GAYATRI: A torch in the darkness.
TASAWWUF: There has been a great deal of unnecessary controversy over this word and no attention to the functions connoted by it. Etymologically the Nabi is the soul so intoxicated by God that he performs the divine functions and divine will both consciously and unconsciously but he does not identify himself with Godhead; he identifies himself with the “Word of God” and so in the Hebrew Bible we find the words “Thus saith the Lord” which means that the Spirit of Guidance is using him as an instrument.
In other words he is Bodhisattva. Buddhism, especially Mahayana Buddhism has the advantage that it leaves scope for the enlightened and the enlightening man.
When one is enlightening, that is when he acts as a torch for others, he may said to be Nabi. One is never a Nabi because of claims. One may not even know his place. It is in the functioning in being a light to and for others. So we find that the self-proclaimers often predict falsely, while the servants of the Spirit of Guidance never predict falsely. They may not predict at all. Their work is to reach the hearts of people, to remove pain and sorrow, and produce ease in heart.
GAYATRI: A staff during my weakness.
TASAWWUF: The Bodhisattva does not lean on others. He permits others to lean on him. It is natural. He is like a great tree.
GAYATRI: A rock in the weariness of life.
TASAWWUF: The symbol here is that one can sit on such a stone when one is tired. One can sit and find comfort. Comforting is his function.
GAYATRI: Thou, my Master, makest earth a Paradise.
TASAWWUF: The Nabi is one who works to change conditions, to remove forces and factors which cause discomfort, pain, and ignorance. He is not concerned with institutions. He is even less concerned with persons. He is afraid of no one. Many of the great changes that have come about in the history of the world and the evolutions of society have resulted through the conscious functioning of such men.
GAYATRI: Thy thought giveth me unearthly joy.
TASAWWUF: Very often the mere thought of one’s ideal is enough to remove uneasiness. When the heart and mind are concentrated on such a person, sorrows disappear. One can here also distinguish between the true and the false.
The false Nabi, who may also be called a dajjal, blames the devotee or disciple when a practice is ineffective. He thus produces an inferiority complex.
Those who repeat mantrams in the name of Nabi or Bodhisattva often benefit. But those who practice the tasawwuris are sure to benefit. For it is then that they are letting go their ego. The repetition of mantrams while one is self-conscious is limiting. When the love in the heart is great enough, the limitations disappear. The tasawwuri practice enables the devotee to be so attuned to holiness that he is thereby greatly benefitted.
GAYATRI: Thy light illuminateth my life’s path.
TASAWWUF: Although in Salat the names of the divine messengers are offered, the inference is that the devotion or attunement to the Nabi is also most beneficial. No doubt many religions have substituted saints. This practice does not always distinguish between the grades of attainment. The attunement to the really great saints will pragmatically bring benefit.
So also in Sufic esotericism, one is first given exercises. But also, it may appear in dream or vision that holy men will manifest producing light and guidance. And again by deliberate attunement and also by invocation the same achievements may result.