It is a patient pursuit to bring water

November 3, 2013 Comments Off on It is a patient pursuit to bring water

It is a patient pursuit to bring water from the depth of the ground; one
has to deal with much mud in digging before one reaches the water of life.

Bowl of Saki, November 2, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:

Love is life, and life is symbolized by water. When one wants to bring
water up out of the ground one has to dig for it, and the first thing which
one finds is mud. And if one is disappointed by that, one has fooled
oneself, for beneath the earth is water; it can be found but one must have
patience to dig for it, to dig deep enough to find the water.

Some say, ‘I have loved dearly once, but I was disappointed.’ It is as if a
man were to say, ‘I dug in the earth, but when the mud came, I was
disappointed.’ It is true that mud came; but with patience, he will reach
the water one day. Only patience can endure. Only endurance produces

What, generally, man knows about love is the give and take:’ if you give me
twelve pence, I will give you a shilling.’ For as long as one sees life in
the form of business, in the form of give and take, he does not know love,
and it is a great pity, when, after knowing something of love, the heart
has turned cold and bitter. And what reason is there? The reason is this,
that when one digs the ground one must dig until the water comes. But if
one digs halfway, then there is no water, there is mud. But what is love?
Love is a continual sacrifice. And what does sacrifice mean? Sacrifice
means forgetting of the self.

~~~ “Religious Gathekas, #43, The Religion of the Heart”, by Hazrat Inayat
Khan (unpublished)


The principles of mysticism

October 19, 2013 Comments Off on The principles of mysticism

The principles of mysticism rise from the heart of man; they are learnt by
intuition and proved by reason.

Bowl of Saki, October 18, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:

One might ask why man has lost that intuitive faculty. It is because he has
become so absorbed in material gain that he has become, as it were,
intoxicated by the worldly life; and intuition, which is his birthright and
his own property, has been lost from view. This does not mean that it is
gone from him, only that it has become buried in his own heart.

We are vehicles or instruments that respond. If we respond to goodness,
goodness becomes our property. If we respond to evil, then evil becomes our
property. If we respond to love, then love becomes our possession. If we
respond to hatred, hatred becomes our life. And if we respond to the things
of the earth so much that our whole life becomes absorbed in worldly
things, then it is quite natural that we should not respond to those riches
which are within us

As soon as intuition springs up, reason, its competitor, rises also and
says, ‘No, it is not so.’ Then there is conflict in the mind and it is hard
to distinguish, because there are two feelings at the same time. If one
makes a habit of catching the first intuition and saving it from being
destroyed by reason, then intuition is stronger and one can benefit by it.
There are many intuitive people, but they cannot always distinguish between
intuition and reason and sometimes they mix them up, for very often the
second thought, being the last, is more clear to one than the first.
Therefore, the intuition is forgotten and reason remembered. Then a person
calls it intuition and it is not so.

Reason and intuition are two competitors, and yet both have their place,
their importance, and their value. The best thing would be first to try and
catch the intuition and distinguish and know and recognize it as intuition;
and then to reason it out.

The principles of mysticism rise from the heart of man. They are learned by
intuition and proved by reason. This is not only faith, though it is born
of faith: it is faith with proof.

My intuition, has thou ever deceived me? No, never. It is my reason which
so often deludes me, for it comes from without; thou art rooted within my

Each soul’s attainment

October 3, 2013 Comments Off on Each soul’s attainment

Each soul’s attainment is according to its evolution.

Bowl of Saki, October 1, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:

Opinion is an outcome of mind. It is an outburst of its reasoning and
judging faculty. And so, according to the evolution of a particular mind,
its opinion is. Opinions clash when two people of different stages of
evolution express themselves. Therefore the wise are more reluctant to
express their opinion, whereas for the unwise it is easy. A simpleton is
only too glad to express his opinion uninvited.

Everyone, consciously or unconsciously, is striving after spiritual
attainment. Sometimes he does not take the same way as we do, sometimes his
point of view and his method differ, and sometimes one person attains to
spiritual realization much sooner than another. It may be reached in a day,
and another person may have striven for it all his life and yet not have
attained to it. What determines it? It is the evolution of a particular

Every step one takes in evolution changes one’s ideal. In your stage, if
you love a jasmine today, it is possible that in your next step in
evolution you may have grown above it and you love a rose. And it is not
necessary that you should keep to the jasmine when your evolution brings
you to the love for the rose — thus one is kept from progressing.

~~~ “Githa I, Sadhana 3” by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)

To the question, “Are you a Christian?”, “Are you a Muslim?”, “Are you a
Jew?”, the Sufi’s answer would be ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’, for the Sufi
opposes no religion but sympathizes with all. In fact Sufism cannot be
called a religion, for it does not impose either belief or principle upon
anyone, considering that each individual soul has its own principles best
suited for it, and a belief which changes with each grade of evolution. …
A Sufi does not dispute on spiritual subjects with everyone, for this
reason: the spiritual evolution of each one differs from that of the other,
the knowledge of one cannot be the knowledge of the other, nor is the
understanding of one the understanding of the other. … at every step in
spiritual evolution a person’s belief changes until one arrives at a final
belief which words cannot explain.

~~~ “Gathekas for Candidates”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)

Why Religio-Spiritual Routines

August 16, 2013 Comments Off on Why Religio-Spiritual Routines

Yesterday we were discussing how to bring about changes in oneself. I was explaining to an extent what is the method to administer directional and qualitative changes in one’s life, thoughts, outlook, deeds and interactions. I also explained that in this process of effecting changes, what counts is the time spent for the purpose and how well and exclusively it is done.

Various religious practices and routines have come to be in vogue in our land. All of them have full bearing on this self-improvement and self-refinement. In religious practices, the temple has an important place. It is, no doubt, an external abode. But unlike our homes, it has no residents as such. The Idol we install, representing God or the supreme Reality, is the resident. We have a number of ceremonial procedures and disciplines for preserving the Temple as an abode of divinity.

We do not conduct a tea party in a temple. No public meetings to acknowledge the merits of X or Y are also held. At the same time, we do many things in the temple, all different from what we take up in our homes. So we have worship and allied rituals addressed to God. The priest invokes God using special divine mantras. When you go to a temple and spend some time there, it verily means a withdrawal from the usual worldly routines, and entry into something distinctly different.

After waking up until going to bed, you are always interacting with the world and its objects alone. So, all the thoughts you have will naturally be of the world alone. Impurity and similar influences result, as a rule from worldly interactions. If a qualitative change is to be brought about, the mind has to be disconnected from its routine worldly involvement and exposed to something else. In helping such withdrawal and seeking counter exposure, temples or such other abodes are a great help.

If you sit in your own house, say in the pooja room, devoting some time and effort in spiritual, religious or philosophical pursuit, that will equally serve the purpose.

We are working with our body, spending energy. If the body has to remain healthy, you have to stop work for a while in order to take food. Only then your hunger will be appeased and the body will have its nourishment. Sleep is another requirement, which provides rest and recuperation to the body. For sleep also, work has to be suspended.

I think everyone, on an average, spends about an hour and a half for his meals every day. During this one and half hour do you not free yourself from the other activities to sit in a place and take food? In the same manner, for at least six or seven hours a day you sleep, ridding yourself of all activities. Seven hours of sleep and one and half hours for taking food, are indispensable for enabling the active and interactive life.

My dear children, in the same manner, say good bye to the usual worldly activities, at least for half an hour or forty minutes. Sit in a place; think of a subject other than the usual worldly ones. Think of the Almighty; read some godly books; introspect over your own mind. Watch your thoughts; observe your mental functions and intellectual deliberations. Study your values and principles, and assess how far you have adhered to them. Identify where slips have taken place. Doing this kind of an exercise, sitting in a place, is a must. All our religious and spiritual routines are aimed at this, nothing else.

Early in the morning in the samadhi mandir here, vishnusahasranaama and Bhagavadgeeta are chanted.  Whether it is vishnusahasranaama or Bhagavadgeeta, every syllable that you utter has a supra-worldly note. It will take you away from the worldly interactions and link you to a supra-worldly interaction. Unless you are able to do this, how can inculcation of quality be possible? Only when the mind is engrossed in the contemplation of qualities, their inculcation will take place.

So, spend some time thinking about these qualities. Be fond of them, as you will be fond of any object or person dear to you.  Love them, be fond of them – then the qualities will start growing in you. If you want to be honest, love honesty.  If you want to be steadfast, be fond of steadfastness.  If you want integrity, think repeatedly about integrity.

As you think, so you grow.  As are your thoughts, so are your actions.  I think it is for this reason, that religious and spiritual routines are evolved and adhered to.  – Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha
[An extract from the morning talk of Poojya Swamiji “Prabhata-rashmih” published in the June 2001 issue of Vicharasethu.]
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2012

The continuance of myself

June 19, 2013 Comments Off on The continuance of myself

If we can very humbly and simply see the implications of all this, be aware, without assuming anything, of how our minds operate and what our thinking is based on, then I think we shall realize the extraordinary contradiction that exists in this whole process of identification. After all, it is because I feel empty, lonely, miserable, that I identify myself with my country, and this identification gives me a sense of well-being, a feeling of power. Or, for the same reason, I identify myself with a hero, with a saint. But if I can go into this process of identification very deeply, then I will see that the whole movement of my thinking and all my activity, however noble, is essentially based on the continuance of myself in one form or another. – JKrishnamurti, Hamburg 1956,Talk 2


Man’s whole conduct in life

June 14, 2013 Comments Off on Man’s whole conduct in life

Man’s whole conduct in life depends upon what he holds in his thought.

Bowl of Saki, June 11, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

The heart, which is called a mirror in Sufi terms, has two different actions which it performs. Whatever is reflected in the heart does not only remain a reflection but becomes a creative power, productive of a phenomenon of a similar nature. For instance a heart which is holding in itself and reflecting the rose, will find roses everywhere. Roses will be attracted to that heart; roses will be produced from it and for it. As this reflection becomes stronger, so it becomes creative of the phenomenon of roses. The heart that holds and reflects a wound will find wounds everywhere, will attract wounds, will create wounds; for that is the nature of the phenomenon of reflection. … There is another aspect of this reflection, and that is what one thinks, one becomes. One becomes identified with it. Therefore, the object which is in one’s thought becomes one’s own property, one’s own quality.

A person (lacking mastery) holds a thought in mind, whether it is beneficial to him or not, without knowing the result which will come from it. It is like a child who holds a rattle in his hand and hits his head with the rattle and cries with the pain, and yet does not throw the rattle away. There are many who keep in their mind a thought of illness or a thought of unkindness done to them by someone and suffer from it, yet not knowing what it is that makes them suffer so, nor understanding the reason of their suffering.

Man’s whole conduct in life depends upon what he holds in his thought. The thought of the wicked produces in him wickedness, and the thought of the good creates goodness. The love of Rasul, the divine ideal, enables one to concentrate upon this ideal. Since all in the garb of matter are to be separated one day in life, good or wicked, friends or foes, what alone is reliable is the ideal which man creates within himself, call it Christ, Buddha, Krishna or Muhammad.

~~~ “Githa III, Concentration on Rasul”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan (unpublished)



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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