Hazrat Inayat : What is a Sufi? pt. VI

Having spoken in previous posts about initiation, and about the practices which are given to a mureed, Hazrat Inayat Khan now speaks about the attitude and discipline that will help a pureed to progress toward the goal.

During discipleship, the habit of discipline should be adopted, which makes the ideal mureed. Self-denial is the chief religion, and this can only be learnt by discipline. It is as necessary in the path of discipleship as for a soldier on the battlefield; in the absence of it the mureed holds fast the very thing that he wishes to crush by taking the initiation. ‘Mastery is in service, and it is the servant who alone can be master.’

One should also have a respectful attitude to the Murshid. This is not to raise the honor of the teacher in his own eyes, or in the eyes of others. It is to learn a respectful attitude by first having it towards one who deserves it. The mureed may then be able to develop in his nature the same respect for all, as a little girl by playing with a doll learns the lesson of motherhood. To respect another means to deduct that much vanity from ourselves, the vanity which is the only veil between man and God.

During the period of mureedship sobriety, and an equable mind, and serious habit, regularity in all things, diligence, a desire for solitude, a reserved demeanor, and unassuming manner, a pure life, and uninterrupted daily spiritual meditations, are desirable.

The Sufi is the student of two worlds, the world within and the world without. The world within is equivalent to what is popularly named ‘the next world’, because of the widespread belief that time is the all-important factor; that we have a life now, and another life at another time. The Sufi knows otherwise. The world without has two aspects, the social world in which we are placed, and the greater world which is the topic of history, past, present, or prophetic. The world within can be entered only by the student himself, though he may learn about it as ‘esotericism’, a subject which also has two aspects, that of the forces in the mind and that of the divine light. The latter is the real goal of the Sufi’s inquiry, it is his Shekinah, and it is his Holy of Holies.

To be continued…

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