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Sufism fascinates me since I know about it. Apart from my spiritual practice of Sahaja Yoga, Sufism is probably the closest to my heart.
What is Sufism? Here is the beautiful explanation by a great Sufi-master Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927).
“Sufism is not a religion, for it is beyond the limitations of faiths and beliefs which make the diversity of religions in the world. Sufism, in short, is a change of outlook on life. It is like viewing from an aeroplane a town, the streets of which one has known and walked through, and yet one has never before seen the whole town at a glance.
The Sufi’s idea is to view life by raising himself above it. If a man is in pain, how can he relieve the pain of another? If a person is already burdened with a load, how can he take on another person’s burden? If a person is quarrelsome himself, how can he bring peace between others who are fighting? Therefore a Sufi considers it necessary to live in the world and at the same time to be not of the world. Where the Yogi lives the life of an adept in the forest or in a mountain cave, the Sufi lives it in the world. For he considers that to awaken one’s heart to human sympathy, one must experience oneself the struggles and responsibilities of life in the world, and realize that man lives not for himself alone, but that his greatest joy must be to share every benefit and bliss he has in life with others.
This process of viewing life both from below and from above makes his sight keen. He not only knows the law of nature, known to all, but he understands the inner law which is working behind everything, which gives him an insight into things and awakens his sympathy for others.
The Sufi’s God is the only Being that exists. His teacher is the spirit of inner guidance; his holy book is the manuscript of nature, his community is the whole of humanity. His religion is love. There is no God of any people. who is not his God, no spiritual teacher of any creed who is not his teacher. There is no sacred scripture that he does not accept, since he is the worshipper of light and the follower of love, and yet he is free from all the world’s distinctions and differences.”
Isn`t it the perfect attitude to life and spirituality?…
Recently, reading some book by Hazrat Inayat Khan, I came across one interesting statement on self-realisaiton:
“Only self-realization can give man full independence. It would be no exaggeration to say that by self-realization the heart of man becomes greater than the universe. The world in which man lives like a drop in the sea then becomes a drop in the ocean of his heart. The saints and sages, the illuminated souls who have brought light to others, have been the self-realized ones. One might ask, then where is the place of God, itself-realization brings one to perfection? The answer is that God is a steppingstone to self-realization. The godly one is not always self-realized, but the self-realized one is godly. All the different ways that lead to God, different religions, faiths, occult schools, mystical paths, all these bring one in the end to the same goal, and that is self-realization. Even where there is a great difference such as that between the teachings of the Hebrews and those of Buddha, both teachings will meet in one thing, and that is self-realization.”
There is a beautiful collection of Sufi wisdom here.