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Irina Tweedie & her teacher "Bhai Sahib" Radha Mohan Lal
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 04, 2013 11:34PM

In her book, "Daughter of Fire" and its abridged version "Chasm of Fire" Irina Tweedie, later co-founder of the Golden Sufi Center (Inverness, California), told of the student teacher relationship that she claimed to be Sufi.

Except for mentioning that "Bhai Sahib" lived in Kanpur, then a small town in Uttar Pradesh, India, and now a large city, renowed for its university, Tweedie gave little context.

Through a complex process which began in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a Naqshibandhi shiekh of exemplary learning and piety, Mirza Janan, wrote and reflected on possible points of connection between hindu and islamic esotericism, making a distinction between hindus as one catagory of believer, though not muslim, in distinction from atheists.

Two to three generations later, after the end of Islamic rule over Northern India, and pressures of modernism disrupting both Muslim and Hindu cultures, another Sheikh of this lineage included Hindus among his disciples and in a most remarkable move, taught the inner methods and doctrine to a Hindu disciple, Mahatma Ramcandra Saksena and then gave MMR Saksena ijaza (formal
permission) to teach the practices to both Muslims and Hindus.

Mahatma Ramcandra's nephrew, Brj Mohan Lal, became his spiritual heir.

Since then, some documentation, . that is independant of the Golden Sufi Center, has become available.

[translate.google.com]

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In the Sufi tradition, spiritual disciples are introduced to the teaching of their master at a bay't actual ceremony. Another ceremony called Ijaazat is supposed to take place in writing to designate the successor of the Sufi lineage.

According to Dinesh Kumar Saxena, Lalaji would have had 212 disciples exactly, but it would have left this world leaving no written instructions. This is not the opinion of the successors of Krishna Lal Tauji (founder of Ramashram Srikandrabad) who argue that it would have been invested by Lalaji shortly before his death in 1931, because it was his favorite. That there were written instructions or not, several rumors. Hujur have expressed a preference for his favorite Brij Mohan Lal, nephew of Lalaji. But at the last moment, Lalaji did not follow the advice of Hujur preferring his own son Jagmohan his nephew, thus favoring first the genealogical lineage spiritual lineage. Last but not least, Ram Chandra says that Lalaji Babuji has invested his spiritual power at the time of his death to life pass by pouring away in his mind.

** This confusion has led to a profusion of movements and successors more or less respectful of his teaching:

Sufi movements:
- The descendants of Lalaji created the Sufi movement NaqshMuMRa.

- The followers of his nephew Radha Mohan Lal Guruji (aka Bhai Sahib)*created the Golden Sufi Center *(Corboy note -- see below for detailed information.)


[webcache.googleusercontent.com]


History of Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM)

A detailed website giving the history of the Ramchandra Mission provides this information:

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(quote)

iii) Other Current Streams and Known Personalities

Brij Mohan Lal (called Dadda Ji), son of Raghubal Dayal and nephew of Lalaji, had a disciple named Yashpal Ji or Pujya Bhai Sahab ji (1918 -?). This one founded “Akhil Bhartiya Santmat Satsang” (ABSS) in 1969 in Anangpur (District of Faridabad in Haryana).

Radha Mohan Lal (sometimes called Guruji), also son of Raghubal Dayal and nephew of Lalaji, had several known disciples who attained a certain amount of fame

Dr. Chandra Gupta, who also often frequented Thakur RAM Singhji
(see RK Gupta website: [www.geocities.com])

Irina Tweedie (1907-1999), founder of the “Golden Sufi Center” in California, which draws up a quite different lineage than that of the NaqshMuMRa, by erasing Hujur and Lalaji to insert only Radha Mohan Lal, and herself (and her successor) obviously).

Irina Tweedie's book "Daughter of Fire", published by the Golden Sufi Center describes her Sufi training by Radha Mohan Lal, whom she calls "Bhai Sahib".

The Golden Sufi Center in California is the vehicle for the work of the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Order of Sufism in the West.(unquote)

Thomas Dahnhardt, in his book, "Change and Continuity in Indian Sufism", focuses on one branch of the Naqhshibandhi Sufis in Northern India and traces a complex process through which a "Hindu Sufi" lineage was developed.

In his chapter, Masters of Naqhshbandiyya Majaddidiyya Mazhariyya, on page 102-103, Dahnhardt writes:

"On the insistence of Raghubar Dayal (head of the Hindu Sufi branch of the MNMZ), Brj Mohan Lal succeeded in being transferred from Fatehpur to Kanpur where he took over the leadership of the spiritual community built up by his father. However, the family did not stay together for long. A year later, Brj Mohan decided to leave with his family for a small flat at Phulbagh in the centre of Kanpur, where he continued to supervise his satsang until 1944(footnote 238)

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Footnote 238 on page 103 reads

"The break may have been caused by the jealousy of his younger brother, and is perpetuated in the continuing rivalry between their respective sons.

With tact, Thomas Dahnhardt continues in this footnote

" Without any need to go into further details of this querry (sic) of which I was a direct witness during my stay in Kanpur in winter of 1995-96, it may be noted that these symptoms of apparent decadence do not diminish the spiritual authority of Brja Mohan Lal and his son and successor Omkar Nath, but may throw some light on the Sufi guide of Irina Tweedie, the co-founder of the Golden Sufi centre at London, who unfortunately has contributed very negatively to the image of this order in the eyes of both Indian and Western scholar(sic
)" (
Unquote)

Further notes:

[books.google.com]

A discussion about this on a Muslim discussion forum.

[www.ummah.com]

If one gets involved with a syncretistic movement that calls itself tassawuf or Sufi, one had better be aware that that many persons, also Sufi, may dispute the authenticity of one's sheikh, guru, pir or murshid.

What is noteworthy is that Shah Jenan, a Muslim Naqshibandhi sheikh in Delhi,
did reach a point in which he decided to classify Hindus as being believers, and not atheists, and that one of Jenan's successors, also a Muslim and a Sufi,
chose to give ijaza (permission to teach) to a Hindu disciple, who thus became
his successor. Jenan was not someone who made such decisions readily: Dahnhart (see next section) described how Jenan, a Sunni Muslim, disapproved of Shia Muslims and, in the end, was assassinated because he had spoken rudely when
a Shia Muhurram procession passed by.

Someone so aware of boundaries would have needed a lot of time, thought, study and prayer before concluding that Hindus could be regarded as believers. Even then, Jenan did not give ijaza to a Hindu disciple; one of Jenan's Muslim successors made that decision.

This development of a Naqshibandhi Hinduized Sufi tariqa took place via two to three generations of Muslim sufi sheikhs, who
gave lengthy consideration to this issue. They were trying to give pastoral care and tutelage in esoteric practice to disciples, and lived during a time of social breakdown. And they could expect recrimination from the Muslim community for appointing a Hindu as successor. In early 19th century India, this was high risk -- broken friendships, being spat on, rock throwing and perhaps worse.

This is very different from a process in which complete outsiders, often indoctrinated by Theosophy or easy going syncreticism regard all religions as being "choices" and equally valid, feel entitled to borrow elements here and there and call themselves Sufis.

In this context, there is no "cost of discipleship."

Except for the cruel mind games inflicted by tyrannical authority figures and the various types of intrigue that are endemic to groups in which everyone is
seeking to gain or regain the good will of the leader and the leader's favorites.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/2016 11:48AM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 04, 2013 11:58PM

(summary)

2 Syncretism of the Teachings

According to Thomas Dähnhardt, Hujur, the Sufi and Lalaji, the Hindu, voluntarily set up a syncretic spiritual teaching to abolish the barriers between religions.

(Corboy: There was more to it than that. In the declining years of the Mogul Empire, the Sunni Naqushibandi's were under pressure from rulers who supported Shia Islam. After the decline of the Mogul Empire and especially following the 1857 Uprising and replacement of sharia with British secular laws, Sufi teachers and disciples took refuge in smaller towns and villages.

Hindus also suffered social dislocation.

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"Seeking to offer resources of esoteric practice in a time of need, the Naqshibandis increasingly emphasized the role of sheikh as a figure to be internalized by the aspirant, as if to compensate for loss of external social structures which had previously done much to validate religious practice. The role of the sheikh as an external parent was also increasingly emphasized.

"With both Moslem and Hindu communities under stress, points of contact where sought in esoteric practice. the 11 principles of Naqshbandiyya preached already the silent meditation on the heart and the constant remembrance of the Divine presence. The Master pours divine energy into the heart of his disciple by liberating him from his impure thoughts. The principal responsibility for the spiritual evolution of the candidate rests in the hands of his Master, provided that he comes into daily contact with his guru by the means of the meditation (morning, evening and before sleeping).

"Their successors proceeded in this way by dissociating practice and the spiritual theory. The practice remained nearly identical, while the theory remained Islamic with the adherents of the Sufi Order whereas it was re-hindu-ised in the “Ramashram” stream. The terms in Arabic or Persan were replaced by their Sanskrit or Hindi equivalents. The references to the Q’uran and Muhammed were replaced by the Upanishads and Lord Krishna.

"This work had previously been completed already by Kabir providing the foundations of Santmat in 15th century, but also before him by the other famous unknown, Sufism, spreading its roots into Hinduism, and conversely. It still remains, no less, that no other group denies the respective historical contributions of the two religions and all speak about the various Masters who are at their origins. No group except Babuji’s Sahaj Marg…(quote)

[historyofsrcm.blogspot.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/2016 11:11AM by corboy.

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Memoirs of a Dervish--Robert Irwin
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 17, 2013 02:23AM

And, I heartily recommend Robert Irwin's Memoirs of a Dervish.

Irwin trained in the 'Alawiyya tariqua at Mostaganem, Algeria.

He was a student at Merton College, Oxford, and gives the reader an introduction to the Sixties in Great Briton, and the raw details of life in Algeria amid its political tensions, and life within a Sufi community and its own tensions.

Irwin tells how he learned of Islam, and notes that some of what he was told was neither Islam, nor Sufism, but local custom, or even downright superstition.

Robert Irwin also tells of the personal cost of belonging to that lineage--meagre diet, vulnerbility to illness, altered states one encountered in prayer, friction between members of the community, some who were mentally unbalanced.

And boredom. "Mostaganem was a strange place in which to try and grow up" Irwin notes. And he admitted that the prescribed routine was similar to the rigors of the boarding school which he had hated and so gladly left...

And this was not some underground, secret group. They were well known in Mostaganem, everyone knew where the zawiyya and its mosque was located.

When Irwin left after his first visit he described being on the train rolling into London and shaken by the contrast with where he had been and thought of his new Sufi brethren. "...as my train entered the outer wilderness of the metropolis, I fell to imagining the impression that the scale and wealth of London would make on my friends in Mostaganem. They were mostly untravelled, unworldly and desperately poor. I had journeyed between two mutually unimaginable worlds. "

[books.google.com]

It wasnt just Irwin and his private love affair with Sufism.

Young as he was, Irwin was already sensitive enough to be aware of the vast and painful differences between his home country and that of his friends.

He gives his wife credit for helping him to find a place in this world..return to earth.

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"Shariah is meant to reduce these kinds of indiscretions."
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 18, 2013 06:20AM

This illustrates the struggle sincere pracitioners are going through.

And the desire to keep one's own mind and heart at peace can make it painfully difficult to speak out if someone claims to be a Sufi teacher and appears to be doing things that are bringing harm.

A good neighbor does not fear to call the police if he or she sees someone breaking glass in a car window; as one discussant puts it, the rule of ethics and good manners for Muslims (sharia) give objective guidelines which assist in discerning when one must speak out.

[sufi.tribe.net]


tribes » Religion & Beliefs » Sufi » topics »

sufism sans islam
topic posted Thu, March 17, 2005 - 10:06 PM by m

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"..since, according to (idries)shah, sufis spent a thousand years trying to get the mohammedans to accept sufism, and that sufism pre-dates all known religions (actually he says that they all originated as sufi teachings) it would make sense(sic) that sufism could be praticed without practicing islam. a cursory web search shows it is easy to find statements that preclude this possibility.

is there any known lineage that does not require a 'belief' in a judeo-christian-islamic notion of god?

posted by:

Re: sufism sans islam

Fri, March 18, 2005 - 3:38 AM

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salutations m,

there is group in india who are good...

www.geocities.com/sufisaints/

Baba

P.S. I am new to this group.


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Olus...

Re: sufism sans islam

Fri, March 18, 2005 - 7:03 AM

peace m,

although it is true that sufism [in it's essence] predates islam, it was within islam that sufism became the practice that most of us are familiar with. however if u examine those practices... ie. retreat, dhikr, prayer... u can find these ame practices witihn may non-islamic traditions, though they will be called something else. All of these practices are meant to help one achieve union with... annihilation within... "Absolute Being".
i like to look at all traditions as grapes, the practices are the act of stepping on the grapes [transcending their form], so that we can get to their essence [union/annihilation] and experience the ecstasy of Absolute Being.
my point being... any spiritual tradition may be considered sufism... it is the practice that defines it. rumi said, "god is in all religions, but no religion is god". switch the word god to sufism and the concept remains true to... form?

Re: sufism sans islam

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Fri, March 18, 2005 - 8:20 AM

god is in all religions, but no religion is god".<<<

I think this also works for people who don't follow any particular faith tradition if you replace god with love or more specifically love unconditional

Love Unconditional is in all religions, but no religion is Love Unconditional

Re: sufism sans islam

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Fri, March 18, 2005 - 8:25 AM

Yes; Central-Asian Shamanism, via Mongolia, is actually the ancestor of a large part of today's Sufism. For instance, whirling came from this part of the world, and Rumi brought it to what is now modern day Turkey. So, looking at Sufism's Mongolian heritage, it is safe to say that Sufism is much closer to Native American Spirituality, than Islam. Thanks to Ghangus Khan and the Silk Road, Sufism got mixed in with Islam coming from Saudi Arabia, and here we are.

(deleted for brevity by Corboy)


Re: sufism sans islam

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Mon, May 30, 2005 - 2:29 AM

Dear Katya,

I belong to several Sufi Orders (some Central Asian) and have traveled this path for over twenty years. I am sorry to say that no serious scholar of the history of Sufism would agree with your thesis. As for "whilring" it is known to many Sufis (and scholars) as an orginally spontaneous outpouring of ecstasy, and it was common among Sufis of the Arab Middle East, as well as Persia. To claim that Sufism has a largely "Mongolian" heritage is simplistic. Some elemets of Turko-Mongolian shamansim did influence the practices of certain Orders originating in those locales -- for example the Yasawiyya, Khubrawiyya, and Naqshbandiyya -- however, not all orders whose members "whirl" originated in, or were popular in those regions. In fact, the liturgy of the Mevlevis (so-called "whirling dervishes" in Turkey) as well as their method of turning is traceable to earlier Anatolian forms. This is also very evident among the Bektashis (largely Turkish and Balkan). Please consult historians of Sufism who have made an in-depth study of its sources.

salaam


Re: sufism sans islam

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Mon, March 21, 2005 - 1:41 PM

Although much of Sufism is closely tied with Islam, you should check out the works of Hazrat Inyat Khan, one of the (if not the first) sufi teachers in the modern western world. He was a Muslim raised in India, an initiate in the Chist'ya(sp?) liniage, & taught a universalist form of Sufism. Several orders are active in the US in his liniate, including Sufi Ruhaniat International, Sufi Movement, & Sufi Order international. If I recolect my history correctly, the Chist'ya orders have a long history of allowing non-Islamic members. I know many sufis who are not practicing Muslims.
Subhan

David
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Re: sufism sans islam

Mon, March 21, 2005 - 4:42 PM

There are Sufis who do not consider themselves Muslims, in fact there are quite a lot of them. To me they are really not Sufis. They may study Sufism, read Rumi, whirl, wear kufis but they are not really Sufis. In a very general sense they are Sufis, just as all people who follow the truth in some form are. A new age Sufi is not the same as one who loves and follows the way of the Prophet (pbuh) and keeps the sharia. It's a really good thing that the Khan schools have paved the way for westerners to learn about true Sufism. In a strict classical sense Sufis are Muslims who follow all outer practices of Islam PLUS the esoteric practices. The greatest Sufi master who ever lived, Sheikh Ibn Al-arabi, taught that a Sufi who did not follow the sharia could not really be a 'wali' or friend of god. Sufism is the very essence of Islam, the inner teachings. In this country people seem to either have only the outer teachings (i.e.-Wahhabis) or only the inner (i.e.-Rumi-heads & Shah/Khan followers).

Sufism with no sharia is just new age panty weight mumbo jumbo and Islam without Sufism is brittle dogmatic authoritarianism. Some day in the future (insha'alah) we will see more of a balance. Islam makes one a good Muslim but Sufism make one a good person. I know this will piss some 'Sufis' off, but Tribe is all about sharing different viewpoints.


Re: sufism sans islam

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Mon, March 21, 2005 - 9:01 PM

Consider me pissed. Fuck your condescending attitude and who cares what you think qualifies as true sufism. There is a lot of bullshit out there masking as sufism, granted, but to suggest that one who does not observe the sharia is somehow lacking is to be ridden through by the "brittle dogmatic authoritarianism" you conjured up. I love how you end calling others 'sufis'. To top it all off you drag the wondrous Ibn Al Arabi into this.

Oooh oooh aren't you the cool one
.

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David
16.


Re: sufism sans islam

Tue, March 22, 2005 - 10:24 PM

O.k., I do sincerely apologize for being confrontational and antagonistic. I can't help myself when it comes to something that is so important to me. I know that I was wrong.
There are many (if not most) Sufi groups that really do not really have much in common with the historical traditions.

I mentioned the Khan (American Chistiya) and Idries Shah. I have nothing but respect for the noble Chisti lineage and Hazrat is beyond reproach. In recent times this group has been ridden with many scandalous teachers in my part of the country (NW). There have been teachers that have taken sexual and financial advantage of students and even a few crack smoking hucksters. This does not invalidate the entire order but it does seem to me to indicate a problem with the way teachers are trained. Shariah is meant to reduce these kinds of indiscretions. It is one of the great tariqas but maybe something was lost when it was Americanized, made more accessible and less strict.

Now Idries Shah. Shah was a great writer and did much to spread Sufism in the west.

In most bookstores today (2005)there are still more Shah books on the Sufi shelf than anything else. His books could be said to give one the appetite for Sufism but will not fill your stomach with it. He always alludes and hints around. He tells you what Sufism is not, but if that's all you read you will still not really have a clue what Sufi practice actually is. He hardly mentions the fact that Sufis are Muslims and that a major part of their practice is exoteric Islam. One more comment about non-sharia practicing Sufis.

The Basharas are worth mentioning here because they really have a grasp on some incredibly esoteric knowledge but do not follow the sharia. They can and do drink alcohol and do not make the daily salaat.

Is their school valid? I don't know. They seem to be experts on the teachings of Al-Akbar and that enough for me to take notice. Let me drag the 'wondrous' Al-Akbar into this again. How can we have a more complete model of attainment than him (after the prophet (pbuh) and hazrat Ali)? Did he follow the sharia or did he think that it was outdated?

Damien

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Re: sufism sans islam

Fri, March 25, 2005 - 8:07 AM

Speaking as a student in the lineage of Hazrat Inayat Khan, living in the Northwest, I would appreciate it if you could offer something to back up your assertion that there are "crack-smoking hucksters" amongst the "NW" teachers in this lineage.

My personal experience with the teachers of this lineage has been very, very different. I do admit they live and function in Western American culture, though, and do not follow Sharia.

An aphorism for today from HIK may be appropriate here:

Bowl of Saki for March 25

HE WHO IS FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF NAMES AND FORMS
HAS NO CAPACITY FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
--Hazrat Inayat Khan

David

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Re: sufism sans islam

Fri, March 25, 2005 - 2:57 PM

My sources on this info about several Khan teachers were both members of this order here in Portland. They have both been serious Sufi practitioners for over 30 years. I'm not going to name names but these two inside sources are credible and because of these abuses they have moved on to other tariqas.
I never said that all the teachers in this tradition are like this, only that there has been a history of these types of things happening here in Portland.
My point was that Sharia and Sunnah help to reign in some types of behaviors that are not conducive to Sufism.

Here are some excerpts from one of these Sufis about this subject.-

"Seriously, you must be aware that the Portland area Sufi community overall
has been enormously damaged, and there is a lingering atmosphere of
animosity and burnt bridges, largely attributable to the aftermath of
visiting teacher-figures who have tried to build their movements based upon
already-existing teaching activity here, and that many of these teachers did
not merit our trust. We literally had no idea what they were doing when
they were in the next room. The fallout from drug abuse, alcohol abuse,
misuse of financial resources (misappropriation, lack of accountability,
gambling, etc.), instances of outright physical violence, sexual abuse in
some cases involving minors, verbal and emotional abuse, teachers who
deliberately dissimulate Sufism while they teach the dark arts, anonymous
nasty letters, and so on, has given Sufism a reputation from which it will
take years to recover."

" I noticed repeatedly that such groups had become arenas where
teacher-figures were enacting their unresolved dark issues, and that their
followers were reflecting - how could they otherwise - the behavior of the
teacher-figures to whom they had entrusted their innermost lives and
spiritual development. What the teacher has, the follower gets, because
taking hand is a mutual or reciprocal pledge. This is subtle and real: most
doctors know enough to wash their hands, cover their mouths when they cough, stay home when they have the flu, and above all to consult another doctor when they become ill, but patients still catch diseases from doctors. There is absolutely no way to defend an opinion that when a devotee of a path sincerely pledges his or her trust in a spiritual guide, they are open only
to the blessings and good example of their guide and somehow remain
magically protected from the shortcomings and untransformed darkness that
all humans bear including their guides.

Now, I am fully aware that traditions themselves attract those who need to
do inner work, but let's draw out further the hospital analogy: hospitals
are meant to attract the sick, but in any place where a large number of sick
people are pulled together, if there is not a rigorous discipline or
cohesive approach to wellness then there will be an epidemic in which even
the healthy become sick. If the doctors are ill, how will the patients do?

On a personal level, my former partner and I used to actively uphold an
ideal of introducing different visiting teachers to our ongoing work. Many
of these people did not merit our support (in fact, we later discovered that
a few of them were little better than common criminals), and the stress of
trying to do their work for them led to a very high level of emotional and
mental and physical discomfort, and even contributed to the dissolution of
our relationship. You really cannot imagine what happened, and I will not
provide the details, but it was a real factor, and my acknowledging so is
not "blame". What nearly destroyed both of us was accepting too much
responsibility for the actions of other people, irresponsible people, even
harmful people."

"This is risky - several years ago, I found myself in a quite serious
dilemna. I actively supported a male Sufi teacher and introduced him to the
Sufi circles in Portland and Seattle. I had no idea that he was a serious
alcoholic, drug user and dealer, violent against women, verbally abusive of
his followers, was hiding income from his followers and the IRS, had lied
about his spiritual credentials, and more. I tried to seek an intervention
by involving several experienced male Sufi teachers. I sought this
intervention under the aegis of a respected international association of
Sufism that had also promoted him. Although I approached dealing with the
mess as carefully as I could, I took an enormous amount of heat, literally,
and the teacher is still running loose, so to speak. Sometimes something
else happens: there was another case of a Sufi Order / SIRS teacher who was brought here by a SIRS teacher, and it turned out he was having an affair with a sixteen-year old girl (although he was married with children) and was using rock cocaine: he ran into legal consequences, and died an untimely
death."

David

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Re: sufism sans islam

Fri, March 25, 2005 - 3:29 PM

I realize that not every teacher referred to in these excerpts is from the Khan lineage. If you like I can get more specific info for you about this. The author of the excerpts WAS a member of the Khan order and did quit because of these events. I have had several conversations with this person and another former member about this subject and they are both in agreement about this.
Of course I do not have transcripts of these conversations, it's up to you if you want to belive me. I'm just relaying information that I have been made aware of and I have no reason to question the reliability of these sources. Again let me state that in no way am I saying that these events invalidate this entire Sufi order, only that there has been a history here in PDX of these types of scandals happening.

Damien

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Re: sufism sans islam

Sat, March 26, 2005 - 12:45 PM

It's not a matter of whether I believe or disbelieve you, as humans fail in many ways, all the time. I'm sure there's deep dirt to be dug up on individuals connected to virtually every Sufi tariqat throughout time.

I think I am simply feeling hurt by your need to single out and spread negative rumors about the particular lineage I happen to be involved with, in a highly public forum. There is a part of me which would like to know who you've spoken with, to confirm their allegations and learn their own roles and responsibilities in the situations you've shared. I don't think I need to quote any specific teacher in saying there are many sides to every story, and many stories left untold.

And, this is just me getting stuck, so I'll stop now.

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David

Re: sufism sans islam

Sun, March 27, 2005 - 1:49 AM

First, in response to the question about whether I believe that there is only one path to God. I came to Sufism after seriously studying many esoteric paths for about 17 years. I studied and practice the QBL and sat with Yoga masters studying Vedanta, I tried Tibetan Buddhism, Native American spirituality, and much more. I never wanted to tie myself down to one path because I saw that they all had many jewels to offer. My goal was to study them all with from their own perspectives and I recognized that they were all truly valid paths to God. I had read quite a bit about Sufism and Islamic art and architecture before reverting to Islam. When I ran across Al-Arabi I was blown away by the clarity and profundity of his work. It was unlike anything I had read before. It was universal and highly rational. I finally met my teacher in a dream and then in person. I knew that I had found my path, it was as if I was 'earmarked' for this order. Sufism is so great because it sees all true paths as one. A great Senegalese Sufi Sheikh named Aly N'Daw once told a me when talking about Islam,"My religion is the religion of god.". He didn't make distinctions between Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism,ect. They are all the religions of god. Every tariqa has it's strengths and weaknesses, each one confers special types of spiritual powers. My tariqas strength is that it's practices are very direct and simple. It also creates very spiritually independent order members. It confers the ability to communicate over vast distances with thought. It's major weakness is that it is unstructured and the student must be able to work on his/her own. Every order is unique in these ways.

Here I go again! Sorry for singling out your order in this forum. Hazrat Kahn was my first introduction to the Sufi path. He was a true Master of the path.
We were talking about Sufism without Islam. Your order came to mind because following the sharia is not required (right?). I think that this can lead to lax behavior. I must state that what I said WAS second hand information. You did ask for more proof so I posted what I had. I should have sent it directly to you. That was my fault. I would highly recommend your tariqa for any seekers who do not want to follow all the practices of Islam. We should be willing talk openly about the strengths AND weakness of the various orders so interested students can make well informed choices. Sometimes it is best not to make so many waves and as you can see from this thread I often do not know when those times are
.

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Yasin

Re: sufism sans islam

Mon, May 30, 2005 - 2:48 AM

My Dear Friend, David,

There are certainly some schools of Sufism that adhere to the "essential sharia," but who do not, at the same time, interpret or apply the sharia in the same way as do many (exoteric) Muslims. Some times, these schools are referred to as bi-shar (literally, "outside the sharia"), or malamati ("blamewothy"). Rather than being simple antinomians, these people are sometimes highly conversant with the Qur'anic sciences and adhere to the sharia in a far more sophisticated and nuanced way than do their critical brethern. In twenty years of traveling this path, I have found examples of unethical teachers among the strictest "orthodox" Orders as well as among New Age Sufis. One could say that a "bad" teacher is a bad teacher, no matter what he/she might profess. Common sense should dictate who one takes as their spiritual guide.

As far as I can tell -- and I am a practicing Muslim and Sufi -- the teachings of both Hazarat Inayat Khan and Idries Shah helped to convey the most univeral aspects of Sufism that are firmly rooted in the Qur'an. This is the case whether or not they chose to de-emphasize the specifically "Islamic" roots of Sufism (which are undeniable).

salaam

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Damien

Re: sufism sans islam

Mon, March 21, 2005 - 10:39 PM

La'illahah illa'allah.

there seems little room in the meaning of this phrase for the "this is this, and that is that, and you must do this to be that" parsings you share.

May love find you ever more deeply.

Yusuf,
a student of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Subhan
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Re: sufism sans islam

Tue, March 22, 2005 - 9:08 AM

Eeek. If I recolect correctly, the 5 pillars of Islam (the following of which more or less defines being a Muslim) are:
Shahada (profession of faith)
Salat (prayer)
Zakat (alms)
Siyam (fasting during ramadam)
Hajj(pilgramage to Mecca),
& depending on who one asks the only totally critical one is Shahada.
Following Sharia does not determine who is or is not a Muslim, any more than reading Rumi determines who is or is not a Sufi, or going to Church on sunday determines who is or is not a Christian
Subhan


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David

Re: sufism sans islam

Tue, March 22, 2005 - 6:07 PM

Oh, it's always fun to get people stirred up! Relax, don't get your panties all in a wad! I was just getting an interesting debate going. Subhan made a crucial point here about Shahada. All you need to do to be a true Muslim is to declare it once and mean it. Bam- you're a muslim. To clarify a bit more- a Sufi is one who is at the end of the path of wisdom and is able to guide others. We are all really only murshids (or students) at best, we may follow Sufi teachers and practice Sufism but we are not really Sufis yet. The argument that Sufi practices are descended from Shamanistic practices is true to some extent, but also remember that all authentic Sufi orders come from unbroken chains of initiation from one of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh). I am only stating my opinion here so don't so bent out of shape if you don't agree with me. My opinions have been formed by studying with some serious Sufi sheikhs of several different orders. I have been taught that there are orders that are 'live' and orders that are not. If the order has an authentic 'darood' (peace and salutations on the Prophet) that has been passed down intact then it is 'live'- the baraka is flowing! By using this darood the murshid will be able to make contact with the prophet (peace be upon him) directly. If the order does not have a darood that has been bestowed by the Prophet (pbuh) then the student will never make this direct contact and will always be dependant on the living Sufi teacher. I do stand by my comments about the Wahhabis being brittle, dry and authoritarian. They are the self proclaimed enemies of the Sufis. They are a perfect example of what happens when you follow the Shariah to the letter and neglect the practices that cleanse the heart. If one wants to follow the Sufi way then there must also be some outer discipline followed to gain control over the Nafs. My point was that if you engage in Sufi mystical exercises with no attempt to control your Nafs (i.e.- smoking weed, backbiting, drinking, being promiscuous) like some of the non-Islamic Sufi schools then you are no better off than the other extreme (i.e.-Wahhabis). I am not advocating following the sharia to the letter for no particular reason other than because you're told to. I also do not agree that the Sharia is out of date. We follow it because the prophet (pbuh) set the example and we strive to be like him. The way I see it is that I'm just lucky I didn't chose a stricter tradition. If I wanted to be a yogi I would need to give up all meat and maybe even SEX!!! It's not too hard to follow but it's also not that easy. It is a form of discipline that develops control over the lower self and forces it to submit to a higher will. In the general sense ANYONE who submits to the will of god is a Muslim, whether that person is a Shaman or a Jahova's witness.

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Damien
Re: sufism sans islam

Fri, March 25, 2005 - 8:15 AM

You have some very ... interesting ... ideas on what it means to be a Sufi. They are very different from my own.

Amazing how differently God may appear to each of us, as the veils dance before our eyes. Though I do not know you, it feels good to know you've found a way which works for you. And, I hope it does not follow that you feel what works for you defines what must work for others.

David

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Re: sufism sans islam

Fri, March 25, 2005 - 3:11 PM

These......."interesting"......ideas about Sufism are pretty standard fare for the majority of Sufi practitioners worldwide. I'm really not saying anything radical whatsoever. Sufism in America has taken a very different path than the rest of the world. You won't find many Sufi orders in other countries who teach that you don't need to do daily salaat or that smoking weed and prematital sex in ok. These new Sufi 'teachings' are an Americanized form of Sufism and are really radical new innovations of classical Sufi traditions. I'm not saying that you can't be a Sufi and still do the ol' "wake and bake", just that the vast majority of Sufis worldwide have much stricter standards of behavior (based on Sharia and Sunnah).

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David
Re: sufism sans islam

Fri, March 25, 2005 - 3:15 PM

Correction-

" You won't find many Sufi orders in other countries who teach that you don't need to do daily salaat or that smoking weed and prematital sex is ok"

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Damien
Re: sufism sans islam
Sat, March 26, 2005 - 12:11 PM

Perhaps my real question is whether you believe there is only one way to God?

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Sherine
Re: sufism sans islam

Tue, March 22, 2005 - 5:59 AM

Sufis existed before Islam and they will exist after Islam. They are the seekers of Truth.


As stated by Rumi, among the greatest sufis:

A lover doesn’t figure the odds.
He figures he came clean from God as a gift without a reason,
and so he gives without cause or calculation or limit.

A conventionally religious person behaves a certain way to achieve salvation.
A lover gambles everything - the self, the circle around the zero.
He or she cuts and throws it all away.
This is beyond any religion.

Lovers do not require from God any proof or any text.
Nor do they knock on the door to make sure this is the right street.
They run and they run.

-- Rumi

Re: sufism sans islam

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Tue, March 22, 2005 - 9:02 AM

Right on, Sherine! I love your quick mind! Thank God you're here!

Katya xoxo

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Baba
Re: sufism sans islam

Tue, March 22, 2005 - 3:30 PM

It is indeed a very narrow view that one has to follow an
archaic shariah intended for the Arab tribes of the 7th Century C.E. Secondly even Sharia abiding "good Muslim" (sellouts to orthodoxy) cannot agree what constitutes the Sharia... (as a good
friend of mine one pointed out) it changes from Order to Order and from Master to Master. Thirdly groups like the Nizari Ismaili's, led by the Agha Khan, the Alevi's, the Alawi's and the
very syncretistic esoteric groups like the Ahl e Hak all reject the
literal meaning of the Sharia or say they are on a plane higher
than it - usually Haqqiqat.

Finally as Katya so well states Sufism turned out to be a mixing of
Shamanism with 'Islam' amongst other elements. The ways used by sufi's are very much pre-islamic pure and simple.

and next, and now finally (really) the Hadis / Hadith cannot be trusted, it was set to wrting long long after the Prophet (saw) died,
and contradictions abound everywhere ( a political tool indeed),
and we can see by science, reason and cultural contextualisation that it is not for today, and especially not for all peoples, it is a culture bound document for a certain time, place and way of thinking.

Sans end

Baba

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Baba
e: sufism sans islam

Tue, March 22, 2005 - 3:39 PM

I have to point out that in the last post ...
the Good Muslim sellouts to orthodoxy is
refering to Sufi Muslims whom obey the
Sharia not to non Sufi Muslims.

The context I speak of is the selling out of the
generally lawless / unorthodox nature of Sufism
in order to be accepted as "Good Muslims".
Bring back Hallaj !

Now sans end.

Baba

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David 16.

Re: sufism sans islam

Tue, March 22, 2005 - 11:01 PM

Can science or reason prove to you that daily salaat is worthless? If you bothered to learn Salaat then you would learn it's value as a purifier and to focus the mind. Is fasting during Ramadan only intended for 7th century Arab nomads? If you bother to actually fast for an entire month you would see for yourself how much your will would be strengthened and how you would become more sympathetic the the poor.

Of course there are bogus hadiths but we know that the prophet (peace be upon him) practiced the daily salaat, fasted during Ramadan (and more), gave alms to the poor and made the pilgrimage to Mecca.

I tend to think that the groups that say that they are on a higher plane so that they don't need the shariah are lazy copouts.

They don't want to discipline themselves and like to party. The prophet received the Quran as a blessing to all mankind for the rest of this age. This was not a teaching for one century and one group of people. If it was then why would Islam have spread all across the far reaches of the globe? In the end Islam requires the individual to use his or her rational mind rather than following blindly.

How can you make these assertions that you are making without at least trying the practices for yourself. Maybe I'm wrong and you have learned to do salaat and just don't think that it has any value. Maybe you have fasted during Ramadan and it didn't do anything for you. I highly doubt it though. I encourage everyone in this tribe to at least try these 'outdated' and obsolete practices for yourself. Their value will become immediately apparent to you.
There are plenty of 'armchair Sufis' out there that pass judgment many of the core practices of Islam with no personal experience of their own. My practice is nowhere near perfect but I am not copping out just because these practices are too hard.

Practices do change from order to order but this does not mean that they are all without value. There must be some structure and discipline otherwise our Nafs will simply goes nuts. This said I will now bow out of this tribe, it seems that it is not what I had hoped
.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 18, 2013 06:25AM

THe discussion here is vast.

[sufi.tribe.net]

A couple more reflections from the discussants:

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Unsu..Re: sufism sans islam

Mon, August 15, 2005 - 11:16 AM

NO, thank YOU, Rahim, for having an open mind. Looks like I'm the only woman here who is brave enough to stand up to the men about this topic and say what is on my heart and mind without fear of a negative backlash. Thanks for being so cool :) Believe me, if it weren't for Latif and Kemal "holding my hands" on this topic, I probably wouldn't have the courage, either. But I do feel that the time has come for women to be intimating involved in the future of Sufism, and not be excluded.

Yeah, it seems that perfection on this Earth plane is fleeting and ephemeral...BUT...there is always the DREAM, the HOPE that perfection can be created here. I believe that's why we're here, to bring Heaven and Earth together, before we go back HOME. Believe me, I'm HOMESICK, but I have work to do, so back to the drawing board..

About charging for teachings...I guess every situation is different, hard to generalize here. Nothing is for free, and whether you want to pay with money or barter something in exchange, I do believe it is respectful to honor the teacher's wishes. BUT, sometimes these so-called "gurus" or "saints" take advantage of people's insecurities, and well, that just pisses me off, hence these expensive Sufi retreats. I understand people want to congregate, and exchange energy, but it kinda is attracting an elitist crowd, and I think that defeats the purpose.

I do identify with the Mevlevis the most, but in antiquity they were the "rich snobs" of the Sufis, while the Alevis were the humble poor. Kinda like the latter's approach more. .

Unsu

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Re: sufism sans islam

Wed, January 3, 2007 - 5:24 PM

Salaam Alaikum Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh!~

It's a habit of yours to walk slowly.
You hold a grudge for years.
With such heaviness, how can you be modest?
With such attainments, do you expect to arrive anywhere?

Be wide as the air to learn a secret.
Right now you're equal portions clay and water, thick mud.

Abraham learned how the sun and moon and stars all set.
He said, 'No longer will I try to assign partners for God.'

You are so weak. Give up to grace.
The ocean takes care of each wave
till it gets to shore.
You need more help than you know. You're trying to live your life in open scaffolding.
Say Bismillah, 'In the Name of God',
as the priest does with a knife when he offers an animal.

Bismillah your old self
to find your real name.

~Rumi

Well, as you know, 'Muslim' translates roughly to one who has surrendered one's self to the Self~ Allah (swt)~ (an ongoing initiation)
I like to call That Which Is Beyond Any Name 'Allah' because for me it is a genderless title for the Source of all creation, and carries no duplicity.

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. (24:35)


Indeed, Hazrat was a Muslim, and I love his writings. As a matter of fact, my father was his son's (Pir Vilayet) secreratary in the early 70's, so I am well aware of his teachings and his approach. As a musician, I have spent years joyously contemplating and digesting 'The Music of Life'.
In addition, my Shaykh was also a student of Samuel Lewis (as was my father).

I have the tendancy to take a traditional Islamic stance on 'Sufism' perhaps as a reaction to how loosely that term is used (particularly in the West) and for what I percieve to be an ignorant prejudice towards Islam~ I am not interested in a 'buffet' style of spirituality, taking what one likes and discarding the rest. This is not surrender, but a path dictated by the likes and dislikes of the individual. As the saying oes "he who has no Shaykh has Shaitan as his guide"

Would not one agree that a Kabbalistic Mystic is a Jew? The same, like it or not, is true for a Sufi being a Muslim. If it is something else then why the need to even apply a label like "sufi"? Surely it could just as easily be called a Universal Dancer for Peace?

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There is now glamour in the mere name 'Sufi'
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 23, 2013 04:52AM

There is now glamour in the mere name "Sufi"

Some groups may call themselves "Sufi", with nothing of it but the term.

One test is to talk to someone who professes and mention how Sufis in Pakistan are being persecuted, how many shrines have been bombed and attacked.

If the person behaves as though that is no concern of theirs, show no sign of sadness, concern ---- their group is merely a club for feeling good.

A leader should not be supported in luxury.

The true path is marked not merely by smiles, but includes all the emotions, the entire range -- doubt, grief, pain and boredom.

If any group, whether it calls itself Sufi or not, focuses only on a public reputation of being nice and smiley all the time, that means the other human emotions are being split off and denied.

To do that sort of emotional editing requires energy diverted away from true practice.

And the wealthy Sufis with the white clothing, mirrors, gilt furniture and roses need to remember that most of the early Sufis wore patched wool, many still do.

And the earliest of the Sufi practitioners were ascetics, renouncing comfort and luxury, to compensate for the affluence aquired after the Arabic conquest of wealthy Persia.

Ecstatic Sufism was a later development of the 11th to 12th centuries, a byproduct of Platonic mysticical texts becoming known to Islamic scholars and aspirants.

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Schuon's Maryamiyya
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 07, 2014 03:27AM

A discussion on Traditionalists blogspot

[traditionalistblog.blogspot.com]

and

[traditionalistblog.blogspot.com]

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Advice for Aspirants
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 08, 2014 11:32PM

Though this article was written for the benefit of persons doing coven or lodge work, much of this advice could be transferanble to Sufism, including groups that Muslim Sufis would never recognize as such, but that call themselves Sufi.

Some traditions of Sufism have elements derived from Neoplatonic theosophy; other non Muslim groups which call themselves Sufi often have theosophical material within their structures -- whether from plotinus or bricolaged from more recent sources, such as Blavatsky and Besant, both of whom were influential in 19th and early 20th century India.

And, in the Islamic world, very many Pirs, Sheikhs and Nurshids are regarded as having magical powers--to work miracles, lift curses and write tawiz (charms, amulets).

This article deserves to be read in full. Though a faithful Muslim would consider it written by unbelievers, there is still plenty of good sense that is transferable to a multitude of situations.

[www.llewellyn.com]

(quote)In the past one hundred years, new types of groups have emerged that defy this system of classification. The first is the outer court lecture. This system of public meetings became a forum in which lightweight esoteric subjects were discussed. Although these meetings were ends to themselves, their real function was for esoteric groups to meet potential candidates. They were also a good place for leaders of different groups to meet and swap notes.

Similar to the outer court lecture is the Sunday church service. This bizarre marriage of occult and Christianity came about when some of the bigger groups realized that they would qualify for tax exemptions if they held a regular church service. An Order called Builders of the Adytum holds a cabbalistic church service, which is used to introduce newcomers to the Order before exposing them to more complex rites.

(unquote)

Corboy comment: If a person attends one of these introductory meetings, he or she should be given honest answers and no disinformation. Persons should not be invited based on wealth, social prominence, or useful social connection. There should be no discrimination against persons who are poor but sincere or have responsiblities at home that would unfit them for becoming doting servants to a demanding guru.

The article notes that there are various ways for a lodge to function.

Regarding guru-led groups:

"The guru provides the group with a sense of continuity. Teaching is consistent in the sense that it comes from the same source. The guru can become an almost messianic figure for the group to work with. This is appealing to students who are seeking a father or mother figure that may be lacking in their lives.

However, if power corrupts then esoteric absolute power corrupts that little bit more. In political terms, a guru is a dictator. Guru-based groups are most dangerous to the leader. With so much control, gurus can start to believe that they are gods on earth—especially as this system fosters that belief in students."

Corboy note: It is wrong to hide the identity of the guru. In some cases, a group may represent itself as honoring a deceased guru, while actually being slaves to the whims and demands of a living guru. This places members in the heavy position of living a lie in relation to all who are not in on this secret.

And the energy put into living a lie is energy subtracted from spiritual practice and it makes intimacy very difficult.

The article has some comments about the myth of initiations and then mentions this:

(Quote)

Mysterious Secret Chiefs and Inner-Plane Adepts

An esoteric group differs from an ordinary club or organization in that it has to be open for business on the astral and spiritual levels. Some groups miss this point, and as a result fail to do much more than form an amateur dramatics club.

In the 19th century, esoteric groups influenced by Theosophy took this principle of multiple plane workings further. They claimed that true esoteric schools had a special inner-plane adept or secret chief that mediated power from secret sources to the group. These inner-plane adepts were magicians who died but were so good at living they no longer needed to reincarnate. They lived in the spiritual realm basking in the light of God (or the God and Goddess), and helped groups achieve great cosmic purposes. They did this by activating themselves on the astral, and acting as a channel for the special groups they selected. Such groups were flavored with the adept's power and became contacted. Some modern groups still market themselves as being contacted and dismiss other supposedly lesser groups as uncontacted.

Personally, I don t think it makes the slightest difference if a group includes an inner-plane adept, but some groups think it important. Before you commit to joining a group, find out if it includes an inner-plane adept. Consider whether you believe in super-beings that direct the fate of magical groups. If you are comfortable with this concept, there are plenty of groups to join who promote it. But if you find that you don t believe in inner-plane adepts, there are also groups that do not believe that being contacted is important or necessary.

The Right to Initiate
In your search, you might come across groups that claim theirs is the only legitimate version of a certain tradition. Groups of this kind often claim they have a charter that gives them the right to initiate others in this particular tradition. You may safely ignore such claims, as they do not add anything to the spiritual abilities of the group.

(unquote)

Corboy note: There are a multitude of groups which have variations of secret masters and inner planes.

No one group can call itself unique.

As mentioned earlier, theosophy and its teachings of secret masters etc, became influential world wide, including in India.

Religions of Iran: From Prehistory to the Present Richard Foltz

[books.google.com]

In British India a Zoroastrian form of theosophy emerged, known theosophy emerged, known as the Ilm-i Khshnoom, later taking an even an even more electic shape in the mid-twentieth century with the teaching of popular guru Meher Baba (1894–1969).(unquote)

Much of the literature of this Parsi-Zoroastrian varient theosophy was written in Gujrati.

This variant theosophy, practiced by a small minority of Parsis, originated with Behramshah Shroff in the 19th Century.

At the time Shroff returned from his claimed contact with secret masters and preached to the Parsi community in Surat in Gujrat, India. Surat and Bombay both with substantial Parsi/Zoroastrian communities.

At that time, the Parsi community had much to be anxious about. They enjoyed favor with the British rulers of India, but by the early 20 th century, British rule was being vigorously opposed by the Hindu and Muslim majorities. The Parsi community was well educated and wealthy, but its population was already beginning to decline, while by contrast, the Hindus were finding new energy and purpose in various renewal movements, soon to culminate in the Quit India campaign and other anti Raj activity.

The Parsis, anxious for thier position, needed reassurance and renewal and Shroffs Ilm-Khusnoom may have gained a foothold for that reason.

If one fears ones community is losing its social power and its place in this world, it is comforting to believe that secret masters benevolently look out for that community's welfare and can assist its members to gain power in a world greater and better than this one.

There was and there remains great pressure in the Parsi community to marry and have children to secure the next generation.

Those who did not want to marry would probably have felt an overwhelming guilt, so much so as to be unconscious.

A grand religious vocation and career might have been a way to both have a career, escape the cares and anxieties of marriage and family, have access to a world larger than one's home community.

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

And this source below can give interested readers a place to go for search terms.

Note one question:

30 What will happen after Behram shroff's death? Who will teach us the secrets of the Din?

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]


(quote)Ilm-e-Khshnoom means ‘science of ecstasy’. This school of Zoroastrianism was founded by Behramshah Nowroji Shroff (1858-1927) who belonged to Surat.

Followers of Ilm-e-Khshnoom believe that religious faith is a means to a state of mind that transcends analysis and gives a mystical understanding of ultimate truth. They further believe that the hymns of Prophet Zarathustra that comprise the Avestha, the Parsi holy book, are also a means to that mystical consciousness.

“In the Avestha, Zarathustra’s words are preserved as hymns. Many Parsis were unaware of their deeper meaning until Behramshah gave a mystical explanation of these hymns. This gave Parsis a totally new understanding of the Avestha,” said Kersi Deboo, a renowned Parsi historian.

Behramshah Nowroji Shroff had learnt about what later came to be called Ilm-e-Khshnoom during his travels in Persia which he visited via Pakistan and Afghanistan. During his travels, he had come across a wandering community which followed a mystic interpretation of the teachings of Zarathustra.


“Behramshah had walked all the way to Persia and visited the holy sites of Zoroastrian religion, including Kohe Damawan. By the time he returned to Surat in 1891, he had acquired a deep knowledge of our religion,” said Darayus Master, president of Parsi Panchayat, Surat.

According to Master, Behramshah had a speech problem which had also got cured. After his return to Surat, he decided to guide Parsis about the deeper truths of Zoroastrian and this led to the birth of Ilm-e-Khshnoom.

After coming back to Surat, Behramshah toured throughout India for seven years to gain more knowledge about his religion. In 1907, he started preaching to Parsis in Surat and, over time, his followers began calling them of Ilm-e-Kshnoom to indicate the spiritual ecstasy that they experienced through their prayers and ceremonies.

Many Parsis were so impressed by Behramshah’s teachings that he was soon asked to preach in Mumbai. He began preaching at the Parsi Vegetarian and Temperance Society (PVTS) in Mumbai.

“Under British rule, the Parsis were heavily under the influence of western values and lifestyle, education and materialism. But Ilm-e-Khshnoom helped restore their faith in their religion,” Deboo said.
(unquote)

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Google Scholar--a resource
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 08, 2014 11:52PM

From a devotional document describing the prophet of Ilm i Khushnoom- and the state of the Parsee community. Note that everything Behramshah Shroff said is, in this document, accepted as fact.

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

WHat is Ilm e Khusnoom and Why?

(quote)But to go back to the gloomy story of our degeneration, when and how did it set in ? The germs were firstgenerated at the end of the last century. Two factors were their breeding ground. One was the onslaught ofsciences and the other was the advent of Zoroastrian - studies in the West.

Physical sciences pretended to explain away the whole Universe. Every event and every phenomenonhad a "natural" explanation, which did not require that curious creature, God. Earth? An accident and anexplosion? Men? Life by 'natural' selection and survival of the fittest! Matter? A combination of storms andnothing more …. No need to introduce any mystical force; all forces are known and understood and thereforeGod and Religion are just superstitions, "unscientific and unscholarly!"

All Religions were shaken to thefoundation. "This infidel half century" - even Bernard Shaw shouted.This poisonous wind blew over our Religion and added to it was the radio-active fall out of the Westernstudies. They reduced our scriptures to mere historical and geographical records.

The verbal and grammaticaltranslations drowned in them all the devotional and spiritual fervour of our holy scriptures. Our religioustraditions and institutions were branded as superstitions. Our own 'scholars' and 'savants' fell victims to thisfurther onslaught.

The pillars of the Parsi life began having tremors.From the muddy whirlpool where the degeneration germs were breeding, a monster suddenly drew itslong neck.

That was the notorious question of Juddin-marriage and marriage mix-ups. Some Parsis desired tomarry non-Parsi ladies and brand them as Parsis. "What is wrong in that?" - it was asked. Nothing Wrong!Scriptures are history and geography; institutions are superstitions; and add to that some scholars reading inthe Scriptures that Zoroastrian Religion preaches conversion!

This happened at the beginning of this century. The faithful in the Community resisted; but it was adifficult task. If physical sciences have discarded God and Western Studies have discarded our religiousinstitutions, how can the Community sustain its faith in Sudreh Kusthi, and Manthra and Yasna and Holy Fireand Dokhmas and above all the preservation of the racial gene?

And yet the Community sustained its faith, and that was mainly because of the Parsi Theosophists andthereafter IIm-e-Khshnoom.Most of the Parsis are hazily aware of the existence of "something" called IIm-e-Khshnoom.

There issome miracle attributed to it, they think, where somebody had come into contact with some Holy 'Abed's orZarathushtrian Saints; but it is something beyond us, too difficult to understand. The present day Parsischolars nurtured in the Western studies have no strength and courage to look straight towards Khshnoombecause of their ego or obstinacy or mental laziness or fear of unsetting their preconceived paradigms oreven self-interest. Khshnoom can upset their apple cart, they inherently apprehend.

But that is NOT the waytowards the TRUTH.

Baheramshah Navroji Shroff brought the name IIm-e-Khshnoom amongst the Parsis of India. He said thatat his young age of about 18 years he was taken to a secret and secluded place in the Iranian mountains ofDaemaavand where he stayed for about three and a half years (1875-78) approximately) amongst a smallgroup of people leading a strict and highly spiritually oriented Zarathushtrian life. The leaders of the groupwere a few very highly advanced 'Aabed's i.e. the holy saints, called 'Saheb-Dilan'.

**(Corboy: No way to fact check this. Gurdjieff used a similar backstory in his Meetings With Remarkable Men. Castaneda claimed Don Juan Matus was his teacher, but could not prove his existence, either.)

The mystical and esotericknowledge contained in the Religion of Zarathushtra was imparted to a certain degree on Baheramshah bythe Saints, after getting him passed through certain spiritual exercises. 'IIm-e-Khshnoom' was the name,current amongst those Saints, for the Zarathushtrian Divine Knowledge.

For more than two decades Baheramshah did not reveal the miracle of his life to the Parsi pubic.Somewhere in the year 1905-06, he narrated it to a small assembly of young Parsi boys at Surat. The newsabout his extraordinary experience trickled in the Parsi community and after a most exerting persuasion of hisdisciple Manchershah Palonji Kekobad, he agreed, most reluctantly, to go to Bombay to propagate IIm-e-Khshnoom, the mystic science of the Zarathushtrian Religion.

It was difficult for the Parsis, nurtured in the19th century materialism, to believe in the truth of his miracle. However, a band of sincere disciples madestrenuous efforts to spread the knowledge brought by him from the amazing source....(unquote)



For further research into one strand of the Parsi background in early 19th century India, Google Scholar is a helpful resource.

[www.nuibooks.com]

[eprints.soas.ac.uk]


The Zoroastrian Response to Westernization: A Case Study of the Parsis of Bombay
JE Whitehurst - Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 1969 - JSTOR
... Page 11. 234 JAMES EMERSON WHITEHURST turned to a mystical or occult
interpretation provided by Parsi theosophists or sects like Ilm-e-Khshnoom.42 Still
others have found spiritual solace in competing faiths. The Mobeds ...

Evil in the sands of time: Theology and identity politics among the Zoroastrian Parsis

TM Luhrmann - JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES-ANN …, 2002 - Cambridge Univ Press
... How shall ^Ilm-e-Kshnoom means knowledge of kshnoom. ... Most of his writing is in Gujarati;
the important English text is Essential Origins of Zoroastrianism (1942). Others include Tavaria
(1971) A Manual of'Khshnoom": the Zoroastrian Occult Knowledge. ...
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"..Because I was afraid I would lose my spouse.."
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 14, 2014 12:11AM

The quotes below were written by former members of a non Sufi, esoteric group that has continued for decades and has heavily established businesses and property in one part of the US. They keep students busy in all sorts of theatre and 'art' projects.

[www.esotericfreedom.com]
You have a right to know where your money has gone.

Its members incur social harm and ruinous financial expense and live in an atmosphere of secrecy, and covert recruitment.

If you are in a group that is Sufi or calls itself Sufi, perhaps this essay written by members of a non Sufi esoteric school may offer some helpful validating information.

Or if a friend of yours in in a group of this sort and seems more and more burdened and tense, perhaps he or she may benefit by being invited to read this list.

A few quotations from the above source

"Are there circumstances in your life which keep you emotionally hostage to school, such as your marriage, your children, your work or money situation? Do you think that you “owe” school because they introduced you to your husband or wife? Do you “owe” them for your children? Do you “owe” them for all the opportunities they have given you and all of the support they have given you in your work life? When do you stop owing them? When is it enough? They might have made suggestions but you did the work yourself.


...because I was afraid that I would loose my spouse; because I was afraid to rock the boat; because I was afraid that my teachers and friends would not love me anymore; because I was afraid that I would be punished or shunned in some way; because I was afraid to be the one lonely voice crying out in the wilderness; because I was afraid my teachers and friends would see how little I understood the work, how insincere I was, how unevolved I was. I always thought if I was “worthless” enough to be told to leave school then my life as I knew it would end.

My friends would be gone and my whole world would collapse."


"I remember many years ago, Fred always told students that if they left school their lives would turn to “shit” and things would go very badly for them. I do not know anyone that has happened to. Most peoples lives have really begin to blossom after they leave school...It is not easy to try to come to terms with what I have been doing with my life for the last 5, 10, 15 or 20 years or more that I have been in school. Ultimately, it is a far better life to begin to learn to trust myself again instead of waiting for someone to tell me what to do."




(quote)You have a right to know the true "lineage" of this school.

"You have a right to know that what you tell your "sustainer" is not confidential and is passed on to your teachers. You can only make a real choice about being in school from your own free will if you know the truth. ""

"You should not feel fear about openly discussing anything that might contradict the opinions of your "teachers."

"School is not the only "way." The world is brimming with possibilities and everything seems exciting and new again. There are many real spiritual paths in the world - continue your quest but within the light of truth!"

""

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