Social Gatheka Number 39
Today our activity which is called the World Brotherhood
is more than necessary, for the activities in bringing about
a brotherly feeling in humanity are of more value than any
other activity in the line of culture; and although there
are many societies and institutions which are established
and working along this line of brotherhood, yet our contribution
to this great service of God and humanity has its peculiarity,
owing to its ideas being based on spiritual ideals. We believe
that the brotherhood brought about by coming to an understanding
of exchanging the good of one another in the interest of
one another is not sufficient.
The reason is that the nature
of life is changeable; where there is a day there is a night,
and there is light and darkness, and therefore the interest
in life is not always even. If two persons are friends with
one another and they make a condition; that, we shall be
friends and we shall love one another, if each wishes to
regard justice and fairness by the others interests they
will quarrel a thousand times a day. Because who is to be
the judge? When two people quarrel both are just, both think
they are in the right; and a third person has no right to
interfere. Therefore brotherhood cannot be brought about
satisfactorily on by teaching the law of reciprocity based
Because even if they said, 'I will give
you a pound in gold, and you will give me in return a pound
in notes paper;' and the exchange is made, there is a dispute.
Because: 'I gave you the pound in gold and you gave me the
pound in notes.' A friendship which is based upon selfishness
is not secure, it is not dependable; because seemingly they
may be friends, of the other, they are the friend of themselves.
However greatly they show friendship to one another in reality
they are showing friendship to themselves. No, the brotherhood,
from the spiritual point of view that may be learned is
the brotherhood of rivalry in kindness, in goodness. It
is not weighing; 'what good have you done to me,' but it
is trying to do more for another and not thinking 'what
he will do for me.'
The ideas of the Sufis in all times have been different
from those of the man in the world, and yet not too difficult
for a man to practice. The Sufi ideas are that when one
does an act of kindness for another it is because he wishes
to do it, because the action itself is his satisfaction,
not looking for a return even in the form of appreciation.
Any form of appreciation or any return he thinks consumes,
takes away that act of goodness or kindness that one has
done. And when one thinks that one does some good expecting
that another must return it, then it is a business. And
a person who thinks, 'perhaps I shall do twice more good
to another from whom I received half the good I do for him,'
he is in a very bad situation; for sooner or later he will
be disappointed, because he shares goodness, which cannot
be shared in this way.
As soon a man begins to think, 'has
another person treated me like a brother, why should I treat
him as a brother,' he does not know what brotherhood is,
he will never be able to act as a brother. The Sufi point
of view is that man must be concerned with himself, if he
does right; that is what he is concerned with and not whether
another takes it as right. The trouble is that brotherhood
at this time when humanity is so vastly divided seems so
very difficult to bring into practice.
And yet I do not
think, if we saw the idea of brotherhood in this light,
that it would seem very difficult. For no sooner does man
say, 'if another person will do as I wish' he creates his
difficulties, but the one who says, 'I will do what I think
right and good and I am not concerned with the other person,
whether he takes it rightly, I have determined to do what
I can, I will act so that is quite sufficient.'