THE SEVEN FOLDS OF THE VEIL
Only so long as man's ignorance lasts will there seem to be no end to the plural diversity of illusory things. When divine knowledge is gained he realizes that there is no end to the indivisible oneness of God. Under the illusion of cosmic duality the apparent separation between man and God is invariably referred to by masters in terms of the intervenient "veil" and "curtain." Hafiz, who was a Perfect Master as well as a great poet, says:
Kabir, referring to the removal of the seven folds of the veil, says:
The ghunghat literally means the covering that a woman extends over her head and face in a number of folds; in spiritual parlance it represents the heavy folds of ignorance that keep man hidden from his real identity. The lifting of it, fold by fold, corresponds to the state-by-stage journey of a pilgrim from the first through the fifth plane of the divine path.
The veil that separates a man-in-ignorance from God Who is All Knowledge, is so subtle that even the highest and finest thought cannot pierce through it. This veil consists of seven folds of seven different, deep colours. Each fold is tied with a separate knot; thus there are seven knots to the seven folds. The seven colours represent the seven root desires, corresponding to the seven fundamental impressions, i.e. lust, greed, anger, etc., connected with the seven openings of sensation in the face, viz., (1) mouth, (2) right nostril, (3) left nostril, (4) right ear, (5) left ear, (6) right eye, (7) left eye.
In Reality and as the only Reality, the soul is always God without beginning and without end. False illusion begins with the descent of the soul in seven material stages and real illusion ends with the ascent of the soul to the seventh spiritual plane.
GOD SPEAKS, pp. 73-74
1973 © Sufism Reoriented, Inc.