Caravanserai Magazine Archive

Published 1988-2000 semi-annually on behalf of the Sufi Movement International by the Sufi Movement in Canada.


1988 Volume 1. Hidayat Inayat Khan. "Brotherhood, Compassion, Beloved Ones of God"

Before venturing to define the deep meaning behind the concept of a Brotherhood of Mankind, it might be wise not to overlook the fact that hundreds of institutions have already had that very same dream. Why should we then believe that our activities in that direction are the first ever made, or the best available in our time? Would it not be preferable to transform our convictions into a reality so that our example of that great Ideal might perhaps inspire brotherly and sisterly feelings in all relationships with others, rather than expecting the same from them? Should we not refrain from intruding upon the beliefs of others with the harsh weapons of our own pre-conceived ideas?

Nevertheless, in working for the accomplishment of that Ideal, it would also be wise to become aware that one of the human tendencies is to level down to one's own radius of understanding all concepts with which one finds oneself confronted. All such concepts are thereby conditioned through the screening-process of obvious ready-made opinions, interpreting experiences according to individual evaluation.

Furthermore, while proceeding onwards on the path of understanding, one might discover sooner or later that mastership starts with discipleship; unfortunately there are more so-called masters than there are pupils. One might also realize that Truth need not prove itself; it is untruth which fights for self-assertion. In fact, that which is said in words and that which is done do not always really prove the true purpose; it is the attitude hidden behind the words and actions which might truly express the innermost intentions, which is communicated either consciously or unconsciously to others through the power of the thoughts and the magic of the feelings.

Let us start therefore by working on ourselves rather than wanting to master others; and let us stop wondering what others could do for us, but rather ask ourselves what we could do for others. What could we really do for others? This question is already answered when realizing that the first effort to be made is to vanquish one's own shortcomings, doubts, fears and worries; and to put into practice the basic principles of Love, Harmony and Beauty, accommodating these to all circumstances, whether one is dependent on others or whether they are dependent upon us ourselves. These principles also apply to all involvement with others, whether or not we appreciate their convictions, as well as to those whose understanding about good and bad does not always correspond to our own. In other words, our first duty to others is to make the best out of ourselves so that we might become some day an example and that they may then pluck the fruits of our experience.

In this connection, it might be useful to remember that an outer gain is not necessarily a real gain; it could eventually prove to be an inner loss. Conversely, a loss is not always a loss; it could reveal some day an unexpected gain. Obviously, one is constantly involved in problems; either one's own or those of others, problems which one handles, knowing that the more of those that are solved, so the more able one becomes to handle the many more which are awaiting our constant attention, as brothers and sisters to one another.

From a religious point of view, it is obvious that various world scriptures mention the Ideal of Brotherhood in terms of compassion, and that this special concept runs like a golden thread, unrestricted by dogmatic interpretations. In fact, compassion is the true origin of religion in its purest aspect, and is the soul force by which religion in all ages represented an outburst of devotional creativity. On this subject our Master explains that a basic tone is heard in all religious streams, and that each of these illustrates the cultural conditions of mankind throughout history. The various tones symbolize therefore the different religions, and the origin of all tones is hidden in the ever-present secret which truly reveals itself when all tones are harmoniously in tune with one another, reproducing thereby according to human interpretations, the music of the Spirit of Guidance.

This symbolical illustration of a cosmic altar of all religions helps us to realize that Truth has always been and shall always be, providing that the ego-mask is dropped and that one is not led into the darkness of the trappings of self-indulgence. Truth was originally seen crystallized in the various ancestral beliefs which in turn gradually influenced the cultural standards of the time. At other periods in history it has been seen crystallized in various religions such as in Hinduism, Buddhism, the religions of Zoroaster and Beni-Israel, as well as in Christianity and in Islam, besides also in all those whether known or unknown to humanity at large.

In other words, whether the holy word was spoken in the East or in the West, it is obvious that the Spirit of Guidance springs forth from one and the same source, and that this light can be discovered in all representations of the Divine Presence. Paradoxically, it is when giving up all wants to reach the inner goal that the goal which was longed for has already been reached. In fact, the longing and the goal itself are one and the same consciousness; just as lover and beloved are one and the same channel through which the Divine Presence becomes conscious, as soon as the concept of duality at the levels of human and Divine are overcome.

It is in this understanding that the Sufi draws the inner strength and the motivation to pass on the "Flag of Compassion" to all those in the world who are in need of experiencing the unfoldment of the wings of the great Ideal of a brotherhood of man, where brothers and sisters of different beliefs are all gathered around an altar of all religions, in a Universal Worship, with the humble longing to bring about a little bit of peace in the hearts of those joining; and who might thereby become inspired to also pass on further the spark of peace in the hearts of others.

In this Universal Worship, the Sufi Emblem which is the symbol of the Spirit of Guidance in all religions is also the emblem of compassion. It is a heart with wings illustrating the true nature of the heart which knows no limitations while on the wing, in its flight toward the Light of the Spirit of Guidance. That is symbolized by the five pointed star in the emblem; whereas the crescent moon represents the receptive and expressive nature of the heart which radiates compassion at all levels of consciousness.

The call of the heart is the basic tone heard in the Sufi Message of Love, Harmony, and Beauty, and which resounds during the entire journey on the path of spiritual understanding. This inner call reveals the secret of the heart's longing for the Light of the Divine Presence; and in this longing, it is compassion which offers the answer to the call, whether human or Divine. This explains why our Master greeted the followers of all beliefs with the words, 'Beloved Ones of God.' This magic formula which communicated the Ideal of compassion in so few words, also inspires us ourselves to become conscious of being Beloved Ones of God; realizing thereby our duties toward God and Mankind.

Therefore, beloved Brothers and Sisters, let us remember that Compassion which is the call of the heart is constantly guiding us in all our efforts to become living Temples of a Message of Spiritual Liberty; and this call is inviting us all to join in a Universal Worship of all religions, in the Fatherhood of God.



Blogger MysticSaint said...

Greetings of Peace O friend on the path!

6:19 AM  

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