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Books and Documents

Spiritual Meditations

The Perfect World Is Paradise
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
The Perfect World Is Paradise
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The present world is limited. It does not have the means to fulfill our unlimited desires. It has the means to provide us subsistence at the physical level, but does not have the means to give us fulfillment at the spiritual level….

 
A Sufi Perspective on the Spiritual Worth of the  Present Moment , The Master of Time (‘Al Sahib ul Waqt’)
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam
A Sufi Perspective on the Spiritual Worth of the Present Moment , The Master of Time (‘Al Sahib ul Waqt’)
Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu, New Age Islam

The search for existential significance is the foremost priority in a life of genuine authenticity. In my reading of books written by Muslim spiritual mystics, the Sufi saints call an authentic person “Ibn ul-Waqt”, the offspring of the present moment. Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, the great Sunni Sufi saint of medieval Turkey even calls the authentic human person “Sahib-ul-Waqt”, the master of the present moment (See Rumi’s Mathnawi, p.34). By mastering the present moment, Hazrat Maulana Rumi says, the authentic human person, leaves his past behind with no regrets and faces his future with no fear at all....

A Case of Spiritual Time Share
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
A Case of Spiritual Time Share
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

The third Guru Amar Das had two sons and two daughters. One of the daughters, Bhani, was married to a devotee, Jetha, and both of them continued to stay with and serve the Guru. One day, Bhani asked her father for a boon – that the Guru shall be from within the family. While granting the boon, the Guru said that leadership was the result of devotion and sacrifice, and warned that tying it down will cause much sadness.  Soon, he arranged a test…..

Everyone is a Traveller towards Death – Concluding Part
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, New Age Islam
Everyone is a Traveller towards Death – Concluding Part
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

All information about a human being is contained inside the DNA—but with just one exception, and that is, death. DNA’s very list of contents is bereft of the concept of death. The concept of death is not present in human consciousness. This is why while a person sees other people dying, he never thinks about his own death. But it is this that is man’s test. One’s death happens not in accordance with the programming of one’s DNA, but, instead, directly in accordance with Divine decision. A successful person is one who creates anti-programming thinking within himself, that is, who is able to think about death even though he has not been programmed in this manner. He discovers the reality of death and plans for his life accordingly….

 

Few of us know that play invokes and evokes the Sacred. Fewer know why we play and why children are so close to God by virtue of their passion for play. “Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life.”….

 
Everyone is a Traveller towards Death - Part One
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, New Age Islam
Everyone is a Traveller towards Death - Part One
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam

If people were to really seriously reflect on the phenomenon of a child emerging from a woman’s womb, they would discover the existence of the Creator. When they see and deeply reflect on a living human being born, a being that can move, see, hear and make sounds, they would realise that every human being is a mobile sign of the Creator’s existence. Every human being would seem a living introduction to the Creator. When a human being is born and comes into this world, he finds that there is an elaborate life-support system in place for him....

 
In Good Faith: Rumi’s challenge
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi
In Good Faith: Rumi’s challenge
Raj Ayyar

Rumi refuses to be boxed in to any faith label, including Islam — the “box of cold words”, a coffin. What does Rumi mean when he argues that the coffin is the labeller’s coffin too? One possible interpretation: When I “box” in the Other, I am also “boxed” in — a symbiotic dance that locks the labeller into his/her own label. Perhaps this refurbished Hegelian dance of self and other, lies behind the popular dictum that when I point a finger at the Other, the four other fingers point back at me.

 
The Healing Power of Prayer
The Healing Power of Prayer
Arundhati Mukherjee

Prayer is a direct communication of the soul to supreme soul. During the state of traumas, when all the doors are closed for a soul to go further to get healed, soul has a single alternative to go and knocks the door of supreme soul. Supreme soul can be Shiv, Durga, Ishwar, Sai Ram, Allah or many more as there are religions and beliefs. All are the name of one single energy pervades all around and in us, Omniscient and Omnipresent GOD.

 
Beliefs and Believers ~ Part II
Saumitra Mohan
Beliefs and Believers ~ Part II
Saumitra Mohan

That shall be a really enlightened selfishness rather than the seemingly selfish acts of running after wealth or fame. Also, how and why should a truly religious person act contrary to the scriptural exhortations against lust, greed, theft, anger or hate? By not heeding these religious commandments, are we not disrespecting our own religions? So, what we see today in the name of religion is nothing but a travesty of religion which must stop….

Beliefs and Believers – Part I
Saumitra Mohan
Beliefs and Believers – Part I
Saumitra Mohan

But the fact remains that both God and religion are important and this is more so at a time when alienated human beings through their garbled understanding of the ‘Supreme Being’ are wreaking havoc across the world. The same is reflected in the rise of the right-wing forces, the retreat of the liberal state, the rise of authoritarian regimes, and the emergence of intolerant theocratic forces....

 
Love Me, Leave Me, Live with Me
Manish Nandy
Love Me, Leave Me, Live with Me
Manish Nandy

Julie declared candidly that she had fallen in love with the voice – and all that it meant in her limited life. I for one understand her and not being sinless, must follow Jesus’ dictum and refrain from casting the first stone. Perhaps the most amazing has been the role of the village elders in the local council. Bihar is seldom regarded among the advanced areas of India, and in a remote village one wonders how exposed the village elders are to new trends in the cities or in the world....

The police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, showed no mercy to Jon Kabat-Zinn in May 1970. The man now considered the godfather of modern mindfulness was a graduate student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an anti-Vietnam-war protester, agitating alongside the Black Panthers and the French playwright Jean Genet....

 
A Non-Violent Strategy to End Violence and Avert Human Extinction
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
A Non-Violent Strategy to End Violence and Avert Human Extinction
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Remarkably, the more I read Gandhi (and compared him with other activists and scholars in the field), the more it became apparent to me that Gandhi was the only nonviolent strategist who (intuitively) understood strategic theory. Although, to be fair, it was an incredibly rare military strategist who understood strategic theory either with Mao Zedong a standout exception and other Marxist strategists like Vladimir Lenin and Võ Nguyên Giáp understanding far more than western military strategists which is why, for example, the US and its allies were defeated in their war on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia…..

 
The World’s Fastest-Growing Religion?
Terzon Varev, New Age Islam

Hedonism is an aggressively missionising faith. Among its most vociferous apostles are the ‘modern’ education system (which has little or no room for God and traditional piety common to the conventional religions and which brainwashes innocent minds into believing that the purpose of life is to become ‘rich and famous’ and to ‘make it big’), the mass media, and the advertising and entertainment industries.  Hedonism has its own places of pilgrimage too—shopping malls, amusement parks, bars, and discotheques and so on—which have assumed the place that places of worship once enjoyed in the lives of many people....

The Last Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam
The Last Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

Muslims use the occasion a propitious time to rededicate themselves to the universal human values such as sacredness of life and property, equality, justice, peace, forgiveness, non-violence, women’s rights, the pillars of Islam and more. Upon these lofty principles, the religion of Islam was built. The Prophet died after unifying Arabia and his lifelong declared love of learning protected and contributed to classical knowledge and continued the tradition of Persian scholarship during the dark ages of Christendom....

Living Life: But for What Purpose?
Yoginder S. Sikand, New Age Islam
Living Life: But for What Purpose?
Yoginder S. Sikand, New Age Islam

This issue, of the macro-purpose of human life (which becomes starker when seen in the context of our inevitable death), is undoubtedly most important existential question that we could ask ourselves. And yet, how many of us ever care to think about it deeply? Many of us are so deeply engrossed in our innumerable immediate, micro-purposes of our day-to-day existence that we refuse to let our minds turn to the subject.  For some, the issue seems so baffling, forbidding and even frightening that they just don’t want to think about it. Others believe the question of the ultimate purpose of human life is simply unanswerable and hence not worth bothering about at all....

It is of Adam and Eve’s exile from and return to paradise, of frantic human effort to be, to mean, to escape the hell that life ordinarily is and be born again through love/gnosis. Dostoevsky’s answer to the question “What is hell?” is that it is “the suffering of being unable to love.”  And what is literature’s key issue? It is, as has been remarked, loneliness....

 
God-Consciousness Is Our Highest Calling
Belinda Espiritu
God-Consciousness Is Our Highest Calling
Belinda Espiritu

In a letter of the beloved disciple of Christ named John, he wrote that God is Love, and he who abides in God abides in love. Above all, God is the Loving one; in truth, He is Love. His nature is Divine Love. God is all beautiful – whether his name is Krishna, or Jesus Christ, or Allah – He is just all so beautiful because He possesses all the best qualities that make Him infinitely lovable. He is mighty yet gentle; strong yet tender; all-powerful yet all-loving.....

 
Gandhi’s Truth: Ending Human Violence One Commitment at a Time
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
Gandhi’s Truth: Ending Human Violence One Commitment at a Time
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Gandhi Jayanti – 2 October, the date of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s birth in 1869 and the International Day of Nonviolence – offers an opportunity to reflect on human violence and to ponder ways to end it. There may be a fast way to end human violence but, if there is, Gandhi did not know it. Nor do I. Nor does anyone else that I have read or asked either. But this does not mean there is no way to end human violence....

 
The Commandment of Writing
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah

Indeed, to be is to write, to proclaim to the Muse Labbayka (Here, I am). It is, more primordially, to speak and to speak in the original or true sense is to sing poetry. We know Ten Commandments starting with love of God and love of neighbour. But few know that both of these commandments may be best embodied in the work of poets....

 

“Please God,” you pray, “take away these problems and troubles that beset me from morn till dusk. Remove the mountain that looms huge in front of me, don’t have me climb it, just take it away..!” Each one of us is in a tank of particular and inescapable circumstances. It is painful enough to stay in the tank, but in addition to our situation there are God appointed ‘catfish’ to bring sufficient tension to keep us alive, alert, fresh and growing....

 
Use Anger to Your Advantage
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Use Anger to Your Advantage
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

This world is a world of differences. Nature abhors uniformity. This means that ‘difference’ is a part of nature. Difference is there in every aspect of life. So it is in the case of religion. Who has the power to remove differences? If we in vain try to eliminate differences, we will only end up in frustration....

 

The need to urge the people to return to the Vedas arose because they had strayed from its light. Now, perhaps more than then, it is true that those who pass for Hindus — in myriad forms of that religious identity — are ignorant of and alienated from the Vedas. This is ironic since “Veda” means knowledge. You cannot be a Hindu and yet be ignorant and certainly, not ignorant of the Vedas....

 

Poetry helped save the faith of no less a person than Iqbal. After reading likes of Hafiz and Bedil and Wordsworth and Holderlin and Rilke one can’t afford conventional cut and dry atheism. Something of the Sacred invoked in and evoked by the Romantic poetry finds believers amongst new atheists such as Dawkins. Art and nature are revelations even for the secularists and understanding them aright leads one to the border of Book centric revealed religions. If one is truly a poet, one is a believer of a sort....

 

As these difficult people and situations are God’s ways to test our spiritual strength, we should tackle them calmly with an eye to pass our tests and then to move to a higher spiritual level. We should not only try to pass the multiple tests (depending on our level of spiritual evolution and past Karma) successfully, we should also help our fellow human beings to pass them with us, as that further uplifts our souls and helps in our eventual ‘Nirvana’. There shall always be unreciprocated ‘goodwill’ and ‘good deeds’, but those are due to variations of spiritual attainments. …

 
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