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by Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan

Viladat Day Address

July 5th, 2015

posted: 2015.07.13
Heartiest Welcome to this Viladat Day, the 123d Birthday of our Master.

How can we be best attuned to our Master, is a question often asked.

There is of course the way of the heart, but for the heart to resound inwardly, it is helpful to first refer to History, which describes  events in visualized pictures, re-creating thereby in ones heart, the atmosphere originally experienced.

When focusing far back in our Master's most unusual Biography, one discovers numerous traces of Royal status, besides Spiritual attunement, as well as special musical gifts in the lives of the historical Ancestors in India.

Maulabakhsh, the Grand Father of our Master as a great Spiritual Patiarch and a most famous Palace musician, was Hindu by birth, but he adopted Sufism at a later date. Maulabakhsh married Khatidja Bibi, a far distant ancestor of Tipu Sultan, the great King of Mysore, allied to Napoleon, who was known to have encouraged the Religious activity of all Faiths, besides Cultural, Industrial and Commercial  enterprises.

Khatidja Bibi, the Mother of our Master, had been given in marriage to the famous Indian Musician, called Rahmat Khan,  a descendant of a great mystic called Jumma Sha, as well as several historical Musicians and Mystics from Family to Family.

When referring to our Master's History, it is understandable that events evolved in ways that corresponded to  the situation in the last century.
Yet, one of the most astonishing thing was, that our Master was more modern in many ways than expected in his time.

He made it successfully with a driving license in Paris, and drove one of the old Ford cars, which was offered by Henry Ford, following a precious advice given by our Master to Henry Ford, in connection with Factory working procedures, besides advising Henry Ford to create Educational and Cultural Schoolings offered to the workers of the Factories in Detroit, and which suddenly experienced tremendous production growth from Success to success.

Our Master was also among the first tourists in the USA to experience a tour in one of the first small Touring Air planes. There is a picture of this historical event.

These are just a few stories among numerous  unusual ones, and  again, one more story offers such a precious example of modesty and democracy of the feeling heart.

One day, as a boy of 6, on hearing  that my Father was going to Paris , I begged my Father to take me with him, saying that I would be able to help him to find the way, because he could not speak French, whereas I could. After much pleading, my Father agreed, and as we went out the garden gate of Fazal Manzil, we had to step carefully because there was a man digging in the street just in front of the garden gate.
When seeing him, my Father took off his Persian Hat, and offered a welcome hand - shake to the workman who was absolutely overwhelmed by such a deeply moving experience.

Many years later, when walking up the same street, an old man came to me and asked where was the King who lived in that house, indicating the gate of Fazal Manzil.

I replied that the King who greeted him so many years ago. was not a Palace King; he was the King of the hearts of hundreds of followers.
The old man then confessed that he could not read or write and did not believe in God and never went to Church,but the brilliant light which he saw in the eyes of that King was constantly with him, and had guided him during his whole life.

When recalling together the event that took place so many years ago, when I was a child of 6, and when the old man was digging that day  in front of the gate, and  my Father kindly greeted him, the old man then burst into tears, while we both hugged each other in thought of that King. We kept contact till the war broke out.

That event has always been a precious lesson and a reminder of the words of our Master who said: "How can we know who is spiritual, and who is not. Perhaps the most humble among us all in this hall is the most spiritual.

Today we are celebrating the Birthday of our Master. It is a happy Day. In the early days, it was celebrated in Suresnes with great joy during the Summer School.

The Sufi Hall was covered with flowers, specially yellow roses, offered by each among the hundred Sufis who came from so many distant countries for that yearly event, although in those days there were no planes, and the train took 14 hours from Amsterdam to Paris. One had to have a Belgium visa and a French one for Border crossing, and on arrival, one was covered with dust from the smoke of the train engine.

The Americans traveled by ship which took days from New York to the Port in  Calais, and then again a train and old trams from Paris to Suresnes. But the discomfort of the journey was  no sacrifice for them .

On that special Day, the Mureeds felt so strongly the Spiritual radiance of the Master, and they deeply appreciated a Fatherly attention offered, besides encouragement for the work in spreading the Message in their various countries.

The National Representatives had the privilege of coming up on the stage and reading their yearly reports concerning the Sufi activities in their Countries,
In return, the Master offered gratitude and Blessings, which touched their hearts deeply.

Near to one hundred years have passed, but the energy of those  happy days goes on radiating, overwhelming us all on this Viladat Day, when opening our hearts to our Master's Call.

Welcome - 2014 Summer School Address by Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan

posted: 2014.08.06
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Viladat-Day July 2014

Beloved Sufi Brothers and Sisters,

Welcome to you all, who have heard the call, and whose hearts are so deeply attuned to the Bringer of the Message in our time.
How can we attune to our Master? We might try by recalling memories.

Today, we have the privilege of having among us, Dutch mureeds, as well as mureeds from other countries in Europe, and from the USA, and NZ. We also have among us, one special Sufi brother, whose father was a mureed of our Master in the 1920’, and was the only Sufi who played with us children during the yearly Summer Schools in Suresnes.

In those early days, one had to have a Belgian visa and a French visa, to go by train from The Hague to Paris, and it took twelve hours or more. While in the train, our Master was constantly thinking of the many teachings that came later in the books. Sirkar van Stolk, took down notes which were dictated to him.

In Paris, when stepping into the tram, people suddenly stood up. They did not know why, and they said: "Oh, c'est le Roi", but they did not know of what country. They could not understand what that dignified image was really representing, but they obviously felt something, which they could not explain. For some, our Master was a friend, and for others, a Father. For others a Teacher, and all did feel the Spiritual Guidance.

Our Master was modernly inclined in many ways. He was one of the very few in Suresnes to have a driver's license and a car, which was offered by Henry Ford, with thanks for lectures given to the members of the car manufactures in Detroit. Some of the mureeds were so surprised and said:

"You cannot do that, Murshid,…… driving a car” !

In America our Master was one of the first to make a tour in a small airplane, flying over the large cities. There is a picture of that historical event

As children, we were always questioning: what is the Universal Worship?

For us children, it looked mysterious, and we asked our Father what religion do we really belong to? We see so many religions on that table!

Our Father said: "I will never impose any religion on you. I leave it up to you to decide later; but you must try to look into the different scriptures". No religion was indicated to follow, and we were not to be influenced by any, but we were advised to know about each one.

The new impulse of the Message, can only spread successfully, if we are constantly attuned to our Master, who has offered numerous volumes of teachings. We do not need any other teachings, and certainly not from outsiders claiming to modernize the Movement. Our Master is our only teacher, and his words, which were given so many years ago, certainly correspond more than ever to our time. They shall also correspond to the new age, in a hundred years from now, and perhaps even a thousand years. They shall never be out dated, and we certainly do not need any extra commentaries. It is our duty to help perpetuating the original teachings. What we need is to study these teachings.

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image: "Katwijk Beach" Fazalunissa Carole Harmon

There is only one way of knowing whether we are spreading the Message strictly in our Master’s footsteps. To that effect, let us picture our Master in front of us and ask: “Am I really spreading the Message in the way it had been entrusted it to us?

Or am I doing it differently, influenced by my own ego, or by the ego of new age intruders ?

When one says “I am spiritual”, it means nothing else than “I am an ego-tripper”. If spirituality could be understood in any way at all, it is through the radiance of the seeker on the path. But radiance cannot be understood through the mind. It can only be felt in the heart. If we can find a balance between the ego and the loving heart, perhaps we might discover that we can be in harmony with ourselves and with others.

The first step on the path that leads to spirituality, is politeness. The second step is humility. The next step is modesty, experienced, as symbolized by the Sufi emblem, where the heart is lifted by the two wings, flying above the self. And when visualising the picture of our Master in front of us, nothing will ever go wrong.

Today we are celebrating the birth of our Master. It is a happy day for so many who have been helped in their family lives, with their religious problems, social problems and personal problems.
In the early days, on Viladat day, the Mureeds brought yellow roses and the Sufi hall in Suresnes was decorated with those beautiful flowers. It was such a privilege for the mureeds to have the opportunity of expressing their good wishes, emphasising thereby the link with The Master. And on that occasion, they deeply appreciated the fatherly attention; a father whom one could really talk to, and whose understanding was consoling and inspiring. There could never be a better example of happiness than what was experienced on that special day.

The National Representatives had the great privilege of coming up on the stage, and telling about the work they had done in their countries; and of course, our communicated appreciation for that which had been accomplished.

The pioneers of the early days are no more with us, but they have left something. They have left an energy, which is helping us all onwards. If there is a miracle at all in the Sufi Movement, it is the survival of that initial energy so many years after the passing, and which is still radiating as a living link with The “Murshid “of us all.

There is a recording of the voice of our Master, which was a historical event, first of all from a technology point of view. Secondly it was a Message given in a world where the Ideal of Unity of Religious Ideals or Spiritual Liberty was un-thinkable.

We shall read the recorded words because they are not very clearly distinguishable.

“The Sufi Message given today to humanity is not a Message of the East. It is the Message of the soul. The word Sufi means wisdom, which comes from the root Sophia.

This Message of wisdom is given today, so that people may come together in a better understanding arising beyond the different sections of religions, beyond casts, beyond creeds, which divide mankind.

The Sufi Message is an answer to the cry of humanity in our time, where materialism is all-pervading and commercialism is continually on the increase at this moment.

The Sufi Message respects all religion recognizes all scriptures, regards all Prophets held in esteem by large sections of humanity.

The Sufi Message is the source and goal of all wisdom in one .”

Welcome - 2013 Summer School (text)
May the Summer School be a source of blessings, and may our attunement to the Call become like a searchlight, illuminating the path, while we humbly follow the traces of the footsteps of the bringer of the Message in our time.

Hazrat Inayat Khan said:

The Message will take care of itself because it is a Divine Message. We, the servants of the Sufi Message, who have joined together hand in hand, must not for one moment doubt how a handful of workers will be able to fulfill the service for which they are called.

No doubt every school has its own method; and in every method is colored by the personality of the leader. There are schools of dervishes and there are the schools of Fakirs, and there are schools of Saliks, who teach moral culture. Personally I owe every obligation to the Sufi school of the Chishtis, in which I was initiated by my Murshid, Abu Hashim Madani.

But there the account of the ancient history of Sufism finishes.”

(Gatheka 17)

Many years have passed since these words were heard and ever since each one of us has offered their heart to the Message of ‘Spiritual Liberty” in our time.

In the Sufi Movement various responsibilities are entrusted to well wishers and each one of us is expected to keep the standards high, in line with the ideals of ‘Love, Harmony and Beauty’.

Other organizations are also working for the same Cause under different denominations, to which we offer brotherly and sisterly feelings, following the principles of ‘Unity of Spiritual Ideals’, which is an open door to the divine transmission.

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image: "Plume" Fazalunissa Carole Harmon

Obviously, freedom of thought and word is gradually unfolding in various social, cultural, scientific and philosophical activities in this confused world, beyond the barriers of dogmatic despotism at all levels of command.

Sufism means wisdom, and wisdom is not a religion, nor is it a secret school of speculative interpretations of truth.

Wisdom is an open door, with true understanding for the original inspiration of all beliefs.
Wisdom cannot be limited by descriptive terminology, which generally misinterprets true realization.
Wisdom is the art of being responsive to the opinion of others while freeing understanding from the limitations of one’s own preconceived ideas.

All earnest attempts on the path of the seeker, contribute towards realizing the smallness of the horizon of one’s own thinking, and this obviously awakens in one’s heart a deep feeling of humility.
Welcome - 2013 Summer School (audio)
Katwijk, the Netherlands

The audio recording below is the 2013 Summer School Welcome speech by Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan kindly provided by the Sufi Movement International.