The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship
A Contemporary Sufi Speaks on Peace of Mind
by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen.
Precious gems of my eyes, there are things we have to reflect upon. Children, gems of my eyes, this world is a vast, wondrous thing, and within each of us, the mind also exists as a huge world. The body is a secret and the mind is also a secret. It is difficult for man to transcend these two, to go beyond them, and to achieve victory. You, I, and everyone must reflect--this mind and this secret body are always subject to accidents. Wherever we go accidents can happen. Wherever the eye looks, there is something that can cause an accident.
The mind flies through the skies. It has millions and millions of qualities, millions and millions of shadows, shapes, colors, and darknesses. The mind has millions and millions of vapors and winds and diseases. The mind has millions and millions and millions of potential qualities, tricks, and monkey forms. The mind has 1,008 snake-like qualities, the qualities of demons and illusion (maya), the qualities of ghosts and angels, the qualities of darkness and shadows, the qualities of birds and of flying about. The mind has a connection to ether and space and flies around within them. The mind has millions and millions of connections to rebirth. It has a connection to earth, to fire, to water, and to many births. The mind has millions and millions of dog-like connections. It has a connection to filth, to desires and cravings, to limitless blood ties, to sex, torpor, turmoil, prejudice, arrogance, ignorance, karma, and illusion (maya ).
Like this, the mind has an infinite number of connections. These include the karmic connections which are the qualities and thoughts of the mother and father, the qualities of earth, the blood ties to the parents and their arrogance, and the ties to water, fire, and food. Many such ties exist. These connections are transmitted from the mother and the father to the fetus. Millions and millions of karmic connections, which are not earned by the fetus itself, collect in its blood, in its lymph, and in its flesh. From the minds and qualities of both parents come the connections to happiness and sorrow, sadness and turmoil, torpor and darkness, fights and quarrels. That which was formed in the embryo out of these connections is the mind.
Because of these connections the mind seeks to achieve countless states. Many potentialities (tattwas) exist within the mind. From the moment it is formed, good actions, bad actions, good and evil, hell and heaven, truth and falsehood, darkness and light, right and wrong, purity and impurity, love and sadness, patience and anger, sorrow and happiness fill the mind. This mind which contains all these energies (shaktis) is like a baby. It is a baby mind and a monkey mind, a dark mind and an ether mind, a mind of the elements. Because it contains all these states, it is very strong. No one can calm the mind. How can we stop this mind? It cannot give itself peace. We must think about this a bit. Throughout the world, people hang onto the mind and search for peace. But peace cannot be found this way.
When the embryo is conceived, it is imprisoned in the fallopian tubes for the first three days, and then it is locked in the dark prison of the womb for nine months. When the tenth lunar month dawns, the infant frees itself from that dark prison. After the child is freed from the dark cave of the womb, the parents and relatives carry him, wash him, clean him, and keep him in the prison of their laps. They envelop him in their laps, not allowing him the freedom to go here and there. After that he is imprisoned in his crib, and later he is imprisoned in his nurse's lap. So for the first two years, he goes from jail to jail--from his parent's lap, to his crib, to his nurse's lap, and then he enters the prison of school where each grade is a jail in itself. When he leaves grade school, he enters the jail of college. He graduates from that only to begin the prison of jobs. Next he enters the jail of marriage, then the prison of wife and children. Later he enters the jail of old age, sickness, and disease, good and bad, wealth and poverty. His whole life is a jail until finally he enters the prison cell of death. After that, we do not know if he enters the cell of good actions or of bad actions.
Like this, man experiences varying states of sadness and happiness, of wealth and poverty. In the prison of the mind, his entire life is spent like a shadow. Not for one day, not for one second, does he ever attain freedom from this jail. Man locks himself in this continuous state of imprisonment. For the sake of the body, or for the sake of wealth, we hold onto things which can cause us accidents. We hold onto these things for the sake of money, for sex, for happiness, and then we try to meditate without ever freeing ourselves from these prisons. It is not possible for one who is in prison to reach a state of peace or tranquility. Is that not so? We must think about this.
Day-to-day life is a prison. From the time we appeared in the dark cave of the womb and throughout our entire life, we have been in jail. How can we live in this darkness? Some try to find peace in these prisons by accumulating money, by getting married, or by taking drugs. Some try to find peace by drinking whiskey, beer, and brandy. This is how they search for peace of mind. Others try to find peace through meditation and yoga. Others try to find peace through mantras and ritual offerings (pujas) or by giving away their money. People search for peace in so many ways, but we must reflect, we have to think: what will give us real peace? What is the treasure that can give us peace? We have to search for the path of freedom and escape from the jail in which we are imprisoned. Only then can we attain real peace in our life.
People have not understood this. So instead, they keep trying to find other kinds of peace of mind. Since the Second World War, for the sake of money and business, the world has invented so many new forms of meditation. With these new and different types of meditation, people think they have found a new 'peace of mind '. God's laws, human conscience, justice, truthfulness, patience, serenity, kindness, and duty have all been forgotten, and in their place man has discovered new forms of meditation that will supposedly bring about new forms of peace. People remain in their prisons, yet they still call it peace.
You can never reach real peace this way, my children. If you want to attain true peace, you must think. If you want peace, ask yourself what will make you peaceful. If you want peace of mind, you must first release yourself from jail. Your life is filled with accidents, and you are imprisoned by thoughts, sights, and sounds. They are your jail. They lock you in the prison of this body, the prisons of religion, race, caste, and blood ties, the prisons of money, desire, and love. All these are jails, are they not? Only when you free yourself from these, will you reach peace.
The mind contains all this. You can lock the doors, close the house, climb a tree, stand on your head with your feet in the air, close your eyes and sit cross-legged, hold your breath, close your mouth and shut your eyes, and do many forms of physical exercises, but to reach peace while remaining imprisoned is extremely difficult.
You have to think. The world is searching for peace. If you reflect for a
while, you will see that there are very easy ways to attain peace. What are
these ways? Whoever created this prison, this body of ours, it is through Him
that we should seek our freedom. In other words, there is One who created us and
He is the One who nurtures us and raises us. That is the point. There is one
truth. We must understand the source of this truth and through that knowledge be
freed from our attachments and from our jail. Only then is there peace. This is
What did we see first when we came into this world, and what do we want to see again? There is something we saw before that we desire to see again now. Think about this mind, this eye, this desire, this nose, this ear, and reflect deeply. Think about the passage we came through and desire to see again. If we understand this, we may be able to bring some peace to our minds. We saw something when we came to this world, and now we desire to see it again. What is it we saw earlier, and what is it we try to see again?
The passage we came through is our place of birth. If we think about how we escaped from our jail, that dark room of the womb where we were imprisoned, we will understand something about that prison and what it really is. If we understand this we will have peace. Why did we enter that dark cave? What is our form composed of? Earth, fire, water, air, and ether make up this form. How did they enter inside there? Through what connections did they get there? The connections of arrogance, karma, and illusion (maya). What happened to these eight (earth, fire, water, air, ether, arrogance, karma, and maya)? What became of them? They are what imprison us, are they not?
This mind is the cause. Think about it. What entered that cave was imprisoned for ten lunar months and then came out. But having come out, we are still imprisoned by that jail. Why is this so? And why do we try to reenter the cave? Why does the mind try to go back there? Why does it go back in again? Think about this with your feeling, awareness, intellect, judgment, wisdom, and divine analytic wisdom.
If you analyze this with your divine analytic wisdom, you will see the path which can give you peace. Right away you will realize, "Oh, this is the path. This is how peace will come." You should find that path and once you have seen it you will know, "Oh, this is the path of peace." Once you understand, you will begin to ask, "What will bring this peace to this mind which has so many millions and millions and millions of states?" You don't need to sit and think about this all day, but you must reflect, understand it, and know it.
We carry this baby-mind around with us all the time, we keep this monkey-mind around all the time, and we keep this dog of desire around all the time. We take the three of them everywhere to help us. Wherever we go, these three qualities of the mind come with us. This dog always wants dirty, filthy, foul-smelling things, even feces. Like a large German shepherd, it drags you along while it sniffs at all these things. It keeps howling, "Woooo! Woooo!" It is so strong that it pulls you in the direction it wants to go and you keep following it. Then there is the baby. Whatever this baby sees in the store, it wants. It cries, "Give me this, give me that, give me this. Buy me this, buy me that." When you buy one thing, the baby plays with it for a while, then discards it, and demands something else. It demands everything it sees, and you have to keep supplying these gifts. That baby has no peace whatsoever--it cries all the time. And then there is the monkey. The monkey of the mind is equivalent to seventy thousand monkeys. When it sees a tree, it jumps. When it sees a piece of fruit, it jumps. When it sees a branch, it jumps. When it sees a leaf, it jumps. It jumps at whatever it sees. It assumes different forms and leaps at everything. Since this is their nature, how can you ever hope to find peace if you take these three with you?
Therefore, my children, who are the gems within my eyes, you must consider: if you hang onto these three how are you ever going to meditate? Even if you close the door and chant, "Ah ing" or "Oh ing" or "Om" or anything else, these three never go away. You may close the door and chant, you may close your eyes and chant, even if you stand on your head and chant, even if you fold up your body and chant, they will never go away. Whether you hide in a cave or hide in the dark, these three will be there. They live in such places: that is where the monkey jumps, the baby cries, and the dog pulls you around.
Saying, "Ah ing, Oh ing," is a waste of time. These meditations are only a form of business. Since 1944, people have found many new techniques of meditation, new techniques of prayer, and new techniques to find peace. But this is not true peace.
Once you have understood the nature of these three qualities of the mind, then you must beat that dog that keeps demanding this and that. Beat it and tie it up behind the kitchen with a strong chain. Do not carry it around in your arms. Just feed it when it is hungry and give it what is necessary at the appropriate time. Man must tie the dog of desire behind the kitchen next to the one thing it needs most. Tie it next to patience. When it barks say, "Have patience, I will give it to you, wait, wait."
Next, catch the monkey and tie it to the tree of faith. We need faith. Tie it to that tree. Now, you are just left holding the baby. You have to buy the baby something exceptional. You have to figure out what this could be. There is no place or thing in this world the baby mind has not seen. The mind visualizes everything it desires, plays with it, and then discards it. The mind buys, grabs, throws away, laughs, and then cries, and so it goes on and on. The baby of the mind flies and plays between the earth and the sky. Therefore, if you want peace, you have only to find this one thing it has never seen. The mind has not seen truth, it has not seen wisdom. The mind has not seen God. It has not seen that eternal bliss, that light, that plenitude. It has not seen that wealth of divine bliss. That wealth is very, very beautiful; it has great light, great power, and great bliss. It is not possible to describe all this. This is the treasure that the baby, the dog, and the monkey have never seen.
Merely to talk about this is easy. You are just talking, but instead, you must reflect deeply about this treasure. Having done so, then if you want peace of mind, if you want freedom from that prison, if you want to escape from this dog of desire, if you want to run away from the monkey of the mind, if you want to reach that state of peace and tranquility--it is easy. You have to plant the state of compassionate love in your heart. Lock the seat of God's justice in your heart, lock the qualities and actions of God in your heart, and think about God. These thoughts and intentions will give you peace. That state alone is like a precious palace which will give your mind peace. It is a priceless treasure which can give peace in this world of visions, dreams, thoughts, and memories. It will grant you peace in the world of wisdom, the world of souls, the world of gnanam, the world of our Father, our God, in that world of plenitude and complete light.
Instead of this, for many years now, people have been spending forty-five minutes, an hour, four hours, five hours a day searching for peace with newfangled techniques. If you want peace, give up these techniques and calm your mind for ten minutes, for twenty minutes, for even five minutes. Please think deeply about this. Do it with firmness, with absolute and complete faith (iman), with the certitude and determination to realize God and wisdom. When you have thought about this with your wisdom, say these two words in your heart, "La ilaha, other than You there is nothing, ill-Allah, only You are God." Say it and look at your heart. Sit down for ten minutes and think about these two words: "La ilaha, there is nothing else. Other than You there is no God. Ill-Allah, only You are God, only You are God. There is no other God than You, You are God, other than You there is nothing." Say this within the depths of your heart. Say it for twenty minutes or ten minutes or at least five minutes. Sit in one place, look at your heart, and focus intently. Say it at least in the morning and the evening or before you eat, for at least five minutes. You must focus intently, looking at your heart.
As you go on reciting these two words, you will experience more and more bliss. The more of this you gather here in this life, the more bliss you will see over there in the hereafter. You will see a great light there. You will see paradise, a large beautiful palace, and an immense light. You will see heavenly maidens, a large flower garden, and a beautiful orchard. You will see an immense river of milk and a huge river of honey. You will see people who have drunk His grace and are intoxicated by it. You will see large palaces seven stories high filled with silver and gold and so many ornaments. You will see heaven's palace which is eight stories high. You will see the house where you are going to live, where you will be able to experience the bliss you have earned, where heavenly maidens will invite you in and heavenly angels will show you around. You will see where judgment takes place. You will see things appear and come to an end. You will see many beings there.
You will see yourself flying toward that paradise. You will go there and see that light. You will go within and see how to open the seven heavens and cross the seven worlds. You will see how to transcend illusion (maya) and all the pleasures. You will go within, and as you go further and further, you will see wonder after wonder within your heart. Honey will come into your mouth, and you will experience the taste without eating. You will taste the deliciousness of fruit that comes into your mouth without plucking it. Without you touching it, the fruit will smile, come to your mouth, and squeeze its juice into your mouth. Whatever food you want will be in your mouth before you think of it. Any service you need will be taken care of before you think of it. Even before you know about it, you will be carried to where you need to go. You will see the world ('alam), the world of the souls (arwah), and all of everything. You will see the eight heavens, the seven hells, and all their wonders. You will hear the sounds and secrets of God; you will hear the bliss of God and the resonance of God. You will see the light of God and all the wonders there. While you witness this bliss, while the source of these words becomes deeply impressed within your heart, that house will be opened. As soon as that house is opened, you too, will experience bliss, and that bliss will bring peace to your mind.
The baby will look at this bliss, saying, "Ah, ah, ah, what bliss this is! There is no bliss or peace like this!" And immediately, the baby will fall asleep; the mind will be still and go to sleep at once. The mind will want to experience this every day. It will look at this and say, "This is good, this is so good!" From then on, you will increase the time you spend reciting these words. First it will be for ten minutes, then twenty minutes, then twenty-five, then thirty, thirty-five minutes, then forty minutes. As you experience so much bliss, you will recite it more and more. As you continue to reflect on the meanings of the words, as you say them, they will give you peace. This will take you across the path. You will be shown the secrets of the three worlds. You will be shown bliss and made to understand. If you achieve this state of bliss, it will bring peace to the mind.
My children, gems of my eyes, please establish this state. This is true meditation. Only this will make the mind peaceful and tranquil. This is the path which will enamor the mind. This path existed before and exists now, but we have given it up and instead hold on to 'new' methods. This path appeared at the time of Adam (A.S.), and it continues the same today. But man has forsaken this path. The more man discovers about the world, the more he forsakes the truth. That is what has happened. He has forsaken it and made himself subject to sorrow. But this is the way it was before, and this is the way it is now. If man can once again hold on to what he has forsaken, he will have peace, peace of mind, and tranquility.
This will give him everything. It will give him wealth. It will cure the 4,448 diseases of the nerves and the eighty-four kinds of diseases caused by the air. It will cure the diseases of karma, the diseases of illusion, and the diseases of arrogance. It will cure the twenty-one diseases that can cloud the eyes. It will give vision. It will cure all the diseases of the eyes, increase the vision of the eyes and make them clear. It will relieve the pain of the eyes by removing the things which cloud the eyes. It will cure the eighteen kinds of sinus diseases, the eighteen types of rectal diseases like bleeding hemorrhoids, prolapsed hemorrhoids, all the diseases associated with the rectum. It will cure all the diseases of the urine, like sugar in the urine. It will cure headaches, dizziness, torpor, and suffering. It will cure the ninety-six crazinesses. It will cure oozing diseases, diseases of the skin, eczema, diseases of the flesh, diseases of the marrow. It will cure all disease. It will cure diseases of the nerves, diseases of the bones, genetic diseases. It will cure the karmic diseases of man. It will cure exhaustion, fatigue, asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and cancer. It will cure all these.
It will cure all your diseases and give you a long life. It will make you look sixteen years old and bring beauty to your face. It will generate blood in the bones and change your blood into that of a young child. Your eyes will become the eyes of a young child. Your skin will become the skin of a young child. Your bones will be come the bones of a young child. It will create in you the beautiful qualities of a young child, the blood ties of a young child, the cells of a young child, and grant you the bliss of a young child. When you continue to meditate in this way, your state will display youthful qualities of beauty, light, and color. In this state you will receive whatever you need. You will receive true wealth, and you will have peace. This is something that can give you everything. Disease, illness, poverty, difficulty, danger, and accidents--all this will be removed.
This state existed before and will always exist. Only man has forsaken it. If you establish this state again you can achieve peace. That is real peace. So for five, ten, or twenty minutes say, "La ilaha, other than You there is no God, ill-Allah, You are God." If you intend this in your heart with faith, certitude, and determination, you can achieve peace of mind. You can close your eyes or leave them open, but you must look intently within your heart. Then you can achieve whatever you intend, and you will find peace. That peace will come, and the mind will go to sleep at once. The more it sees, the more it sleeps. As you look within your heart, your thoughts will be in heaven, in paradise with the heavenly beings and angels. Whatever you intend, whatever you look at with faith, you will see. It will be opened out to you, and as you go further and further you will see more and more. The mind will fall asleep immediately and desire will be completely destroyed. Once the mind has seen that light, it will be tired and weary. The monkey will be tired and desire will be dazed. The mind will be entranced and will experience the bliss in all this. That state alone is meditation.
If you want peace, recite this. This is the way to peace of mind. Shanti? This is shanti. Heaven? This is heaven. Life? This is life. Bliss? This is bliss. Freedom? This is freedom. If you want peace you must do this. My children, this is very necessary for you. Of all the things you do in the world, every child should do this. This is peace.
At the time of creation, God said only these words. Even now this is what God says. This is very good for many different things. Because you have forsaken it, you are suffering. Do not forsake this. At least from now on recite this. Through it, you will attain peace. Amin. Amin. Amin.
M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen