Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Three steps to spiritual democracy
The unity of religious ideals
Part I, Book 2, chapter V-09
(Suresnes, 06 August 1923)
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan


The God-Ideal is meant to awaken God in the soul, that man may realize His Kingship. It is this which is suggested in the prayer of Christ where it is said "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done". It is on this realization that the Kingdom of God comes, and what follows is that His Will is then done. But when a person does not know what is a king, he does not know what is the kingdom.

The kingdoms of the earth have been established from the time man has evolved, so as to understand his affairs. When man learned his first lesson, when he knew what a king means, what a kingdom means, he knew that there was someone whose command was obeyed by all in the kingdom, great and small, who is the judge, and the upraiser of all those who deserve honour and respect, who possesses a treasure in the kingdom, who is as mother and father to his subjects. Once this was learned, it gave the person an education to understand what a king means, just as a child after playing with her dolls begins to understand the cares of the household.

The next step was taken in the spiritual path, when the spiritual hierarchy was recognized. The prophet or the high priest was recognized as representing the spiritual head. There was the hierarchy, and in this way the next step was taken with the realization that it is not the outer environments, money and possessions which make a king, but that spiritual realization can make a person even greater than a king with all his kingly surroundings. This was proved to the people when the king, who was accepted as the principal and head of the community, went before the high priest with bent head and knelt down in the place of prayer. This gave the next lesson: that kingship is not in outer wealth, but in spirituality; that even the king stands humbly at the door of the God-realized man.

Once this step was taken, then there was the third step, which was to see that the high priest, considered as such even by the king, knelt down and bent his head low to the Lord, the King of humanity, showing his greatness as dust before God, to whom alone belongs all greatness.

When the greatness of God was realized, God was glorified and the purpose of aristocracy was fulfilled, for it was nothing but a rehearsel before the battle. Once man realized that it is God alone before whom man should bow, that it is God alone who really is rich while all are poor, that it is God alone whose wisdom and justice are perfect, then before him the highness of the king and the holiness of the high priest faded away. Before him remained only one King, the King of all kings. On Him he depended and under Him he sought refuge in all the different circumstances in life.

After man had taken these three steps towards the goal, he found the goal to be quite different from the way he had taken. The goal was the finding of the traces of that King within oneself, a spark of that divine light which is the illumination of one's own heart, a ray of that sun which is the light of the whole universe. So self-realization developed, in which the soul found that wisdom, illumination and peace which was the purpose of the God-Ideal.



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