We have been looking at the conclusion of the prayer Khatum. The name of the prayer means ‘completion,’ so we could anticipate that there would be a suitable summation of the three main prayers here, just as the end of a piece of music pulls together all that has gone before. And as we might expect, since Pir-o-Murshid Inayat seemed to have a natural harmony with the number five, the prayer ends with five great wishes or petitions : we ask to receive God’s great goodness, to learn God’s loving forgiveness, to rise above distinctions and differences, to receive the peace of the Divine Spirit, and in the ultimate request, the subject of this post, to all be united in ‘Thy Perfect Being.’
In earlier posts, we noted that the utility of any prayer is not to serve as a sort of To-Do list for God (REMINDER : Send peace to devotees on Earth – they keep asking!) but to attune ourselves to the unfailing flow of God’s generosity, harmony, compassion, and love. With this in mind, what can we learn from this ultimate request? What are we being reminded of? What should remain in our hearts when the last words of the prayer have been spoken?
In spite of all its seductive, intoxicating beauties, our life in the physical world disappoints us. All forms are limited and transient; whatever we reach for fades away; whatever we hold changes, seldom for the better. Whatever gives us pleasure comes at a cost, often more than the experience is worth. In other words, when we build our house on the foundations of sensation and substance, we set up a structure that will sooner or later fall in upon us.
If we were material alone and our nature had no spirit in it, perhaps this unreliability would make no difference to us. A mountain doesn’t seem to care if it is shaken to pieces by an earthquake or ground to dust by a glacier, but we human beings long for something beyond the breakable. We all have within us something enduring that we look in vain to find represented in the outer world. It is not surprising that our hearts become covered by the shadows of mistrust and doubt. We feel separated from others, and if we consider the matter carefully, we also find that we are divided within ourselves, pulled one way and another by conflicting impulses. And yet, the spiritual truth is that there is only One Being, in Whom, in some way that is beyond our understanding, all these contradictions are resolved.
The word ‘perfect’ comes from a root that means ‘worked out to completion.’ In perfection, nothing is missing; all has been brought to its fulfilment. And when we speak of divine perfection, it means that everything and everyone has a place in that completion – none of us are missing from the One, and in the One we all find all our conflicts resolved. Therefore, when we pray ‘unite us in Thee’ we are reminding ourselves that every single person, ourselves included, has a place in the One.
But it is not enough to ask God to unite us – we are already united in Him. What is needed is that here and now we accept our unity in the One. This is not done through the mind, but through the heart, when we lay down the weapons of our ego and surrender to the loving embrace. For some this may come quickly, for others it takes more time, but it is the only way to reach the goal. And when we do surrender to that Truth, then all the wishes will be fulfilled, on earth just as they are in heaven.
“We all have within us something enduring”; these 7 words tell me everything!
Dear Alim, thank you for your kind response! Sending love, Nawab