Before we met His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi, I had no knowledge of spirituality. I had never heard of spirituality and I didn't know whether we were supposed to love God, to be honest. I didn't know why we follow a religion; I only knew that we were supposed to worship. That's all I knew, I did not know anything else. Then, when I came to know of many different denominations in the religion, I was really confused and disappointed and I didn't know what denomination in the religion was correct. So I stopped practising that religion. Then we met HDE Gohar Shahi and HDE would always furnish His statement with rational, intellectual reasoning. HDE Gohar Shahi would never say anything without reasoning and this was really a great help; I was able to relate to it. What was written in the holy book, the Quran, seemed like a book of mythology and something which could never be within my grasp. It looked like it is a story and we are not in a character of this play. It is beyond our reach. I could never relate to any of the Hadiths (Traditions of the Prophet) or any verse of the Holy Bible, Quran or any other book. When I met HDE Gohar Shahi and heard others also, I was completely sold. I was completely and utterly convinced; I believed if truth existed, then that truth is right now in front of me. This was my understanding.
To people alien to spiritual practice, spirituality is very fancy kind of stuff. But when it comes to practise of spirituality, spirituality is not a bed of roses. Spirituality is the most difficult target to achieve. Spirituality is a struggle against your own self. Spirituality is to negate your Self; your Ego has to be demolished. All the impurities of thought, all the impurities of your fantasised idealism are demolished. All your arrogance is broken and everything in you is completely and utterly shattered.
One who practises spirituality truly, then you will hardly see that person smiling. However when he is halfway through spirituality, you will see him smiling even when he is in pain. He will learn to cope with the pain that life gives; the pain that this body gives to you, the pain that these relations give to you.
We have many relations in this world. We have brothers and we have sisters; these relations are gifted to us, we do not make efforts to make these relations. Mother and father - these two relations are gifted to you by birth; and then brothers and sisters [are as well]. Then you marry somebody, you become a husband and she becomes your wife. These relations appear to be the most important relations in the world for you, however all these relations are fake relations. They have no reality. These relations disappear one day. Then you are supposed to make an immortal relation and that immortal relation is established with God. When you have established that relation, all other relations seem to have no value. This is what happens in spirituality. When you embark upon a spiritual journey and when you start purifying yourself, purifying your heart, then some very close relations start to give you problems. But you are never excused.
We all say we are free. Barack Obama says, 'All Americans are free in the United States of America; it's a free country.' We just say we are free, we are not free. Prisons are not just built with bricks and wood. Some prisons are prisons of emotions. Some are prisons of relations, habits. There are so many types of prisons. But when you want to dedicate your life towards adopting spirituality and you want to purify yourself, sometimes you see a lot of your relations start giving you problems and you are hurt. How? If a friend gives you a problem because now you want to purify yourself, you can tell them, 'If you are not happy with me, then leave.' But then, if one of the closest relations like your husband, mother or wife does not agree to your struggle in spirituality and they give you a hard time - some people give in, they stop their struggle in spirituality and they do what their relations want them to do. But some people, they want to continue to improve the quality of their life; some people pursue in the way of the truth and they continue to purify themselves, their Ego and their heart. They only continue to do that when they ignore what their really close relations want them to do. They don't listen to them. Well, they don't listen to them, but at the same time they feel pain. They think, 'What if my relatives were happy with what I am doing?' So we are not free; we can't make free choices. Sometimes we want to do something, but we don't do it - either the parents don't like it, your husband doesn't like it or your wife, mother or father doesn't like it. And in most cases, if the husband doesn't like it, he thinks, 'Why is my wife doing this? This is bullshit.' If they don't like it, they call it bullshit. They force you to do what they want you to do. Similarly, sometimes parents think they know the best because they are old and they know everything; they think you were born yesterday and they are very experienced. Every old man thinks the same. All old men have this mischievous thought deeply rooted in their thick head that they know the best because they have lived more in this world - but that's not true. I have seen younger people who are more matured than older people; you must have seen some of them.
Sometimes, when the mind starts malfunctioning and it is stuck at one point, like evil, then your thoughts are affected and whenever you think, you think evil. There are so many mental, spiritual and physical disorders you go through. Whereas in spirituality, everything becomes clear. Everything becomes crystal clear, why? Because in spirituality, your souls, your heart and all your physical, emotional and spiritual senses are purified and empowered by divine energy and divine light. In order to become a perfect human being, one must adopt spirituality. No religion is good without spirituality. No book is good without spirituality. Spirituality is not knowledge; spirituality is reality.
What is cleanliness?
If I ask you, 'What is cleanliness?' You will say, 'If some place is dirty, you remove the dirt and removing the dirt is cleanliness.' This is knowledge; but if there is dirt and you are trying to make the place clean, then you have to do a lot of hard work. So knowing what cleanliness is, is one thing and cleaning something, removing the dirt - which of course requires some real hard work - is something else. This act of removing the dirt is spirituality. In spirituality, you separate from your souls the dirt which has come on to them from evil, from the devil and from wrong things that you have been doing in this world. Every time you do something wrong, as a punishment, something evil is attached to your souls.
Prophet Mohammad said, 'When you sin, the Bookkeeper Angels record that sin in their book and at the same time a black spot is also marked on your heart.'
With wrong things that you do, one day all your heart becomes dark, pitch black and it is all blocked. This is when your nature - the nature of a human being - is covered by the nature of evil and you start doing evil things; because the human being in you is no longer awakened. This is why you do not show, you do not exhibit human instincts and human characteristics - because evil has [been] empowered and the overwhelming effects of evil are now prevalent in your character. In order to bring yourself to the surface, you need to do a lot of cleaning; this process of cleaning the dirt of evil from your nature is the act of spirituality. Spirituality is not just sitting cross-legged and visualising that you are strolling in the paradise, smelling beautiful flowers and flying here and there. This is a luxurious, imaginative journey which is fruitless. You may call it meditation but this meditation is not going to serve any purpose. This is not spirituality. Spirituality is to revive your souls; it is to connect your souls with the Divine Powerhouse which is God.
Now we have heard what our Lord said regarding the difficulties that you encounter during your spiritual journey. When you embark upon a spiritual journey there are a lot of difficulties that you encounter and a lot of resistance that you encounter. There is a lot of negativity that you have to put up with and a lot of evil forces that will appear as a hurdle on your path towards cleanliness, towards spirituality - but you must remove it. You must encounter it and you must not give in. You have to take all these difficulties head on and if you successfully remove all these hurdles. If you successfully carry on marching towards your divine target, then you are a brave man. You deserve to be holy because you are fighting against evil. Evil doesn't fight against evil. If you are fighting against evil, it means you are something against evil.
Only those will fight against evil who are not evil. If you encounter evil and you give in, it means you are evil and you cannot fight against it. Only those fail to fight against evil who are part of evil; those who are not evil, no matter what happens, how difficult it becomes, you will never give in.
When the Lord notices your enthusiasm and your determination - when the Lord sees that his flesh and bones are weak but his souls are still willing, then comes the divine help. Then you are not alone in that fight against evil. You see, the problem is, evil has entered us. We have to root it out of us. As long as it's outside, we are okay; but when it comes inside of us, we are affected and we become evil. You are not affected when the evil is outside you, but when it is inside you, then you are gone; do not call yourself a human being.
All these Muslim Jihadis who are carrying out jihad in the name of Islam and in the name of God, do you think they are holy people? No, it is the evil in them; the devil in them is making them kill humanity. The devil has entered into them. If they had fought against the devil and they purified themselves and became good Muslims, they would become holy. No religion is bad; it is the people who follow it. If people who are following it do not follow it correctly, then they should be held responsible for anything bad that they do. But now is the time for the entire humanity to embrace spirituality. Forget about religion because religions have been corrupted. When all these religions were established by their respective Messengers and Prophets, they were fantastic. They were beautiful. They continued to be beautiful and perfect until the sainthood was still there in that religion. When the saints were discontinued in any religion, the spiritual system was destroyed, When the spiritual system was destroyed, the religion collapsed - either it is Judaism, Christianity or Islam. The religions were alive when there was a spiritual system in them and that spiritual system was alive. Now you have no system by the help of which you can purify your inner, your heart and your soul. Practice of rituals or worship is to do with your body. This does not change you. People go to mosques, churches, synagogues and temples and do all sorts of worship. Do they change? No, they don't change. You only change when you embark upon a spiritual journey. This spiritual journey will start only when you have a Spiritual Guide. Without a Spiritual Guide, there is no spirituality at all.
What is the role of a Spiritual Guide?
The Spiritual Guide is like a Spiritual Father. What does a father do? A father takes care of you from the moment you are born into this world. Your father takes care of you, gives you food, clothing, all the nourishment, education and a place to live in - everything. But what a father cannot do - he does rear up your body, but he doesn't rear up your soul. A Spiritual Father will awaken your soul, purify your heart, initiate your heart and purify it and when you are completely purified, the Spiritual Guide will take your souls to God and he will continue to guide you until you become fully acquainted with God. Once you become an embodiment of God on earth - God starts to speak through your mouth, God starts to see people through your eyes and God starts to touch people through your senses - then the Spiritual Guide will say, 'Okay mate, you're done now. My company with you is over.' This is the function of a Spiritual Guide.
Some people might wonder, 'Is there any exercise in spirituality that they must do everyday? What should they do? Is there any special worship they must do?' No. All you need to do is concentrate on your heart and make sure that whatever name of God was given to you when you were initiated, that name of God is synchronised in your heartbeats. That's all you need to do.
We cannot deny the fact that we were created by somebody and that somebody who created us deserves to be loved by us. Our parents give birth to us and for this reason we give them respect and we love them. Then what about God who created us and our mothers, fathers, sisters and everybody else? So, when the souls are spiritualised and they are awakened, this desire of seeing God becomes so strong that you want to see the one who created you. You want to see him and his love fills up the entire souls in your body. But that is not the only one benefit of practising spirituality. When you practise spirituality, you discover yourself.
Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi said, 'There is a hidden treasure in you, but you are not aware of it. Your illness is within you and its remedy also is within you, but you are not aware of it.'
You see, people talk about cosmic energy, cosmos and the solar system. Why do you want to limit yourself to talking about it? Why do you want to limit yourself to just phraseology? There is a hidden treasure in you, seven souls. There are seven cosmos and each soul, when enlightened and awakened, serves like a key to open before you the entire cosmos. When your souls are enlightened and awakened, with your soul you can reach that cosmos, be there, feel it, see it, experience it and live there and accumulate all the energy there is, as much as you want. So, any number of cosmos there are in the entire universe, all the keys to these cosmos are within you; these keys are your souls. Whichever cosmos you want to go to, just close your eyes and you are there - because you will be fully empowered with divine energy to the brim and your souls will travel faster than the speed of light. God's light is better than this light, and the divine light has more speed than the speed of this light. When you have all your souls energised and empowered by divine energy, you just close your eyes and think about the destination; whichever cosmos you want to travel to, you think about it and in no time, your souls are there. Your body is sleeping in your bed and your souls are roaming about. One of your souls may be in this cosmos and another soul is roaming about in another cosmos; you are everywhere. You have seven souls in your body and then another nine assistant souls in your body. When all these souls are enlightened and awakened, from within these seven souls, another nine assistant souls appear. So then you are sixteen. You are one, but there are sixteen like you in you. Your body is resting in bed and these sixteen souls in your body, when they are free to travel, you are at sixteen different places at one time. Some people will see you in Washington DC and others will say, 'No, he was in Toronto,' and some will say, 'No he was in Sydney.'
There was a Muslim saint and his name was Mujaddid. Some people came to see him and they said, 'We spotted you in Kaaba.' He said, 'I never went there.' 'No? But we saw you.' Another group came to visit him and said, 'We saw you at the mosque of the Prophet in Medina,' and then another group said, 'We saw you in Baghdad.' He said, 'I've never been to all these places.' They said who was it? He said, 'It was something inside me. It was my souls and these souls are sixteen.' If you revive them, if you awaken them, you can be present simultaneously at sixteen different places. This is spirituality. A Spiritual Master does not have to be in your physical company to guide you. You just call upon him and he can travel in a flash. The moment you think you need his help and you call him, he is there. His soul will travel faster than the speed of light because he has divine energy. This is spirituality.
Now you are a free bird, you are sixteen. Even if your body dies, you don't care; you are already flying here and there. Some of these saints, when their souls went out, they didn't bother to see what their body was doing. This body is like a cage; but if there is no bird inside the cage, it's useless. This body is like bank account; if there is no money, this bank account is useless. This body is like a wallet; if there is no money or valuables in the wallet, it's useless. Every single human being on earth has these souls inside him and inside her. With this knowledge of spirituality, they can revive their spiritual senses, they can awaken their souls and they can become immortal forever. They can set themselves free from the shackles of death, diseases and illnesses - only if you set your souls free. If these souls are not awakened and they are unconscious and you die, this is a horrible death. It's like a treasure ruined and destroyed. Before you die, you need to set your souls free. These souls are like birds, set them free and wherever they come from, each of your souls will go to a different cosmos.
How do you translate happiness into real life? Money can make you happy, so many things can make you happy, but that happiness doesn't last long and it's very superficial. All these different types of happiness that you have in your life, if something bad strikes, then suddenly this happiness goes away. But the real happiness is in the soul; when the soul is happy, it is happy forever.
Nothing bad can take this happiness away from the soul. You have this internal content. So happiness that doesn't stay with you forever is not happiness at all; the happiness which stays with you forever is the happiness of the soul. In order to make your soul happy, awaken the soul. The happiness of the soul lies in being able to see, feel and be in the company of God. This is my understanding. We eat wonderful delicious food; if it's delicious we enjoy it. What exactly in us enjoys the food? Taste buds. It is not complete enjoyment, is it? Only one organ in your body is enjoying the food and you are so happy. Look at that! When you are sleeping with your partner, having sex, only one organ is happy. The rest is not happy. We understand that every organ has some kind of enjoyment. The body enjoys when the body is resting; the enjoyment doubles when somebody is giving you a proper massage. The body enjoys when the body is resting; in a similar way, did you every try to know what is it that your soul enjoys? Where does the enjoyment of the soul lie? What is the enjoyment of your heart?
The Quran says, 'Beware: the heart finds its content in the Remembrance of God.'
Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi said, 'When you play music with the name of God, your Nafs will enjoy it. If you dance with the name of God or you play music with the name of God, you will enjoy it.' In a similar way, the enjoyment of your soul lies in seeing God. There is no other enjoyment for your soul other than in seeing God.
What is the connection between Sufism and Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi?
Sufism is practice of spirituality and you purify your souls and enlighten them. The word, 'Sufi,' means, 'Purification.' So Sufism is the path of purification. Either one reaches God after purification or he reaches Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi; Sufism can lean in both directions - it's just about destination. If you are empowered by the divine light of Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi, then you are a Sufi of Lord Ra Riaz Gohar Shahi. If your souls are empowered by the divine light of God, then you are a Sufi of God. It's about the difference of divine energy, two different sources. That's all the difference there is, there is no other difference.