From ‘The Perfect Master. Talks on Sufi Stories. Volume II’
………….’learn how to learn’ as the Sufis say – to learn the ways of the inner guide.
“Sufis have a special name for him – they call him Khidr. Khidr simply means your innermost guide; it is not an outer phenomenon. It is not somebody outside – it is your own inner still small voice. If you are silent, you will hear it. It you are honest, you will hear it. If you are sincere, you cannot miss hearing it.”
Even an ounce of awareness is far more valuable than the whole Himalayas of philosophy.
Philosophies go on moving in circles – they never lead you anywhere. Sufism is tired of philosophies. In fact, all great mystics are tired of philosophies………..God is not lost through your sins: God is lost through your so-called knowledge.
Buddha is a Sufi. Jesus is a Sufi. Ramana is a Sufi. By ‘Sufi’ I mean one who is fed up with philosophies and has started searching for the real
There is one answer. Go on knocking…persevere, be patient. Don’t feel frustrated if the door is not opening. You go on knocking, you go on knocking, you go on knocking…One day the door is bound to open. That is one answer.
The other answer is: “Stop knocking and wait!” that is the way of surrender, of the devotee, of the lover, of prayer. The first is the way of the yogi who functions through will-power. The second is the way of the surrendered devotee, who waits, trusts, prays.
Drop all kinds of idealism from your mind, and all kinds of perfectionist concepts from your mind. Be natural. Be ordinary…and you will know God. Because in just being ordinary you become the most extraordinary being possible.
Drop this I. If you can find a Master, become a disciple. You have been a disciple to yourself too long now. Find a man whom you can trust….whose presence soothes you, calms you, cools you. Find a man whose presence revives hope in you, resurrects you……….Then surrender. Be a disciple.
……………And I am not saying people cannot reach without Masters – once in a while it happens……….But for that even more courage is needed. Because to trust a man is not so difficult, it is human. To trust existence is very difficult. It needs a greater heart and greater guts
…………….A Master is a device where you learn how to surrender, where you learn the joys of surrender………………And one day you can take the quantum leap and you can start trusting existence.
…………….Lao Tzu became enlightened watching a dry leaf falling from a tree. He was sitting under a tree. The leaf was ripe, a breeze came, and the leaf dropped. It fluttered, cam slowly slowly like a feather, rested on the ground….then a stronger wind came and it was taken up……it moved with the wind with no resistance. And the truth happened: Lao Tzu became enlightened. From that moment, he became a dry leaf in the wind.
Yes, without a Master also it is possible – but to trust a leaf will take real guts
People believe in dead Masters because with dead Masters they are free to have all kinds of imagination.
At the time of King Mahmud, the conqueror of Ghazna, there lived a young man by the name of Haidar Ali Jan. His father, Iskander Khan, decided to obtain for him the patronage of the Emperor, and he sent him to study spiritual matters under the greatest sages of the time.
Haider Ali, when he had mastered the repetitions and the exercises, when he knew the recitals and the bodily postures of the Sufi schools, was taken by his father into the presence of the Emperor.
“Mightly Mahmud,” said Iskander, “I have had this youth, my eldest and most intelligent son, specially trained in the ways of the Sufis, so that he might obtain a worthy position at your Majesty’s court, knowing that you are the patron of learning of our epoch.”
Mahmud did not look up, but he merely said, “Bring him back in a year.”
Slightly disappointed, but nursing high hopes, Iskander sent Ali to study the works of the great Sufis of the past, and to visit the shrines of the ancient masters of Baghdad, so that the intervening time would not be wasted.
When he brought the youth back to the court, he said, “Peacock of the Age! My son has carried out long and difficult journeys, and at the same time to his knowledge of exercises he has added a complete familiarity with the classics of the People of the Path. Pray have him examined, so that it may be shown that he could be an adornment of your Majesty’s court.”
“Let him,” said Mahmud immediately, “return after another year.”
During the next twelve months, Haider Ali crossed the Oxus and visited Bokhara and Samarkand, Qasr-i-Arifin and Tashqand, Dushambe and the turbats of the Sufi saints of Turkestan.
When he returned to the court, Mahmud of Ghazna took one look at him and said. “He may care to come back after a further year.”
Haider Ali made the pilgrimage to Mecca in that year.
He travelled to India; and in Persia he consulted rare books and never missed an opportunity of seeking out and paying his respects to the great dervishes of the time.
When he returned to Ghazna, Mahmud said to him, “Now select a teacher, if he will have you, and come back in a year.”
When that year was over and Iskander Khan prepared to take his son to the court, Haider Ali showed no interest at all in going there. He simply sat at the feet of his teacher in Herat, and nothing that his father could say would move him.
“I have wasted my time, and my money, and this young man has failed the tests imposed by Mahmud the King,” he lamented, and he abandoned the whole affair.
Meanwhile, the day when the youth was due to present himself came and went, and then Mahmud said to his courtiers, “Prepare yourselves for a visit to Herat; there is someone there whom I have to see.”
As the Emperor’s cavalcade was entering Herat to the flourish of trumpets, Haider Ali’s teacher took him by the hand, led him to the gate of the tekkia, and there they waited.
Shortly afterwards, Mahmud and his courtier Ayaz, taking off their shoes, presented themselves at the sanctuary.
“Here, Mahmud,” said the Sufi sheikh, “is the man who was nothing while he was a visitor of kings, but who is now one who is visited by kings. Take him as your Sufi counselor: for he is ready.”
This is the story of the studies of Hiravi, Haider Ali Jan, the sage of Herat.
RELIGION IS A RISK, A REBELLION, AND A REBIRTH, RELIGION is not a consolation, it is not conformity, it is not convention. Religion is not part of the world – it is something of the beyond……………..
Religion is not a kind of learning. On the contrary, it is unlearning. Not that you have to know more, but that you have to come to a point where all knowing disappears, and you become innocent, and you are a child again. And again the wonder is fresh and the mystery of life is revealed to you.
…………..Knowledge is the most irreligious phenomenon in the world……….
……..A religious person is neither an Indian nor a Chinese, neither a Hindu nor a Mohammedan. A religious person is neither black nor white. All these things are stupidities.
Then who is a religious person? He is not a person at all, but only a presence. He drops his personality. He cannot say who he is. He cannot define himself. But in that indefinable state of consciousness, he knows who he is. This is a paradox: those who know who they are don’t know; and those who are ready to risk their whole identify and come to a point where they don’t know who they are, only they are the people who become capable of knowing. It is a gamble…..Very few people have that much courage.
A Mahavir, a Buddha, a Mohammed, a Mansoor, a Rumi, a Kabir, a Nanak – these are not people who are afraid. These are not people who are praying out of fear! They are praying out of love, not out of fear. They are praying out of sheer joy……thankfulness………….The real religious person needs to be immensely courageous to enter into his nothingness – and inside there is a great nothingness…as vast as the sky, as infinite as the sky.
Religion is not a formality. Avoid formalities. If you really want to be religious some day, avoid formalities………..Never be a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan – these are all formalities. Be prayerful, but not in a formal way. Let prayer arise. Wait for it. Long for it! Search for it!
Religion is a spark; you can get it only from an alive Master, not from the dead ones. Christ cannot help you. Buddha cannot help you. You will have to find a living Christ, a living Buddha – because the spark has to jump from one living heart into another living heart………….A Master can help only when he is alive
Jesus says: Ask and it shall be given to you. Sufis have a far profounder saying: Ask and it will not be given to you. Ask not – wait! and it shall be given to you. Wait in trust. Wait in deep understanding that when it is needed it will be given to you……….When the real need arises, it will be given, not a single moment will be lost.
Children are more understanding – have you observed it or not? – than the old people. Old people have become very very hard, cruel, cunning. Their whole life they have remained occupied with objects. All old people become Machiavellians. Young children are innocent, trusting, closer to Buddhas. Why? – the energy is overflowing.
………….Children learn fast. If a child is born in a town where five languages are spoken, he starts learning all five; he becomes efficient in all five languages………A child has infinite capacity to learn. And the reason is only one: his energy is still overflowing. Soon it will be dissipated in life.
The man of meditation becomes the man of understanding because his energy accumulates. He is not wasting it. He is not interested in trivia; he does not put any energy at all into petty things………..Energy is understanding. Be conscious of it and use your energy very consciously, and use your energy in such a way that you don’t simply go on wasting it.
Religion is absolutely personal. You cannot take your wife with you or your children with you. You cannot move in crowds. Hence, crowds are never religious. U may call those crowds Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian – crowds are never religious. The very psychology of the crowd is political, it is never religious. Only individuals are religious.
A Buddha is religious, but Buddhists are not. A Krishna is religious, but Hindus are not. A Christ is religious, but Christians are not…….
A Zen Master was asked, “What do you do when it is hot?”
He said, “I perspire.”
“And what do you do when it is cold?”
He said, “I shiver.”
So, when hot, perspire. When cold, shiver. When alive, live! When dead, die! What is in your hands? Nothing is in your hands. To think that “Something is in my hands” is the way of the ego.
…………And when he went, she was just sitting in the direction of his room looking at the window from far away. She could not get up, she was dying. And when Ramana reached, she closed her eyes and tears started flowing. She died. That cow was the first animal in the whole history of humanity or of consciousness that was given a farewell as it is given to an enlightened person. Ramana was present there.
Somebody asked Ramana, “Is this cow going to be born as a man?”
Ramana said, “No. She will not need to be born as a man – she has passed beyond that. She is not going to be born at all. She has attained enlightenment.”
Yes, it is possible. What to say about man? Even animals, if they are receptive….and cows are very receptive. That’s why in the East they have become very sacred. It is not for no reason at all – they are very receptive, open. They can grow in consciousness. No other animal can take this jump that the cow can take.
It is for no other reason than this that they became an essential part of all the ashrams in the East in the old days. They created a certain atmosphere – of purity, innocence.
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