Proposition, which is of vital importance to our society, and also, to those who are eager and keen to give meaning and content to their life.
The topic that I want to discuss relates to the basic problems of human nature. It has vital bearing on our behaviour, standard of living, our requirements and our needs, our motives and our mottos, on our fears and fancies, on our dreams, our devotions, on our ideas and ideals, and on our aspirations and our ambitions.
I will not mind, the least, if you call me an idealist, or a conservative, not keeping an eye on the pulse of the time. It is true that to discuss such a topic in the Modern Age, seething with faction and discontent, torn by strife’s and struggles, and fraught with harrowing doubts and diffidence, is surely to be labelled a visionary. To some, it may appear as flight of imagination.
Is it not correct to say that man is in search of happiness, but happiness is nowhere to be found? Is it not that man wants to avoid pain and seek pleasure, but, it has proved futile and vain effort?
Suppose, I ask you to make a list of the things, that you desire and want to achieve. I am sure your list will contain many things. It may include position, prestige,Power, pelf, Influence, a beautiful house, ultramodern furniture, a Refrigerator, a Television set, a Radio set, a Transistor, a car, an Orchard, beautiful carpets, and a handsome income, etc.
But, do you think that the aforesaid things will give you peace, happiness and joy?
Should I revise your list? I will add three things in the list and they are:
Slow breathing; and
Peace of mind.
In other words, I insist, that, the list should include the one thing of supreme importance, which has an all embracing effect upon the life that we lead.
The treasure within
The distractions and the attractions of the “Brave New World” leave us little time to think of the things that really matter. We feel happy and jubilant to dig in order to find the hidden treasure, buried beneath the earth. But we have become so reckless that we do not care to reach and find out the treasure that is within us. I mean the inward peace.
The Inward peace is to be achieved. It is a gift and blessing, which is given to people of stable mind. Inward peace is like the evening star, which lends lustre to the soul.
Inward peace is not to be had by manipulation, negotiation and ostentation, and neither by subterfuge nor by agreement. Inward peace is to be won by one’s own effort.
The Greatest Conqueror
The greatest and the noblest conqueror is not the one, who conquers countries and brings dominions under his sway. In fact, the greatest conqueror is the one, who wages a successful warfare against his own self, and overcomes his inordinate desires, and finally, emerges out as one, who has controlled his appetites and passions.
Let us then, secure victory over our own self.
The way of the Sufi Mystics
How is it that the mystics, in patched clothes and with little or no material acquisitions or possessions, have never complained of their poverty or troubles or hardships, whereas the others, having everything, always grudge, bemoan and complain. The reason is not far to seek.
The Sufi Mystics think that whatever comes in their way is best.
They have as their object the happiness of others, whereas the worldly minded people plan to change circumstances to their own advantage, and they are concerned with their own welfare and happiness.
The mystics do not allow the pleasures in life to rule over them, for they know, that they will hand them over some day to sorrow.
They refuse to be ruled by the two generals, pleasure and pain
They are themselves cheerful, and they contribute to the cheerfulness of others. One can give only what he has. They are cheerful, calm, serene, and they give cheerfulness, calmness and serenity to mankind.
They believe that, it is within the power of an individual to make the world either as a palace or a prison, They moulded their thoughts in such a fashion, that every small space appeared to them to be a palace.
They emphasized, that subterfuge or agreements are not capable of snatching peace. No one has an assured share in the store of peace. Peace, like a battle, is to be won. It is to be won over shameful deeds, perplexing problems and sinister sins. Victory is to be scored over the self, which tries to govern the oppress, and which leads to corrupt practices.
The Sufi Mystics are, essentially, men of peace. They bear no arms. But, their looks are sharper than the sword. Their worlds are their bullets. Their thoughts give a louder report than thunder.
The Mystic does not want to live in vain. Hence, life to a Sufi mystic means and implies thought and action. He brightens the lives of people by wise thoughts and useful actions.
Home & House
It is one thing to live in a house, and it is another thing to live in a home. Home should be distinguished from house. A better home implies better living.
The foundation of good home
The things that are necessary to build and to create a happy home are love, sympathy and spirit of service. Right thinking is the architect. Right action is the white washing. It should be warmed by love. It should be lighted with serenity and cheerfulness. Mutual trust is its ceiling. Toleration is its window. Sympathy is its ventilator. Blessing of God is its protecting canopy and glory.
Man’s quest for inward peace has found an echo in the Vault of Time.
The Holy Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon them) says:
” The most excellent Jihad (Holy war) is that for the conquest of self.”
Lord Jesus Christ says:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I,unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Lord Buddah Says:
” Surrender the grasping disposition of your selfishness, and yo will attain to that sinless calm state of mind which conveys perfect peace, goodness and wisdom.”
Lord Krishna says:
” The mind cherishing ambition remains always empty. That is why it finds rest nowhere like a deer that has lost track of the herd.”
Guru Nanak Ji, founder of Sikhism, says:
“They alone are in peace and attain the sate of Bliss, who lean on the true name.”
The economist and the political scientists hold that, to talk of inward peace in the modern economic and social setup is crying for the moon. They assert that, there can be no inward peace in the midst of penury, poverty, pestilence, unemployment, exploitation, inequality of opportunities, class conflict, nepotism, favouritism and demoralizing corruption. They emphasize the creation of better economic and social conditions as a condition precedent for inward peace.
According to them, thus inward peace depends upon external conditions and circumstances. But, the truth is otherwise. Inward peace is not a commodity. For inward peace one should look within. It comes from within.
Inward peace is an achievement.
Inward peace is possible even when and individual is engaged in a relentless war for bread, butter and work
It is true, that social circumstances and economic conditions profoundly mould and modify the human responses. It may be true that unjust economic conditions created maladjustment’s, leading to conflict. But, is also true, that if the people constituting the society, are insecure economically, spiritually and emotionally, the society will tend to be insecure.
In any scheme of social peace, it is of utmost importance that the people comprising the society should be rescued and freed from the civil war, which they wage within themselves.
A co-operative world will remain merely a dream or an illusion, so long as the people are corroded within them selves by the acids of negative thoughts, undesirable desires, fantastic fancies, self-pity and self-aggrandizement.
The Crucial problems of conscience, love fear, grief, rancour, malice, greed and lust constitute universal human dilemmas, defying solution and offering challenge.
Inward peace serves as a signpost, avoiding the by-lanes and the by-paths, and showing the straight way, leading to a carefree life full of zest and enthusiasm.
Better society can be built by better men.
Meditation is the dictionary, but, inward peace is the grammar of Sufi mysticism.
Inward peace makes the mind serene, and once the mind has become serene, it can climb to heights unknown. Inward peace attracts success.
(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 : “Sufi’s Spirituality” (Tasawwuf ) & in “Tasawwuf (Path of Mysticism).