Counsellor October

Beyond Religious Forms

from: Hazrat Inayat Khan -

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Modern writers have often made mistakes by describing the Sufi thought as a Persian philosophy or the esoteric side of Islam. Some have erroneously believed it to be a borrowed influence of Vedanta or Buddhism upon Islam. Some Oriental writers have patriotically called it an outcome of Islam in order to secure the credit for their own religion, while some Occidental writers have attempted to win it for Christianity.

In fact, according to the sacred history which the Sufis have inherited from one another, it is clear that the Sufi Thought has never been owned by any race or religion; each are based on  differences and distinctions, and they are the very delusions from which Sufis purify themselves. It might appear that the Sufi Thought must have been formed of the different elements of various religions which are prominent today, but it is not so, for Sufis strive to live the essence of all religions as well as the spirit of Islam.

The Sufi Thought reveals all the shades and colours which represent the various religions of the world, having no particular color itself. All prophets, saints, sages, and mystics have practically become owned by their followers, as Christ by Christians and Moses by the Jews. Yet Christ was not a Christian nor Moses a Jew, all being Sufis, pure and free from earthly distinctions. The Beloved Ones of God are even as God, untouched by religious dogmas and principles.

The Sufi Thought is not a religion nor a philosophy, it is neither deism nor atheism, nor is it a moral, nor a special kind of mysticism, being free from the usual religious sectarianism. If ever it could be called a religion, it would only be as a religion of love, harmony, and beauty. If it be called a philosophy it is beyond that because a Sufi, through the study of metaphysics, escapes the selfishness produced by philosophy and kindles the fire of devotion with his eyes open to reason and logic. The Sufi prays to Allah every moment in his life, invoking God's Name and realizing at the same time that the essence of his self is no other than God. For to a Sufi God is not a personal being but a mighty healer to awaken the soul from its delusion of earthly individuality, and a guide to lead it to self-realization, the only aim in his life.

The Sufi, by learning the greatest of all morals, which is love, arrives at the stage of self-denial, wherein we liberate ourselves from all earthly morals. Mysticism has several aspects but the Sufi strives towards the path of truth, its ultimate goal. The truth of the Sufi is the one truth which is common to all religions and philosophies, and in the realization of which we find our salvation, or Najat. Sufis were the first brother/sisterhood of purity, and they were known under different names, such as that of the Brothers of Purity, the Knights of Purity, the Brotherhood of the Cave, on which initiative several other institutions have established kinships under different names.

Nirvana is as a star in our hearts which we nourish;

and as we develop it, it becomes brilliant.

Its brilliance consumes all the wrong of life

until nothing is left but that purity

which is the divine light.


Nirtan - Aphorisms

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