sufi message of spiritual liberty

By Prof. Inayat Khan

Sufism is the Religious Philosophy of Love, Harmony and Beauty.

1914

London

The Theosophical Publishing Society,

161, New Bond Street, W.

preface

Sufism is a Religious Philosophy of Love, Harmony and Beauty, which is as old as the beginning of human creation. The word “Sufi” has come from Sufa, meaning pure (pure from differences and distinctions). There is no special work — written by an authorised initiate of Sufism — on the subject in the English language. Although of late, some translations of Sufi poems have been published, in these, the inner philosophical meaning, as well as the delicacy of their poetical form, has been lost in the difficulty of translation.

By the request of many European and American friends interested in the Divine knowledge, I have written these few pages as an introduction to Sufism. I hope this may help in establishing goodwill among mankind and friendly under- standing between nations, since Sufism combines the Eastern qualities of faith and devotion with reason and logic, the characteristics of the West.

biography of the author

Professor Inayat Khan was born in 1882 at Baroda, India. He comes of the Mashayakh (Saints) family of Punjab, where one of his ancestors, Jumasha, was canonized. Many still go to visit his tomb. Inayat's grandfather, Moula Bux, a very holy man and the greatest musician of his age, invented the notation system for Hindu music. He inspired Inayat with his own wonderful knowledge, as it were — from soul to soul.

Childhood. — He was extremely clever and soci- able for his age ; and being of an inquisitive nature, troubled his parents much in questioning them about the nature of things. He would ask, “ Where does God live ? How old is God ? Why should we pray to Him ? and why should we fear Him? Why should people die? And where do they go after death ? If God has created all, who was the Creator of God ? ” His father, being a very wise man, would answer the questions in the most simple way possible, but Inayat would prolong his arguments until his father, tired of his questions, told him to be quiet. He would then be silent for hours, turning the subject over in his mind.

Boyhood.— Inayat grew to be affectionate and devoted to his parents. He was sent to school when quite young, and would rather be punished than pay attention to the subjects in which he had no interest. He wished only to study poetry, religion, morality, music and logic. He took music as a special subject at the Baroda Academy of Music, where he repeatedly won the first prize. He had so much curiosity for strangers, fortune-tellers, fakirs, dervishes, spiritualists and mystics, that he would very often run away from home in search of them.

His delight in poetry, music and philosophy seemed to increase every day. Instead of playing with boys of his age, he spent the time in the company of his grandfather. The lad would observe all his movements and listen to the performance of music or discussions and lectures on philosophy. He was deeply interested in the knowledge of the Rasa Shastra (the science of human nature and emotions) and asked Moula Bux to tell him something regarding it, but he refused, saying, “You are too young for this subtle subject. ” Inayat had not the patience to wait until he was grown, so he found his grandfathers manuscripts on papyrus and studied them to such good purpose that he composed a number of songs expressing the nature of men and women under various emotions in the different stages of life. He went before Moula Bux and sang them, to the amazement of all present. From that day his grandfather thought it was use- less to try to control his hunger for knowledge, and sent him to study poetry under Kavi Ratnakar, the great Hindustani poet: he had a remarkable memory and never forgot stories, songs or poetry which he had once heard.

H.H. The Gaekwar's Patronage. — At the age of nine years Inayat composed a prayer to Ganesh, in Sanskrit, which he sang before the Court of the Gaekwar, and was awarded the prize of a necklace and a scholarship. This patronage encouraged him to advance in poetry and music. He studied the genius of Moula Bux, and others, immediately absorbing whatever subject interested him.

Religious Belief. — Inayat being born of a Muslim family, was much devoted to Mohammed and loyal to Islam. He disliked to miss even one prayer out of the five. One evening, on the roof of his house in the moonlight, he was offering his Nimaz (prayers) to Allah, the Great, when the thought came to him that though for a long time he had been praying with all devotion and humility no revelation had as yet been vouchsafed to him, and that it was not wise to worship any longer, one whom he did not see nor know. He went to his grandfather and told him he would not offer any more prayers to Allah until He was seen or known: “ There is no reason why one should follow a belief and do as his ancestors did without knowing a proper reason for it.” Moula Bux was pleased with his inquisitive- ness, and after being silent for a short time, answered his question with the following couplet of Koran : —

“ We will show them our signs in the world and in themselves, that the truth may be manifest to them,” and said that God is seen in the world and the world in man. This explanation entered the soul of Inayat, so seriously, that from that time every moment of his life was occupied with the thought of Divine Immanence and his eyes became open to Nature as if by the sudden illumination of an electric torch, everything appearing clear in its light. Thenceforth he devoted himself to the absorption of the truth.

Leaves Home for the National Cause. — When his grandfather died, Inayat was in deep despair at the loss of his dearly-loved teacher and inspirer. He realised then how uncertain is this life and thought it could only be worth living if he could be of some service in the world. He appreciated the great service which Moula Bux did for India by systema- tising its music. At one time, music in India was regarded not only as a means for the perfecting of humanity, but also as a spiritual manifestation. Moula Bux, with his intense feeling for his art and his Nation, believed that music could only be raised from its present degeneration, by moralising it. Inayat, in utter despair, said, “ Alas ! if our nation had lost only its wealth and power, it would not have been so bad, since these are always being moved from one hand to the other ; but the inheri- tance of our race — the divine music — is also leaving us by our negligence. 7 ' He invoked the name of Sharadha, Goddess of Music, and cried for her help in this time of despair, and praying her to protect the sacred art. This idea made him leave home with the view of making an universal system for Indian music and to spread the knowledge of it abroad, He started on his first tour when eighteen years of age, travelling throughout India, visiting the most important places. He was welcomed at the Courts of Rajahs and Maharajahs, who gave him great rewards. He won the admiration of the leading public in all parts of India, receiving addresses and medals, and making innumerable friends and pupils. His Highness the Nizam of Hyderabad, a great Sufi mystic, and a master of music and poetry, received him with special appreciation. Inayat entertained the Nizam with his music, each time making a new impression upon him, even moving him to tears by his devotional music. This caused Nizam to think there was something mysterious in Inayat besides his music. Inayat replying to his questions, answered, “Your Highness, sound being the highest force of manifestation, it is mysterious within itself. Whoever has the knowledge of sound indeed knows the universe. My music is my thought, and my thought is my feeling. The deeper I sink into the ocean of feeling, the more beautiful pearls I bring forth in the form of notes. My music creates feeling within myself before others feel it. Your Highness, my music is my religion. Worldly success cannot be a proper price for it. My interest in music is to achieve perfection in humanity.” This explanation of his feeling and wonderful command of music charmed Nizam so much that he presented him with a purse full of asharfys (gold coins), he placed a precious emerald ring taken from his own hand on his finger and gave him the title of Tansen (the most celebrated mystical singer). From that time Inayat was hailed as the greatest musical genius in the land. In the Northern part of India, he is looked upon as the “Morning Star of Musical Revival,” and in the South he is called the ” Reincarnation of Maha Vaidyanad Iyer.“

Inayat' s Interest in Philosophy. — He had learned the teachings of Islam, and also became familiar with all other religions. During his sojourn of India he entertained priests, philosophers and mystics, and discussed with them upon different subjects, gaining their favour by his music and pleasing personality. He travelled through jungles,,

II across mountains, and along river banks, in search of the mystics. He went to the Himalayas during his stay in Nepaul, where he found the silent mystic Muni, who was so pleased with his Veena playing that he trained him in the mysticism of sound during the period of one year, after which time Inayat took leave of the Muni and started home, visiting all the sacred places on his way. He was a guest of Swami Vallabhacharya at Jeypoor, with whom he discussed music and philosophy.

Inayat' s Interest in Sufism. — He visited the tomb of Khaja at Ajmeer, the greatest Sufi Saint of India, where he found a most spiritual atmosphere and met several Sufis who were blessed with Divine knowledge. At midnight, as usual, he engaged himself in Tahajjud (prayer), and after a few hours, heard a voice so distinct and appealing that he could not but listen. It was the voice of a Fakir, awakening the people for prayers before sunrise. He sang : ” Awake, O man, from thy fast sleep ; thou knowest not that death watcheth thee every moment ; thou thinkest not how much load thou hast gathered to carry, and how long is the journey for thee to accomplish. 'Awaken, O man, for the sun shall soon rise.“ The unearthly calm and quiet of the place, the solemnity of the message, brought tears to the eyes of Inayat as sitting on his prayer-rug with a rosary in his hand, he reflected that all the proficiency and reputation which he had achieved in music, were profitless as regards Najat (salvation), and saw this world not as a stage of amusement, but as a school of learning. From that time he became devoted to the esoteric side of knowledge. This developed in him a sad and serious disposition and kept him absorbed in the silent study of Nature.

Inayafs Initiation into Sufism. — His interest in Sufism made him very friendly with the Sufis while in Hyderabad. He liked the sweetness of their personality and enjoyed the perfume of their knowledge, while, being an artist, he was naturally attracted by their use of music. He began at first, to imitate their manners and characteristics and spent much time in silence. He once saw in a dream, a musical entertainment of the Sufis where the majority of great Saints were present. Becom- ing absorbed in the state of Wajad (ecstasy), his exultation continued after he had awakened, and he heard continually whether awake or asleep a voice crying ” Allah-Ho-Akbar,“ (God is Great) ; and while in meditation often saw visions of a Saint with a grey beard, and a very attractive spiritual face beaming with light. All this aroused his anxiety to know what it meant, but he was afraid to ask anyone, lest they might ridicule him. At last he explained it to a friend, who was an advanced Sufi and liked Inayat's disposition and character- He said : ” The dream is symbolical of your initiation in the Order of Chishtys, and the word which you have been hearing is the voice of Truth, and the vision you have seen, is the spirit of your guidance.' ' He advised Inayat to be initiated in Sufism. Inayat wished to know more on the subject, and often paid visits to several Sufi teachers with a studious intention, but all refused to initiate him, feeling that Inayat was not to be their disciple. After longing in vain for six months, he visited a friend who was an advanced Sufi, to whom he told his great desire to study Sufism. This friend while thinking over the matter unexpectedly received a telepathic message that a great Sufi Master was intending to call on him. He at once arranged a seat of distinction, placing cushions over it, and walked towards the door to receive the Master. When the Master entered the drawing-room it seemed as if everything was lighted. All knelt before him. Inayat at first thought he had seen him long before, but could not recall when and where ; but after thinking a few minutes he realised this to be the same face which be saw so often in his visions.

All present were introduced to this great Master, and when Inayat's turn came the Master gazed at him keenly, and said to the host en- quiringly : “ Tell me, who is this young man ?

He attracts my soul very intensely/' He said : u Your holiness, this young man is a genius in music, and is desirous of submitting himself to your most inspiring guidance.' ' The Master at once granted the request and initiated Inayat immediately.

Inayat* s Training as a Sufi. — The Murshid Saiyad Mohammed Madani, belonged to a distinguished family and was a direct descendant to Mohammed.

When he paid his first visit to him at the Khankah (the House of Meditation), he addressed him in a song, expressing his devotion to his Master.

This song impressed the Murshid very deeply. He placed his hands upon Inayat's head and blessed him, saying : ” Be thou blessed by the divine light and illuminate the beloved ones of Allah.“ From this time the spiritual attachment between Inayat and Murshid was established and grew more and more. This opened a way for Inayat to receive the light which could hardly be received by discussions, arguments, reading, or even by spiritual practices,

Inayat often paid visits to his Murshid, and when he received telepathic messages he left his work and went at once. He never argued unless commanded to do so ; and was always respectful. He entertained his Murshid by his music, which brought about the state of Wajad (ecstasy). His daily practice and constant concentration had prepared him to absorb the light.

This is the ideal way of Sufic development. Inayat had read the Koran and Hadis, and was much interested in the writings of Rumi and the literature of India and Persia. He gave much time to the cultivation of the inner senses: clairvoyance, clairaudience, intuition, inspiration, impressions and dreams, and also made experiments in communicating with the spirits of the living and the dead. He delved in the occult and psychic side of mysticism. He also realised the benefit of morality in his own life, but all he learned and experienced he valued less than the divine wisdom considering that to be the essence and the outcome of all knowledge.

After having received instruction in the five subjects of Sufism — the physical, intellectual, mental, moral and spiritual life — he took a com- plete course of training in the four schools : Ghishtia, Nakshebandia, Kadaria and Soharvrdia. He considered the period of instruction to be the most fortunate time of his life. After the accom- plishment of his course in Sufism his MursJdd blessed him, saying : ” Go, my child, into the world, harmonise the East and the West with the harmony of thy music; spread the wisdom of Sufism, for thou art gifted by Allah, the most Merciful and Compassionate. “ This command made a deep impression upon Inayat, and gave him hope and courage to go forward into the world and serve humanity. He began his work with a large number of pupils in music, and inspired them with his divine knowledge. In 1910 he began a tour of the western world accompanied by four musicians, first visiting America, giving lectures in Sufism and music throughout the East and West. He lectured at Columbia University, New York, the Berkeley University of California, and at the Los Angeles University. He attracted many disciples and founded an Order of Sufism for America, the headquarters being at San Francisco. From America he came to Europe, where he carried on the same work.

TSERCLAES.

London.

allah

Beloved ones of Allah, you may belong to any race, cast, creed, or nation, still you are all impar- tially beloved by Allah. You maybe a believer or an unbeliever in the Supreme Being, but He cares not. His mercy and grace flow through all His powers, without distinction of friend or foe.

Every leaf of tree, Allah's praise displays, Only the pious mind can hear their sacred lays.

The Sun, Moon, and Stars give light : the timely change of seasons promote health and cheerful- ness: the rain grows corn, fruits and flowers: and the alternation of Day and Night provide the opportunity of work and rest :

Earth, Water, Fire and Air,

All work harmoniously.

For thee they always food prepare,

Thou shouldst not eat unthankfully.

How each day, the Sun shines and serves,

All praise from thee, Allah deserves.

If you study your own body, you will find its mechanism to be the original model of the artificial mechanism of the world. Art and Science fail if compared with that of His Nature.

The ear, eyes and all other organs, how per- fectly they are adapted in shape and mechanism, to the purpose which they must serve !

How liberally the needs of life — water, air, and food — are supplied: milk even prepared in the mother's breast for the unborn infant. Is it not incumbent on you to appreciate the liberality of the Creator, and thank him each moment with all humility and gratitude ?

” Praise be to Allah, whose worship is the means of draw- ing closer to Him, and in giving thanks to Whom is involved an increase of benefits. Every breath which is inhaled prolongs life, and respired, accelerates the frame. In every breath, therefore, two blessings are contained, and for every blessing a separate thanks- giving is due.“

(Sa'di.)

He has fashioned and moulded you after His own Image, and made you Ashraf'-al-makhlukat (the most superior of all beings and the pride of the universe) having given you the command over all other beings of both worlds, as is said in the Koran :

” To Man, we have subjected all things on earth “ ; and at the same time He has given you, by His grace, the attributes of Humanity — kindness, grati- tude, faithfulness, justice, modesty, piety, sympathy, reverence, bravery, patience, love, knowledge and wisdom. This is an open proof of your being the real object of creation and the most beloved of Allah.

nature

The argument arises that all manifestation is due to the interaction of natural elements, working by their own force ; every cause has its effect, and the effect, again becomes a cause for the reaction, and thus, Nature works unaided. The answer is, that every cause must have some precedent cause, or first cause, to produce it, and logically, one cause may produce many effects, which effects again, become second causes, producing new reactions.

” While intellectual minds are seeking second causes, The wise man, only perceives the first cause. Air, earth, water, being second causes, The precedent cause is hidden, which makes them act and pause.“

the personal being

Granting that we see Nature and also admitting its original cause, upon what grounds do we consider the cause to be a personal God, meriting worship ? The answer is, that Nature, itself, consists of different personalities, and each of them has its peculiar attributes. The sum total of all these personalities is one — the onlyreal personality.

In relation to that one all other personalities are merely an illusion. Just as, in a limited form, a nation, or a community is the sum of many person- alities; as Nature, manifested into numerous names and forms, is still called Nature — singular, not plural ; as the individual combines within himself the different parts of his body, arms, limbs, eyes, ears, and is possessed of different qualities yet is one person ; so the sum total of all personalities is called Allah, the possessor of all the visible and invisible attributes of the Absolute, and having different names in different languages for the understanding of man. It may be said that the personality of a man is quite comprehensible, since his actions exhibit him as a single individual, whereas Allah's Personality has no clear identifi- cation of its own. The answer is, that variety covers unity.

Hidden things *are manifested by their opposites, but, as God has no opposite, He remains hidden. God's light has no opposite in the range of creation, whereby it may be manifested to view.

{Jaldlu'ddm JRumi) The wise man, by studying Nature enters into the unity through its variety, and realises the personality of Allah by sacrificing that of his own.

” He who knows himself knows Allah “ (Koran).

” God's kingdom is within thyself “ {Bible).

” Self-knowledge is the real wisdom “ (Vedanta).

” Thou art many and thou art one, Know thyself, except thou, there is none.“

Allah's relation with Nature may be understood by analysing the idea expressed in the words, — ” I myself.“ This affirmation means the one indi- vidual; at the same time it identifies the dual aspect of the One. In this phrase ” I “ is the possessor, and “myself” is the possessed. So also, Allah (the unmanifested), is the possessor, and Nature (the manifestation), is the possessed, which has its source hidden within itself.

” Allah can be recognised by His nature “ (Koran).

The possessed could not have been created from anything other than the possessor's own self, as there existed none but the possessor. Although the possessor and the possessed are considered two separate identities, in reality they are one. The possessor realises the possessed through the medium of his own consciousness, which forms three aspects (Trinity) — of the one being. The German Philosopher, Hegel, says, ” If you say God is one, it is true ; and if you say, ' no, but He is two 7 that is also true ; and if you say He is three, that is also true, because it is the nature of the world.“ Allah is regarded from three points of view ; personality, morality and reality. According to the first view, Allah is the most High ; Man is dependent and His most obedient servant. According to the second view, Allah is the all merciful and all good Master of the Day of Judg- ment, and evil is from Satan. The third is the philosophic view that Allah is the beginning and end of all, Himself having no beginning nor end.

” The universe is the manifestation of Allah, where He has involved variety from unity, into the state of various names and forms, thereby distinguished as Allah, worthy of all praise and worship.“

dual aspect

According to Sufic tenets, the two aspects of the Supreme Being are termed Zat and Sifat — Knower and the Known. The former is Allah, and the latter, Mohammed. Zat being only one in its existence, cannot be called by more than one name, which is Allah ; and Sifat, being manifold in four different involutions, has numerous names, the sum of them all being termed Mohammed. The ascending and descending forces of Zat and Sifat form the circle of the Absolute. These two forces are called Nazool and Urooj, which mean involution and evolution. Nazool commences from Zat and ends in Sifat — Urooj starts from Sifat and ends in Zat, Zat being the negative and Sifat the positive f orce*

Zat projects Sifat from its own self and absorbs it within itself. It is a philosophical rule that the negative cannot lose its negativeness by projecting the positive from itself, though the positive covers the negative within itself, as the flame covers the fire. The positive has no independent existence, still it is real, because projected from the real, and may not be regarded as an illusion. Human ignorance persists in considering Zat separate from Sifat and Sifat independent of Zat.

worship

Let us inquire why we should worship Allah, and whether the theoretical knowledge of His Law in Nature is not sufficient for the highest realisa- tion. The answer is, “No!” Theoretical knowledge of a subject can never supply the place of experience, which is necessary for realisation. Written music cannot entertain you unless it is played, nor the description of perfume delight your sense unless you smell it, nor the explanation of most delicious dishes, satisfy hunger. Nor can the theory of Allah, give complete joy and peace; you must actually realise Allah or attain that state of realisation which gives eternal happiness through the admiration and worship of Nature's beauty and its source.

” The Beloved is all in all ; the lover only veils him, The Beloved is all that lives, the lover a dead thing.“

(Jaldlu'ddin Rtimi.)

the truth

Different methods called religions and philo- sophies have been adopted by different nationalities during various periods. Though the form and teachings of the several religions appear so unlike, their source is one and the same. But the differences from the very beginning have created prejudice, envy and antagonism between men. Such dissensions occupy a large portion of the histories of the world and have become the most important subject of life. u So many castes and so many creeds, So many faiths, and so many beliefs, All have arisen from ignorance of man, Wise, is he, who only truth conceives. ”

A wise man realises that the fundamental basis of all religions and beliefs is one — HaJcJc (Truth). The truth has always been covered with two garments : a turban on the head, and a robe over the body. The turban is made of mystery known as Mysticism, and the robe is made of morality, which is called Religion. It has been covered so, by most of the prophets and saints, in order to hide it from ignorant eyes, as yet too undeveloped to bear the truth in its naked form. Those who see the truth uncovered cease from reason and logic, good and bad, high and low, new and old ; differences and distinctions of names and forms fade away, and the whole universe is realised as nothing other than Hakk. Truth, in its realisation is one ; in its representation it is many, since its revelations are made under varying conditions of time and space

As water in a fountain flows as one stream but falls in many drops, divided by time and space, so are the revelations of the one stream of Truth. All cannot comprehend the idea of different truths being derived from the one truth. Common sense has been so narrowly trained in this world of varieties, that it naturally fails to realise the breadth and subtlety of a spiritual fact so far beyond the reach of its limited reasoning.

sufis

The word Sufi is derived from “ Sufa” meaning pure (pure from ignorance, superstition, dogmatism^ egotism, and fanaticism, as well as free from limi- tations of caste, creed, race, and nation). The Sufis believe in Allah as the Absolute, the only Being ; and that all creation is the manifestation of His Nature.

There have been Sufis at all periods of human history. Though they have been living in different parts of the world, speaking different languages, born in different faiths and beliefs, they have recognised and sympathised with each other, through the one-ness of their understanding. Yet with their deep knowledge of the world and of spiri- tual mysteries, they have concealed their beliefs from the multitude, and have pursued in secret their way of attainment to the highest bliss.

self-knowledge

Nature [has been involved through Spirit into Matter, and evolves through different stages. Man is the result of the involution of the spirit and the evolution of Matter, the final effect of this cause is no other than “ self-realisation “—which means the Knower arrives at that stage of perfection where He can know Himself.

” Thou art a mortal being,' And thou art Eternal One ,* • Know thyself, through light of wisdom, Except thou, there exists none.''

The human being is inherently capable of self- knowledge ; but to know oneself means, not only to know that I am John, Jacob or Henry, or I am short, tall or normal, or to know that I am good, bad, and so forth, but to know the mystery of my existence, theoretically as well as practically : to know what you are within yourself, from where and for what purpose you were born on Earth ; whether you will live here for ever, or if your stay is momen- tary ; of what you are composed, and which attri- butes you possess. “Whether you are of angels, con- templating the beauties of Allah's nature, or if you are from animals, who know nothing other than to

“eat, drink and be merry”; or whether you are from the Devils. It requires perfection in humanity to attain self-knowledge. To know that I am God, or we are gods, or to know that everything is a part of God, is not sufficient. Perfect realisation can only be gained by passing through all the stages between Man (the manifestation) and Allah (the only Being) ; knowing and realising ourselves from the lowest to the highest point of existence, and so accomplishing the heavenly journey.

holiness

Holiness has different significations according to its connection. Religious Holiness is morality; philosophic Holiness is truth ; spiritual Holiness is ecstacy ; magical Holiness is power ; heroic Holiness is bravery; ascetic Holiness is indiffer- ence; poetical Holiness is beauty; and lyric Holiness is love.

love

The greatest principle of Sufism is, ” Islik Allah Mabood Allah ” (God is love, lover, and beloved).

When Ahad (the Only Being) became conscious of his Vahadat (only existence) through his own consciousness, then his predisposition of love made him project himself to establish His dual aspect, that He might be able to love some one. This made Allah, the Lover, and manifestation, the Beloved ; the next inversion makes the manifestation the Lover, and Allah the Beloved. This force of love has been working through several evolutions and involutions, which end in Man, who is the ultimate aim of Allah. The dual aspect of Allah is significant in Zat and Sifat, in spirit and matter, and in the mineral, vegetable, animal and human kingdoms, wherein two sexes, male and female, are clearly represented. The dual aspect of Allah is sym- bolised by each form of this wonderful world. This whole Universe, internally and externally is governed by the force of Love, which sometimes is the cause and sometimes the effect. The producer and product are one, and that one is nothing but Love.

“God is Love.” (Bible.)

A church, a temple or a kaba stone, Kuran or Bible or a Martyr's bone, All these and more my heart can tolerate, Since my religion now is Love alone.

(Abul Allah).

Sufis take the course of love and devotion to accom- plish their highest aim, because it is love which has brought Man from the world of unity to the world of variety, and the same force again can take him to the ivorld of unity from that of variety.

“ Love is the reduction of the Universe to the single being, and the expansion of a single being, even to God.”

{Balzac.)

Love is that state of mind in which the con- sciousness of the lover is merged into that of the object of love; it produces all the attributes of humanity in the lover ; — resignation, renunciation, humility, kindness, contentment, patience, virtue, calmness, gentleness, charity, faithfulness, bravery, by which the devotee becomes harmonised with the Absolute. As Beloved, a path is opened for his heavenly journey : at the end he arrives at One- ness with Allah, and his whole individuality is dissolved in the ocean of eternal bliss where even the conception of Allah and manhood disappears.

Although love is a sweet madness,
Yet all infirmities it heals ;
Saints and Sages have passed through it,
To God and Man both, love appeals.

perfection

This ideal Perfection called Balca by Sufis, is termed Najat in Islam, Nirvana in Buddhism, Salvation in Christianity, and MuJeti in Hindooism. This is the highest condition attainable, and all ancient Prophets and Sages experienced it, and taught it to the world.

Baka is the original state of Allah. To this state every being must arrive some day, — con- sciously or unconsciously, before or after death. “ Each Being is from Allah and will again be drawn to Him.” (Koran.) The beginning and end of all beings is the same, difference only existing during the journey.

There are three ways of man's journey toward Allah. The first is the way of ignorance, through which each must travel. It is like a person walking for miles in the sun while carrying a heavy load on his shoulder, who, when fatigued, throws away the load and falls asleep under the shade of a tree. Such is the condition of the average person, who spends his life blindly under the influence of his senses and gathers the load of his evil actions ; the agonies of his earthly longings creating a Hell through which he must pass to reach the destination of his journey. With regard to whom “ Koran ” says: — “He, who is blind in life, will remain blind after death.”

The next way is that of devotion, which is for true lovers. Rumi says, “ Man may be the lover of Man or the lover of God, after his perfection in either, he is taken before the King of Love.' 7 Devotion is the heavenly wine, which intoxicates the Devotee until his heart becomes purified from all infirmities and there remains the happy vision of the Beloved, which lasts to the end of the journey. In relation to this, Koran says, u Death is a bridge, which unites friend to friend.”

The third, is the way of wisdom, accomplished only by the few. The disciple disregards life's mo- mentary comforts, unties himself from all earthly bondages and turns his eyes toward Allah, inspired with Divine wisdom. He gains command over his body, his thoughts and feelings, and is thereby en- abled to create his own Heaven within himself , that he may rejoice until merged into the Eternal Goal. In regard to whom Koran says, “We have stripped the veil from thine eyes, and thy sight to-day is keen.” Each one must journey through one of these three paths, where, in the end, they arrive at one and the same goal. As it is said in the Koran : “ Each being is from Allah, and to Him, each will return.”

prophets

It is hard for intellect alone to believe in the possibility of prophetic inspiration.

Intellect is the consciousness reflected in the knowledge of names and forms ; wisdom is consciousness in its pure essense, which is not necessarily dependent upon the knowledge of names and forms.

The gift of wisdom gives vision into the real nature of things as the X-Ray penetrates material bodies.

Wisdom has been specially bestowed upon certain persons, and in these rare cases the receivers of it are more than merely wise, and may be regarded as the very manifestation of wisdom.

They are the Prophets, with foresight, inspira- tion, intuition, clairvoyance, clairaudience, as their inborn attributes.

A Sufi considers all Prophets and Sages, not as numerous individuals, but as the one embodiment of Allah's pure consciousness, or the manifestation of Divine Wisdom — appearing on earth for the awakening of man from his sleep of ignorance — into different names and forms. Just as your own sub-consciousness would awake you at a certain time, if previously warned, in the same way the consciousness of Allah is the agency of awakening His manifestation, projecting itself through differ- ent names and forms to accomplish His desire of being known. All these causes of wisdom are the manifestation of the one cause, Hakk (the Truth).

The prophetic mission was intended to train the world gradually, in accordance with its mental evolution, in divine wisdom, and to impart it to man, according to his understanding; in a form suitable to various lands at different periods. This is why — although the moral principles of all are the same — numerous religions are still in existence. Bach Prophet had a mission to prepare the world for the teaching of the next ; each one prophesied the coming of the next, and the work was thus continued by all Prophets until Mohammed, the Khatimal Mursaleen (last messenger of Divine Wisdom and the supplement of Prophets), came on his mission, and in his turn, gave the final statement of Divine Wisdom. That is : La ella ha el allah hoo. (None exists but Allah.) This message fulfilled the aim of prophetic mission. This final definition is a clear interpretation of all religions and philosophies in the most apparent form. There was no necessity left for any more Prophets after this divine message, which created by its Pantheism the spirit of democracy in religion. By this message, man received the knowledge that he may attain the highest perfection under the guidance of a perfect Murshid (Spiritual Teacher).

Sufis have no prejudice towards any prophets and masters. They look upon all as Divine Wisdom itself (the highest attribute of Allah), appearing under different names and forms ; and love them with all adoration, as the lover loves his beloved in all her different garments, and throughout all the stages of her life. Sufis also respectfully recognise and offer devotion to their Beloved, the Divine Wisdom in all her garments, at all times, and under such different names and forms as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. Moham- med's teachings are studied and followed by the orthodox, as religion, and by the deep thinkers, as a philosophy.

sufism

Sufis, who had received spiritual training from all previous prophets and leaders likewise received training from Mohammed. The openness of Mohammed's essential teachings paved the way for them to come forward before the world without the interference they had previously experienced, and a Mystic Order called the Sahaba-e-Sufa, Knights of Purity, was regularly organised by the

Prophet, and afterwards, was carried on by Alii and Biddikh. The lives of these Knights were extraordinary in their wisdom, piety, bravery, spirituality, and great charity of heart. This Order was carried on by their successors (who were called Tiro Murshid, Shaikh, etc.), one after another, duly connected as links in a chain.

The spiritual bond between them is a miraculous force of divine illumination, and is experienced by worthy initiates of the Sufic Order ; just as the electric current runs through all connected lamps and lights them. By this means the higher development is attained through nominal efforts. Sufism was very quietly practised in Arabia during the period of Sahabees, Tabaeens and Taba- i-Tabaeens. Charity, piety, spirituality and bravery are the real proofs of Sufic advancement.

The sensational Sufic movements which took place in Persia in the latter periods, have won all the credit of Sufism for the Persians, and Sufism came to be regarded as a Persian philosophy. Imanm Gizaalli, Jtmed Bagdadi axx&Faridudin Attar had taken the lead in advancing Sufism in the world at large, Shamstabraz, Jalalludin JRumi 9 Sa'di, Hafiz, Nizami, J ami, Kkakani, Firdosi, Omar Khayyam, Abdul Allah, and other great Sufi poets have very substantially established the reputation of Sufism by their inspired poetical works on divine wisdom. Sa'di's works (Gulistan and Bustan) illuminate the intellect ; Hafiz, Diwan expands the heart with divine love; Jalalludin Rami's poems, the Masnavi and Manavi^ inspire the soul.

These works were originally in Persian, but are now translated into many other languages. They have been a most important source of education in humanity, and are studied as the most popular treatise on Divine Wisdom of the Bast.

The spiritual part of Sufism was most miracu- lously performed by Abdul Kadar Jilani, Moinudin Chisti, Behavadin Nakhsheband, Skahabudin Soho- worthy 9 etc.

India, being greatly addicted to philosophy, was well suited for Sufism, where, in ancient and modern records, a great many Sufis with miraculous careers are found. The tombs of Moinudin Chisti, Nizamudin, Sharifudin, Banda Navag, Mohammed Gaus> are visited with much reverence and devotion in happy remembrance of their great careers by people of various nations and many beliefs.

Sufism, as a religious philosophy of love, harmony and beauty, aims to expand the soul of man until the beauty of all creation enables him to become as perfect an expression of Divine harmony as possible, it is therefore natural that the Sufic Order should stand foremost as a spiritual power in the East, and is rapidly becoming recognised in the West.

Many Sufi saints have attained what is known as God consciousness (the most all-inclusive realisa- tion of the meaning of the word “ good ” attainable to man). Strictly speaking, Sufism is neither a religion nor a philosophy ; it is neither Theism nor Atheism ; but stands between the two and fills the gap. Among religionists, Sufis are considered free-thinkers ; while among intellectual philo- sophers they are considered religious, because they make use of subtler principles in life to elevate the soul, than can readily be followed by material logic.

Sufis have, in many cases, realised and shown the greatest perfection in humanity. And among the lives of some of the Sufi saints may be found some of the most divine models of human perfec- tion in all capacities, from a king to a labourer. The idea that Sufism sprang from Islam or from any other religion, is not necessarily true ; yet it may rightly be called the spirit of Islam, as well as the pure essence of all religions and philosophies.

A true Sufi remains in the thought of Truth continually, sees the Truth in all things, never becomes prejudiced, but cultivates affection for all beings.

A Sufi accomplishes the divine journey and reaches the highest grade of Baka (salvation) during this life. People of all beliefs arrive, eventually, at the same level of understanding and realisation which Sufism represents. The Sufie method of realisation, — the study of Shariat, Tareekat, HaJceeJeat and Marefat, also the practice of Zikar, FiJcar, Kasab, Shagal and Amal is claimed to be the easiest, shortest, and most interesting for spiritual accomplishment.

Sufism contains all branches of mysticism, such as psychology, occultism, spiritualism, clairvoyance, clairaudience, intuition, inspiration, etc., but that which a Sufi particularly wishes to acquire is not necessarily any of the above-named powers, because the object of all these powers, is toward greater individuality, and individuality itself is only a hindrance on the Sufi's path toward the accomplish- ment of his highest perfection. Therefore, the main object of initiation in the Sufic Order is to cultivate the heart with renunciation and resigna- tion, that it may be pure enough to sow the seed of divine love and realise the highest truth and wisdom, theoretically and practically, thereby attaining all the attributes of humanity.

Divine perfection is perfection in all powers, and mysteries. All mysteries, powers and realisations gradually manifest themselves to the Sufi through his natural development, without his especially striving for them.

Self-realisation is the highest and most difficult attainment of all ; it is impossible to acquire it in the manner of sciences and arts, nor is it possible of attainment, as health, wealth, honour and power can be obtained by certain means. For the sake of self-realisation, thousands have renounced family, and all worldly possessions ; kings their kingdoms, and retired to desert, jungle or mountain fastness, striving to find in asceticism the secret of this bliss.

sufic training

The Murshid prefers a Mureed whose mind is unembarrassed with other methods of training; who is free from worldly considerations; and is possessed of whole-hearted perseverance ; and capable of committing himself with perfect faith and devotion to the guidance of his Murshid.

The practice of harmony and temperance is essential, but the Murshid never prescribes for his Mureeds the ascetic life ; rather it is a peculiarity of the Sufic training that the Mureed is quickened to appreciate and enjoy the world more than others. The Murshid at first creates divine love in the Mureed, which, in the course of time, develops and purifies his heart so much, as to permit the virtues of humanity to develop freely of themselves. He then receives more and more Divine wisdom, from the appointed channel, and at last arrives at complete self-realisation.

There is no common course of study for Mureeds, each receives the special training best adapted to meet his requirements. In other words, the Murshid, as a spiritual physician, prescribes a suitable remedy for curing every Mureed. There is no limit of time for the advancement to a certain degree. To one, realisation may come, the moment after initiation — to another, it may not be vouch- safed during the whole life.

“ It depends upon nothing but the mercy of Allah whomever He may kindly choose for it.”

(Koran.)

Still, there is hope of success:

“ Whoever walks one step toward the grace of Allah, the Divine mercy walks forward ten steps to receive him.”

(Koran.)

Tanzih

manifestation

The Only Being has manifested Himself through seven different planes of existence, to accomplish His desire of being recognised : r l. Zat — the unmanifested.

2. Ahadiat — plane of Eternal Consciousness.

3. Vahdat — plane of consciousness. ,4. Vahdanist — plane of abstract ideas, f 5. Arwah — the spiritual plane.

Tashbih ] 6- Ajsam — the astral plane.

W. Insaan — the physical plane.

There are, again, seven aspects of manifestation :

1 . Sitara — planetary.

2. Mahtab — lunar.

3. Aftab — solar.

4. Madaniat — mineral kingdom.

5. Nabatat — vegetable kingdom.

6. Haiwanat — animal kingdom.

7. Insaan — human kingdom.

Insaan, being the ideal manifestation, recognises Allah by the knowledge of his own self. Man reaches this perfection by development through five grades of evolution, as :

1. Nasoot — material plane.

2. Malakoot — mental plane.

3. Jabroot — astral plane.

4. Lahoot — spiritual plane.

5. Hahoot — plane of consciousness.

Each grade of development prepares a person for a higher one, and perfects him in five different grades of humanity, as :

1. Adam — the ordinary man.

2. Insaan — the wise man.

3. Weli — the holy man.

4. Kutub — the saint.

5. Nabi — the prophet.

There are five natures corresponding to the five grades :

1. Ammara — one who acts under the influence of his senses ;

2. Lauwama — one who repents for his follies ;

3. Mutmainna — one who considers before taking action ;

4. Alima — one who thinks, speaks and acts aright ;

5. Salima — one who sacrifices himself for the benefit of others.

The illustration of the Plains of Urouj and Nazoul (evolution and involution).

[ INSERT IMAGE ]

Insaan

All planes of existence consist of vibrations, from the finest to the grossest kind ; the vibrations of each plane have come from a higher one, and have become grosser. Whoever knows the mystery of vibrations, indeed knows all things. Vibrations are of five different aspects, appearing as the five elements :

1. Nour — ether.

2. Baad — air.

3. Atish — fire.

4. Aab — water.

5. Khak — earth.

In relation to these elements, mankind has five senses :

Senses. Organs.

Basaarat — sense of sight - The eyes

Samaat — sense of hearing - The ears

Naghat — sense of smelling - The nose

Lazat — sense of taste - - The tongue

Muss — sense of touch - - The skin.

Through these senses and different organs of the mental and physical existence the Ruh (Soul) experiences life, and when the Ruh receives the highest experience of all phases of existence by the favour of the Murshid, then will he have that peace and bliss, the attainment of which is the only object of manifestation.

interest and indifference

Interest results from ignorance and indifference results from wisdom, still, it is not wise to avoid interest, as long as we are in the world of illusion. It is the interest of Allah, which has been the cause of all creation and which keeps the whole universe in harmony, but one should not be com- pletely immersed in phenomena, but should realise oneself as being independent of “ interests.”

The dual aspect of the Only Being, in the form of love and beauty, has glorified the universe and produced harmony.

He who arrives at the state of indifference with- out experiencing interest in life is incomplete, and apt to be tempted by interest at any moment ; but he who arrives at the state of indifference by going through interest, really attains the blessed state. Perfection is reached, not through interest alone, nor through indifference alone, but through the right experience and understanding of both.

spirit and matter

According to the scientific standpoint, Spirit and Matter are quite different from each other, but according to the philosophical point of view, they are one.

Spirit and matter are different, just as water is different from snow, and again they are not differ- ent, as snow is nothing other than water. When spiritual vibrations become more dense they turn into matter, and when material vibrations become finer they develop into spirit.

For a Sufi, at the beginning of his training, the spiritual life is desirable, but after mastering it, material and spiritual lives become the same to him, and he is master of both.

the heart and soul

Man's heart is the throne of Allah. The heart is not only a physical organ but is also the function of feeling, placed in the midst of the body and soul. The heart of flesh is the instrument which first receives the feeling of the soul, and transmits its effect through the whole body. There are four aspects of the heart, as :

1. Arash — the exaltation of the will.

2. Kursi — the seat of justice and distinctions.

3. Louh — the fount of inspiration.

4. Kalam — the source of intuition.

Breath keeps body, heart and soul connected. It consists of astral vibrations, and has much influence upon the physical and spiritual existence. The first thing a Sufi undertakes in order to harmonise the entire existence, is the purification of the heart since there is no possibility of the heart's development without devotion, the Murshid makes a faithful Mureed sahib-i-Dil, as the easiest and most ideal way of development.

intellect and wisdom

Intellect is the knowledge obtained by experience of names and forms, wisdom is the knowledge which manifests only from the inner being ; for acquiring intellect one must delve into studies, but to obtain wisdom, nothing but the flow of divine mercy is needed, it is as natural as the instinct of swimming to the fish, or as flying to the bird. Intellect is the sight which enables one to see through the external world, but the light of wisdom enables one to see through the external into the internal world.

Wisdom is greater and more difficult to attain than intellect, piety or spirituality.

dreams and inspirations

Dreams and inspirations are open proofs of the higher world. The past, present and future are frequently seen in a dream, and may also be revealed through inspiration. The righteous person sees more clearly than the unrighteous. There are five kinds of dreams :

1. Khayali — in which the actions and thoughts of the day are reproduced in sleep.

2. Kalbi — in which the dream is opposite to the real happening.

3. Nakshi — in which the real meaning is disguised by a symbolic representation which only the wise can understand.

4. Ruhi — in which the real happening is literally shown.

5. Elhami — in which divine messages are given in letters or by an angelic voice.

Dreams give sometimes clearly, sometimes in a veiled form, warnings for coming dangers and assurance of success. The ability to be conscious of dreams and their meaning varies with the degree of development attained.

Dreams have their effect sooner or later, accord- ing to the stars, in which they take place. The dream seen at midnight is realised within one year, and the dream of the latter part of night within six months ; the dream of the early morning is realised soon after. At the same time the manifestation of dreams is subject to qualification according to the good or bad actions of the dreamer.

Inspirations are more easily reflected upon spiritual persons than material ones.

Inspiration is the inner light which reflects itself upon the heart of man, the purer the heart is from rust, as a clean mirror, the more clearly inspiration can be reflected in it. To receive inspirations clearly the heart should be prepared by proper training. A heart soiled with rust is never capable of receiving them. There are five kinds of inspiration :

1. Elham-e-Ilm — inspiration of an artist and scientist.

2. Elham-e-Husn — inspiration of a musician and poet.

3. Elham-e-Ishk — inspiration of a devotee.

4. Elham-e-Ruh — inspiration of a mystic.

5. Elham-e-Gaib — inspiration of a prophet.

Inspirations are reflected upon mankind in five ways :

1. Kushood der Khyal — in the wave of thought.

2. Kushood der Hal — in emotions and feelings.

3. Kushood der Jamal — in the sufferings of the heart.

4. Kushood der Jalal — in the flow of wisdom.

5. Kushood der Kamal — in the divine voice and vision.

Some are born with their inspirational gift, and to some it appears after their development. The higher the development in spirituality the greater the capacity for inspiration, yet the gift of inspira- tion is not constant, as the saying of Mohammed declares : “ Inspirations are enclosed as well as disclosed at times, they appear according to the will of Allah, the only Knower of the unknown. ”

law of action

The law of cause and effect is as definite in its results in the realm of speech and thought as in the physical world.

The evil done, when it is considered evil is a sin ; and good done when it is considered good is a virtue ; but one who does good or bad without understanding, has no responsibility for his sins nor credit for his virtues ; but he is liable to punishment or reward just the same.

Man forms his future by his actions. His every good and bad action spreads its vibrations and becomes known throughout the universe. The more spiritual the man, the stronger and clearer are the vibrations of his- actions, which spread over the world, and weave his future.

The Universe is like a dome, it vibrates that which you say in it, and answers the same back to you. So also is the law of action, we reap what we sow.

It is impossible to differentiate between good ;and bad, because the thing seen is coloured by the personality of the seer ; to the bad view, all good is bad, and to the good view, even the bad seems good in a certain sense ; so the wise keep silence in distinguishing good from bad.

The most essential rule is not to do unto others that which you would not have done unto you. That action is desirable which results from kind- ness and that is undesirable which is unkind.

Doubtless also, might is right, but in the end, right is only the might.

There are different principles for life in different religions, but a Sufi's will is the principle for himself.

He is the servant who surrenders himself to principles, and he is the master who prescribes principles for himself.

One who has never been commanded in life, never knows how to command ; in the same way, to be the master, one must first be the servant.

The Murshid physician of the soul pre- scribes necessary principles to the Mureed, who after the accomplishment in the training, arrives at a blessed state where he overcomes virtues and sins, and stands beyond good and bad. To him happiness no more differs from sorrow, for his thought, speech and action become the thought, speech and action of Allah.

music among sufis

Music is called Giza-i-ruh (food of the soul) by Sufis. Music being the most divine art, elevates the soul to the higher spirit ; music itself being unseen, soon reaches the unseen ; just as only the diamond can break the diamond, so musical vibrations are used to make the physical and mental vibrations inactive, that the Sufi may be elevated to spiritual spheres.

Music consists of vibrations which have involved from the top to the bottom, and if they could only be systematically used, they could be evolved from the bottom to the top.

Real music is known only by the most gifted ones. Music has five aspects :

1. Tarah — music which produces motion in the body

(artistic).

2. Kaga — music which appeals to the intellect (scientific).

3. Koul — music which creates feelings (emotional).

4. Nida — music heard in vision (inspirational).

5. Saut — music in the abstract (celestial).

Music has always been the favourite Suflc means of spiritual development. Rumi, the author of Masnavi, introduced music into his Moulvi Order, and enjoyed the memory of his blessed Murshid's association while listening to it. Since that time music has become the second subject of Sufi practices. They declare that it creates harmony in both worlds and brings eternal peace.

The great mystic of India, Moinuddin Chishty, introduced music into his Chistia Order. Up to this late date, musical entertainments for the elevation of the soul, called Sama, are held among Sufis.

wajad (ecstasy)

Ecstasy is called Wajad by Sufis : it is especially cultivated among the Chishtys. This bliss is the sign of spiritual development and also the opening for all inspirations and powers. This is the state of eternal peace, which purifies from all sins. Only the most advanced Sufis can experience Wajad. Although it is the most blissful and interesting state, those who give themselves en- tirely to it become unbalanced, for an over-amount of anything is undesirable ; as the day's labour is a necessary precursor to the night's rest, so it is better to enjoy this spiritual bliss only after the due performance of worldly duties.

Sufis generally enjoy Wajad while listening to music called Kauwalli (special music producing emotions of love, fear, desire, repentance, etc.).

There are five aspects of Wajad :

1. Wajad of Dervishes — which produces a rhythmic motion of the hody.

2. Wajad of Idealists — expressed by a thrilling sensation of the body, tears and sighs.

3. Wajad of Devotees — creates an exalted state in the physical and mental body,

4. Wajad of Saints — creates perfect calm and peace.

5. Wajad of Prophets — realisation of the highest con- sciousness called Sadratal Manteha.

One who by the favour of the Mursldd arrives to the state of Wajad is undoubtedly the most blessed soul and deserves all adorations.

concentration

The entire universe in all its activity has been created through the concentration of Allah. Every being in the world is occupied consciously or un- consciously in some act of concentration. Good and evil are alike the result of concentration. The stronger the concentration, the greater the result, lack of concentration is the cause of failure in all things. For this world and the other, for material as well as spiritual progress, concentration is most essential.

The power of will is much greater than the power of action, but action is the final necessity for the fulfilment of the will. There are seven kinds of concentration in Sufism :

1. Nimaz — for control of the body.

2. Wazifa — for control of the thought. 8. Zikar — for physical purification.

4. Fikar — for the mental purification.

5. Kasab — for entering into the spirit.

6. Shagal — for entering into the abstract.

7. Amal — for complete annihilation.

Perfection is reached by the regular practice of these concentrations, passing through three grades of development :

Fana-fi- Sheikh — annihilation in the astral plane. Fana-fi-Kasoul — annihilation in the spiritual plane. Fana-fi- Allah — annihilation in the abstract.

After passing through these three grades, the highest state of Ba,ki-bi- Allah (annihilation in the eternal consciousness), which is the destination of all who travel by this path, is attained.

Breath is the first thing to be well studied. This is the very life, and also the chain which connects material existence with the spiritual. Its right control is a ladder leading from the lowest to the highest stage of development. Its science is to be mastered by the favour of the Murshid, the guiding light of Allah.

male and female aspect of allah

The Only Being is manifested throughout all planes of existence in two aspects, male and female, representing Nature's positive and negative forces. In the plane of consciousness there are two aspects, viz. : Vahdat (consciousness) and Ahadiat (eternal consciousness), so also, spirit and matter, night and day, signify the dual aspect on lower planes. In the mineral and vegetable kingdoms sex is evolving, but the highest manifestation of male and female is man and woman.

Man being the first aspect of manifestation, is the more spiritual and nearer to Allah. Woman being the next manifestation, is finer and more capable of divine knowledge; man's natural tendency is toward Allah, while woman's tendency is toward the world. These contrary tendencies result in balance. Therefore man needs woman to direct his life, and woman needs man for her guidance and protection, both being incomplete within themselves.

The problem of the emancipation of woman may be studied from a comparison of her position in the East and in the West.

The Oriental woman, whose freedom is restricted, is the better wife, from the individual point of view, but the enforced inactivity of half the population is unbeneficial to the nation. The Occidental woman who is given entire freedom is less anxious for and less capable of home life, but being out in the world her influence promotes the advancement of the nation.

At first sight it would appear that woman is more respected by man in the West, but in reality the East gives her the greater reverence.

Man has more freedom than woman throughout the entire world because he has more strength and power and the fineness of woman needs protection ; just as the eye, being the finest organ of the body, has been protected by Nature with eyelids. Each excel in their own characteristics.

A virgin is idolised by man because she is the model of high manifestation ; woman's virtue is more ideal than her physical and intellectual beauty. Nature has given her under the protection of man, but it is most desirable if man gives her freedom and she appreciates it by making the best use of it.

There are three kinds of virgins. One, commonly considered a virgin, who has never had association with man : another, is the virgin in heart, whose love is centred in one beloved only : and the third, is the virgin in soul, who considers man as God. She only can give birth to a Divine child.

Woman may become a doctor, solicitor, or minister, but it is incomparably greater if she can become a good wife and a kind mother.

Monogamy and polygamy are inborn human attributes. They also exist among birds and beasts. Each individual is born with one of these tendencies, but sometimes one rather than the other is developed by the effect of the atmosphere and surroundings.

These tendencies also depend upon climatic and physical conditions of different countries and races.

Polygamy may be natural to man, and monogamy to the opposite sex, as the former helps manifesta- tion while the latter destroys it.

Illegal pofygamy is worse than legal, because it creates deceit and falsehood. Monogamy is the ideal life which is a comfort in this world and the next, and perfects one in love.

Absolute renunciation is as undesirable as is the blind attachment to the world. The ideal life is detached interest in the world which is best accomplished by man and woman together.

W oman is a mystery within herself, owing to her subtle nature. Sages who made the mistake of considering woman to be of lesser spiritual importance forgot that they, themselves, were the product of woman.

The majority of prophets and masters have been men because man is the higher manifestation as is signified by the myth of Adam and Eve, in which “ Eve was born from the rib of Adam,” meaning that woman is the later manifestation ; the fruit means that woman directed man's thoughts toward procreation. The interpretation of Adam and Eve's exile from Heaven is the fall of human kind, from the state of innocence to the state of youth. The separation and unhappiness of Adam and Eve show the object of Allah to manifest in the dual aspect, that he may accom- plish his real desire of love. According to the Vedanta (Ardhangi) half of the divine body is womanhood, proving that unity of both is the complete life.

Sufis consider the complete life of unity the most balanced, if it is true and harmonious. Love and wisdom create harmony between man and woman ; but these being absent, harmony ceases to exist.

A child inherits more attributes from its mother than from its father, therefore the mother is more responsible for its merits and defects, and if she has knowledge can train the soul of her child even before its birth by the power of her concentration, moulding the child's future according to her own will.

Harmony between finer persons, is more lasting than the affections of average mankind. People of angelic qualities have everlasting harmony between them, in which Allah Himself accomplishes His object of manifestation.

Mankind is born with a worshipful attitude, and as all attitudes demand satisfaction by expression, in the same way, the attitude of worship finds its object for adoration.

The old Grecians and Shiva Bhaktas of India worshipped both aspects of manifestation in the name of Gods and Goddesses.

Sufism, being the essence of all religions and philosophies, looked upon both the opposite aspects of Nature, as one in reality, and called it Sifat

Allah. Sufis reach realisation of Allah by adoring His Nature, calling him Kull-I-Shain Hal-I-Kul. They look upon all names and forms, with the view of realizing one, the Only Being.

London

Women's Printing Society, Ltd., Brick Street, Piccadilly.

type:
book
author:
inayat_khan
year:
1914
syear:
3914
topic:
consciousness, spirituality, mind, humanity
indexer
×