Glimpses : Known and unknown

The following is a recollection by an anonymous mureed of a story told by Sheikh-ul-Mashaik Maheboob Khan, the brother of Hazrat Inayat Khan who accompanied him to the West and who led the Sufi Movement after the passing of the Master. The story was told in reference to the words from the prayer Salat, ‘…and in many other names and forms, known and unknown to the world.’

The high spiritual evolution of a soul is not always recognised by the outer world, because it is a clashing of different levels of evolution. There is a story of three foreigners who came to the palace of a certain king, asking for the head of a spiritual order, for they were informed that in that place the head of a spiritual order had died. But nobody in the palace knew about him, and they even said that nobody had died in the palace. But the guests were quite sure, and insisted that they had come to bring their respects to this soul, who was the highest in spiritual evolution in the whole country.

As the visitors were so sincere and so certain that they had been rightly informed, and that they were in the right place, the people of the palace began again to inquire, and then, yes, finally they found that one of the slaves of the palace, of whom nobody took any great notice, had passed away in one of the stables. He was the only one who had died. And it was he who was the head of a spiritual hierarchy, and the world had never recognised him. But he was recognised by those evolved souls who were dwelling in the inner school.

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