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Thread: Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan — a Sufi Master

  1. #191 The kingdom of heaven is in the hearts of those who realize God. 
    The kingdom of heaven is in the hearts of those who realize God.

    Being born again means that the soul is awakened after having come on earth, and entering the kingdom of heaven means that this world, the same kingdom in which we are standing just now, turns into heaven as soon as the point of view has changed. Is it not interesting and most wonderful to think that the same earth we walk on is earth to one person and heaven to another? And it is still more interesting to notice that it is we who change it; we change it from earth into heaven, or we change it otherwise. This change comes not by study, nor by anything else, but only by the changing of our point of view.
    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.
    The Kingdom of Heaven is in the hearts of those who realize God. This is recognized in the East, and great respect and regard is always shown for the holy ones. ... Speaking from a metaphysical point of view, the Kingdom of Heaven may be attained by the way of repentance. If we have offended a friend, and he turns away from us, and we in fullness of heart ask for forgiveness, his heart will melt towards us. If, on the other hand, we close our heart, it becomes frozen. ... When by warmth of heart we can break our limited self, we merge in the One, the unlimited. When our limited kingdom is lost from our sight, we inherit the Kingdom of God.
    The basis of mysticism is to be found in that saying of the Bible, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things will be added unto you.' Thus the search of the mystic is for that kingdom, for God, and in that search what does he find? In the search for God he finds himself.


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  2. #192 To fall beneath one's ideal is to lose one's share of life. 
    To fall beneath one's ideal is to lose one's share of life.

    If anyone asked me what is the life of life, and what is the light of life, what gives one interest in life, I should answer him in one word, and that is: the ideal. A man with wealth, with qualifications, with learning, with comfort, but without ideal to me is a corpse; but a man without learning, without qualifications, without wealth or rank, but with an ideal is a living man. If a man does not live for an ideal what else does he live for? He lives for himself, which is nothing. The man who lives and does not know an ideal is powerless and without light. The greater the ideal, the greater the person. The wider the ideal the broader the person. The deeper the ideal the deeper the person, the higher the ideal the higher the person. Without an ideal, whatever a man may be in life, life for him is worthless.
    The Sufi Message gives to the world the religion of the day; and that is to make one's life a religion, to turn one's occupation or profession into a religion, to make one's ideal a religious ideal. The object of Sufism is the uniting of life and religion, which so far seem to have been kept apart. When a man goes to church once a week, and devotes all the other days of the week to his business, how can he benefit from religion? Therefore the teaching of Sufism is to transform everyday life into a religion, so that every action may bear some spiritual fruit.
    We, with our narrowness of faith or belief, accuse others of belonging to another religion, another chapel or church. We say, 'This temple is better, that faith is better.' The whole world has kept on fighting and devastating itself just because it can not understand that each form of religion is peculiar to itself. Therefore, the ideal life is in following one's own ideal. It is not in checking other people's ideals.
    The man who has never had an ideal may hope to find one. He is in a better state than the man who allows the circumstances of life to break his ideal. To fall beneath one's ideal is to lose one's track in life. Then confusion rises in the mind, and that light which one should hold high becomes covered and obscured, so that it cannot shine out to light one's path.
    An ideal is something to hope for and to hold on to, and in the absence of an ideal hope has nothing to look forward to. It is the lack of idealism which accounts for the present degeneration of humanity in spite of all the progress it has made in other directions. There are many kinds of ideals: principles, virtues, objects of devotion; but the greatest and highest of all ideals is the God-ideal. And when this God-ideal upon which all other ideals are based is lost, then the very notion of ideal is ignored. Man needs many things in life, but his greatest need is an ideal.


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  3. #193 The wise of all ages have taught that it is knowledge of the divine Being... 
    The wise of all ages have taught that it is knowledge of the divine Being that is life, and the only reality.

    If there is a kingdom of God to be found anywhere, it is within oneself. And it is, therefore, in the knowledge of self that there lies the fulfillment of life. The knowledge of self means the knowledge of one's body, the knowledge of one's mind, the knowledge of one's spirit; the knowledge of the spirit's relation to the body and the relation of the body to the spirit; the knowledge of one's wants and needs, the knowledge of one's virtues and faults; knowing what we desire and how to attain it, what to pursue and what to renounce. And when one dives deep into this, one finds before one a world of knowledge which never ends. And it is that knowledge which gives one insight into human nature and brings one to the knowledge of the whole of creation. And in the end one attains to the knowledge of the divine Being.
    Religion is the school that has developed man, and the ideals that religion presents form a path that leads upward to perfection, that innate and yearning desire of every soul. ... The wise of all ages have taught that it is the knowledge of the Divine Being that is life, and the only reality. Although a human activity may have a number of complicated motives, some of which are base and gross, it is the aspiration towards divinity, the desire towards beauty, which is its soul, its life, and its reality. And it is in proportion to the degree of strength or weakness of his aspiration towards beauty that man's ideal is great or small, and his religion is great or small.


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  4. #194 Each soul's attainment is according to its evolution. 
    Each soul's attainment is according to its evolution.

    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 soul.
    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.


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  5. #195 There is no greater scripture than nature, for nature is life itself. 
    There is no greater scripture than nature, for nature is life itself.

    When we think of the various ways in which wisdom has been given out in legend, in poetry, in symbolism, we find that in every stage of evolution the same story or legend, or poem or symbology holds a different meaning. By this, I do not mean to say that as a man looks he understands things differently at each stage of evolution, but I mean the sense of comprehension is developed and things seem clearer at every stage, the meaning has not changed, but man acquires a keener insight. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that there is no greater Scripture than nature, for nature is life itself. It is an ever living Scripture by which all Masters and Teachers have been inspired, and all so called scriptures are interpretations of this scripture.

    There is so much to observe, so much to assimilate, and so much to give if one can only understand the language of nature. There is a verse by the great Seer of Persia, who says, 'Every leaf of a tree becomes a page of the Holy Book before the soul that can read.' In the path of wisdom it is a constant reading, a constant learning, and every experience whether happy or unhappy, and in every impression, whether it brings comfort or discomfort, if we will only observe what each one teaches, then the whole of life becomes a vision that is man's constant guide.
    Most people consider as sacred scriptures only certain books or scrolls written by the hand of man, and carefully preserved as holy, to be handed down to posterity as divine revelation. Men have fought and disputed over the authenticity of these books, have refused to accept any other book of similar character, and, clinging thus to the book and losing the sense of it have formed diverse sects. The Sufi has in all ages respected all such books, and has traced in the Vedanta, Zend-Avesta, Kabbala, Bible, Quran, and all other sacred scriptures, the same truth which he reads in the incorruptible manuscript of nature, the only Holy Book, the perfect and living model that teaches the inner law of life: all scriptures before nature's manuscript are as little pools of water before the ocean.

    To the eye of the seer every leaf of the tree is a page of the holy book that contains divine revelation, and he is inspired every moment of his life by constantly reading and understanding the holy script of nature.



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  6. #196 Wisdom can only be learned gradually, and every soul is not ready to receive or... 
    Wisdom can only be learned gradually, and every soul is not ready to receive or to understand the complexity of the purpose of life.

    Man likes complexity. He does not want to take only one step; it is more interesting to look forward to millions of steps. The man who is seeking the truth gets into a maze, and that maze interests him. He wants to go through it a thousand times more. It is just like children. Their whole interest is in running about; they do not want to see the door and go in until they are very tired. So it is with adults. They all say that they are seeking truth, but they like the maze. That is why the mystics made the greatest truths a mystery, to be given only to the few who were ready for them, letting the others play because it was the time for them to play.
    Truth is simple. But for the very reason that it is simple, people will not take it; because our life on earth is such that for everything we value, we have to pay a great price and one wonders, if truth is the most precious of all things, then how can truth be attained simply? It is this illusion that makes everyone deny simple truth and seek for complexity. Tell people about something that makes their heads whirl round and round and round. Even if they do not understand it, they are most pleased to think, 'It is something substantial. It is something solid. For, it is an idea we cannot understand, it must be something lofty.' But something which every soul knows, proving what is divine in every soul, and which it cannot help but know, that appears to be too cheap, for the soul already knows it. There are two things: knowing and being. It is easy to know truth, but most difficult to be truth. It is not in knowing truth that life's purpose is accomplished; life's purpose is accomplished in being truth.


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  7. #197 It is a very high stage on the path of love when a man really learns to love another 
    It is a very high stage on the path of love when a man really learns to love another with a love that asks no return.

    The nature of life on earth is illusory and in the Sanskrit tongue it is called Maya or illusion, and every soul having the spark of the divine love, forgets the use and the purpose of that spark and begins to love itself most.

    By a keen study of human life, man will find that as a rule, when he claims that he loves, in reality he loves himself, he loves his own benefit in life, he loves another for the help that other gives, for his goodness, for his kindness, for his service, but in all this he surely loves himself, and it is for himself all the while he thinks he loves another.
    The development of love is often hindered by different obstacles in life. The first obstacle is ourselves. We begin our life with selfishness, and all that we want is for self, and if there is a tendency to love, it is for one's own happiness, and one's own joy. When the question comes, 'How much do you love me, and how much do I love you?' it has come to be a trading in love. 'I love you, but you do not love me' is as much as to say, 'I have bid so much, and I expect a return of love'. This is trading in love, and trade cannot lead anywhere, because it makes one think of the self, and love is beyond that. To love is to give; it is not to take at all. The true lover never speaks of what he has done for his beloved, for he loves for love's sake, not for the sake of a return.
    To what does the love of God lead? It leads to that peace and stillness which can be seen in the life of the tree, which bears fruits and flowers for others and expects no returns, not even thanks in return. It serves, and cares for nothing else, not even for appreciation. That is the attribute of the godly.


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  8. #198 Love alone is the fountain from which all virtues fall as drops of sparkling water. 
    Love alone is the fountain from which all virtues fall as drops of sparkling water.

    What do I mean by love? It is such a word that one cannot give one meaning. All attributes like kindness, gentleness, goodness, humbleness, mildness, fineness, are names of one and the same thing. Love therefore is that stream which when it rises, falls in the form of a fountain, and each stream coming down is a virtue. All virtues taught by books or by a religious person have no strength and life because they have been learned; a virtue that is learned has no power, no life. The virtue that naturally springs from the depth of the heart, the virtue that rises from the love-spring and then falls as many different attributes, that virtue is real. There is a Hindustani saying, 'No matter how much wealth you have, if you do not have the treasure of virtue, it is of no use'. The true riches is the ever increasing spring of love from which all virtues come.
    Purity of mind is the principal thing upon which the health of both body and mind depend. The process of purifying the mind is not much different from the process of cleaning or washing any object. Water poured upon any object washes it, and if there is a spot which cannot be washed away by the water, some substance which can take that spot is applied, to wash it thoroughly. The water which washes the heart is the continual running of the love-stream. When that stream is stopped, when its way is blocked by some object which closes the heart, and when the love-stream is no longer running, then the mind cannot keep pure. ... True happiness is in love, which is the stream that springs from one's soul. He who will allow this stream to run continually in all conditions of life, in all situations, however difficult, will have a happiness which truly belongs to him.
    Human love is given to illuminate by its sincerity the heart of another, there is no greater power to inspire than the power of love. The desire for service, gentleness, tolerance, kindness, forgiveness, all come from love. Love alone is a fountain from which all virtues fall as drops of sparkling water.

    Love is given to inspire divine love in the heart of man, and all the beauty that man sees on earth is beauty created by the power of love, and by the power of love he learns to recognize it as a reflection of the beauty of heaven. Thus may earth become heaven, and heaven and earth one single vision of the glory of God.

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  9. #199 The whole purpose of life is to make God a reality. 
    The whole purpose of life is to make God a reality.

    As to the religion and the moral of the mystic, the mystic has one moral and that is love. And he has one aim in his religion and that is to make a God a reality. Therefore, his God becomes a greater God than the God of millions of people who only imagine that there is a God somewhere. To him God is a reality.
    The work of the inner life is to make God a reality, so that He is no more an imagination; that this relationship that man has with God may seem more real than any other relationship in the world; and when this happens, then all relationships, however near and dear, become less binding. But at the same time, a person does not thus become cold; he becomes more loving. It is the godless man who is cold, impressed by the selfishness and lovelessness of the world, because he partakes of those conditions in which he lives. But the one who is in love with God, the one who has established his relationship with God, his love becomes living ...
    Why is it that among simple and illiterate people a belief in God is to be found, and among the most intellectual, there seems to be a lack of that belief? The answer is that the intellectual ones have their reason. They will not believe in what they do not see... But the process that the wise consider best for the seeker after truth to adopt is the process of first idealizing God and then realizing God.
    Among millions of believers in God, there is hardly one who makes God a reality, to so many He is an imagination, to many He is in a mosque, a church, or a temple. Many wonder if God is really. Many others think God is goodness, He is a personality separate from us, He is most high, most pure, most beautiful, but He is separate and difficult to reach. Many think that as it takes so long to reach this planet or that, God must be further away still. The purpose of one's whole life is to make God a reality.


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  10. #200 The knowledge of God is beyond man's reason; the secret of God is hidden in... 
    The knowledge of God is beyond man's reason; the secret of God is hidden in the knowledge of unity.

    The knowledge of God is beyond man's reason. Man only perceives things he is capable of perceiving. He cannot raise his imagination above what he is used to, and he cannot reach beyond his imagination to where the being of God is. The secret of God is hidden in the knowledge of unity. Man thinks, 'What can unity give me? Can it bring me happiness? What is there in it?' He can get the answer by observing and studying life more closely. See what an atmosphere the harmony of ten people can create; the power of love and the influence created by ten people is much greater than that created by one. Think then what would be the blessing for humanity if nations, races, and communities were united!
    The pairs of opposites keep us in an illusion and make us think, 'This is this, and that is that'. At the same time by throwing a greater light upon things we shall find in the end that they are quite different from what we had thought. Seeing the nature and character of life, the Sufi says that it is not very important to distinguish between two opposites. What is most important is to recognize that One which is hiding behind it all. Naturally after realizing life the Sufi climbs the ladder which leads him to unity, to the idea of unity which comes through the synthesis of life, by seeing One in all things, in all beings.


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