Bowl of Saki, January 8, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
The (limited) happiness of this world is something we cannot keep; it is just like the horizon - the nearer you go, the farther it goes. As soon as you get it, you see it is not the thing you wanted. That discontent continues its work till we have found and understood the manifestation of God, in which is hidden the Divine Spirit. God cannot be found in temples, for God is Love; and love does not live in temples, but in the heart of man, which is the temple of God. The true religion would be to recognize it is so and to tolerate, to forgive and to love each other.
There is a story told of Moses. One day he was passing through a farm, and he saw a peasant boy sitting quietly and talking to himself, saying, 'O God, I love you so; if I saw you here in these fields I would bring you soft bedding and delicious dishes to eat, I would take care that no wild animals could come near you. You are so dear to me, and I so long to see you; if you only knew how I love you I am sure you would appear to me!'
Moses heard this, and said, 'Young man, how dare you speak of God in this way? He is the formless God, and no wild beast or bird could injure Him who guards and protects all.' The young man bent his head sorrowfully and wept. Something was lost to him, and he felt most unhappy. And then a revelation came to Moses as a voice from within which said, 'Moses, what have you done? You have separated a sincere lover from Me. What does it matter what I am
called or how I am spoken to? Am I not in all forms?'
This story throws a great light on this question, and teaches that it is only the ignorant who accuse one another of a wrong conception of God. It teaches us how gentle we ought to be with the faith of another; as long as he has the spark of the love of God, this spark should be slowly blown upon so that the flame may rise; if not, that spark will be extinguished. How much the spiritual development of mankind in general depends upon a religious man! He can either spread the light or diminish it by forcing his belief on others.
Very often a person thinks that other people should believe in and worship his God. But everyone has his own conception of God, and this conception becomes the stepping-stone to the true ideal of God.
Nature teaches every soul to worship God in some way or other, and often provides that which is suitable for each. Those who want one law to govern all have lost sight of the spirit of their own religion. And it is in people who have not yet learned their own religion that such ideas are commonly found. Did they but know their own religion, how tolerant they would become, and
how free from any grudge against the religion of others!