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The Shaikh Muhammad Rahim Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Library
The Pearl of Wisdom
"Wisdom Study Version"
by His Holiness, M. R. Bawa Muhaiyadddeen
(may God be pleased with Him, and with Us)
- Original Version -
"The Four Stages
of Spiritual Development"
Go To "Wisdom Study Version"
His Holiness Teaches Us:
One man speaks of sariyai, kiriyai, yogam, and gnanam. Another speaks of shariat, tareekat, haqeekat, and maharifat. They have many meanings. I shall mention some of them.
A babe in the mother's womb does not know its parents. Does it know, as it is born into the world? No, it does not.
Likewise, the babe does not know the good and the bad. It cries when it is hungry. Immediately, the mother carries the baby and feeds it. Ten months later, the baby who was suckled by the mother is fed by the mother's hand.
The baby passes urine excreta. Does it realize that the excreta is repulsive? No. The child meddles with the excreta with its hands and tries to eat it. The parents see it and clean the baby. The child who has seen the mother feed it with her hand, takes many things and puts them into its mouth.
At this stage too, the child cannot differentiate between good and bad. It is the duty of the mother and the father to discard the bad and show the good to the child. Parents indeed show the child the good and the bad and teach it the good and bad languages. They teach the child the relationships of mother, father, uncle, and cousins.
The baby is like a parrot and repeats what is spoken and copies what is done. The baby has little discriminatory power to know where burning fire is bad or good. Both parents show the child certain things outside the home which it sees and learns. Even at this stage the child cannot differentiate the good from the bad.
When the child is three years old, it begins to understand things and to feel intrinsically. He know his mother, father, brother, sister, things that are his and what belongs to others. Feelings like love, greed, and desire are taught to him.
Still, does the child know? Unaware of good and bad, and bad and good, it does things as others do.
The child is sent to school instilling a love for the school at a stage when it does not know good from bad and lacks in feelings. At this stage the child learns to speak some words and can feel desire and affection. He learns music and dance.
Son, when a child's life is like this, is learning a little knowledge at school the way to the kovil (spiritual aloneness), and to the mosque (spiritual devotion), and to all other philosophies (like spiritual clarity and awakening), akin (or similar) to the studies at school? (No).
(In this way), Learning lessons, learning them correctly, and accepting the correct version, is the path that is called the Shariat (or the First or Initial Stage of Spiritual Development).
(In this way), Shariat is the equivalent of the lessons in the kindergarten.
You must be subtlely informed that these (examples of the 4 stages of Spiritual Development are using) scenes that illustrate the world's maya, the illusory appearances of pleasure (that is, the visions seen in the dream of "our presence", and "our story" on the "outside" of us, when we have Forgotten God within us, that is, when in our ignorance, and in our arrogance about our ignorance, we turned away from the "Presence of God" within us, and from God telling and bring to Completion "His Story" within us, for the benefit of all of the Creation of God within us, with "Us" within us, as His Witness).
This (Shariat) is the first grade. Before a child attains (Spiritual) puberty. She goes about freely everywhere. She visits the homes of her friends, relatives, and others and talks without reserve (or restraint). This is similar to the period I spoke of as the kindergarten lesson. The inner meaning of this stage is what is referred to as Shariat."
The next stage (of Thareekat or the Eligible Virgin) is when the child avoids the aforesaid actions, discards the games played here and there, controls her smiles, protects her chastity (self-respect), and becomes an adolescent virgin with the physical characteristics of a grown-up. She stays at home. She know the difference between father and mother, and involves herself with their problems. She enjoys herself in the home. This is the stage comparable to Kiriyai (in the Hindi tradition, or Thareekat in the Islamic tradition).
In an attempt to seek an ideal groom for the girl, a husband with a good character, good conduct, good wisdom, good intellect and ability, should be searched for, day and night. This is the mark of a "Good Virgin".
Running here and there, seeing several people, speaking about marriage with any person one comes across will be like the initial stage of (Spiritual Development), of Shariat (but is not appropriate for this second stage of Spiritual Development, of Thareekat).
(When one enters this second stage of Spiritual Develop, of Thareekat, of the Eligible Virgin), one must forget this (initial) stage (of Shariat) and conduct oneself like the Kiriyai (or Thareekat) girl, that is, who trust only One Person, and admits Only Him, to The House (of her heart). This is the Proud Behavior of the Kiriyai (or Thareekat girl), of the Eligible Virgin".
Kiriyai (or Thareekat) is comparable to a state of virginity - not looking at anyone else, not speaking with others, not smiling with others, and receiving (Only) the One who has come with Certitude (in God within us).
(In this way) She accepts that the One who has come as the "Lamp of Chastity", will pour oil into her Virgin Lamp. Worshipping God, and keeping Him in her heart, is the "Oiled Lamp" of Kiriyai (or Thareekat).
This My Son, is the state of Kiriyai (or Thareekat, of the "Eligible Virgin"). Amen.
The next is Yoga (or Haqeekat), when a married groom and bride are in a blissful state of dance and laughter. They laugh when they should laugh and kiss when they should kiss. The bride begins to play with her husband without shyness and without reserve. The bride and the groom enjoy themselves.
The bride keeps her husband in her heart, thinking of him always with desire and joy. She laughs and plays games and calls her husband endearing names. They lose themselves in an ocean of bliss and bring forth children. They derive happiness looking at the pranks of their offspring.
They look everywhere, go to countries, wander in the jungles, climb the mountains, dance and sing in the wonder of happiness and sorrow and console themselves, and the wife calls the husband in endearing terms.
Eventually, the wife addresses her husband as Nathan (Lord, Leader). She shows Him great devotion. She glorifies Him like a celestial being. She playfully ridicules him. They love each other. Both lives are as One. This is the result of the State of Bliss which is the Third Stage (of Spiritual Development) called Yogam (or Haqeekat).
Sariyai (or Shariat) is comparable to a Young Immature Maiden who smilingly looks at things not seen, asks for things not heard of, assumes that breakables are of high quality, demands the purchase of articles just like the crying baby. This Child Like Behavior is the Sariyai or (Shariat) stage.
The subsequent stage of Kiriyai (or Tareekat) is speaking where it should be spoken, conducting oneself with decorum, virtue and good character, explaining what is what, ascertaining the Certain One, building The House Of "O" (Within Us).
(The House of "O" within us) that is adorned with the Hexagonal Lotus Flower (Within Us), watering it with the water that does not bring forth flowers (which is the water of grace that brings forth truth within us), diluting it with the perfume of punuhu (civet), jawwathu, athar, rose-water, katham, kasthuri and sandalwood at the time when the husband enters the home, an event for which the wife waits counting the minutes, and with fragrant thoughts in her heart.
She bathes her Husband in pure qualities (of the 99) and embraces Him (in True Prayer). She drags Him into the House.
This is the certitude and the determination of Kiriyai (or Tareekat) which is akin to the bliss of affinity to the Motionless Primal One.
Adorned with buds, flowers and ripe fruits, and scented with kasthuri and kumkumappu, the mattress is spread and the bed arranged with love, for the husband to enter this third house (which is "True Prayer" within us, the station of Haqeekat or Yoga within us).
She buys things that cannot be bought and offers things that are not asked for. On her own volition she says,
"You are the Zenith of Natham (Leader) and Vetham (Lord of Vedas). O you are
the One of my dreams, of Heavenly Beauty and Compassionate Eye of Justice,
who will not be captivated by the pleasures of life".
"I will give myself to You without your demand. Ask what belongs to me. See the
unfolding of my luster. See how I come running with my beautiful eyes."
So saying, she comes running quickly, establishing the breath of the "Art of the Sun and the Moon", the one which is beyond the scriptures and the religions.
The exalted Lord of the Vedantha opens His eye of Grace and looks through His Third eye of Yoga (or Haqeekat).
He smiles and enters the House of the Heart and engages the Unique Incomparable One in the play of blissful games, saying,
"O My God, I know none other than You. I have seen none other than You. I have
seen nothing other than You. I saw You with the two breaths joined together . O
Compassionate One, give Me Your Compassion."
Praising Him in many such ways, retaining Him in the Heart, laughing enthusiastically and enraptured in married bliss, the bride unfolds her heart and spreads it like a carpet. She unites with the Husband and together they detect the Mystery (which is the "Oneness of God and True Man" within the Story of God within us).
They play games, sing and dance gaily like a married man and woman in the ocean of bliss enjoying a perfect marriage, and being fulfilled in the ocean of Gnana. Uniting with God , conversing with Him, and existing in bliss in gnanam.
Realize this My Disciple, gems of My eyes.
Gnanam (or Maharifat) is the fourth stage (of Spiritual Development), stripped of all that was said earlier, unmindful of everything else and determining God is the One and the Only One, embracing Him within You.
It is using that Luster, to breathe and spread the Light of Luminosity, to make It germinate without root, seed or fruit, to flower without a creeper, to bear fruits without flowers, to close both eyes and destroy and discard all illusory thoughts in the mind, to praise the One and the Only One, to elevate confidence, to make the twenty one thousand six hundred and twenty one (21,621) breaths, to say,
"There is none other than Allah. Only Allah exists"
To breathe with certitude and establish the art of Kalai of the Sun and the Moon, is gnanam, or the Eyes of Grace of the wisdom of the Gnostic eye.
Many call these divisions Shariat, Tariqat, Haqiqat, and Marifat, ultimately leading to the One and Only, meaning the Essence. Be what it may, God's Eye of Grace will open out to Him who trust in the One Incomparable God, and worships Him with certitude, determination, awe and love.
To show the way in these four stages, to step over the ocean of worldly affairs, to show the right and the left, till you reach gnanam, you will need a glorious Guru, who has experienced the blissful state. I say this with emphasis.
You must obey the right Guru.
Seek Him, disciples, gems of My eyes.
Swami, glorious Guru, I understand the four types of worship you have spoken of. I am eager to learn some more matters.