THE GERM OF MYSTICISM (March 28, 2008)

THE GERM OF MYSTICISM (March 28, 2008)

One of the first recorded mentions of the word “Sufism” is in connection
with one Abu Hashim, who lived and taught about 753 A.D., while about a
half-century later the sect sprang into prominence in Persia, Abul Said
Abul Khair, Dhul Nun al Misri, and others spreading its teaching
vigorously. Some of the best authorities trace it back to the very time
of Mohammed himself, claiming there is historical evidence to prove
that Ali, the Favorite Disciple of the Prophet, was a Sufi and really
founded the sect in an inner circle of the new religion. But there are
numerous legendary fragments tending to prove that the teachings of
Sufism existed in the lands conquered by Mohammed long before his
advent, having been taught there by wandering Vedantists from India,
and which secret teachings were adopted by those of Mohammed’s
followers who were mystically inclined, and who were not willing to
part with their favorite philosophy in spite of their adherence to the
doctrines of the new Prophet. At any rate, it may be said safely that
Mohammed had no share in keeping alive the germ of mysticism, for he
was opposed to it, and taught positively against it.

From Yogi Ramacharaka’s The Philosophies and Religions of India, Mumbai: Wilco Publishing House, 2005 (year of first publication not given), p. 152.

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