Friday, September 11, 2015

Hazrat Inayat Khan & Khwaja Hafez: Universal prayer; God being Love

A few months ago, I was introduced to the teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inayat_Khan:
Inayat Khan (Urdu: عنایت خان ‎) (July 5, 1882 – February 5, 1927) was the founder of The Sufi Order in the West in 1914 (London) and teacher of Universal Sufism. He initially came to the West as a Northern Indian classical musician, having received the honorific "Tansen" from the Nizam of Hyderabad, but he soon turned to the introduction and transmission of Sufi thought and practice. Later, in 1923, the Sufi Order of the London period was dissolved into a new organization, formed under Swiss law, called the "International Sufi Movement". His message of divine unity (Tawhid) focused on the themes of love, harmony and beauty. He taught that blind adherence to any book rendered religion void of spirit. Branches of Inayat Khan's movement can be found in the Netherlands, France, England, Germany, the United States, Canada, Russia and Australia.
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This link, http://www.towardtheone.com/prayers.htm, gives "The Prayers of Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan". I particularly liked, am very comfortable with and supportive of the UNIVERSAL PRAYER which reveres holy figures of various religions (It is the Midday prayer in the link, and copy-pasted below)

---- start Core of the Universal prayer of Hazrat Inayat Khan ---

Most gracious Lord, Master, Messiah, and Savior of humanity, we greet Thee with all humility. Thou art the First Cause and the Last Effect, the Divine Light and the Spirit of Guidance, Alpha and Omega. Thy Light is in all forms, Thy Love in all beings: in a loving mother, in a kind father, in an innocent child, in a helpful friend, in an inspiring teacher.

Allow us to recognize Thee in all Thy holy names and forms; as Rama, as Krishna, as Shiva, as Buddha. Let us know Thee as Abraham, as Solomon, as Zarathushtra, as Moses, as Jesus, as Mohammed, and in many other names and forms, known and unknown to the world.

We adore Thy past; Thy presence deeply enlighteneth our being, and we look for Thy blessing in the future. O Messenger, Christ, Nabi, the Rasul of God!

Thou Whose heart constantly reacheth upward, Thou comest on earth with a message, as a dove from above when Dharma decayeth, and speakest the Word that is put into Thy mouth, as the light filleth the crescent moon.

Let the star of the Divine Light shining in Thy heart be reflected in the hearts of Thy devotees.

May the Message of God reach far and wide, illuminating and making the whole humanity as one single Family in the Parenthood of God. Amen.

---- end Core of the Universal prayer of Hazrat Inayat Khan ---

Hazrat Inayat Khan has written, "There is only one thing in the world, and that is pure, unselfish love, which shows the sign of heaven, which shows the divine sign, which gives the proof of God." (Quoted in the book The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan: Sufi Mysticism by Hazrat Inayat Khan, https://books.google.co.in/books?id=CFXGnxaPmUcC).

Ravi: This fits in very well with my belief. It has also been my experience that staying for a significant amount of time in the presence of a master with such unselfish love (Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba), is transformative. One gets a taste of what divine unselfish love is, even if it is very hard to be like such masters as they are willing to be like burning candles which extinguish themselves (masters not bothering about the pain, suffering and eventual death of their own bodies) for the benefit of those who are around them.

"If there is anything divine in man, it is love. If God is to be found anywhere, it is in man's heart, which is love, and if the love element is awakened in the heart then God is made alive, so to speak, and is born in one's self.", quote of Shams-ud-Din Mohammed Hafiz (or Hafez) referred by Hazrat Inayat Khan, http://hazrat-inayat-khan.org/php/views.php?h1=34&h2=7.

'Someone asked a Sufi the reason for this creation, and he answered, "God, whose being is love itself, desired to experience the nature of His own being, and in order to experience it He had to manifest Himself."', quote of Shams-ud-Din Mohammed Hafiz referred by Hazrat Inayat Khan, http://hazrat-inayat-khan.org/php/views.php?h1=34&h2=7.

Ravi: The above two quotes of Shams-ud-Din Mohammed Hafiz fit in so well with the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Some info. about Khwaja Hafiz (Hafez) from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafez:
Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī (Persian: معروف به خواجه شمس‌‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی‎), known by his pen name Hāfez (حافظ; also Hāfiz; 1325/26–1389/90), was a Persian poet who "laud[ed] the joys of love and wine [but] also targeted religious hypocrisy". His collected works are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature and are to be found in the homes of most people in Iran, who learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings to this day. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-fourteenth century Persian writing more than any other author.
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