Hazrat Inayat : Aspects of Sufism pt V

After concluding an explanation of the Spirit of Guidance working through creation, Hazrat Inayat Khan now begins to describe how that Spirit has helped humanity through the ages by means of numberless masters.

The Masters

Every aspect of the life of an individual and of the life of the world has its cycle. In the life of an individual the period from his birth to his death is the first part, and from death to assimilation in the Infinite the second part. The sub-cycles in man’s life are from infancy to youth where one part ends, and from youth to old age which is the close. There are again under-cycles: infancy, childhood, youth, maturity, senility; and there are the cycles of man’s rise and fall.

So there is a cycle of the life of the world, and the cycle of the creation of man and his destruction, the cycles of the reign of races and nations, and cycles of time, such as a year, a month, a week, day, and hour. 

The nature of each of these cycles has three aspects, the beginning, the culmination and the end, which are named Uruj, Kamal and Zaval; like, for example, new moon, full moon, and waning moon; sunrise, zenith, and sunset. These cycles, sub-cycles and under-cycles, and the three aspects of their nature, are divided and distinguished by the nature and course of light. As the light of the sun and moon and of the planets plays the most important part in the life of the world, individually and collectively, so the light of the Spirit of Guidance also divides time into cycles. And each cycle has been under the influence of a certain Master with many controllers under him, working as the spiritual hierarchy which controls the affairs of the whole world, mainly those concerning the inward spiritual condition of the world. The Masters have been numberless since the creation of man; they have appeared with different names and forms; but He alone was disguised in them who is the only master of eternity.

Rejection of the stranger, and belief only in the one whom he has once acknowledged has kept man in darkness for ages. If he believed one message he would not accept the succeeding message, brought by another Master, who was perhaps a stranger to him. This has caused many troubles in the lives of all the Masters. Man refused to believe the Masters and their teachings, whether of the past or future, if their names were not written in the particular tradition he believed, or if he had not heard their names in the legends handed down for ages among his people. Therefore the people of that part of the world who have acknowledged the Hebrew prophets do not, for instance, recognize Avatars such as Rama and Krishna, or Vishnu and Shiva, simply because they cannot find these names in their scriptures. The same thing occurs in the other part of humanity which does not count Abraham, Moses or Jesus among its Devatas [i.e. divinities], as it does not find those names written in the legends with which it is familiar. Even if it were true that Brahma was the same Devata whom the Hebrews called Abraham, and if Christ was the same Master whom the Hindus have called Krishna, yet man would not recognize as one those whom he has distinguished as different, having a higher opinion of one of them and a lower opinion of the other.

To be continued…

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