11) The Nature of Reason, #3

The Message of the Buddha was brought to a people who would never move an inch without definite reason or logic. (Vol X11, p.133) His mission was to give them, "an understanding beyond what religious religious devotion can teach". (Alchemy of Happiness, p. 230) This is accomplished by turning the reason which one uses to unravel the knots of life without, towards uncovering the mystery of the life within.. yet these two aspects of reason are found to be be very different from one another: neither applies to the other's realm.

With this understanding, please comment on the meaning of the following phrases grom the Gayan, Vada, Nirtan of Hazrat Inayat Khan

It is natural that heavenly reason does not agree with earthly reason. (1085)
Reasoning is a ladder; by this ladder one can rise, and from this ladder one may fall. (1086)
Reason belongs both to earth and to heaven. Its depth is heavenly, its surface earthly; and that which fills the gap in the form of reason, between heaven and earth, is the middle part of it which unites it. Therefore, reason can be most confusing and reason can be most enlightening. (1297)

12) Self-Realization and Freedom, #1

One of the things which Pir Vilayat Khan has called basic to the understanding of buddhism is "a very string awareness that suffering is due to ignorance". Hazrat Inayat Khan calls this ignorance "the root of all unhappiness and misery) (vol. 10, p. 174)

In this context what is meant by 'ignorance'? Ignorance of what?

Reading: The Unity of Religious Ideals Chapter on Buddha

 India, a land of extremes, was once very much engrossed in idealism. Idealism gave to the people Brahmanism, an idealism which had reached its greatest heights, an idealism which made them recognize the Face of God in man, and to experience heaven on earth. And when this touched its zenith, then came another epoch, an epoch of reaction, and that was the period of Buddha. The mission of Buddha was quite peculiar in its character, and therefore it stands quite different from the many different religions of the world. And people sometimes wonder if all religions are one.

 They can quite well see a similarity between the Hebrew religion and Islam, also the religion of the Christ; but they cannot understand that there could be a religion of Buddha, and that it could be also a religion, and that it could be one with all others. And the answer is this: that the work of all those who have served humanity in the form of religion has been of great importance--for the first reason, that they had to give the same Truth which every other Server of humanity has given; and for the next reason, that they had to answer the demand of the time in a form suited for that particular time; and in that they differed from their predecessors, who had done the work in other ways. It may not be forgotten that among Hindus idealism had reached its zenith, and it did not remain for Buddha to teach a greater idealism than they already had. In order, therefore, to bring about a balance, he had to give a pill of disillusion.

 And in that way perhaps at that time, or even today, he might appear to be a teacher of quite a different philosophy and a religion which is different from all other religions, which are of idealism. And at the same time no one can show one word in the teaching of Buddha where Buddha has opposed any religion. Only his mission was to bring the birds of idealism, flying in the air, nearer to the earth, because the food of their body belonged to the earth.

 Buddha, born as a prince, was recognized by the wise of that time as a soul which had the finest feeling that it could have, and the deepest depth in his heart. Being born in a family where he could be taken good care of, naturally they closed all the sorrows and distress and troubles of life away from him, and kept him in a surrounding where no sorrows, distress, and troubles of life could touch him, in order to give this soul the time to develop, without being depressed by worldly troubles. It was not only the love of the parents, but it was the wisdom of destiny, that brought him up in this manner, a soul who was born to sympathize with the world. And when the mind of Buddha, after the best education that he received, came to maturity, then he was one day allowed to go out and look at the world.

 This soul, who was not allowed to see much of the world and who had not known pain and distress and trouble, was quite unaware of the experience that the life in the world shows to man. Then he went out for the first time; he looked at a person who was aged and only with difficulty could walk. And he said, "What is it?" They said, "It is age." And he sympathized. And then he saw another person, worn out and tired and downhearted. And he said, "What is the matter?" And they said, "It is illness." And he sympathized, and said, "There is such a thing as illness." There was another person who had lost his money and was in a great despair, and was in poverty. Buddha asked, "What is it?" They said, "It is poverty." And he sympathized, and he felt his condition. In short, this soul, whose heart was open to sympathize with everyone, felt that life has many limitations and every limitation has its despair. And the number of limitations that he saw was so great that he thought what must be the remedy for all these limitations.

 In the first place he saw that human nature seeks for happiness. lt is not because happiness is outside of man; it is because happiness belongs to him. Then he saw that all these limitations make  a  barrier  for man,  thereby  depriving him  of the consciousness of this happiness which is his own. He also saw that all the manner of distress, and all the causes of distress, if they were removed, still man would not be free from distress, because the nature of man is to find happiness; he is not looking for distress. For no one in the world is seeking for a distress, and almost everyone in the world finds distress without seeking for it. He saw that the removing of these apparent limitations was not sufficient, but it is the study of life, observation, analysis, that is the most necessary.

 He found in the end that it is the analysis of life, a thorough analysis, which clears one's reason from all darkness, and produces in it its own original light. Man is distressed by looking at the distress without having studied it. That is generally the case. Every distress that comes to man he is afraid of, and he partakes of it without first having faced it and studied it analytically. But at the same time Buddha saw that if there was a key to happiness, it came by throwing analytical light upon all the different situations of life. This Buddha taught in the form of religion more than two thousand years ago. And today the reasoning that is looking for a solution in the modern world is now finding the same solution which Buddha found over two thousand years ago; and they call it psychoanalysis. It is the beginning of that something which had reached to its highest top, and this analysis in itself had reached to the highest idealism.

 Buddha was the title of Gautama. He was called Buddha because his spirit expressed the meaning of the word Buddh. The word Buddh in Sanskrit means 'reason'. In the Buddhistic terminology the Spirit of Guidance is named Bodhisattva, which means the essence of reason. Reason in its essence is of a liquid form: it is the cream of intelligence. When it is crystallized, it becomes rigid. Very often intellectuality explains a knowledge formed by reasons, most of them of rigid character. The fine reason is subtle; the finer the reason, the less it can be explained in words. It is therefore that people with fine reason cannot very well put their reason into words. Reason in its essence is the depth of intelligence. The intelligence knows, not because it has learned; it knows because it knows. In this higher reason the Spirit of Guidance is conceived, and from that fountain of reason all the great Prophets have drunk.

 In the teaching of true Buddhism, Buddha has never been considered as an exclusive personality. Buddha has been known to the Buddhists who have understood his Message rightly as a man who attained the realization of that essence of reason in which is the fulfillment of life's purpose.

 Worshiping Buddha does not mean that the Buddhist worships the personality of his spiritual Master. He only means by this worship that if there is any object that deserves worship most, it is a human being; it is the person from whose heart the essence of reason, Buddhi, has risen as a spring. By this knowledge he recognizes the possibility for every soul, whatever be his grade of evolution, of attaining that bliss, trusting that the innermost being of every soul is divine.

 The honey of life is hope. If the knowledge of God does not give hope to attain the divine bliss which is attained in life, that knowledge is of no use. Man may believe in God for years and yet may not be benefited by the spiritual bliss; for the spiritual bliss is not only in believing, but it is in knowing God.

 Buddhi, which is subtle reasoning, is the path which leads to the goal. The absence of that keeps a person in obscurity. As the sun is the source of light, which shows outwardly things in life, so Buddhi is the inner source of light, which enables the person to see life clearly, inwardly and outwardly. The true aim of the disciples of Buddha has not been only to adhere to Buddha, his name or his ideal, but, by taking Buddha as an example before him, their idea was to become Buddha some day. And the same idea is the secret of Sufism.