Hazrat Inayat : What is a Sufi? pt IV

Having spoken about the place of initiation in the path of the Sufi, Hazrat Inayat Khan now begins to speak of the consequence of this journey, and the teaching that is entrusted to the student.

One does not take initiation for the sake of attaining happiness. It is true that one cannot attain wisdom without deriving a certain advantage from it, as it is more advantageous to be wise than ignorant. But it is not for this that the journey is entered upon. However, as he progresses on the spiritual path the Sufi becomes aware of a wonderful peace which inevitably comes from the constant presence of God.

Many people of various beliefs and faiths have written about the practice of the presence of God, and all speak of the happiness they receive from being in His presence. So it is no wonder that the Sufi also, should he wish to speak of it, should testify to similar happiness. He does not claim to a greater happiness than his fellow men because he is a human being and subject to all the shortcomings of mankind. But at the same time others can decide about his happiness better even than his words can tell it. The happiness which is experienced in God has no equal in anything in the world, however precious it may be, and everyone who experiences it will realize the same.

One should not seek initiation if one has set before oneself certain principles one does not wish to abandon. One might find that the foundation one has built does not correspond with the building now to be erected upon it. Such is the person who goes from one teacher to another, from one method to another, and is never able to gain that which is only to be obtained through steadfastness. Those who have a desire to teach while coming to learn should not pose as disciples; they must come as teachers.

Are there any conditions imposed in a would-be initiate? No one need fear taking initiation from the idea that he undertakes something he may not be able to fulfill. If he does not wish to progress beyond a certain point, that is only for himself to say. The only thing that happens when a person is initiated, is that from the hour of initiation one is the brother of all in the Sufi Movement, of all other Sufis outside the Sufi Movement, of all knowers of truth, whether they call themselves Sufi or not, and of every human being, without distinction of caste, creed, race, nation, or religion. One is the companion of the illuminated souls of the Sufis living on earth and of those who have passed to the other side of life. Thus one is linked with the chain of Murshids and Prophets, and so enabled to receive the light running through this current, through the chain of masters. And one is the confidant to the Murshid and of the Order. Therefore the initiate takes a vow in his heart to make use to the best of his ability of all he receives from the Sufi teaching and practices, not using any parts for selfish purposes. These teachings have been kept secret for thousands of years, so why should they go out of the Order without the Pir-o-Murshid’s authorization?

To be continued…

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