Though one has to practise on a definite line, we revere all the great traditions and schools; my teacher often used to refer to the great Moslem mystic, Rumi, and this is a little poem on the subject.
You will see that the presentation is slightly different, but you will see the light, the water and the living stream which is below the desert. It is presented in the terms of Islamic mysticism.
A certain man was crying “Allah!” all night until his lips grew sweet in praise of him.
The devil said: “Oh garrulous man, what is all this ‘Allah!’ Not a single response is coming from the throne. How long will you go on crying ‘Allah’ with grim face?”
The man became broken hearted and lay down and slept. In a dream he saw the prophet Elijah in a garden, who said to him:
“Hark! You have held back at praising God, why do you repent at having called on him?”
The man replied: “No ‘Here Am l’ is coming in response, hence I fear I have been turned away from the Door.”
Elijah said: “Nay. God saith that ‘Allah!’ of thine is my ‘Here Am I’, and that ardour, grief and supplication of thine are my messenger to thee – thy fear and love are the noose to catch my favour.
Beneath every ‘Allah! ‘of thine is many a ‘Here Am I’ from Me.”
We pray and we revere externally, but in the yoga and spiritual training we are taught that the Lord is not only outside, he is stirring within us, and that stirring is the spiritual quest. It is wrong to think:
Oh, spiritual practice is just when one’s circumstances are favourable and when one has the time and energy and facilities.
No, as it is pointed out at the very beginning, it is when everything has collapsed, when we are disappointed, when our lives have been shattered, then is the time we can no longer depend on
external things, they have collapsed and betrayed us. We can easily turn one-pointedly within, and in our turning not just revere what is outside, but find that stirring within us.