Social Gatheka Number 14
But now comes the question how this simple principle
of brotherhood may be lived, how may it be practiced. It
is most difficult to teach this principle to anyone. The
best way of teaching it is living it oneself. The parents,
either father or mother, who show to their children, besides
fatherly love and motherly tenderness, that brotherhood,
that feeling of a brother with his brothers, in this they
can express themselves best to their children, and in this
way the children are able to express their best to their
parents. A father may be most kind, a mother most loving,
but as long as he or she maintains the attitude of holding
himself or herself as father, as mother; something different
from the children, the children will grow to love them,
but will never look upon them a friends.
They will look
for friends elsewhere, because there is no brotherhood.
And when we come to the teacher, a teacher may be respected
by his pupils, he may bear great dignity before his pupils,
but at the same time there cannot be established that communication
of inspiration and love, of sympathy, of understanding till
he has practiced with his pupils that manner of brotherhood.
When the soldiers, millions of them, gave their lives for
the great kings and generals, it was not for the general,
it was for the brother. No king, no general, no commander,
whatever be his honor and his position, has been able to
win the hearts of those who followed him – never.
When we hear of the great ones, the prophets, the seers,
the mystics in what way have they treated their pupils,
their disciples? The story of Jesus Christ is known to all,
calling the fishermen to come and sit and talk with him.
The Master never felt comfortable when they called him 'good.'
He said, 'call me not good.' The whole idea was, 'consider
me not superior to you, I am one of you.' Think then the
picture of the Master washing the feet of his disciples.
What does it teach us? It all teaches us brotherhood. No
miracle, no great power, no great inspiration, occult or
mystical, can equal the phenomenon of that humility, of
that fraternity, that brotherhood with which the great ones
have become one with all.
To think, friends, about the condition that humanity
has passed through during the last few years and what result
has been achieved from all the prejudices and disagreement
and inharmony which has come up between nations and between
people, and it seems that even now it is not lessening,
the world seems to be going from bad to worse – the suffering
in every way caused to humanity, it seems has not yet ended!
No doubt life in the world is so intoxicating that man hardly
stops to think about it, and the life such as it is just
now has so many responsibilities that everyone, rich or
poor, is so absorbed in his affairs that he hardly has a
moment to think what is going on in the world. Nevertheless
illness is illness, the world is ill. Yes, a person may
neglect his illness and may engage his mind in something
else, but if that illness is not attended to, it remains
just the same. And when we look for the cause of all this
disaster we may be able to find a thousand causes, and yet
there is one principle cause, which is the lack of brotherhood.
And the absence of anything one could have endured, but
the world cannot be happy, and the order and peace of humanity
maintained in the absence of brotherhood. The brotherhood
which can be learned and that every person has the facility
of learning in his life. Think of that master who is kind
and who is loving to his servant, who considers his servant
his brother, he is blessed. Think of that family, a family
in which two members, or three members, or four, or five
members, whatever be their relation, that they consider
that idea of brotherhood in sharing with one another the
pain and pleasure, how happy, how blessed that family will
be! Think of a nation, whatever its government, whatever
be its constitution, if there was this spirit of brotherhood
between the people of different position, of different ranks
or occupation, how blessed that nation would be! From where
does injustice come, from where unfairness? It all comes
from the lack of brotherhood. Think of the conditions today,
the courts full of cases, the prisons full of prisoners!
How many disagreements between people, inharmony between
nations, all that is caused by the lack of brotherhood.
Now when we consider that question from a still deeper
point of view, we shall find that in the spirit of brotherhood
there is the way of illumination. A man perhaps who lives
by a great principle, or prays all day, or meditates in
the caves of the mountains, if he does not show the spirit
of brotherhood, he is no good to himself or others. Because
brotherhood is the way to develop spiritually. It is not
exclusiveness, it is not running away from the world, which
is the way of the real spiritual ones. It is to consider
one's obligations, it is to keep by one's word, one's honor,
it is to prove sincere in every little capacity in which
one may be working, faithful to friends, and true before
everyone. Those are the merits which develop by themselves
when the spirit of brotherhood has become mature in man.
But when we come to the metaphysical point of view we
see that element attracts element. For instance, two streams
of water will be attracted to one another. There will come
a time when they will join together, but there will be efforts
made by both to come together. Fire, starting from two ends
of a certain line will be attracted, each to the other flame
which is coming from the opposite end, and will meet and
will become one. And so an artist is attracted to an artist,
thinker to thinker, a scientist to a scientist, and the
man of action to the man of action. It is not that they
are attracted because there is the same element in them.
No, no. It is because there is a comfort, there is a happiness
there in being attracted by the same element. Think of the
joy when two people of the same thought meet together. It
is greater than a joy, greater than a satisfaction, it is
that happiness which is promised is heaven.
But behind all this world of various names and forms
there is one life, there is one spirit, that spirit which
is the soul of all beings. That spirit is attracted towards
unity. It is the absence of that spirit which keeps it unhappy.
A person who has just had some unpleasantness with his brother,
with his sister, to him the food is tasteless, the night
without sleep, the heart restless, the soul under clouds.
If one may ask, 'what is the matter, what is closed before
you,' he would give one answer if he knew, and that answer
is, 'that sunshine has been covered by clouds.' What does
it show? It shows that we live not necessarily on the food,
our soul lives on love, the love that we receive, that we
give and take. The absence of this is our unhappiness, and
the presence of it is everything we need. Nothing in the
world there is that is a greater healing power, that is
a greater remedy a greater happiness, than to be conscious
of brotherhood and to be able to give that feeling to one's
child, master, neighbor, friend.
The humble efforts made by the Sufi Movement in the service
of God and humanity are towards brotherhood. In the form
of devotion, of philosophy, of mysticism, or metaphysics,
art, or science, or whatever form, the Sufi Movement will
present to the world the ideal the central theme of which
is always brotherhood.