Symbols of the world's religions

               

THE WINE-SELLER

Meher Baba

 
Sufi poets use the figure of wine and its effects to describe the Way of Love and the condition of the lover. Saqi is the wine-seller, Rind is the customer and Maikhana is the wine-shop. Saqi-ul-Irshad is the vintner who makes and wholesales wine — the Wine-seller to the wine-sellers.

As in the world there are many wine-shops where new and unracked, and even adulterated, wine is sold for a small price, and which brings madness upon those who drink it and destroys their bodies and minds, so on the Spiritual Path there are saqis who have not let the wine of love they have got from the Saqi-ul-Irshad mature, but have used it straightway themselves to obtain the intoxication of cheap spiritual experiences, and even added pure spirits to it to increase its potency; and they sell it to anyone for the coins of small services.

And again, as there are wine-shops where only good vintage-wine is stocked for connoisseurs, so there are Saqis who are saints and perfect saints (walis and pirs) who have the mature wine of love for God alone, the price they have paid for which is the sacrifice of all that is near and dear; and this price they, in their turn, require from those who go to them.

Among those who have paid this price through many lives, one has the rare fortune to be invited by the Saqi-ul-Irshad to visit his cellar. And he gives this one a little glass from his special cask, and this overpowers him completely and he becomes merged with God. And out of many such intimates he makes one as himself — a Saqi-ul-Irshad.

The Saqi-ul-Irshad is the Qutub, the Perfect Master, who is the Pivot of the Universe. He is All-power and has the authority to use it as he wills. He never gives one intoxication (masti), but causes one to see God face to face, and some he makes one with God. As Hafiz says:

One who is Saqi-ul-Irshad can, with his mere glance or wish transform dust into the alchemy-stone that transmutes base metal into gold.

And sometimes it happens that there is one who has served the Saqi-ul-Irshad faithfully in previous lives and now has not even the price of the cheapest wine, and the Master remembers him and calls him and gives him the little drink of the Wine which gives Realization, and, perhaps, makes him a Saqi-ul-Irshad.

 

THE EVERYTHING AND THE NOTHING, pp. 27-28
1989 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust

               

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