- Author Hidayat Inayat-Khan
The power of an impression made upon the mind can be so great that it conditions one's thoughts at all levels of sensorial perceptions. In this way, the vibrations of an idealized image of worship are reproduced upon one's own mind-frame inasmuch as one's thoughts are directed toward the object of concentration.
The object of concentration inspires inasmuch as the heart is open to its message. Still, however great that message might be, it will have no impact on the heart of a person whose feeling for devotion has not been awakened. The effect of a feeling heart can certainly be observed in the lives of great individuals whose deeds and creative accomplishments have been profoundly inspired through the admiration and devotion that they themselves have had for the precious examples, the various impressions of which were at the origin of all motivation.
Similarly, a thought concentrated on a Master (known in Sufism as the murshid) and held in sympathy in the depth of the heart certainly has a great effect upon the inner awakening of the student (or mureed). The impressions received of the Master's spiritual characteristics become so intensely modelled within the mureed's own consciousness that even one's own personality reflects the atmosphere of the Ideal of one's devotion.
From a mystical point of view, the deeper the concentration, the deeper the power of the mind. But when the mind is attuned to the Divine Power, that power reveals itself as being, in fact, the very same power which the seeker of Truth, initially considered to be one's own power of thought. This explains why devotion is at the same time the cry of the heart of the devotee, while also being the object of the devotion itself, coming to life through the devotee's devotion.
In this world, most relationships have certain limitations, but the spiritual bond between a spiritual Teacher and the Mureed is a unique example of a perfect friendship because it is inspired by an Ideal in search of perfection. In this connection, the only suitable offering of recognition expected from the Mureed is whole-hearted trust and confidence; whereas the Teacher's offerings are the Blessings. The pure devotion of the Mureed is as valuable as a most precious jewel. This devotion is comparable to the relation between a parent and a child. But the role of the Teacher is beyond this, for the Teacher is not only the guiding wisdom, but is also a source of contact between the seeker after Truth and the Light of the goal ahead.
The Teacher is also the one who brings into the daylight the good sides of the Mureed's nature, while carefully avoiding any remarks regarding any weakness, yet pointing out ways and means for the nourishment of the fragile plant. In so doing, the Teacher's guidance awakens growing devotion in the heart of the Mureed, which is comparable to watering a blossoming plant with vitalized water.
At a later stage, the Mureed may, of course, feel the need of expressing feelings of gratitude, using words of praise and admiration. Here, there is always a risk for the Teacher of being overtaken by the shadow of pride which veils the inner sight, thus falling into a trap unwittingly placed, though out of the purest devotion, by the Mureed.
Nevertheless, on the spiritual path there is such a thing as a common denominator which secures a harmonious understanding at all levels of relationship between Teacher and Mureed. If the tone of the Mureed descends in pitch, the Teacher feels obliged to reach down to the level of the Mureed. In doing so, the Teacher displays a true example of spiritual democracy. However, when the Teacher is in a position to raise the tone of the Mureed to a higher pitch, that Teacher then performs truest aristocratic responsibilities.
For the constant exchange of democratic and aristocratic experiences of spiritual attunement, constant efforts are expected on both sides to preserve an uplifting relationship between teacher and Mureed, wherein such concepts as study, friendship, humility, mysticism and spiritual ecstasy are all harmonized in perfect balance, inspired by the blessings of Divine Guidance.
Divine Guidance is also heard as a reminder within the conscience, revealing thereby the true nature of all actions. The energy of the conscience radiates either peace or unrest at the accomplishment of an action, and in so doing, designates it as being constructive or destructive. Furthermore, instinct, which is an unconscious impulse, also provides practical guidance, whereas intuition illuminates the path like a searchlight. However, the luminosity of that bright light is only perceptible inasmuch as one is prepared to recognize the image of spiritual guidance projected upon the screen of one's conscience.