Guest Room: The Path of Love

As part of a celebration of Visalat Day in Quito this year, Jelal Francisco Proaño gave this sermon during a Universal Worship service.  The sacred scriptures follow his talk; the original sermon in Spanish, together with scriptures, is being posted separately.

Sermon: The Path of Love

Although we are celebrating Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Urs, given that we have already talked about life, death and the celebration of each anniversary, we feel that what is now appropriate is to talk about the legacy that this holy Master left us, which is why we chose the topic “The path of love”.

The Path of the Heart or Love is not an exclusive teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan, but of Sufism as a whole. However, we have to recognize that it is also part of the teaching of all the great Masters of humanity in different places and at different times in our history. Because the Truth has always been present from the beginning of time.

If we approach the sacred scriptures with an open heart, without dogmas, without preconceptions or prejudices, we would feel that all this wisdom comes from the same and only source, that under the surface there is more agreement than difference. With a spirit of unity we will recognize the path of love in the wisdom of the Hindu religion: He who is happy inside, who enlightens with love from within, is able to know the essence of Brahman! And we will walk the Path of Love if we practice the compassion of Buddhism: Never by hatred is hatred appeased, but it is appeased by Love... Do no harm. Cultivate the good. Purify one’s mind. This is the teachings of the Buddha, and Love is the Path of the purity in the teachings of Zarathustra: Do not depart from good thoughts, good words and good deeds, and thus be able to raise with love herds and men! Just like the Jewish Law crystallized in the ten commandments, that teaches first to Love God and one’s neighbor, and then not to steal, not to kill… The teachings of Jesus are a path of love: Love your  enemies, pray for those who slander you. Offer the other cheek; Do well; Be merciful. Judge not, forgive. Give and it will be given to you. And the unity proclaimed by Islam lovingly marks the Way by recognizing in Jews, Christians, Sabeans, those who will have their reward with the Lord.

In short, all the sacred texts invite you to love, to respect, to be supportive, to banish hatred, lies, and greed. If we understand the depths of these teachings we will see that the true mandate is not to worship the Messenger or his ideal, or to repeat certain rituals, but the true teaching is to follow the example of the Masters, to lead a full life, and walk the Path of Love.

In this awareness we can approach the Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan to the profound teaching of Sufism, where the understanding of the Unity of the Religious Ideals helps you to stay away from the dogma, makes you friend of all and a servant of all, but above all it makes you know yourself to be One with the universe, One with God, as Hazrat feels when he recognizes God in him and not apart from him, inside him “Like a pearl hidden in the shell of my heart” and from this understanding to sing “… Your own eyes are the light of my soul; Your power works behind my action; Your peace is rest for my soul; Your will is behind every one of my impulses; Your voice is audible in the words I utter; Your own image is my countenance.”

To understand this mystical truth, to know ourselves part of Him, to be the bearers of Divine Love, commits us to life, commits us to our neighbor and that is the teaching of the sacred texts. “Behind us there is one spirit and one life; How then can we be happy if our neighbor is sad?”

Hazrat has a wonderful phrase “In front of the Sacred Manuscript of Nature all other Texts are like puddles of water comparing to the sea,” and then concludes, “the truth is hidden in the heart of nature”. I’m sure that many of you have seen a brief documentary that circulated in social networks some time ago, but for those who have not seen it, here is a quick summary: “How Wolves can Alter the Course of Rivers” tells the story of what occurred in Yellowstone Park back in 1995. It happened that, after 70 years of extinction, a small group of wolves was reinserted in the park. During the period when wolves were absent, other animals like deer and elk remained free from this predator. So deer and elk kept reproducing and that harmed the entire ecosystem. There were too many deer and elk eating from the forest and that ended up with all vegetation; the trees were devoured before they could grow. But then it happened that when the wolves were introduced again there were notable changes; the number of deer and elk declined, both had to change their habits and move away from places where they were an easy prey, which meant staying away from rivers, streams and ravines. After they left, these places began to regenerate, trees grew in height and number, they quintupled in just a few years. So the miracle began; the birds, the rabbits, the mice and the squirrels were back home, and behind them the badgers, the weasels, the foxes, the coyotes, the eagles, the hawks and the bears also returned to their original habitat. The beavers made their dams, the otters came back, and the rivers flowed more quietly and were filled with lots of fish, reptiles and amphibians. Wider areas were flooded too, the forests stabilized their banks, erosion diminished, the landscape was transformed, and life at Yellowstone was renewed – thanks to 14 wolves.

As you can realize, everything is connected, there is nothing or anyone that is separate from you, the whole universe works towards the same purpose, everything we do has a consequence, “The fluttering of a butterfly in the Amazon produces hurricanes in the Caribbean”… When we feel One with all creation we can understand the dimension and value of the teachings that Hazrat Inayat Khan left us.

In conclusion, I would like to share two fragments of Hazrat Inayat Khan teachings, which, from my point of view, can clarify even more the path we must follow and which seems written for this occasion:

Keep burning the fire I have lighted.
It may seem very small to you, but one tiny flame, if kept burning, can be the means of illuminating a whole city, and someday many lamps that shall be lighted at this small fire will give light to thousands.
This fire of truth is now lighted, and its light will never go out.
Your work is to tend it and keep it burning.
The fuel needed is your every thought, your faith, your prayers, and your sacrifices.
You cannot see the result of this.
Light can never be lost.

My thoughts I have sown on the soil of your mind;
My love has penetrated your heart;
My word I have put into your mouth;
My light has illuminated your whole being;
My work I have given into your hand.

Hindu Scriptures:

Arjuna is eager to know the characteristics of a man who has a stable mind. Such a person, Krishna tells him, will have no desires at all. Since he is content within, having realised the Self, he is entirely free from desires. The consciousness of the Atman and abandonment of desires are simultaneous experiences. The various qualities of a Sthitaprajna (a stable-minded person) are described by the Lord. He will not be affected by adversity and will have no fear or anger. He will take things as they come, and will not have any likes and dislikes. He will neither cling to the world nor hate it.

Buddhist Scripture, Dhamapada, Chapter 1, 6, 17

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world.
By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased.
This is a law eternal.
One should conquer hatred with love;
He should conquer evil with good;
Should conquer meanness with generosity,
The lie with the truth.
Do no harm.
Generate the good. Purify one’s own mind.
This is the teaching of the Buddhas.

Zoroastrian,  Avesta, Book 3, Fagard 18

  1. ‘“On the three excellent things be never intent, namely, good thoughts, good words, and good deeds; on the three abominable things be ever intent, namely, bad thoughts, bad words, and bad deeds.”

Yasna 62 – To the Fire

May a herd of kine be with thee, and a multitude of men, may an active mind go with thee, and an active soul as well. As a blest soul may’st thou live through thy life, the nights which thou shall live. This is the blessing of the Fire for him who brings it wood (well) dried, sought out for flaming, purified with the earnest blessing of the sacred ritual truth.

Jewish, Exodus:

I am the Lord your God,
That I brought you out of the land of Egypt,
You shall love God
You cannot have other gods before me.
You shall honor your father and your mother,
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
You shall not covet thy neighbor’s house;
You shall not covet his wife or his servant.

Christian, Luke 6:27-38

But I say to you who give ear to me, Have love for those who are against you, do good to those who have hate for you. Give blessing to those who give you curses, say prayers for those who are cruel to you. If a man gives you a blow on one side of your face, then let the other side be turned to him; from him who takes away your coat, do not keep back your robe. Give to everyone who comes with a request and if a man takes away your property, make not attempt to get it back again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you have love for those who have love for you, what credits is it to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you let those have the use of your money, from whom you are hoping to get it back, what credit is it to you? Even sinners do so to sinners, hoping to get back as much as they gave. But be loving to those who are against you and do them good, and give them your money, not giving up hope, and your reward will be great and you will be the sons of the Most High: for he is kind to evil men, and to those who have hard hearts. Be full of pity, even as your Father is full of pity. Be not judges of others, and you will not be judged: do not give punishment to others, and you will not get punishment yourselves: make others free, and you will be made free: Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, crushed down, full and running over, they will give to you. For in the same measure as you give, it will be given to you again.


Sura 26 (The Poets)

  1. Verily this is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds:
  2. With it came down the spirit of Faith and Truth-
  3. To thy heart and mind, that thou mayest admonish.

Sura 2 (Baqara, or the Heifer)

  1. It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or West; but
    it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and
    the Book, and the Messengers; ….

Sura 2 (Baqara, or the Heifer)

  1. And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you,
    and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small
    price; and fear Me, and Me alone.
  1. And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know [what it is].

Sura 2 (Baqara, or the Heifer)

177. …to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient,
in pain [or suffering] and adversity…

Sura 2 (Baqara, or the Heifer)

  1. Those who believe [in the Qur’an], and those who follow the Jewish
    [scriptures], and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and
    the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord;
    on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

Sura 2 (Baqara, or the Heifer)
…Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.

Gayan, Ragas 519

Thy light hath illuminated the dark chambers of my mind;
Thy love is rooted
in the depths of my heart;
Thine own eyes are the light of my soul;
Thy power worketh behind my action;
Thy peace alone is my life´s repose;
Thy will is behind my every impulse;
Thy voice is audible in the words I speak;
Thine own image is my countenance.



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