Who is God?
An explanation by the Contemporary Sufi M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen given on September 11, 1973, in Philadelphia, PA.
Dr. Carroll Nash, Parapsychologist: Is there anything that Bawa Muhaiyaddeen would like to tell me that would be of benefit to me or to other people?
M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen: There is the truth of God–God’s power. This truth cannot be destroyed by anything. This power is God’s beauty. It is His qualities, His justice, and His peacefulness. It is the love and compassion which He bestows without ego, without the ‘I’. Selflessly, He bestows His grace to all, keeping nothing for Himself. This is the power which He bestows upon all creation as tolerance, patience, peacefulness, and compassion. It is without anger. It bestows all nourishment and sustenance to each of God’s creations, according to its needs and wants. It is our duty, our sole duty, to take the qualities of God within ourselves. We must acquire the three thousand qualities of God, which are His divine power.
If you can train a tiger and sharpen its intellect, you may be able to teach it not to attack and kill other lives. If you can train it to eat nothing other than the food it is given, then it will no longer leap upon other creatures and kill them. Similarly, if we begin to imbibe only the qualities of God, we will not cause harm to any of God’s creations. It is His qualities that we must first learn and acquire within ourselves and then teach to others.
God has no form. He has no shadow. There is nothing in comparison to Him. He has neither wife nor child. He is neither darkness nor light. He is not like the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars. God is one power, a power which is able to control and subdue all other powers. From the single atom to all of the universes, this is a power which is intimately mixed within all things. It has nothing, no shadow, no aid. It is the One who is alone, the Original One. It is a point, a power, which has neither beginning nor end. There is no language for it, nor does it have a religion. It does not possess a race; there are no colors in it, no black or white. It is a power, a point which is within every creation.
It has no mouth, no tongue to speak, yet through our mouths that power is speaking. It has no eyes, yet it is observing through our eyes. It has no ears, yet it replies to the sounds that we hear with our own ears. It has no nose, but it senses fragrance through our sense of smell. It has no hands, but that power makes our hands the agency for giving and receiving. It has no feet or legs, but it walks throughout all the universes. Such is that power.
The mind cannot see this power. The mind has the form of a demon. Earth, fire, water, air, and ether are the form of this demon. It is the essence of the elements, the form of spirits or vapors, the form of desire and illusion. Therefore, mind and desire cannot see or pray to God. God is that treasure which transcends mind and desire. If we want to see that treasure and realize it, then we have to understand ourselves. Only wisdom can understand that treasure, and if we want to realize God, then we must acquire His qualities within ourselves. Those qualities create a different form within us, the form of His beauty. God can never he seen. It is God’s qualities which are His beauty, and the light which radiates through those qualities is His power. Those qualities are His form and that light is His power. That is God.
We must try to develop that form within us. We must be as nothing, “I am not.” Then we are in the state of God-Man, Man-God. Then there is nothing, “I am not.” Then it is God’s qualities that perform all actions. If we develop His qualities within us, then that form will come and there will be no ‘I’. The power which comes from that inner form is God. Whoever has taken in the qualities of God and has taken on that beauty and that form will be the prince of God, His son. Then he is nothing–there is no ‘I’. The elements of earth, fire, water, air, and ether have died from him. Mind and desire have gone from him and the qualities of God have come within him. This state is the beauty of God and he is the prince of God. Within that power lies the prince of God who is the heir to the kingdom of God. Our duty is to first develop those qualities within us and then to teach wisdom through those qualities.
There are seven states of wisdom or consciousness: feeling, awareness, intellect, judgment, wisdom, divine analytic wisdom, and divine luminous wisdom. It is with these seven states of consciousness that one must see God. God cannot be seen through science; nor can He be seen through intellectual learning, nor through religion, sects, or languages; nor through prayers offered by mind and desire. Only God can see God. If only God can see God, then what is God? God is His qualities. It is those divine qualities that are called ‘God’. If the form of His qualities develops within one, then God is there. He is there. It is through these qualities that God is seeing God. One takes the form of God and God is seen through this form. What we must do is to take this form of God’s qualities within ourselves and then teach those qualities to others. This is what you must do, my child.
Dr. Nash: Would you please tell Bawa Muhaiyaddeen that I understand what he says and that I agree with what he says. Are his teachings written down anywhere that I might read them?
Translator: There are several books of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen’s teachings available in America and also a book of songs translated into English.
Dr. Nash: His teachings are new to me. I have never read this particular thing that he says. It is different from all the others. And I feel that it is correct and true.
Translator: Yes. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen came to America only very recently, and his teachings are new here. He has, in his own way, been very quietly going among the people in Sri Lanka. He has really come into contact with the outer world of mankind only recently.
Dr. Nash: Did Bawa Muhaiyaddeen have a guru? Did he have a teacher himself?
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen: Yes. I am very old in years. My teacher would not be dwelling within the world. At any moment, in any eventuality that it is needed, the appropriate reply will he given, whenever I ask. It would be very, very difficult for everyone to obtain such a teacher as this. One must have the benevolence of God to receive this. As for my speaking, I cannot speak. The one who wishes to speak must be the one who speaks. If it is wished to speak of God, then it is God who must speak. If it is wished to speak of the prophets, it is the prophets themselves who must speak. If it is Gabriel (A.S.) who must be spoken of, then it is Gabriel (A.S.), himself, who must speak. And if they do speak, we must have the wisdom to understand what they say. If Jesus (A.S.) is to be spoken of, it is Jesus (A.S.) who must speak; if it is Moses (A.S.) who is spoken of, it is Moses (A.S.) who must come and speak. Then if there is any fault in what is said, if there is any mistake, then the fault relates to them. Also if there is any gain in it, it is theirs. Whether there be fault or gain, it all relates to them. It is their responsibility. If the Prophet Muhammad (Sal.) is to be spoken of, it is he, himself, who must speak. Whether it be Adam, Noah, David, or Abraham, peace be upon them all, they themselves must come and speak. Each one, whoever it be, must come and speak of himself. The words come like sound passing through a microphone. I have nothing to do with it; I am nothing. This is the way each of them speaks and tells his story. I do not want the praise or the blame. We must complete the duty that we have come to perform. This is the way. If you do it like this, it is correct.
At one time the world will hit you, at another time it will give you a title, and then at another time it will speak ill of you. In one moment you will be exalted by the world, and in the next the world will pull you down. We should not place our faith in worldly praise and worldly blame. The world will lift you up high, telling you that there are fruits on the top of the tree, and if you are unable to climb, it will give you a ladder or even push you up the tree. Then once you are on top, the world will remove the ladder. Then what is your position? You are on the top of the tree, you do not know how to climb down, and the ladder has been removed. So, however much the world has exalted you, that same distance you have to fall down. This is what the world offers you. We cannot place our entire belief in this, nor should we depend on it and climb to the top of the tree. If we can just stay at the bottom, it is good. Then we will not encounter this danger.
Dr. Nash: Has Bawa Muhaiyaddeen spoken of reincarnation?
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen: If a bee were to fall into fire, what would happen? It would become part of the fire. It could not come out of the fire again; it has become the fire itself. The fire has consumed the bee. If, however, the bee does not enter the fire, if it is not burned, then it still exists. It may fly near the fire or remain far away, but it still would exist here in this world. Where else is there for it to be?
Man is not really this external form, this body. The inner form of man is the qualities of God–a form separate from the external form. Within that form is the shadowless soul, which came as a ray from God, from that great power. It has no form or shadow, and it cannot be discovered by science. Everything has a shadow, but not the soul. God has no shadow, truth has no shadow, and wisdom has no shadow. It is this treasure that you must separate off. This is God’s treasure, God’s truth. This is separate from the body of earth, fire, water, air, and ether. That belongs to illusion, or maya, to the earthly world, to night and darkness. It is glitter, it is scenes, it is an act, and it is veils. One form is night and the other is light. One is false and one is truth. One is torpor and one is the radiance of wisdom.
The external body relates to the earth itself. It is just a cooperative store with five shareholders. But true man is a separate section from this cooperative store. His is the section of Man-God, God-Man, which contains God’s power. That power, that body, that prayer, and that devotion, all belong to a separate section.
Within God’s creation there are multifarious things: goats, bulls, tigers, leopards, lions, mice, birds, and snakes. They each have their own qualities, their own peculiar sounds and actions. God is a great scientist, a great artist, and a potter. He is a learned scholar, the poet of poets, the gnani, the one who has divine wisdom. Realizing all things, God is the father who gives the explanation and the life to all. From His treasury, He is able to do all things. He is the one who has seen and known everything. He has seen the beginningless beginning (anathi), and the dawning of light (athi). God is that power for which there is no comparison anywhere. He holds within Himself such an immense treasury. He holds within Himself the entire understanding of grace, of creation, of all the sciences and arts, of ignorance, illusion, and the wealth of this world and the eighteen thousand universes. Everything that ever can be and ever will be is within His treasury. All the learnings of earth, fire, water, air, and ether, of colors, glitters, lights, and illusion are there within that treasury.
God knows the powers of each atom and the explanation and meanings of each and every thing. He has the experience of everything whether it be astrology, the earth, or birth. It is God alone who has understood the clarity of each and every thing. Having created all things out of the entirety of His treasury, what He finally distilled and redistilled and purified and repurified many times and then created is man, the human being. That which God tempered and distilled to such a purified state and placed His qualities within, is man.
Having placed His qualities within man, God said, “I am the secret of man and man is My secret! I have placed within him My entire treasury. He is My wealth, My bank. Within man, I have placed all My powers. He is My wealth, and I am his wealth. If there is any being who can realize Me, it is only man. If there is any being who can learn My knowledge, it is only man. And if man is able to realize My knowledge, then he is I and I am he. All of My treasure and all My beauty is within man, and his beauty is within Me. He is My bank and I am his bank. The wealth that he needs is Me, and I have placed My wealth within him. It is man, himself, who must expend from My bank. It is he who must give forth of My grace.” So God has said.
When the station of divine wisdom dawns and one realizes, “I am nothing,” then he has no birth. Then there is no ‘I’, no ‘you’. There are no races, differences, colors, or sects. If he does not possess anything, just as God possesses nothing, then there is no rebirth for him. It is he alone who can be called man, a human being. If one has not realized this wisdom and God, he cannot be called man. One cannot be termed man except by the truth and wisdom within him. By looking at his face and body, you cannot call him man. There are men who are like monkeys. There are men who are like animals. They cannot all be called human beings. Only if one has that wisdom which is due to man, the human wisdom, can he be called man. If he does not possess this human wisdom, but instead possesses the consciousness and qualities of beasts, then this is not a human being.
Within man are the eighteen thousand universes. Whatever he sees outside is also found within himself, without form. There is a world outside, and there is a world inside. There is an ocean outside, and there is an ocean inside of man. There is satan outside, and there is satan inside. There are illusions outside and within; there are the visual attractions outside and within; there are demons without and demons within. There are lions outside and the qualities of the lion within man. The bull is outside and also within. The tiger is outside, and the tiger’s quality of pouncing and catching another is within man. The crow is outside and also within; the eagle and all of the birds to be found outside are also found within man. There is also a large ocean to be found within man–the red sea of blood attachments. The entire eighteen thousand universes are found within man.
Whatever angels or heavenly beings exist outside also exist within man, in shadow form. And if one takes on the qualities of a demon, then he is a demon. This body is a cooperative store. If one takes on the qualities of a lion, then he is a lion; if one has the arrogance of the elephant within him, then he is an elephant himself; if he has the quality of the biting snake, he is a snake. If he butts like the bull or kicks like the horse, then he is that animal.
If he has the quality of illusion, then he is illusion itself. If he has the quality of satan, then he is darkness itself. So, man has the form of whatever qualities he has taken within himself. It is by his qualities and actions that you can ascertain his form. If he is filled with arrogance, envy, vengeance, and jealousy, he has the qualities of satan. If he has desire, then he has the quality of illusion. If he has torpor, then he has the quality of ignorance.
Therefore, we must find out who is a true human being. If you look at all of mankind in the world of God’s creations, there are very, very few true human beings. But there are very, very many who are animals.
God is just one, and like that, true man is very, very rare. In the kingdom of this earth, the true human being is very rare indeed. They are very few and even these few are not tolerated here; they are not allowed to exist in this world. The true human being is just one in ten million. But if one does become a true man, then for him there will be no birth or death, nor will he return again. He does not come back to the world, nor is he destroyed.
A bull must plow, then later go to the butcher, and from the butcher come to the table. He must go and come back. He must go and come back through the gate of hell. This is the way of the animal. They must go to hell and come back through hell. This is the way it is, but true man is not like this. A true human being is very rare.
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