HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN     9 posts


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The Way of Illumination

Part I
SUFI THOUGHTS

(2)
'There is One Master, the Guiding Spirit of all Souls, Who constantly leads His followers towards the light.'

The Sufi understands that although God is the source of all knowledge, inspiration, and guidance, yet man is the medium through which God chooses to impart His knowledge to the world.
He imparts it through one who is a man in the eyes of the world, but God in his consciousness.
It is the mature soul that draws blessings from the heavens, and God speaks through that soul.
Although the tongue of God is busy speaking through all things, yet in order to speak to the deaf ears of many among us, it is necessary for Him to speak through the lips of man.
He has done this all through the history of man, every great teacher of the past having been this Guiding Spirit living the life of God in human guise.
In other words, their human guise consists of various coats worn by the same person, who appeared to be different in each.
Shiva, Buddha, Rama, Krishna on the one side, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad on the other; and many more, known or unknown to history, always one and the same person.

Those who saw the person and knew Him recognized Him in whatever form or guise; those who could only see the coat went astray.
To the Sufi therefore there is only one Teacher, however differently He may be named at different periods of history, and He comes constantly to awaken humanity from the slumber of this life of illusion, and to guide man onwards towards divine perfection.
As the Sufi progresses in this view he recognizes his Master, not only in the holy ones, but in the wise, in the foolish, in the saint and in the sinner, and has never allowed the Master who is One alone, and the only One who can be and who ever will be, to disappear from his sight.

The Persian word for Master is Murshid.
The Sufi recognizes the Murshid in all beings of the world, and is ready to learn from young and old, educated and uneducated, rich and poor, without questioning from whom he learns.
Then he begins to see the light of Risalat, the torch of truth which shines before him in every being and thing in the universe, thus he sees Rasul, his Divine Message Bearer, a living identity before him.
Thus the Sufi sees the vision of God, the worshipped deity, in His immanence, manifest in nature, and life now becomes for him a perfect revelation both within and without.

It is often for no other reason than clinging to the personality of their particular teacher, claiming for him superiority over other teachers, and degrading a teacher held in the same esteem by others, that people have separated themselves from one another, and caused most of the wars and factions and contentions which history records among the children of God.
What the Spirit of Guidance is, can be further explained as follows: as in man there is a faculty for art, music, poetry and science, so in him is the faculty or spirit of guidance.
It is better to call it spirit because it is the supreme faculty from which all the others originate.
As we see that in every person there is some artistic faculty, but not everyone is an artist, as everyone can hum a tune but only one in a thousand is a musician, so every person possesses this faculty in some form and to a limited degree; but the spirit of guidance is found among few indeed of the human race.

A Sanskrit poet says, 'Jewels are stones, but cannot be found everywhere;
the sandal tree is a tree, but does not grow in every forest;
as there are many elephants, but only one king elephant,
so there are human beings all over the world, but the real human being is rarely to be found.'

When we arise above faculty and consider the Spirit of Guidance, we shall find that it is consummated in the Bodhisattva, the spiritual teacher or divine messenger.
There is a saying that the reformer is the child of civilization, but the prophet is its father.
This spirit has always existed, and must always exist;
and in this way from time to time the message of God has been given.

~ Hazrat Inayat Khan,
The Way of Illumination
The Way of Illumination Part I SUFI THOUGHTS (2) 'There is One Master, the Guiding Spirit of all Souls, Who constantly leads His followers towards the light.' The Sufi understands that although God is the source of all knowledge, inspiration, and guidance, yet man is the medium through which God chooses to impart His knowledge to the world. He imparts it through one who is a man in the eyes of the world, but God in his consciousness. It is the mature soul that draws blessings from the heavens, and God speaks through that soul. Although the tongue of God is busy speaking through all things, yet in order to speak to the deaf ears of many among us, it is necessary for Him to speak through the lips of man. He has done this all through the history of man, every great teacher of the past having been this Guiding Spirit living the life of God in human guise. In other words, their human guise consists of various coats worn by the same person, who appeared to be different in each. Shiva, Buddha, Rama, Krishna on the one side, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad on the other; and many more, known or unknown to history, always one and the same person. Those who saw the person and knew Him recognized Him in whatever form or guise; those who could only see the coat went astray. To the Sufi therefore there is only one Teacher, however differently He may be named at different periods of history, and He comes constantly to awaken humanity from the slumber of this life of illusion, and to guide man onwards towards divine perfection. As the Sufi progresses in this view he recognizes his Master, not only in the holy ones, but in the wise, in the foolish, in the saint and in the sinner, and has never allowed the Master who is One alone, and the only One who can be and who ever will be, to disappear from his sight. The Persian word for Master is Murshid. The Sufi recognizes the Murshid in all beings of the world, and is ready to learn from young and old, educated and uneducated, rich and poor, without questioning from whom he learns. Then he begins to see the light of Risalat, the torch of truth which shines before him in every being and thing in the universe, thus he sees Rasul, his Divine Message Bearer, a living identity before him. Thus the Sufi sees the vision of God, the worshipped deity, in His immanence, manifest in nature, and life now becomes for him a perfect revelation both within and without. It is often for no other reason than clinging to the personality of their particular teacher, claiming for him superiority over other teachers, and degrading a teacher held in the same esteem by others, that people have separated themselves from one another, and caused most of the wars and factions and contentions which history records among the children of God. What the Spirit of Guidance is, can be further explained as follows: as in man there is a faculty for art, music, poetry and science, so in him is the faculty or spirit of guidance. It is better to call it spirit because it is the supreme faculty from which all the others originate. As we see that in every person there is some artistic faculty, but not everyone is an artist, as everyone can hum a tune but only one in a thousand is a musician, so every person possesses this faculty in some form and to a limited degree; but the spirit of guidance is found among few indeed of the human race. A Sanskrit poet says, 'Jewels are stones, but cannot be found everywhere; the sandal tree is a tree, but does not grow in every forest; as there are many elephants, but only one king elephant, so there are human beings all over the world, but the real human being is rarely to be found.' When we arise above faculty and consider the Spirit of Guidance, we shall find that it is consummated in the Bodhisattva, the spiritual teacher or divine messenger. There is a saying that the reformer is the child of civilization, but the prophet is its father. This spirit has always existed, and must always exist; and in this way from time to time the message of God has been given.

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The Way of Illumination

Part I
SUFI THOUGHTS

THERE are ten principal Sufi thoughts, which comprise all the important subjects with which the inner life of man is concerned.

(1)
'There is One God, the Eternal, the Only Being; none exists save He.'

The God of the Sufi is the God of every creed, and the God of all.
Names make no difference to him.
Allah, God, Gott, Dieu, Khuda, Brahma, or Bhagwan, all these names and more are the names of his God; and yet to him God is beyond the limitation of name.
He sees his God in the sun, in the fire, in the idol which diverse sects worship; and he recognizes Him in all the forms of the universe, yet knowing Him to be beyond all form; God in all, and all in God, He being the Seen and the Unseen, the Only Being.
God to the Sufi is not only a religious belief, but also the highest ideal the human mind can conceive.

The Sufi, forgetting the self and aiming at the attainment of the divine ideal, walks constantly all through life in the path of love and light.
In God the Sufi sees the perfection of all that is in the reach of man's perception and yet he knows Him to be above human reach.
He looks to Him as the lover to his beloved, and takes all things in life as coming from Him, with perfect resignation.
The sacred name of God is to him as medicine to the patient.
The divine thought is the compass by which he steers the ship to the shores of immortality.
The God-ideal is to the Sufi as a lift by which he raises himself to the eternal goal, the attainment of which is the only purpose of his life.

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'There is One Moral, the love which springs forth from self-denial and blooms in deeds of beneficence.'

There are moral principles taught to mankind by various teachers, by many traditions, one differing from the other, which are like separate drops coming out of the fountain. But when we look at the stream, we find there is but one stream, although it turns into several drops on falling. There are many moral principles, just as many drops fall from one fountain; but there is one stream that is at the source of all, and that is love. It is love that gives birth to hope, patience, endurance, forgiveness, tolerance, and to all moral principles. 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 illuminating 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. The secrets of earth and heaven are revealed to the possessor of the loving heart, the lover has gained mastery over himself and others, and he not only communes with God but also unites with Him.

'Hail to thee, then, O love, sweet madness! Thou who healest all our infirmities! Who art the physician of our pride and self-conceit! Who art our Plato and our Galen!' says Rumi.


'The Way of Illumination, Sufi Thoughts'

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FIRE
Fire, divine purifier, purify my heart.
Fire, O power of God, purify my mind from all evil.
Fire, in You, I see the Maker, Purifier, and Healer, God.
Let love's fire remain in my heart and all else be burnt.
Let me live in Your warmth;
raise me above the coldness of the earth.
Kindle, Lord, fire in my heart, that life may become clearer to me.
Let the tortures of life burn up all which keeps me from rising to Your spheres of freedom and peace.
Destroy, Lord, my infirmities by the fire of Your love.
Raise my soul up as the rising of the flame.
Let my false self be turned into ashes
that my true self be born as a phoenix.

'Nature Meditations'

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When one bell is rung, by the sound of that one bell others bells will also vibrate . So it is with the dancing of the soul ...
It produces its reaction, and that again, will make others souls dance.

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Love itself is the healing power and the remedy for all pain.

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The difficulty in the spiritual path is always what comes from oursleves. A person does not like to be a pupil, he likes to be a teacher. If one only knew that the greatness and perfection of the great ones who have come from time to time to this world was in their being pupils and not in teaching! The greater the teacher, the better pupil he was. He learned from everyone, the great and the lowly, the wise and the foolish, the old and the young. He learned from their lives, and studied human nature in all its aspects.

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God breaks the heart again
and again
and again
until it stays open.

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I first believed without any hesitation in the existence of the soul, and then I wondered about the secret of its nature. I persevered and strove in search of the soul, and found at last that I myself was the cover over my soul!

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