With this post we conclude Hazrat Inayat Khan’s discourse on mastery, and get a glimpse of the greatest accomplishment – becoming indifferent to all disturbance.
“Resist not evil,” the scripture says. The resistance to evil lies in the other person. Do not become angry with him. When you foster the same evil emotion, you add to his, and also increase the same fire in yourself. It is like taking a contagious disease into yourself instead of curing it. Anger and bitterness will die out in time.
There was a small group of people in London who were working along spiritual lines. They felt a sort of rivalry against my little society and began to try to do harm by telling stories against us, and setting others against us. My helpers came to me to tell me how we were being damaged in this way, and asked, “Shall we not do something to stop this?” But I answered, “The best thing is indifference. Take no notice.” But they insisted, “Still, it will do us great harm.” The answer to this was, “Not at all; the only harm it could do would be if we allowed this to enter in. It is we who allow the harm! Let them do as they like and let us go on doing what we are doing.” As the years went on, they never heard us say a word against them. On the contrary, we welcomed them, we helped them, we served them in whatever way we could. In time this resistance all vanished. We have been going on, and they still stand where they were. Just a little indifference was enough!
We cannot expect all people to be just. When they are children, how can we expect them to behave as the grown-ups? We cannot expect all kinds of fruit to ripen at once. It takes time. In time, they will be sweet. So wait with patience, and it will be plain to them in time. Why blame others when they are not up to our ideal? How can this disagreeable person be agreeable, if his evolution prevents him from being otherwise, and wisdom does not permit him to act differently? Help him in whatever way you can, without expecting him to be different. Why should you ruin your own life over it? Your own life is very precious. When you do not worry about others, or judge them, you can meditate, think, be silent, and be serviceable to the world. There is plenty in our own selves to judge, enough to keep us fully occupied all our life long!
“Mansions”: “many mansions,” places of being, paths of attainment, roads to travel on.* Once you are on the real road, you will keep on learning every moment of your life – not only during sleep (in dreams) but at any time. An owl cannot see in the daytime; it is in the night that he learns of this and that. But that is only a partial inspiration. The mystic gains experience in every aspect of life – when eating, sitting, walking; in all actions. All these are channels of learning. The real road is to be followed at all times, and it is the one who has seen the Master who is really the one being taught. Once you have linked yourself with love, a flood of inspiration is revealed to you – whatever the subject, whatever the problem in life may be. Whatever it be that your eye casts its glance on, it will disclose itself. Then you are on the real road. What a joy that is!
A breadth of heart is what is needed for all this. The weapon is the thought, “Nothing matters.” It takes bravery to say “nothing matters.” It is the breadth of his heart that makes a man great, whereas it is narrowness of heart that makes him small. The great heart does not think, “How troublesome that person is, why should I be bothered like this?” It is only the narrow heart that thinks “I will cause him some trouble.” It may be right, but still it is a narrow thought. The one of broad heart thinks, “This is a small thing, I can put up with this; there won’t be much harm coming from it.”
Nizam wrote this verse, “The width of the land and the water cannot be compared with the width of man’s heart. If man’s heart is wide enough, there is nothing greater than that.” The heart becomes wide by forgetting self, but narrow by thinking of the self and pitying one’s self. To gain a wide and broad heart you must have something before you to look upon, and to rest your intelligence upon – and that something is the God-ideal. This is the prescription for killing the self. Then, keeping your self before your consciousness, and by resting your consciousness on God, God, who is unlimited, will come to you. And so your knowledge, and your powers, will become unlimited also.
God bless you.
*Hazrat Inayat Khan appears to be referring to the verse in the New Testament, John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” It is possible that some few words have been lost in the transcription, but the sense is nevertheless clear.