What the Spirit of Guidance is, can be further explained as follows: as
in man there is a faculty for art, music, poetry and science, so in him
is the faculty or spirit of guidance; it is better to call it spirit
because it is the supreme faculty from which all the others originate.
As we see that in every person there is some artistic faculty, but not
everyone is an artist, as everyone can hum a tune but only one in a
thousand is a musician, so every person possesses this faculty in some
form and to a limited degree; but the spirit of guidance is found among
few indeed of the human race.
A Sanskrit poet says, 'Jewels
are stones, but cannot be found everywhere; the sandal tree is a tree,
but does not grow in every forest; as there are many elephants, but
only one king elephant, so there are human beings all over the world,
but the real human being is rarely to be found.'
When we arise above faculty and
consider the spirit of guidance, we shall find that it is consummated
in the Bodhisatva, the spiritual teacher or divine messenger. There is
a saying that the reformer is the child of civilization, but the
prophet is its father. This spirit has always existed, and must always
exist; and in this way from time to time the message of God has been
There is One Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature, the only scripture which can enlighten the reader.
Most people consider as sacred
scriptures only certain books or scrolls written by the hand of man,
and carefully preserved as holy, to be handed down to posterity as
divine revelation. Men have fought and disputed over the authenticity
of these books, have refused to accept any other book of similar
character, and, clinging thus to the book and losing the sense of it,
have formed diverse sects. The Sufi has in all ages respected all such
books, and has traced in the Vedanta, Zendavesta, Kabah, Bible, Qur'an,
and all other sacred scriptures, the same truth which he reads in the
incorruptible manuscript of nature, the only Holy Book, the perfect and
living model that teaches the inner law of life: all scriptures before
nature's manuscript are as little pools of water before the ocean.
To the eye of the seer every
leaf of the tree is a page of the holy book that contains divine
revelation, and he is inspired every moment of his life by constantly
reading and understanding the holy script of nature.
When man writes, he inscribes
characters upon rock, leaf, paper, wood or steel; when God writes, the
characters He writes are living creatures.
It is when the eye of the soul
is opened and the sight is keen that the Sufi can read the divine law
in the manuscript of nature; and that which the teachers of humanity
have taught to their followers was derived by them from the same
source; they expressed what little it is possible to express in words,
and so they preserved the inner truth when they themselves were no
longer there to reveal it.
There is One Religion, the
unswerving progress in the right direction towards the ideal, which
fulfills the life's purpose of every soul.
Religion in the Sanskrit
language is termed Dharma, which means duty. The duty of every
individual is religion. 'Every soul is born for a certain purpose, and
the light of that purpose is kindled in his soul', says Sa'adi. This
explains why the Sufi in his tolerance allows every one to have his own
path, and does not compare the principles of others with his own, but
allows freedom of thought to everyone, since he himself is a
Religion, in the conception of
a Sufi, is the path that leads man towards the attainment of his ideal,
worldly as well as heavenly. Sin and virtue, right and wrong, good and
bad are not the same in the case of every individual; they are
according to his grade of evolution and state of life. Therefore the
Sufi concerns himself little with the name of the religion or the place
of worship. All places are sacred enough for his worship, and all
religions convey to him the religion of his soul. 'I saw Thee in the
sacred Ka'ba and in the temple of the idol also Thee I saw.'
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