All gains, whether material, spiritual, moral or mystical,

April 30, 2013 Comments Off on All gains, whether material, spiritual, moral or mystical,

All gains, whether material, spiritual, moral or mystical, are in answer to one’s own character.

Bowl of Saki, April 30, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

It is easy to help children, but it is most difficult to help the grown-up. One may change snow into water and water into ice, but to try to change a character is the most difficult thing one can ever imagine. Therefore, it is usually vain to try. But what one can do is to build one’s own character; that is in one’s own hands. Only, what people are most occupied with is the character of someone else; they are always thinking of the other but they never want to change themselves.


The seer, therefore, teaches that all the things that we desire and think beautiful, we ought to produce within ourselves instead of expecting them from others. What a task that is! What great self-sufficiency there would be if every country always itself produced that which it seeks from others; what an independent life it would be to produce within ourselves what we expect to obtain from others! Instead of depending on them for something we ourselves can give them, we should experience the joy of giving, the joy of being kind to others. What joy and freedom we should ourselves find in being kind to another. However natural it may be to have someone love and admire us, are we not dependent? The wife is dependent of her husband’s love; the friend is dependent on the friend’s love. But in the other case we would be free and independent; for our joy would lie in the love itself, and not in the person.

We should enjoy life by doing kindness to others. Receiving kindness from others only makes the recipient expect more. He keeps saying, ‘He is doing this for his own benefit; he is not considering me; he is blaming me; he did not help me; he did not deal fairly with me.’ His life becomes full of grudges because he expects from everybody all the good that he wants, and he does not know that he ought to have it all in himself; that he should become independent. Therein lies the secret of character. … If a person thinks that God is all, but the whole world is vile, he does not worship God, for God is all and God is beautiful. ‘God is beautiful and he loves beauty,’ the Prophet said. And as His being is in us, we are supposed to love beauty also. What is beauty? Not only the external beauty, but the beauty of personality, the beauty of character, that is the real beauty. If we did not worship it, we should not admire it in other people. We cannot appreciate anything without beauty of character.

All gains, whether material, spiritual, moral, or mystical, are the outcome of one’s own character; and if we have gained nothing, it is only by reason of our own character.



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