Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Spirit of Guidance
The unity of religious ideals
Part II, Book 3, chapter VIII
(England, between 1915 and 1920)
Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan


In all the different forms that exist in the world one sees more or less the sign of heavenly light: in the colour and fragrance of the flowers, in the brightness and radiance of the precious stones. At the same time we see that, although every form expresses divine light, some forms have greater light than others. Not only the human being is attracted to the light, but also the birds and animals of the forest are attracted to the light. That shows that the sign of Heaven on earth is light, and that light can be seen in all forms. The clearest form that reflects this light is taken by the human being, as the ideal of beauty. No doubt, the beauty in the form is the limited perception of beauty, but the beauty of the spirit expresses the heavenly light more. We see it even in the animal kingdom, in the dog and the cat who have the tendency to love their master. It shows us that the almighty light is expressed even in a small insignificant creature like the hen which, when with its young ones, is ready to fight even a horse. So the divine quality, in whatever form it is expressed, shows that it is no human quality, it is heavenly.

Light expresses itself in different forms, but there is one form or expression of light that is greater than all other forms, and that form is called guidance. Do not think that this quality does not exist in the lower creatures. There is a well-known story how an elephant leads the flock of elephants. Again the leader of a herd shows to us that their courage is far greater, when there is a spirit to guide its fellows. Of course, in man God has finished His creation. We read in the Scriptures that God made man in His own image, and so the Spirit of Guidance is more expressed in the human being than in any other creature.

Man has always neglected to realize the meaning of this phrase in the Scriptures "We have created man on Our own image". If he would understand the deep meaning of this phrase, volumes of Scripture would become opened to his heart. Man has always given importance to the external personality instead of recognizing that spiritual part, which is the Spirit of Guidance. For instance, if one would only think of the words that Christ has said: "I am Alpha and Omega", which means "I am the first and the last". The one who has been the first and who can be the last cannot be absent in-between. By saying "I am the first and the last" Christ pointed to that Spirit of Guidance with which Jesus Christ was inspired to speak to humanity. He did not point to his external self, he pointed to his inner person. He did not point to the person who comes and goes in different forms, but he pointed to that Spirit of Guidance which is always there.

The Father in Heaven, whose children are on earth, cannot neglect them throughout thousand years and just look after them for a little period. If one could only think of what is working in the love of a kind mother, in the kindness of a father, in the innocence of a child, in the goodness of a kind friend! Through this human love works the divine light, the Spirit of Guidance, which is first and which is last.

Of course, as human beauty is limited, as we are limited, so we limit Christ, and so we limit God. It is not the fault of man, because from childhood all he has learned was limited and all through his life he has been limited . When that Alpha and Omega appeared in the form of Jesus, do you think that the whole world ran to him and believed in him? On the contrary, nobody would listen. After how many hundred years the word began to shine and the world began to wonder if he were Alpha and Omega! I once heard a person say, "If the same Jesus Christ appeared today and claimed to be so, I would be the first to refuse to believe him".

Man is proud, man is confused. Man would rather worship the sun or an idol than recognize the Spirit in his fellowman. There is nothing in the world that expresses the divine Spirit, the Spirit of Guidance, so much as man himself - although the plants and flowers also are constantly expressing it. When Moses came, the people of his time did not recognize him. It was the same with Krishna and the same again with Buddha who had to leave his country.

A Hindustani poet has said, "Mankind has always ignored its true well-wisher". There have been reasons for this. They have given importance to the personality mentioned in traditions instead of recognizing the inner voice of Christ, which comes from all sides, and the heart that has ever been ready to give itself to the service of humanity to warn and to awaken it. A great light has been inspired by that Spirit of Guidance which is the very Christ-Spirit. But when man should listen to that call toward Heaven, he wishes that call to come from the earth.

Man's doubt is partly due to the fact that he is not sure of himself. He begins to doubt and to suspect and so he no more hears the voice of God. The Spirit of Guidance, Alpha and Omega, is vouchsafed to you, coming from within and from without, from your friends and through your neighbours. The divine Spirit cannot be so small as the human body and, looking at the man, one sees the human being, not the Spirit behind him, the Spirit of Guidance.

Then there is another habit that man has: he judges everyone. Whether the other person is more or less evolved, he wants to judge him from his own point of view. To avoid this error and to correct man Christ says, "Judge ye not, that ye may not be judged", but man does not stop judging his fellowman. He judges saints and sages, the Messengers of God, and goes still further. After this war and disaster so many souls have given up their religion for the reason that they have judged, thinking "so many things have happened that my conscience cannot justify". There is no comparison between the justice of man and that of God. Man cannot even be compared to God as one compares a child to a grown-up person. He does not even know when it will be the time for him to grow up and to understand. In order to understand, man ought to be Jesus Christ, so evolved as to see things from that point of view. The fool cannot judge the point of view of the wise man. How can man understand God or His Messengers sent on the earth? We see that Christ, the seer, from the earth can see the light of God; and that light of God illumes every heart of the East or of the West. It does not matter to what nation or race he belongs, every soul is illuminated by the divine light. Some hearts are covered and some have their doors open, that is the difference.

There is a stream of the Spirit of God and that stream is called the Message. A Hindustani poet says, "There are many mountains, but the Himalayas are the most known; there are many springs and many streams, but the stream that comes from the Himalayas is the most beautiful". The stream of that divine light shines in every heart, but the stream of the Message is called the Message.

The Message of God is no man's property, it can be no human enterprise. A human courage and human power cannot sustain the burden of mankind. The Message stands in God's strength and He alone has power enough to bear it. Any prophet, saint or sage, if he brought this Message to the world, it was not by his human strength. It was in the strength of God Himself. God Himself can bear this burden, no man has the strength.

Man has been awakened by the sound of a thousand trumpets in his ears, but he continued to sleep. Someone perhaps opened his eyes, but most have continued to dream. The world is no different than it was in the past.

The Sufi Message is destined to bring to he world the call to reawaken the Christ-Spirit, which is hidden in every heart. Every human being may find within him the Spirit of Guidance. The conflicts, that exist today between nations and races and people of different religions, may cease to exist, if man may but see the true Spirit hidden in his fellowman. Sufism is not a new sect, it is the religion of every soul, which has always existed and will always exist. Sufis preached forever that man should live his own religion to find the Spirit of Guidance in his own heart.




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