"There are two states — internal and external — divided by a mental
curtain. To cleanse or purify the internal by one's individual
efforts is a very difficult task indeed. This inner purification can only
be achieved by the help and grace of a spiritual Master. Unless such a
Master comes to you or is contacted by you, it is best to engage oneself
in keeping the external i.e., body clean, and this is what the ceremonial
side of all religions teaches and emphasizes. The purpose and meaning
behind this is obvious enough.
By following Shariyat to Perfection, one has a chance of coming into
contact with a living Master (Salik). The observance of external
cleanliness as taught by different religions, does brighten up to a
certain extent the mirror of the mind, but its complete purification
whereby the individual soul can stand reflected in all its divine
effulgence and glory, rests in the hands of a spiritual Master.
Thus to understand or realize God, one of the two ways should be
adopted and no half measures would do. All the religions concern
themselves with the purification of the external only by means of
reading, praying, worshiping, sitting, standing, bodily baths and
ablutions, tidiness of clothing and selection of food, etc.
With the eyes you enjoy the sight of good, holy and religious objects;
with the tongue and lips you utter prayers; with the ears you hear divine
recitations, and with the hands you offer supplications and count the
beads of a rosary. Thus all the great prophets and religious law-givers
have very knowingly enjoined upon their followers the necessity of
external purification pending the arrival of the stage of inner
The middle course as pursued by Yogis (Rahib) is almost always a
failure, as they hopelessly intermingle the internal and the external for
the realization of their goal. By bringing the mind into play in the
process of concentration and meditation and by trying to force a collusion
of the upper and lower breaths in the region of the brain, they are
poaching into the internal domain prematurely, while by indulging in
asanas (fixed posture), muttering of mantras (Zikr), fasting and
physical mortification they take the help of the physical paraphernalia
and consequently their efforts invariably yield disappointment.
It is best therefore for everyone concerned to follow the observances of
one's own religion until such time one is luckily drawn into the orbit of
a spiritual Master's influence.
When once the internal is purified by the grace of a Salik (a
Perfect Master), the external formality of religion is no longer
needed except under special circumstances and considerations of duty
that one has to perform in the world of his choice. It is for this
reason that saints are generally seen to be in the most dirty state
externally and the worldly people unaccustomed to such sights, fail to
recognise the spirituality of a person in such surroundings.
Whether recognized or not, what do such people care for details of
external habits after having realized their goal?
Everyone is aware that a new swimmer has necessarily to have the use
of floats to help him learn the art of swimming. No sooner one
becomes perfect in swimming, the floats are automatically discarded
and are no longer found necessary. Who would ever think of expecting the
swimmer to use floats perpetually even after mastering the art of
But Perfect Masters have been known throughout the religious history
of mankind to go in sometimes for externalism also for the sake of the
masses during their life mission on earth."