Sunday, May 3, 2015

Gems from Umar Suhrawardi's Awari-ful Marif - II

Photo credits: Rupa Abdi

Minimum eating : In reducing the clayey parts (tamas?) - the source of pollution, of darkness, of coarseness - scantiness of food is wholly effective.

Minimum talking: He should ever guard his tongue from talking with people, save of silence, not attainable is the path of safety.

The negation of thoughts: By zikr and by occupation of the heart in contemplation of the divine aspect, he should repel the crowd of thoughts.

Whenever the nafs (ego+mind?)sees the heart inclined to itself and finds its ears void of other sayings, immediately with the heart it cometh into speech and to it by way of remembrance confirms past matters of things spoken, heard, seen, tasted and touched; or gives future news of hope, and keeps engaged the ears of the heart with hearing its own speech rather than hearing the speech of the soul and of God (mindfulness/present moment awareness?).

The perpetuality of deeds: Outwordly and inwardly he should keep himslef arrayed in the garb of devotion. Every moment in a work that is at that time most important and best, he should be engaged. 

According to intention is the reward of deeds. As intention is better than the deed, more full is its reward.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gems from Umar Suhrawardi's Awari-ful Marif - I

Photo credits: Razi Abdi

Nothing has pure absolute existence but spirit; the material substances are no more than gay pictures presented continually to our minds by the sempiternal artist. We must beware of attachments to such phantoms and attach ourselves exclusively to God, who truly exists in us as we solely exist in Him; that we retain, even in this forlorn state of separation from the Beloved, the idea of heavenly beauty and the remembrance of our primeval vows; that sweet music, gentle breezes, fragrant flowers, perpetually renew the primary idea, refresh our fading memory and melt us with tender affections...

Sufis profess eager desire but with no carnal affection; and circulate the cup but no material goblet. Since in their order, all things are spiritual - all is a mystery within a mystery.

Give thyself to a murshid (spiritual guide) who by his prayers will show thee in dreams the evil parts of thy character (does this refer to the human subconscious where our suppressed fears and desires dwell ?).

....the soul can wander (in dreams?) in the regions of imagination and unite with God.

The true course is to ignore self (ego ?); to be passive that God may work. Then will God's light and grace enter the heart and draw man to truth and unite him with the One. (something akin to remaining in present moment awareness...vipassana ?)

The wine of dying to self drink from thyself, thyself set free.....

At least one a year he should sit in khilvat, so that when for 40 days and night he would have accustomed his nafs:

Khilvat is like unto a smith forge, whereon by the fire of austerity, lust becomes fused, pure of natures, delicate and gleaming like a mirror and beyond thought appears form of the hidden. It involves:

  • minimum eating
  • minimum talking
  • shunning the society of man
  • perseverance in zikr
  • denying thoughts
  • constant contemplation
The above instructions are further elaborated upon in the following post (II).