Hazrat Inayat : Aspects of Sufism pt VII

Hazrat Inayat Khan here continues the theme from the previous post that while there have been many masters in the course of history, they are in truth all expressions of the one Spirit of Mastery. The allegory mentioned in the concluding paragraph below will begin in the following post in this series.

It was most necessary for the Messengers to claim some exceptional position which might attract humanity to receive the message they had to give. Some were called Avatar; an incarnation of the divine, such as Rama, and Krishna, while others were called Payghambar, prophet, and intercessor. Their followers have had foolish disputes about the greatness of their assumption, or about what they did and taught, or about the sort of life they led while admiring and hating according to their personal liking.

The divine message has always been sent through those fitly endowed. For instance when wealth was esteemed, the message was delivered by King Solomon; when beauty was worshipped, Joseph, the most handsome, gave the message; when music was regarded as celestial, David gave his message in song. When there was curiosity about miracles, Moses brought his message. When sacrifice was highly esteemed, Abraham gave the message. When heredity was recognized, Christ gave his message as the Son of God. When democracy was necessary, Muhammad gave his message as the Servant of God, one like all and among all. This put an end to the necessity for more prophets, because of the democratic nature of his proclamation and message. He proclaimed la ilaha illa-llah (none exists but God): God constitutes the whole being, singly, individually and collectively, and every soul has the source of the divine message within itself. This is the reason why there is no longer the need for mediation, for a third person as a savior between man and God, for man has evolved enough to conceive the idea of God being all and all being God, and has become tolerant enough to believe in the divine message given by one like himself, who is liable to birth, death, joy, and sorrow, and all the natural vicissitudes of life.

All Masters from the time of Adam till the time of Muhammad have been the one embodiment of the Master-ideal. When Jesus Christ is represented as saying, ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end,’ it is not meant that either the name or the visible person of Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, but the Master-spirit within. It was this spirit which proclaimed this, moved by its realization of past, present, and future life, confident of its eternity. It is the same spirit which spoke through Krishna, saying, ‘We appear on earth when Dharma is corrupted,’ which was long before the coming of Christ. During his divine absorption, Muhammad said, ‘I existed even before this creation and shall remain after its assimilation.’ In the holy traditions it is said, ‘We have created thee of Our light and from thy light We have created the universe.’ This is not said of the external person of Muhammad as known by this name. It refers to the spirit which spoke through all the blessed tongues and yet remained formless, nameless, birthless and deathless.

But the blind world, absorbed in its phenomena and impressed by a certain name and form, has clung to the name, forgetting the true being. It is this ignorance which has divided the children of men into so many divisions and separated one from the other by their own delusions, whereas in reality there exists one religion and one single Master, the only God. Man has considered his faithfulness to the Master in whom he believed to be his true religion; and to believe in the next teacher he considered a breach of faith. This is pictured in the following allegory.

To be continued…

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