Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
A Sufi tries to keep harmony in his surroundings,
the harmony which demands many sacrifices. It
makes one endure what one is not willing to endure,
it makes one overlook what one is not inclined to
overlook, it makes one tolerate what one is not
accustomed to tolerate, and it makes one forgive
and forget what one would never have forgotten if
it were not for the sake of harmony. But at whatever
cost harmony is attained, it is a good bargain. For
harmony is the secret of happiness, and in absence
of this a person living in palaces and rolling in gold
can be most unhappy.
A soul shows the proof of its evolution in the degree
of the tolerance it shows. The life in the lower creation
shows the lack of tolerance. The tendency of fighting
with one another, which one sees among beasts and
birds, shows the reason at the back of it, that
intolerance is born in their nature. ... But when a soul
has evolved still more, tolerance becomes the natural
thing for him. Because the highly evolved soul then
begins to realize 'Another person is not separate from
me, but the other person is myself. The separation is
on the surface of life, but in the depth of life I and the
other person are one.' Therefore tolerance is not learned
fully by trying to follow it as a good principle. It is learned
by having the love of God, by attaining the knowledge of
self, and by understanding the truth of life.
The first step to the attainment of the truth cannot be
taught in books, or be imparted by a teacher. It must
come spontaneously, namely through the love for truth.
The next step is to search for it; the third step is the
actual attainment. How can one attain? In order to attain
truth one must make one's own life truthful. ... Passing
from the state of natural man, through the state of being
a lover of truth and a seeker after truth, one begins to
express truth ... One begins to understand what the great
teachers have taught. Then one becomes tolerant to
the various religions. Nothing seems strange any more.
Nothing surprises. For now one begins to know the innermost
nature of man; one sees the cause behind every action.
Therefore tolerance and forgiveness and understanding of
others come naturally. The person who knows the truth is
the most tolerant. It is the knower of truth who is forgiving;
it is the knower of truth who understands another person's
point of view. It is the knower of truth who doesnot readily
voice his opinion, for he has respect for the opinions of
When man gains insight into himself, he also gains insight
into the hearts of others. All this desire for learning occult
or mystical powers or psychic powers now disappears,
because he begins to see all this power in one truth -- loving
truth, seeking truth, looking for truth, living the truthful life.
That it is which opens all doors.