Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thank You Bowl of Saki

The Bowl of Saki--thank you for the wonderful, daily teachings!

In man's search for truth, the first lesson and the last is love. There must be no separation, no "I am" and "thou art not". Until man has arrived at that selfless consciousness, he cannot know life and truth.
                        Bowl of Saki, November 3, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
When we look at this subject from a mystic's point of view, we see that love has two aspects. Love in itself, and the shadow of love fallen on the earth. The former is heavenly the latter is earthly. The former develops self-abnegation in a person; the latter makes him more selfish than he was before. Virtues such as tolerance, mercy, forgiveness and compassion rise of themselves in the heart which is awakened to love.

The infirmities such as jealousy, hatred and all manner of prejudice begin to spring up when the shadow of love has fallen on the heart of the mortal. The former love raises man to immortality, the latter turns the immortal soul into a mortal being. A poet has said that the first step in love teaches selflessness, if it is not experienced then one has taken a step in the wrong direction, although one calls it love. For man has learned from the moment he was born on earth the words 'I am'. It is love alone that teaches him to say, 'Thou art, not I'. For no soul can love and yet affirm its own existence.

What the Sufi calls riyazat, a process of achievement, is nothing else than digging constantly in that holy land which is the heart of man. Surely in the depth man will find the water of life. However, digging is not enough. Love and devotion, no doubt, help to bring out frequent merits hidden in the soul, as sincerity, thankfulness, gentleness and forgiving qualities, all things which produce an harmonious atmosphere, and all things which bring men in tune with life, the saintly life and the outer life. All those merits come, no doubt, by kindling the fire of love in the heart. But it is possible that in this process of digging one may only reach mud and lose patience. So dismay, discontentment may follow and man may withdraw himself from further pursuit.

It is patient pursuit which will bring the water from the depth of the ground; for until one reaches the water of life, one meets with mud in digging. It is not love, but the pretense of love, that imposes the claim of the self. The first and last lesson in love is, 'I am not -- Thou art' and unless man is moved to that selflessness he does not know justice, right or truth; his self stands above or between him and God.

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