July 29, 2007

Knowledge of Sincerity

(taken from Idries Shah's book, 'Wisdom of the Idiots',)

A would-be disciple went to Bahaudin.
The master was sorrounded by thirty of his students,
in a garden, after dinner.
The new comer said:
'I wish to serve you.'
Bahaudin answered:
'You can best serve me by reading my Risalat (Letters).'
'I have already done so.' said the newcomer.
'if you have done so in reality and not in appearance,
you would not have approached me in this manner.,' said
He continued:
'Why do you think that you are able to learn?'
'I am ready to study with you.'
Bahaudin said:
'Let the most junior Murid (disciple) stand up.'
Anwari, who was sixteen years of his age, rose to feet.
'How long have you been with us?' asked El-Shah.
'Three weeks, O Murshid.'
'Have I taught you anything?'
'I do not know'
'Do you think so?'
'I do not think so.'
Bahaudin said to him:
'In this newcomer's satchel you will find a book of
poems. Take it in your hand and recite the entire
contents without mistake and without even opening it.'
Anwari found the book. He did not open it, but said:
'I fear that it is in Turki.'
Bahaudin said:
'Recite it!'
Anwari did so, and as he finished the stranger became
more and more affected by his wonder -- a book being
read without being opened by some one who did not
know Turki.
Falling at the feet of Bahaudin, He begged to be
admitted to the circle.
Bahaudin said:
'It is the kind of phenomenon which attracts you --
while it still does, you can not really benefit from it. That
is why, even if you have read my Risalat (Risalaat /رسالات) , you have not
really read it.'
'Come back,' he continued, 'when you have read it as
this beardless boy has read it. It was only such study that
gave him the power to recite from a book which he had
not opened, and at the same time prevented him from grovelling in wonderment at the event.'

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