The Mystery of Love
Translated from the Urdu by Amat-un-Nur Naila Tiwana
One evening in Bombay, during a gathering of disciples, someone asked, “All the religions of the world agree that unless man recognizes his own self, he is incapable of any kind of ascent. What is meant by recognition here? Is it the recognition of man’s own being or the being of the cosmos?” Others asked similar things. Responding to the questions put forth, Pir O Murshid ‘Aziz Miyan Sahib, the revered, said that he would provide a condensed exposition. The discourse continued deep into the night. The gathering was large, with every faith, creed and denomination represented. The audience listened with heightened interest and some even penned down the oration. All that was recorded has been divided into six parts and printed. This is an abridgement of the first part.
I begin in the name of the One, who is known to all. He is Eternal and Everlasting. He is known by many names in many religions. He has sent guides to all the nations in order to impart guidance among them. With His light He created the universe. Everything in creation is infused with that light.
A child is utterly unaware of anyone or anything for the first days of its life. In the first days the child does not feel hunger or thirst, the mother’s hunger and thirst is the indicator of the infant’s needs. This is the reason why a child receives the habits and manners of the mother. In these first days the child’s desires and needs are dependent on the mother. It is significant to understand this mystery. The child is unaware of the one who feeds him.
The Duties of the Father
Foremost in the father’s duties toward his children is their religious and moral education. He must respect his relatives and the elderly. He should be thrifty in his spending. He must guard against evil and promote good works. He should give everyone his due right. He should avoid debt and live within his means. His speech should be refined and free from anger. He should be modest in his demeanor, keeping his gaze fixed on his feet while walking. While eating the sight should be focused on the food being taken. Food must be taken warm and water cold. Fresh food is more nutritious then stale food. Parents should instruct their children in the correct mode of behavior from the very start of their lives.
The Duties of the Mother
The mother must inculcate a sense of unity and harmonious living amongst her children.
She must set an example of truthfulness for her children to follow. She should show the spirit of sacrifice by fulfilling the needs of her family before her own. She should be content in all circumstances.
She should be honest in all her dealings. She should not take pride in her dress or food compared with others of a lower standard of living. She should treat the destitute with compassion. She should serve the elderly by taking care of their needs and comfort. She should provide water to the thirsty. She should rise in the morning reciting the name of God.
A mother is the first institution that a child attends and therefore the training that she imparts to the child will be the foundation of that child’s future life. She must take care to infuse the qualities of nobility and good character in the child. The child must be taught to distinguish between right and wrong, and selfish love and selfless love. The child must be warned against vices such as lying, lewdness, deceit, and addiction. The mother alone can instill these values in her children, making them God-conscious. A child learns to depend on God as much as the mother teaches them to do so.
The Greatest Name
A child’s features are determined by whatever image is dominant in the mother’s mind
when the spirit descends into the embryo. If there are three different faces influencing the thoughts of the mother, then the child will be a combination of those different features. The child may have the eyes of one, the nose of another, and the mouth of a third. If the mother holds a particular thought in mind at the time the embryo enters the womb, then that thought will be manifested in the child.
When the embryo moves for the first time in the mother’s womb, it is inspired by a particular sound. The spirit enters the embryo along with this sound. This sound takes the form of a particular name. At the time of death, it is on hearing this same name that the spirit departs. This is what is called the Greatest Name.
An individual keeps seeking the form of the sound that they heard at the time of manifestation, and this form is found in the being of the guide. If a person has recognized this countenance then they have nothing to fear. At the time of death they will die with the countenance of the guide and not their own.
The Love of the Parents
An individual is most familiar with the physical appearance of their parents. If there is a desire to know the Divine, one should first acquire the form of the mother and later that of the father. This way it is easier to change forms. The exercise may be reversed to change between the form of the father and the form of the mother. Afterwards it will easier to adopt the form of the guide. When these words are studied with greater concentration, the true meaning of the “mother” and “father” will be revealed to you. It is absolutely necessary for these words to be understood carefully.
The time for play and recreation begins at about four in the afternoon. The children get together and play different games. For instance, one popular game would be for one child to hide somewhere close by in the house and the others to search him out.
Later in life this child will try to find his Lord. Just like in the game, the one that he searches for is not distant from him. In fact He is right there in the safest and closest place within the individual himself, the heart.
The ego of the human being is like a restive horse, and it is compelled by nature to rebel. The human being is like the rider with the whip in hand. His job is to train and master the horse so that he may ride him in the desired direction.
One should try to cultivate the habit of rising early in the morning and sitting under the sky in the open air, both in summer and in winter. One should then attempt to still the mind and empty the heart of all worldly worries and concerns. If one attains this silence within, even if it is only for fifteen minutes, the conscience will begin to awaken and words of truth will surface. New senses will develop and true inspiration will begin to flow. On retiring at night, one should again practice contemplation and meditation and thus drift into sleep.
God has appointed one hour in every day for the fulfillment of all prayers. One should pray only in a state of deep concentration and with strong conviction, otherwise the prayer does not carry the potential required for its fulfillment. If you pray with the proper conviction during this hour, then God will accept your prayer.
Contemplation of the Guide
Life is for seeking God. But one must first find a guide to the spiritual path. The spirit of the guide is immortal. The one who does not accept the immortality of the spiritual guide is deprived of his grace. When you leave the confines of intellect, you will reach God.
The practice of contemplating the guide involves the visualization of the guide’s physical body and the replacing of one’s own body, organ by organ, with the body of the guide. At first, the disciple imagines the voice of the guide. Then the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and the rest of the body, bit by bit, are recast in the image of the guide.
There are four stages in the creation of a human being, based on the four elements: fire, air, water and earth.
First Creation: The male sperm and the female ovum unite to rest in the womb. This is the fire element.
Second Creation: The spirit enters the body of the child with a particular sound. This is the air element.
Third Creation: The child emerges from the mother’s womb. This is the water element.
Fourth Creation: The individual recognizes the guide in this world, and with this form enters the next world. This is the earth element.
Everything that has appeared in the world has come from the Divine source of love.
The love in one’s heart produces love in another. If someone loves you and you want to reap the benefit of that love, you must learn to love in return. All are entangled in this complexity of being. In love we discover the source of our manifestation.
There are four types of love. The first type is between man and woman. This natural attraction has been placed in humanity for the survival of the human race through procreation. The second type is that of parental love. The purpose of this kind of love is to ensure the rearing and nurturing needed for the advancement of the human race. The third type is love of the Divine. An individual will be attracted to the manifestation of the Divine. If the focus remains true and sincere, there is no danger of falling into sin or deviation. A true guide will make the love of the sincere seeker whole by guiding and navigating his or her growth through the entire course of the love. The fourth type of love is God’s own love. From this primal effulgence all other types of love become manifest.
There are four stages of love. The first stage of love is when the lover is effaced in the presence of the beloved. The second stage is when the lover sees nothing but the beloved and is intensely restless and distraught by the separation. The third stage of love is the absence of the beloved; all that remains is love itself. The highest and the last stage is when even the name or form of love becomes non-existent. What remains is known only to God. This stage is sometimes associated with the element of fire. But every kind of love contains the element of fire. Fire burns all that it comes in contact with. Everything except the beloved is burnt up.
The Search for God
To serve one’s parents and care for them is a great act, especially if one does this with the intention of drawing closer to the Divine. Through serving one’s parents one generates the flow of love. A child is born of the love that manifested between the mother and father. Similarly the energy of love created by one’s service can bring the guide into manifestation. The guide, in turn, takes you to God. So through the service to parents one finds one’s guide, and through service to the guide one finds God. Like a mother loves the face of her child, so should a seeker love the countenance and being of their guide.
Adapted from an article that appeared in Elixir: Consciousness, Conscience and Culture, No. 5, Autumn 2007. Used by permission of the editor and translator.