Wednesday, December 24, 2014

160. Saint Augustine. Part two; Conversion


St Augustine carried on his pursuit for worldly gains and passions till he was 32 years old. He taught the art of public speaking to pupils. He was studying for the law. He was at the top of the school for rhetoric. He was pleased with his superior status and swollen with conceit. He was vain and ambitious and wanted to cut a fine figure in the world. He was eager for fame, wealth and marriage. He consulted imposters, the astrologers (although he refused to consult sorcerers because they sacrificed animals and prayed to spirits). He went to the theatre and watched the spectators enjoy their sadness, by witnessing the tragedy and suffering on the stage (although to his credit, he never liked the gladiatorial shows because of the cruelty).

He described himself: ‘But why do I talk of these things? I lived in misery, like every man whose soul is tethered by the love of things that cannot last and then is agonized to lose them’


 He was a slave of lust. He had a mistress and together they had a son. After she left him and went back to Africa, he found another mistress. He describes those days:


 “I had prayed to You for chastity and said ‘Give me chastity and continence, but not yet’. For I was afraid that You would answer my prayer at once and cure me too soon for the disease of lust, which I wanted satisfied, not quelled”


His dear friend died. He mourned for him. He narrates his grief in eight pages ‘What madness, to love a man as something more than human! What folly to grumble at the lot man has to bear! I lived in a fever, convulsed with tears and sighs that allowed me neither rest nor peace of mind’


He wondered about the powers the astronomers possessed; they could foretell eclipses of sun and moon many years before they happened, and whether the eclipse would be total or partial.


But he still searched for truth. He read many books, including Aristotle’s ‘Ten Categories’. He talked to many learned men but none could satisfy him. He writes:


‘Truth! Truth! How the marrow of my soul within me yearned for it’


And finally, he met a man of God; Bishop Ambrose, in Milan (now called St. Ambrose), who was known throughout the world for his goodness. He writes: ‘Unknown to me, it was You who led me to him, so that I might knowingly be led by him to You. This man of God received me like a father…….My heart warmed to him’.


Although he could not talk to Ambrose face to face, because the Bishop was always busy, but at least, over a period of time, after listening to the sermons of Ambrose he turned towards Catholic teaching. He writes:


‘I was glad too that at last I had been shown how to interpret the Holy Scripture of the law and the prophets in a different light from that which I had previously made them seem absurd’.


He narrates a strange incident. It is not clear whether it was day or night, and whether he was asleep or awake.


‘I entered the depth of my soul…….I saw the Light……….. What I saw was quite different from any light we know on earth…... It shown above my mind……... It was above me because it was the Light itself that made me, and I was below because I was made by it. All who know that Light, and all who know this Light know eternity’.

‘I heard your voice calling from on high, saying “I am the food of full-grown men. Grow and you shall feed on Me. But you shall not change Me into Your own substance, as you do with the food of your body. Instead you shall be changed into Me’”


He now started loving God! But he was amazed that he did not persist in enjoying Him. He began to search the means to gain strength in enjoying God. He found the strength through the mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ.

He derived great joy and comfort in writing of Apostle Paul.


This mote has learnt that if one adopts the path of religion to reach God (which unfortunately I could not) then due to certitude the task becomes easier. St Augustine makes this point:


‘It is one thing to catch sight of the land of peace……and unable to find the way to it, struggle on through trackless wastes where traitors and runaways, captained by their prince,……lie in wait to attack. It is another thing to follow the high road to that land of peace, the way that is defended by the care of the Commander’.


Two mystics (Shahab and the mystic from Bhaun, Pakistan, blogs 65-6,103) have written in their books, that they were never assailed by doubts.


Now, the chain of events which led to the most important event of his life; the episode of the garden.


To be continued.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

159. Saint Augustine. Part One


What impresses a person the most about St. Augustine is his love for God, and his habit of thinking. Both are overawing. He had a towering intellect. He pondered over things which most people take for granted and never give a second thought.


He wrote the book ‘Confessions’ in 397-8 (1), which is considered a classic in spiritual literature. Whatever I am going to write about him is taken from this book (except my personal opinions), and is therefore 100% authentic. We may differ from his opinions, but we cannot doubt his sincerity. He is unduly harsh upon himself throughout his book. Some of the things for which he criticizes himself so severely were sort of trivial. For instance he and his friends stole pears from a neighbor’s tree. He did not even eat them. He was just a boy of sixteen, swept under peer pressure, to make mischief. Nowadays, it won’t be considered stealing but the rowdy behavior of a bunch of teenagers. But look at a sample of what he says, and carries on in four pages:


‘It is certain, O Lord, that theft is punished by Your law………..For no thief can bear that another thief should steal from him, even if he is rich and the other is driven to it by want. Yet I was willing to steal, and steal I did, although I was not compelled by any lack….. a greedy love of doing wrong. For what I stole I already had plenty………and I had no wish to enjoy the thing I coveted by stealing, but enjoy the theft itself and the sin’.


Let us take the first point; his love for God. Every page of this 347 pages book, mentions the magnificence of God and his love for Him. Sometimes dozens of time in a single page. Let me give you an example; book 1:


Who will grant me to rest content in You? To whom shall I turn for the gift of Your coming in my heart and filling it to the brim, so that I may forget all the wrong I have done and embrace You alone, my only source of good?

Why do You mean so much to me? Help me to find words to explain. Why do I mean so much to You, that You should command me to love You? O Lord, my God, tell me why You mean so much to me. Whisper in my heart, I am here to save you( Psalm, 34:3 )………….I shall hear Your voice and make haste to clasp You to myself. Do not hide Your face from me, for I would gladly accept death to see It, for not to see it would be death indeed”.


He is talking to God, all the time, in this book. He is telling Him his problems. He is confessing his sins. He is begging for His mercy. He is thanking Him for all the things that He has given him. He is asking him to show him light on some of the thorniest issues of all times; such as, where does sin come from? What is Time? How to reconcile passages of Bible to the scientific discoveries of his time? How were the prophets able to predict future events? He asks for His help to conquer lust, his major weakness.


The sentence that I highlighted (Why do I mean so much to You, that You should command me to love You?) carries an extremely important point in mysticism. I want to explain what St. Augustine meant.


What he is saying is that God need not have bothered Himself about him. He is just one human amongst billions of humans on planet earth, which is one of perhaps hundred billions planets in our galaxy, which is one of a hundred billion galaxies. It is God’s mercy to note Augustine and help him. God could have kept on doing what He was doing, but He paused and helped Augustine. This mote, only recently, understood God’s mercy, His kindness, in noticing this speck. We, lovers of God, think that our love somehow compels Him, as if He likes flattery (see footnote). Yogananda said as much in his book (2), that God is drawn to the tears and sighs of a lover of God. Nothing compels God; He just takes pity on His devotee. My interpretation is that God likes a true devotee, because he cares about God and not the world and is different from others. Such persons are rare, perhaps one in a thousand. Their desire to reach God is noticed by God. How does God help them?

 He puts, in their heart, love for God. And that is what St Augustine meant.


So the sequence of events is somewhat like this: A person wants to be near God and prays for it repeatedly, God notices it, God takes pity on him, and He puts His love in his heart. The love for God gives great strength to the person, and he travels on the path towards God despite tremendous difficulties and sorrows.


To be continued



­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ (1) ‘Confessions’ by St Augustine, Penguin Edition

(2). ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Yogananda

Footnote. This mote has written approximately 6 blogs on Daata Gunj Bakhash, the 11th century mystic buried in Lahore, Pakistan. I once asked, through somebody, an exalted saint who communicates with spirit of Data Sahib, that did Data Sahib like my blogs. The saint replied that Daata Sahib is beyond these things. Surely then, God is beyond censure or praise.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

158.mother of St Augustine

158. Mother of Saint Augustine



Anybody who has read ‘Confessions’ (1) cannot help being touched by the holiness of Monica, mother of Augustine. We have glimpses of her life and even her actual words as narrated by her son in his book. She died in Italy in 387 A.D. 

Her husband was a man of short temper and unfaithful to her. Wife beating was a common practice during those days but her husband, 

 ‘ respected, loved, and admired her……….many women, whose faces were disfigured by blows from husbands would complain the behavior of their men-folk……They used to remark how surprising it was that they had never heard, or seen any marks to show……….any domestic disagreement……even for one day ’(1) 

Her mother-in-law was at first prejudiced against her, but she won her over by ‘… dutiful attention and constant patience and gentleness’ (1)

Her greatest desire in life was that her son should turn to God. St Augustine writes:


“My mother, your faithful servant, wept to you for me, shedding more tears for my spiritual death than other mothers shed for the bodily death of a son”.


 Augustine was leading a sinful life and had a concubine.

One night she had a dream:


“She dreamt that she was standing on a wooden ruler, and coming towards her in a halo of splendor she saw a young man who smiled at her in joy, although she herself was sad and quite consumed in grief. He asked her the reason for her grief and her daily tears…………….When she replied that her tears were for the soul I had lost, he asked her to take heart for, if she looked carefully, she would see where she was, there also was I. And when she looked, she saw me standing beside her on the same rule.”

“She always said that by some sense…….she was able to distinguish between Your revelations and her own natural dreams” 

This was a divine revelation. Augustine argued that it meant that she should not despair to be like him, one day.

‘She said at once and without hesitation “No! He did not say ‘Where he is, you are’ but ‘where you are, he is’. 

This dream gave her great reassurance. She never doubted the veracity of the dream. She became certain that her son Augustine would, one day turn to God, although it took close to nine years. Despite the dream,

“ ……….never ceased to pray at all hours and to offer to You the tears she shed for me…………but she gave no rest to her sighs and her tears. Her prayers reached Your presence and yet You still left me to twist and turn in dark”. 

While she was crossing the Mediterranean Sea on a ship, the ship came in danger. 

“ It was she who put heart in the crew…………She promised them that they would make the land in safety, because You had given her this promise in a vision” 

Once she kept on begging a Bishop to talk to Augustine and show him the right path, but the Bishop kept on refusing. He said, 

“Leave him alone and just pray to God for him”.  

But Monica would not stop her entreaties. 

“At last he grew impatient and said ‘Leave me and go in peace. It cannot be that the son of these tears should be lost”. In later years she used to say that she accepted those words as a message from heaven” 

Augustine turned to God by a strange set of events, which I will narrate in detail when I write about him. Her mother was overjoyed to hear it.

Five days before her sickness which resulted in her death, after a long and tiring journey, mother and son started talking about the eternal life of saints. It was a serene and peaceful conversation. They talked of the material things and of heaven and of love of God. Here are some excerpts:


“As the flame of love burned stronger in us and raised us higher towards the eternal God……..up to the heavens themselves, from which the sun and the moon and the stars shine down upon the earth. Higher still we climbed………At length we came to our own souls and passed beyond to that place of everlasting beauty…... There life is that Wisdom by which all things that we know are made………But that Wisdom is not made: it is as it has always been and as it will be forever…………..” 

“And while we spoke of the eternal Wisdom, longing for it and straining for it with the strength of our hearts, for one fleeting instant we reached it and touched it. Then with a sigh …we returned to the sound of our own speech…” 

“And then my mother said: ‘My son. For my part I find no further pleasure in this life……. What I am still to do or why I am here in this world, I do not know, for I have no more to hope for in this world. There was one reason, and one alone, why I wished to remain a little longer in this life and that was to see you a Catholic Christian before I died. God has granted my wish and more ………..What is left for me to do in this world?” 

It was about five days after this that she developed fever and died after nine days of sickness. 

She had expressed her wish to be buried beside her husband in Africa, in a grave which she had provided and prepared herself. Because they had lived in the greatest harmony, she wanted this extra happiness.

But she renounced her wish while she was sick, and told her son as follows: 

 “You will bury your mother here (Ostia)And then, speaking to both of us, she went on, ‘It does not matter where you bury my body. Do not let that worry you! All I ask of you is that, wherever you may be, you should remember me at the altar of the Lord’

She was not frightened at the thought of leaving her body so far from her own country. ‘Nothing is far from God, and I need have no fear that He will not know where to find me when He  comes to raise me to life at the end of the world’


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ (1) ‘Confessions’ by St Augustine, Penguin Edition


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

157. TWO BOOKS ON GOD (part three) 


We had just finished discussing the anthropic principle  

4. Suitable environments. Everyone knows that in order for life to emerge one needs liquid water, oxygen, a source of energy like sun, and a temperature that is not too hot or too cold. Aczel discusses the consequences of the alteration in the four fundamental forces of nature (gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force) and the dark energy. If dark energy (which propels the space and galaxies outwards) was stronger it would not have allowed the galaxies to coalesce, if it were any weaker, gravitational force would have won and collapsed the galaxies. In either case sentient life could not emerge. If gravitational force were any stronger, it would have crushed us. Integrity of atoms could not be maintained if electromagnetic force was different, electrons would not orbit. If electrons won’t orbit, no chemical bonds with other atoms could have formed. No chemicals___no life. If strong nuclear force (which is the most powerful of all forces and due to its attracting power holds the nucleus of an atom together) was any different, quarks would either fly out of nucleus or be crushed. If weak nuclear force had a different value, possibly everything would be radioactive and stars won’t burn____no energy ____ no life. 

Aczel has provided many more examples. He was most impressed by the precise charge of quarks, a fraction of a second after big-bang, and there gathering in triplets, to form protons and neutrons. Why did they gather in triplets and not doubles or quadruplets? An “up” quark has a 2/3 charge, and a “down” quark has a _1/3 charge. The proton has two up quark and one down quark. Thus the charge of a proton is 2/3 + 2/3_ 1/3 = +1, which is exactly equal to the _ 1 charge of the electron (for electron to circle). In neutrons there are two   down quarks and an up quark. The charge is 2/3-1/3-1/3 = 0. It has no charge. 

Isn’t God marvelous! 

I could go on and on. He has mentioned many unsolved riddles. Where did all the antimatter go? What is dark energy? How are the constants of nature derived? (Strength of all electromagnetic interactions is 1/137; gravitational constant is 6.67384 x 10-11)

His ideas of evolution and religion are different from that of this mote. I am not going to discuss them. That is why this is not a review of the book, but just my impressions. These are the impressions of a secular humanist who also loves God very passionately. 

This is a great book. It succeeds in its task of proving that science does not disprove God. This mote has taken the task of proving that there is a God, in my eighteen blogs, 97-114, on the  site: 

Lastly I want to say again which I have said in the previous blog. God cannot be proven by science, religion or philosophy. Ordinary knowledge in the form of scholarly pursuits is useless. God can only be realized by practicing mysticism. The path is open to all creeds, even to a secular humanist like me.

(1) The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
(2) A universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
(3) The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking

Footnotes: I quote from my blog 101, “If you ask the scientists, what are these galaxies expanding into - outside the outermost limits of the universe? Is there more empty space? The answers will seem either vague, meaningless or couched with silence and irritability.”
“The law of conservation of energy is a fundamental law of nature and has no exceptions. It states “the total energy of an isolated system cannot change—it is said to be conserved over time. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can change form”.  Therefore the total energy pre-Big bang (for this discussion ignore Time. Time started at Big Bang, so truly speaking, there is no before Big Bang ), at Big Bang, 13.8 billion years after Big Bang, and 100 billion years after Big Bang should be the same.                  

But scientists claim that universe started from nothing. According to Guth, universe is the ultimate free lunch. So, what is the truth - tremendous amount of energy or nothing?”

“Now, Hawking is a brilliant scientist. Why would he believe in such a preposterous idea? The reason is that he arrived at a conclusion first and then he went to find the facts (there are no facts before Big Bang) which will support his conclusion. Religion does this backward practice; scientist should not do such cheating. His pre-conceived conclusion was that there is no Creator. Therefore, it follows; the universe must have emerged spontaneously. As Sherlock Holmes famously said “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

156. TWO BOOKS ON GOD (part two)


I want to narrate my impressions of the book ‘Why science does not disprove God’ by Amir Aczel. This is not a formal review. 

The book is an answer to some atheist scientists, notably Richard Dawkins (1) and Lawrence Krauss (2), who claim that since everything can be explained without God, therefore there is no God. These scientists actually do not prove that there is no God. Nobody can and nobody ever will, because it is not true. 

This is different from some scientists, such as Stephen Hawking (3), who say that God is not necessary to explain the beginning of universe and evolution, but there may be God. 

Since Aczel refutes the arguments made by these scientists, on a compelling scientific basis, I will narrate the main arguments, and Aczel’s reply: 

1. Universe had to follow quantum rules. The world of Quantum Physics (world at subatomic level) is bizarre, even the greatest mind of last century, Einstein, could not understand it. One of the proposals by Noble laureate Feynman was that if a particle had to travel from point A to point B, it will take all possible paths. Thus, the universe had to do the same because it was like a particle during the Big Bang or a fraction of a second later. This would have resulted in multiple universes, one of them ours. The importance of multiple universes is an extremely important concept of ‘anthropic principle’, which will be discussed later.

Since there is no way to prove or disprove this theory, Aczel did the best he could; he talked to other physicists 

Aczel’s talked to a particle physicist, Noble laureate Gerald ‘t Hooft, who said ‘ we  still don’t understand at all what truly happens in the world of truly small___ all we have may be shadows on the wall, cast by a mysterious “veiled reality”’ 

Aczel quotes another renowned quantum theorist, D’Espagnat:

“The Veiled Reality conception…merely involves the conception …..(That they) are reflections or traces___ of the great structure of “the Real”

So, people like Hawking, who have taken this theory of one scientist about a particle, to absurd heights, and applied it to universes, have no sense of proportionality and probability. 

2. Universe arose out of nothing. This is the heart of the case of the atheists. If there is no Creator who created the universe, then the universe somehow had to create itself out of nothing. This mote has discussed this point in great detail in his blog 101.

The construction of their theory involves following steps.

(A). their nothing is not really nothing. It is not a nothing that does not contain anything; absolutely empty. Their nothing is full of energy (derived from quantum foam), force fields (electromagnetic, gravitational), Higgs field, quantum tunneling, and something in which all of these are embedded (what is outside of this something; more something? See footnote)

Where did quantum foam come from? Where did these fields come from? If they came from something, where did that something come from? And so on. At some point, it has to start from real and absolute nothing. Nothing can be created from nothing, what to talk of a whole universe, full of matter, space-time, fields, and energy. 

Just changing the definition of nothing is a sleight of hand. Real question remains unanswered.

The atheists have a similar argument; who created God? Our answer is that we don’t know. Our small mind is not capable of answering this question, just as a cow cannot learn to read. This mote has tried to answer it (blog113). Can God create things out of nothing? Absolutely. 

(b). How is energy changed to mass (particles  or matter) to create the universe. This mechanism is called paired production (matched pair of virtual particles; matter and antimatter). It has to be remembered that particles did not arise from nothing but from pre-existing energy.  

3. Anthropic principle. Simply stated, it says that the universe is the way it is, because if it were otherwise, we humans would not have arisen, to ask these intelligent questions. 

This is an evasive answer. Penrose calculated that “the chance of intelligent life to arise was 1 followed by 10 raised to the power 117 zeros (if my math is correct it means 1 followed by 117 zeroes)”. This is an extremely small chance. Again quantum physics comes to their rescue with its bizarre rules, because according to it, if anything can happen it will happen.

Instead of explaining how the fundamental laws were so exactly right, for intelligent life to emerge, the atheist just use the ruse that if they were not so finely tuned, we would not be here. Is this a real argument? Or just a lawyerly subterfuge. I will discuss the precision of laws of nature in another section. 

If there are many universes ( an infinity of universes ), in most of them intelligent life could not emerge because the conditions would not be suitable, but in one of them ( one out of 10117) everything would be exactly right, and we will emerge.

 I quote from Aczel: “If you wanted to test which hypothesis is true, a universe created to specific requirements, or a universe just happens to satisfy the requirements because we observe them, you would find that there is no specific way to determine the answer”


To be continued

(1) The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
(2) A universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
(3) The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking


Wednesday, November 19, 2014



155. Shah Sahib. Part Three

11/14/14. I talked to my brother today. He gave the following news:

When he was in train with Shah Sahib, he asked Shah Sahib whether he ever had any doubts about Islam.  Shah Sahib replied, “How can I even have an iota of doubt about Islam, when I found the light of Allah through Islam. One can reach God through different paths and creeds (same thing which Great Mystic of Khyber Pass, Yogi from India, Sri Ramakrishna, and the Baba from Saudi Arabia had said)”. He said that the study of the life of Prophet Muhammadpbuh cannot be done without the study of Hadith ( sayings of the Prophet), because his life was not a secret. It was open. He lived with his companions, and had been observed by 20-25 thousands Muslims. Some of them had known him since he was a young man. Most of the Hadiths are reliable. Certain aspects of his life, like marriages, have been criticized. So be it.

Shah Sahib said a great thing, which delighted my heart. He said he respects other religions too. They are true also. It is just that the followers of the religions distort the message. However, the followers of each religion must follow their commandments faithfully, like doing good, and helping others. Thus Shah Sahib did not insist that Islam is the best, and the only true creed, a cause of so much bloodshed and intolerance.

The other day my brother was sitting in Data Durbar when a man approached him. He said are you Mr. …….? My brother replied in affirmative. He said last night he had a dream. In the dream a venerable person appeared and said “ Go to Data Durbar. There will be a person, ………, wearing white dress. Give him five hundred thousand rupees. So here are five hundred thousand rupees”. My brother asked him how did the person in the dream look like? That man replied that he could not tell, the features were not clear.

Soon my brother received clear orders from a different source. He learnt that this money is for enclosing the grave of Shah Sahib with a quadrangular wall. It should have two doors, one in the North and the other in the South side. So my brother went to the village of Shah Sahib. He gathered two village elders and the special Disciple. He told them the plan of the wall and gave the Disciple the money. It requires registration of the deed for the land in a Government office. Money was put in a steel safe deposit. 

This incident tells three things: a special spiritual site at Sayva is being created, already supplicants have started coming. Secondly, that Data Sahib, with the approval of God, takes care of his special disciples even after they die. Through the tomb of Shah Sahib and this mote’s blog, Shah Sahib’s name will be remembered, perhaps for a long time. Thirdly, it means Shah Sahib was no ordinary person. 

What can I say about the life of Shah Sahib? His life was an embodiment of Sufism, at its best. Never married, lived in poverty, never extended his hand to others. He met his expenses by accepting money from the grateful persons helped by him. Acceptance of such donations is allowed in mysticism, provided the money is given freely (mystics never ask for money, their gift is free) and is small (bigger donations are accepted if many students are attached to the shrine, or if free food is distributed). He even set his own money aside for grave-diggers. He bought his own coffin. He loved God. He got everything through Data Sahib. He helped the sick and the needy that came to him. He was a spiritual guide to my brother and this mote, although I never met him in person. I am honored that he mentioned this mote by name minutes before his death.

I do not know what special powers he had. He could cure some ailments. He had a receiver in his brain to receive messages. He knew of events, such as my brother’s meeting with the yogi from India. He could discern spirituality in others.

The Merciful God rewarded him for his lifelong piety and gave him the great gift of His Light. Such a reward is extremely hard to earn. As St Teresa of Avila (and Brother Lawrence) remarked (see blog78):

“If there is a single thing to which a man clings, it is a sign that he sets some value on it; and if he sets some value upon it, it will naturally distress him to give it up, and so everything will be imperfection and loss (also mentioned in blog 37)”. Probably Shah Sahib was close to that stage.



Footnote one. Spiritual light is very powerful. Nobody can endure it. Moses fell down unconscious. St Paul fell down from his horse and became blind for three days. A Qalandar who has been my brother’s mentor, and got injured in Data Durbar (blog 64), became oblivious to time and space (Jazzab) for over three weeks.

Footnote two. My brother survived the fire with only the clothes he was wearing. That was the greatest calamity of his life.

Footnote three. This mote has a different interpretation of the incident of fire. The fire occurred due to electric malfunction. It was a natural incident, not ordained by God. But  he was saved by the intercession of spiritual forces. I have called this Minor Interventions in blog 145.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

154. Shah Sahib. Part Two 


In 1978, he got a spiritual reward. That meant he had been noticed by God. In 1980 he was given some reward by Data Sahib. Since 1970 he has been established in Data Sahib and that holy man (who is deceased now).

In 2002, he had a tremendous advancement. He received what he had always wished. He had the vision of God’s light. Now, he has become so advanced that when he closes his eyes he can see the light very soon. It is a bright light. It has a second quality that it gives Shah Sahib peace.

My brother asked him whether he had ever opened his eyes, while he was seeing the light. Shah Sahib replied “No. I know by my own knowledge that if I open my eyes, either I will go blind or die, because nobody can see God”(see footnote )

 My brother enquired, “Are you aware of time and space when you are with this light?”

Shah Sahib smiled and replied, “How can one be aware of anything when one is with God? If you are aware, then you are not with God. The light lasts for 10-20 minutes, and then one comes back to his surroundings.” 

He said he has only followed the path of Sufism (follow the Shariat), and not that of Qalanders (independent of Shariat).

 He said that the path towards God is very difficult. The path of Qalandars is even more difficult than that of Sufis. He said to my brother that “you are a very rare person who is close to the practitioners of both paths (because of approval from both Data sahib, a sufi, and Baba lal Shah, a Qalandar, see blog 63)”. He talked about me and said “Whatever duty he is given, he should keep on doing it. It is true that he got less time, but that must have been God’s will”.  On another occasion he had said that spiritual powers helped your brother(mkadk) in his journey.

My brother said that he has been told several other things, which he cannot divulge to me.

Shah Sahib said that he can receive messages from others, but he does not have the capability to transmit messages. The spirit of Daata Sahib has communicated to him many times. He said that to communicate with the spirits of dead people, needs a separate and different technique and knowledge, which Sufis should not learn. 

Shah Sahib said a strange thing, that persons who are on God’s path are closely monitored. My brother asked, that the fire which burnt his building (see footnote), and his recent rickshaw accident in which he broke his clavicle ), were they ordained by God, or just natural, random, events? Shah Sahib said they were not random natural events. My brother said that then how do you explain that 15-16 innocent persons died in the fire. Shah Sahib said what is death to God? ( see footnote three )

My brother said that the face of Shah Sahib was shining and radiant with spiritual glow. He could discern a halo around his face.  

Shah Sahib now lives in a small village near Sahiwal, called Saywa, where he helps people with daam.

Shah Sahib decided to go back to his home. A berth was reserved in the train. My brother accompanied him in the journey. Shah Sahib did not allow him to go all the way to his village. He put him in a horse driven carriage. 

11/4/2014. Today I talked to my brother. Shah Sahib died 3-4 days ago. My brother received a message from somebody to go to Shah Sahib’s village immediately. Meanwhile a man from village also arrived. When my brother arrived at the village, Shah Sahib was still alive. Shah Sahib said ‘I was waiting for you. My time has come. I can no longer see the Light of God on closing my eyes. This vhachowra (separation) is unbearable.’ My brother could still see the halo around Shah Sahib’s face.

Shah Sahib said to him ‘I am not in a position to give you any gift. Tell your brother (Mkadk) that God likes tearful prayers.  He should beg God with tears (as if I have not shed enough tears).’  

Shah Sahib had called for the headman of the village. His special disciple was also present. He told my brother to give Shah Sahib’s handkerchief to the special disciple. He also told my brother that after his death he should be buried as soon as possible, and my brother should lead the prayer of the dead (Namaz-a-jinnaza). My brother told him that he has never lead a prayer, but Shah Sahib did not listen to his plea. He said to the special disciple “He ( my brother ) is your superior, never disobey him. I am giving you these three orders/advices: always speak truth; don’t prey upon the visitors who will come here, all of you ( there were 5-6 disciples/hanger-on’s) will have enough for your needs; you ( the disciple ) give the final wash to my dead body.” Shah Sahib told my brother to leave his books intact in the room and to bury him in the coffin which was there in the room. He added, ‘there is small amount of money also. Pay the grave-diggers from that money. If any money is left, distribute it amongst the disciples.’

 Shah Sahib soon died. He recited Kalma (the first and foremost tenet of Islam) before his death and said something like ‘Molah (God) I am coming’, or similar words. 

60-70 persons attended the Namaz-a-jinnaza. The headman gave some sketchy details of Shah Sahib. He said “Shah Sahib arrived 10-15 years ago. He was sitting, and was oblivious of his surroundings. The villagers recognized that he was a majzoob (a person who is in a state of juzzab, or absorbed in God).  They looked after him. Once an important person’s daughter became very sick. Shah Sahib cured her. That man gave this piece of land to Shah Sahib, where eventually two rooms were built. He would disappear from time to time ( presumably went to the shrines at Pakputtan and Lahore). His fame spread and supplicants started coming.” 

To be continued

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

153. Shah Sahib. Part one

153. Shah Sahib. Part one


A man of God, died last week. 

He was called Shah Sahib. His original name was Noor Alam. My brother first met him a few years ago in Data Durbar (the popular name of the shrine in Lahore, Pakistan, of Data Gunj Bakhash, also called Data Sahib, an 11th century mystic). At that time my brother was very sick. He was vomiting blood and had abdominal pain. He fell down in streets couple of times and was taken to a hospital. He was diagnosed with cancer (although that part is not documented). One day he met a durvesh (Muslim ascetic) in Data Durbar. He brought some food for the durvesh. The durvesh said do you have cancer? My brother replied in affirmative. The durvesh said that in a far flung area a Qalander lives; only he has the ability to cure you. That durvesh was Shah Sahib. My brother took that journey, and met the Great Mystic (see Foreword to book 2, blog 53), who cured him. 

On his second visit to the Great Mystic, the Mystic enquired about the health of Shah Sahib. That shows that the mystic not only knew Shah Sahib but held him in great regard. 

When my brother had his meeting with the yogi who always wore dark glasses (blog 64), Shah Sahib knew, on his own, that my brother had met the yogi. He is the one who told my brother that the yogi’s glance can burn. 

On one occasion, he told my brother that he spent many years in mountains of Kashmir with his spiritual guide. 

Shah Sahib read Part one of my books. His remark to my brother was that nobody will know anything about Islamic mysticism from this book. He said it not in a critical way but in a sad way. I did not know anything about Islamic mysticism; therefore I had briefly mentioned the little that I knew in one blog (blog 32).  It was his remark that prompted me to read more about Islamic mysticism which resulted in several blogs in parts 2, 3, and 4. 

Shah Sahib read part 2 of my book. My brother told him that I wanted his impressions about part 2. First he was amazed at the notion that I wanted his opinion. He said, “It is a very good book. He has understood mysticism correctly (blogs 93-95). He should not worry about other people’s opinion. He has this duty, he should just do it.” 

I made a tape of the Urdu translation of some of my poems and recorded them in my own voice. I told my brother to ask Shah Sahib if he would want to listen to them. He said “off course, I want to listen to them, but in private. Give me two hours.” They were in Data Durbar. When my brother came back he found Shah Sahib in Juzzab (smadhi).

Here are excerpts from my recent notes: 

10/17/14.  Shah Sahib is very sick. He is likely to die. He has diarrhea. This is his second such illness. On his previous sickness he stayed with my brother. My brother looked after him. He washed Shah Sahib’s soiled clothes himself, instead of giving them to a servant for washing, because the servant may have felt repugnance.

He is not eating anything. He was sick prior to coming to Lahore, but he insisted to coming to Data Durbar, as if he wanted to say goodbye. He is staying with somebody else but it is my brother who is looking after him for the last 5-6 days. He told his life story for the first time. 

He was born near Pakputtan. His name is Noor Alam. Both his parents died when he was a child. He had an elder brother who wanted him to become a laborer, but Shah Sahib wanted to study. He was in fifth grade at that time. He left the house and came to Pakputtan and lived there for several years, because there was free food available in the famous shrine over there. He did kitchen work (washing dishes, etc) in a hotel and also studied. He passed his matriculation (10th grade) examination in 1970, by getting about 550 marks.

He saw the people around the shrine and became disenchanted with them because they were frauds and cheats. He hated the residents over there because they preyed upon the gullible villagers. 

He moved to Lahore and settled near Data Durbar, because there was free food available at the shrine. There, also, he saw deceit, but to a lesser degree. He bought some books and studied. He prepared for F.A. examination. A leader of the Shrine Trust noticed him. He was touched by his zeal for education and his poverty. He gave him a room in the Shrine. One day he was sick, and the exam was very close. As he was weeping, a holy person came to him and did a daam(a spiritual prayer for healing ). He got well the next day. He passed his F.A (12th grade) in 1972. He gravitated towards that holy person, who guided him towards spirituality.
To be continued


Sunday, November 2, 2014

a beautiful poem by TAO TE CHING

 Tao Te Ching

Author;, Uxi Mufti's comment about the previpous blog on his book, Tlash:
Kindly print my views to your blog as comment

I have read your interesting comments. The book niether seeks nor attempts to prove Allah though it explains the scientific and philosophic significance of Divine Names that are revealed.

The book shows that science though factual is an INVERTED VIEW of reality and reality can only be experienced.

AnonymousThere was a comment by Naffew, which requires wider exposure. He said...

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.

Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations.

These two springs from the same source but differ in name; this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

(A quote by ancient Chinese philosopher: TAO TE CHING)