Counsellor October

Brotherhood and Religion

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan - Message Papers

(photo: Mahatma Gandhi and his brother)

(see also forum)

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When we think of this it shows that brotherhood is needed everywhere. No human being who has some sense of divine ideal, will deny the fact that brotherhood is the main thing. It is a great pity that religions, whether in the East or West, have their own creeds and churches. When it comes to brotherhood they say, ‘We have our brotherhood, you have yours.’ Each thinks, ‘They have their own brotherhood.’

Therefore the Sufi work is not to create a Sufi Brotherhood. It is not a brotherhood, but a means to create a brotherhood, it is working for a human brotherhood.

There is a necessity of a certain organization. Therefore the organization has not only supplied the need for brotherhood, but also it has helped to support the two activities. The one part is the devotional part; what the world is lacking today is devotional attitude. People study and they want to practice if they can attain some certain power. But what they lack is devotion, which means the lack of a fuller life. If there is a trace of God to be found, it is in the heart of a human being. If it is not open enough, when the natural flow is closed then life becomes incomplete. To live a complete life is to live a life of that sympathy and friendliness which pours out to another person; to the one who deserves it in the form of love, to the one who does not deserve it in the form of tolerance.

Therefore if we have any religious work it is the work of recognizing that great spirit, which is called the Christ-spirit, in all different aspects, names, houses of worship. It is not to limit that spirit to a certain community or creed, but to find it as an inner reality -  and recognizing it as such. In whatever time or period there has been a inner awakening, a guidance given, it all has been given from one and the same source. It is for us to know it as one; that if there has come enlightenment to people it has come from one source, there is nothing to be quarrelled about. Whenever it has come it has come from one life and one source. And if there have been different scriptures and teachers, they have been just veils of one truth. Why dispute over names? The spirit is one, God is one, religion and truth are one.


The wealth-seeker has no regard for father or brother;

 the pleasure-seeker considers no honour or respect;

the sorrowful has no comfort nor sleep;

the hungry distinguishes not between ripe and unripe.

 

Hazrat Inayat Khan: Vadan - Talas


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