The Journey of Truth
The journey to one’s inner realm and the state of one’s soul is called "Sayr-va-Solouk." The spiritual teacher, known as the Pir, meaning "the light of the path," guides the seeker through this journey of Self-knowledge. The guiding light of the teacher illuminates the seeker’s path, and enables him to overcome the obstacles on this journey. The Pir enables the seeker to liberate himself from the layers of ignorance and mis-teachings, and leads him from the stage of genuine yearning for love and knowledge to the highest stage of unity and annihilation.
Hazrat Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha states, "In the journey of Self-knowledge, truthful words, a pure heart, sincere intention, honest livelihood, firmness of step, and truthful devotion are necessary, so that with God’s grace and sincere devotion to the Prophet the delicate divine truths will be inwardly revealed to the salek (seeker) without question or doubt."
The seeker undergoes various stages of purification where the veils of the unknown are lifted. With faith and knowledge, the seeker attests to the Oneness of God and the Unity of Existence. The Sufis have described the states of the heart in respect to the seven heavenly spheres. The Sufi poet Attar, in a richly allegorical poem called "The Conference of the Birds," describes the mystical pilgrimage as a quest that begins with the removal of all earthly desires, then progresses through love, knowledge, and a sense of amazement, and ultimately to annihilation, which is uniting with God.
In "Poverty and Annihilation," Hazrat Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha refers to the seven stages of the heart in the following poem:
In the Kingdom of heart, seven stages there are:
That the seeker of Truth must go, through them all.
The first stage is to seek and Yearn,
With hardship and pain, he may earn.
Faith is the heart’s second stage,
Its essence is eternal knowledge.
The third stage is that of love,
Mirror aglow with the light of Love.
One with existence the seeker becomes,
In this stage, a witness of Truth he becomes.
The fifth stage is that of Unity,
Brilliant as the sun the particle will be.
The sixth stage is that of Ecstasy
Full of Wonder the seeker will be.
The seventh stage is Annihilation and poverty,
God will manifest in all to you.
In eternal peace thy heart shall live,
When the seventh stage, thy home is reached.