The Work for the Cause of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Brotherhood and Sisterhood Activity
I have a great pleasure and happiness in opening today the Brotherhood section in Geneva. I would like to tell my mureeds what responsibility it is and what an opportunity it is to be on the soil of Geneva to work for the Cause of Brother/Sisterhood. This place, the soil of Geneva, is not only the place which is chosen by all the nations to form a League of Nations to work for the humanity and for peace, but also destined by God that the center of this universal harmony and peace from a spiritual point of view may also be formed here. It is therefore our privilege, which is our blessing, to be here together and to think of forming this league of friendship beyond all the differences and distinctions of faiths or beliefs.
What is the meaning of the word Geneve? The meaning of the word Geneve in Sanskrit language is the sacred thread. And who must prove the meaning and the value of this sacredness? It is us who are serving in this sacred Cause to bring about harmony and peace for humanity. We unite here on the soil of this land, coming from different countries, born in different lands, and yet come here with that brotherly love to do good for one another, and we are welcomed by the people of this land with open arms to discuss the affairs of the world and the affairs of humanity for the benefit of which all the people are anxious and eager.
Now what benefit there is in store for our Movement? From the spiritual point of view it is destined, it is promised, that The Message must spread, that The Message must reach all the parts of the earth. But the other benefit which is attached to the center being here on the soil of Geneva is that people coming from all different nations with the idea of uniting the world, bringing about better understanding, harmony or peace, the atmosphere that we shall create of love and of sacredness and of spirituality will envelop all the souls coming here or passing here from the North to the South, or from the South to the North. Therefore, however small the number of our group, still its responsibility, its privilege and its blessing is indeed great. But from a mystical point of view number is not counted, it is the depth, it is the sincerity, it is the solidarity of the faith which is the thing and which is counted.
Now I should like to explain a little more what work we have to do in the Movement of Brother/Sisterhood. Is it political work? Not at all. We have the League of Nations here to discuss it, we do not need to discuss that matter. Our love for humanity, our good will, our desire for fraternity, that itself will spread as an atmosphere congenial to those who will come to discuss matters in the League of Nations. Then are we to discuss socialism? That is also not necessary. There are several unions and there are various movements working on that question. That is not our purpose, that is not our work.
Then are we to discuss the difference of the faiths and religions? Not even that. The problem that is before us is that problem, that when that problem is solved, the Divine Light will manifest. And that problem is what purpose is behind this whole creation, what purpose is behind the life of an individual. And how we can best solve this problem, that is the subject of our study, and it is the work of our practice. When a person has studied perhaps for his whole life, what result, in the end, does he come to? He arrives at one stage, and that stage is the stage of Brother/Sisterhood. What does it show? It shows that the first lesson that we have to learn in this world is Brother/Sisterhood, and the last lesson, after learning all philosophy and mysticism and after all our efforts, is Brother/Sisterhood.
Then remember my friends, that if you studied Sufism for twenty years, all the problems of metaphysics and philosophy, and if that spirit of Brother/Sisterhood were not developed in you, you must be sure that progress has not been made. Or if you meditated for thirty years in a solitude, and if you communicated with God, and yet if the spirit of Brother/Sisterhood is not developed in you, no progress is made. A person who is loved by everybody in the world, and yet if he has not loved anybody, he has done nothing. A person who has possessed the wealth of the whole world, but if he has given nothing, he has not earned. A person honored by everyone in the world, but if he has not respected, he has not lived.
What does it mean? It only means that what we gain is nothing, it is what we give that counts. It is nothing what has been done to us, if only we did all we wished to do, that is what counts. Either learning or wisdom, position or power, or wealth, all these things gained are very small compared with what one can give to the others. Therefore, my friends, it is not talking about Brother/Sisterhood, nor discussing about this subject, that does much good. It is living that Brother/Sisterhood, and realizing that one Source of all which is the Father, and in whose Fatherhood we observe Brother/Sisterhood. Let us therefore all unite together in silence with the intention of doing what little we can in endeavoring to serve and promote the good work of Brother/Sisterhood; and let us pray to God to bless us all to do our little part in this big scheme of life.
God bless you.