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UNIVERSAL WORSHIP 6/20/04
EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS
Pir Vilayat's Passing
One man believes he is the slayer, another believes he is the slain. Both are ignorant; there is neither slayer nor slain. You were never born; you will never die. You have never changed; you can never change. Unborn, eternal, immutable, immemorial, you do not die when the body dies. Realizing that which is indestructible, eternal, unborn, and unchanging, how can you slay or cause another to be slain?
As a man abandons his worn-out clothes and acquires new ones, so when the body is worn out a new one is acquired by the Self, who lives within.
The Self cannot be pierced with weapons or burned with fire; water cannot wet it, nor can the wind dry it. The Self cannot be pierced or burned, made wet or dry. It is everlasting and infinite, standing on the motionless foundation of eternity. The Self is unmanifested, beyond all thought, beyond all change. Knowing this, you should not grieve.
Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 2.19-25
O Ananda, the world called Sukhavati (the Pure Land), which is the world system of the Lord Amitabha, is rich and prosperous, comfortable, fertile, delightful, and crowded with many gods and men. And in this world, Ananda, there are no hells, no animals, no ghosts, no devils, and no inauspicious places of rebirth. And there do not appear in this world such gems as are known in the world Sukhavati.
And that world Sukhavati, Ananda, is fragrant with many sweet-smelling odors, rich in manifold flowers and fruits, adorned with jewel trees, and frequented by flocks of various birds with sweet voices, which have been produced by the miraculous power of the Tathagata. The jewel trees have various colors, many colors, many hundreds of thousands of colors. They are composed of varying combinations of the seven precious things: gold, silver, beryl, crystal, coral, red pearls, and emerald... Their roots, trunks, branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits are pleasant to touch, and fragrant. And when these trees, are moved by the wind, a sweet and delightful sound proceeds from them, which one never tires of hearing. Such jewel trees, and clusters of banana trees and rows of palm trees, all made of precious gems, grow everywhere in this Buddha-land. On all sides it is surrounded with golden nets, and all round covered with lotus flowers made of all the precious things. Some of the lotus flowers are half a mile in circumference, others up to ten miles. And from each jewel lotus issue thirty-six hundred thousand billions of rays of light. And at the end of each ray issue thirty-six hundred thousand billions of Buddhas, with golden-colored bodies, who bear the thirty-two marks of the great man, and who, in all the ten directions, go into the countless [lower] realms and there teach the Law.
And many kinds of rivers flow along in this Pure Land. There are great rivers there, one mile broad, and up to fifty miles broad and twelve miles deep. All these rivers flow along calmly; their water is fragrant with manifold agreeable odors, and in them are bunches of flowers to which various jewels adhere, and they resound with various sweet sounds. And the sound which issues from these great rivers is as pleasant as that of a musical instrument consisting of hundreds of thousands of billions of parts, and which, skillfully played, emits a heavenly music. It is deep, commanding, distinct, clear, pleasant to the ear, touching the heart, delightful, and one never tires of hearing it, as if it always said, "Impermanent, peaceful, calm, and not-self." Such is the sound that reaches the ears of those beings. And, Ananda, both banks of those great rivers are lined with variously scented jewel trees, and from them bunches of flowers, leaves, and branches of all kinds hang down. And if those beings wish to indulge in sports full of heavenly delights on those river-banks, then, after they have stepped into the water, the water in each case rises as high as they wish it to--up to the ankles, or to the knees, or to the hips, or to their sides, or to their ears. And heavenly delights arise. Again, if beings wish the water to be cold, for them it becomes cold; if they wish it to be hot, for them it becomes hot; if they wish it to be hot and cold, for them it becomes hot and cold, to suit their pleasure. And those rivers flow along, full of water scented with the best perfumes, covered with lilies, lotus, and all manner of beautiful flowers, resounding with the sounds of peacocks, sparrows, parrots, ducks, geese, herons, cranes, swans, and others, with small islands inhabited by flocks of birds, easy to ford, free from mud, and with golden sand on the bottom. And all the wishes those beings may think of, they will be fulfilled, as long as they are rightful.
Buddhism. Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra 15-18
Towards the wicked man and the righteous one
And him in whom right and wrong meet
Shall the Judge act in upright manner,
According to the laws of the present existence.
Zoroastrianism. Avesta, Yasna 33.
Then the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Genesis 2.7
The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Ecclesiastes 12.7
Just as the womb takes in and gives forth again, so the grave takes in and will give forth again.
Judaism. Talmud, Berakot 15b
They that are born are destined to die; and the dead to be brought to life again; and the living to be judged, to know, to make known, and to be made conscious that He is God, He the Maker, He the Creator, He the Discerner, He the Judge, He the Witness, He the Complainant; He it is that will in future judge, blessed be He, with whom there is no unrighteousness, nor forgetfulness, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes. Know also that everything is according to reckoning; and let not your imagination give you hope that the grave will be a place of refuge for you. For perforce you were formed, and perforce you were born, and perforce you live, and perforce you will die, and perforce you will in the future have to give account and reckoning before the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.
Judaism. Mishnah, Abot 4.29
Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.
Christianity. Bible, 2 Corinthians 4.16-5.10
Scriptures of Islam
And those Foremost [in faith] will be Foremost [in the hereafter].
These will be those nearest to God;
In Gardens of Bliss;
A number of people from those of old,
and a few from those of later times.
They will be on thrones encrusted, reclining on them, facing each other.
Round about them will serve youths of perpetual freshness,
with goblets, shining beakers, and cups filled out of clear-flowing fountains;
No after-ache will they receive therefrom, nor will they suffer intoxication;
And with fruits, any that they may select,
And the flesh of fowls, any that they may desire.
And there will be companions with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes,
Like unto pearls well-guarded:
A reward for the deeds of their past life.
No frivolity will they hear therein, nor any taint of ill,
Only the saying "Peace! Peace!"
Islam. Qur'an 56.10-27
We offer to the Omniscient God, our reverence, our homage, and our gratitude for the Light of the Divine Unity
Death takes away the weariness of life, and the soul begins life anew.
Death is a sleep from which the soul wakes in the hereafter.
Death is the crucifixion, after which follows the resurrection.
Death is the night after which the day begins.
It is death which dies, not life.
The life everlasting is hidden in the heart of death.
Mourn not over the death of the beloved, call not back the traveler who is on his/her journey towards his/her goal; for you know not what he/she seeks! You are on the earth, but now he/she is in heaven.
By weeping for the dead you will make sad the soul who cannot return to earth; by wishing to communicate with him/her, you do but distress him/her. He/she is happy in the place at which he/she has arrived; by wanting to go to him/her you do not help him/her; your life's purpose still keeps you on earth. No creature that has ever been born has belonged in reality to any other; every soul is the beloved of God. Does God not love as we human beings cannot? Death, therefore, does but unite a person with God. For to Who does the soul in truth belong? To God in the end is its return, sooner or later.
Verily, death is a veil behind which is hidden life which is beyond the comprehension of the people on earth. If you knew the freedom of that world, and how the sad hearts are unburdened of their load; if you knew how the sick are cured, how the wounded are healed, and what freedom the soul experiences as it goes further from this earthly life of limitations, you would no more mourn those who have passed, but pray for their happiness in their further journey and for the peace of their souls.
(Incense is taken around the coffin, going from left to right.)
Prayer for the Dead
O' Thou, the Cause and Effect of the whole Universe, the Source from whence we have come and the Goal towards which all are bound, receive this soul who is coming to Thee into Thy parental arms. May Thy forgiving glance heal his/her heart. Lift him/her from the denseness of the earth, surround him/her with the light of Thine own Spirit. Raise him/her up to Heaven, which is his/her true dwelling place. We pray Thee grant him/her the blessing of Thy most exalted Presence. May his/her life upon earth become as a dream to his/her waking soul, and let his/her thirsting eyes behold the glorious vision of Thy Sunshine. Amen.
(Standing before the coffin with back to middle of the altar)
Toward the One, ……
(The Cherag spreads his arms over the coffin)
Heal his/her spirit, Lord, from all the wounds that his/her heart has suffered through this life of limitation upon the earth. Purify his/her heart with Thy Divine Light and send upon his/her spirit Thy Mercy, Thy Compassion, and Thy Peace. Amen.
Let us pray Khatum O Thou, Who art the Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty... (facing the God candle)
Benediction (facing the congregation)
May the Blessing of God rest upon you; may God's Peace abide with you; may God's presence illuminate your hearts now and for evermore. Amen