Thought has a voice which the mind can hear, and the voice of the heart is audible to the heart; there is also a voice of the soul, which reaches to the soul. In the same way the voice of consciousness is heard by consciousness alone. While only spoken words are audible to the unintelligent, an intelligent person knows what is thought about him, a heartful person perceives the feelings of another, and in a holy soul a picture of every soul is reflected.
Not in singing only, but even in ordinary speech the voice easily conveys the quality of the heart. A weak voice conveys an idea of timidity, a gruff voice shows a roughness in nature, a high pitched voice shows a higher reach of thought, and a deep voice shows a greater depth of mind, the resonant voice shows courage and power, and a soft voice refinement of personality. A female voice in a man shows womanishness, and a woman with a man’s voice is most manly. Thus the various qualities of the voice distinguish the different minds.
Voice can also express in what grade of evolution a person is, and what kind of fate he has or will have in life. All the merits and defects of one’s life and personality are easily audible to awakened ears. The voice changes numberless times during the day and night as well as in each period of life. Each emotion and feeling produces a different effect in the voice during its influence. No matter how hard the voice may be naturally, as soon as a thought of kindness arises in the mind it produces its effect in the voice; and no matter how mild a person’s voice may be, when aroused the mildness is lost. In the first case the vibrations are melted by the fire of love, in the second case they are frozen owing to the coldness of thought.
The strength of armies depends upon the commander. All the courage and bravery that the commander has in his heart he expresses in his command. His word does not convey to his army only its meaning, but it imparts to the whole army his bravery and courage. It is a well-known fact that when Hazrat Ali commanded the armies on the battlefield his “hara” (command) was so powerful that it not only charged the hearts of his soldiers with courage and bravery, but it startled the heart of the enemy.
There is a well-known story of the Murshid of Shaikh Abu Sayed Mohammed Hashim Madani [the Murshid of Hazrat Inayat –ed.] of how he heard, in an assembly, a voice calling him by name and the voice was heard by all present. He sprang up, saying that he was being called by his Murshid. He took the train, and after some hours arrived at the house, where he found his Murshid about to pass from this earthly plane. The Murshid said to him, “My cup of life on this place is already filled, and the call has come since last night. I have been holding on that I might see you and bless you; and now I am passing on from this mortal plane to the life everlasting.”
There is a recent, well-known case that occurred at Ajmer, India, where a Murshid promised to explain to his disciples a verse of Quddusi which says, “Thou of Thine own will becamest manifest, and Thou canst of Thine own will cease to be.” This verse was being chanted at the Sama, the sacred musical assembly of the Sufis, and the Murshid, instead of explaining the words, demonstrated them to his disciples, and withdrew by his will his everlasting soul from its mortal garb. This is really done by the power of will, which controls life’s rhythm.