1. There is one God, the Eternal, the Only Being; none
else exists save He.
2. There is only one Master, the Guiding Spirit of all
souls, who constantly leads his followers towards the light.
3. There is one Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature:
the only scripture, which can enlighten the reader.
4. There is one Religion, the unswerving progress in
the right direction towards the ideal, which fulfills the
life's purpose of every soul.
5. There is one Law, the Law of reciprocity, which can
be observed by a selfless conscience together with a sense
of awakened justice.
6. There is one Brotherhood, the human brotherhood, which
unites the children of earth indiscriminately in the fatherhood
7. There is one Moral Principle, the love which springs
forth from self-denial, and blooms in deeds of beneficence.
8. There is one Object of Praise, the beauty which uplifts
the heart of its worshipper through all aspects from the
seen to the Unseen.
9. There is one Truth, the true knowledge of our being
within and without, which is the essence of all wisdom.
10. There is one Path, the annihilation of the false
ego in the real, which raises the mortal to immortality
and in which resides all perfection.
THE OBJECTS OF THE SUFI MOVEMENT
1. To realize and spread the knowledge of unity, the
religion of love and wisdom, so that the bias of faiths
and beliefs may of itself fall away, the human heart may
overflow with love, and all hatred caused by distinctions
and differences may be rooted out.
2. To discover the light and power latent in man, the
secret of all religion, the power of mysticism, and the
essence of philosophy, without interfering with customs
3. To help to bring the world's two opposite poles, East
and West, closer together by the interchange of thought
and ideals, that the Universal Brotherhood may form of itself,
and man may see with man beyond the narrow national and
THE SYMBOL OF THE SUFI MOVEMENT
The symbol of the Sufi Movement is a heart with wings.
It explains that the heart is between soul and body, a medium
between spirit and matter. When the soul is covered by its
love for matter, it is naturally attracted to matter. This
is the law of gravitation in abstract form, as it is said
in the Bible, ' Where your treasure is, there will your
heart be also.' When man treasures the things of the earth,
his heart is drawn to the earth. The heart is subject not
only to gravitation, but also to attraction from on high,
and as in the Egyptian symbology, wings are the symbol of
spiritual progress, so the heart with wings, expresses that
the heart reaches upward towards heaven.
The crescent in the heart suggests the responsiveness
of the heart. The crescent represents the responsiveness
of the crescent moon to the light of the sun, for naturally
it receives the light, which develops it, until it becomes
the full moon. The principal teaching of Sufism is that
of learning to become a pupil, for it is the pupil who has
a chance of becoming a teacher, and once a person considers
that he is a teacher, his responsiveness is gone. The greatest
teachers of the world have been the greatest pupils. It
is this principle which is represented by the crescent.
The crescent in the heart signifies that the heart, which
is responsive to the light of God, is illuminated.
The explanation of the five-pointed star is that it represents
the divine light. For when the light comes, it has five
points. When it returns, it has four, the former suggesting
creation, the latter annihilation. The five-pointed star
also represents the natural figure of man, though that with
four points represents all forms of the world. But the form
with five points is a development of the four-pointed form.
For instance, if a man is standing with his legs joined
and arms extended he makes the four-pointed form, but when
he shows activity – dancing, jumping, or moving one leg
– he forms a five-pointed star, which represents a beginning
of activity; in other words, a beginning of life.
It is the divine light, which is represented by the five-pointed
star, and the star is reflected in the heart, which is responsive
to the divine light. The heart, which by its response has
received the divine light, is liberated, as the wings show.
In brief, the meaning of the symbol is that the heart responsive
to the light of God is liberated.
The Sufi message is the answer to the cry of humanity
today; for it is in agreement with science, and it stands
in defense of all religions. Our movement renders service
to God and humanity, without any intention of forming an
exclusive community, but of uniting in this service people
of all the different religions. This movement, in its infancy,
is only beginning its work, but its culmination will be
a world movement. It is the world message, and the religion
which will be the religion of the whole of humanity; a religion
which does not distract the mind of any person from his
own faith, but makes it more firm, more enlightened, more
sympathetic to his own religion. It is a religion, which
teaches tolerance towards the faith of another; a religion,
which opens the heart to the words of wisdom, no matter
what direction, they come from. This is not only a church,
but a school in which to learn a lesson, the lesson of tolerance;
to learn to revere all teachers and to respect all scriptures;
a lesson which teaches us that we need not give up our own
religion, but that we should embrace all religions in order
to make the sacredness of religion perfect.
Was it not the wish of Krishna and of Buddha
that wisdom in all its aspects should be understood, and
was it not the desire of all those who have sacrificed their
lives and energies in the service of man that humanity might
be blessed and benefited by what they brought? Was it not
the wish of Rama that all men in the world should
come together in the understanding that there is only one
religion? It was the unification of religion that was the
dream of Jesus and the inspiration of Muhammad, that was
the object of Abraham and the desire of Moses. That, which
the prophets of the past could not bring about, owing to
the difficult conditions in their time, is brought about
today as the fulfillment of their prayers offered for thousands
of years. The blessing which we receive in this service
is the blessing of all the great teachers and prophets and
illumined souls, all in one.
The Universal Worship, therefore, is the religion of
the future, which brings to humanity the ideal of the unification
of religion; the ideal of getting above the sectarianism
and limited outlook of communities and groups. And we must
remember that no political or social efforts will be completed
without holding fast the ideal of truth, of uniting in God.
This is the only source in which ultimately humanity must
THE PURPOSE OF THE SUFI MOVEMENT
The purpose of the Sufi Movement is to work towards unity.
Its main object is to bring humanity, divided as it is into
so many different sections, closer together in the deeper
understanding of life. It is a preparation for a world service,
chiefly in three ways. One way is the philosophical understanding
of life; another is bringing about brotherhood among races,
nations, and creeds; and the third way is the meeting of
the world's greatest need, which is the religion of the
day. Its work is to bring to the world that natural religion
which has always been the religion of humanity: to respect
one another's belief, scripture, and teacher. The Sufi message
is the echo of the same divine message which has always
come and will always come to enlighten humanity. It is not
a new religion; it is the same message which is being given
to humanity. It is the continuation of the same ancient
religion which has always existed and will always exist,
a religion which belongs to all teachers and all the scriptures.
It is the continuation of all the great religions which
have come at various times; and it is a unification of them
all, which was the desire of all the prophets.
The Sufi Movement is constituted of those who have the
same ideals of service to God and to humanity, and who have
the ideal of devoting a part or the whole of their life
to the service of humanity in the path of truth. This Movement
has its groups, the members of which belong to all the different
religions, for all are welcome, Christians, Buddhists,
Parsis, Muslims. No one's faith or belief is questioned;
each can follow his own church, religion, creed; no one
need believe in any special creed or dogma. There is freedom
of thought. At the same time personal guidance is given
on the path, in the problems of both outer life and inner
Those who belong to the esoteric school of the Sufi Movement
are given, besides personal guidance, the studies which
are entrusted only to those who are fitted to receive them.
There are subtleties of ideas, of spiritual, moral or philosophical
ideas, which cannot be given to everyone at first, but they
are given gradually to those who are serious enough to walk
in the path of truth. But every seeker after truth must
remember one thing: that the first step in the path of truth
is to become true to oneself.
In the service of the Sufi Universal Worship all services
– Christian, Muslim, Hebrew, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, and
Hindu – are included. Therefore, the blessing of Christ
is given from the altar to the seeker for Jesus Christ's
blessing. The one who seeks for the blessing of Moses, to
him is given the blessing of Moses. For the one who seeks
the benediction of Buddha there is the benediction of Buddha.
But those who seek the blessing of all these great ones
who have come at different times are blessed by all.
We do not interfere with anyone's ideal, nor with his
devotion to his teacher. It would be as absurd as to think
that a child should love another child's mother more than
its own. And who has the right to compare and to place the
great teachers or the scriptures? No one; it is in our heart's
devotion to the ideal we adore that we can place our ideal;
and it is our own concern; no one can interfere with it.
Some girls were playing one day, and each girl said in
turn, ' My mother is best.' The others said, ' No, my mother
is the best.' And they were all arguing. But a girl among
them who was wiser said, ' Oh no; it is the mother
who is adorable, whether it is your mother or my mother.'
Does the Sufi Movement, therefore, interfere with anybody's
devotion to his teacher? Never, but at the same time, it
invites souls to see the source and goal of all wisdom to
be one, and it is in this truth that all the blessing that
the soul is longing for will be bestowed.
On the altar are placed the scriptures of the religions
mentioned above, and there are also candles representing
all these religions. The different candles which are lighted
mean our adherence and respect to all the different teachers,
religions, and scriptures. They teach us that there is one
light and many lamps. It is not the lamps which should first
be taken to the mind; it is the light which should first
be taken to the heart.
It is this religion of unification which Jesus Christ
came to teach; the teachings of Moses and the efforts of
Muhammad were all towards this one object. All that Buddha
has taught, all that Krishna has said, is summed up in one
thing: that it is one light that is the divine light, and
it is the guidance coming from that light which becomes
the path for humanity to tread.
But although the Sufi ideal is expressed through so many
forms, the Sufis also have the formless ideal of worship.
The form is to help those who need to see the form, for
all education is really an education of names and forms.
If there were no names and no forms we would not have
learned them. But the form is only suggestive of what is
behind it, of one and the same truth which is behind all
religions. Therefore the Sufi service is also a teaching,
yet every Sufi is free either to take up a form or not to
take up a form. A Sufi is not bound by any form. Forms are
for his use, not to make him a captive.
In the Sufi Movement there is no priesthood in the ordinary
sense, the priesthood is only to conduct the service and
to answer the need of a priest which always exists in our
everyday life. Those ordained in the Sufi Movement are called
Sirajs and Cherags. There is no distinction
between women and men. The worthy soul is ordained; this
gives an example to the world that in all places – in the
church, in the school, in parliament, in court – it is woman
and man together who make evolution complete. But at the
same time every Sufi is a priest, a preacher, a teacher,
and a pupil of every soul that he meets in the world.
The Sufi prayers such as Saum and Salat
are not man-made prayers. They have descended from above,
just as in every period of spiritual reconstruction prayers
were given. And there is every power and blessing in them,
especially for those who believe.
What is real prayer? Praise to God. And the meaning of
praise? Appreciating; thus opening the heart more and more
to the divine beauty one sees in manifestation. One can
never be too grateful. Children, and also the servants in
the house, should be taught appreciation; not for one's
own sake, but for the benefit they derive from learning
to value and to appreciate things. By not teaching them
this, one deprives them of a great virtue; for joy and happiness
lie in the appreciation of certain things or conditions.
Prayer trains the soul to be more appreciative of God's
One can pray silently; but sensation is psychological,
and saying words aloud penetrates the akashas of
the body and reaches to the inner plane of our being. So
prayer repeated aloud has a greater effect on the soul than
silent prayer. Prayer is offered for our own benefit and
not for God's benefit.
Action is also psychological; it makes pictures in every
atom of the body of the thought, which is behind it. Every
atom of the body prays, even the blood cells; the whole
being becomes a prayer. Thus the movements of the prayer
are a psychological action. With every movement, we make
as it were a kind of picture which impresses every atom
of our body. This affects our circulation, and by the circulation,
the whole being is affected; it is even registered on the