Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Twelve Years with the Sheikh

My love you, my grandchildren, my sons and daughters, my brothers and sisters. Bismillahir-Rahmaanis-Rahiim. All praise and glory belong only to Allah.

We need His protection in the world of the souls, in this world, and in the hereafter. We need His help every second of our lives. We must search for Him with every breath and never let go of Him. He is always ready to help. If you look for Him, He will look for you. If you think of Him, He will think of you. If you intend Him, He will intend you. If you call Him, He will come. He is expecting you to call upon Him, and He is ready at all times.

My love you, my grandchildren. Please think about this. I am telling the truth. No one but God can help us. No other god has that power, for that grace and that point are in His hands alone. If you search for God’s qualities, His wisdom, and His truth, you will understand what I have said. If you trust in Him without a single doubt or suspicion, your intentions will be fulfilled, and you will attain freedom both in this life and in the kingdom of the soul. To do this, you need to find a true human being, a man who has God’s qualities, a man of wisdom.

Once you find such a man, you must carefully observe his qualities and his wisdom. You have to see that ideal beauty. If you can exist in such a state, if you can acquire qualities and wisdom like his, then you will be able to understand everything. But you must not harbor a single doubt or suspicion, you must have absolute certitude. That will bring you peace, tranquility, and serenity in your lfe and in all three worlds. This man of wisdom will be a map for your life. All you need to do is follow the map with understanding. He has not come here to show you any miracles or rub his hands together and magically produce something for you. He will not teach you to recite mantras or do tricks. Does the truth of God’s grace need magic or miracles? No, truth performs no miracles. Does the wisdom of truth need makeup? No, good qualities, truth, and wisdom need no embellishment. If you are beautiful, you don’t need any artificial decoration. Your light and your beauty will be seen in you, as a free, open and natural beauty. You will know it and others will see it and enjoy it.

What is natural never changes, but when you cover it with makeup, its beauty is diminished. Don’t hide that original beauty. If you can return to your original state of good qualities and wisdom, that state itself will become the map which will show you the way from this world to God. At that point, everything will occur automatically, and as each thing happens, you will understand it. Children, only a true human being can show you how to achieve that state. You have to follow him, step by step. Watch what he does, and then do it. Look at the way he acts, and then act in the same way. He will show you each step and tell you what it means. He will teach you about your birth and about those who have been born with you. He will explain all of creation to you, and you, in turn, must look at each creation as he speaks of it. Listen and reflect with your experience and understanding. See what path he takes, and then follow him. To walk with him in this way is the learning. After a while your understanding will be the map and you can go forward, knowing your path. 

Children, until you can proceed on your own, you must be with your sheikh. Hold on the truth he teaches you with your faith and with your innermost heart. Focus on his words and his actions. Watch very carefully. Do not drift away for even a second, or you will miss the point. He will have left that place, talked about something else, and gone on. If you look to one side or the other, or fall even one step behind, it will not be good. Focus only upon him. Follow exactly in his footsteps, and then he will take you on the path he travels. He can take you from the very creation of your soul to your merging with the resplendent state of your Father. Until you reach that state, you have to travel with him.

My love you, my children. Books cannot take you where you want to go. It is quick and easy to study and memorize the scriptures, the Bible, the Qur’an, and the Puranas, but it is long and difficult to learn about the soul, the freedom of life, and the secret of the kingdom of God. It’s true that there is a time for you to wander around with books. And at that time they will have a meaning for you. But once you come on this path, you cannot gain anymore from books. What you really have to understand now is your life, who you are, and who your Father is, what the soul is, and what wisdom is. You must understand the actions, the goodness, and the qualities of God, your Father. You can learn all these by following an insan, a man of wisdom. That will give you the understanding you need.

People say that to learn this properly you must surrender to the sheikh and stay with him for twelve years. But they say these things without understanding. What do does twelve years really mean? And what does surrender mean? What do you have to surrender to? You have seen how a flashlight works. The bulb is connected to a battery by a small piece of metal, and when you push the switch, the current flows to the bulb and the light goes on. Each thing has to touch the next connection in exactly the right way, or it will not work. The same process holds true for your body. Your food has to taste good, be the proper temperature, be suitable for your blood, and provide you with the necessary vitamins, or you will be ill. Even the water you drink must agree with you. Your body has certain needs, doesn’t it? Everything has to be just right for it to function well. In the same way, my grandchildren, your thoughts, your intentions, and your gaze have to be just right to connect with those of the sheikh. They have to follow him just as the shadow of a man follows him wherever he walks. Where does this shadow come from? It comes from the man doesn’t it? Everything has a shadow, even a tree. You have to be connected to the sheikh like a shadow, following his innermost heart and turning wherever he turns. This is the way it is at first.

You must remember that during this time the sheikh will be the one who is doing everything, and you will be merely his shadow. You will be separate from him, yet following him. And just as shadow come closer and closer as the sun rises higher and higher, your qualities, your body, your soul, and your possessions must draw closer and closer to the sheikh. Finally they will be hidden within him. At noon, when the sun reaches its zenith, no shadow can be seen. The shadow has merged with the man. Like this, when you are fully mature you can disappear into the sheikh. You will walk as one and go on the journey as one. Until then, you have to follow him and cling to him, drawing closer and closer. This is what surrendering to the sheikh means. Once you attain a mature state, you will merge with him and will no longer be in the world. You must think about this. My love you, my grandchildren, my sons and my daughters. Until you fully understand, you will become tired and depressed when you see sorrow and suffering. Religion, race, color, and the languages of the world will keep you separate from your sheikh. These things might even cause you to look back and turn away.

My grandchildren, the world that we see on the outside does not belong to us. We have only the worlds inside, the worlds of heaven and hell. We have the happiness and sadness of heaven as well as the happiness and sadness of hell. We have the vast worlds of ignorance and lack of wisdom within us. There are eighteen thousand universes within us. Do you know what it means to be with the sheikh for twelve years? It means that we have to stay with the sheikh until we understand the twelve worlds within us. What are these twelve worlds? In the lower part of your body there are two worlds, two openings: the place from which you were born and the place of fecal arrogance. Then there are seven worlds in your head: the mouth which is the opening of hunger and hellfire from which you drank and shouted and howled, the two nostrils that carry the two breaths in and out, the eyes that you see with, and the ears that you hear with. The tenth opening, the navel, was cut and sealed at birth. The navel is the opening through which the jealousy and pride and vanity of satan entered. The other nine openings are called the nine planets, which keep whirling us about and tormenting us. These nine worlds are also represented in the zodiac by the forms of crabs, scorpions, and other animals. We must use our iman to cut away these animal qualities. We need to understand all ten openings. We must learn about the cause of fecal arrogance and the source of our birth, as well as the source of our speech and hunger and taste, of our breath, and of our vision and hearing. To understand those ten openings, or worlds, and to overcome and control them, you need ten years. In the tenth year you must learn who you are. You must understand yourself and close that self off, just as the navel is closed. Then, in the eleventh year, you look at the world with the eye in the center of the forehead, the kursi. As you are looking at others, trying to help them and to satisfy their needs, the kursi is opened. In the twelfth year, after you have understood yourself and controlled the worlds within you, and after you have understood everything in the world, you then give yourself up to God. You merge with your Father and both of you live together in the ‘arsh.

You do need a sheikh, and you need to be with him for twelve years to understand these twelve worlds. Whether you are far away or in his presence you must keep him in front of you, within you, behind you – everywhere. You must look at each of these worlds, one by one. Do not turn to mantras, saying, “Om, ahm, eem” hoping those sounds will produce miracles. They will not help you. Instead, try to know and understand what must be thrown away and then throw it away. If you can do that, it will be enough of a miracle. This is why you have to find a true human being, an insan. You have to follow his qualities and his wisdom like a shadow in order to overcome these twelve worlds and merge with God. Only if you proceed in this state can you reach the kingdom of your Father. Otherwise, you will experience nothing but the world. You will live in the world, die in the world, and be reborn in the world. You will have nothing else. Your pleasure and sorrow, your laughter and tears, your happiness and sadness will come from the world. All that you praise or blame and all the miracles that you perform will be of the world. Even the path you take to hell will be the path of the world. Hell is all you will find on the path.

My grandchildren, search for a man who has the qualities of God and follow him. What you need to learn is very difficult, and therefore you need a true man of wisdom. It is easy to read religious scriptures. Many people have done that. Once you have memorized them you are finished, but you can never finish studying God and His qualities and the truth. The more you progress, the deeper it will be, until finally you merge with your Father. But even when you attain that state, there is still more to be learned. You have to stay within God and learn for so many ages.

My love you, my grandchildren. As long as you are not in this realized state, you will have difficulty understanding what you need to know. This is why you must stay with the sheikh for twelve years. You must understand. You have to become like him and learn with him, so that one day you can reach the kingdom of your Father. Don’t talk about your horoscope. Don’t turn to the zodiac for your understanding. Avoid those things. My love you, my grandchildren. Understand yourselves and correct yourselves. This is the point. This is what you have to know in your life. You have to understand the real qualities of God. They are your map. As you grow in your understanding, the truth and wisdom that come to you will bring you so much beauty. And the resplendent light within you will become brighter and brighter.

My grandchildren, the right path is truth, the wisdom of truth. This is not something that we can just talk about, we must bring it into our actions. Talking about something is one thing, but doing it is another. You have to act upon the truth. Nothing will happen just from talking, whether the words come from you or from a man of wisdom. In the same way that the ink from your pen sticks to a piece of paper, your actions must stick to your words. It is easy to talk about wisdom, but you have to hold on and stick to it. Learn only that which can never be erased. Do not bother to learn anything that can be erased. That kind of learning is like writing on water. You write, but a second later,it disappears, and there is no way of knowing what was written. You will never be able to benefit from that kind of learning, and neither will anyone else. Think about this. What you learn must be firmly established and printed in a way that will stick. Only if you stay with the sheikh will you be able to do this. Allah is sufficient unto all of us. Mey He give us the wisdom of truth. May He makes us go on the straight path and take us to that point. Amin. May Allah protect us and keep us from making mistakes. May He give us His grace. Amin. Amin.

(Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. "Come to the Secret Garden". The Fellowship Press. 1985.)

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