The society is seething with faction and discontent. The class conflict has deprived the society of organic unity. The class antagonism has led to a profound change in the social and economic setup.
We see every day in out midst the conflict between landlord and tenant, between employer and employee, between capital and labour, between the teacher and the taught.
The statesman and the politician peer into the mist and wonder, what the end of all this will be.
Legislation is no effective remedy. Ordinances will serve no useful purpose. Gestapo agents are of no use. Change must come by persuasion.
We have to choose between the rural agricultural and urban industrial standards and ways of living; between the traditions of social trusteeship of wealth, and ostentatious display and abuse of riches; between the self-sufficiency of social units and economic management, and the tendency towards the enlarged sphere of state action; between romantic and convenient marriages as opposed to marriage considered as duty and sacrament;between family and community recreation and festival,and the passion for unwholesome mass sensation and excitement; between state action and self-help; between primitive norms and modern standards; between free issues and contributions; between caste and a classless society; between custom and progress; between voluntary effort and compulsion; between persuasion and legislation; between co-operation and competition; and between demonstration and discussion.
The remedy of social disintegration and moral collapse lies in Sufi mysticism. It rises above tenets, dogmas and rituals. It enables an individual to rise from temporality, fragmentariness and irrationality to universality. It gives the law of righteousness to individuals and groups. It has rescued itself from intellectualism, formal theology and routine.
The present scheme of values requires re-scaling. We can revive our national morals and faith only on the basis of an interchange between the truly universal values and groups and institutions.
There can be no doubt, that the ardent mysticism, by its creativeness and transfiguration of life, is capable of giving hope, belief and faith, freedom and goodness to the people. It can provide social justice in the coming economic and political setup.
There have been various popular mystical movements such as the Bhakti cult in Hinduism, Sufism in Islam Calvinism, Puritanism and Methodism in Christianity.
These moral and spiritual revivals and ethical movements, have, undoubtedly, swayed the masses, making their life fuller, happier, better, and richer.
Let the Sufi Mystics, now, put the core of spiritual meaning and experience into the life of the masses and the classes, thus trying to unite man and man.
Demonstration is better that discussion. Man by nature, is reluctant and unwilling to change his habits of doing things. He wants to have a say-so about changes. He should be shown, if he is to be convinced. The mystics should win the confidence of the people. Once confidence has been won, co-operation can easily be earned.
Discussion will not lead very far. Discussion is endless. Demonstration is a better way, as it furnishes a steady process of self-education.
Mystics, then, by demonstration and personal example, give stimulus to a new kind of thinking. New kind of thinking will, eventually, lead to a new kind of functioning of society, resulting in the further release of creative human energies.
The mystic should place reliance on meditation, and allow people to share the benefits of meditation. Meditation, by its very nature, replaces the emotional role by permanent and constructive one, making men and woman good, calm, serene, placid, mutually helpful citizens, able to build up a community.
A sentimental type of spirituality will not be very useful. To treat spiritual emotionalism, as an end in itself, is wrong.
The Spirituality, which can be termed as best, is that, which emphasizes the practical test of being useful in society, which tries to make and mould efficient persons,good men and women, which lays stress on productive work,takes better stock of the depressed and the handicapped and which makes persons useful members of society and better neighbours.
The essence of genuine spirituality consists in the conservation of human energy for constructive work and in rational conduct.
It teaches how to live and act in harmony with fellowmen, and within the known physical and economic laws.
The mystic must save his followers and votaries from economic competition by making them fit to face the problems of life, and to accept every challenge posed by Time or Circumstance.
This means and implies, that the mystic should act as a guide, friend and philosopher to the people, and teach and inspire them to have increased efficiency,greater adaptability, greater endurance for the struggle for existence, greater patience and perseverance, hopeful outlook on life, and better conservation of human energy. hopeful outlook on life, and better conservation of human energy.
The society looks to the Sufi mystic to fortify it, and also to train and equip it in such a way that it may, ultimately,be able to exhibit the simple economic virtues of industry, sobriety, hard work, thrift, forethought, self-help, mutual helpfulness and practical scientific knowledge.
These are the qualities which win the race of life, and, which make men and woman the law-abiding citizens, honest businessmen, truthful persons, a peace loving nation and prosperous community.
Spiritual and moral qualities are more important than mere intellectual achievements. Unlike the results of intellectual achievements, spiritual and moral qualities cannot be borrowed.
We cannot borrow love for humanity, concern for animals, prevention of cruelty to animals, a spirit of enterprise, sane and sober reason, the spirit of self-confidence, self-respect, mutual respect, self-help, mutual help, the spirit of toil, sobriety and industry, sense of duty, forethought, foresight, and above all, the spirit of optimism and a buoyant outlook on life.
The qualities serve as the best weapons to win the war against indolence, idleness, low production, bad farming and low standard of living.
They overcome the inertia of ages. The individual armed with the aforesaid qualities, successfully wages a pitched battle against dirt, disease, drought, preventable distress, fire, famine and flood; ignoble illiteracy; lack of organization, social disorganization, caste restriction, customary notion, and bad social conditions, in short, against bad business and abject living.
The aforesaid qualities cannot be borrowed. They have to be acquired and developed. They have to be imbibed, and voluntarily accepted by the people themselves. No exterior agency can make a man moral. The desire must emanate from within.
It is wrong to suppose, that there is any sharp and distinctive separation between the secular, and the spiritual activity. In fact, both the acquisition and expenditure of wealth should be treated as essentially altruistic in purpose, and in result.
It is necessary then, that purposeful actions should be emphasized and encouraged. It does nobody good to lay stress on passive endurance. To regard life as a dream,and the world an illusion is to misinterpret the dignity of man.
Let there be the reading of new meaning into old texts, and pouring in new wine into old bottles.
The aim of mysticism has been to inculcate, in the individuals comprising the society, a spirit of fraternity, liberty, equality and brotherhood.
A mystic need not be idealistic, but, should be impregnated with the vital issues which grip society, and seek to make the society more altruistic and more comprehensive. Mysticism, in fact, implies a way of sharing, service and sacrifice.
A Sufis Mystic is not interested in expanding resources. But, he is concerned with greatest good of the greatest number of people. To him, physical vigour, mental stamina, spiritual equipment, intelligence, interest, inspiration,stamina, abiding humanism and intellectual energy are of great importance, for the simple reason that, they are needed for the continued social, moral and spiritual growth and development of society.
In the modern setup, the mystic should lend his helping hand to all progressive forces, suggesting welfare schemes.
He should now and then, suggest as to what is wrong and what should be done.
Every convent or monastery should have a trained body of persons fit enough to act as urban leaders and village guides.
The sufi mystic should launch a New Life Movement, having as its cardinal principles the respect for all religions and removal of illiteracy, based on the slogan ” Each one teach one” and removal of social and communal tensions, having its emphasis on constructive work.
A sufi Mystic must, then, abhor and condemn outright the forces of casteism, communalism, linguism, parochialism and provincialism. He should fight sectarian animosities and disruptive forces.
He should persuade the people to fight demoralization, instead of fighting among themselves. In any scheme of reconstruction, the home, and the women and children cannot be left out.
He should try to make the world a place of peace, stability and co-operation with the combined and harmonized efforts of the masses and the classes. Let the society be made free from fear and tension.
The sufi mystic should be a watch dog of the interests of the poor and the downtrodden, and not a lap dog for the rich.
Let the Sufi mystic now build for peace, progress and human happiness, having as his foundation the conscious satisfaction of contentment, the spirit of toleration, the principle of co-operation, abiding humanism and above all, the cementing force of love.
To be indifferent to the people has been my way,
They act and behave, as if, toys made of clay,
I never care to know, what they do or say,
In my own thoughts, I am absorbed night and day.
(This is a series of postings to come on the subject of Sufi Mysticism. The postings will give in-depth knowledge in the complete world & ultimate sphere of Sufi spirituality. The postings are enlisted in Categories : “Sufis Spirituality” (Tasawwuf
) & in “Tasawwuf (Path of Mysticism).