The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

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There is every probability that this idea came originally from the Devata, the divine messengers born among the Hindus. Each of these declared that he was the incarnation of Brahma, God, and each in turn claimed to be the reincarnation of the preceding Deva, whom he succeeded. In claiming to be the incarnation of Brahma or the Deva they succeeded, they did not mean that in their guise God was born or their predecessor reborn, but that they had realized God or that they possessed the same knowledge and mission as their predecessor. When the others asked them, "Of what are we the incarnations?" they were obliged to give them some explanation of a like kind, and they told each one that which his condition of life suggested to them.