GAYATRI: Inspirer of my mind.
TASAWWUF: The whole principle in spiritual development is the bestowal of Baraka or magnetism upon the pupil; or, the awakening of these in the pupil. It is the false teacher that demands obeisance, loyalty, devotion and surrender. The devotee offers these things naturally as in Saum. The teaching is: “There is no compulsion in Sufism.” The practice is often otherwise. The true teacher is the guru, so to speak, who is Father, Mentor, Mother, and Guide.
The teacher may inspire the devotee or pupil. If not, it is always possible for the pupil to concentrate on the teacher, or even to be assigned this concentration. This enhances attunement, and the attunement enhances accommodation for the Baraka.
GAYATRI: Consoler of my heart.
TASAWWUF: The false teacher demands, derives, or attracts energies and magnetism from the devotee. The true teacher does not demand but benefits from willing surrender. The devotee benefits even more from willing surrender.
Consultations with the teacher are most valuable when there can be heart attunement. The teacher always strives to soften his own being and sometimes is able to drop to an attunement level establishing rapport with devotees and pupils. The wise make a habit of this; the unwise make a habit of demanding a surrender, and in the end this is never beneficial. It can lead to abjectivity as well as to progress.
It is said in the teachings, “Heart speaks to heart and soul to soul.” Consolation is something that comes naturally from the true teacher. It is proper for others to seek consolation, and it is equally proper and also functional for the Pir to communicate such consolation.
GAYATRI: Healer of my spirit.
TASAWWUF: Even at the first stages in spiritual training, Nayaz is practiced but it does not always come rapidly that one receives complete healing and restoration through body, heart and soul. As the teachings say, “It is through the hand of man that God works out His intended purpose in nature.” And it is through the Pir that the consolation should come, indeed must come, from the more advanced to the less advanced or misfortuned.
GAYATRI: Thy presence lifteth me from earth to Heaven.
TASAWWUF: The true Pir has such an atmosphere that those who are attuned to him will feel this, immediately or later. Sometimes, if they do not feel this from the person himself, they may feel this from the atmosphere where he has been working, where he has been performing his devotions, or even where he has been doing his ordinary chores. For the vibrations, which he exudes are in accord with his personality and development. They should have a much higher and finer Baraka, and as this permeates the atmosphere those who breathe in such places should benefit therefrom.
Actually, his clothes, his possessions, and even those things he has handy may possess Baraka and others can benefit therefrom. For that reason also, it becomes customary for a spiritual teacher to bless tasbihs, to bless books, to bless houses, to bless properties of all kinds which are used by disciples and devotes in their personal and social functions.
By “Heaven” here we mean the universe, or parts of it, which bring greater joy and elation in whatever man does, covering every aspect of life. This presence is developed either by devotion or initiation. If a person does not feel the presence of another, it is not his fault. Self-debasement is a misfortune. The true Pir always and ever arouses the finer side of other persons, excepting where he feels it appropriate, as the teachings say to keep such persons, “as if asleep.”
GAYATRI: Thy words flow as the sacred river.
TASAWWUF: It is not necessary for a Pir to give long lectures. It is not the length that matters but the value of every thought, of every statement, even of every word, that may help to awaken the undeveloped consciousness of others, to bring them a grander vista, and to help them fulfill the Purpose of Life. It is therefore that a mantram given by a teacher has an infinitely greater value than a self-appropriated mantram. The mantram given by the teacher contains the Baraka; it contains the Baraka as nothing else can.
This is also explained in the Sufi teachings on esotericism.
GAYATRI: Thy thought riseth as a divine spring.
TASAWWUF: There is a sort of middle path between the use of thought offered in many schools and the suppression of thought as in certain forms of Zen Buddhism. The mere suppression of thought can lead to idiocy as well as to enlightenment. But the use of too many thoughts, while enhancing mental magnetism, retains the magnetism at those levels and does not benefit the devotee at higher levels. Therefore, the use of few thoughts and few words combined with a maximum of Baraka often is most beneficial.
There is thus here a possible middle way for the harmonization or even union of all parts of the personality within the same time matrix. That is why it has been said that one can be completely spiritual in washing dishes, or in tying string, in sewing, in artistic creation, in devotion, and in all aspects of life. So also, in the esoteric studies on Nimaz one learns the value of praying simultaneously on all levels and with all parts of the personality. For man is not just a body, nor just a mind, nor just a heart, nor just a spirit, but is all of these. And in his fulfillment, the Baraka manifests in and through all of these. And even in and through all of these simultaneously.
GAYATRI: Thy tender feelings waken sympathy in my heart.
TASAWWUF: The Pir is never a person of weakness. He has the refined strength. It is by the refinement that the heart touches the heart of another. The stronger heart will then bring attunement to other hearts. By this attunement the same qualities are aroused. It is this which we call sympathy. By the sympathy the Pir opens the heart of another; by the same sympathy the devotee absorbs the Baraka of the Pir, although in another sense it is arousing the similar Baraka which is within his own being. For all of us are essentially divine. It often takes a revolution, a spiritual rebirth to make us conscious of it.
GAYATRI: Beloved Teacher, thy very being is forgiveness.
TASAWWUF: Not only is judging outside the function of the Pir, but even analysis. Jesus has said: “Neither do I condemn thee.” The Sun naturally gives warmth; the heart gives or awakens loving warmth. Forgiveness is the purging from the mind of all senses of dualism and self-action. Forgiveness is automatic when we become free from the sense of self-action (nufs). The true Pir seeks to make everybody feel at ease in his presence without hypocrisy. Still, many spiritual teachers see the need of purgation. So we find in the true Zen master often use of hard means but with the hard means, they must arouse and also offer loving kindness and compassion.
It is cruel to use hard means which do not bring about a sense of rebirth and freedom. But it is unwise to use soft means which do not bring about rebirth and freedom. Therefore tenderness really means strength, enough strength to arouse the inner spirit of the devotee.
Strength is increased in the inner person by holding it back in all cases excepting where it is constructively used, as in chopping wood, carrying loads, etc. Then the divine Rahmat becomes Rahim, which is mercy and tenderness. This will affect the magnetism of the hands making them vehicles of tenderness, healing and Baraka. This can be done with the hands alone or in conjunction with any other part or the whole of the rest of the personality. With little children, in particular, this can be most effective.
Although tauba is considered the door to spirituality, it does not mean repentance alone. It means turning away from selfhood to allness or divinity. Too much contrition can also become a hindrance. Jesus has said, “Go and sin no more.” The very idea of sin should be uprooted from the personality; the very idea of personality should be uprooted from the personality.”
GAYATRI: The clouds of doubts and fear are scattered by thy piercing glance.
TASAWWUF: The Pir uses glance, atmosphere and voice. Each and all of these should be used for comforting. But the glance in tawajjeh is one of the most effective tools in the possession of a Pir. It may become a channel of radiance and divine light. It may be used until the devotee feels comfortable, is comfortable. This is the goal for consultations.
GAYATRI: All ignorance vanishes in thy illuminating presence.
TASAWWUF: One of the purposes of initiation in Sufism is to enable devotees to obtain true knowledge of both their inner and outer personalities, and along with that help to promote knowledge of the inner and outer worlds. The Pir is able to perceive any sort of hindrance. It is much easier to remove the hindrance by meditation, or glance by verbal consultation. For success in verbal consultation one must become master of the knowledge contained in the manuscript called “The Power of the Word.”
GAYATRI: A new hope is born in my heart by breathing thy peaceful atmosphere.
TASAWWUF: The Pir should be able to perceive this by the awakening of radiance in the eyes and skin of the devotee or mureed. There will be increase in sympathetic feeling and so in communication. This must be for the sake of the devotee or mureed. The Pir is an instrument of Baraka, not a collector or storer of Baraka.
GAYATRI: O inspiring Guide, through life’s puzzling ways, In thee I feel abundance of blessing.
TASAWWUF: The true Pir is an instrument of Baraka, not a collector of Baraka. When he becomes the instrument, the resistance, so to speak, diminishes, and then the divine current increases. When the divine current increases, it becomes more easily communicated. This is generally non-verbal. All lovers perceive it. This perception of lovers is actually a first step toward the universal perception, the universal communication, and the universal communion in Baraka, the divine blessings.
(This subject is presented in The Sufi Message also in the Lessons in Psychology.)