Americans and Englishmen belonging to the Sufi faith met Shri Nathji in Boston. They were so impressed by him that they requested Shri Nathji to speak to their group. Shri Nathji spoke on Sufism for a long time and his listeners were transported to another plane.
Shri Nathji’s explanation of Sufi thought greatly impressed his listeners. The gist was as follows:
The Sufis say that in this world there is that which is permanent and eternal–the Kaadeem; and there is also that which is temporary–the Haadis. God is Kaadeem–permanent, and the world is Haadis–temporary. God has neither a beginning nor an end, but the world began at one time and shall end at another.
But in a larger sense, all that is visible, all that exists before us, is He, Himself! The multiplicity before us of the trees, the leaves, the fruits, the flowers, the branches, belongs to the seed from which it sprang.
There is but One Existence in the world, everything else is simply a thought of that One Existence. And since it is His Thought, it is He, Himself, appearing as the multiplicity of the world.
When you go to sleep, a dream world comes into existence. The dream world is a creation of your thought; it is actually you who are appearing as the multiplicity of the world of dreams.
“If it were a world separate from you, and outside of you, you would find it existing even when you had ceased to dream. In the dream, there is only you and your thought. The mountains, rivers, forests and people of the dream world are all you!
In a like manner, this Universe is merely a manifestation of God.
Look at a pot of clay. What is it? Simply clay. When the clay has been kneaded into a pot, it is no longer called clay. In reality there is no such thing as a pot. It is only a shape given to clay. If the pot were something separate from clay, then it would continue to exist even after the clay had vanished.
The name and shape of the pot do not exist separately from the clay. It is the clay that reveals them. A buyer will ask the potter to sell him a pot, he will not say: ‘Sell me that clay!’ The clay shall remain unchanged even if the pot were to break into tiny pieces.
This world of diversity, of shapes and forms, appears to have a separate existence of its own, like the pot. But when realisation comes to man, the diversity disappears, and he sees only the Creator everywhere.
Khud Koozaa garo
Khud gile koozaa
He is the Pot,
He is the Potter,
And He, the Clay,
Shri Nathji mentioned the Sufi saint, Mansur, who was crucified for saying: “Anal Haq–I am God”.
And Shri Nathji had a beautiful explanation for Mansur’s experience:
A drop of water that plunges into the ocean annihilates its individual self and becomes the ocean. There is a point in union with the ocean, when it cries out: ‘I am the ocean.’ This is, in fact, the voice of the ocean, and not that of the drop.
“When Mansur said: ‘Anal Haq!’ it was the voice of God in Union with the individual soul, and not the voice of Mansur.
“‘I am God’ is a voice that is echoed from each and every particle of the Universe. It is a voice that can never be stilled.”
Shri Nathji wrote his famous verse of Mansur:
Zarre zarre ki zubaan par hai Anal Haq ki sadaa
Hazarate Mansur par kab khatam ye aavaaz hai
Each and every particle echoes with the cry, ‘I am God!’
It is not a voice that came to an end with Hazrat Mansur.”
Shri Nathji continued:
In reality no man has the right to say: ‘I am God.’ It is only God who can say this, when He speaks through man.
“To say ‘I’ am God is to conceive of an ‘I’ which is separate from God, and which is saying that it is God.
“In the state of union with God, the ‘I’ of man is annihilated altogether–and only God remains. The ‘I’ that says ‘I am God’ is then the ‘I’ of God, and not the ‘I’ of man.
Many saints and sages experienced this overwhelming feeling in their prayers. But it was a short-lived state which disappeared when body consciousness asserted its own ‘I’ again.