Saturday, March 03, 2007

Reading Now | The Sufi Mystery

While traveling in Darjeeling, India, i found this beautiful gem titled, The Sufi Mystery, edited by Nathaniel P. Archer. This wonderful book brings together writings by Ameer Ali, Professor E.G. Browne, Sir Richard Burton, Robert Graves, Idries Shah and many others. It deals with authentic and mutated schools and orders and their literature over a very wide area of geography and belief. Sufi theories and practices are examined, visits to Sufi centers are described, the relationship of master and disciple investigated, and links with other systems noted.

The lovely thing about this book is using sanskrit equivalence of many sufi terminologies while describing Sufi Philosophy (in the chapter Philosophy, Training, Orders and Ethics) which shows the inner truth with Vedantic philosophy and Sufism. It clears out the picture how Islam and Hinduism in its essential core speaks of the same Grand Reality. Also one can find references of very useful original works (books) of Sufism spread across the book. The chapter titled, A Catholic Among the Sufis by Father F. X. O'Halloran is a delightful chapter to read in a sense that it appreciate sufism from a Christian's perspective. It shows how Master and Disciple relationship are engraved in the Sufi Way, just as was that of Jesus Christ (peace be with him) and the status of Jesus among the sufis are also explored.

Another noted chapter is A Coptic Conception of Initiation and Illumination. It contains some beautiful collection of sayings of Jesus quoted by notable sufis such as Al Ghazzali. Here are few:

When Jesus was young, someone said to him: "Where did you gain you education?" He said, "From nobody. I looked at the ignorance of fools and avoided it."

John the Baptist said to Jesus, "Do not become angry." He answered, "I can not avoid that, for I am human." "Then," said John, "avoid desiring property." "That", said Jesus, "I can do".

Jesus said, "You say that I have been able to raise the dead, that is true. But mark well that I was unable to cure the foolishness of fools."

Read more about the book from Amazon here. Pin It Now!