Bowl of Saki, May 10, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

When we devote ourselves to the thought of God, all illumination and revelation is ours.

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

The whole aim of the Sufi is, by thought of God, to cover his imperfect self even from his own eyes, and that moment when God is before him and not his own self, is the moment of perfect bliss to him. My Murshid, Abu Hashim Madani, once said that 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. No explanation can fully describe the truth of this except the experience of the contemplative to whom, when he is conscious of God, it is as if a window facing heaven were open, and to whom, wherein he is conscious of the self, the experience is the opposite. For all the tragedy of life is caused by being conscious of the self. All pain and depression is caused by this, and anything that can take away the thought of the self helps to a certain extent to relieve man from pain, but God-consciousness gives perfect relief.


The Sufi realizes the truth of his being, and his whole life becomes an attitude of prayer, in spite of his free thought and his rising above good and bad, right and wrong. When a person loves, he may be in the crowd, and yet be unaware of those around him, being absorbed in the thought of the beloved. And so it is with the love of God. He who loves God may be in the crowd, yet, being in the thought of God he is in seclusion. To such a person the crowd makes no difference. Sadi says, ’Prayer is the expansion of the limited being to the unlimited, the drawing closer of the soul to God.’ … those who realize the truth of their being, they recognize their God ideal in all of His creation. They see their divine Beloved in all manifestations, in every name and form.


The ultimate freedom of the soul is gained by concentration, by meditation, by contemplation, and realization. What concentration is needed for the freedom of the soul? The concentration on that object which is prescribed by one’s spiritual teacher, that by the thought of that particular object one may be able to forget oneself for a moment. And then what contemplation is necessary? The contemplation that ’this, my limited self, is no longer myself but God’s own instrument, God’s temple, which is made in order that the Name of God be glorified’. What meditation is required? The meditation on the thought of God, the Being of God, forgetting absolutely one’s limited self. And the realization is this, that then whatever voice comes to one is God’s voice, every guidance is God’s guidance, every impulse is divine impulse, every action is done by God. It is in this way that the soul is made free, and in the freedom of the soul lies the purpose of life.


Is not God enough for our souls, and is He not sufficient to inspire us and to illuminate our wills and guide our souls? Is He any less of a friend here or in the spirit life? He is the great well-wisher. In Him mercy is complete. He is the Soul of all souls. When we devote ourselves to the thought of Him, all illumination and revelation are ours.

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