Maneri: Discipleship

In The Hundred Letters of Sharafuddin Maneri, which we first visited here, there are many parallels with the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan.  Readers might want to compare, for example, the earlier post of Maneri with the chapter on Belief in Hazrat Inayat’s The Unity of Religious Ideals.  The text below may also be compared with many of Hazrat Inayat’s lectures on will, wish and desire, upon the power of the will, on the path of discipleship, and his extensive guidance on the path of attainment.

Brother Shamsuddin, discipleship is a matter of wanting something from the heart.  Our inner musings are related to some particular thing.  As a result of our thinking about it, a certain uneasiness arises in our hearts.  This produces the determination to seek the thing itself. The more esteemed the desired object, the better and nobler it is to seek it.  The desire of God is wholly pure, stripped of anything base, untainted by selfishness, and free from inconstancy. It will be enriched by God Himself, Who will remove any obstacle that might obstruct its attainment. In this way a person can enter the divine world.

As long as heaven and hell clutter your mind,
How can your soul become aware of this secret?
When you have been liberated from both these places,
Will this wealth burst forth like down from the shades of evening?

A determined man wil have to face up to a number of obstacles and impediments. They may be caused by weakness of purpose, or frailty, or something else that hinders the attainment of the desired Object. Even the desire for a good name or praise can become an impediment. A sincere novice is one who resolves to be purified of all pleasures and self-interest.  If he turns away from the whole world but remains hesitant about one object, then that will remain as an obstacle for him! “If a slave requires only one silver piece for his manumission, he still remains a slave!” Purposefulness in the Way is like intentionality in the Law, for the Law says that all worship performed without an intention (to praise God) has no value. Similarly, in the Way, every enterprise that has no purpose or desire has no consequence.

Tr. Paul Jackson SJ

2 Replies to “Maneri: Discipleship”

  1. Sakina

    Dear Murshid Nawab,
    The words: ” A sincere novice is one who resolves to be purified of all pleasures and self-interest.” …..Is wat is meant here ” being attached to all pleasures and self-interest ” ?
    With warm regards, Sakina

    • Nawab Pasnak Post author

      Dear Sakina,
      Yes, I think you have clarified the idea well. Thank you. Maneri is speaking about purity of desire or purity of intention, or in other words, SINGLENESS of purpose, and the ‘novice’ must become free of the search for pleasure or self-interest in order to arrive at the goal. If we mix our goals, we can be neither this nor that.
      Warmest greetings,


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