Hazrat Inayat: Jesus Walking on the Water

With this post we continue with the occasional series on the symbology of religious ideas, this time visiting the well known account of Jesus walking across the stormy waves to rescue his disciples, as well as several other images associated with Jesus.  The walking upon the waves is commonly taken as a literal description of a phenomenon, but Hazrat Inayat Khan sees a great meaning behind the image.

Jesus Walking on the Water

The phenomenon of Christ’s walking on the water, from a mystical point of view, is suggestive of a much greater philosophy than only a phenomenon. The whole universe in all its forms is one single vision of a constant activity. From beginning to end every aspect of life represents motion, and it is the perpetual motion of the whole universe which is called life. Therefore the universe is, so to speak, an ocean of vibrations, and every movement represents a wave. Therefore, the wise have called it, in Sanskrit, bhavasagara, the ocean of life, and the great devotees have constantly prayed to be liberated, that they may not sink in this ocean, but that they may be able to swim in it–which is called tarana*. And it is the Master Spirit that can rise above these waves of the enormous ocean of life, in which generally the souls are drowned. To be in it, and to be able to stand above it, and to walk on it, is the phenomenon of Christ’s walking upon it.

Christ said to the fishermen: “I will make you fishers of men.” That meant: “As you spread the net and the fishes come into it, so by spirituality your personality will spread in the atmosphere, and the hearts of men hungering for love will be attracted to you as fishes.” The love of Christ for the lamb symbolically expresses that to the Master that soul made a greater appeal which was simple and harmless as a lamb. And the crown of thorns represents tolerance of the thorn-like personalities of which there are so many in the world, constantly pricking with their thorns, consciously or unconsciously; and it is this which makes the sensitive annoyed with life in the world. But the Messenger, whose heart represents the Divine Mother and Father both, cannot but be tolerant, and can take willingly all the thorns that would come to him; for that is his crown, the sign of his sovereignty in the Kingdom of Soul.

Christ said to Peter: “Thou wilt deny me three times before the cock crows.” It explains human nature. The faith of man is generally dependent upon the faith of the multitude; if the multitude calls the pebble a diamond, everyone will begin to consider it so and to say so. And if the multitude thought that the diamond was a pebble, then everyone would follow the belief of the multitude. The soul of the Messenger, that comes from above (which the dove represents), which is not made by the world nor known by the world, remains unrecognized till the cock crows and the sun rises. Then his words shine and spread the light to the world; and the souls privileged with some little recognition, but with a great deal of doubt, may believe for a moment, impressed by the power and grace of the Master’s personality, and yet may deny a thousand times, and doubt and suspect, being impressed by the influence of the multitude. How true it is, the saying in Hindustani, that, “Generally a soul follows the multitude.” There are rare souls who believe in their conviction, and remain steady even if it were that the whole world was against their own inner conviction. Verily to the faithful belongs every blessing.

*Sanskrit: crossing, deliverance, escaping; also floating or swimming.  It must not be confused with the Persian/Urdu ‘tarana’ which refers to a kind of song associated with Hazrat Amir Khusrau.

2 Replies to “Hazrat Inayat: Jesus Walking on the Water”

  1. Theodorra

    Dear Nawab,
    Thank you so much for this , Murshids ,beautiful, clear and deep teaching from the Bible, it realy touches the Heart and what a space this give’s,
    with Love,


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