The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

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Social Gathekas

Religious Gathekas

The Message Papers

The Healing Papers

Vol. 1, The Way of Illumination

Vol. 1, The Inner Life

Vol. 1, The Soul, Whence And Whither?

Vol. 1, The Purpose of Life

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

Vol. 3, Education

Vol. 3, Life's Creative Forces: Rasa Shastra

Vol. 3, Character and Personality

Vol. 4, Healing And The Mind World

Vol. 4, Mental Purification

Vol. 4, The Mind-World

Vol. 5, A Sufi Message Of Spiritual Liberty

Vol. 5, Aqibat, Life After Death

Vol. 5, The Phenomenon of the Soul

Vol. 5, Love, Human and Divine

Vol. 5, Pearls from the Ocean Unseen

Vol. 5, Metaphysics, The Experience of the Soul Through the Different Planes of Existence

Vol. 6, The Alchemy of Happiness

Vol. 7, In an Eastern Rose Garden

Vol. 8, Health and Order of Body and Mind

Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

Vol. 8a, Sufi Teachings

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

Vol. 10, Sufi Poetry

Vol. 10, Art: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Vol. 10, The Problem of the Day

Vol. 11, Philosophy

Vol. 11, Psychology

Vol. 11, Mysticism in Life

Vol. 12, The Vision of God and Man

Vol. 12, Confessions: Autobiographical Essays of Hazat Inayat Khan

Vol. 12, Four Plays

Vol. 13, Gathas

Vol. 14, The Smiling Forehead

By Date



1. Music

2. Esoteric Music

3. The Music of the Spheres

4. The Mysticism of Sound

5. The Mystery of Sound

6. The Mystery of Color and Sound

7. The Spiritual Significance of Color and Sound

8. The Ancient Music

9. The Divinity of Indian Music

10. The Use Made of Music by the Sufis of the Chishti Order

11. The Use Made of Music by the Dancing Dervishes

12. The Science and Art of Hindu Music

13. The Connection Between Dance and Music

14. Rhythm

15. The Vina

16. The Manifestation of Sound on the Physical Sphere

17. The Effect of Sound on the Physical Body

18. The Voice

19. The Influence of Music upon the Character of Man

20. The Psychological Influence of Music

21. The Healing Power of Music

22. Spiritual Attainment by the Aid of Music




Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound and Music

11. The Use Made of Music by the Dancing Dervishes

Dervishis are those among Sufis who adopt a certain method of progressing through the spiritual path, and who try to live a life as far away from the midst of the world as possible. Dervishes are also called faqirs and are most powerful. They have the power of wonder-working, and the power of insight. They are dreamers, and lovers of God. They worship God in nature, especially in human nature.

Among the many ways of spiritual development they have one way, called sama, which is listening to music. They listen to music in an assembly of initiates; no noninitiate is allowed to enter their assembly. They address one another saying: "O king of kings, O sovereign of sovereigns", and they are mostly clad in robes or patches, or in rags.

They never think of tomorrow. Their thought is only for the moment: to quench the thirst of the moment, and to satisfy the hunger of the time. The care of tomorrow they leave to the morrow; it is with "just now" that they are concerned - if they are at all concerned with life.

They are the ones who are really entitled to enjoy the beauty of music, whose spirit and soul are responsive with open centers, who make themselves as a medium of resonance of the music they hear. Therefore music touches them differently from any other person; music touches the depth of their being. Thus moved by music, they manifest different conditions, termed by Sufis hal, which means condition. Whoever among them is moved by spirit may manifest the ecstasy, which is called wajad, in the form of tears, sighs, or dance. It is therefore that those who do not understand the meaning of their dance call them howling dervishes, or dancing dervishes.

The gold of heaven is dust to the worldly man, and the gold of the earth is as dust to the heavenly man. To either the gold of the other means nothing but dust: their coins are not interchangeable. Therefore, the bliss of the dervish is understood by very few.

What one can learn from this is the theory of the whole process of their spiritual development. By making God their Beloved, and by seeing God in the sublimity of nature, they create the presence of God. As the whole day's affairs in life consist of both joy and pain, so the life of the dervish is also filled with both joy and pain in the presence of God. By the help of concentration, of poetry and music, both joy and pain are felt more deeply. Therefore God becomes living to the dervish. His presence is before him in all his moods. When once his pain has had an outlet in some form or other in the sama, the musical ceremony, the condition that follows is that of deeper insight into life. Upon whatever object or person he may cast his glance, these reveal to his soul their deepest nature, character and secret, thus making the whole of life clear to his vision in the light of God.

Question: What do you mean by "joy and pain in the presence of God'? Why should there be pain.
Answer: If there were no pain, one would not enjoy the experience of joy. It is pain which helps one to experience joy. Everything is distinguished by its opposite. The one who feels pain deeply is more capable of experiencing joy. If you would ask me personally, I would say: if there were no pain, life would be most uninteresting to me, for it is by pain that the heart is penetrated, and the sensation of pain is a deeper joy. Without pain the great ones, the great musicians, poets, dreamers, and thinkers would not have reached that stage which they reached, and would not have moved the world. If they had always had joy, they would not have touched the depth of life.

What is pain? Pain, in the real sense of the word, is the deepest joy. If one has imagination one can enjoy tragedy more than comedy. Comedy is for children, tragedy is for the grown-up. It is through pain that a person becomes an old soul. A person may be young in age, but deep in thought.

Question: Not thinking of tomorrow, living in the thought of the moment is also taught by Christ. But can it be the ideal for a nation whose life must be built upon organization?
Answer: The path of spiritual attainment is not to be journeyed by nations. Spiritual progress is individual progress: every individual in his own direction. The teaching of Christ in this respect also was individualistic.