The Light of the Path
He is the One who sends to His Servant Manifest Signs, that He may lead you from the depths of Darkness into the Light and verily God is to you most kind and Merciful.
Holy Qur’an (57:9)
On the journey of self-knowledge, the seeker needs a teacher from whom care he is given so that by the teacher’s guidance he may overcome the obstacles of the journey and find the way to the source of knowledge within. "Knowledge without a teacher will not be beneficial, and love without a lover is without light, and devotion without the Beloved has no goal, purpose, or reality."1
Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) has said: "Do not associate or be in the company of one who does not lead you from five attributes to another five: from doubt to certainty; from pride to humility; from hatred to compassion; from hypocrisy to purity; and from love of the world to love of the Beloved." Having a spiritual guide is one of the main principles of solouk (journey) without which the salek (seeker) will not reach the Way or the Goal.
Sheikh Safieddin Ardebili has said: "One must know that without being in the company of the men of God the veil shall not lift from the heart of the salek. The one who goes on this journey on his own will drown in the mirage of the self. The land of the heart of the sincere salek shall be harvested with the blessing of God and the effective words of the Pir, thus he shall attain eternal existence. The body is nourished from the elements and the soul is nourished in servitude to the enlightened and in hearing their words of wisdom. Words and servitude, without love and submission are not fruitful. It has been said that submission of the true disciple to the truth of the Pir is necessary so that the self will heed his guidance."
It has been said that one day Bayazid Bastami was in the presence of Imam Ja’far Sadegh, who said: "Bring the book which lies in the cabinet above your head." Bewildered, Bayazid responded: "Where is the cabinet?" Imam said: "You have been here so often and yet you do not know where the cabinet lies?" Bayazid replied: "We are absorbed in your presence and have not seen nor know of the cabinet."2
The spiritual teacher, known as the "Pir," meaning the "Light of the Path," is the patient guide that illuminates the darkness to help seekers find their way to their true Self.