When souls meet each other, what truth they can exchange! It is uttered in silence, yet always surely reaches its goal.
Bowl of Saki, April 29, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
Truth comes to man's soul, and yet truth is not the exclusive property of creed, caste, or race. We are all the children of God, the Father-Mother Spirit of all that exists. And we ought to have such a feeling of brotherhood that we exchange helpful thoughts with one another all the time. We can take love and guidance from one another. Speech is not as great a help as contact; but the privilege of meeting one another is great. When souls meet, what truth they can exchange! It is uttered in silence, yet surely always reaches its goal.
In everyday life we are confronted with a thousand troubles that we are not always evolved enough to meet, and then only silence can help us. For if there is any religion, if there is any practice of religion, it is to have regard for the pleasure of God by regarding the pleasure of man. The essence of religion is to understand. And this religion we cannot live without having power over the word, without having realized the power of silence. There are so very many occasions when we repent after hurting friends, which could have been avoided if there had been control over our words. Silence is the shield of the ignorant and the protection of the wise. For the ignorant does not prove his ignorance if he keeps silent, and the wise man does not throw pearls before swine if he knows the worth of silence.
What gives power over words? What gives the power that can be attained by silence? The answer is: it is will-power which gives the control over words; it is silence which gives one the power of silence. It is restlessness when a person speaks too much. The more words are used to express an idea, the less powerful they become. It is a great pity that man so often thinks of saving pennies and never thinks of sparing words. It is like saving pebbles and throwing away pearls. An Indian poet says, 'Pearl-shell, what gives you your precious contents? Silence; for years my lips were closed.'
For a moment it is a struggle with oneself; it is controlling an impulse; but afterwards the same thing becomes a power.
Every race and every creed has its principles of right and wrong, but there is one fundamental principle of religion in which all creeds and all people can meet, and that is to see beauty in attitude, in action, in thought, and in feeling. There is no action with a stamp on it saying that it is right or wrong, but what we think wrong or wicked is really that which our mind sees as such because it is without beauty. All the great ones who have come into the world from time to time to awaken humanity to a greater truth, what did they bring? They brought beauty. It is not what they taught, it is what they were themselves. Words seem inadequate to express either goodness or beauty. One can speak of it in a thousand words, and yet one will never be able to express it. For it is something which is beyond words, and the soul alone can understand it. And the one who will always follow the rule of beauty in his life, in every little thing he does, will always succeed.
~~~ When souls meet each other, what truth they can exchange! It is uttered in silence, yet always surely reaches its goal.