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Thread: Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan — a Sufi Master

  1. #481 Love is the best means of making the heart capable of reflecting the soul-power 
    Love is the best means of making the heart capable of reflecting the soul-power and love in the sense of pain rather than of pleasure. Every blow opens a door whence the soul-power comes forth.

    The heart of man is like a globe over the light of the soul. When the globe is dusty, naturally the light is dim. When it is cleaned, the light increases. In fact, the light is always the same. It is the fault of the globe when it is not clear. When this radiance shines out, it shows itself not only through the countenance and expression of a man, but even in the man's atmosphere. The soul-power, so to speak, freely projects outward, and the surroundings feel it. The radiance of the soul is not only a power, but it is an inspiration too. A man understands better; there is less confusion; and if he is absorbed in the contemplation of something, be it art, science, music, poetry, or philosophy, he can get inspirations clearly, and the secret of life and nature is revealed to him.

    Love is the best means of making the heart capable of reflecting the soul-power -- love in the sense of pain rather than as pleasure. Every blow, it seems, opens a door in the heart whence the soul-power comes forth. The concrete manifestations of the soul-power can be witnessed in the depth of the voice, in the choice of words, in the form of a sentence or a phrase, in every movement, pose, gesture, and especially in the expression of the man. Even the atmosphere speaks, though it is difficult for everyone to hear it.


    The heart may be likened to soil. Soil may be fertile or a barren desert, but the soil which is fertile is that which bears fruit. It is that which is chosen by living beings to dwell in, although many are lost in the soil of the desert, and lead in it a life of grief and loneliness. Man has both in him, for he is the final manifestation. He may let his heart be a desert where everyone abides hungry and thirsty, or he may make it a fertile and fruitful land where food is provided for hungry souls, the children of the earth, strong or weak, rich or poor, who always hunger for love and sympathy.


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  2. #482 The fire of devotion purifies the heart of the devotee and leads to spiritual freedom 
    The fire of devotion purifies the heart of the devotee and leads to spiritual freedom.

    Overlooking the faults of others with politeness, tolerance, forgiveness, and resignation is regarded as a moral virtue in the East. Man's heart is visualized as the shrine of God, and even a small injury in thought, word, and deed against it is considered as a great sin against God, the Indwelling One. Gratitude is shown by the loyalty of the Orient and by being true to the salt; the hospitality of a day is remembered throughout all the years of life, while the benefactor never forgets humility even in the midst of his good deeds. There is an Eastern saying, 'Forget thy virtues and remember thy sins.'

    'Chained with gold chains about the feet of God.' - Tennyson

    Thus the heart, developed by religion and morality, becomes first capable of choosing and then of retaining the object of devotion without wavering for a moment. Yet in the absence of these qualities it remains incapable of either choice or retention.


    There have been innumerable devotees in the East, Bhakta or Ashiq, whose devotional powers are absolutely indescribable and ineffable. To the ignorant the story of their lives may appear exaggerated, but the joy of self-negation is greater than that of either spiritual or material joy.


    Devotion sweetens the personality, and is the light on the path of the disciple. Those who study mysticism and philosophy while omitting self-sacrifice and resignation grow egoistic and self-centered. Such persons are apt to call themselves either God or a part of God, and thus make an excuse for committing any sins they like. Regardless of sin or virtue they misuse and malign others, being utterly fearless of the hereafter. Yet they forget that 'strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life', as the Bible says.

    The fire of devotion purifies the heart of the devotee and leads to spiritual freedom. Mysticism without devotion is like uncooked food and can never be assimilated. 'I am the heart of my devotees,' says Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita. And Hafiz says, 'O joyous day when I depart from this abode of desolation, seeking the repose of my soul and setting out in search of my Beloved.'


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  3. #483 When love's fire produces its flame, it illuminates like a torch the devotee's path 
    When love's fire produces its flame, it illuminates like a torch the devotee's path in life, and all darkness vanishes.

    As love is the source of creation and the real sustenance of all beings, so, if man knows how to give it to the world around him as sympathy, as kindness, as service, he supplies to all the food for which every soul hungers. If man knew this secret of life he would win the whole world, without any doubt.

    Love can always be discerned in the thought, speech, and action of the lover, for in his every expression there is a charm which shows as a beauty, tenderness, and delicacy. A heart burning in love's fire has a tendency to melt every heart with which it comes in contact. ... Love is like the fire; its glow is devotion, its flame is wisdom, its smoke is attachment, and its ashes detachment. Flame rises from glow, so it is with wisdom, which rises from devotion. When love's fire produces its flame it illuminates the devotee's path in life like a torch, and all darkness vanishes.
    All deeds of kindness and beneficence take root in the soil of the loving heart. Generosity, charity, adaptability, an accommodating nature, even renunciation, are the offspring of love alone. The great, rare and chosen beings, who for ages have been looked up to as ideal in the world, are the possessors of hearts kindled with love. All evil and sin come from the lack of love.

    People call love blind, but love in reality is the light of the sight. The eye can only see the surface; love can see much deeper. All ignorance is the lack of love. As fire when not kindled gives only smoke, but when kindled, the illumination flame springs forth, so it is with love. It is blind when undeveloped, but, when its fire is kindled, the flame that lights the path of the traveler from mortality to everlasting life springs forth.


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  4. #484 It is mistrust that misleads; sincerity always leads straight to the goal. 
    It is mistrust that misleads; sincerity always leads straight to the goal.

    With regard to trusting people, a person may think, 'Is it right to believe in anything a person says? Is it right to trust everybody? There are many people who are not worthy of trust; shall we then trust everybody in order to develop our trust?' The answer is yes. Perhaps we will have failures, but we will only trust another person when we trust ourselves, when we have faith in ourselves then we will have faith in another. Without faith in ourselves we can never have faith in another; to have faith in another is to have faith in ourselves. It does not matter if once or twice we are disappointed, but if we are afraid of being disappointed even once in our lives, perhaps we will doubt all through life, and so there will never come a time when we will be able to trust anybody, even ourselves.
    Every being has a definite vocation, and his vocation is the light which illuminates his life. The man who disregards his vocation is a lamp unlit. He who sincerely seeks his real purpose in life is himself sought by that purpose. As he concentrates on that search a light begins to clear his confusion, call it revelation, call it inspiration, call it what you will. It is mistrust that misleads. Sincerity leads straight to the goal.

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  5. #485 Love lies in service; only that which is done not for fame or name,... 
    Love lies in service; only that which is done not for fame or name, not for the appreciation or thanks of those for whom it is done, is love's service.

    The lover shows kindness and beneficence to the beloved. He does whatever he can for the beloved in the way of help, service, sacrifice, kindness, or rescue, and hides it from the world and even from the beloved. If the beloved does anything for him he exaggerates it, idealizes it, makes it into a mountain from a molehill. He takes poison from the hands of the beloved as sugar, and love's pain in the wound of his heart is his only joy. By magnifying and idealizing whatever the beloved does for him and by diminishing and forgetting whatever he himself does for the beloved, he first develops his own gratitude, which creates all goodness in his life.
    The Sufi moral is this: Love another and do not depend upon his love; and: Do good to another and do not depend upon receiving good from him; serve another and do not look for service from him. All you do for another out of your love and kindness, you should think that you do, not to that person, but to God. And if the person returns love for love, goodness for goodness, service for service, so much the better. If he does not return it, then pity him for what he loses; for his gain is much less than his loss.

    Do not look for thanks or appreciation for all the good you do to others, nor use it as a means to stimulate your vanity. Do all that you consider good for the sake of goodness, not even for a return of that from God.


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  6. #486 The soul is all light; darkness is caused by the deadness of the heart; 
    The soul is all light; darkness is caused by the deadness of the heart; pain makes it alive.

    Those who have avoided love in life from fear of its pain have lost more than the lover, who by losing himself gains all. The loveless first lose all, until at last their self is also snatched away from their hands. The warmth of the lover's atmosphere, the piercing effect of his voice, the appeal of his words, all come from the pain of his heart. The heart is not living until it has experienced pain. Man has not lived if he has lived and worked with his body and mind without heart. The soul is all light, but all darkness is caused by the death of the heart. Pain makes it alive. The same heart that was once full of bitterness, when purified by love becomes the source of all goodness. All deeds of kindness spring from it.

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  7. #487 The quality of forgiveness that burns up all things except beauty is the quality 
    The quality of forgiveness that burns up all things except beauty is the quality of love.

    Nature is such that no two things are created alike; and the human being cannot expect his or her mate, whom nature made, to be as docile and flexible as that creature whom his imagination alone conceives. To make a friend, forgiveness is required which burns up all things, leaving only beauty.
    Love is the fire that burns all infirmities. ... By criticizing, by judging, by looking at wickedness with contempt, one does not help the wicked or the stupid person. The one who helps is he who is ready to overlook, who is ready to forgive, to tolerate, to take disadvantages he may have to meet with patiently.
    To resist evil, however, usually means to participate in and be guilty of the same evil. There is a story told of Muhammad, that a man who had always maligned him and behaved as a bitter and treacherous enemy, came to see him. His disciples, hoping for revenge, were disappointed and indignant to find that Muhammad treated his despicable enemy with courtesy, even deference, granting his request. 'Did you not see the gray in his beard?' asked Muhammad after the man had gone. 'The man is old, and his age at least called for my courtesy.' It is forgiveness and that forbearance which is a recognition of the freedom and dignity of the human being, that consume all ugliness and burn up all unworthiness, leaving only beauty there.


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