- Author Hidayat Inayat-Khan
Each day, the children were given a particular subject of concentration, such as for instance, Patience, Tolerance, Forgiveness, Kindness, Politeness, Nobility, Humility... And in the evenings, we came to our Father, telling him whether or not we had really truly concentrated on the chosen subject.
One day, the subject of concentration was «Courage». In the evening of that same day, a dinner party had been arranged on which occasion special guests had been invited; this being of course a big problem for my poor Mother, specially on some very hot days, during the Summer School in Sureness. In those days, running water from the tap came out almost as warm as the sun outside. Besides, there was no such thing as a refrigerator, and consequently cool drinks could just not possibly be served.
As soon as the twelve persons present had been seated at the very beautifully decorated dinner table, Murshid asked, «Who shall go now to fetch cool water in the cellar?» Of course, each one present looked at each other, hoping that the other one would do it, but nothing happened.
Then, remembering all of a sudden that «Courage» was the subject of concentration that day, I jumped up and ran downstairs, right down into the dark cellar, while screaming to the top of my voice in order to cover up my fright of the dark and the mice, the spiders and the bugs, and the imaginary phantoms. After a lot of searching, I finally found the magic tap, out of which cool water was flowing from under the ground; and when I came back upstairs with the jug of cool water in my trembling hand, my Father took it tenderly from me, and while blessing me, he said, «This shall be a most special blessing for you during your whole life, Bhayajan Guru, Mera Beta.» And my Father added, «I knew that you would be frightened to down into the dark cellar, but at the same time, that terrifying experience shall remain in your memory as the happiest remembrances in your life, because at that very moment, you have wanted to van-quish you fright, with the strength of your will-power, for the sake of an ideal, the ideal of Courage, which was the subject of concentration this day.»
Yes, indeed, my beloved Father was right. I could really not think on any happier moment in my life that the great joy which I experienced in having had the privilege of being able to have done just only that much for him.