The fire of devotion purifies
July 3, 2013 Comments Off on The fire of devotion purifies
The fire of devotion purifies the heart of the devotee and leads to spiritual freedom.
Bowl of Saki, June 17, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Overlooking the faults of others with politeness, tolerance, forgiveness, and resignation is regarded as a moral virtue in the East. Man’s heart is visualized as the shrine of God, and even a small injury in thought, word, and deed against it is considered as a great sin against God, the Indwelling One. Gratitude is shown by the loyalty of the Orient and by being true to the salt; the hospitality of a day is remembered throughout all the years of life, while the benefactor never forgets humility even in the midst of his good deeds. There is an Eastern saying, ‘Forget thy virtues and remember thy sins.’
‘Chained with gold chains about the feet of God.’ – Tennyson
Thus the heart, developed by religion and morality, becomes first capable of choosing and then of retaining the object of devotion without wavering for a moment. Yet in the absence of these qualities it remains incapable of either choice or retention.
There have been innumerable devotees in the East, Bhakta or Ashiq, whose devotional powers are absolutely indescribable and ineffable. To the ignorant the story of their lives may appear exaggerated, but the joy of self-negation is greater than that of either spiritual or material joy.
Devotion sweetens the personality, and is the light on the path of the disciple. Those who study mysticism and philosophy while omitting self-sacrifice and resignation grow egoistic and self-centered. Such persons are apt to call themselves either God or a part of God, and thus make an excuse for committing any sins they like. Regardless of sin or virtue they misuse and malign others, being utterly fearless of the hereafter. Yet they forget that ‘strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life’, as the Bible says.
The fire of devotion purifies the heart of the devotee and leads to spiritual freedom. Mysticism without devotion is like uncooked food and can never be assimilated. ‘I am the heart of my devotees,’ says Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita. And Hafiz says, ‘O joyous day when I depart from this abode of desolation, seeking the repose of my soul and setting out in search of my Beloved.’