This invocation by Hazrat Inayat Khan represents the truth behind this book, in extremely subtle and meaningful words.
The Unity of Religious Ideals may lead you straight on the path to your ideal, discover for you the religion, in whatever form it may appear, waken in yourself the longing for the Light and the Goal, and thus you may find the Self, as a Pearl hidden in the shell of your heart. In six parts the whole field of religions is covered from the point of view of the mystic, the philosophy of religion, the concept of God and the God-ideal spirit of guidance and the spiritual hierarchy: than various religious and messengers are discussed, followed by a presentation of some religious symbols and their explanation. Finally, the concept of the divine message is presented, followed by an exposition or the role of universal Sufism, and what contribution it can give to the development of the individual and of humanity at large.
All Religions are essentially once; since there is only one God and one truth it cannot be otherwise, This is one of the principal tenets of Sufism, and is one of the most important element of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s message.
The present volume is the first of a series including all the works intended for publication of Hazrat inayat Khan (Baroda 1882-New Delhi 1927), the great Sufi mystic who came to the Western would in 1910 and lectured and thought there until his passing away in 1927.
A new edition of this series, which was published for the International Headquarters of the Sufi Movement in the West in the 60, is now made available in the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. In this way Harzrat Inayat Khan’s inspired and universal vision of the Sufi Message returns to his own beloved country, where it originated and where interest in it is growing.
This book and order volumes of the series not been written down b]’y the author. They contain his lectures, discourses, discourses and other teachings as takes down in shorthand and other hand wring. When preparing for publication great care was taken, not only to avoid distortion of their intent and meaning, but also to leave intact, as far as poetical expressions which add so add so much to their spell, and without which a significant part of his message would be lost. Although speaking in a tongue foreign to him, he moulded it into a perfect vehicle for his thought, at times somewhat ungrammatical and unusual, but always clear and precise as his often difficult and abstruse subjects would allow.
It goes without saying that neither in the present nor in the previous edition anything has been Altered which would involve even the slightest deviation from the author intention and no attempt has been made to transform his highly personal and colorful language into idiomatically unimpeachable English Already so much is necessarily lost the spoken word to the printed page, that every effort has been made, as it should, to preserve the Master’s melodious phrasing Hs the subtle sense of humour which never left him.
Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teaching was nearly all given during the 1918 -1926. I t covers a great many subjects, several of which were grouped in series of lectures and taken up again some latter. Certain subject may cower nearly the same ground as others, stories and examples which should in most of his works are met again elsewhere; and much of what e taught one finds repeated in several places. This was international, as repetition belonged to Hazrat Inayat Kahn’s method of teacher; it is for the student to become aware of the subtle difference in each context, For these and other reasons it would be difficult to follow a rigid system in publishing Hazrat Khan’s works; a chronological grouping of his lectures would be very unsatisfactory, and a stringent classification according to subject hardly feasible.
The complete series contains fourteen volumes. The last volume is the Index. This edition is the first one to present an index on the Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Each volume is complete in itself and therefore may be read without any necessity to study following or previous ones. However one may get a spiritual and mental appetite to continue reading. One will find that a meditative way of reading will convey not only the word but also the spiritual power emanating from them tuning mind heart and soul to the pitch which is one own.
All Religion are essentially one. There is only one God, there is only one Truth.
These two statements form part of what really is a strong mantram or wazifa: there is one God, there is one Master, there is one Holy Book, there is one Religion, there is one Law, there Brotherhood, there is one Moral principle: Love; there is one Object of praise; Beauty, there is one, Truth, there is one Path (P. 267)
This book may be considered an elaboration of the religions of this ‘Song’. It is in the understanding and respecting of one another’s religions ideals and ideas, in trying to look for resemblance and only rather than for the difference and distinctions, in finding the common denominator of and the life-giving force behind the various religions and their scriptures that the remedy for many of the world sills is to be found.
Religion is one of the most important aspects of life yet it has been misused more often than not. In this new era of communication and knowledge with a rising consciousness that we need one another, and that above all we need the life-giving force, we may give religion its due, and take care it frees rather than oppresses, inspires, rather than depresses, lightens our burden rather than increases our moral load.
Part I presents the religious philosophy of Sufism and the role of religion in the of the individual and that of the community.
The concept of God is essential for religions. Even important is for the individual; unfortunately, very often w hen religion had become more formal than life; it can, however, also lead man to utter happiness, freedom and enlightenment. This is the theme of Part II, the God ideal.
Religion has come to mankind through human beings: masters, saints, prophets, and also through the Spirit. Hazrat Inayat throws new light on many aspects of this phenomenon in Part III.
Part IV discusses the various religious and messengers, showing their wide variety and essential unity, the papers in this section put forward the truth in the behind all forms, explaining their origins and meanings. No form, dogma is rejected, but rather put in a new (or very old, eternal) light by which its value is enhanced whilst at the same time appearance and wording are shown to be not so important. The same goes for Part V in which the symbology of religious is discussed on the basis of some selected examples.
Part VI is a beautiful culmination of the book in which first the essentials of the divine message and the being of the message are explained. Then the role of universal Sufism is discussed in some seven chapters, and what contributions it can give to the development of the individual and of humanity at large.
The book may be welcomed as a comprehensive survey of the religious aspects of Sufism; it may serve as a guide for those who, being interested in Sufism, wish to know more about the Sufi’s attitude towards his own or other religious.
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