Discourse 9 (04.08.1997)
This world is a tree and Man is its fruit
Hazrat Gaibi relates this world to a tree. People plant fruit trees in their gardens and expect fruit. They wish to obtain apple, apricot, morello cherry, pear,etc. Trees are instruments to produce fruit. As the world is like a tree and as trees have fruits so what is the fruit of the world tree? When it is asked, Hazrat Gaibi says the fruit of the world tree is Man by saying ‘This world is a tree and Man is its fruit’.
Now let’s examine the hidden treasure (= kuntu kanzan) of fruit. Fruit consists of seed. Let’s open the fruit and see what is inside it.
The seed of this Man fruit is word
If Man is the fruit of the world tree, the seed of the fruit, which is called Man, is speech.
There was a blind prophet but not a deaf or a dumb one. Prophet Shu’aib(a.s.) is said to be blind. Why weren’t there any deaf or dumb prophets? Because the knowledge of shariat, tariqat and truth is transmitted through words. Without speech enlightenment never happens. For this reason there weren’t any deaf or dumb prophets. What is more Prophets spoke the language of the people they were sent to.
‘How can someone, who is unaware of the language of the people he sent to, be a prophet? If he doesn’t speak the same language how can he guide? Because knowledge is transmitted through words. Truth is expressed through speech.
Without speech, world and Man are ruined at once
If there isn’t seed, there isn’t fruit. If there isn’t speech, there isn’t enlightenment.
What is known God is your essence, God is the word in your essence
Everybody talks about God. However God is our essence. He enters more deeply and says, ‘God is the speech in your essence’. Hazrat Gaibi derives an essence from another essence and that is word.
Who knows his essence wears the crown of lordship,Gaibi
Man is the manifestation of God’s name , ‘Rabb’( =Master). Rabb means lord, instructor, teacher, master. Mothers, fathers, teachers, hodjas, murshids are all instructors. Nature teaches us as well. God Himself teaches us. God is Rabbul 'Allamin(=The Lord of All the Worlds). God reveals his attribute of being an instructor through Man.
The aim of the life is to know ourselves. Is it possible for a man or a woman to see his or her face, eyelashes, eyebrows or eyes without looking in the mirror on the wall? No it isn’t. If he wants to see himself, he must look into the mirror. Why can’t he see? Because eyes see opposite. There isn’t a man who can see himself through his own eyes without looking into the mirror.
So Man sees himself in the mirror. God does the same. In Mawlud-u Sharif Sulayman Chalabi says,
Your essence is the mirror of my essence
God says, ‘O my beloved.You are my mirror.When I look at you, I see myself in you.’
One needs a mirror to see himself but mirrors only show physical appearance. Whereas Man is not only made up of physical body. There is also soul essence, soul potential or divine power in man’s heart which makes this physical body move. One also needs a mirror to see the secret of the soul. This mirror is a Sufi Master. However you mustn’t love every Sufi Master because if he isn’t perfect, he may mislead you . There is a Sufi saying which says, ‘Unskilled hodja causes you to be a misbeliever, unskilled doctor causes you to die’. So one should find a perfect Sufi Master.
The way is clear for those whose master is perfect
The way of those who have a perfect master is clear and peaceful. Thus the most difficult thing in this world is to find a perfect master. Everything has an imitation in this world. There are false masters as well. He may look pretty smart. You may admire his appearance or his clothes. However he isn’t a real Sufi Master . That is he isn’t a Perfect Master.
Suppose there are two glasses of water in front of you. They look similar. You drink a mouthful of one of them. It is bitter. You drink a mouthful of the other but it is fresh . Are the bitter and the fresh water the same? Therefore, the Sufi Master should be perfect. If you ask how you can find a Perfect Murshid, the answer is,
‘ It is based on inborn talent. In the Sufi tradition, it is said, ‘ Be a disciple like Mawlana. Then it is easy to find a murshid like Shams-i Tabriz.’ It manifests according to someone’s talent. Surely, those who have high talent find a perfect murshid. God lets them find one. Enlightenment has two aspects ; zahiri ( = outer aspect ) and batini ( = inner aspect ). There are Sufi Masters who are termed sifat (=attribute) . They only tell the outer aspect. However there are others who are termed zat (=essence) . They tell the inner of outer even the inner of inner. If he is capable to understand the inner knowledge of Sufism, God lets him meet a zat murshid. If he is capable to understand the outer, God lets him meet a sifat murshid. There are many people in the guidance of sifat murshids as well. However zahiri (=outer aspect ) and batini ( = inner aspect ) are not the same.’
‘Are the nutshell and shelled nut the same?’
The great masters of Sufi Path have given walnut as an example. You can witness the four stages in walnut.
1- Shariat ( =Religious Law )
2- Tariqat ( =The way to God )
3- Marifat (= Wisdom )
4- Haqiqat (= Truth )
The green outer shell is Shariat. The hard shell of the walnut is Tariqat. Walnut peel is marifat. The nut meat is the stage of haqiqat (truth).
‘A real Sufi Master tells the stage of haqiqat (truth).’
The most important thing is one’s union with his own real self. This is called Tawhid (=Oneness). Tawhid is unification or making into one. One of them is the physical body the other is the soul. They are within each other. Soul is in the body but it is a stranger for the body. Some lines from songs express this truth as well. For example; ‘There is someone inside me who strolls. He is a stranger but he is closer to me than me.’
How true is it! Spirit is within body. However there are seventy thousand veils between them. Tawhid (=Oneness) removes all these veils. In Mawlud Sharif Sulayman Chalabi says,
Seventy thousand veils were removed
The light of tawhid lifted the veil over his face
The veils between body and spirit were removed through the light of Tawhid, the mercy of God, the intercession of the prophets and the favour of Pirs. There are no more veils. They united. Body becomes spirit and spirit becomes body.
‘He has made the two seas to flow freely (so that) they meet together:
Between them is a barrier which they cannot pass.’( The Beneficent, Verse 19-20 )
In this verse two seas ( the salty water and the sweet water) are mentioned. Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress. Some say; ‘It is the Strait of Gibraltar’. There are many similar assumptions. Everybody’s comments are partly correct. However Saints interpret this verse as follows,
One of these two seas is the body and the other is the spirit. The veil between them is the physical appearance. The veil that hides God is His own being. Hazrat Gaibi says, ‘The body of Man is the cloth of God.’
‘ Everything is in dress. The veil is the dress.’
Man sees his physical body and says ‘ I ’ to it. But we didn’t buy it from somewhere. The baby leaves the womb in its own body cloth. He obtains it from the womb in nine months and ten days. Embryo attaches to the wall of womb and is fed through veins. The baby is born in a body cloth which weighs around 3 kilos. Then it is fed with mother’s milk. After the baby’s teeth have appeared, he starts to eat solid foods. Then he is all grown up.
We have no effect on the formation of our physical bodies. We didn’t buy them from a shop likewise we buy our clothes. We were born like this.
Physical body is the veil. In fact, it is not a veil, it is only an image.
Man has the power to imagine. This power creates image. Man has memory, taste centre and intellect as well as imagination. He keeps things in mind through memory, he interprets taste signals through taste centre and he perceives through intellect and imagines through imagination.
We imagine that the physical body belongs to us and we call it ‘ I ’. Yunus says, ‘No. It is not as you imagine.’
Don’t ask I to me , I am not I
There is an I deeper in me than I
‘ I ’ inside is called ‘spirit’ . ‘ I ’ outside is called ‘ body ’ . The joining of these two is called Wahdat ( =Unity ). Sufi interpretation of Islam’s being a religion of Tawhid (=Oneness) is this.
There is a vehicle which removes veils between body and heart, which combines and neutralizes them. This vehicle is love, affection. When love comes, it sweeps away everything. In his Nutku Sharif Hazrat Gaibi says,
Pain of love destroyed the Self
The pain of love unites the physical body which we say ‘ I ’ to the inner self . For this reason, Sufism traces its roots back to Prophet Adam. It is also prevalent in the East, the West, the South and the North.
‘Light is unique. Light is the light of Muhammadiyya. It is the light of God’s essence. You may go back to 3000 years or 10.000 years before or you may go to the following days or the future but the truth never changes. It is always the same.
What is unknown to Man is his Self. Man questions himself no matter which century he lives in. For this reason the one who is initiated into a Sufi Order should ask a question to himself. Sufi Masters say, ‘My son, ask yourself who you are, what you are. ’
Buddhism is a form of mysticism. However mysticism is more developed in Islam. Likewise Shariat, tasawwuf also attained its ultimate fulfilment in Hazrat Muhammad(pbuh). Mysticism in past religions was undeveloped. It was not as perfect as Islamic Sufism. However the vehicle was also love in them. There are six principles of faith (=Amantu) in Islam. Amantu of Shariat ( = principles of Islamic faith) is :
‘I believe in Allah, in his angels, in his books, in his messengers, in the Last Day, and in the fact that everything, good or bad is decided by Allah, the almighty, and in life after death. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah; Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’
Likewise the Amentu of Shariat’s being six , the Amentu of Tariqat is also six. There are two threes. The first three are, What was I ? , What am I ? , What will I be ? . The second three are , Where was I ? , Where am I ? , Where will I be ?.
The disciple who gives answers to these six questions becomes perfect. One can not become perfect by writing books or reading it in books. You must experience it. Can you behave according to what is written in books without experiencing them ? Then close all medical schools. Variety of medical topics are written in medical books. You can read them and write prescriptions. As nothing like this ever happens, experience is vital in Sufism. Knowledge should be received through heart, not through books. If heart is purified from jealousy, arrogance, pride, revenge, passion, hatred, etc., you can experience the knowledge within the heart.
Jealousy, arrogance, pride, revenge, passion, hatred, etc. are termed animal temperaments or bad moral qualities. Dhikr, tears and love of God purify heart from these animal temperaments. These are the results of ignorance. How did we get them? We started to get them in the mother’s womb. While we were growing up, they developed. We should get rid of these dispositions. Arrogance should be replaced by admiration, anger by gentleness, greediness by generosity, pride and greatness by modesty. In that case one becomes a Perfect Man. This is what exactly is meant by ‘ Die before you die.’ Otherwise who enters grave alive.
Animal temperaments are the result of ignorance. Ignorance consists of darkness, cruelty, revenge, hatred and passion. Ignorance is being unaware of God. Are all these professors and teachers ignorant? We show respect to their professions but if they didn’t purify their hearts from these animal temperaments, their professions can’t help them to become a Perfect Man. Was Hazrat Mawlana uneducated that he needed a master? All the people in Konya were showing great respect to him. Most of the students in his Madrasah were the members of dynasty. If Hazrat Mawlana didn’t meet Hazrat Shams-i Tabrizi, could he be in the first place in the world literature more than seven centuries.
‘Hand in hand. Then hand reaches God.’
One should care this saying if he wants to go forward on the Sufi Path,
Rub your face at the threshold of Saints
Prostrate yourself at the door of Saints. As Yunus says,
In praise of Tapduk, I became a slave at his door
Mystic Yunus was immature, thanks God I became mature now