Glimpses: Inayat and his Murshid

Hazrat Inayat Khan recounted these memories about his Murshid, Hazrat Abu Hashim Madani.

One day, six months after I had been received by my murshid as his pupil, he began to speak on metaphysics. Being metaphysically inclined myself, I eagerly welcomed the opportunity.

During those six months I was never impatient, I had never shown any eagerness to know more than what I was allowed to know. I was quite contented at the feet of the master; that was everything to me. Nevertheless it was a great stimulus to my mind to hear from him  something about metaphysics. But as soon as I took out my notebook my murshid ended the subject.

He said nothing, but from that day I learnt a lesson: “By this he means that my notebook must not be the storehouse of my knowledge. There is a living notebook; and that is my memory, a notebook which I shall carry with me all through life and through the hereafter.”

* * *

In my youth my interest in the spiritual path was great, and I came in contact with the teacher by whom I was destined to be initiated. And the one thing my teacher said was, “No matter how great a teacher comes, once you have received this initiation, this blessing from my hands, your faith may not change.”

Having had a modern education, I wondered what to think about this. I did not doubt, but asked myself, “What does it mean?”

But with every step further in my life I found out more surely that this alone is the right way.

When the mind is disturbed, when a person is distrustful and goes first to one teacher and then tries another method, what can one find in him? There is no ideal there.

In a university, one may study first under one professor and then under another, and so on. That is all right for a university; it is a different kind of education. But when it comes to spiritual education, idealism is necessary.

* * *

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 [faith] be strengthened.”

At the 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 “May you become perfect.” But this simple thing, “May your faith be strengthened,” what did it mean?

I did not criticise but I pondered and pondered upon this subject. And in the end I came to realise 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, the way to spiritual realisation all come from the strengthening of that belief which is a conviction, so that nothing can ever change it.

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