Irina Tweedie (1907, Russia – August 1999) was a Teacher of the Naqshbandiyya- Mujadiddiya Sufi Order.
Born in Russia and studied in Vienna and Paris, Irina Tweedie married a British naval officer after the Second World War, who then died in 1954. His death launched her on a spiritual quest that led her to India in 1959. In 1961 she met her spiritual master, Radha Mohan Lal, a Hindu Sufi Sheikh from the Naqshbandiyya-Mujadiddiya Sufi Order, whom she called Bhai Sahib (Elder Brother). She became the first Western woman to be trained in this Naqshbandi system. Bhai Sahib asked her to keep a diary of her spiritual training, which later became the book Daughter Of Fire.
After his death in 1966, she returned to England where she started a Sufi meditation group in North London. Gradually the group spread throughout Europe and North America. Irina Tweedie retired in 1992 after having named Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee as her successor.
- The Chasm of Fire: A Woman’s Experience With the Teachings of a Sufi Master. Element Books, 1993.
- Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master. The Golden Sufi Center, 1995.
Irina Tweedie speaks about healing and listening in to God
The yogis are very great people. They work with the Divine power. For the Divine power, you have to have the permission of God, in other words you have to ask for permission. But actually, with the spirit, there are no words, you tune in. You listen in to God, and you know which human being is allowed to be healed or not. If his deeds are such that he cannot be helped. Remember Christ’s words when he saw the blind boy. “Who has sinned, he or his family?” You never know how karma works, but someone had committed the sin and the child was born blind. I remember, one day my dear teacher said these words, “I can only pray” and it was a refusal. He will say as I told you before, “my child, all I can do is pray.” And then the help is not given. We asked him why this is and he smiled and said, “we can do anything, but we cannot heal everyone.” Here lies the answer. Some people must not be helped because it is not the intention of God they should be healed at this time. They have to learn a certain lesson from a certain suffering. Besides, we must not forget, that ultimate healing is death. This again is a very interesting point. In the healing groups, we pray for health but we must also consider that ultimate healing is sometimes death. So when you pray in the healing groups – pray that ‘His Will’ will be done. In a spiritual healing group, ask that ‘His Will’ will be done. Whatever it is, if He wishes the person to die alright. Pray that he or she should get well but if God’s will is not like that, then alright. Surrender to thy Will…and thy Will, will be done.
Now with the yogic power you can do exactly the same as with the Divine power. There is one difference. The effects are the same, you can walk on water, you can fly in the air, you can think you are in American and you will be there. My dear teacher knew exactly where all of his disciples lived. I have found through many proofs, that my teacher knew exactly what I was doing during the day and when I was not with him.
One day I received a letter from a friend. She was not exactly a friend as she had hurt me very much. She was ex-friend and then she became a sort of enemy. I did not like her because she hurt me very much. I remember when I got this letter, how much she had hurt me and caused me pain. The letter was not that unfriendly, but I remembered the hurts and I had very evil thoughts against her. Thoughts of hate… I felt very unfriendly toward her. Then I remembered guruji. Oh my God if I come in to Guriji’s presence, he will know I was thinking these bad thoughts and it is bad for me. So I tried to forget it.
Sure enough two hours later. It was five o’clock in the afternoon, I came to the garden where all the disciples were already sitting. Guriji came to speak to someone else. You see, a teacher will talk in parables, he will not speak directly. This again is one of the important points, no great teacher in the Orient will speak directly, including Jesus. They speak in parables and you have to understand. So my teacher began to say to somebody, to a man, “you know there are some disciples who are terribly foolish, they don’t think I know what they are thinking. They receive certain letters and have evil thoughts.”
This poor man sat there looking at our teacher, because he had not received a letter and he did not know what guruji was talking about. I sat there feeling dreadful, thinking that if Guriji had told everyone there it was me, I’d be very upset. But he did not do that. He only said, “Yes, some people are like this.” Luckily, he changed the subject to something else. And sometimes he would speak to me about something I knew nothing about. He often had fifty to hundred people sitting near him. He was a very great teacher. He had about three thousand followers. Sometimes his words were confusing. You had to feel it out in your mind and decide what was for you and what was not and that is how the disciple learns to listen in to the guru. Which is, in other words, a school of thought of listening in to the teacher and listening in to God. Mind you, the modern word for prayer is ‘listening in‘. This is really the prayer of our line of yoga, which is the Bhakti yoga line. Bhakti yoga is the line of devotion. It is very similar to the Christian way of devotion. Ánd for us Christians, it is the easiest way. The yogic powers, you sit in a certain way, you control your posture, which is called asana, you control your mind, you have to have concentration and meditation. It is a very difficult process.You will acquire it, of course. And it works, on the surface, very much like the Divine power. But the mechanics of it are different. Here we work only with Divine power and it is given. The human being does nothing, only prays. But the Yogi wills and it will be done. With magic, they recite certain words of power and make certain circles and it is rather low. Magicians cannot have this power like my teacher had. They can do certain things but not completely and absolutely like the Almighty. We had proof that our dear teacher could do absolutely anything. There was no limit to his power. But he didn’t do it always only when permission to him was given from the Divine. This is a very interesting subject and I have only touched upon it. Now I hope you will ask me interesting questions. I can speak for another hour but I don’t know if what I say will be interesting to you. So if any one of you have a question, I will answer it to a certain satisfaction….thank you.