all causes, he then realizes that all other causes are as illusions./ There is one single Cause behind all things./ One sees different desires in different people, yet when one studies them keenly one finds they are all different paths leading to one common goal. /When one realizes this one's accusations, complaints, and grudges cease at once. /However, there is also a natural tendency in man to find the easiest and quickest path to reach the desired goal, and there is also the tendency to share his pleasure, happiness, or comfort with others, and it is this that prompted the prophets and reformers to help mankind on its journey to the goal./ Those that follow in their footsteps, forgetting that moral, drag people by the neck to make them follow them, and this has brought about the degeneration of religions./ Christ said, 'In my Father's house are many mansions.' /The Prophet has said, 'Every soul has its peculiar religion.' /There is a Sanskrit saying, which perhaps deludes those who do not understand it, but which yet means the same thing: 'As many souls as there are, so many gods are there.'/ The God of each is the God of all, but in order to comprehend that God we each have to make our own God. /Some of us seek justice, we can seek for God Who is just. Some of us look for beauty, we must find it in the God of beauty. /Some of us seek for love, we must find it in the God of mercy and compassion./ Some of us wish for strength and power, we must find it in the God Almighty. /The seeking of every soul in this world is different, distinct and peculiar to himself, and he can best attain to it by finding the object of his search in God./ To learn to adopt the standard of God, and to cease to wish to make the world conform to one's own standard of good, is the chief lesson of religion./ When people came to Christ accusing a person of doing wrong, the Master could not think of anything else but forgiveness./ For he did not see in the wrongdoer what the others saw. /To distinguish between right and wrong is not the work of an ordinary mind, and the curious thing is that the more ignorant a person is, the more ready he is to do so./ The religious man full of dogmas is often apt to make these too rigid and he expects the godly or God-conscious to fit in with his standard of goodness. /If they do not fit in with his particular idea of piety he is ready to criticize them. /But the thought and life of Krishna were used by the artist, the poet and the musician; and out of this came a new religion, a religion of recognizing the divine in natural human life./ Every mind has its particular standard of good and bad, and of right and wrong. /This standard is made by what one has experienced through life, by what one has seen or heard; it also depends upon one's belief in a certain religion, one's birth in a certain nation and origin in a certain race./ But what can really be called good or bad, right or wrong, is what comforts the mind and what causes it discomfort. /It is not true, although it appears so, that it is discomfort that causes wrongdoing./ In reality, it is wrongdoing which causes discomfort, and it is right-doing which gives comfort./ The discrimination between good and evil is in man's soul. /Every man can judge that for himself, because in every man is the sense of admiration of beauty. /Happiness only lies in thinking or doing that which one considers beautiful. /Such an act becomes a virtue or goodness./ Thought draws the line of fate./ As mind is naturally impressionable, that means that man is naturally impressionable too./ Most often his illness, health, prosperity, failure, all depends upon the impressions on his mind. /They say 'Lines of fate and death are on the head and palm,' but I would say that it is the impressions man has on his mind which decide his destiny./ A person thinks, 'Someday I should like to build a factory.' /At this time he has no money, no knowledge, no capability; but a thought came, 'Someday I should like to build a factory.'/Then he thinks of something else. /Perhaps years pass, but that thought has been working constantly through a thousand minds, and a thousand sources prepare for him that which he once desired./ If we could look back to all we have thought of at different times, we would find that the line of fate or destiny, Kismet as it is called in the East, is formed by our thought. /Thoughts have prepared for us that happiness or unhappiness which we experience. /The whole of mysticism is founded on this./ One must always say every word with consideration, and should not say what one does not wish to happen. /Those who do not understand the value of suggestion walk after their own fate with a whip in their hand, and those who understand its value and control their word and use it rightly, they are a bliss to themselves and a source of happiness to others./ Misbelief alone misleads; singlemindedness always leads to the goal./ He who sincerely seeks his real purpose in life is himself sought by that purpose. /As he concentrates on that search a light begins to clear his confusion, call it revelation, call it inspiration, call it what you will. /It is mistrust that misleads. /Sincerity leads straight to the goal./ Many are the paths that lead to success. /The difficulty lies in keeping strictly to the chosen path, or in other words in retaining singleness of mind. /There is one means only by which man can attain to a realization of the religious ideal of the Godhead, and that is through sincerity and singlemindedness in the conduct of everyday life./ A person with the tendency to respond will succeed in all walks of life; a person who is not responsive will become disappointed in all affairs of life./ Responsiveness comes by interest, also by concentration, also by power of one's mind. /Responsiveness may be explained as faith, trust, concentration, singlemindedness, a living interest, contemplation, and love. /To respond means to give full attention and not divided attention but single attention./ Responsiveness is focusing one's whole being to something of interest. /When a person, even in his interest in worldly affairs, has so developed his faculty of responsiveness, then it becomes easy for him to respond to the call of the Spirit./ The mystery of responsiveness is that the responsive one must forget himself in order to respond; and the same mystery may be called the path to perfection. /A person who is not capable of forgetting himself, however good, pious, or spiritual, will always prove imperfect in his life. /All misery comes from the consciousness of the self. /The one who does not forget is constantly called by his own limited life, which enslaves him constantly. The one who forgets himself receives the call of God./ A king is ever a king, be he crowned with a jeweled crown or clad in beggar's garb./ Those crowned with beauty are always kings, even if they are in rags or sold as slaves. /A true king is always a king, with or without a throne./ I arrived at a cemetery where a group of dervishes sat on the green grass, chattering together. /They were all poorly clad, some without shoes and others without coats; one had a shirt with only one sleeve and another lacked them both./ One wore a robe with a thousand patches and the next a hat without a crown./ This strange group attracted my attention and I sat there for some time, noticing all that was going on yet feigning to be utterly indifferent. / When the Murshid arrived at the assembly of his disciples each one greeted the other, saying, 'Ishq Allah, Ma'bud Allah!—God is love and God is the beloved! . /The solemnity of the sacred words they uttered found their echo in my soul, thereupon I watched their ceremonial with still greater attention. /The queer patches on their garments reminded me of the words of Hafiz, 'Do not befool thyself by short sleeves full of patches, for most powerful arms are hidden under them.'/ The dervishes first sat lost in contemplation, reciting charms one after the other, and then they began their music. /I forgot all my science and technique while listening to their simple melodies, as they sang to the accompaniment of sitar and dholok the deathless words of the Sufi Masters such as Rumi, Jami, Hafiz, and Shams-i Tabriz. / The most amazing part of the proceedings came when the assembly was about to disperse./ For one of the dervishes arose and, while announcing Bhandara or dinner, addressed them in the following terms, 'O Kings of Kings! O Emperors of Emperors!' /This amused me greatly at the time, while I regarded their outward appearance. /My first thought made them merely kings of imagination, without throne or crown, treasury, courtiers, or dominions—those natural possessions and temporal powers of kingship./ But the more I brooded upon the matter, the more I questioned whether environment or imagination made a king. /The answer came at last: the king is never conscious of his kingship and all its attributes of luxury and might unless his imagination is reflected in them and thus proves his true sovereignty./ And it also reveals how fleeting time and the changes of matter make all the kings of the earth but transitory kings, ruling over transitory kingdoms; this is because of their dependence upon their environment instead of their imagination./ But the kingship of the dervish, independent of all external influences, based purely on his mental perception and strengthened by the forces of his will, is much truer and at once unlimited and everlasting. /Yet in the materialistic view his kingdom would appear as nothing, while in the spiritual conception it is an immortal and exquisite realm of joy./ Verily, they are the possessors of the kingdom of God and all His seen and unseen treasure is in their own possession, since they have lost themselves in God. / Thus I compared our deluded life with the real, and our artificial with their natural being, as one might compare the false dawn with the true. /I realized our folly in attaching undue weight to matters wholly unimportant. /I felt that we were losing the most precious moments and opportunities of life for transitory dross and tinsel, at the sacrifice of all that is enduring and eternal./ To treat every human being as a shrine of God is to fulfill all religion./ Where is the shrine of God?/ It is in the heart of man. /As soon as one begins to consider the feelings of another, one begins to worship God. /There is a story of a murshid who was going with his mureeds to visit some village, and he was keeping a fast. /The mureeds also had taken a vow of fasting. /They arrived at the peasants' home where there was great enthusiasm and happiness and where a dinner was arranged for them./ When they were invited to the table, the murshid went and sat down; but the mureeds did not dare because they had taken a vow of fasting. /Yet they would never mention it to the murshid./ They thought, 'Murshid is forgetful; Murshid has forgotten the vow.' /After dinner was over and they went out the pupils asked, 'Did you not forget the vow of fasting?' /'No,' was the murshid's answer, 'I had not forgotten./ But I preferred breaking the fast rather than the heart of that man who with all his enthusiasm had prepared the food.'/ The thirst for life makes us overlook little opportunities of doing good./ Every moment of life brings an opportunity for being conscious of human feeling, in prosperity, in adversity, in all conditions. /It costs very little; only a little thought is necessary. / There is no greater religion than love./ God is love; and the best form of love is to be conscientious regarding the feelings of those with whom we come in contact in everyday life./ How beautiful are the words of the Prophet: 'The shrine of God is the heart of man.' How true that is! . /He who understands this can worship God even in man. /For when he abides by this philosophy he will always be aware that in every aspect and at every moment he may be injuring or hurting the feelings of God, that he is in danger of breaking the shrine of God in breaking the heart of his fellow man. / What does all this teach us?/ It is all a lesson in sympathy for one's fellow man, to teach us to share in his troubles, in his despair. /For whoever really experiences this joy of life, finds that it becomes so great that it fills his heart and his soul./ It does not matter if he has fewer comforts or an inferior position than many in this world, because the light of his kindness, of his sympathy, of the love that is growing, the virtue that is springing up in his heart, all fill the soul with light. /There is nothing now that he lacks in life, for he has become the king of it./ ~~~ Hijrat Day (Departure Day) -- The day that Inayat Khan departed from India, headed for America, September 13, 1910./ ‘Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.’ Washington Irving