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Chapter 16: Love Is Always an Emperor

So rather than having just moments of clarity and lightness, be more loving - loving to the trees, loving to the flowers, loving to music, loving to people. Let all kinds of love enrich your life, and violence will disappear. A man of love cannot hurt anybody. There have been even very rare and unique examples..

One of the Sufi mystics, Sarmad, had in his chest a wound - the orthodox Mohammedans had tried to kill him. They could not kill him, but they wounded him very badly, and the wound became so dangerous.. there were small but visible parasites in the wound, who were sucking his blood.

Mohammedans, when they do their namaz, their prayer, bow down to the earth, get up, and then bow down again many times. So those parasites would fall from Sarmad’s wound, and he would take them up and put them back in the wound. People said, “Are you mad or something?”

He said, “My body is going to die anyway, the poison has spread all over the body. These poor parasites, why should they die as long as I can help them to live? And anyway they are parasites of my wound - I am not the body. It is going to be the food of animals. So while I am alive, it hurts me that some parasite is going to die. At least as long as I am alive I will continue to put them back.” And finally he stopped praying. He said, “Prayer I can do without the ritual, but I cannot hurt these creatures.”

But strangely enough, he did not die from the poison that was spreading through his body - perhaps his tremendous love became an antidote - and the Mohammedans had to cut off his head on the steps of Jama Masjid in New Delhi. And his only crime was.Mohammedans have a prayer which consists of a simple sentence: “One God; one holy book, Koran; one messenger of God, Hazrat Mohammed.” These three names come into that prayer.

But Sufis simply repeat the part which talks about one God. They don’t bring “one holy Koran” and “one messenger of God” into their prayer. They say that there have been other messengers, it is not a monopoly; and there are other holy statements, the Koran cannot be the only one. And in the future there will be other messengers and there will be other holy statements. All that we can say is: Existence is one God.

That was their crime, and the orthodox Mohammedans forced Sarmad: “You have to say the whole prayer; this is sacrilegious to pray only half the prayer.”

He said, “You cannot force me. As far as prayer is concerned it is my freedom, it is my individual concern with God. If I am answerable, I am answerable to God, not to you. I am not praying to you, I am praying to God, and if I am praying wrongly, it is a matter to be settled between me and God. Who are you?” But they were powerful - the king was Mohammedan - and they were all angry, and they cut off his head.

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