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Thread: Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan — a Sufi Master

  1. #261 Until the heart is empty, it cannot receive the knowledge of God. 
    Until the heart is empty, it cannot receive the knowledge of God.

    When a person comes to take a lesson on any subject, and he brings his own knowledge with him, the teacher has little to teach him, for the doors of his heart are not open. His heart that should be empty in order to receive knowledge is occupied by the knowledge that he already had acquired.
    It is not solid wood that can become a flute, but the empty reed. It is the perfection of that passiveness in the heart of the messenger which gives scope for the message from above; for the messenger is the reed, the instrument. The difference between his life and the life of the average man is that the latter is full of self. It is the blessed soul whose heart is empty of self, who is filled with the light of God.
    There are many ideas which intoxicate man, many feelings there are which act upon the soul as wine, but there is no stronger wine than the wine of selflessness. It is a might and it is a pride that no worldly rank can give. To become something is a limitation, whatever one may become. Even if a person were to be called the king of the world, he would still not be emperor of the universe. If he were the master of earth, he would still be the slave of Heaven. It is the person who is no one, who is no one and yet all.

    The Sufi, therefore, takes the path of being nothing instead of being something. It is this feeling of nothingness which turns the human heart into an empty cup into which the wine of immortality is poured. It is this state of bliss which every truth-seeking soul yearns to attain. It is easy to be a learned person, and it is not very difficult to be wise. It is within one's reach to become good. And it is not an impossible achievement to be pious or spiritual. But if there is an attainment greater and higher than all these things, it is to be nothing.
    All the great saints and sages, the great ones who have liberated humanity, have been as innocent as children and at the same time wiser, much more so, than the worldly-wise. And what makes it so? What gives them this balance? It is repose with passiveness. When they stand before God, they stand with their heart as an empty cup; when they stand before God to learn, they unlearn all things the world has taught them; when they stand before God, their ego, their self, their life, is no more before them. They do not think of themselves in that moment with any desire to be fulfilled, with any motive to be accomplished, with any expression of their own; but as empty cups, that God may fill their being.


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  2. #262 When one praises the beauty of God, one's soul is filled with bliss. 
    When one praises the beauty of God, one's soul is filled with bliss.

    "Why does God need praise from me? Who am I that I should offer Him praise?" True, we can never praise Him enough; never can our praise be sufficient, but our souls are blessed with the impression of the Glory of God whenever we praise Him. The soul could praise God every moment and yet wanting to praise Him yet more, it is constantly hungering and thirsting to find the Beauty and Perfection of God. By the praise of God the soul is filled with bliss; even to utter the name of God is a blessing that can fill the soul with light, joy and happiness as nothing else can do.
    There is a necessity for praise in prayer, praise of the beauty of God, for man must learn to recognize and praise the beauty of God as manifested in all His creation. In this way he impresses beauty on his soul, and he is able to manifest it in himself, and he becomes the friend of all and is without prejudice. For this reason the Sufi cultivates his heart. The emblem of the Sufi is a heart between two wings, meaning that when the heart is cultivated man can soar up into the heights of heaven.
    The only secret of attaining happiness is to learn how to appreciate our privileges in life. If we cultivate that sense of appreciation we shall be thankful, we shall be contented and every moment we shall offer our thanks to God, for His gifts are many and enormous. When we do not see them it is because our wants cover our eyes from seeing all with which we are blessed by Providence. No meditation, no study, nothing can help in that direction, except one thing, and that is to keep our eyes open to appreciate every little privilege in life, to admire every glimpse of beauty that comes before us, being thankful for every little love, kindness or affection shown to us by young or old, rich or poor, wise or foolish. In this way, continually developing the faculty of appreciating life and devoting it to thanksgiving, we arrive at a bliss which no words can explain, a bliss which is beyond imagination: the bliss that we find ourselves having already entered the kingdom of God.
    The two important things in life are the praise of God and the pursuit of God. The praise of God is important, and it gives bliss in life, but it is not the real attainment. The all-important work in life is the attainment of God. God cannot be explained. Any attempt to do this always ends in failure. The knowledge of Him can only be attained in the silence and in solitude, and how to do this cannot be explained better than in the words of the Urdu poet Zahir, 'He who attaineth best the peace of God, his very self must lose.'


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  3. #263 Sympathy is the root of religion, and so long as the spirit of sympathy is living... 
    Sympathy is the root of religion, and so long as the spirit of sympathy is living in your heart, you have the light of religion.

    Those great souls who have brought the message of God to humanity from time to time, like Buddha, Krishna, Jesus Christ, Moses, Abraham or Zarathushtra, were well known as most learned men. But whatever they learned, they learned from the love principle. What they knew was compassion, forgiveness, sympathy, tolerance, the attitude of appreciation, the opening of the heart to humanity.
    Sympathy is something more than love and affection, for it is the knowledge of a certain suffering which moves the living heart to sympathy. That person is living whose heart is living, and that heart is living which has wakened to sympathy. The heart void of sympathy is worse than a rock ... The feeling of sympathy must be within, it need not manifest purely as sympathy but as an action to better the condition of the one with whom one has sympathy. There are many attributes found in the human heart which are called divine, but among them there is no greater and better attribute than sympathy, by which man shows in human form God manifested.
    In a popular English song there is a beautiful line, which says, 'The light of a whole life dies when love is done.' That living thing in the heart is love. It may come forth as kindness, as friendship, as sympathy, as tolerance, as forgiveness, but in whatever form this living water rises from the heart, it proves the heart to be a divine spring. And when once this spring is open and is rising, then everything that a man does in action, in word, or in feeling is all religion; that man becomes truly religious.
    A great poet has said in Hindi, 'Sympathy is the root of religion, and so long as the spirit of sympathy is living in your heart, it is illuminated with the light of religion'. This means that religion and morals can be summed up in one thing and that is sympathy, which in the words of Christ, as interpreted in the Bible, is charity. All beautiful qualities as tolerance, forgiveness, gentleness, consideration, reverence and the desire to serve -- all these come from sympathy. Another poet has said in Urdu that it was for sympathy that man was created, and the day when man discovers this special attribute in himself, he is shown his first lesson of how life should be lived.


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