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Thread: Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan — a Sufi Master

  1. #181 There is no source of happiness other than that in the heart of man. 
    There is no source of happiness other than that in the heart of man.

    Man seeks happiness in pleasure, in joy, but these are only shadows of happiness. The real happiness is in the heart of man. But man does not look for it. In order to find happiness, he seeks pleasure. Anything that is passing and anything that results in unhappiness is not happiness.
    In reality very few in this world know what happiness means. Pleasure is the shadow of happiness, for pleasure depends upon things outside ourselves; happiness comes from within ourselves. Happiness belongs to the heart quality; pleasure to the outer world. The distance between pleasure and happiness is as vast as that between earth and heaven. As long as the heart is not tuned to its proper pitch one will not be happy. That inner smile which shows itself in a man's expression, in his atmosphere, that belongs to happiness. If position were taken away and wealth were lost in the outer life, that inner happiness would not be taken away. And the smiling of the heart depends upon the tuning of the heart, the heart must be tuned to that pitch where it is living.
    There are a thousand excuses for unhappiness that the reasoning mind will make. But is even one of these excuses ever entirely correct? Do you think that if these people gained their desires they would be happy? If they possessed all, would that suffice? No, they would still find some excuse for unhappiness; all these excuses are only like covers over a man's eyes, for deep within is the yearning for the true happiness which none of these things can give. He who is really happy is happy everywhere, in a palace or in a cottage, in riches or in poverty, for he has discovered the fountain of happiness which is situated in his own heart. As long as a person has not found that fountain, nothing will give him real happiness.
    If there is any source from where one can get the direction on how to act in life, it is to be found in one's heart. The exercises of the Sufi help to get to the source where one can get the direction, the right direction, where there is a spark of the Spirit of Guidance. Those who care to be guided by the spirit, they are always guided, but those who know not whether such a spirit exists or does not exist, they wander through life as a wild horse in the woods, not knowing where it goes, why it runs, why it stands. It is a great pity to be thirsty and remain thirsty when the spring of fresh water is within one's reach. There can be no loss so great in life as having the spark glittering in one's heart and yet groping in the darkness through life.


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  2. #182 Happy is he who does good to others; miserable is he who expects good from others. 
    Happy is he who does good to others; miserable is he who expects good from others.

    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.
    Man's greatest enemy is his ego which manifests itself in selfishness. Even in his doing good, in his kind actions, selfishness is sometimes at work. When he does good with the thought that one day it may return to him and that he may share in the good, he sells his pearls for a price. A kind action, a thought of sympathy, of generosity, is too precious to trade with. One should give and, while giving, close the eyes. Man should remember to do every little action, every little kindness, every act of generosity with his whole heart, without the desire of getting anything in return making a trade out of it. The satisfaction must be in doing it and in nothing else.
    It is said that if someone asks you to go with him one mile, you should go with him two miles. That means, if someone makes use of our services, let us not think, 'Why should I, such an important person, serve another, give my time to another?' Let us give our services more liberally than we are asked to do. Let us give service, give our time; but when the time for receiving comes, do not let us expect to receive anything. Let us not expect our friend to be as we are to him; that will never be possible. We must then practice renunciation. We must practice virtue because we like it; do good because we like to do it and not for any return; expect no kindness or appreciation; if we do, it will become a trade. This is the right way for the world in general, and the only way of becoming happy.
    The principal teaching of Sufism is that the heart of man is the shrine of God, to recognize God in one's own heart, to feel His existence, presence, virtue, goodness, all manner of beauty. It must be remembered that the whole life around us is a life of falsehood. The more you see and experience the more you see how very false it is, how much disillusionment there is. The only way of getting over it is to light the lamp in the darkness of night, and all will be cleared. The secret of life is this: to produce beauty in ourselves. When beauty is produced in the heart, then all that breaks the heart vanishes and the whole universe becomes one single vision of the sublimity of God.


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  3. #183 One virtue is more powerful than a thousand vices. 
    One virtue is more powerful than a thousand vices.

    There is a Gujerati saying, "By the virtue of one, thousands may be saved, liberated; by the vice of one, thousands may be lost." This is what is meant when it is said that Christ saves his followers from their sins. By the goodness of one, thousands may be benefitted and by the evil of one a whole land, nation, may be ruined. But we should not depend upon another to save us. Our soul is the same as the soul of the Prophet, of the Pir, of the Murshid. We must not say, "I cannot be as they." Our soul is the same. ... We should think that there is in our soul the same power, that our influence extends to others.
    He who is afraid of vice is subject to vice;
    He who is addicted to vice is its captive;
    He who acquaints himself with vice is the pupil of vice;
    He who learns his lesson from vice, who passes through it and rises above it, is master and conqueror.
    A person may realize all the various weaknesses in himself, and be very sorry about them, and he would like to give them up if he could. But he finds that whether he likes some little weakness or not, he cannot hold himself back from doing certain things, whether it is weakness of mind or weakness of action. This shows that though the desire of the soul is always to direct man on the right path, on the path of virtue, on the good path, yet at the same time he has lost his control, and he is led astray by some force he cannot control. This weakness of character is shown when a person says, 'I do not wish to be angry; after being angry I am very sorry, but at the same time I cannot help it. I do not wish to hurt others, but when the moment comes, I cannot help myself, I am abrupt.' Then even vices such as drink, or thieving, or any weakness, are all caused by weakness of the mind. When the mind has no control over its thoughts and feelings, when it is not mastered, all these things come to pass.

    From all this it is plain that man has two aspects of being: the servant aspect and the master aspect. When only the servant aspect is nourished and the master aspect is not, then the master aspect of his being longs to be master, and cannot be; and the whole conflict in life depends on that. When a person is interested in the master aspect and wishes to be master, then he becomes master of himself. And he becomes not only master of his thoughts, feelings, and actions, but he becomes master of his affairs. Then the key to what we call fate is in his hands. He becomes the king of the kingdom that has been given to him from God.


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  4. #184 The soul is either raised or cast down by the power of its own thought, speech and... 
    The soul is either raised or cast down by the power of its own thought, speech and action.

    One should say to the mind, 'Look here, you are my mind, you are my instrument. You are my slave and servant. You are here to help me, to work for me in this world. You have to listen to me. You will do whatever I wish. You will think whatever I wish. You will feel whatever I wish. You will not think or feel differently from my wishes, for you are my mind and you must prove in the end to be mine.' By doing this we begin to analyze our mind. We begin to see where it is wrong and where it is right. What is wrong in it and what is right in it; whether it is clouded, whether it is rusted, whether it has become too cool or whether it has become over-heated. We can train it ourselves, in accordance with its condition, and it is we who are the best trainers of our mind, better than anybody else in the world.
    Each individual composes the music of his own life. If he injures another, he brings disharmony. When his sphere is disturbed, he is disturbed himself, and there is a discord in the melody of his life. If he can quicken the feeling of another to joy or to gratitude, by that much he adds to his own life; he becomes himself by that much more alive. Whether conscious of it or not, his thought is affected for the better by the joy or gratitude of another, and his power and vitality increase thereby, and the music of his life grows more in harmony.
    The heart must be tuned to the stage and the pitch where one feels at-one-ment with persons, objects, and conditions. For instance, when one cannot bear the climate, it only means that one is not in harmony with the climate; when one cannot get on with persons, that one is not in harmony with them; when one cannot get on with certain affairs, that one is not in harmony with those affairs. If conditions seem hard, it shows that one is not in harmony with the conditions.
    The most important subject to study in this whole life is ourselves. What we generally do is to criticize others, speak ill of them, or dislike them; but we always excuse ourselves. The right idea is to watch our own attitude, our own thought and speech and action, and to examine ourselves to see how we react upon all things in our favor and in our disfavor, to see whether we show wisdom and control in our reactions or whether we are without control and thought. Then we should also study our body, for by this we should learn that the body is not only a means of experiencing life by eating and drinking and making ourselves comfortable, but that it is the sacred temple of God.


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  5. #185 It is the fruit that makes the tree bow low. 
    It is the fruit that makes the tree bow low.

    Spiritual attainment is not a thing to be brought before people to prove that it is real, or as a show. What is real is proof in itself, what is beyond all price or value does not need to be made much of before people. What is real is real, and the precious is precious in itself: it needs no explanation, nor pleading.

    The greatest lesson of mysticism is to know all, gain all, attain all things and be silent. The more the disciple gains, the more humble he becomes, and when any person makes this gain a means of proving himself in any way superior to others, it is a proof that he does not really possess it. He may have a spark within himself, but the torch is not yet lighted. There is a saying among the Hindus that the tree that bears much fruit bows low.
    As Amir says, 'He who has lost his limited self, he it is who has attained the High Presence.' Do we not forget ourselves when we behold the vision of beauty? If we are blind to beauty we cannot see it, and then we cannot forget ourselves in the beauty and sublimity of the vision. But when we perceive the beauty of nature, we bow our head in love and admiration. As a poet said of nature, 'I cannot study you, for you are too great, you are too beautiful. The only thing left for me to do is to bow my head in prostration at your feet.'
    A true worshipper of God sees His presence in all forms, and thus in respecting others he respects God. It may even develop to such an extent that the true worshipper of God, the Omnipresent, walks gently on the earth, bowing in his heart even to every tree and plant, and it is then that the worshipper forms a communion with the Divine Beloved at all times.


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  6. #186 The first step towards forgiveness is to forget. 
    The first step towards forgiveness is to forget.

    In order to learn forgiveness man must learn tolerance first. And there are people whom man cannot forgive. It is not that he must not forgive, but it is difficult, beyond his power to forgive, and in that case the first thing he can do is to forget. The first step towards forgiveness is to forget.
    They say, 'Forgive and forget', which is very expressive of the process of forgiveness. It is impossible to forgive unless you can forget. What keeps man from forgiving his fellow man is that he holds the fault of another constantly before his view. It is just like sticking a little thorn in one's own heart and keeping it there and suffering the pain. It may also be pictured as putting a drop of poison in one's own heart and retaining it until the whole heart becomes poisoned. Verily, blessed are the innocent, who do not notice anybody's fault, and the greater credit is to the mature souls, who, recognizing a fault, forget it and so forgive. How true are the words of Christ, 'Let those throw a stone who have not sinned.' The limitations of human life make man subject to faults. Some have more faults, some have less, but there is no soul without faults. As Christ says, 'Call me not good.'

    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.


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  7. #187 God alone deserves all love, and the freedom of love is in giving it to God. 
    God alone deserves all love, and the freedom of love is in giving it to God.

    The one thing to rely upon is God's favor. Do not build either on your study or on your meditation, although they both help you. But you are dependent on God, not even on your murshid. Seek Him, trust Him. In Him lies your life's purpose, and (in) Him is hidden the rest of your soul.
    Whom should one love, how should one love? Whatever one loves -- whether duty, human beings, art, friends, an ideal, or one's fellow-creatures -- one has certainly opened that door through which to pass in order to reach that love which is God. The beginning of love is an excuse; it leads to that ideal of love which is God alone.
    We must remember the teaching of Christ, how He says, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that belong to God." In other words, give to the world that which belongs to the world, and give to God what belongs to God, namely: love, worship, reverence, devotion, trust, confidence. All those are due to God; so give them to God.
    Love has the power to open the door of Eternal Life. By contemplation how far can we pierce through life? One, two, or three planes, then we must stop, but the nearest way of all is by Love and Devotion, for it is God's way, and God is Love. God cannot be deceived -- God will not be deceived. When anyone has taken this way it is by the God in him. And as we give all things they come back to us through Love. The more we give, the more comes back. Love has its limitations when it is directed to limited beings, but love that is directed to God has no limitations, God alone deserves all love, and the freedom of Love is in giving it to God.

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  8. #188 Love has the power to open the door of eternal life. 
    Love has the power to open the door of eternal life.

    Mystics of all ages have not been known for their miraculous powers or for the doctrines they have taught, but for the devotion they have shown throughout their lives. The Sufi in the East says to himself, Ishq Allah Ma'bud Allah, which means 'God is Love, God is the Beloved', in other words it is God who is Love, Lover, and Beloved. When we hear the stories of the miraculous powers of mystics, of their great insight into the hidden laws of nature, of the qualities which they manifested through their beautiful personalities, we realize that these have all come from one and the same source, whether one calls it devotion or whether one calls it love.
    Love is that state of mind in which the consciousness of the lover is merged in that of the object of his love; it produces in the lover all the attributes of humanity, such as resignation, renunciation, humility, kindness, contentment, patience, virtue, calmness, gentleness, charity, faithfulness, bravery, by which the devotee becomes harmonized with the Absolute. As one of God's beloved, a path is opened for his heavenly journey: at the end he arrives at oneness with God, and his whole individuality is dissolved in the ocean of eternal bliss where even the conception of God and man disappears.

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