Section IV: The Master, The Saint and the Prophet: The
Ways of the Wise. (page 35 of the Religious Dimensions of the Message)

"The principal work of the Prophet is to glorify the Name of God, and
to raise humanity from the denseness of the earth, to open the doors of
the human heart to the divine beauty which is everywhere manifested, and
to illuminate souls which are groping in darkness for years. The Prophet
brings the Message of the day, a reform for that particular period in
which he is born. A claim of a prophet is nothing to the real Prophet.
The being of the Prophet, the work of the Prophet, and the fulfillment
of his task, is itself the proof of prophethood." THE UNITY OF RELIGIOUS

After meditating upon the above quote, please relate how you envision
the Prophet promoting the following:

- glorifying the name of God
- raising humanity from denseness
- opening the doors of the heart to divine beauty
- illuminating souls in darkness
- implementing the Message of the day


so what are any one's thoughts on how things are going. I anticipated
more back and forth activity around these questions. Is everybody kind
of out of phase with this whole thing since it got started at a kind of
distracting time to say the least?

Do I need to post the supplementary materials or does everyone have the
manual at this point? I'm happy to post reading material if need be.
The Ways of Wise

It is not easy to learn, and after learning, to practice, how to
make life in the world with harmony and peace. The desire of every
person in the world is to possess all he wants, whether it belongs to
him or whether it belongs to anybody else. He wants all things to last,
if they are any use to him; he wants all those dear and near to him
should abide close to him; all he doesn't wish to see must be exiled
from the town, and at the same time even the whole of nature must work
to suit him: the cold must not be more than he wants, the heat must not
exceed his desire, the rain must obey him, pain must not approach near.

There must not be anything difficult in life and all things and people
must be perfect in the perfection of God; everybody must act in life as
he wishes them to; he alone must be the engineer and all others his
machines. They must have all the endurance he demands of them; at the
same time all must be as sensitive as he wants them to be. No one should
move against his desire; not even a bird must fly in the sky, nor even a
leaf must make a flutter: all under his command. He alone must live and
all others must live, but under him. This attitude I have not spoken of
someone in the world, but every individual. The world is a place where
every individual wishes to be the king, so many kings and only one
kingdom, and the whole tragedy of life is accounted for by this.

The wise, out of wisdom, make life easy. But among the wise there
are two categories: one is the Master, the other is the Saint. The
attitude of both in life is quite contrary. The attitude of the Saint is
to feel sympathy for others and to see the difficulties of the situation
in life of others as of himself, and to sacrifice his wants for the need
of others, realizing that he knows that life is difficult, and those who
are void of wisdom have still more difficulties as they know not how to
surmount the difficulties of life. Out of his love, mercy and compassion
he thus sacrifices his life to the service of his fellow man by making
life easy for them.

In the first place he sees the worst enemy of his fellow man in
himself, knowing that the nature of every ego is hostile, and by being
resigned to the will of his fellow man, by sacrificing his life's
advantages for his brother, he feels he has given his fellow man some
relief that he could give him on his part. By practicing this moral
through life at every step that a wise man takes, he becomes a source of
happiness to all he meets and with whom he comes in contact in life, and
his spirit becomes deepened in saintliness. The spirit of a saint
results in being tuned to the whole universe; he is in tune with the
climates, with the weather, with nature, with animals, birds; he becomes
in tune with the trees and plants, in tune with all atmospheres, with
all human beings of various natures, because he becomes the keynote to
the whole universe. All harmonize with him, the virtuous souls, the
wicked souls, angels and devils, all become in tune. He becomes in
harmony with every object, with every element; with those who have
passed from this earth he is in tune, those in the atmosphere he is in
tune with and with those who live on earth. The moral of a saint is very
difficult, but the spirit of the saint is a benediction to himself and
blessing to others.

Then there is the way of the Master which is quite opposite. He
conquers himself, he battles with life, he is at war with destiny, he
invades all that seems wrong to him, he finds the key to the secrets
unknown to him, he instead of being resigned to all conditions, all
things, all people, turns them to the shape that he wishes and molds as
he likes the personalities which come in touch with him. He tunes
personalities in the tune which would suit his orchestration. He has
command over objects, he produces effects in objects which are not there
naturally. He can even rise to a state where he can command nature, and
the spiritual hierarchy is made of the Masters. For the world is ruled,
it is governed; although outward governments are different, inward
government is the spiritual hierarchy. In the East such ones are called
Wali, whose thought, whose feeling, whose glance, whose impulse can move
the universe.

And yet neither of them, Saint or Master, comes to claim before the
world, "Look at me--I am a Saint," "I am a Master," "I can do this," or
"I am such a virtuous person," or "a good person." They keep themselves
in humble guise, one like everybody in the world. It is not a claim, it
is an action which proves the Master. And yet what do they care if the
world acclaims them as a Saint or as a Master? What benefit is it to
them? It is only a benefit to the one who is false, because he is glad
to be something he is not; he who is all does not wish that everybody
should recognize him as such. A person with his riches knows that he is
rich, he need not put on fifty rings to tell everybody how rich he is;
but the one who puts on fifty rings is seldom rich. There is a beautiful
simile known in India, that it is the empty vessel that makes the noise;
when it is filled with water it makes no noise. In short, sincerity is
the principal thing to attain in life. What little is gained sincerely
and held unassumingly is worth much more than a greater gain void of
sincerity, for it is a hill of sand; once the storm will come and blow
it away. Verily, truth is the treasure that every soul is seeking.

The Master, the Saint, the Prophet

There are three roads to spiritual attainment, which meet in the
end at one junction. One road is of the Master; another comes from quite
a different point, and is the road of the Saint; and the middle path
between the two is of the Prophet. The path of the Master is a path of
war--war with outer influences which prevent one from making one's way
through life. The path of the Master wants self-discipline and will
power to make headway through life. He conquers himself; he battles with
life; he is at war with destiny; he crusades against all that seems
wrong to him; he finds the key to the secrets unknown to him; he turns
all conditions, all things, all people, into the shape that he wishes,
and molds as he likes the personalities that come in touch with him; he
tunes personalities to the tone which would suit his orchestration.

It is a path of accomplishment. All that the Master takes up, he
accomplishes; all that the Master desires, he attains sooner or later.
Yet the Master's one desire is spiritual attainment at its fullest.
Therefore all other attainments, spiritual or material, are nothing
before him other than many steps on a staircase. The struggle in the
path of the Master is great; he has struggle all along. Every condition
that meets him on the way to accomplishment is harder to get through
than the condition before. No doubt, as he proceeds on the path of
attainment, he gains power through struggle. The greater the struggle
through life, the greater his power. He has command over objects; he
produces effects in objects, which are not there naturally. He can even
rise to a state where he can command Nature, and the spiritual hierarchy
is made of the Masters. For the world is ruled; it is governed. Although
outward governments are different, inward government is the spiritual
hierarchy. In the East such are called Wali, whose thought, whose
feeling, whose glance, whose impulse, can move the universe. And the
Master may advance gradually through the five principal stages of
attainment, and may even arrive at the stage of Rasul in the end.

The path of the Saint is one of love, harmony, and beauty; ready to
give, ready to sacrifice, ready to renounce, ready to give in and to
yield. The saintly soul takes all insults as one would take something as
a purifying process. He is resigned to every loss, for there is no loss
without some gain and there is no gain which is without any loss; there
is always a hidden loss in the gain and a gain in the loss. Renunciation
is not difficult for that soul, for in renunciation that soul finds its
freedom. No sacrifice is too great for the saintly soul, for it gives
him happiness. Generosity that soul need not learn: it is its nature,
its character. Modesty, humility, tolerance, forgiveness, are part of
his being; he cannot do otherwise, for he knows no differently.

Through this path, no doubt in the beginning the saintly soul finds
difficulty. The path of the Saint has a constant battle with the self,
for there is no end to the world's demands; in this world no one can be
too good or too kind. The better one is, the more good is asked of one;
the kinder one is, the more kindness is expected from one; and so it
goes on through life. The happiness a saintly soul finds, through all
the continual sacrifices that he makes as he goes through life, is in
his will gradually becoming harmonized to the Will of God, so that God's
Will and his will in time become one. And that happiness no one can
imagine except the souls who have experienced the feeling of resignation
through all the crosses that one has to meet in life. The spirit of a
Saint results in being tuned to the whole universe.

He is in tune with the climates, with the weather, with nature, with
animals and birds; he becomes in tune with the trees and plants, in tune
with all atmospheres, with all human beings of various natures, because
he becomes the keynote to the whole universe. All harmonize with him;
the virtuous souls, the wicked souls, angels and devils; all become in
tune. He becomes in harmony with every object, with every element; with
those who have passed from this earth he is in tune; with those in the
atmosphere he is in tune, and in tune with those who live on earth. The
moral of a Saint is very difficult, but the spirit of the Saint is a
benediction to himself and blessing to others.

The work of the Master is to protect individuals and protect the
world. The work of the Master is to keep away all disasters that might
come about, caused by the inharmony of the nature of individuals and of
the collectivity. The work of the Master is to heap the feeble but
right, the weak but just, when he is in a situation where he is opposed
by a powerful enemy. The work of the Saint is to console the wretched,
to take under the wings of mercy and compassion those left alone in
life, to bless the souls that come in his way.

The way of the Prophet is a more balanced way, for in the life of
the Prophet there is a balance of these two attributes--the power of
attainment and the patience to resign to the Will of God. So the Prophet
is a warrior and a peacemaker, both at the same time. This line is
called kemal, the perfect, or balanced. The work of the Prophet is not
only his own spiritual attainment, but he has some certain service of
great importance to perform. As the Prophet goes through the above said
five stages, he acts on his way towards the fulfillment of his life's
mission as a warner, as a healer, as a reformer, as a lawyer, as a
teacher, as a priest, as a preacher.

Therefore such service keeps the Prophet away from what his soul always
craves for, and that is the solitude in the wilderness. He longs for one
place, and he is put in another place. The soul who yearns constantly to
fly away from the crowd is put, owing to his mission, in the very midst
of the crowd. In this way the work of the Prophet in the world becomes
as hard as if a person were asked to jump into the water and then come
out dry. He must live in the world and not be of the world. However, it
is the prophetic soul whose life's mission very often is to serve
humanity in the time of its need, and it is the fulfillment of this
service which makes him Rasul, the Messenger.

The Prophet is the Message bearer; the Prophet is master and a
servant at the same time; the Prophet is a teacher and at the same time
a pupil, for there is a great deal that he must learn from his
experience through life, not in order to make himself capable to receive
the Message, but in order to make himself efficient enough to give the
Message. For God speaks to the Prophet in His divine tongue, and the
Prophet interprets it in his turn in the language of men, making it
intelligible to them, trying to put the finest ideas in the gross terms
of worldly language.

Therefore all that the Prophet comes to give to the world is not given
in words, but all that cannot be given in words is given without words.
It is given through the atmosphere; it is given by the presence; it is
given by the great love that gushes forth from his heart; it is given in
his kind glance; and it is given in his benediction. And yet the most is
given in silence that no earthly sense can perceive. The difference
between human language and divine words is this: that a human word is a
pebble; it exists, but there is nothing further; the divine word is a
living word, just like a grain of corn. One grain of corn is not one
grain; in reality it is hundreds and thousands. In the grain there is an
essence which is always multiplying, and which will show perfection in

The Prophet

The Prophet is the manifestation of the same Spirit who can
rightfully be called Alpha and Omega in its fullest expression, although
the spirit of Alpha and Omega is in all beings--in a loving mother, in a
kind father, in an innocent child, in a helpful friend, in an inspiring
teacher. The Prophet is a mystic, and greater than a mystic; the Prophet
is a philosopher, and greater than a philosopher; the Prophet is a poet,
and greater than a poet; the Prophet is a teacher, and greater than a
teacher; the Prophet is a seer, and greater than a seer. Why greater?
Because he has a duty to perform, together with the blessing that he
brings upon earth.

In the terms of the Eastern people, the Prophet is termed
Paghambar. There are also two other names, Nabi and Rasul; and although
each of these names is expressive of the Prophet, yet each name is
significant of a certain attribute of the Prophet: also each of those
words denotes a certain degree of his evolution. Paghambar verbally
means 'the Message bearer', and this word is used for the Holy Ones who
from time to time brought a Divine Message to a certain community,
nation, or race, whenever there was need of wakening a certain people.
The Paghambar has worked as an alarm to warn people of the coming
dangers; the Paghambar has brought reforms to improve the condition of
his people.

There are two steps in the life of the Messenger, one minor and the
other major. One stage is when he begins to give the Message; the next
stage is when the Message is fulfilled. Nabi, therefore, is the one who
begins to give the Message; Rasul is the one who fulfills the Message.

Nabi is the Prophet who is not only for a certain section of
humanity. Although he may live and move only in a limited region of the
world, yet what he brings has its bearing upon the whole of humanity. It
may not be fulfilled in his lifetime, but a day of fulfillment comes
some time, even if it be in some centuries, that all he brought reaches
the whole of humanity. Rasul is a term which denotes an advanced degree,
where the Prophet has not only brought a Message to the world, but
fulfilled his task during his lifetime, through all tests and trials
that a Prophet is meant to meet in life.

The Prophet is an interpreter of the divine law in human tongue. He
is an ambassador of the spiritual hierarchy, for he represents to
humanity the illuminated souls who are known and unknown to the world,
who are hidden and manifest, who are in the world or on the other side
of the world. The Prophet is an Initiate and initiator, for he is an
answer to the cry of humanity, of individuals, and of the collectivity;
the one who sympathizes with those in pain, guides those in darkness,
harmonizes those who are in conflict and brings peace to the world,
which always, when excited with its activity of centuries, loses its

The Prophet can never tell the ultimate Truth, which only his soul
knows and no words can explain. His mission is, therefore, to design and
paint and make the picture of the Truth in words that may be
intelligible to mankind. The bare Truth not every man can see. If he can
see, he needs no more teaching. The Prophet, so to speak, listens to the
words of God in the language of God, and he interprets the same words in
the human tongue. He speaks to every man in his own language; he
converses with every man, standing on his own plane. Therefore he has
little chance to disagree, unless there were someone who wanted
disagreement and nothing else; there he cannot help.

Besides the words which even an intellectual person can speak, the
Prophet brings the love and the light which is the food of every soul.
The very presence of the Prophet may make a person see things
differently, and yet he may not know that it was because of the Prophet.
He may only think that that which was not clear to him, or for a moment
seemed difficult to him, is now right and clear. For the Prophet is a
living light, a light which is greater in power than the sun, for the
light of the sun can only make things clear to the eyes, but the light
that the Prophet brings to the world makes the heart see all that the
eyes are not capable of seeing. The Prophet brings Love--the Love of
God, the Father and Mother of the whole humanity: a Love that is Life
itself. No words or actions can express that Love. The presence of the
Prophet, his very being, speaks of it, if only the heart had ears to
listen. Verily, to the believer all is right, and to the unbeliever all
is wrong.

The principal work of the Prophet is to glorify the Name of God,
and to raise humanity from the denseness of the earth, to open the doors
of the human heart to the divine beauty which is everywhere manifested,
and to illuminate souls which are groping in darkness for years. The
Prophet brings the Message of the day, a reform for that particular
period in which he is born. A claim of a prophet is nothing to the real
Prophet. The being of the Prophet, the work of the Prophet, and the
fulfillment of his task, is itself the proof of prophethood.

The Nature of the Prophetic Soul

We find in the traditions of the ancients that there were many among
the Prophets of the past who, in a worldly sense, were not educated,
among them the Prophet Muhammed, who was given the name Umrni, by which
many called him, which means 'unlettered'; although, according to the
idea of that time, the Prophet was very well-versed in the Arabic
language. This shows that worldly education does not make the Prophet.
No doubt it helps to express the spiritual Message which his heart
receives in a more intelligible form.

We see in the world's scriptures four different forms in which the
prophetic Message was given: the ancient Hindu form, which can be traced
in the scriptures of India and which was continued by Buddha; then the
form of Beni Israel, which is to be found in the Old Testament, from the
time of Abraham to the time of Muhammed; the third form is the form of
Zarathustra, which shows two aspects--the one aspect is the Gayatri of
the Hindus and the other aspect is the prayer of Beni Israel; and the
fourth form is the form of the New Testament, which gives the legend and
interpretation of the teaching of Jesus Christ, and which was made, at
every new version, more intelligible to the mind of the people in the
West. But the moment a soul dives deeper into these scriptures it begins
to realize the One Voice within all these outer forms, and that it is
the same Voice that has adopted these different forms, to answer the
need of every age.

What the Prophet says is much less than what he really hears, and the
sense of what he says is much deeper than what his outer words mean. For
the work of the Prophet is a most difficult one; it is trying to present
to the world the whole ocean in a bottle. No one has ever been able to
do it; yet They have all tried, for that has been their destiny. People
have taken these bottles given to them, and have said, "See, here is the
ocean; I have the ocean in my pocket!" But, by what the Prophets have
taught in the scriptures, they have only tried to point out the way; but
they have not pictured the Goal, for no one can put the Goal into a
picture. The Goal is above all form and beyond the power of words to

Those who have benefited by the life and the Message of the Divine
Message Bearers are not necessarily the followers of their Message, but
the imitators of their life; for they have not followed the teaching
only, but followed the Teacher, who is the living example of his
teaching. All the ancient traditions of the religious evolution tell us
how those around the Prophets have benefited by the imitation, rather
than by following the strict laws and by arguing upon the differences
between the laws. There is no scripture in which contradiction does not
exist. It is the contradiction which makes the music of the Message.
The Message would be rigid, like pebbles, if there were no
contradiction. Even all pebbles are not alike; how can all words mean
the same? The Message is nothing but an answer to every question, every
need, every demand of the individual and collective life.

Rumi has tried to explain in the Masnavi, from the beginning to the
end, the nature and character of the heart of the Prophet, and by this
he has given the key to the door which opens to the prophetic path.
Therefore in reading any scripture we must remember first that it is not
the words we read which are so important as what is hidden behind. To
the ordinary mind, that only sees on the Surface, the words of the
scriptures are nothing but simple phrases, and sometimes the ideas
appear simple, even childish. But the one who tries to know what is
behind them will find out in time that there is a vast field of thought
hidden behind every word that has come from the lips of the Prophets.
Verily the words of the Prophets are as seals upon the Secret of God.

The soul of the Prophet represents both the human and the divine. His
feet on the earth and his head in heaven, he has to journey on the path
of life, to respect and regard reason, and yet to cling to that rope
which hangs down from heaven, which he calls faith--one thing contrary
to the other. The world of variety, with its numberless changes, compels
him to reason out things, and the world of unity promises to his
unwavering faith the answer to every demand of life. In the Sufi terms
there is a word called Akhlak-iAllah, which means 'the Manner of God'.
This Manner is seen in the prophetic soul. For no one knows the Manner
of God, as God is not seen by all; and if there is any sign of God seen,
it is in the God-conscious one; and it is the fullness of
God-consciousness which makes a prophetic soul.

The life of the Prophet is like that of someone walking upon a
wire--matter on one side and spirit on the other, heaven on one side and
earth on the other--with the imperfect self journeying towards
perfection and at the same time holding upon itself the burden of
numberless souls, many among whom have not yet learnt to walk even upon
the earth. In the history of the Prophets, in whatever time they have
come on earth, one reads of their struggle being fourfold: struggle with
self, struggle with the world, struggle with friends, and struggle with
foes; and yet many wonder, why should a Prophet be a warrior? Many know
of the Prophet Muhammed being a warrior, but are ignorant of the fact
that Moses had the same experience. And very few know the lives of the
Prophets of India, Rama and Krishna, whose whole lives were nothing but
warfare from the beginning to the end. Their scriptures are full of the
wars and battles through all their lives, and if some apparently did not
have a war, they had some other form of warfare to go through. The blood
of the martyrs was the foundation of the church.

The Seers and Saints, who live a life of seclusion, are happy when
compared to the life of the Prophet, whose life's work is in the midst
of the crowd. When he is known to be a Prophet, jealousy and prejudice
arise; if he is not known, he can do but little. When he goes into the
world, the world absorbs him; when he thinks of God, God attracts
him--one spirit pulled from both sides; and it is this that the picture
of the cross signifies. The Prophet, representing God and His Message,
is tested and tried and examined by every soul; a thousand searchlights
are thrown upon him; and he is not judged under one judge, but
numberless judges; every soul is a judge, and has his own law to judge
him with. The mystic is free to speak and act; what does he care what
people think of him? The Prophet must care what they think of him--not
for himself, but for those who follow him.

Besides all difficulties, in the end he finds no comprehension of his
ideal or service in the world, except in God, Who alone is his
consolation. Many follow the Prophet, but very few comprehend his ideal.
It is this that made Muhammed say, "I am knowledge; Ali is the door." In
the first place, to express a high thought in words or action is the
most difficult thing, because what is expressed in words and actions is
the thought on the surface;' to express deep feeling in words and action
is, in the same way, difficult. And so is the Message of the Prophet; it
is often difficult to be put into words. The best way of following a
prophetic Message--which has been known to very few--is to adopt the
outlook of the Prophet; for the point of view of every person one can
fully understand by seeing from that person's point of view.

The Attunement of the Prophet

What is asked of a Prophet? The prophetic soul must of necessity rise
so high that it may hear the Voice of God, and at the same time it must
bend so low that it may hear every little whisper of human beings. Every
little lack of consideration or regard for all those who wish to call
the attention of the Prophets has been noticed and remarked in the lives
of the Prophets. It means to live in heaven and to live on the earth at
the same time. The heart of the Prophet is meant to be the harp, every
string of it to be tuned to its proper pitch, so that God may play upon
it His music. And it is that celestial music which is called the Divine
Message. It is therefore that all the ancient scriptures were named
Githas, or Gathas, which means the same thing: 'music'. The Song
Celestial of Krishna is called Bhagavad Gita, which means the 'Song of
God'; and the Parsis call their sacred scripture Gatha. The Jewish
scriptures are chanted when recited; also the Qur'an is recited in the
form of singing.

Every musician knows how difficult it is to keep his violin in tune,
especially when it is shaken wherever he has to move in the crowd. The
heart, therefore, is incomparably more susceptible to get out of tune.
It is therefore that the seers and mystics sought solitude, and kept
themselves away from the crowd; but the Prophet, by his natural mission,
is placed in the midst of the crowd. It is the problem of life in the
crowd which he has to solve, and yet not solve it intellectually, as
everyone wishes to do, but spiritually, by keeping that instrument, the
heart, in proper tune to the Infinite, that he may get the answer for
all questions arising at every moment of the day.

It is therefore that even the presence of the Prophet is the answer to
every question: without having spoken one word, the Prophet gives the
answer; but if a mind, restless and confused, cannot hear it, then that
mind receives the answer in words. The answer of the Prophet uproots
every question; but the answer always comes from the heart of the
Prophet without his even having been asked a question. For the Prophet
is only the medium between God and man; therefore the answer is from
God. It is not true that the Prophet answers a question because he reads
the mind; it is the mind of the one who asks the question that strikes,
in the inner plane, the divine bell, which is the heart of the Prophet;
and God, hearing the bell, answers. The answer comes in a manner as if
words were put into the mouth of the Prophet.

The Prophet, therefore, need not think on the question he is asked; it
is all automatic, so that the question draws out of him the answer. This
rule is not applied only to individuals, but to the multitude. A.
thousand people listening to a Prophet at the same time, and each having
a different question in his mind, the question of every one of them has
been answered. So the true character of the sacred scriptures is that
even the book answers the question, if a person opens it automatically
in order to find out a solution to a certain problem. Imagine, if the
book answers, then one could expect more from the Prophet; for the soul
of the Prophet is the living book: his heart is the sacred scripture.

What is religion? In the outer sense of the word, a form given to
worship God and a law given to a community to live harmoniously. And
what does religion mean in the inner sense of the word? It means a
staircase, made for the soul to climb and reach that plane where Truth
is realized. Both these aspects of religion may be found in the words
and in the soul of the Prophet: his words, the law; his Message, the
wisdom; and his being, that peace which is the seeking of every soul.
God has never manifested as Himself in this world of variety, where
every thing and every being is a divine expression, yet with its
limitations. And if the world has been able to believe in God and to
recognize God in a being, it is in the godly, it is in the soul which
reflects God. With all the arguments for and against the divinity of
Christ, no sincere believer in God can deny that God reflects through
the Personality of the Master.

The Prophetic Claim

There are two different conceptions of the prophetic soul. One is as
among the Hindus, who call the prophetic souls Avataras, which means
'Godhead'. They have also distinguished the characters of their Avataras
from their claims: some claimed to be the Avatar, or the incarnation, of
Vishnu; some claimed to be the incarnation of Shiva. It was easy for the
people of India to grasp the idea of a Prophet being a God incarnate,
rather than to accept a Prophet to be as every other being. Among the
Beni Israel, the long line of Prophets was not called incarnations; they
were only called the godly, or the ones who were connected with God. And
if there are any distinctions, four such distinctions are known. Abraham
was called Habib Allah, the Friend of God; Moses was distinguished as
Kalim Allah, a Communicator with God; Jesus was called Ruh Allah, the
Spirit of God; Muhammed was called Rasul Allah, the Messenger of God.

The difference between the Prophets among the Hindus and among the Beni
Israel that can be noticed, is one: the Hindu Prophets claim to be God
themselves. The reason was that the people in India, owing to their
philosophical evolution, were ready to accept the divine in man; but, on
the contrary, in Arabia and Palestine even the prophetic claim aroused
such opposition against the Prophets that their lives were in danger and
their mission became most difficult for them to perform.

After the claimants of Godhead there have been many reformers in India,
to whom people responded without much difficulty, but in the Near East
it has always been difficult, and will always be so. It is for this
reason that the ancient school of esotericism, the ancient Order of the
Sufis, found it difficult to exist under the reign of orthodoxy. The
lives of many great Sufis have been made victims of the orthodox powers
which reigned. Sufism, therefore, which was as a mother of the coming
reform in the religious world, was protected by Persia, and, in the end,
found a greater freedom in the land of India, where the Hindus respected
it and Muslims followed it without the slightest hesitation. In the
houses of the Sufis the followers of all religions met together in
friendliness and in the feeling of brotherhood.

The Sufi Message which is now being given in the Western world is the
child of that mother who has been known for many years as Sufism. The
Sufi Message which is being given to the world just now, therefore,
connects the two lines of the prophetic mission, the Hindu line and that
of Beni Israel, in order that they may become the medium to unite in God
and Truth both parts of the world, East and West. It is the same Truth,
the same religion, the same ideal, which the wise of all ages have held.
If there is anything different, it is only the difference of the form.
The Sufi Message given now has adopted the form suitable for the age. It
is a Message without claim; and the group of workers in this Message,
and those who follow it, are named the Sufi Movement, whose work it is
to tread the spiritual path quietly, unassumingly, and to serve God and
humanity, in which is the fulfillment of the Message.