AMAZING EXPLORATIONS BY RASHID YASSAMI
Those who have set their feet beyond the domain of merely following a religious leader and therefore accomplished deep investigation into the religious matters and the claims made by various sects, could immediately recognize the inconsistency and contradiction between the deeds of those now in power in each concerned religion and the sayings of the founders of those faiths. The things the present clergy preach do not match their own actions. For instance, the practitioners of Christianism among Christian nations and their clergymen embark on deeds clearly denying the teachings of Jesus, and they nevertheless claim to be the truthful heirs of Him. Jesus recommends people not to answer an evil deed with another evil action, and instead, one is to behave compromisingly even against the oppression extended to him. However, the Christian clergymen have legitimated the existence of all martial organizations and political institutes which are manipulated by the related governments. They do not condemn the imperialism or the killing of the weak nations, and even validate such actions and take part in these atrocities.
I have likewise witnessed the same contradiction between the words and actions of the leaders of different Islamic sects including the preachers who give advices to people at the mosque pulpit. They consider themselves the true teachers of the original precepts of Islam and believe themselves to be scholars in the concerned religious subdivision. I therefore concluded for myself that anyone who is taking material benefits from a certain religion, no matter what his or her nation or religion is, could be regarded an ignorant who boasts just to get money from people. They do not practice their own religion, and at the same time, deny the truth of other religions. They only boast about their rightful leadership and exaggerate about their own internal spiritual state. Their sayings are really disheveled, enjoying neither the sincerity of heart nor the truthfulness of an action.
Needless to explain this issue further, as anyone agrees with me on the above observation. My intention for writing this essay is to elaborate a surprising event which is really of great importance to those who have already pondered upon the case I hinted at in this writing. There happen strange things in the realm of spirituality. The esoteric aspect of religion is capable to incite one’s astonishment to the same level as that of the astonishing events occurring in our daily external world, including the revolutions happening in the course of history. Those who investigate and probe into the manifestations of existence in each and every area know very well that the elite in each particular field are in fact the wonders of our world. As an example, when encountered with a specific sign in a certain pottery, the experts in the field of antiquity become so excited as if they have discovered a new world. Same thing could be observed in the disposition of the natural scientists when they find rare butterflies, a new mine and/or an infrequent flower. Similarly, the curious investigators of the realms of spirituality and ethics, when facing a particular and rare quality and property in a person, regard it unfamiliar and worth to write about, though repeatedly, for the sake of attracting the attention of others to such scarce phenomena. Through this writing, I would like to likewise share my amazing discovery with my readers.
One night, I was in Sepahsalar Mosque of Tehran. In a corner, I saw a crowd gathering around an old man who was preaching to them. I had already seen many preachers and become despised by their lifeless and nonsensical words. Therefore, I had no intention to stop there and listen to him. But, I was drawn to the old preacher by his very first sentence, so I couldn’t leave the place. I stood in a corner, and noticed an unexpected change of heart occurring in me. Consequently, I wondered if I was wrong with respect to the opinion I used to hold till that day about preachers. When he finished his preaching and the gathering dispersed, I asked a person sitting near to me who the preacher was. He said he was Molla Abbas-Ali Kayvan Qazvini, a missionary for the sect of Sufism, particularly a group called Molla Soltan-Ali. He had been in the teaching position since a long time ago. He had about 3000 followers who considered him superior to all the spiritual masters. Unknown to everybody, he suddenly denied his spiritual claims, left the teaching position and even refuted the claims of those who saw themselves worthy of the act of spiritual guidance. His pulpit for teaching people was thereafter this mosque. He didn’t accept the alms from people and emphasized that he was in fact after the spiritual benefit from God. He also told people that he was in the last years of his life and had enough money to live his own life. The man continued by saying to me that he and the ones like him had gone to Kayvan many times, and as a religious habit, asked for his guidance and help. However, Kayvan refused their requests in despise. From what the man explained, I became puzzled more. Of course, I had already heard things about the spiritual guidance and magnificence of Kayvan in our era. However, I believed him to be like the other spiritual trap-setters. The words of that man astonished me to the great extent. Due to my past experiences, I had become a pessimist. I therefore said to myself it could likewise be a new trap by a hypocrite to seduce the simple-minded people. I couldn’t believe how a person who had dedicated his whole life to the spiritual guidance and reached the high ranks in this domain – to the extent that he was successful in attracting a large group of devoted followers through the charms of his penetrating remarks – could suddenly leave this status, and ignore the respect and large revenues he received from people. In my opinion, it was impossible, unless he had either lost his mind or enjoyed a supernatural personality.
I reflected upon this issue for several days, and was indeed happy of exploring such an amazing man. My joy was not less than that of the discoverers who discover a new phenomenon. My sense of curiosity and enthusiasm led me to make acquaintance with this man, so I could understand and have a direct access to his inner intentions and purposes. I looked for his home address and one day went there in precipitation. I found him in his room surrounded by a large number of books. He welcomed me with generosity and asked about my intention for seeing him. I told him I had seen him preaching on the pulpit the other day, and therefore wanted to take advantage of his teachings more. I added that I found a true insight in his words and came to know he had already made a great effort to propagate the tenets of the sect of Sufism.
He told me if my intention from getting insight is the esoteric knowledge, he would then help me. He also mentioned that since he reached the final years of his life, he decided to put all his knowledge in any field he mastered at the disposal of the seekers of truth, free of charge. He emphasized that he didn’t want a reward in return, and recommended the seekers to quit their habit of following a religious leader and not to satisfy themselves with the mere words of him or anybody else. Instead, they should put the knowledge they gained from here and there into test and apply it for the sake of new studies. He mentioned to me that if I was looking for the esoteric aspect of religion in the meaning that the public believe, he saw it a religious duty to tell me and them – before going through pains and toils – that he had already spent the best years of his life and the energy of his young-hood for this purpose and experienced different sects with fervor and seriously. However, in his last years of life, he only felt remorse for the past and had contempt for all the epithets attributed to such spiritual leaders. He confirmed his relation with the late Molla Soltan-Ali, being at his service for a long time just to gain true knowledge from him, and thus put lots of efforts to advance Molla’s intentions. Kayvan added that as he couldn’t reach the perfection Molla Soltan-Ali promised him and he himself expected it, he decided to leave Molla Soltan-Ali, though he had seen nobody more perfect than him. After Molla had deceased, he chose to be in seclusion for a while, in order to think about how to compensate for the years he wasted. He finally decided to embark on helping people as far as possible. He therefore left aside all claims to spirituality and didn’t say a word about it to anyone, nor even repeated it to himself in his mind.
After this first meeting, I paid visit to Kayvan regularly and talked about everything. I found him a perfect human being, and realized that his skill was not the rhetoric only, but he was likewise competent in poetry and deductive reasoning. Also, he was skillful in all religious matters, in theosophy and mysticism, to the level that in each and every discussion, he came out successful.
Through these repeated visits, my knowledge increased and my ignorance faded gradually. I didn’t believe in the preachers of Sufism; however, I came to see that Kayvan Qazvini was the religious pole of the seekers of truth. Having benefited from his teachings at the pulpit, I had the blessing of becoming a frequent companion to him. Freeing myself from the traps of claiming for any religious guidance, I in fact found a way towards the Truth. Since any creatable has to take a certain direction, and any essence is free from it, I sometimes asked Kayvan what happened that he decided to preach on the pulpit and practice Sufism in spite of his abundant knowledge and pure nature. He answered that the early days of his preaching on a mosque pulpit – for which the public knew him – went back to 22 years ago when he started teaching Islamic courses in Qazvin. He moved to Tehran a few years later in order to study theosophy at Imamzadeh Zeyd School, and resided there together with the rest of religious students. Since his father couldn’t afford his expenses, Kayvan decided to run his own living with a minimum budget. He therefore spent only 100 Dinars per day. However, he still couldn’t earn enough money for his books and clothes. He was thus obliged to preach on the mosque pulpit. His first session was conducted in the best possible way. In the months of Ramadan and Moharram, he could earn sufficient money for his studies during the remaining months of the year. Now that he was not in need of money, he banned himself from receiving it through preaching. He only preached for the sake of praising God and helping people. He sometimes even held gatherings for this purpose, from his own income.
However, being known by the elite and notables as an expert in Sufism, they were shocked of the change happened in his disposition. At first, when he set foot in the realm of spirituality, he knew that each truthful religion enjoyed an esoteric aspect and had secrets not noticeable to the public and commonality. He didn’t see it rightful to only stick to the exoteric aspect of religion and deprive himself from getting to know the hidden secrets of it. As a consequence, having completed his studies in jurisprudence and theosophy, Kayvan began studying mysticism. As the reading of religious books didn’t satisfy him, he looked for a mystic master. Having asked the jurisprudents about the existence of such a person, he noticed their refusal to name any person in this field. So, he went to the Sufists. Each of them used to say that he himself was only the rightful guide and the rest were just deviants. Kayvan remained at their service as long as he became disappointed from them. Going through agonies, discomfort and traveling hundreds of miles, he finally came to the late Molla Soltan-Ali in Gonabad. Since he was a mystic theosophist and jurisprudent, Kayvan was attracted to him. He remained with him in the hope of achieving the perfection Molla Soltan-Ali gave the tidings for. He claimed to be the completing part of the human beings’ souls. He also used to say that he was able to lead everybody to the human perfection. Alas, despite Molla’s own wanting and efforts, neither Kayvan – though he was regarded as the Molla’s most talented student who deserved the rank of religious guidance and the status of saints – nor any other student of Molla could finally reach the perfection through Molla’s teachings. He himself had said to Kayvan that he quenched his spiritual thirst with the nectar in paradise. However, finding nothing more than that, he avoided it.
I then asked him what he intended to do. He answered that through reasoning he reached the level to know what a true practicing of religion was and he didn’t need any teacher except for God. He recommended that everybody should attempt to achieve this state, and for the purpose of salvation and saving their souls, they should avoid talking about the shortcomings and weaknesses of other people. Reaching the age of 70, having a little time to act, Kayvan was then pondering what he could do in this era – with the existence of European and American scientists, scientific equipment and vast social establishments rendering services to people – so his actions could be beneficial to all, while he was aware that an inner ignorance and that resulted from living in this country were still with him. Kayvan finally understood that he could talk and write about what he had learned and gained throughout these years, and he should convey same to the present and future generations of mankind. He believed if a word of him could be of use to a conscious person and in case an ignorant was guided towards the light of knowledge, he would have received his spiritual reward and wanted nothing more. He then added that he expected the readers of his notes to go through his books and essays with curiosity and caution, and not to accept the things by the blind faith and mere imitation. He used to say that a person should build his convictions on the basis of his own investigations. Beliefs should not be gained under the mere influence of one’s sayings. The capital of knowledge rests on the knower’s investigation of a text, and not on the mere reading of it. He concluded by saying that he took pride in paving the ground for further investigations and in showing to the seekers of truth how curiosity works. He also mentioned that his service to the realm of knowledge was to disclose a path to the interested individuals, and at the same time, he didn’t claim that his own investigations were only the mere truth.
Kayvan’s sayings removed the doubts from me. I deeply reflected about his sayings which were unbiased and the knowledge he had about religions (either those based on theosophy or the ones rested on science. Noticing his consciousness and power of rhetoric, and finding more insight into his course of life, my astonishment increased day after day. I dare say that in the realm of ethics and esotericism, and at this time span, nobody has had such a new and rare discovery. I therefore decided to write about this subject to serve an example for the future, particularly in the light of the fact that there are very few people who could sincerely and wholeheartedly refute their own past claims, and ignore the respect and worship of people surrounding them, leave aside the spiritual position they enjoyed so far, and begin rendering services to people unpretentiously and without any expectation from them. I also asked 12 questions from Kayvan and requested written answers to them. I will bring them at the end of Haj-Nameh book. Moreover, upon my request, he accepted to write the book of Eerfan-Nameh which is an elaborate work, indeed.
 – Late Gholam-Reza, son of Mohammad-Vali Khan Gurani, nicknamed Rashid Yassami was born in Kermanshah, Iran, in 1896. He passed away in 1951, and his body is buried in Zahid Al-Doleh Graveyard (Nour Al-Din Chahardehi).