Sufis The People of the Path Vol 1 ~ 03

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event type discourse
date & time 13 Aug 1977 am
location Buddha Hall, Poona
language English
audio Available, duration 1h 46min. Quality: good.
online audio
video Not available
online video
see also
online text find the PDF of this discourse
shorttitle SUFIS103
Reader of the sutra: Sw Ananda Teertha.
The sutra
Shah Firoz, who is remembered as the teacher of many very distinguished Sufis, was often asked why he did not teach them faster.
He said, 'Because even the most dedicated will, until a certain point of understanding, not be teachable at all. He is here in the flesh, but absent in every other way.'
He also recited this tale.
There was once a king who wanted to become a Sufi. The Sufi whom he approached about the matter said, 'Majesty, you cannot study with the elect until you can overcome heedlessness.'
'Heedlessness!' said the king. 'Am I not heedful of my religious obligations? Do I not look after the people? Whom can you find in all my realm who has a complaint against me on the grounds of heedlessness?'
'That is precisely the difficulty,' said the Sufi. 'Because heedfulness is so marked in some things, people imagine that it must be a part of their texture.'
'I cannot understand that sort of remark,' said the king, 'and perhaps you will regard me as unsuitable because I cannot fathom your riddles.'
'Not at all, ' said the Sufi, 'but a would-be disciple cannot really have a debate with his prospective teacher. Sufis deal in knowledge, not in argument. But I will give you a demonstration of your heedlessness, if you will carry out a test and do what I ask in respect to it.'
The king agreed to take the test, and the Sufi told him to say 'I believe you' to everything which should be said to him in the ensuing few minutes.
'If that is a test, it is easy enough to start becoming a Sufi,' said the king.
Now the Sufi started the test. He said: 'I am a man from beyond the skies.'
'I believe you,' said the king.
The Sufi continued: 'Ordinary people try to gain knowledge, Sufis have so much that they try not to use it.'
'I believe you,' said the king.
Then the Sufi said: 'I am a liar.'
'I believe you,' said the king.
The Sufi went on: 'I was present when you were born.'
'I believe you,' said the king.
'And your father was a peasant,' said the Sufi.
'That is a lie!' shouted the king.
The Sufi looked at him sorrowfully and said: 'Since you are so heedless that you cannot for one minute remember to say "I believe you" without some prejudice coming into play, no Sufi would be able to teach you anything.'


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