How to Enter the Heart, the Hindu Sacraments and the Oneness of Being

From the late Islamic scholar and Sufi master, Dr Martin Lings, we publish this week an article long considered to be “an unsurpassed distillation” of the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud. “Oneness of Being” is published as a chapter of the now classic A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century, and its brief and dense pages demonstrate powerfully how by plumbing the depths of a given tradition, in this case Islam, an opening is reached where the “transcendent unity of religions” is no longer an abstraction but a compelling and demanding realisation.

From Fr Sebastian Painadath, head of the Sameeksha Ashram in Kalady, South India:
“Hindu Rites of Passage and the Christian Sacraments,” an overview of the four basic samskaras or Hindu rites of passage, and a Christian theological reflection in the hope that “understanding the Hindu samskaras may inspire us to make our sacramental practice more experiential and relevant to life.”

Finally, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, in a talk delivered for the Paths to the Heart conference in 2001, explains “How do we enter the heart” and for what purpose.

“…they did not think of the heart as a pump. They thought of the heart as full of space and air. Makarius speaks of ‘grace possessing the pasturages of the heart.’ So, when you enter into the heart it’s like going up to Edmonton and looking at the vast prairies stretching out round you.”

You can listen to it or download the MP3 audio recording following this link.