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

13. The Connection Between Dance and Music


Indian Music, which is called sangita, is divided into three sections, gayan - singing, vadan - playing, and nirtan - dancing; for the vibration takes three forms of expression: in the voice in singing, in sound in playing, and in movements in dancing. Singing, however, is considered to be the principal part in sangita.

Sangita in these three sections forms part of Hindu worship, and even the paradise of the Hindus contains players, singers and dancers. Musicians and dancers are used to playing, singing and dancing in the temples of India. It may be surprising that a dancer should be dancing in the temple, but travellers in the East will know that in the Hindu temples musicians and dancers dance and play in praise of God. According to our view, all things may seem to us high or low, praiseworthy, or not. So-called religious people who condemn all enjoyable occupations have always called dancing sin. The whole world is the manifestation of God, and we may see God in all. The musician praises God in his music; the painter and sculptor see the praise of God in their paintings and statues, and the dancers too may devote their dancing to the praise of God.


The word dance has been much debased because the dance has been taken up mainly by entertainers who have made of it an amusement, and we see that, when a thing is made into an amusement, it always degenerates.

The voice that comes from the lungs and the abdomen cannot express itself fully without the bones of the head, the lips, the teeth, the tongue, the palate. So we see that this body is an instrument of sound. When the tree swings in the wind, each leaf gives a sound. The breeze alone cannot produce the full sound. The leaves of the tree rustle and become the instrument for the air. This shows us that the whole framework of this world is the instrument of sound.

If, while speaking to you, I remained as still as a statue, my words would have much less effect than when accompanied by gesture. If a person says: "Go away from here!", and does not move, his words will not have much expression. if he moves his arm, they will have more expression.

In India the pupil is taught to sing with gestures; these take the place of notation and guide him. A person might think: "Notation would be a much surer method", but Indian music is so complicated that no notation can render it exactly. Then, too, the intervals are all filled up, and the movements of the hand and arm can express and guide more easily than any written signs.

The third part of music, dancing, is not the made-up dance, but the expression through movement. Mahadeva, the greatest Avatar, himself danced. If you sing or play to a dervish he may begin to move his head and to move his hands.

A great Indian poet, when speaking of what a singer should be, says: "He must have a good voice. He must know the Ragas, and be able to sing them. He must be a master of graceful movements. He must be calm, unaffected by the audience. He must impress the audience."

Our life is so full of occupations that we have little time to observe animals. If we did, we should see that most of their language is movement. They speak little with one another, mostly they express through their motions. If you call a dog, the dog will at once begin to wag its tail; it will move its whole body to show its joy and affection. If you speak roughly to the dog, its whole body shows that it feels sorry. If the cat is pleased or becomes angry, it shows its feelings at once by its movements.

We waste much energy in useless speech. Among the old races we see that a motion of the hands, an inclination of the head, takes the place of words for many things.

As soon as a person comes into the room we see by his movements, by his manner of walking, what he is, how much refinement he has. If we compare the horse whose price is five thousand guineas with the horse whose price is fifty guineas, we see what a difference there is in their movements. The horse of five thousand guineas has not been taught to move as he moves, but in every movement he is graceful. We see also that the beauty given to the peacock has inspired its graceful movements.


Dance is a very wonderful thing, and is in itself a great proof of mysticism. We have each of us in us the nature of the bird, and the nature of the animal. The nature of the bird is to fly, the nature of the animal is to jump. The tiger will jump from here to the top of the wall. If we cannot do this, it is because by eating, drinking, sleeping, we have lost the power to do it. If a man sits in an armchair, and to get up he pulls himself up by the arms, and then by eating, drinking and sleeping has become so heavy, he is not what he should be. That government is proper which knows what each of the governed is doing. Our mind governs the body; our mind should have every muscle, each atom of the body, under its command. When we move upward, all must come up; when we turn to the right, all must turn to the right; when we turn to the left, all must turn to the left.