How has philosophy influenced us? - The practice of looking for causes behind important
human events and conditions has been with Europeans ever since the great three -
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle - laid down the framework of Greek philosophy. These
three embodied the legacy of the Pythagorean schools, and it has been the basis behind
much of European philosophy for 2,000 years or more.
The important elements which became the Pythagorean approach were imbibed by him
during his contact with Indian thought. This was when he acquired a number of concepts
which do not all appear in the teachings associated with European and Middle Eastern
religions. It is these all embracing concepts which are found together in the ancient
Vedanta philosophy, therefore providing us with strong evidence that Pythagoras either
studied in India or with a sage who was from India. (see J Porter Brown quote 4)
The Pythagorean Sufis, also known as Dervishes, are those who have continued the
same basic approach which Pythagoras laid down. (see J Porter Brown quote 5) In addition
to treating men and women equally, this includes, (a) an understanding that the True
Self of man is identical with the creator, (b) embracing the concept that reincarnation
is part of man’s life journey, (c) that the process of Self realisation is made easier
when a harmonious blending is made of knowledge and devotion and (d) leading a disciplined
life. The above basic concepts are all enhanced by the use a specific type of melody.
The fact that all these are a legacy of Indian thought and practice is without doubt.
Their combination within one spiritual path shows that the Pythagoreans found the
Vedantic approach to philosophy a valuable and productive one.
Therefore with an approach influenced by the ancient Vedanta philosophy, the Pythagorean
Sufi provides the knowledge needed in the form of a spiritual tool box. The value
of these tools is explained and the individual is free to adopt those parts required
to create a unique approach on his path to the Divine. This is the reason why wise
Sufis do not always answer questions in the way the questioner might expect.