Saturday, March 30, 2013

76. St Teresa of Avila. Part three


Third way. The saint does not dwell much on this stage. To summarize:

This is a state of partial union (with God)

This is a very lofty stage. The pleasures and joys of this stage are far sublime than those of the second stage. It is  at least of two types.

The faculties are in a state of sleep, they are neither wholly lost, nor can understand how they work

Sensations are absent, or almost absent

Union is incomplete

Will is gone

Understanding is partly gone

Memory is present

Imagination is present but cannot concentrate

Another type may be so different from the Prayer of the Quiet, in which the soul does not want to move, that it may be active in works of charity and at the same time in contemplative life

Fourth Way. This last water is characterized by complete union (with God). This is the highest state, in mysticism, that can be achieved by a human being while alive. Perhaps it is the same as nirbi kalpa Samadhi of Hinduism. There are no feelings, except happiness.

Sensations are absent

Power (to move) is gone

Understanding is gone

Union is complete

Will is gone

Imagination is gone

Memory is lost

Rejoicing is present. Joy is ineffable

Person finds him/herself bathed in tears


When we say, sensations are gone, we mean, the soul cannot see or hear or speak (If she sees or hears, she does not know what she is seeing or hearing). If the soul can communicate in any form, her rejoicing, then it is not union

This stage, at least initially, often comes after prolonged meditation. It often comes without warning, when the person least expects it.  It is very brief, at the most half an hour.

St Teresa was very curious as to what the soul experienced during this stage. She could not describe it. As she was going to write this chapter ( she had just undergone this stage)  , God spoke to her “ it dies to itself wholly, daughter, in order that it may fix itself more and more upon Me; it is no longer itself that lives, but I………………………..

St Teresa became certain that God is physically present in the room, and a very learned man confirmed it.                             

What are the benefits to the soul? They are many; contentment, joy, bursting with love for God, helping others, piety,etc. but here is one which is special;”…………………… begins to benefit its neighbors, and they become aware of this benefit because the flowers have now so powerful a fragrance as to make them desire to approach them. They realize that the soul has virtues…..”

Rapture. This is a form of union or something higher than union. It is also called, ecstasy, flight of the spirit or transport. How is it different from union?

A tremendous power descends upon one. One is helpless against this strong, swift impulse. No resistance is possible, whereas in union, one could resist the union. It is as if a little sparrow was being carried away by a mighty eagle. As if one was being ground to powder. The Lord raises the soul up till it is right out of itself. The soul seems no longer to animate the body. The soul, then, seems to be, not in itself at all, but on the house-top, or the roof, of its own house, and raised above all created things; “she thought it was far above even its own very highest part.”

The soul goes through various feelings, which are so different from each other. For instance there is great happiness, but at the same time there is great weariness and detachment. At times soul feels great loneliness. She is away from God. She is searching for God. She asks herself “where is thy God” There is death-like yearning for God. This suffering also brings greatest happiness, so much so that she would like to spend the rest of her life in this suffering and joy. “Pain is excessive, the pulses almost cease, bones are all disjointed, and the hands are stiff. Until the next day I have pains in my wrists and the entire body” the Lord told her that her soul was being purified by this distress like gold in a crucible.

One feels cold (away from body heat)

The Lord’s mighty power makes one humble

Initially it produces great fear

At the end of a deep rapture, the body is incapable of movement, sometimes for hours. The faculties may remain absorbed for a day or two, or even for three days, as if they were in a state of stupor.

It is more beneficial. The soul has no desire to seek or possess any free will. She wants nothing except the will of God; the soul wants to be neither her own master nor anybody else’s.  Worldly matters are of little concern.

“Once when we were together in choir, and I was on my knees and about to communicate, my body was raised from the ground. It caused me the greatest distress. It seemed to me the most extraordinary thing, and I thought there would be a great deal of talk about it, so I ordered the nuns not to speak of it. On other occasions, when I felt that the Lord was going to enrapture me, I have lain on the ground and the sisters have come and held me down. I begged the lord not to grant me any favors which had visible and exterior signs. He was pleased to accept my desire, and since then I have not received such favors.

My soul, now, when not occupied, finds itself continually in this death-like yearning for God. They make me afraid.  But once in the state, I want to stay in the state, forever.”

The soul is in such a torment, that it does not want solitude (like it used to), the only companionship it seeks is with one to whom it can voice its complaint

In this state of ecstasy occur true revelations, great favors and visions.

To be continued

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

75. St Teresa of Avila. Part 2


St Teresa compares the soul of the seeker (or traveler) to a garden. God has already selected the person. He has uprooted the weeds and planted nice plants in that soil. Now, if properly watered, the plants will produce fragrant flowers. There are 4 ways the garden can be watered:

1. By taking the water from a well, and carrying it to the garden, a labor intensive method

2. By water-wheel and buckets, when the water is drawn by a windlass; a less laborious way

3. By a stream or a brook. This is very efficient and less laborious than the first two

4. By heavy rain, when God waters it Himself, when the water is needed. No effort of the gardener is needed

First Way.The Saint describes the first way in great detail, because almost every one passes through this stage. It is the most difficult, and lasts for a long time. Many a times, one loses all hope. One crosses this period only by God’s help, and not by his/her efforts. Patience and perseverance are a must. It is important to remember that God is fair and just, one’s efforts are always rewarded

I could spend several pages on this stage. Briefly, the person goes to a solitary place and thinks of some image. She used to picture Christ tied to the column, but, dozens of other images can be chosen. She would reflect upon the pains He bore. Why did He choose to bear them? With what love and fortitude He bore them?............She would weep (that is what she calls watering the garden )

If one cannot weep, then there is no water in the well. Don’t be disheartened. God meant it to be like that. Aridity is good in its own right. At least try to develop tenderness and feeling of devotion at the thought of Christ. Think, that He never deserved to be there. He did it for us

She states “ consider it the greatest of favors to work in the garden of so great an Emperor”

At the same time self knowledge should not be neglected.

“Once you desire to be alone and commune with God, and abandon the pastimes of this world, the chief part of your job is done.”

Focus your thoughts, don’t allow them to wander. This is very very difficult

Once one becomes proficient, the memory and understanding are partially suspended during the deep parts of meditation.

Second Way. Here the gardener draws more water with less labor. It is also called Prayer of Quiet. The Saint tries to explain it, as best as she can, but words cannot describe the feelings of such states which can only be experienced. She uses the words, such as contentment, consolation, joy, and favors (by God) to describe the feelings of the recipient. Let me pinpoint as much as I can:

Will is partially lost (or sometimes she uses the term “kept occupied or captive” by the God)

Understanding is present, and helps the will enjoy the pleasures

Memory is present, and helps the will enjoy the pleasures

Tears of joy flow

Very little labor is required, so prayer even if continues for a long time, is not wearisome

Soul does not know what to do. Does not want to know or ask. She is content and happy.

Sometimes the pleasures and consolations are taken away. This is to teach one humility

As the soul has never gone beyond this state, it thinks there is no more to wish, and wants to stay there forever. Many, many reach this state, few pass beyond it. This prayer is a spark of true love which God has enkindled. It is a great gift. God has chosen him/her.

Her words “the flowers have now reached a point at which they are almost ready to bloom”

She did not understand Latin, but in this state she could understand the meaning of the words she was reciting as if they were in Spanish language.

The Saint states that when one starts the prayer (of first degree or way), it is most important, to detach oneself from all kinds of pleasures. This is the same teaching which this mote has found in mystic practices of all religions; Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others. Conquer one self

To be continued


Sunday, March 24, 2013

74.   St Teresa of Avila . Part one

St Teresa of Avila was one of the greatest saints of all times. She left an account of her life in her own handwriting; therefore, we do not have to worry about the veracity of her account. However, some of her statements are so fantastic that one has to consider the possibility that during those deep trances she might be imagining things. She herself has not entirely ruled out that possibility.

 She was the author of multiple books. Her books were in Spanish language, but now they have been translated in many languages. She was born approximately in 1515 and died in 1582. She entered, as Novice nun in the Carmelite convent of the Incarnation, Avila, in 1536.

She became seriously ill when she was young. The illness lasted for about 3 years. About 2 years before she became ill, she saw a nun who was afflicted with a very severe illness. She had sores on her stomach and could not tolerate food.  She soon died. All the nuns were afraid of it but not St Teresa. She writes: “I begged God that He would send me any illness He pleased if only He would make her as patient as she. Her Majesty heard my prayer".

Be careful of what you pray, lest it may be granted!

 Initially she had severe pains from head to foot, which gave her no rest. Then she had convulsions. She herself describes:

My tongue was bitten to pieces………I could not take water. As a result of the torments I had suffered during these days, I was all doubled up like a ball, and no more able to move arm, foot, hand or head than if I had been dead…………I could move, I think, only one finger of my right hand…….They used to move me in a sheet.

My extreme weakness cannot be described. I was very glad when sharp and constant pains went away, although I could hardly endure the cold fits of quartan ague which were very severe. I remained in this condition for more than eight months, and my paralysis, though it kept improving, continued for nearly three years. When I began to get about on my hand and knees, I praised God. All this I bore with great resignation, and, except at the beginning, with great joy; for none of it could compare with the pain and torments which I had suffered at first.

Life of a mystic, before he or she reaches perfection, is very hard. She was attracted to both the world and the God. She writes “when I was in the midst of worldly pleasures, I was distressed by the remembrance of what I owed to God; when I was with God; I grew restless because of worldly affections. More than 18 of the 28 years, since I started prayer, have been spent in this battle.” Sometimes she would receive favors. God was very merciful to her to give her the gift of tears. Once, as she entered oratory, her eyes fell on an image of Christ, sorely wounded. She was deeply moved to see Him like that. She writes “I felt as if my heart was breaking, and I threw myself down beside Him, shedding flood of tears………………”

“When picturing Christ, wounded, I used unexpectedly to experience a consciousness of the presence of God”. She felt, He was within her and she was wholly engulfed in Him. It is called mystical theology. Her memory , would almost completely be lost, understanding would be present, but would not reason

In 1555-6, she thought that she was hearing inner voices, and seeing visions. She had her first imaginary vision of Christ in 1558. She had several visions of Jesus, Holy Mary, St Joseph (her patron saint), angels; all with the eyes and ears of mind. She never saw them with worldly eyes.

She considered herself very lucky to have received these favors in the amount of time she had spent. She states that His Majesty has given her these experiences in 27 years (from the time she started practicing prayer), which others might have needed 37 or 47 years (“Although ill as I have walked and often as I have stumbled on this road”)

In the next installment, she describes the four degrees of prayer



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

73.   The path

There is no call from the Creator

There is no reply from the Maker

Door to God is locked

Ray from Him is blocked

No guide to show the way

No place to rest and stay

Your Majesty did not appoint a mentor

Your house remained forbidden to enter

Path was as dark as it could be

Riddled with difficulties as it should be

Alas, never got lost

In Your pious thought

Never had the ‘out of body feel’

Never on You did my mind seal

In the eyes of my mind

Your vision did not shine

Emptiness lingered over the begging hand

It remained dry like desert sand

Instead of joy, progress and hope

There was despair and pain to cope

In this journey what is hard to endure

Your silence, and lack of progress, for sure

If that is Your will oh Lord

Mkadk will make it his bidding, oh God

Friday, March 15, 2013

72. Mr. Shevani . part 2


Continued from Blog 67

Mr. shevani’s two sons had arrived at the cave few hours before their father’s death.

Great Qalander instructed the sons to take their father’s body, after he dies, to their hometown to be buried, near water, like a canal, and to build a tomb over the grave. He ordered two of his disciples to go and stay at the grave for 40 days. They were to recite holy verses from Quran and pray. The guide was to supervise everything and bring flowers from Data Sahib’s tomb at Lahore, every Thursday, and spread over Mr. Shevani’s grave. Mr. Shevani, dying, but still alive, was listening.

The final prayer over the dead body called Namaz-a-janaza ( as per Islamic custom) was attended by all present and led by  the great Qalander. The first row was kept vacant by Qalander’s orders. He also instructed that the first two rows , at the second Namaz-a-janaza, at Mr. Shevani’s home town should be kept vacant. Why the rows were to be kept vacant? Were there some invisible participants?

The two disciples stayed at the grave, as instructed. One went back, but the other was ordered to stay more. Some of the villagers did not like the presence of the disciple and the building of a tomb. They belonged to fundamentalist sects of Islam, like Wahabis, which don’t like people visiting the graves for favors (Their contention is, that one should ask directly from God, who is everywhere, and listens to everybody). They asked the disciple to leave, he refused. Then they beat him up. He still did not leave. Next, they broke his leg (he is now permanently lame) on one occasion and his arm at another occasion. The disciple said that he won’t go even if they kill him because he was staying at the the order of his  murshed’. All this strife brought fame and attention to the grave and Mr. Shevani’s life history. Soon the disciple was called back. Apparently the disciple was undergoing a test of his own. He passed the test of obedience and steadfastness.

How stars are born? How  spiritual sites are created? This story illustrates it. Nobody would have known Mr. Shevani’s grave. If more and more people visit the grave and if their prayers and wishes are answered, the tomb will gather fame. A shrine will be built. Holy people will visit it. A holy person may permanently stay there and increase the spirituality of the shrine.

Such shrines, and holy sites are distributed all over the world. Cities like Mecca, Medina, The Vatican, Jerusalem, Puri, Banaras, Ajmer, Amritsar,Rangoon,etc, have holy sites. Millions of people visit them each year. What is the purpose of these sites? One purpose is to keep the followers faithful to their religion. And there are other obvious purposes, which I do not want to go into. But a less known reason is ( which this mote discovered on his own), that these sites are the transmitting towers of broadcasting stations, to God or His assistants. Prayers over these sites have a good chance of  being heard. At some level these billions of wishes are sorted out. Most must be rejected. But if the prayer has intrinsic merit, it may be granted . If the prayer is unique, it may be granted ( like Mr. Shevani’s unparalleled prayer ). In human body, the electrical impulses travel to the brain, through special cable like structures called nerves. Impulses can travel through muscles and bones, but they travel much better through nerves. Same is true of these spiritual sites. They are like nerves. Holy Sites, like Kaaba, Jerusalem Holy Temple (or its remnants), Banaras, have seen and heard from pilgrims and holy people, even mighty prophets, for thousands of years. There is tremendous accumulated spirituality at these places.

Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to six children in June 1981 at Medjugorje, Bosnia. Before that appearance it was a small village. Now more than 30 million persons have visited it. This is another way of creating spiritual sites. Minds you, people must be getting something in return, for their visit, otherwise they will stop coming . Those shrines where no spiritual entity lives any more ( because there are no visitors ) are according to Aldus Huxley, Dead shrines.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

71.  What else should I do


My God, please tell me

What else should I do?

I have done my best

But failed some crucial test


I have shed tears every day

I have begged You every day

I have prayed to You every day

I try to reach You every day


I collected and offered wild flowers

Covered with dew and rain

I wrote and sang songs

Of Your glory and my pain



I have repeated Your name millions of time

I have thought about You zillions of time

I loved You with an obsession

I yearned for You with burning  passion

I debased myself so low

Nothing further was left to go


Like Mogul king Babur I also thought

As a last resort

I should offer to God

The most valuable thing I got


I laid my life at Your feet

Master and mote were going to meet

Your silence was an utter defeat

Your indifference punctured my conceit

I failed to get Your attention

My sacrifice was not worth mention


Dear God give a clue

What else should mkadk do



70.  Love for God. Part 3

Love for You is strange

Time does not diminish it

It feeds on Your thought

Your silence does not finish it

It grows with time

It has no decline

Human love needs sharing

We share our joys and sorrows

We share our hopes and dreams

We share our todays and tomorrows

There is no sharing with God

He does not talk back

One’s soul may be on fire

One’s body may be on rack

One may cry out! Help me

Lord, I am going to crack

Who cares if one dies?

Eternal silence is Your reply

Life and death are meaningless to Divinity

You are God! You live in infinity

Mind does not know of cells it consist

You probably don’t know if we exist

Mkadk will keep loving You oh God

My silent, invisible, untouchable, indifferent Lord




69.  Love for God. Part 2


Mkadk does  not know how it starts

Who plants it in mind’s hive?

But soon it becomes essential

Like air is to all life


One is caught in a tornado

Separation charges this dynamo

Joy and pain rise to a crescendo

Finally union tames this inferno


Union with God is the aim

Every seeker continues his endeavor

Though none falters or waver

Lucky few are granted this favor



68. Love for God . part 1


Love for God is very strange

I do not know how You look like

I have never seen You

I have never talked to You

I have never touched You

Yet I love You!

You have never returned my love

I do not know where You live

I do not know how to reach You

If I try to reach You

You do not encourage it

Throw hurdles in my path

Yet mkadk loves You!

Because he feels You



Monday, March 11, 2013

67.  Mr. ShevanI . part 1.


Mr Shevani was a rich millionaire or billionaire of Gujranwala, Pakistan, who died few months ago. He was not a particularly religious person. He was a kind hearted man who liked to help others; particularly he spent money to help poor women get married.

He would some time pray to Allah for a very strange wish. He prayed to meet the greatest Qalander( high grade Muslim mystic ) of this period.

One day a bearded well dressed man came to his house. The man said that he has received orders through some channels to take him to a recluse mystic in FATA ( federally  administered tribal area). That man did not know why. This area is very dangerous. There is a continuous war between Pakistan Army and Taliban controlled local population. It is somewhat lawless area. The man asked Mr Shevani that what was his relationship with Data Darbar. Mr shevani said that he was not a devotee of Data Sahib and did not have any particular relationship. He had often visited the shrine because he greatly respected Data Sahib, but many a time he would often not even go inside, but say prayers or distribute food to the needy, outside. This man then asked Mr Shevani that what could be his reason to meet the recluse Qalandar. Mr Shevani then told him of his prayer. The man and Mr Shevani agreed that God must have answered his prayer. This man had met the great Qalander once before, and had firsthand knowledge of his great spirituality.

Now Mr Shevani was face to face with reality. He had also wanted ( and might have told God in His prayer that he wanted to spend rest of his life with the Qalander ) to give up the world and stay with this Qalander ( if he would allow him). This was the moment of truth. Should he give up this world of his children and grandchildren. The world of tasty foods to eat, soft bed to sleep, house to protect from heat and cold, servants to obey his wishes, money to buy whatever he wanted or go to a world of cold, poverty , fasts and hardship. He knew he will have to live in a cave, sleep on hay or grass covered floor, and eat very little food. He will have to face harsh approaching winter. The people surrounding him would be speaking different language ( although they could also speak Urdu ) and would have different customs.

Mr shevani was not deterred. He asked for 3 days to wrap his affairs

When Mr Shevani and the guide arrived at the Mystic’s place he was not there. He had left one day earlier to an unknown place. But by his spiritual knowledge he knew that they were coming . He had left instructions with his two disciples, that the guide should stay the night. He left some Poultice for the guide’s feet which had multiple sores from walking bare feet. He also said that the guide will be bringing dry food for everybody ( which guide had done on his own ). As for Mr Shevani, he said, that he was free to stay in a cave or go back.

Mr Shevani showed great courage and elected to stay, despite the absence of the great Qalander, who may not return for months

He spent the winter in a cave. He was not used to hardship, having spent all his life in luxury. He became gravely ill. A messenger was sent to Lahore to get medicines for him. He survived.

He started building a road and a mosque in that area.

Due to fasting, he was reduced to a skelton. The guide once visited him. They prayed together in his cave/

The great Qalander told him several times, that if he wanted, he was allowed to go back to his home. Mr Shevani always replied that if that was an order, he would obey, otherwise he would stay at his Murshad’s feet.

Mr Shevani stayed steadfast. He never wavered and went back. Approximately eleven months after his arrival he died. He took his last breath, with his head resting at the thigh of the great Qalander.

To be continued





Thursday, March 7, 2013

66.   Shahab. Part 2

Please read blog 65 for continuity.

Nothing happened after that dream for about 3 months. Those 3 months were terrible. I thought I lost all my gains. I was in great anguish. Then on June 9, 1938, I received my first letter from ‘Ninety’. I consider that one of the few most important days of my life. The envelope was stamped 9.30 am, Jammu city. I received it the same day at 12.30 pm. Same day delivery was impossible in city postal system. It was a hand written, 13 page letter in difficult English. One half of the letter consisted of an analysis of my past life and character, and the second half had orders, exercises, and my future plan. The letter had some intimate details which nobody except me (and God) knew, and some even I did not fully know. The letter was signed ‘ninety years old Fakir’

Who was Ninety? I don’t know. I have never met him or seen him. Once I asked him, who are you? Where do you live? What is your spiritual rank? The reply came: You will never find. As for rank, everybody is a traveler on this path…………………………….

I received written instructions from him for almost next 25 years. The instructions would come as letters, which I would sometime find under my pillow, in a shelf, or sometime they would materialize out of thin air, in the room, or outside walking. I had the orders to destroy them as soon as possible. One time I thought of saving a little piece as a holy relic. As soon as I thought of it, a letter came. It stated that in a few minutes lights will go off, and my hands will be tied with live snakes for half an hour. I was terrified. I asked for forgiveness, and said I won’t do it in future.  Within minutes reply came. It said “ Ha Ha .  So you are afraid of just two snakes. Have you ever thought of countless worms which will be in your grave, etc………….”

Islam’s holiest place is Kaaba. It is also called Bait ullah or house of God. It is situated in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.  Shahab did not seem to be much affected by his first visit to kaaba. In contrast, he was full of fervor as he started towards Medina, the second holiest city in Islam, where the holy Prophet is buried in Masjid-a- nubwi. He was walking on foot in hot desert sand. He threw away his shoes, as a sign of devotion. Burning heat sent waves of heat from soles to head. Before he could get his first glimpse of the dome of the mosque, he thought, his eyes should be purified from the filth of  this world. What better purifying substance than the sand of Prophet’s city . So he put a little bit of sand in his eyes. Soon his eyes were red and he could hardly see. He started bumping into people. In front of the mosque he was thrown on the pile of pilgrim’s shoes. The guardian of shoes took pity on him and seated him on his mat. When asked by the guardian what was wrong with his eyes, he told the story of putting sand. Tears came in the guardian’s eyes. He helped him a lot. Gave food, shelter in his own house, took him to a  doctor, bought him medicine, and a bus ticket . But most of all, authorized him to spend several hours at night inside the mosque ( which was prohibited ). Shahab writes, that he got the opportunity to sweep inside the railing of Prophet’s tomb, that holy place on earth, with his eyelashes

There was a supernatural incident in the same mosque on some other visit narrated by his friend Mumtaz mufti (see foot note) but I won’t mention it here because it is not narrated by Shahab himself.

Shahab once spent a night, alone, in Masjid-a-aqsa , the third holiest site in Islam, located in Jerusalem. He states:

When I was all by myself the holiness and history of the place, swallowed me. I felt as if I was a dirty dog, which by mistake, had landed in a palace made of precious glass. My teeth started chattering and I started violently shivering. I had convulsions and I fell in a time tunnel in which thousands of years of asleep history woke up. On scintillating highways, like milky way, I saw the processions of great holy prophets. Streams of light emerged from the dust of their feet. Prophets like Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus, and then the last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)………………………………………………………………………..I saw great wonders of My God…………………..

Finally, an incident few days (?) before his death:

One day when he returned at 11:30 from his morning walk, his face was red and eyes were shining, as if he was drunk, and trying to prevent himself from reeling. He was sort of giggling with joy. One hand was closed in a fist , while the other was on his heart. Seeing his state his sister Mehmooda became perturbed……………………………………. . He said he got a prize that day. His sister said that was nothing new, “All your life you have been getting prizes”. He said, this was the biggest, most precious, and the last gift. I prayed for it for years. Begged for it. And today I got it unasked. He told:

I did not feel well. One time I thought of going back , but persisted. I reached the houses of naval headquarters. I rested by a wall, and watched children playing a game. I closed my eyes. I heard a tiny voice saying’ Baba,Baba (old man)’ I opened my eyes. A little boy was standing with worried look on his face. Then he said “do you want flour or money”(what you would say to a common beggar). I caressed his head with love and said “both” he ran to his home. He came back and said “mother says there is no flour, but have money” he put a shining coin in my hand.

Why did shahab think that coin so important? I leave it to your own interpretation




  Note. Lubbaik by Mumtaz Mufti


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

65.  Shahab . Part 1.


The readers must by now be acquainted with Shahab. I have mentioned him in blog 9, 32 and 64. His book (Shahab nama) was my first introduction to mysticism. His book was the catalyst for this mote

               I have mentioned his dream in which he saw the holy prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him) in a dream (blog 9). His next good fortune occurred with the following incident which he himself narrates:

One day I was touring a far flung area. I went for Friday prayers to a dilapidated mosque in a small village . The Imam was saying laughable and incredulous things. But one thing struck my heart. He said that sometimes very exalted companions of the Prophet will come to Bibi Fatimah, Prophet’s favorite daughter, for her intercession on their behalf. The Prophet loved and respected her so much that he won’t turn her down. After the prayer was finished I stayed in the mosque and said more prayers. Then I prayed to God with utmost sincerity that I  don’t know if the story about Bibi Fatimah is correct or not. Oh Allah , I beg You to allow the spirit of Fatimah to ask her  exalted father to grant my request. The request is that I want to go on the path of quest of God. I do not have the capability to follow the standard paths. I should be set on Awaisia path, if that path is a reality and not a fiction

               Several weeks passed. I did not mention my prayer to anybody. I myself forgot about it. Then one day I received a strange letter from Germany from my sister-in-law. Here is a verbatim excerpt:

“ the other night I had the good fortune to see Fatimah, the daughter of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in my dream. She talked to me most graciously and said ‘ tell your brother-in-law Qudrat Ullah Shahab, that I have submitted his request to my exalted father who has very kindly accepted it”

After receiving that letter I became mad with intoxication and delight. I stayed put in a room for 3 days. Waves of ecstasy would run through my body ,whenever I would think that my name was mentioned between such an  exalted father and his exalted daughter

After that I started seeing many mystics and saints in my dreams. I neither recognized them, nor could I understand their language. My heart did not melt to them. One night I saw a very lovely and handsome saint who was circling Kaaba with an intoxicating abandon. My heart prostrated at his feet. He also came to me, smiling and said “ my name is Quttab ud din Bakhtiar Kaki. you are not our type, but you have been accepted by the authority, to which we all submit”

He made me sit in a place near Hateem. He put a cup between us which contained some edible thing in it. Suddenly he said ‘you want this life or that life’ Even in dream my cowardice woke up. I thought that this question meant an invitation to immediate death . I was being asked to choose between this world or the world after death. I wanted to stay alive. I replied ‘ exalted Sir, a little bit of both’. The moment I uttered those words a black dog like animal came from my left side, and put his mouth in the cup

Witnessing this Mr. Quttab smiled and said ‘ Alas! this free gift was not for you. Your base self is dominant. You will have to undergo purification processes.

To be continued



Monday, March 4, 2013

64. Data Gunj Bakhash. Part 3

Please read the previous blog for continuity. Here is a second example:

In 1918, there was an epidemic of plague in Lahore. Three sons of a rich titled man of Lahore named Rai Bhahadar Saran Das fell victim to the disease. Three top physicians of Lahore, Col Bhola Nath, Col Amir Chand, Col Sutherland (principal of King Edward medical college) treated them but of no avail. Rai Bhahadar was disconsolate. He narrates ” One night while everybody was asleep, I saw a white bearded person wearing a shining dress, with a staff in one hand and a rosary in other,  reciting something at the foot of my son, Gopal Das's, bed. At seeing a stranger I became worried and asked “who are you”. He did not reply and kept on reciting. Then he went to my other son Roop Ram’s bed and did the same. Then that venerable person came to me and said,” I am your neighbor Gunj Bakhash. I could not stand your sorrow and anguish. So I came to pray. Now don’t worry. Merciful God will cure them”. All three sons recovered. (See footnote)

People come to Data sahib for various reasons. Here is an example of help in spiritual quest; told to me by a person who saw the whole story first hand.

A person, citizen of England, Christian by faith, had been wandering in various countries for 25 years in search of truth. He had spent years in Middle East (including Jerusalem) India, Burma and others. He had practiced mysticism and watched religious practices of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs. At Ajmer, at the shrine of Moin-ud-din Chishti (also called Khoja Pir, see “Quest of God by Papa Ramdas) he was directed to go to Lahore where he was going to get his guidance. At Data Sahib’s shrine, one day, he met a guide who told him where to go. In the hot desert of Sindh, in the roasting heat of summer, he did his training under a Qalandar (a high grade Muslim mystic) and came back to Lahore. He told this to the person who told me this story “I got my path here " referring to Data Sahib’s shrine.

Here is an example of getting permission; narrated in a book written by Shahab’s close friend and associate Mumtaz Mufti (see footnote):

     Then he said “today I am going to Lahore” There was some bantering between the two friends. They arrived in Lahore in the evening. Two rooms were reserved for them in the rest-house for 3 days. Shahab started preparations. He bathed, changed into new clothes, and put on a prayer cap. Then he said that he was going to Durbar. (The popular name given to Data sahib’s shrine). Mufti also wanted to come along, but Shahab refused. Mufti thought that he must have come for praying to Data Sahib for being posted to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as ambassador. Shahab stayed in Durbar, while Mufti wandered restlessly outside. In the morning Shahab knocked at the door. There was great peace on his face.  At Mufti’s questioning Shahab admitted that permission has been granted

Here are two examples of paying tribute.

There is an annual three day anniversary celebration at the shrine, called urs. Hundreds of thousands of visitors, especially mystics, come to the urs from all over the country. On last urs, 2-3 months ago, a Yogi arrived. He was only wearing a loin cloth. It was quite cold in Lahore. He was also wearing dark goggles. The Yogi did not talk to anybody. The person who told me about the Yogi happen to visit him. This person addressed the Yogi with great respect and asked him where he was from. The Yogi eventually replied that he had come from Hindustan (another name for India) and had come to give Salaam to Data sahib. Salaam is a Muslim greeting, so that person thought that this Yogi was a Muslim. The Yogi surmised his thoughts, and said salaam or purnam (Hindu greeting) is the same. His religion was unknown. That person visited him many times in the ensuing days. The Yogi became friendly. One time he asked that why did the Yogi wear dark glasses all the time. The Yogi replied that his eyes had great Shakti .  An exalted mystic friend of this person confirmed that the Yogi’s eyes could burn (the exalted mystic told it to that person without that person asking or describing anything about that Yogi!). So people from other countries and other faiths come to the shrine.

Finally a different kind of homage.

A Qalandar one night, on urs, visited the shrine. He was shouting Allah, Allah at the top of his lungs. The whole shrine felt the vibrations. People were stunned into silence. The Qalandar started thrashing wildly. Several  persons tried to restrain him. In this melee the Qalandar got injured. He left the Durbar, bleeding and still shouting Allah Allah. A person recognized him next day and asked about the previous night. The Qalandar smiled and said “our homage is different” . It is with blood.     

Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhash by Akmal Awaisi Pirzada
Alakh nugri by Mumtaz Mufti