The Murshid or spiritual guide is the divine manifestation that lends all its attributes to his followers. He bestows on his devotees that which could not be achieved even by giving one’s own life. Whatever the Murshid gives should never be forgotten. He is the central ‘Kaaba’ i.e. the center of attention for his follower. He also visualizes the oneness of God. Even if one sacrifices himself, it will not be equivalent to what the Murshid presents to someone. But the Murshid’s worth can only be recognized by those who have known him well. What can be more valuable then what the Murshid has given? You should love the gift that he has given you. If you recognize the value of whatever has been bestowed upon you, God will also recognize your value.
This existence is a handful of sand. The Naam given to us by our Murshid is the spark, which if kept burning by repeated chanting shall develop into a fire. The human body is an earthen pot in which the intellect or religious rules (shariat) is like milk. The Murshid adds a little curd of ‘tariqat’ or spiritual path to turn the milk into curd. Then comes the stage of ‘marfat’ (divine understanding), which makes a disciple a real dervish. Then, he understands who he really is, a human entity, secret of secrets, the human heart, the high divine throne and the residing place of the Almighty.
The night is meant for reciting Naam. But the effort has to come from the disciple. Every being of his fiber has to become one with God. Only then will he be truly enlightened. This is easier said then done. God is in everything but only a few realize this.
When does the Murshid make a true ‘man’ of his disciple? This happens when man realizes God. Man is synonymous with realization. He becomes a totally different person when this awakening dawns upon him. But, what is this awakening or realization? It is a state when man is totally immersed with God and completely gives up his ego. Then he appreciates everyone and everything around him and in turn is appreciated and loved by all. He lets go of his ego and all his prejudices and starts practicing his enlightenment in his day-to-day life. And as he continues to chant his Naam, his nature and character will improve further. Such a person then truly becomes pious. But for this enlightenment to happen, we need Divine will and grace.
The Murshid preaches incessantly. But it is the disciple’s duty to follow those teachings. It is the disciple’s loss if those teachings are not followed. We derive God’s name from the Murshid. As such man comes into this world empty handed. Only humans can be preached to, not devils. Just as clothes are closest to our skins, so too the Murshid’s teachings should be closest and dearest to our hearts. The Murshid is also answerable to God.
Our Murshid guides us towards the right path and will keep preaching to us to save us from hell just as the ringmaster constantly lashes the animals to keep them in the herd. Hell is to humans what a cage is to animals. The Murshid loves all his disciples but is responsible for only those who chant His name and follow instructions. He wants us to imbibe and practice his teachings in our daily lives. Only then will we be blind to others short comings and flaws. The Murshid ought to be pious, chaste and the disciple faithful and beautiful in the spiritual sense. The Murshid loves the disciple who follows his teachings. He sees a spark in some disciples and reposes His faith in them that they will grow spiritually. He then tries to bring them closer to Him. Some make the Murshid proud, others cause Him embarrassment. We must not rely entirely on the Guru, because although He is always there, the effort and desire has to come from within us.
God and Murshid are one and the same. Neither is far away from us. They are close like butter and milk. Some disciples are close to the Murshid physically but far away spiritually, others are just the opposite. How can you give up your association with your Murshid? Even after death, He is the one we look to for support. A Murshid is indispensable and has to be discovered. The Naam is an extraordinary thing that He implants in our hearts. Every child is dear to his or her parents, but the parents still have to feed the child bitter medicines and so too, the Murshid sometimes has to teach us the hard way. The result will however, always be good.
A lot of people have some Guru or another, but only a few people accept him as their parent. Sainji says He has such a Murshid and we too are blessed. Sainji states that God will always be with us in life and death. He says that when you cannot be separated from God in death, how can you even imagine that He will be away from you in life. God says that you are mine and I am yours.
Why do we think we are alone? Sainji says we have to find the clues for ourselves with His help. Those who are in close association with their Murshid are also close to God. He is responsible for them. While teaching a parrot, he is shown a mirror so the parrot can learn with the image reversed. The parrot can see his reflection in the mirror. The tutor is not visible to the parrot and so he assumes that the one tutoring him is the parrot in the mirror. In reality, he is only seeing a reflection. We can realize that God is everywhere and omniscient. You will only realize this with prayers. Let your thoughts flow with your Murshid. Keep talking to him even while you are performing your routine chores. Who is a true friend? A true friend is one who helps the hapless and who is spiritually inclined. Man is inconsequential. It’s the Murshid’s grace and glance that makes him worthy. The Murshid gives hardships only to those He loves and who are close to Him. The Murshid is omnipotent. Sainji says that once He was traveling with a friend when they met someone occupying the upper berth in a train. They introduced themselves to him as ‘shanasi’s’ (those who recognize people in a spiritual sense) whereas the saffron robed gentleman described himself as a ‘sanyasi’ (an ascetic). The ascetic was confused at their description as ‘shanasi’s’. Sainji explained to him that whereas ‘sanyasi’s make medicinal potions from plants in a forest, ‘shanasi’s’ perform the difficult task of recognizing individuals as individuals themselves are the raw materials (plants).
To have a Murshid is a must. The Prophet has preached that the devil is in the one who is without a Murshid. All saints, mystics and Prophets have had Gurus. Never be hasty about choosing a Murshid. Do not choose one who only gives discourses. Choose one who is spiritually enlightened and who is always attuned to God. Good men are a dime a dozen, but be careful in choosing a potent Guru. When a lamb is slaughtered everyone enjoys the meat, but when the lamb is dead nobody touches the flesh. So is the case with man. If he dies without a Murshid, he will be lost. But, if he has a Guru, the Guru will always be with him to guide and protect him.
One can only have one Murshid. You can seek any one’s blessings. There is no harm in prostrating your self before a widow to seek blessings. Jus as every child has only one set of parents, so too a disciple can only have one Murshid. A true saint will not be a wanderer but will be seated in one place always immersed in meditation. Sainji states “ My dear children, you all have a Murshid. A person who has no Murshid should not be seen first thing in the morning.” All Sufi’s have a Murshid. He also says “ matters not related to spirituality are inconsequential. So, my dear children, thank God that you have a Murshid. After death, man is first asked about his Murshid.” Do not forget that our Murshid is just a call away from us. One truthful cry of help asked with the utmost devotion is enough to bring Him close to us. Those who pray to Him will always find Him close. But, those who don’t remember Him and don’t pray will gradually get alienated from Him. We must not forget chanting Naam even under duress.
Guru Nanak Sahib asks, who brings you to an association with a Guru? The answer is Divine Grace. You will realize this when enlightenment dawns on you. Guru Nanak bestowed happiness and sorrow alike on Mardana, his closest companion. But, He also showered his Grace and benediction on him. Shah Sahib also showered his benediction on His devotees. Shah Qalander Datapir showered His blessings even on thieves and transformed them. Sain Sadiq Shah Badshah is a classic example of this grace.
He proclaimed that He would not have gained his mystical experiences without the grace of his guru, God. Sain says that you too have been introduced to those who shower
Blessings even on those who perhaps do not deserve blessings. Sain also states that “ I keep praying to my Guru, but not once in years He ever asked me the motivation for my prayers. Other devotees passed me by. Many were honored by His grace and I was one of them. After my Murshid left this mortal world, I have never experienced this delight. But, I have not given up hope. I may again be blessed to enjoy His grace once more. You all have experienced His grace.” Sain also says “ I am full of faults, but my Murshid is without a fault. I pray to Him to bless even the lowest of human beings. I feel content and enriched with what he has bestowed upon me.”
What should a disciple ask his Murshid for, Grace or Miracles? Some ask for God, others ask for miracles. Those who asked for God had the good fortune of experiencing miracles, but those who asked for miracles lost out on both Grace and miracles. One must always pray with the utmost devotion for God to keep us close to him and that He always showers His grace upon us and show mercy. Sainji states “ You are faultless and I am full of faults but don’t ever cast your glance away from me” referring to God.
To have desires is not good. Sainji says there is an exception “ My dear children, only one desire is good. That is the desire to always yearn for your Murshid and God. The disciple is ignorant of the generous gifts bestowed on him by the Murshid, who can create a yearning in the disciple for Himself. The Murshid can just about do anything for his disciple.”
A birds young ones are born with their eyes shut. The mother bird then hunts for the stone that turns everything it touches to gold, touch it to the young ones, who then open their eyes. The Murshid is akin to that. Only He knows the hardships He has to suffer for the sake of His disciples. The more learned and educated the disciple, the harder it is for the Murshid. But a single glance from Him is enough to bring about a transformation in the disciple. What the disciple can perceive with his Murshid’s eyes , he can never see with his own eyes. Sainji say that it his disciples who control Him, and not the other way around. The disciples should never tire of singing glories of their Guru or showing gratitude towards Him. A spiritually enlightened disciple will never tire of this. Initially, it is the disciple who yearns for the Murshid. But, after enlightenment, it is the Murshid who yearns for the disciple. That disciple has the best of both worlds. Then, the Murshid and disciple become one. It’s like a plant is grafted to a good tree, so too is the disciple grafted to his Murshid.
Having a guru is pivotal. He is a guide and philosopher who never lets us down. The guru resides in our eyes, the best place for Him. Surrender to Him completely and absolutely and see the transformation in you. When man ends, God begins. Man forgets his Murshid when his ego over-powers him. Do not ever get complacent with your Naam or prayers as complacency leads to forgetfulness towards the Murshid. Our faith in Him should be unshakeable. We need not fear anything and can achieve the impossible if we have the confidence that he is with us.
Even saints are not above temptation. The temptations are to cast aside this arduous spiritual journey. But, flowing water never stinks, so saints and prophets rise above this temptation to follow the path of enlightenment. God and Murshid are man’s only friend and companion so we must depend on them. The photograph of our Murshid in not a mere photograph but it is the Murshid Himself residing in it. We must accord it the respect and honor we would accord our Murshid had He been present in front of us in person. It is not an idol, because an idol is a statue made of marble. While praying we must visualize the Murshid in front of us, the glimpse of His that we have beheld in person.
The lineage of our Murshid starts from Badshah Pir (Dastagir Badshah) as Badshah Pir’s grandson Sain Mallik Shah Badshah of Bijapur was Shah Shaheed Badshah’s Murshid.
Sainji told a story of the time Khwaja Khizr was walking along the side of the river in the early morning time before sunrise. From a distance he saw a bright ‘spiritual’ light. He walked up and saw a man sleeping on the ground. He woke the man and asked who he was and why at this godly hour was he sleeping. He then told him that this time was for praying and remembering God. The man asked, “ Are you the Khwaja Khizr?” The answer was “Yes, do you know me?” The man replied “ I do, that’s why I called you by your name. Do you not know me?” The answer was “No.” Upon hearing the answer, the man walked away. He walked some more along the river. He again saw the same light in the distance. When he walked up, he noticed a woman with her head covered by a dupatta sleeping on the ground. He then woke her up and reminded her that this time of the day was for remembering God. The woman dusted off her dupatta and asked, “ You are Khwaja Khizr, aren’t you?” The answer was “Yes, do you know me?” The woman replied “ I do, that’s why I called you by your name. First, you woke my Murshid from his sleep and then came and woke me up. Do you not know me?” The answer was “No.” Upon hearing the answer, the woman walked away. He was now puzzled about the identity of the two people. He then decided to raise the question in the Lord’s Dargah. He stated that he was familiar with all of the saints who were in love with God, but he did not know these people who in turn knew him. The reply came back that you do know all of the people who are in love with me, but these are the people I am in love with. He asked, “ Whose talibs (disciples) are these?” The answer was: Disciples of Sain Data Dastagir Badshah sahib.
Shah Shaheed Aulihya’s anniversary is nothing less than a hajj or pilgrimage of the highest order. Those attending it are truly blessed. All their prayers are answered. Even the smallest of creatures are blessed. So, one must attend it as divine blessings and vibrations are at their peak. Every step taken in that direction is a blessing and no prayer goes unanswered. Even when you celebrate it in your houses, it is an auspicious thing to do as God in whose name you do it is present in person. If you remember Him, you will be remembered.
A true saint is one who reminds you of your Murshid or God and who pardons your sins. A true saint never craves for material donations. Sainji asks, how do you benefit from meeting a saint? When you begin your journey towards Him, the angels are asked to ask the disciple his destination. The angels then question the person’s soul and the souls replies that it is going to meet a saint or prophet. The angels then ask if the purpose is for material benefits or mystical benefits. From the time he starts his journey to the time he gets back home, the saint or prophet where the disciple is headed, protects him and showers blessings upon him. One realizes god’s benediction only at the time of death. God’s benediction is not in terms of material benefits that can be obvious instantaneously.
We must always pray to Him because He is the only savior. The Murshid and God treats us like a parent treats a child and answers all prayers that are said with true feelings and devotion. The greatest grace showered on us by our Murshid is to accept us holistically. It is easy for Him to grant us material benefits but it is more difficult to give enlightenment. It is an achievement when the disciple gives up even one bad habit or vice completely. To lead His disciple to a path of enlightenment is the biggest honor He can shower on him. For a saint, the toughest thing is to stay away from His Murshid. But then He is not alone as his Murshid is also with Him following Him like a shadow. Only He knows the wisdom of His words. Sain Sadiq Shah Badshah would even speak with his pitcher of water. Mira was the epitome of enlightenment and when she entered a gathering, a pall of gloom would set in. Everyone gossiped about her when she was alive. But, she achieved immortality after death. She was constantly surrounded by fakirs who ridiculed and criticized her and even took off her dupatta, but she maintained a stoic silence and she had such an aura around her that all were attracted to her.
Sakhi Kabool Mohammed was very benevolent. Once he told Sainji,” You are Allah and in turn I told him that He was Sain Sachal himself. So, Sakhi Kabool Mohammed told Sainji that His Dargah and Jhok Sharif Dargah belonged to Sainji. Our Sainji replied in all humility that Sain was a servant of both dargah’s. This pleased Sakhi Kabool Mohammed immensely and he told Sainji that Sain was a truly enlightened soul;.
Sainji once met an elderly disciple of Sachal Sain who told him that he once went to Mirapur and saw a rare flower unparalleled in beauty. Man is also like a tree. His head should always be inclined towards his Murshid. He should assume that it is not his head, but that of his Murshid. When he sits in prayer, he should assume that it is his Murshid who is sitting in prayer and not himself. He must feel the presence of His Murshid everywhere. He must feel that his Murshid is omnipresent and only then will he become one with God. When in prayers he must observe complete silence and forget his mortal being.