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by Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sufi Poet and Mystic.
Bowl of Saki for April 2
SYMPATHY IS THE ROOT OF RELIGION; AND SO LONG AS THE SPIRIT OF SYMPATHY IS LIVING IN YOUR HEART, YOU HAVE THE LIGHT OF RELIGION.
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Religion is that which connects one with God. Therefore it is not mental, and not being mental there can be no theology or system of beliefs. When a mother suckles an infant there is no system of beliefs, there is not any intellectual enterprise. She loves it because she loves it, and this is very much simpler to explain than the love between God and the soul.
Now the feeling between mother and child, between God and soul which is called love, or "agape" by the Christians, "Ishk
" by the Sufis and Muslims generally, "karuna" by the Buddhists and has other names elsewhere, is the great driving power in the Universe. This sympathy is the same force which appears as cohesion, adhesion and gravitation among the physical forces; this promotes all growth -- physical, mental or spiritual -- and is the principle behind many faculties which appear in the world of creation. As it's essence is supermental, it can be appreciated -- without being completely understood -- by mind. Nor is this necessary. Everyone can express sympathy or feel it from another; all that is therefore necessary is to perceive that that feeling and not any system of beliefs, is the fundamental root of real religion.
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