Guidance 1


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The Sufi says this whole universe was made in order that God might know Himself. The seed wished to realize what it is, what is in it, and therefore became the tree. Sometimes a person asks someone else for guidance, someone living on earth or one who has passed to the other side; sometimes he asks a saint or sage. Whoever is asked can give knowledge only according to the extent of his knowledge. From that store of knowledge that he has gathered, his advice is given. When a person turns for guidance to God, to the inner Being, then all light and all knowledge are his for his guidance. "But," people say, "how can we attach ourselves with the inner Being, so as to have that guidance?" When the mind is fixed upon anything, then the person becomes linked to that, a current is established between him and it. It may be called the guidance of God or the guidance of the self. If we look within, God is nearer to us than our mind and our body, because He is that life in which as is said in the Bible, we live and move and have our being.

The Spirit of Guidance in other words may be called the Divine Mind; and as the human mind is finished after its coming on earth, so the Divine Mind becomes completed after manifestation. Plainly speaking, the Creator's Mind is made of His own creation. The experience of every soul becomes the experience of the Divine Mind; therefore, the Divine Mind has the knowledge of all beings. It is a storehouse of perfect wisdom. It is the Soul of Christ, and the Spirit of prophecy. Intuition, inspiration, vision, or revelation, all have the Divine Mind as the Source from whence every kind of revelation comes.

The Spirit of Guidance is as the yeast which is used to make bread, to prepare humanity for the purpose for which it was created. The Spirit of Guidance is a plant that grows and blossoms when it receives response and care; and when it is watered by the rainfall of divine inspiration it blooms in the light of the Divine Sun. The Spirit of Guidance is the Light of God, which may be likened to a lantern that the farmer carries when walking on the farm in the darkness of night. The Spirit of Guidance is like a searchlight. Any object on which the searchlight is thrown, it shows clearly; so the Spirit of Guidance thrown upon any aspect of life gives one a keen insight into it. In the Spirit of Guidance one finds a living God active in the heart of every person.

All those who begin to receive inspiration receive it first from outer life. Man is created in such a way that he first looks outward; and then, when he is disappointed, when he cannot find all he wants in the outer life, he turns within. He wants to see if he can find it in the inner life, and thus he becomes connected with the source of inspiration which is the Spirit of Guidance. And he who has once found the Spirit of Guidance will always be able to find it again if he keeps close to it; but when he goes astray, when the way of his life takes another direction, then he wanders away from the Spirit of Guidance.

Those who are confused, who are constantly hurried, who are changeable in their nature, who are afraid of death, of disease, of their own actions, of their enemies, of their surroundings; those who have constant doubt, wondering whether they can trust this person or that, whether a friend may or may not prove worthy, and so on—it is all these who have less possibility of intuition. Those who can trust without troubling themselves, those who have few doubts, are usually clearer in their perception. Those who trust in the inner guidance, who understand the secret of the instinct that works through animals and all creatures, those who are pious, those who wish to walk in the light, who always prefer the right way of thinking and speaking and acting, it is these who often experience intuition.

Divine guidance can be recognized in five different aspects. One aspect and the principal aspect is intuition. It comes to the lower creation in the form of instinct, and to the human race it comes in the form of intuition. Be it inspiration, be it vision, be it revelation, it is one and the same. It is intuition, developed in different degrees. From childhood intuitively a child begins to see what is wrong for it and what is right for it.

And now the other aspect of knowing, of seeing the divine guidance, is in the form of examples. The one whose faculty of intuition becomes blunted, the next thing he can do is to observe such examples as will be of use, of guidance in his life, as they are sent before him. He is sent to such places and brought to such people or put in such conditions that the example that he may take will be a source of guidance for him. For instance, a person who has some little inclination of gambling, when he is brought to Monte Carlo and sees those who have lost every penny that they had, he has there an example for himself.

And when the keen observation is also blunted, so that he can no longer keenly observe life, then he turns his back to examples shown before him. Then the third aspect of divine guidance is to speak. It may speak in the words of a child, it may speak in the words of a foolish person, it may speak in the words of a servant, it may speak in the words of a neighbour, it may speak in the words of a friend, it may speak in the words of a foe. And when the eyes are closed and when the ears are closed also, then even the third way of divine guidance also becomes fruitless.

Besides these three ways, there is the fourth way, and that is the way of temptation, in other words the way of reward. For all the good one does, all that one does that is right, there comes a reward in some form or other, in the form of wealth, in the form of fame, in the form of success, in the form of popularity, in some form or other. In the form of sympathy, friendship, love, comfort: in some form or the other, reward comes. And that reward teaches you to keep on that path and not to go astray from there. But at that time reward is most blinding.

The fifth way of divine guidance is the way of punishment, in the form of a loss in business, in the form of a loss of friendship, in the form of a loss of health and strength, in the form of a loss of happiness and joy. Then a lesson is taught, and that becomes very difficult. Very often a person says, "How cruel God can be." But one does not know that four methods were used first, and when all those four methods were not understood by man then the fifth method was used. It is most kind of God, it is the greatest compassion, that four opportunities were given, if one would learn, if one would understand.

The greatest responsibility we have in life is to find out our own path, our own object in life, instead of bothering about others. Suppose a person has a better object in life, if he happens to be our friend, we need not pull him back. If a person has what seems to be a worse object, let him have it, we need not pull him towards us. If it seems to us at the moment a wrong object, never mind, even from a wrong object, perhaps, he has his lesson to learn. We learn in life much by our faults and mistakes. If a person falls, he learns by his fall. If a person has thought of an object wrongly, if the object is followed sincerely, surely in the end he must arrive at the goal towards which the soul directs every individual.

Those who live in the presence of God look to Him for guidance at every move they make.

He who clings to the light from heaven has a light to warn and guard him at every step, according to his desire for guidance.

No doubt there comes a time in a man's life when even if he were initiated a thousand times by nature he still seeks for a guide walking on earth. Many will say, ‘Why is God not sufficient? Why must there be someone between God and man? Why must it be a man who is just as limited as we are? Why can we not reach the spirit of God directly?' But in a man who is your enemy and who has tortured you throughout your life, in another who is your greatest friend, and in your teacher who inspires and guides you, in all these is to be seen the hand of God. They have all three guided you on the path of inspiration; they are all three needed in order that you may go further in life. The one who has disappointed you, who has harmed you, is also your initiator, for he has taught you something, he has put you on the road, even if not in the right way. And he who is your friend is your initiator too, for he gives you the evidence of truth, the sign of reality; only love can give you a proof that there is something living, something real. And then there is the inspiring teacher, be he a humble man, an illiterate person, or a meditative soul, a great teacher or a humble one, he is what you think him to be, as everyone is to us what we think them to be.

You need not look for a saint or a master: a wise man is sufficient to guide you on your path.

The spiritual guide performs the role of Cupid in bringing the seeking souls closer to God.

Every teaching that a Talib receives from his spiritual guide he must take, not as a principle, but as an answer to that situation at that moment.

It is not only trust in the spiritual guide and appreciation of his work which a mureed should cultivate, but he must develop in himself his teacher's outlook on life, consideration, and charity of heart.

The Sufi...never troubles which path anybody takes... nor does he worry which way anyone journeys, the way of evil or of righteousness. For every way to him seems leading to the goal, one sooner and one later, one with difficulty, one with ease. But those who walk with him willingly, trusting in his comradeship, are his mureeds and call him murshid, and he guides them, not necessarily through the same path he has chosen for himself, but through the path best suited to them.

The murshid is a friend and a guide. He advises, he does not force anything upon you.

The end and the sum total of all mysticism, philosophy, and meditation, of everything one learns and develops, is to be a better servant to humanity. Everything from the beginning to the end in the spiritual path is a training to be able to serve mankind better, and if one does not do it with that intention, one will find in the end that one has accomplished nothing. There are many who seek wonder-working or great power to accomplish things. They may perhaps try and gain some power or other; but their soul will never be satisfied. The true satisfaction of the soul is in honest, humble service to another. If there were two people before me, one with great power of wonder-working who could perform miracles, and another humble and kind and gentle and willing to do anything he could for his fellow-men, I would prefer this last man. I would say: the first is wonderful; but the other is a sage.




This page was last updated on Monday, March 27, 2017



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