"The weak lose themselves in God; the strong discover Him in themselves." ~ Allama Iqbal

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Weak and the Strong

The weak lose themselves in God; the strong discover 
Him in themselves. 

~ Allama Iqbal (from Stray Reflections, 1925 Section)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

There are only ego-sustaining and ego-dissolving acts

"Life offers a scope for ego-activity, and death is the first test of the synthetic activity of the ego.  There are no pleasure-giving and pain-giving acts; there are only ego-sustaining and ego-dissolving acts.  It is the deed that prepares the ego for dissolution, or disciplines him for a future career.  The principle of the ego-sustaining deed is respect for the ego in myself as well as in others.  Personal immortality, then, is not ours as of right; it is to be achieved by personal effort.  Man is only a candidate for it.  The most depressing error of Materialism is the supposition that finite consciousness exhausts its object.  Philosophy and science are only one way of approaching that object.  There are other ways of approach open to us; and death, if present action has sufficiently fortified the ego against the shock that physical dissolution brings, is only a kind of passage to what the Quran describes as 'Barzakh.'"

~ Allama Iqbal (from The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

If thou wouldst live, become full of Self!

The saint of Hajwir was venerated by the peoples,         
And Pir-i-Sanjar visited his tomb as a pilgrim,      
With ease he broke down the mountain barriers             
And sowed the seed of Islam in India.   
The age of Omar was restored by his godliness.
The fame of the Truth was exalted by his words.             
He was a guardian of the honour of the Koran. 
The house of Falsehood fell in ruins at his gaze.
The dust of the Punjab was brought to life by his breath,             
Our dawn was made splendid by his sun              
He was a lover, and withal, a courier of Love:     
The secrets of Love shone forth from his brow.
I will tell a story of his perfection              
And enclose a whole rose-bed in a single bud.  

A young man, cypress-tall,
Came from the town of Merv to Lahore.              
He went to see the venerable saint,      
That the sun might dispel his darkness. 
"I am hammed in," he said, "by foes;     
I am as a glass in the midst of stones.     
Do thou teach me, O sire of heavenly rank,        
How to lead my life amongst enemies!"               

The wise Director, in whose nature 
Love had allied beauty with majesty,     
Answered: "Thou art unread in Life's lore,           
Careless of its end and its beginning.     
Be without fear of others!          
Thou art a sleeping force: awake!            
When the stone thought itself to be glass,          
It became glass and got into the way of breaking.            
If the traveller thinks himself weak,       
He delivers his soul unto the brigand.    
How long wilt thou regard thyself as water and clay?      
Create from thy clay a flaming Sinai!       
Why be angry with mighty men?             
Why complain of enemies?        
I will declare the truth: thine enemy is thy friend:            
His existence crowns thee with glory.    
Whosoever knows the states of the Self              
Considers a powerful enemy to be a blessing from God.              
To the seed of Man the enemy is -as a rain-cloud:           
He awakens its potentialities.    
If thy spirit be strong, the stones in thy way are as water:            
What wrecks the torrent of the ups and downs of the road?      
The sword of resolution is whetted by the stones in the way,    
And put to proof by traversing stage after stage.             
What is the use of eating and sleeping like a beast?        
What is the use of being, unless thou have strength in thyself? 
When thou mak'st thyself strong with Self,         
Thou wilt destroy the world at thy pleasure.      
If thou wouldst pass away, become free of Self
If thou wouldst live, become full of Self !             
Who is death? To become oblivious to Self.        
Why imagine that it is the parting of soul and body?       
Abide in Self, like Joseph?           
Advance from captivity to empire!          
Think of Self and be a man of action       
Be a man of God, bear mysteries within!"           

I will explain the matter by means of stories,
I will open the bud by the power of my breath.
Tis better that a lover's secret   
Should be told by the lips of others.

~ Allama Iqbal (from Asrar-I-Khudi)