By Hazrat Inayat Khan
[“¦] 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.
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.
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.
I remember the blessing my spiritual teacher, my murshid, used to give me every time I parted from him. And that blessing was, ‘May your Iman be strengthened.’ At that time, I had not thought about the word Iman. On the contrary I thought as a young man, is my faith so weak that my teacher requires it to be stronger? I would have preferred it if he had said, may you become illuminated, or may your powers be great, or may your influence spread, or may you rise higher and higher, or become perfect. But this simple thing, may your faith be strengthened, what did it mean? I did not criticize, but I pondered and pondered upon the subject. And in the end I came to realize that no blessing is more valuable and important than this. For every blessing is attached to a conviction. Where there is no conviction there is nothing. The secret of healing, the mystery of evolving, the power of all attainments, and the way to spiritual realization, all come from the strengthening of that belief which is a conviction, so that nothing can ever change it.
(Born in Vadodara in 1882, Hazrat Inayat Khan (d.1927) played a key role in the propagation of Sufism especially in the West)
Making One’s Own Life Truthful
By Hazrat Inayat Khan