Way to Spiritualism
The methods and means to achieve spiritualism, told by all the religions are strikingly similar. It cannot be claimed that these are all the same but it can be said with certanity that basically these are alike. For example:
It comprises of concentration of tongue, hands, eyes and heart, which in modern terminology, are called meditation, contemplation, absorption etc. In Islam it is called ‘Muraqiba’.
Its utility has been acknowledged in some scientific and spiritual branches of knowledge e.g. telepathy, parapsychology, Hypnotism etc. The contemplative practices of Yoga have been found quite useful in games and have been admitted into games as exercise.
- Relinquishing of pleasures:
It is to cast off all types of pleasures, carnal as well as sensual. Most of the things allowed by religion to an ordinary man are to be given up for the sake of purification of soul. It is a very potential means to achieve the end and this too is a common exercise in all the religions.
- Negation of Desires:
All the demands and desires of the inner self of man are to be opposed. Self has countless demands but the ‘salik’ or a devotee should strictly avoid the same. It is destructive for spiritualism to bow before the self and meet its demands. The sacrifice of desires is considered a stair for spiritual progress by all the religions.
- Hunger and thirst:
The devotee is required to eat and drink, simply to maintain life. Less eating and less drinking is necessary in the way of spiritualism. In the modern age the doctors have declared that ‘fasting’ is good for health. The concept of fast is in all the religions with different names: Roza, Som, Fast, Barat etc. To have the least possible diet is important for purification of soul.
In Islam it has been advised ‘Eat that much only which may save you from death’. Jesus Christ presented a very hard standard. He said that eat as if you were eating our flesh and drink as if you were drinking our blood. Meaning thereby that don’t eat to enjoy but to save your life when inevitable.
In the famous tale of Hakeem Balohar and Yuzasf (Buddha) Hakeem’s view about diet is presented in the form of a tale: A king in exile lived in a jungle along with his family. They ran short of food and awaited death due to hunger. Suddenly a child passed away with hunger. The king suggested that to save the remaining children from starvation, we should eat the dead child. So they ate. It is clear that they would not have eaten the flesh to their fill but to a quantity that was direly needed to save them. So the ‘Salikeen’ or the devotees eat in the same manner.
- Little Sleep.
For the advancement of spiritualism, one should have just a small quantity of sleep. All the religions have the concept of vigil. Islam also admires those who pray throughout night.
- Paucity of Speech.
Silence also is a step for the purification of soul. All the religions stress the importance of silence. There is a ‘Tradition’ in Islam that the religion has ten parts, silence possesses nine out of ten.
- Negation of Sex.
To give up all sorts of mixing up with the opposite sex is also necessary for spiritualism. It is required that so far as a devotee pursues the elevation of soul, he should lead a life of celibacy. If he is married he should avoid his wife. There is a consensus of opinion on this point among all the religions. Some sages of Islam have gone to the extent that celibacy is far better than married life. Some say otherwise. But all unite to say that it is ideal to avoid the opposite sex during spiritual exercises such as fast or pilgrimage etc.
It is quite necessary not to harm any living creature. Slaughtering or hunting of all animals is prohibited. Even if someone practices force or violence on the devotee he should, in reply, simply pray for him. Islam has forbidden the killing of even a mosquito during the pilgrimage. It is sin to reply to an abuser. Some sages of Islam have gone to the extent that after wearing the ritual dress of Pilgrimage, if someone slaps the pilgrim on one cheek, the pilgrim should offer the other cheek also and that he should not say a word except to pray for the slapper. It is also unlawful to pluck a single blade of the grass. In Jew-ism, during worship days, it is mandatory to tolerate every kind of cruelty. Some anecdotes of religious Jews reveal that during worship days if someone attacked them, they didn’t defend themselves. They preferred being killed, to their defense. Similarly Christianity also stresses harmlessness. There is overemphasis in Hindu, Jain and Buddh religions on harmlessness. Killing or slaughtering the animals, eating their meat or even cutting the trees is not practiced by religious minded persons. They think that the trees feel tormented if their branches are cut. The Chinese used to wrap a kerchief around their mouths lest some moth should enter their mouth and die.
The respectable Sufis, who had a central role in the spreading of Islam, during their spiritual exercises, totally relinquished ‘Jalalee’. The relinquishment of Jalalee means not to use the things which are made from flesh, hide, hair or milk of animals, viz. Woolen clothes, skin shoes, butter and ‘ghee’. They say that originally milk is meant for the Young ones of the animals, therefore it will be detrimental to spiritual exercise to injure their right. Ordinarily which is desirable, becomes undesirable during the spiritual voyage.
In all the religions there are two types of worship.
(i) Mass or Congregational (ii) Individual.
All religions require mandatory participation in mass worship because it is a means of propagation and creates zeal and zest among the followers. The scarcity of congregation tells upon further propagation, understanding and ardor for the religion.
So far as mortification of self is concerned, all the religions are unanimous that for concentration and meditation a complete seclusion, solitude and silence is a prerequisite. Zoraster remained confined at mount
‘Syalan’ for ten years in complete solitude and succeeded in viewing ‘The First Light’. Buddha while he was 29 years old, left his family, went to the jungles of ‘Azveel’ and as narrated in ‘Lilit Daster’, underwent austere exercises for six years or more in that solitude and at last saw the ‘Divine Light’. Manes, the founder of the Manichean sect, went out of Taghoon city, secluded himself for twelve years at the bank of river Tigress and as written in ‘Shapoorgan’ succeeded in seeing the ‘First Light’.
Jesus Christ underwent exercises in solitude between the age of 13 and 30 years. The place is still unknown to his biographers. As told in many books, Moses reserved himself for asceticism during his ten years stay at Medina. Later on he secluded himself for
40 days in a cave also. It has been told by all his biographers that the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) used to isolate himself in Hira cave for 40 days every year living only upon barley flour. In short, in all the revealed religions, solitude or seclusion plays a vital role in having a view of the ‘First Light’.
Consignation or commitment is also a ladder for spiritual ascension. It is to commit oneself to the will of the Lord of all lords. It is to bear all grieves, sorrows pains and troubles with a smiling face. All the distresses should be accepted readily, as a boon from the Divine Beloved. It also includes that we should do good deeds and should not aspire for immediate good results. All religions consider this factor a ‘must’ for spiritual exaltation.
- Weeping at dawn.
The importance of weeping at dawn has been underlined by all religions. This is to be done at least two hours or so before the sunrise. One should weep over his shortcomings and sins. Such a lamentation wipes out all the rust of sins on the soul. Early in the morning one becomes in communion with the Divine Beloved. When we are reminded of boundless bounties of the Lord of all lords and our thanklessness, rebellious attitude and countless sins, the eyes start sprinkling tears and our soul feels reconditioned. It is a prerequisite to weep before praying. Weeping has been termed as the ‘chief of the etiquette’. Its utility becomes manifold in the morning. The spirituals, after realizing the importance of ‘weeping’ are of the opinion that to laugh frequently or to burst into laughter is an evil deed. Although the modern society is tending towards ‘Laughing Clubs’ but the followers of the revealed religions consider it against spiritualism.
- Praying With Patience:
Prayer with patience has been considered as the easiest and most beneficial means after concentration among all means of spiritual advancement. It means to pray and patiently wait for the result. It is not good to be hasty. If the prayer is not accepted one should not give it up in despair. This is patience. All the religions have declared prayer as the essence of worship. One should pray as if no human being can settle ones problems. It is Almighty God with whom is the solution.
Prayer is the basic worship in Christianity. Even Jewism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zorasterism and Hinduism consider prayer as a fundamental part of worship. In Islam, the word for ritual worship is ‘salat’ which means to pray. God has said in Quran,
“If you don’t supplicate (ask for needs), Lord doesn’t need you”. (1)
Virtues of praying have been recounted in many Islamic books. There are many books in all religions which are overflowing with specified prayers.
These are the twelve principles for the exaltation of the soul, which are common among all the revealed religions. The point to stress here is that all the said exercises are to be observed with perseverance and perpetuity and every exercise is to be taken without stop. Any interval or gap can destroy all.
Whatever is to be done should be done continuously and punctually because perpetuity is bound to bear fruit. An example will elucidate it. We cannot drill a hole in a hard piece of stone with any quantity of water. But if the drops of water incessantly trickle on the same, they are bound to drill a hole in that piece of stone.
Perpetuity of an action, however small it may be, contains a big power and some day it takes to the intended goal.
I hope that I have proved fully that the ethics of all the religions is the same to the extent of 95%. The difference of 5% is not such a big difference,
which should become a base for mutual bloodshed. The
prevalent differences are not the differences in
principle but are collateral and mostly based on
misunderstanding. Some of the differences relate to
procedure. Goal is the same, way is the same, only
mode and conveyances vary. One is traveling by air, the
other on foot, so there seems to be no need for mutual
(*) For detail see mybook ‘Irfan.e.Nafs’ viz “ The Recognition of self” .
fight. Suppose a father becomes displeased with his children. Every child will try to conciliate him by different style. One will try comically and the other will shed tears. Purpose of both is the same, only approaches vary. Then there is no room for any quarrel or fight. No one has the right to impose his style on other. Let him conciliate as he pleases.
One of the reasons for difference is different names. The names of our Holy Prophet vary in various languages e.g.
Mahmeet (P.B.U.H.) etc
It will be unjust to say that many names mean personalities. Similarly there are so many names of God Almighty, but the Entity is the same, attributes are the same. Will it be wise to fight over names?
Various prophets invoked the ‘First Light’ of God Almighty with different names.
Some said Aloh Some Alwahim
Some said Alshudai Some Yahoova
Some said Lord of Forces Some Yazdan
Some said Ahorra Mazda Some Birhama
Some said Wishnoo Some King of paradise
Some said Baaleem Some Shiv
Some said Kami Some Teyen
So the names are a thousand but the Entity named is one. We are taking every name for different entity and then try to compare them with one another
and thus fight to prove our chosen name to be the best of all.
I am of the view that since the entity is one, its invocation with sincerity will not go waste.
Abraham invoked by ‘ Alshudai’ and got the answer.
Moses invoked by ‘ Alwaheem’ and got the answer.
Jesus Christ invoked by ‘ Ailee’ and got the answer.
I am writing this book for the present and future, therefore suggest to my reader to forget past which is full of fights. The religions of the past and their followers are gone by. They might have been requited for their good or bad deeds. This will not affect us. If they were bad and we approve them, we will also be punished. If they were good and we approve them, we shall receive nothing. We will be the losers both ways.
We should restrict ourselves to the present fellow men and first of all we should take stock of our own person. We should think out the ways and means by which each of us can become a ‘good’ man. We should give up all vices; at least those which have been commonly disapproved by all revealed religions. We should vow to practice those no more. Then we should put into practice the twelve principle exercises narrated before and thus gain a communion with ‘First Light’ who is a complete displayer of the Penultimate Light (God Almighty). If we succeed in achieving a contact with the Supreme Being all our ideological complexities will vanish.