Al-Hallaj_ A Great Sufi Mystic: By Aparna Sharma



For all the tertiary differences in various religions and traditions, the fundamental truths are by far, the same. Therefore in a lot many spiritual traditions other than Vedanta, we find glimpses (and  sometimes vast expansive vistas) of Advaita. Continue reading

The Quest_To Love Or To Be Loved: By Alx Uttermann

Giving Love To Get Love, Oh Dear!

In my early years, in life and in spiritual searching, my primary motivation in life was to be loved; there seemed to be such a lack of love, cumulatively, in my own experience, everywhere I turned. (Extreme heartbreak, depression, loss, family trauma and other factors had all contributed to this perception.) Continue reading

A Sufi Saying about Virtue and Sin: By Dr. Mourad Rashad

There is only one virtue and one sin for a soul on the path:  virtue when he is conscious of God and sin when he is not.

Abu Hashim Madani (Sufi Master)

God is lost to Man when he becomes conscious of himself. Conscious of my own actions, of my own achievements, of my own position in the society, of my own physical body and so forth.

Consciousness of these entire things is only an interpretation, a particular interpretation to what is actually taking place in his experience of  living. Strictly speaking, the objects of Man’s consciousness are his thoughts, concepts and views. Man’s being is linked, colored and affected by these interpretations. So Man is always conscious of the thoughts, concepts and views that establish his separate position, making his being subject to all these interpretations. When this Man realizes that all these are interpretations just to establish his identity among others, he assumes the responsibility of his own happiness and misery. If this Man is keen and sincere to take his search a few steps further, Divine intervention will provide him with the means to continue. Divine intervention will send him a fellow, a companion, or a Master.

Divine intervention -in whatever form it takes- will guide this Man to the true significance  and the actual meaning to the experience of his life. When this Man glimpses what is the actual significance of what is occuring in his life’s experience, he will formulate another set of interpretations, concepts and views that are entirely based on the true significance of what is actually taking place. For example, this Man will discover and then say “No one does anything, but God does everything”. This is another interpretation, but based on a true seeing of what is actually taking place. Now, this Man will replace the old interpretation that used to say “I do“, with new interpretation saying “God Does“.

As a result of this change in interpretation, Man’s consciousness now witnesses the interpretation -concepts, thoughts, view- that establish God as a central reality in his own life, instead of establishing himself as this central reality.

A further step in the path of this Man will come up.

When this Man becomes fully and totally convinced that God does it all. Then this Man comes to see that it is a burden to continue on keeping this new interpretation that has replaced the old one. The new interpretation also will drop away, leaving a pure witnessing of this Consciousness to what is actually taking place, without any interpretation from his part. This Consciousness will become extremely silent but highly cognizant of its actual content. The actual content is the phenomenal appearances and what they truly signify. The true significance of the content of this virgin Consciousness is the Kingdom of God or Paradise or the Reality of Being or the Garden of Eden or Nirvana or Sat Chit Ananda….etc.

This transformed Man’s consciousness only witnesses the Presence of God.

This is the virtue  Abu Hashim Madani is talking about, and it goes without saying that to be conscious of yourself -as described above- is a sin.

Surrender: By Mourad Rashad

SURRENDER. What are you going to  surrender? What are you going to let go of? What is in your grip that you are going to drop?

I remember Rinzai (Lin Chai) said “Just rid your mind of the principle from which action springs”.

The Principle of Action, your own inner conviction that you can act and do something to change anything or to reach anything. I do not mean action, in the material and physical sense, NO; action is Intention, action is having a Purpose, what is your Intention? What is your Purpose? That is why the Prophet Mohamed said “Actions are based on intentions, and each man will reap what he intends”. Intention, manifests as planning, scheming, devising, calculating and controlling, all these are expressions of intention. What makes you see the world as world, not as a Divine Manifestation, a Divine Existence, God’s Face, and the Kingdom of Heaven or the Garden of Eden?  It is to have a purpose, to have an object in mind.  Without your intention, without your purpose, you are THERE. Without intention the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Surrender your intention to Him, to the Lord, to God. Have no intention, simply be as a child. A child does not know. Intention means that you know what to do and you imagine that this is for your own good. The question is how am I going to live and function without this planning, scheming, controlling…etc.? Start with simple things; say to yourself, I am not going to plan -about any simple item in your life. Then observe carefully how this item will turn out. You experiment with life; you experiment with your world. It will be seen, that what you had left without any planning, scheming, controlling, turns up beautiful, better than what you have hoped for, if you planned it yourself. It cannot be better. That is how you start, cultivating your faith; from small things, going up to larger things, more important issues in life and so forth. Faith – in not having an intention, in not having a purpose, faith in abstinence from planning – will increase, till one day; you will say to yourself “What a burden to plan and scheme”. The Lord plans for me, devises for me and schemes for me. All I have to do is to stop planning and be attentive; Guidance will come, doors will open and opportunities will offer themselves to you.

Lao Tzu said:

As to the roaming of the sages,
They move in utter emptiness,
Let their minds meander in the great nothingness;
They run beyond convention
And go through where there is no gateway.
They listen to the soundless
And look at the formless,
They are not constrained by society
And not bound to its customs.

The sages roam; they have no self generated purposeful activities. Purpose for their actions is imposed on them from without, from the Kingdom of Heaven. Their rein is not in their own hands.

There is a great Sufi Master called Ibn Atta Allah the Alexanderian. This Sufi master composed a book called ” Become Enlightened; Just Stop Planning”. Another great Sufi Master called Ahmed Al Refaaie said:” When I was in Mecca during pilgrimage, I took an oath that I will have no purpose again as long as I live”

Planning for man constitutes his whole life, his whole existence; without planning, there is no man. Without a purpose, you do not exist.  You become egoless. You drop your ego. You drop any purpose. Planning is what makes you an ego, an individual and a mortal. Stop planning, stop having a purpose and re-discover what you used to call your life, re-examine your world without  planning.  Secrets will become no secrets; the world will be transformed into the Kingdom of Heaven, into the Garden of Eden.