The Beauty of the Heart

The Beauty of the Heart

is the lasting Beauty:

its lips give to drink

of the water of life.

Truly it is the water,

that which pours,

and the one who Drinks.

All three become One when

your talisman is shattered.

That oneness you can't know

by reasoning.

From: Mathnawi II, 716-718

- Rumi -

What is the Fellowship ?

What is the Fellowship ?

STUDENT: What is this Fellowship?

BABA MUHAIYADDEEN: The word fellowship sounds like the Tamil words pelai, which means fault, and supi which means to suck. The baby mind sucks at the faults and desires in the heart of man as if they were milk. It likes all things which are evil.

The Fellowship is here to tell that baby mind:

• Correct yourself.
• Correct your faults.
• Bring peace to your heart.
• Destroy your arrogance and show love and compassion.
• Destroy the karma to which you are connected.
• Destroy your own hunger and erase the hunger of others.
• Cut away your selfishness and help all lives.
• Do not earn wages for your own good; dedicate your life to the good of others.
• Do not live by taking the property of others; show them the way to live in contentment and equality.
• Come to a state of peace.

God has given His kingdom to all His creations so that each one can live in contentment. All the animals in the jungle and the creatures in the ocean are connected; the birds of the air are connected; and even the sun, the moon, and the stars live connectedly in the sky. Man alone has lost his contentment because of his selfishness, his desires, his greed, his arrogance and pride, his trickery and treachery, and the differences he sees between the I and the you.

To man, who is never satisfied, the Fellowship says, "All other lives live happily, O man. Why can't you? God has given you a kingdom of freedom. Realize that in His kingdom everyone lives contentedly. O man, why do you destroy the contentment of others? Learn to live in contentment. Give up your jealousy, ignorance, and selfishness. Act with the qualities of God. Imbibe wisdom and live like a man. Show the compassion of God to all lives, so that they can exist as one life, in contentment and unity. Live in the state of God's peacefulness, the state of love, compassion, freedom, and equality. Resolve to live in this state. Then the place where you live can be changed into heaven, into the kingdom of God.

The Fellowship says, "O mankind, understand this. We are human beings, are we not? Man is the noblest of God's creations. But you have abandoned your human face, preferring to show instead the face of a dog, a donkey, or a snake. Sometimes you even turn your face into that of a demon or a ghost. You put on the masks of tigers, lions, elephants, bears, vultures, monkeys, and eagles. You put on the masks of four hundred trillion, ten thousand animals. Don't you know that each one of these is out to kill the other? Why are you fond of these masks? You wear them in your heart as well as on your face.

"O man, you were born beautiful. God gave you such a beautiful face. And of all hearts, God gave you the most beautiful. He endowed you with seven kinds of wisdom. Animals were given only three levels of wisdom—feeling, awareness, and intellect. But God gave you four more levels—judgment, subtle wisdom, divine analytic wisdom, and divine luminous wisdom. And God gave you a connection to Him. He placed His kingdom within you and placed you within His kingdom. Your life is within Him, and He lives within you as your life. Your secret is within God and God's secret is within you.

"O man, you should be representative, a king, and a friend to all lives. God gave you special abilities so that you could protect others, but having received such power, what have you done? You have abandoned your true state and your beauty and have taken on the faces of animals and demons, preferring these to your human face. You have forgotten the beauty of God and the beauty of man and have lost the qualities of God and the qualities of man. You have uprooted the truth of God and the truth of man. You have lost the abilities God gave you.

"O man, try to understand this. Try to change into a true human being and try to live in that way, serving all lives. Let your actions fit your words. Let your speech be put into action in the form of duty. Let your outer behavior match your inner qualities. With those qualities you can rule the kingdom of God and show others how to live in that kingdom in equality, peace, and tranquility. This is a life of freedom. Realize this, O man."

The Fellowship teaches so many things. It explains what a life of human freedom is. It shows the way to realize the faults of man and to avoid them It teaches and illustrates the qualities of God. That is the function of the Fellowship.

Muhaiyaddeen, Bawa. Questions of Life - Answers of Wisdom. Philadelphia: Fellowship Press, 1991. 33-35.

Sufism or a Sufi : A Brief Explanation

Sufism or a Sufi : A Brief Explanation

Sufi is a unique word. “Sufi” is a unique power. It does not relate to any particular religion. It belongs to all of humanity.

“Sufi” is a clear, pure essence that has filtered and settled slowly, deep within. It goes beyond the state of mounam (silence), even beyond the station of the mouna guru (the silent guru within us). It is that state of stillness when the resplendence of the pure clarity of wisdom has sunk down and settled completely within its ultimate completeness and perfection. “Sufi” reveals the nature of the final state of the receding of that perfection, when it has settled down slowly to its ultimate stillness.

It is not something that belongs to any one religion. It is the essence which has been filtered out from all four religions by wisdom. It is the essence which has analyzed and sifted right from wrong, extracted the clear filtrate that is the truth, and out of that truth distilled the power that resides within all created lives—the power that is God. It has ascertained and extracted the qualities, the tendencies, the awareness, and the intelligence of all these lives. And understanding clearly their characteristics, their intelligence, their actions, and their behavior, it scrutinizes and comprehends them through wisdom, and from this understanding of all of creation it gives praise to the glory of God.

“Sufi” is to bestow compassion on these lives, to bestow love, kindness, compassion, and mercy on all creations. Just as God protects all lives and nourishes each being with exactly the right type of food for its needs, “Sufi” gives to each one the explanation appropriate to its level of wisdom. “Sufi” explains, teaches, and leads them on the good path. Knowing the level of each and imparting the wisdom that each one requires, “Sufi” leads them within the fold of the mercy of God. This is for all six kinds of lives.

There are six categories of lives, five of which are: earth life, fire life, water life, air life, and ether life. Earth life has 400 trillion kinds of lives; fire life has 1,008 kinds of lives; water life has 1,008 kinds of lives; air life has 2,008; and ether life (such as that which is found in stars, moon, sun etc.) has 1,008 kinds of lives.

All of the above lives, which were created by repeated division of the light that was the one soul, were then filtered and distilled and repeatedly refiltered and re-distilled. The life that emerged as the finest essence of this distillation, the sixth kind of life, the life with the totality of power that emerged from the repeated filtering and distilling of the other five lives, was called human life. That resplendent life, that light, is called man. It is the soul of man. That is what is called Nur. That came from God. The life that is perfect fullness, the perfection of the soul that is called Nur, that which is directly connected with God—that is the soul.

The heavenly messengers are also light. They emerged from the element fire, and they are a step lower than man. Next in power to the heavenly beings are the angels, and even lower are the jinns and fairies; satan has less power than the jinns. Thus at every stage the power of the lives has been gradually reduced. Even satan has power, though of a lower order. This is the order in creation. This is the way in which the six types of lives have been created.

The light of the power which is called Nur is the soul of man. This power can be likened to the high voltage power produced by electric generators in a power station. The soul of man is the completeness and fullness of that power. And, just as the electric current is distributed through wires to cities and towns and the power varies in strength at the different points of delivery, so the power of the several life forms is distributed in varying strengths, some lives being of higher power and other of lower power. This is why grass life, worm life, bird life, and animal life cannot be considered equal to human life.

The soul of man has the capacity to realize all of the powers in creation. It has the power to attract, beckon, and summon the prophets, the heavenly beings, and all other beings. It has this exalted power. The wisdom and soul of man has this immense power because it was created out of the totality of power that is found in all of the different lives. The residue that was left after the essence of the perfection that is man has been filtered away was in turn filtered and distilled to create, in their varying degrees of power, the heavenly beings, the heavenly messengers, the angels, and beings of gradually lesser degrees of power. Thus each successive being that God creates is endowed with gradually diminishing power. Accordingly, their wisdom is also reduced in that order.

The power to control and rule all of these lives, to understand them lovingly, to protect them, to understand both the good and the evil within them; the wisdom and the patience to understand and realize all of these things; the seven states of consciousness, wisdom, patience, God’s compassion, His three thousand gracious qualities, His ninety-nine divine gracious names, and the protective beneficent attributes of those gracious names; ;the quality that protects all lives; the power that understands various illnesses and gives the appropriate remedy—the power that has all of this is what is called man. That is the soul of man.

One who understands, knows, and realizes all of these things; who knows both himself and God; who understands hell and heaven, lives and creations, satan and the children of satan; who understands and realizes all of these with the full clarity to withdraw and to sink within the silence of the perfection of God and to reside in quiescence in that stillness within the plenitude of God; one who stays within His divine justice, one who reveals His glory and His meaning, one who has no praise except in praise of Him; one who is established in that state, one who is fixed in that state, one who has realized that state; one who has seen himself and God and everything within that perfection that is God, and who, seeing and realizing, takes on the compassion of God as his own compassion towards all lives, and explains the stillness of that silence from the quiescence of that stillness—such a one is called “Sufi.”

Now, if we call someone “Sufi, all the world should be dead to him. God alone should be living. All the world within him should have died. The maya and karma that we call the world should be dead, while only the resplendence of God and the grace of God live on within him undyingly. It is such a state that is called “Sufi.”

There are so many meanings of “Sufi”. This is just a little bit of the meaning.

You should understand this truth. For “Sufi” there are no differences, there is no world, there is no praise; there is no dancing, no playing act, no marijuana. “Sufi” does not put on costumes and dance. But whatever are the qualities of God and whatever is God’s compassionate benevolence, “Sufi” is those qualities. The one who has imbibed those qualities is “Sufi.” He does not acknowledge differences of races, religions, or any separations. He embraces only God, His three thousand gracious qualities, and His plenitude. One who has attained this state is “Sufi.” One who has known and realized this state of :

La ilaha
Nothing other than God exists.

You alone are God.

This is “Sufi.” This is the word of God.

One who loses himself into nothingness, where the state of the self does not exist; one who knows the station where only God remains as that solitary oneness that is God: this is the explanation of “Sufi”—a brief explanation.

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship. (1998). Sufi – A Brief Explanation[Pamplet]. Philadelphia, PA: M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

How to Find the Meaning of Life

"How to Find the Meaning of Life"
By: Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

When a honeybee searches for honey, it sits on flower after flower, trying to detect their nectar. Its whole intention is to obtain honey. It does not search for feces; its only love is for the honey, the fragrance, and the pollen. It does not need feces. It flies for long distances to find flowers. It sits on a flower and draws the honey, then carries the honey in its mouth and the pollen on its feet, returns to its hive and deposits them there. Little by little, it makes large quantities of honey. It does not search for anything else. If there is any other scent, whether it is the odor of feces or even the sweet fragrance of attar, it will not be attracted by them. It goes directly to a flower to take its honey.

In the same way, one who is truly searching for God, one who is searching for God’s grace and truth and qualities, flies to a sheikh as a honeybee flies to a flower. What does he need from that flower? He needs the wisdom and honey which is God’s grace. To obtain the honey of grace and God’s qualities and actions, he must sit by the side of the sheikh and extract them from the sheikh, just as a bee extracts honey from a flower. That is his honey.

The disciples must sit on the qalb, the innermost heart, of the sheikh and imbibe the honey. Around him there may be land, gold, women, treasures, feces, urine, gold, silver, or platinum. There may be silk and velvet. There may be wealth and happiness, house and property, families and tribes. There may be thrones and palaces and many treasures. All these and more may surround the sheikh, but the true disciple will never sit upon any of them because they do not have the fragrance he is seeking. They do not have that honey.

If he sits only on the heart of the sheikh, then he can obtain the honey of grace, the honey of gnanam, the honey of God’s light, the honey of the resplendence called Nur, the honey of the kingdom of God’s grace, the honey of God’s mystery. That disciple, that devotee, the one who does service to the sheikh, service to God, and service to all mankind, will sit on the heart of the sheikh and drink of his honey. He will not sit on the world.

On the other hand, those who prefer the gold, silver, wealth, women, land, races, religions, colors, gems, houses, properties, health, and happiness that surround the sheikh will never gather any honey, for those things all belong to the earth. What they think is gold is not really gold; it is earth. The precious stone is not a precious stone; it is hell. They will never find honey from any of these things. Anyone who places his faith in these things will perish with them. If it is something that belongs to the earth, he will go to the earth. If it belongs to hell, he will go to hell. If it belongs to maya, to illusion, he will go to maya. He will never be able to extract honey.

This is what a person with a great deal of experience in the world has said. That is what the Sufi sheikh has said.

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