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Thread: Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan — a Sufi Master

  1. #571 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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  2. #572 When the stream of love flows in its full strength, it purifies all... 
    When the stream of love flows in its full strength, it purifies all that stands in its way, as the Ganges - according to the teaching of the ancients - purifies all those who plunge into its sacred waters.

    When God's divine love rises as a wave, it washes away the sins of the whole life in a moment, for law has no power to stand before love: the stream of love sweeps it away.
    Forgiveness is a stream of love which washes away all impurities wherever it flows. By keeping this spring of love, which is in the heart of man, running, man is able to forgive, however great the fault of his fellow man may seem. One who cannot forgive closes his heart. The sign of spirituality is that there is nothing you cannot forgive, there is no fault you cannot forget. Do not think that he who has committed a fault yesterday must do the same today, for life is constantly teaching and it is possible in one moment a sinner may turn into a saint.
    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, the source of which is not without, but within. If there is a constant outpouring of love one becomes a divine fountain, for from the depth of the fountain rises the stream and, on its return, it pours upon the fountain, bathing it continually. It is a divine bath, the true bath in the Ganges, the sacred river.


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  3. #573 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.
    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.


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  4. #574 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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  5. #575 It is a very high stage on the path of love when a person really learns to love... 
    It is a very high stage on the path of love when a person 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.


    It is a very high stage in the path of love when man really learns to love another with a love that asks no return, when he does not seek love for the sake of love in return, then love becomes pure, the lover gives, and gives and gives, but even that is not the purpose of life, it is still greater. The Perfect One who is the source and origin of the whole creation, is the Perfection of Beauty. All beauty on earth or in heaven belongs to Him, and the purpose of the creation of every soul is to progress in the path of love until the soul arrives at a stage where it may find the Perfection of Beauty.
    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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  6. #576 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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  7. #577 The knowledge of God is beyond man's reason; the secret of God is hidden in the... 
    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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  8. #578 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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  9. #579 Love itself is the healing power and the remedy for all pain. 
    Love itself is the healing power and the remedy for all pain.

    There is no greater power than love. All strength comes with the awakening of love in the heart. ... If there is any protecting influence in the world, it is no other than love. In all aspects of life, wherever we find protection, its motive is always love, and no one can have trust in any protection, however great, except the protection that love offers. If a giant were to frighten a child, the child would say, 'I will tell my mother.' The strength and power of any man is too small in comparison with love's protection which the mother affords her child. Love can heal better than anything in the world.
    Behind all this world of various names and forms there is one life, there is one spirit. This spirit which is the soul of all beings is attracted towards unity, and it is the absence of this spirit which keeps the world unhappy. To a person who has just had some unpleasantness with his brother or sister, his food is tasteless, the night without sleep, the heart restless, the soul under a cloud. This shows that we do not necessarily live on food; our soul lives on love, the love that we receive and the love that we give. The absence of this is our unhappiness, and the presence of it is all we need.
    True life cannot be ours until unity is achieved. It is the work of religion to promote the spirit of unity, in the knowledge and love of God to whom all devotion belongs. Man often seeks for psychic, occult, and magnetic powers. This is not the purpose of religion; these developments come of themselves. Where there is life and love, there is magnetism; love itself is the healing power and the remedy for all pain.



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  10. #580 By loving, forgiving, and serving, it is possible for your whole life to become... 
    By loving, forgiving, and serving, it is possible for your whole life to become one single vision of the sublime beauty of God.

    If one would realize that the world of God, His splendor and magnificence, are to be seen in the wise and the foolish, in the good and the bad, then one would think tolerantly and reverently of all mankind ... But man has ignored the divine spirit that manifests in humanity, and always prefers an idol, a painting, a picture, to the living God who is constantly before him. For the sage, the seer, the saint, and the yogi who begin to see the master, and see him living, there is no place where he cannot be seen. Then everywhere the beloved master is ready to answer the cry of the soul coming from friend, father or teacher. And if we go a little further forward, we will find that the teacher speaks aloud, not only through living beings, but through nature. If the eyes and ears are open, the leaves of the trees become as pages of the Bible. If the heart is alive, the whole life becomes one single vision of His sublime beauty, speaking to us at every moment.
    All occult powers belong to the divine life, but man should live a natural life and realize the nature of God. The only studies which are worth accomplishing are those which lead to the realization of God, and of unity first with God and then with the self, and so with all. It is not necessary for us to be told that we have progressed; we ourselves will know when our hearts go forward; and by loving, forgiving, and serving, our whole life becomes one single vision of the sublime beauty of God.


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