Thursday, May 17, 2018

Quran and Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan

And He is the Forgiving, the Loving. (85:14 Quran)/ This new book, Quran and Wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan, to be published by All Things That Matter Press gets its breath of life from the wisdom of Hazrat Inayat Khan. /A little over a century ago he came from India to US, then traveled to Eastern and Western Europe as far as Russia in an attempt to unite east and west in love peace and harmony./ Divinely inspired in music and in knowledge of esoteric and exoteric religions he strove toward teaching God-realization, not promoting any particular faith, not even his own in which he was born, Islam. /This book contains a selection of verses from the Quran which extremists ignore, picking only the ones which they can distort to suit the fever of their own hate, malice, injustice and intolerance. / These verses need no clerics, scholars or theologians to interpret or misinterpret by the very virtue of their all-encompassing rhythm of mercy, justice and compassion. / Each Surah begins with a quote from Hazrat Inayat Khan with clear explanation. /At the end of each chapter are chunks of his lectures or contemplations./ The concept of unity in all three faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam is the major theme resonating in all chapters of this book borrowed from the Quran and from the works of Hazrat Inayat Khan. /The Jews, Christians and Muslims, collectively known as, People of the Book, is a recurring theme throughout this book, validated by the Quranic verses./ God Realization as taught by Hazrat Inayat Khan a decade and a century ago is another theme of universal reality which binds humankind together under the Grace of Divine blessings given to all unconditionally regardless of their piety or shortcomings. /Self-Realization coming through the discipline of spiritual understanding reaches the rungs of final theme in later chapters of this book which explore and disclose the beauty of knowing oneself inwardly for attainment of living harmoniously with friends, families and nations./ Learning wisdom from within and unlearning what we have learnt from without, leading us toward a journey in esoteric realms free from dogma and orthodoxy./ It is more important to know the truth about one's self than to try to find out the truth of heaven and hell./ It is more important to find out the truth about oneself than to find out the truth about heaven and hell, or about many other things which are of less importance and are apart from oneself. /However, every man's pursuit is according to his state of evolution, and so each soul is in pursuit of something but he does not know where it leads him. /The first sign of realization is tolerance towards others. /There are the words of Christ: 'In the house of my father are many mansions' and those of the Prophet: 'Each soul has its own religion.' /This means that according to his evolution so man knows the truth and the more a man knows, the more he finds there is to learn. In order to attain truth one must make one's own life truthful./ This is life in its moral aspect. The more truthful one is in one's everyday life the more one practices this moral despite its great difficulty, the more one approaches the only religion which there is. Truth is the very self of man. /Truth is the divine element in man./ Truth is every soul's seeking. /Therefore as soon as the clouds of illusion are scattered, that which man now begins to see is nothing but the truth which has been there all the time. /He finds that the truth was never absent; it was only covered by clouds of illusion. By changing his own nature, by making himself more truthful, he disperses the clouds of falsehood within and without, and begins to see life as it really is both inwardly and outwardly. /From this time onwards, the meaning of religion becomes clear./ When a person really wants to find the way, it is not very far from him. /It depends on the sincerity of the desire to find it whether it is far or not./ What is necessary for finding it is not much reading, or discussion or argument, but a practical study of self. /One questions one's own self: what am I? /Am I a material body, or a mind, or something behind a mind? /Am I myself or my coat? /Is this object "me," or something different? /Is this body my cover, or myself?/ There is One Truth, the true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of all wisdom. /Hazrat Ali says, 'Know thyself, and thou shalt know God.' /The Sufi recognizes the knowledge of self as the essence of all religions; he traces it in every religion, he sees the same truth in each, and therefore he regards all as one. /Hence he can realize the saying of Jesus; 'I and my Father are one.' /The difference between creature and Creator remains on his lips, not in his soul. /This is what is meant by union with God. /It is in reality the dissolving of the false self in the knowledge of the true self, which is divine, eternal, and all pervading./ 'He who attaineth union with God, his very self must lose,' said Amir. Hazrat Inyat Khan/ 'Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.' Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mom Dearest

A pang of pain must be washed away inside the baptismal waters of poetry before I could write another word about my mom. She died in Pakistan, while I was here in USA./ Like the gnarled olive branches/ My soul/ Twisted in precious memories/ Gazes at my Mother/ Sick, helpless, dying—alone/ While I/ Gulfs apart in time, continents/ Write, write, write/ Boundless vacuums in life/ Empty days and dream nights/ Drift, journey, reach out/ One link to gentleness/ Mother/ How exquisitely tender/ The sense of pain/ The ribbon of reveries snaps/ Despair and isolation/ Agony most dear/ Mom dearest/ Could you tell me again/ Love hurts not/ Love is—not pain/ Would you write/ Just this once/ I live/ Love,/ Mom/ Mom cultivated in me the love for song and poetry, and love for words. / Not just words, but warm, soothing words filled with the light of joy and inspiration./ Paradoxically her love sweet and boundless became my haven and prison both for me that is./ I couldn’t endure the thought of being separated from her even for one day./ One particular incidence still brings tears to my eyes, when recollection seizes me with the pincers of loss and grief./ Though the incidence itself was not tragic!/ My cell of a prison was my college dorm, my first night away from home pressing upon me like the slabs of ice./ Mom was staying with friends, promising to visit me the next day before she returned home./ So terrified and lonesome I was in my unfriendly room that I cried myself to sleep. / The morning was no better than the night rigged with nightmares, and I had attended classes in some daze of pain and disconsolation./ A realization, rather revelation was dawning upon me that since I had never been away from mom, I had never known that how terrible and devastating this experience could be./ Afternoon was a long, dreary journey from corridors to classrooms. / And as I was hurrying back, rather fleeing to my lonesome refuge, I could see my mom sailing toward me gracefully. / In a flash, my feet had taken wings, and before I knew I had fallen into her eager embrace, weeping and sobbing./ So loud and uncontrollable was my distress that the men working in the yard had stopped their work, their eyes riveted to us./ Has someone died in your family, madam? One gardener was bold enough to ask my mom./ Since mom didn’t answer, still pressing me closer with an aching tenderness, another young man edged closer./ Why is she crying? The man stood anxious and solicitous./ Fortunately, no death in the family! Mom flashed him a sunny smile./ Just left her here last evening, and made the mistake of visiting her today?/ After returning home, mom began the crusade of instructing me in the art of living through her witty letters sealed with commandments./ This kind of learning was another painful revelation, but she guided me lovingly and pontifically. / Her letters had become my talisman, lending me the courage to graduate and then get married./ Continents away I was separated from her, but her letters kept coming, inspiring me with the need to write and befriend words which would be my friends forever./ Though the word-friends had abandoned me in my grief and misery at her death, yet I could be consoled with her words./ The beautiful memory of her had become a living proof of her love that she gave me all, becoming My All in pain and inspiration. / Mother’s day still clouds my eyes with the mists of tears, but I offer them to her sweet memory with one prayer of a caress./ Love you, Mom, Forgive!