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MUZAKRA 1 THOUGHTS ON PERFECTION

SOUL: My Lord, would You please explain what perfection is? What are its qualities? How can I attain it? Why is such an arduous struggle necessary? And what will make me strong and victorious in spiritual warfare: SELF: Listen carefully, My Reflection. Because I am the complete and perfect and whole, to surrender to ME is perfection. Every thing I do is perfect. MY devotees are also perfect, being connected to ME in loving surrender. Patience is the symptom of such surrender. I am here; I am guiding you. Have faith, and all will be well. I promise you this, for you are MY very dear friend. SOUL: Please tell me more, my Lord, Your words soothe burning in my heart and strengthen me. SELF: If you truly desire to attain the highest perfection and be intimately united with ME in love, you must first understand who I am and who you are. We have an eternal relationship. I am the Cause of all causes, the Source of all, and the End of all. From ME everything emanates, by Me everything is maintained, and in Me everything is dissolved. If you are wise and know this truly, you will surrender to Me and engage always in MY service. SOUL: But Im always going to Your place of worship, Lord, and giving to the poor. I even perform austerities and follow the four regulative principles*. I repeat your Holy Name as such as I can, and I often preach to others. What more is required? SELF: This is all very commendable, MY friend, and I appreciate what you are doing. These activities indicate a proper disposition for piety. More precisely, these are the effects of piety. But dont think that MY perfection and true piety consist in these things alone. These acts are merely external if one lacks the loving consciousness that comes from working for MY pleasure and ME alone. Undoubtedly, pious acts are aids to holiness, and when used with proper discrimination, they are of unique and consummate value. They support spirituality and counter the conditioned souls disposition toward laziness, indifference, and excessive sense gratification. Certainly, pious acts are an indispensable aid and a necessary support in the struggle to overcome evil and attain the good, to avoid the snares of Iblis (evil), ignorance and to attain MY mercy. * No illicit sex, No intoxication No gambling

Not eating Haraam

SOUL:

Pious acts make a person holy and good? Is that correct?

SELF: Not exactly. They are the precious fruit of a higher virtue, achieved by really elevated souls without extraneous endeavour. They are the symptoms or results, but not the cause. SOUL: Now Im really confused. Are you saying that pious acts make a man good or not? Which is it, my Lord? SELF: Listen carefully, MY servant, for if you understand this properly, you will advance in spiritual consciousness very rapidly. Holy persons certainly follow regulative principles, practice Zikr, and perform austerities. They withdraw themselves from the world, avoid even the near occasions of sin, and always engage in MY service. But pure souls do not act piously for the praise or men, nor do they respond to the dictations of the whimsical mind. They act to please ME and Me alone. That MY friend, is surrender, the most precious of the gifts, and the only suitable offering a conditioned soul can make to ME. Do you think I need something? Or is it that I lack something? I am full in all luxury; I am complete and perfect. But I long for your love because you are MY eternal image. You are in ME and Mine. When I long for your love, I am not longing for anything outside Myself. Indeed, through your love I give pleasure to Myself. Those who are truly holy and devout are attached to ME only and never to external acts. In themselves, things may not be evil, but they can be wrongly used. Affection for the creations apart from the Creator is offensive. Therefore, do not absorb yourself in external acts no matter how good in themselves without considering their underlying purpose: to satisfy ME. Everything you do should be for MY pleasure. Anything else is ignorance, because it is forgetfulness of MY position as the Supreme Enjoyer. The essence of truth is to always remember ME. For that purpose, and to that end, bowing down to ME, worshipping MY Deity, and rendering service are praiseworthy and wonderful. But unless you remember ME, they are useless. SOUL: But how can I tell whether one is remembering You nor not?

SELF: Fear not, by a little reflection, you can easily detect a soul under the sway of Ahwa (personal wishes). A vast gulf exists between the actual conduct of a forgetful soul and the perfection he professes to adore. Do you notice, how a worldly soul loves to be preferred over others? Notice how his own opinion alone guides his actions. He has no preceptor but his own whimsical mind. And notice how blind he is to his own faults, yet quick to find fault in others. If anyone happens to be step on the vain reputation such a man imagines he possesses and of which he is most proud he is ready to kill. Even if I, his Lord and Master, for the worthy purpose of opening his eyes and showing him MY real path of perfection, dare send a hardship for him to bear sickness, insult, or persecution he is deeply offended. Yet it is a fact that these trials are the test of his faith and a sign of MY favour. Such trials magnify the devotees fidelity. MY devotee Job (Hazrat Ayub) was made glorious and immortal by tribulation. I have MY perfect plan, and I sometimes give permission for MY devotee to be placed in the fire of tribulation. Then, as with gold, all dross, everything impure, is burned up. What remains is the beauty of pure holiness. But imposters are always exposed in such trials. At that time, their proud, degenerate heart is laid bare for all to see. Despite great external shows of piety, they know nothing of real surrender and conformity to MY will. When their facade is ripped away, their spiritual pride looks all the more ridiculous. Instead of being empowered with MY grace, they are crushed under the weight of MY chastising rod. They do not know how to bow to MY almighty omnipotence, or how to surrender to MY all-righteous judgments, which are frequently secret and impenetrable. Failing to know what it means to be servant of the servant, such pseudo-devotees do not follow the example of the Prophet (PBUH), humble and compassionate. Thus they do not understand how to love their enemies, nor do they see their enemies as MY instruments to guide them to self-denial. SOUL: But arent they at least practicing some religion? Arent they better than the gross materialists who practice no religion? SELF: Not exactly, for their so-called religion is more dangerous and offensive. Infatuated with self-love and blinded by lust and greed, these miscreants think themselves to be lord of all they survey. They imagine themselves to be advanced spiritualists, although, in fact, they are the lowest of the lowest.

Being full of false pride, they offend ME very much; and being self-righteous, they are in constant and imminent danger of damnation. Blinded by self-love, they know neither what to do, nor what not to do. They also look upon their fellow labourers with contempt, imagining themselves to be holier than others. Such pride so increases their blindness that salvation could not be effected in a million lives, except by a miracle or grace. SOUL: more abound? But is not there a saying that where sin did abound there did grace much

SELF: The scripture also says that devils quote scripture and tremble. But what is their motivation? Do they quote scripture to please ME? Do they seek MY service? No! They labour very hard for their own sense gratification. Remember that, as the Lord in everyones heart, I know everyones desire. Thus, as one surrenders to ME, I reward him accordingly. No one cheats ME. Being the greatest of everything, I am the greatest Makir as well (Khair-ul-Makireen). A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, MY servant. Like a razor-sharp sword, transcendental knowledge brings victory to the skillful warrior but wounds or slays a careless child. Those who misuse spiritual knowledge for personal sense gratification are in a worse position than the demon, for if their light has become darkness, how will they ever see? For this reason, sinners are often reformed with less trouble than those who falsely profess some spiritual knowledge. Hypocrites and those who have a disease in their hearts deceive only themselves with their cloak of pseudo-piety. Real spiritual life comes from the heart. It is an awakening of love, not an outward display of piety and forms. Man may be impressed by a showy outward appearance a certain dress, a certain language, certain vows but, I, your Lord and Master, look only on your heart. Vital spirituality, therefore, necessitates not only the knowledge of the right, but its practice as well by service and surrender to ME. Not only must you know how great I am, but you must also act accordingly. Your knowledge must bear some fruit. Otherwise, what is its value? Faith without works is dead. Knowledge without application is useless. SOUL: What You are saying is certainly true, my dear Lord, but it seems so difficult to realize. How can anyone as fallen as I ever be able to follow this path? I feel so weak, and I fear I lack the strength to follow You.

SELF: Take heart, MY servant. Realizing your own weakness qualifies you to receive MY infallible strength. Yes, the conditioned soul is undoubtedly weak and has a tendency to fall down and commit sin. Nevertheless, you are MY eternal fragmental part. In quality you are one with ME, but you are infinitely small. Realization of these two truths that you are simultaneously one with ME (in quality) and different from ME (in quantity) is requisite for true knowledge and love for ME. Because we are one, I can infuse you with MY power; and because you are infinitesimal in size, you are helpless without ME. Therefore, humble yourself, not only before ME but before all men for MY sake. This is genuine spirituality; to completely renounce self-will in order to follow Mine, and to act only for the glory of MY Holy Name. With only one motive and purpose to please and satisfy ME such a devotee attains MY eternal love. These, then, are the dictates of MY law of love, which I have inscribed in the hearts of all. Out of love for ME, MY devotees take pleasure even in hardships for MY sake. Thus, they enthusiastically practice self-denial, the virtue so earnestly recommended by all spiritual masters. In so doing, they satisfy the Self within. Follow in the footsteps of these great souls. Deny yourself, and you will find your Self. How else can you realize that you are more then the material body? If you truly desire this realization, you must act accordingly. If you really want to know yourself as spirit-soul, you must act as spirit-soul. How is that? On receiving this Truth, youll joyfully know That all living things from ME verily flow. Always invoking MY Names in glorification, Trying to know Me with great determination, Always bowing before MY form transcendental, These great would adore Me with love sacramental. You are from ME. Therefore, surrender to ME fully, and I will be your strength and comfort. Invoke MY Holy Names without offense, and automatically you will have all transcendental knowledge. Weather I grant you your request or not leave to my generosity but I assure you that the best part of your evoking ME in prayers is that I listen to you. Does not it suffice you that I have given you audience? SOUL: Thats wonderful, Lord. What a privilege and consolation? But are You sure that is all I have to do? Can I attain the highest perfection simply by surrendering and remembering You and evoking your Holy Name.

SELF: What can you do for ME, MY manifestation? I am the Supreme Personality of God head, the fountainhead of everything. Even when I say, I want your love, I need your love, I am not asking for something outside Myself. God the Whole is worshipped by soul the fragmented. From one point of view, nothing is lost and nothing is gained. But from another, there is a wonderful exchange of love. Just as you look into a mirror to see your own beauty, so I expand Myself into many reflections, all qualitatively one but quantitatively different. Therefore, I have reflected Myself into many mirrors to increase MY own joy. You are the qualitative abridgement of the whole Universe, a Book that was written by the Eternal Pen. You are that Pen which writes, and also that Tablet on which it writes and finally that which is written by the Pen on the Tablet. If you become fully conscious of ME, MY friend, I promise that you will experience the greatest pleasure. In the beginning, you may meet with some difficulties, because in the material world, there is a great struggle between the forces of remembrance and forgetfulness. Therefore, always think of ME, always invoke MY Holy Names, and meditate on MY beautiful transcendental pastimes and forms. In this way, you will never forget , and you will live in ME eternally. But if you become enamoured by illusions, you will immediately be covered by forgetfulness. Then you will suffer the pains of fear and anxiety, old age and disease. SOUL: O dear Lord, please have mercy upon me. Im completely baffled, my mind is reeling, and Ive lost all composure because of weakness. Please help me, my Lord. SELF: Fear not, MY friend. I am with you now and always. I will be your support in every difficulty. Just invoke MY Name and depend on ME. Do not fear. Everything is situated on desire. Therefore, you control the outcome. If you remember ME, I can help; but if you forget ME, what can I do? So avoid whatever causes forgetfulness of ME. Obey MY every command. Obedience is remembrance and the only auspicious path. Disobedience is forgetfulness and is inauspicious in every way. Surrender utterly to ME. Be determined to conquer the unruly mind and insatiable senses. Whoever has the courage to control his passions and appetites and to subdue even the least expression of self-will is more acceptable to ME than one who sleeps on a bed of nails, or mortifies his flesh with great austerities. Or speaks with the eloquence of angels. Whatever is done as an offering to ME is well and good, but not as good as a serious attempt at conquering the lower self. Indeed, for one who controls the mind and senses, I am already reached. Such self-control, however, may require a great warfare. Arm yourself well. Take advantage of the following four weapons. Without them, victory is impossible in this spiritual combat. They are: distrust of self; confidence

in ME; the right use of body and mind, that is, use in MY service; and the fervent invoking of MY Holy Name.