The secret of the idea of a blessing to be found in holy
places lies in the principle that the holy place is no longer
a place, but it has become a living being. The prophets, having
proclaimed for ages the name of God and the law of the divine
Being in the Holy Land, make it still living and it has attraction
for the whole world.
It is said that for ages roses have sprung up on Sadi's grave
and that his grave has never been without them. It is credible,
for in 'The Rose Garden,' he has written from the thought of
beauty, and that beauty of his thought, once voiced, is still
continuing, though the mortal body of Sadi has perished. If
this maintained roses in the place of his burial for centuries,
it is not astonishing.
People often wonder why the Hindus, with their great philosophical
minds, with their deep insight into mysticism, should believe
in such a thing as a sacred river. Besides being symbolical,
there is another meaning to it. The great Mahatmas live in the
heights of the Himalayas where the Ganges and the Yamuna streams
rise and then take different directions till they unite again
and become one. This is really a phenomenon, deep in its symbolism
as well as in its actual nature. It is symbolical that the rivers
begin as one and then turn into duality, that after the two
streams have been separated for miles, they are attracted to
each other. Then they meet in a place at Allahabad, called
Sangam, which is a place of pilgrimage. This gives us
in its interpretation the idea of the whole manifestation, which
is one in the beginning, then manifests as dual and unites in
Besides this, the thoughts of the great Mahatmas flow with
the water and come into the world combined with this living
stream of the Ganges. This brings the vibrations of the great
ones and speaks as a voice of power, of awakening, blessing,
purity and unity to those who hear it. Nevertheless, those unconscious
of the blessing have also been blessed by bathing in the sacred
river, for it was not only water, but also a thought besides,
a most vital thought, a thought of power with life in it. Those
who have perceived this have perceived its secret.
In many poems in the Sanskrit language, one reads how, in
the waves of the Ganges and the Yamuna, the seers heard the
voice of the evolved souls and felt the atmosphere of those
advanced beings as a breath current coming through the water.
There is a tank in Mecca called Zamzam, from which
the prophets of all ages have drunk. They did not only drink
water, they received from it what had been put into it, and
then they charged it with what they had to give to it. Even
now, pilgrims go there and receive that water as a blessing.
I once had an amusing experience during my travels in India.
I happened to arrive at the place of the tomb of a most powerful
person. I learned that often when this person visited this tomb,
he came down with a fever. This amused me. I asked, 'What is
the reason for this?' I was told, 'This great personality was
hot tempered. Although most spiritual, he could not tolerate
anyone. He would keep everyone at a bamboo's distance. So now,
anyone going near this tomb gets a fever.' I thought, 'I must
bow from a distance and leave!'
I also happened to see a place where a great healer, Miran
Datar, used to sit. Throughout his life he healed thousands
of patients, and many he healed instantly. In that same place,
his grave was made, and till this day people are attracted to
his tomb. Those who touch this place are healed instantly.
There is a story in the East of five brothers who were traveling
and arrived at a place where they found that each one had lost
his merit, for each was gifted in something. They were confused
and disappointed, and they were wondering about the reason for
such an experience. The wise one amongst them found, in the
end, through the power of concentration, that it was the effect
of the place. The place had lost its life, it was a dead place,
and everyone who came there felt as if he had no life in him.
The inner life had gone. We see this in land which after having
been used for many thousands of years has lost the strength,
the vitality of the earth. If outwardly the land can lose it,
then inwardly the vitality, the breath of the land, can also
Often one feels most inspired in one place, and in another,
most depressed. In one place they feel confused, in another
place, dull. One finds nothing of interest, nothing to attract.
One might think it is the effect of the weather, but there are
places outwardly most beautiful in nature with a wonderful climate,
yet one does not feel inspired there.
If an artist is born in a dead country, then his talent cannot
be developed there. There is no nourishment, his artistic impulse
will become paralyzed. Even a plant cannot live on itself, it
must have air, sun and water. Yet a prophet can inspire a dead
land just by passing through it.
Jalaluddin Rumi said centuries ago that before everyone
fire, water, earth and air are objects; before God they are
living beings that work at His command. The meaning of what
Rumi said is that all objects, all places, are as gramophone
records. What is put into them, they speak. Either one's soul
hears it, or one's mind, according to one's development.
It seems that people are now beginning to believe in what
they call 'psychometry.' What is it? It is learning the language
that objects speak. Apart from the color or form an object has,
there is something in it that speaks to one. Either this belongs
to that object, or it belongs to the one who has used it, but
it is in that object. Sometimes one may bring an object into
the house and the moment one has brought it in, the other objects
begin to break. As long as that object is there, then there
is always a kind of loss. It can bring disharmony to the house,
or an object can bring illness, or it can bring bad luck.
Those who knew the psychological effects that come from objects
therefore always avoided getting old objects, however beautiful
and precious. They always bought a new object for their use.
Of course, one cannot do this with jewels. They have to be old;
but most often one finds that jewels have more effect upon a
person, on his character, life, affairs and environment, than
anything else. One may obtain a pearl that could bring good
luck of every kind, from the moment the jewel was bought, or
it may produce a contrary effect. Very often a person does not
think of it, yet the effect is just the same, it is continual.
Besides this, what one wears has an effect upon one's health,
on one's condition of mind, on one's feeling. If it is a jewel,
it may have the voice of thousands of years. As old a jewel
as it is, it has so much tradition behind it, and it explains
it. Intuitive persons who are sensitive and feeling can easily
perceive the vibrations of old stones, and it seems as if they
speak to them.
Also, with all one gives to another in the form of food,
sweets, drinks, fruits or flowers, one gives one's thought,
one's feeling, and it has an effect. Among the Sufis in the
East, there is a custom of giving to someone either a piece
of cloth, a flower, a fruit, or some grains of corn. There is
a meaning behind it – it is not what is given in that
object, but what is given with it.
How little we know when we say, 'I believe in what I see.'
If one can see how influence works, how thought and feeling
speak, how objects partake of them and give them to one another,
how thought and feeling, life and influence, are conveyed by
the medium of an object – it is most wonderful.
Question: Can any object be charged with good vibrations
when, in itself, it is a bad omen?
Answer: There are certain bitter things which can be made
sweet; but at the same time, the bitterness is there. There
are eatables in which people put different things in order to
take away a certain smell, but the smell is still there.
Question: Can the bad influences attached to places and beings
be gotten rid of and turned to good?
Answer: Certainly, since at the depth of all things and beings
there is goodness.
Question: Is it in the power of a human being to change the
influence of an object?
Answer: The answer to this is given in the first four lines
of the Gayan:
'When a glimpse of Our image is caught in man,
When heaven and earth are sought in man,
Then what is there in the world that is not in man?
If one only explores him, there is a lot in man.'