"The only true teacher is he who can convert
himself, as it were, into a thousand persons at a moment's notice ...
and who can immediately come down to the level of the student and
transfer his soul to the student's soul, see through the student's
eyes, and understand through his mind. Such a teacher and none else
"A teacher, an M.A. teaching alphabets to
the students, must of necessity bring himself down to the level of his
students and thus he must read, write and repeat, the alphabets A, B, C
along with them. Then only such a teacher is able to impart his knowledge
to them and gradually lift them to his own level.
If he does not bring himself down from the transcendental heights of
his own attainments, then the labour bestowed by him will be wasted
upon the students. A Salik therefore has perforce to stoop to the
ordinary level and talk in the language of the students, when occasion
Take the instance of the life-story of the Arabian Prophet. When
persecuted by his enemies and finding his life in danger, he actually had
to flee from Mecca and take refuge in Medina. Here the greatest spiritual
Master of the world by fleeing from the place of his birth acted after the
manner of an ordinary human being when faced with a crisis.
He never drew upon his spiritual powers to confound his enemies.
Jesus known for his life-giving miracles, suffered himself to be
crucified with his prayers on his lips for the salvation of the
It is this ordinary role played by some of the perfect ones in their
times that has given rise to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the
relative importance of the pulpit of the mosque and the pulpit of the
The religious formalists deny the spiritual status of a saint
observing no ceremonialism around him, and the half baked Sufis
condemn the externalists for their physical acrobatics, and both
ignore the fact that the pulpit of the church is a stepping stone to
the pulpit of the heart, the seat of the manifestation of Divine Glory."