Greatest Of All Religions

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

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Awakin FeatureHazrat Inayat Khan said, "A study of life is the greatest of all religions, and there is no greater or more interesting study."

There are two ways in which we may attain control over our activity. The first is confidence in the power of our own will; to know that if we have failed today, tomorrow we will not do so. The second is to have our eyes wide open, and to watch keenly our activity in all aspects of life. It is in the dark that we fall, but in the light we can see where we are going.

So it is in life: we should have our eyes wide open to see where we walk. We should study life, and seek to know why we say a thing, and why we act as we do. We have failed perhaps hitherto because we have not been wide awake. We have fallen, and felt sorry, and have forgotten all about it, and perhaps may have fallen again. This is because we have not studied life. A study of life is the greatest of all religions, and there is no greater and more interesting study. Those who have mastered all grades of activity, they above all experience life in all its aspects. They are like swimmers in the sea who float on the water of life and do not sink.

If we only knew how much the study of life can tell us! One could go into the British Museum and read every book in the building, and yet not obtain satisfaction. It is not study, it is not research, it is not inquiry which gives this knowledge; it is actually going through the experiences of life, witnessing life in its different aspects and in its different phases or spheres; that is what reveals the ideal of life. ... Look not on life as a person would watch a play on the stage. Rather look upon it as a student who is learning at college. 

It is not a passing show; it is not a place of amusement in which to fool our life away. It is a place for study, in which every sorrow, every heartbreak brings a precious lesson. It is a place in which to learn by one's own suffering, by the study of the suffering of others; to learn from the people who have been kind to us as well as from the people who have been unkind. It is a place in which all experiences, be they disappointments, struggles, and pains, or joys, pleasures, and comforts, contribute to the understanding of what life is, and the realization what it is. Then do we awake to the religion of nature, which is the only religion. And the more we understand it, the greater our life becomes, and the more of a blessing will our life be for others.

Inayat Khan was a teacher of Universal Sufism.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the study of life as the greatest of all religions? Can you share a personal story of a time you awoke to the religion of nature? What helps you remain a student of life?

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9 Previous Reflections:

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    On Aug 29, 2019 Gelu wrote:
    I think that the greatest religion is Love, the Love that consumes everythig, starting with self love. When we are busy loving others we don't have time and energy to ask ourselves "How much did I love myself today?" because is pointless.

    Study of life is also a form of love. By giving our atte4ntion to life. we acknowledge it, we say "I see you!"

    If you need a religion, let it be Love. I-heart-U, all of U-s outhere.

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    On Jul 16, 2019 Sunil, Bangalore wrote:
    Human Life is fundamentally meant for knowing the true essence of our own natural self & understand "Who Am I".Thus human birth is invaluable in the cycle of 84.So it's imperative to make the most of it without wasting a moment but studying,examining,researching and observing each & everything about it religiously with honest efforts and responsibility. Of course such earnest desire and inner willingness yield the expected results without doubts. This is evidenced by all our enlightened Saints & Sages all over the universe.

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    On Jul 16, 2019 Kamaruzzaman wrote:
    Yes, study of life is the study of everything around. No religion can match this idea. Is so-called religion of any caste and creed really needed for us? Does its practices make any sense at all. I am irreligious all the way and it does not cost me anything, and I practice life religiously through ample living with honesty and integrity. I only feel depressed when I look around the sinister world. Life is not to consume but to enjoy as per one's aesthetical and ethical tastes, isn't it? What the heck ritual and practicing religion is? It just dehumanizes, it just plays a havoc into one's self-confidence and convictions - my lived experiences say so. And last but not the least, religion puts paid to one's universal self.

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    On Jul 16, 2019 Patrick Perching Eagle wrote:
    The greatest of all religions is of course not “religion” at all. And the “study” of life will always be ultimately about relationships, relationships of all kinds because everything is connected. }:- ♥️ anonemoose monk

    1 reply: Amy | Post Your Reply
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    On Jul 13, 2019 David Doane wrote:
    Real religion awakens us to awareness that there is one creation of which every thing and every being is a part. It awakens us to awareness that all things and all beings including human beings are unique expressions of one creation, totally interconnected and interrelated, not separate. It awakens us to unitive awareness. The study of life reveals all this to us and therefore is the greatest of all religions. As I became aware that all that is is thoroughly interrelated and is one, I saw it in nature and awoke to the religion of nature. I remain a student of life because I want to deepen my unitive awareness that all that is is one, and that is what life teaches.

    2 replies: Alizeh, Kay | Post Your Reply
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    On Jul 12, 2019 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    " A study of life is the greatest of all religions, and there is no greater or more interesting study." These words of HazratInayatKhan deeply resonate in my heart. Self-study and the realization of oneself, who I am, and the manifestationof this realization in all aspects of my life is the core of all religions. That is the greatest religion. Reading religious scriptures and listening to great spiritual teachers or visiting holy places can be helpful for studying self and nature. What really matters is a deep inquiry of one self and one's original nature with an open mind and an open heart.What is needed is self-awakening. I remember the words of Swami Vivekananda at the World Religions Conference in Chicago in 1893. His words were: " Get up. Awaken, and realize who you are!" I experience the religion of nature when I am fully present to hearing the sounds of nature, to feeling the touch of wind, to smelling flowers and to watching the movements of the sun, the... [View Full Comment] " A study of life is the greatest of all religions, and there is no greater or more interesting study." These words of HazratInayatKhan deeply resonate in my heart. Self-study and the realization of oneself, who I am, and the manifestationof this realization in all aspects of my life is the core of all religions. That is the greatest religion. Reading religious scriptures and listening to great spiritual teachers or visiting holy places can be helpful for studying self and nature. What really matters is a deep inquiry of one self and one's original nature with an open mind and an open heart.What is needed is self-awakening. I remember the words of Swami Vivekananda at the World Religions Conference in Chicago in 1893. His words were: " Get up. Awaken, and realize who you are!"
    I experience the religion of nature when I am fully present to hearing the sounds of nature, to feeling the touch of wind, to smelling flowers and to watching the movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars. I feel oneness between me and nature. And that to me is a religious experience.
    Life has been a great teacher for me. Life offers many lessons to learn. The prerequisite is finding time, keeping the heart and the mind open, and paying undivided attention to be fully present to receive gifts from life. I am deeply grateful to life for offering gifts without charge!
    May we be open and grateful to receive gifts from life!
    Namaste!
    Jagdish P Dave[Hide Full Comment]

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