January 6, 2014 Comments Off on As water in a fountain flows as one stream
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.
Bowl of Saki, January 1, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
In a fountain there is a big stream which flows up and then breaks into many drops. The stream is like the divine will, and the different drops like the wills in us. One drop goes higher, another lower, one falls to the left, another to the right, one goes north, another south. But the source of all this activity is one; it is one thing that turns into so many, scattering in all directions. Thus from unity there has come variety.
Different methods called religions and philosophies have been adopted by different nations at various periods. Though the form and teachings of the several religions appear so unlike, their source is one and the same. But from the very beginning the differences have created prejudice, envy, and antagonism between man. Such dissensions occupy a large portion of the histories of the world and have become the most important subject in life.
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 realizes that the fundamental basis of all religions and beliefs is one: Haqq, or truth. … Those who see the truth uncovered abandon 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 realized as nothing other than Haqq. Truth in its realization 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 in one stream but falls in many drops, divided by time and space, so are the revelations of the one stream of truth.
Prayer for New Year, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
O Thou who abidest in our hearts,
most Merciful and Compassionate God, Lord of Heaven and Earth,
we forgive others their trespasses and ask Thy forgiveness of our shortcomings.
We begin the New Year with pure heart and clear conscience, with courage and hope.
Help us to fulfill the purpose of our lives under Thy divine guidance.
November 7, 2013 Comments Off on As a child learning to walk
As a child learning to walk falls a thousand times before he can stand, and
after that falls again and again until at last he can walk, so are we as
little children before God.
Bowl of Saki, November 7, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
Man is limited in his thought, in his speech, in his action. Therefore
naturally he is liable to follies and errors, and his progress through life
can only be made as a little child learns to walk. The child falls a
thousand times before he can stand, and so many times he falls again when
he begins to walk. We human beings are not more than the child before God.
If we take this attitude in life, not considering that if yesterday we
failed today we shall fail, and if we always hope that some day we shall
walk aright, that hour will come. Imagine if the child thought that as he
had fallen so often perhaps he would never walk! That would make a mental
impression on his soul, and he would never be able to walk. But there is
the natural impulse, with the hope, “Next time I shall walk”, that makes
him walk. So with us. Our follies, shortcomings, errors, are natural, but
when we defend ourselves, hiding our errors from others and making virtues
out of our shortcomings, it is then we make a mistake. It is just like
nurturing our errors and wanting to err more. We must always develop the
sense of justice, and that sense can never be developed if we judge others.
The only way of developing that sense is to judge ourselves continually and
see where we are in fault, and then in prayer to ask pardon and to ask for
November 3, 2013 Comments Off on Man mistakes when he begins
Man mistakes when he begins to cultivate the heart by wanting to sow the
seed himself, instead of leaving the sowing to God.
Bowl of Saki, October 29, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
The Sufis have learned the lesson of love, of devotion, of sympathy, and
have called it the cultivation of the heart. It is known by the word suluk,
which means the loving manner. What we call refined manner is only a manner
behind which there is no life. When manner is directed by the heart quality
then it becomes loving manner, the manner that comes from love, and all
such attributes as kindness, gentleness, tolerance, forgiveness, mercy and
compassion — they all spring from this loving manner. … One may ask: How
to cultivate the heart quality? There is only one way: to become selfless
at each step one takes forward on this path, for what prevents one from
cultivating the loving quality is the thought of self.
The question may be asked: Is any effort required for realizing the truth?
The answer is yes. There is a work that one can do, which is as the work of
a farmer, it is to cultivate the heart. But where man makes a mistake is
that when he cultivates the heart he wishes to sow the seed himself instead
of leaving the sowing of the seed to God. As to the way how to cultivate
the heart, the first condition is explained in a story. A young man went to
a great seer in Persia and asked him for guidance on the spiritual path.
The seer asked him, ‘Have you loved in your life?’ ‘No’ he said, ‘not yet.’
The seer answered, ‘Go and love, and know what love is. Then come to me.’
July 20, 2013 Comments Off on There is a light within every soul
There is a light within every soul; it only needs the clouds that overshadow it to be broken for it to beam forth.
Bowl of Saki, July 18, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Every being has an individual ego produced from his own illusion. This limits his view which is led in the direction of his own interest, and he judges of good and bad, high or low, right or wrong in relation to himself and others, through his limited view, which is generally partial and imaginary rather than true. This darkness is caused by the overshadowing of the soul by the external self. Thus a person becomes blind to his own infirmities as well as to the merits of another, and the right action of another becomes wrong in his eyes and the fault of the self seems right. This is the case with mankind in general, until the veil of darkness is lifted from his eyes.
It is the bodily desires, passion, anger, appetite, all the different desires and needs, that make the mind helpless and make man hold on to them. All the worries, anxieties, depressions, and despairs arise from them. There is not a single moment in which the mind is able to stand aloof so as to reflect the light within, the light of the soul, so limited has it been made by the limited existence on earth. In reality this is the whole tragedy of human life.
The one and only thing that hinders man from advancing spiritually, or at least from advancing towards the goal, for which he is destined, and which he is longing to attain, is this: that the mind is so absorbed by the demands and wants of the physical body that it has hardly a moment to give itself entirely to the reflection of the light of the soul.
The difference between a scientist and a mystic is that the former analyzes the things he is interested in, studying them by different methods in order to ascertain as much information about them as he can, the ways in which they can be of any benefit, their uses, and their nature, whereas the mystic, though in a way doing the same, first aims at lighting that light within himself by which he can see in this world of darkness and illusion, instead of using some technical instrument or special scientific process. As it is said, ‘ Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven’, so his first task is to light the candle within.
There is a light within every soul. It only needs the clouds, which hide it, to dissolve for it to beam forth. This is the light of revelation. It is like a lantern to us, it lights up every dark corner we wish to examine, and gives an answer to every question we would ask. … There is a beautiful Indian tale that illustrates the meaning of this light. It is said that there is a certain kind of cobra, which has a diamond in its head. When it goes into the jungle, it takes out the diamond and places it on a tree. By means of its light, it searches all it wants, and when it is finished, it puts the diamond back in its head. The cobra represents the soul, and the diamond the light of inspiration guiding it. The same truth is portrayed in the story of Aladdin and his lamp. The lady he loved represented the ideal of his soul. The lamp he had to find was the light of inner guidance, which when found, would lead him to the attainment of his ideal.
May 19, 2013 Comments Off on Persevere In Sadhana
Let the sadhana (spiritual practice) always be regular, continuous, unbroken and earnest. Not only regularity but also continuity in sadhana and meditation are necessary if you want to attain selfrealisation quickly.
A spiritual stream, once set going, does not dry up unless the channelbed gets blocked, unless there is stagnation. Be vigilant eternally. Meditate regularly. Annihilate the undercurrent of vasana (habit-patterns).
Patience, perseverance, courage, determination, discrimination and dispassion are needed to tread the spiritual path. Put away thoughts, stimuli, perceptions, intentions, emotions, feelings, preoccupations and deliberations arising out of the senses and the sense objects.
You will attain supreme blessedness or the peace of the eternal. Keep the flame of thy aspiration ever kindled bright. Let purity, serenity, compassion, truth and oneness, manifest in thy thoughts and actions. Through penance, prayer and meditation the soul ascends on the divine chariot to the realms of infinite bliss, to God’s halls of wisdom.
Regularity is of paramount importance in spiritual practice. Spiritual aspirants must be arduous and efficient in performing their tasks without a break. Pray without a break. Have unshakable faith.
Remember vairagya (dispassion) and abhyasa (constant practice). Prayer is the wing by which you fly to God. Meditation or intuition is the eye by which you see God. Pray fervently unto the Lord. Pray for the Lord’s light and guidance.
Meditate on the great truth within. Strive ever to keep thyself close to the divine centre. Day by day draw nearer unto the Lord. Strive inwardly to grow into the likeness of the divine ideal. – Swami Sivananda
April 23, 2013 Comments Off on Be Firm But Kind
Children respond well to correction, discipline, talking and explaining, and being treated like the intelligent beings that they are. Many parents these days are afraid of their children and dance around them, as if they were things to be avoided. They bribe them with toys and sweets, bow before their every whim and appoint them, by default, the head of the house. Truly, children these days like to be told what to do, but also to be told the reasons why.
The “Obey me because I said so” stance will not work anymore for the Western-educated child. What will work is, “Obey me because this is what our family needs and wants you to do, because we love you and want you to remain a member of this family, and these are the reasons why….” This approach even a truant kid will accept, because he or she still needs to eat, still wants a roof over head, clothes to wear and, in the future, maybe a paid-for education. Less obstinate children will conform because they love their family and intuitively know how to fit in when they are urged to and have been given clear directions, explanations and expectations. Yes, there are children in the Western world who do not throw temper tantrums at home, who are still nice to their elders, who will turn off the TV when asked and even show appreciation for all that their parents have done for them.
Who are the mentors of the home, the kids or the parents? Children raised on bribery or raised in fear will in their future bribe others, subjugate others by instilling fear of their wrath and unruly ways. If you are ambivalent and insecure, your children will not listen to you. This may be embarrassing, but nonetheless true. It is not necessary to let your children go headlong into Western ways. It is not necessary or even helpful to leave them alone to find their own values in life, from the streets, from peers, from people more confused than they are. What is most helpful is for you to share with them the Eternal Path, with all of its values, all of its insight into humanity and Divinity. What is most helpful is for you to spend lots of time with your children. Many parents these days minimize the hours they spend with their kids and don’t even have time for an in-depth conversation anymore. Just “Hello” and “Good-bye” and “Why did you get a low grade on your report card?” Kids need more, more of you, more of your time, more direction and more guidance. Don’t be afraid to give to them what they need most–all of you, not just a token part. Teach them traditional religious and cultural values at an early age. Don’t be afraid that they will be different from the other children. They are already different. They are Hindus, inheritors of India’s fountainhead of mystery and Truth.
An all-pervasive mental disease has come to the planet. It started in the West and is spreading worldwide. It is the modern way that parents talk to their children, by stating a question when actually giving direction or instruction, such as, “Why don’t we all get in the car now?” “Why don’t you put on your coat?” “Don’t you think it’s time for you children to turn off the TV and go to bed?” These kinds of phrases are used in the family homes and in offices throughout the modern world. Children given the choice “Why don’t you?” before the instruction of what to do are disadvantaged. They are forced to make a yes-or-no decision before complying with the request, and sometimes it might be “no.” When undecided, children comply reluctantly. Giving these kinds of choices to young people, which is being done today even at the five-year-old level and younger, is a new way of raising them which puts parents at a disadvantage. They become beholden to their child’s every mood, thought and preference. – Sloka 23 from Dancing with Siva, by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
February 18, 2013 Comments Off on We are always searching for God
We are always searching for God afar off, when all the while He is nearer to us than our own soul.
Bowl of Saki, February 16, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
Spirituality has become far removed from material life, and so God is far removed from humanity. Therefore, one cannot any more conceive of God speaking through a man, through someone like oneself. Even a religious man who reads the Bible every day will have great difficulty in understanding the verse, ‘Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ The Sufi message and its mission are to bring this truth to the consciousness of the world: that man can dive so deep within himself that he can touch the depths, where he is united with the whole of life, with all souls, and that he can derive from that source harmony, beauty, peace and power.
When a person turns for guidance to God, to the inner Being, then all light and all knowledge are his for his guidance. “But,” people say, “how can we attach ourselves with the inner Being, so as to have that guidance?” When the mind is fixed upon anything, then the person becomes linked to that, a current is established between him and it. It may be called the guidance of God or the guidance of the Self. If we look within, God is nearer to us than our mind and our body, because He is that life in which as is said in the Bible, we live and move and have our being.
~~~ “Supplementary papers, Mureeds VII “, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)
‘The one whom I have called God, whose personality I have recognized, and whose pleasure or displeasure I have sought, has been seeing His life through my eyes, has been hearing through my ears. It was His breath that came through my breathing, His impulse which I felt, and therefore I know that this body which I had thought to be my own is really the true temple of God. I did not realize that this body was the shrine of God.’ Not knowing that God experiences this life through man, one is seeking for Him somewhere else, in some person aloof and apart from the world, whereas all the time He is in oneself.