Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Man's Life
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan


As man is ideal among the lower and higher creatures, among the visible as well as the invisible beings, to experience his life is among all beings a great privilege.


Man goes in his life through two periods, that of light and that of darkness. During the period of darkness he ceases to think from where he has come and where he goes to, and why he is sent here to wander for a while; whether he is sent by someone, or whether he came of his own will; and whether he will be here forever, or if some day his life will be extinguished; where he was before he knew himself, and where he will be hereafter.


Man by his experience of life through his senses binds himself by a spell of greed. What he enjoys once, he wants to have it over and over again, and he develops this greed so much that he sacrifices others for neighbours and neibourghs for surroundings and surroundings for the self. Thus he lives for self, works for self until darkness overwhelms him so much that he can neither satisfy others nor himself.


The masters of humanity have prescribed only one remedy to remove this darkness and that is by charity, by the practice of which a person's sympathy is broadened from his own self to the whole world. He then becomes the friend of all. In this way man sojourns towards the light, and before his eyes the truth of existence is revealed. Every thing and being in life speaks with him and he knows the language of man, beast and bird, and even of all things in the universe.


Then he realizes the illusion of his self and of the universe. His enlightened soul wants to be purified from this illusion. So a Sufi, by practising wisely abstinence and control, with the help of sound, sojourns gradually towards the eternal goal.


The journey towards the goal is passed by a Sufi through the same planes and phases which he has crossed once before and which he has had, hidden in his nature, all the time. A mureed commences his journey towards the goal owing to his grief and helplessness caused by contact with the world. This signifies old age. Then be becomes thoughtful in every action and move, which represent middle age. In this phase he feels much more responsible through life, more so than a middle-aged person burdened with the responsibilities of home. After this he enjoys a freshness, a perpetual youth increasing within him every moment of his life. Then he develops a child-like nature, which is regardless of the opinion of others, revelling in his playfulness. In the end he develops innocence acquiring the qualities of an infant who is the friend of all, an enemy of no one, and who is pure from all the troubles and worries of life.


A Sufi has to journey from the human plane to the animal plane He shows this by his strength and power which he absorbs from the sphere. He feels much more vitality and experiences perfect health. He is naturally more inclined toward all material activities. A slight cause of annoyance causes him irritation and anger. He is ready to fight for what he considers true. Then he becomes like a herbivorous animal. He serves another like a horse or a camel, not asking by what right he is controlled, and then grows even like a sheep or a goat, living in a herd, hanging his head down by the weight of his thought, ready at any time to be sacrificed for the benefit of another. He then develops a bird-like nature and floats in he spheres of imagination quite unconscious of the earth and its surroundings. He seeks the society of those of a like interest, just as a bird would be with a bird, and makes his home on high in the world of thought, just like the nest of a bird in the top of a tree. He advances still further and becomes as an insect, admiring the Immanence of God in nature, and absorbing rapture from divine wisdom just like a bee gathering honey from the flowers. And like a moth he concentrates on and hovers round the light until his self is sacrificed in the vision of his love. He in the end beomes like a germ, an object to be lying at the feet of the walker; anybody may walk upon him who may choose so. He cares for neither light nor knowledge for he has passed far beyond all that.


A Sufi then carries on his return journey through the vegetable kingdom. He adopts harmlessness, usefulness, the medicinal and healing properties, and self-sacrifice for the purpose of another - all these qualities of the vegetable. He shows in his personality the sweetness of the fruit, the perfume, colour and delicacy of a flower.


Then he acquires the quality of the rock, when it has no effect upon him for what purpose he may be used, whether to crown a dome or for the base of a building. Neither climate, nor day not night can make any difference to him, neither sorrow nor joy can touch him. He becomes free from all affects.


Then a Sufi arrives to a condition where he sojourns in a star, planet, moon or sun. In oother words, he himself becomes soul. His star quality brightens him, his planet quality produces within him a world of his own, his moon quality becomes the receiver of all the divine Light and his sun qualityproduces in his voice, word and glance the power of illumination.


The Sufi in his further journey also acquires the quality of Insân, for every man cannot be Insân until he realizes the nature of the world and the motive of life. Then he attains the life of Jinn, experiencing joy in the knowledge, becoming free from lust. Afterwards he adopts the quality of Gulman when he creates the vision of Heaven within himself.


Afterwards he acquires the all-pervading quality of sound, communicating with all hearts and souls in the universe with whom he would wish. He also becomes a spirit in all its aspects.


Then a Sufi acquires the quality of consciousness, conscious and awakened in every phase of life, until he acquires the quality of unconsciousness when he can become unaware of all signs of life.


Generally on the way of a Sufi stand many obstacles during his journey. The tendency for comfort and desire for lust, diseases, conceit and lunacy followed by an extreme interest in ecstasy, besides a curiosity for phenomena, the desire for the world's attention and adoration from he surroundings, a tendency for a spiritual appearance, a habit of foretelling, and readiness in healing, all hinder a Sufi's progress. A desire for name and many followers, a leaning upon the group of the faithful, a tendency for argument and discussion are most to be avoided for a Sufi. A simple abode in solitude and as few things to go with through life as possible, and most simple food which could be served among any number that may be present at the time is necessary. The life of seclusion, silence abstinence, and less tendency for all earthly comforts is desirable. Charity, independence, forgiveness, indifference, tolerance and detachment are most useful attributes. Resignation to the Will of God with fasting and contentment together with a continuous stream of love and a constant vision of God are the qualities most necessary during his journey towards the goal. An impartial justice, a sense of harmony and a real inclination for peace are the qualities necessary for the traveller on this path.




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