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

16. The Manifestation of Sound on the Physical Sphere

Modern science has discovered recently that on certain plates one can see clearly the impression of sound. It is made visible. But in reality on all objects the impression of sound falls clearly, only it is not always visible. It remains for a certain time on any object and then it disappears. Those who have discovered scientifically the different impressions that are made by sound, have found the clear forms of leaves and of flowers and of other things of nature, which is the proof of the belief that the ancient people held, and which is expressed in the Vedanta in the well known phrase: Nada Brahma, meaning Sound, the Creator. And we read in the Bible that first was the word, and the word was God, and that first was sound (the word), and then was the light. This only means that the source of creation was sound. In other words, the creative source in its first step towards manifestation was audible, and in its next step it was visible. It also shows that all we see in this objective world - every form - has been constructed by sound: it is the phenomenon of sound.

When we go further into this subject we see that from a mystical point of view every syllable has a certain effect. As the form of every sound is different, so every syllable has a certain effect, and therefore every sound made, or word spoken before an object, has charged that object with a certain magnetism. This explains to us the method of the healers, teachers and mystics who, by the power of sound, charged an object with their healing power, with their power of thought. And when that object was given, as water or as food, that object brought about a desired result.

Besides that, many masters of occult sciences who have communicated with the unseen beings, by the power of sound have done still greater things: they have created beings. In other words, they have given a body - by the power of sound to a soul, to a spirit, making it into a certain being, which is not yet a physical being, but a being of a higher kind. They called the serpent, and it begins to feel quite different; through that effect it is attracted to the sound, even to sacrifice its life, for then it is caught by the snake charmer.

It is for this reason that the wise considered the science of sound to be the most important science to use in every condition of life: in healing, in teaching, in evolving, in accomplishing all things in life. It is on this foundation that the science of zikr was developed by the Sufis, and that the Yogis made mantrashastra. By zikr is not meant one particular phrase: by zikr is meant a science of words.

Apart from the meaning a word has, even syllables of sound can bring a good result or a disastrous result. Those who know about this can recall several instances in history where, through the mistake of a poet who did not use the proper words in the praise of a king, the kingdom was destroyed. And yet, how little one thinks about it if one says: "Well, I have said it, but I did not mean it." People think that by saying something they have done nothing, as long as they did not mean it. But even saying something without meaning to, has a great effect upon life.

The science of sound can be used in education, in business, in industry, in commerce, in politics, in order to bring about desired results. But the best use of this science is made in spiritual evolution. By the power of sound or word one can evolve spiritually and experience all the different stages of spiritual perfection.

Question: Can one use music to awaken the soul to mysticism?
Answer: Music is the best medium, nothing is better. Music is the closest, the nearest way to God - that is, if one knows which music and how to use it.

Question: How do you explain that some people have no feeling for music.
Answer: I only explain that feeling is not yet created in them. The day when they begin to feel life, they will begin to enjoy music also.

Question: How is the sudden healing brought about of the sword-cut made while in ecstasy?
Answer: This point was touched upon by a physician in San Francisco, Dr. Albert Abrams. Although all the doctors were against him, he intuitively thought that illnesses could be cured with the help of vibrations. But instead of finding the power of vibration in the word, he wanted to find the power of vibration in electricity. Yet the principle is the same. He took the rate of vibrations of the body, and with the same rate of vibrations of electricity he treated the elements of the body. He began to get some good results, but it is a subject which will need at least a century to develop fully.

He still has representatives. I went to the Institute of Dr. Abrams in San Francisco to see how far they had developed and I saw that they were using a person as a medium. That person feels the vibrations of the drop of blood which is put in his hand. The vibrations of that drop of blood go through his body and he feels them in a certain part of his body. In that way they find out the rate of vibrations of the blood. No doubt it is a vast subject, and this is just the beginning. Therefore there is still no end to the errors. At the same time, if people could bear with it, something might come out of it in many years' time which could be of great use in the medical world.

This example shows that, when a man can cut himself and at the same time be healed, it only means that he creates by sound such a condition in his body that the vibrations of the body are in such a condition that any wound can be healed immediately. But if the same person is not in that condition, then - if there is a cut at that time - he cannot be healed. He must be in that particular condition; the vibrations of his body must be working at a particular rate. If they are not vibrating at that rate, then he will not be healed.

There is a school of Sufis in the East called the Rifai school. The main object of this school is to increase the power of spirit over matter, and such experiments as eating fire, or jumping into the fire, or cutting the body are made in order to get power and control over matter. The secret of the whole phenomenon is that by the power of words they try to tune their body to that pitch of vibration where no fire, no cut, nothing can touch it. Because the vibrations of their body are equal to those of the fire, therefore the fire has no effect.

Question: In human life is it possible to hear the soundless sound?
Answer: Yes. It is by hearing the soundless sound that souls have reached the highest point and have discovered that there is a soundless sound.

Question: What do you mean by the soundless sound?
Answer: Sound is that which is heard by the ears, and soundless sound is audible without the help of the ears.

Question: Those who hear the soundless sound, are they clear sighted?
Answer: It is not necessary for a person to be born with clear-sight or with the hearing of the soundless sound. If a person is born with that tendency then it is no credit to him. I think that the best thing is to be like everybody else and at the same time to evolve so that one experiences all that is possible, all that is latent in man, giving others the proof that we are not different from everybody else: we are the same, but this is latent in man.

Question: By evolving you get it?
Answer: Yes.

Question: Is it possible for a person who is born with a gross nature to become fine?
Answer: Certainly. Other things apart, even those who have done the zikr in the right way - in six weeks' time the vibrations of their body change; in six weeks' time those who do it properly become finer. Take the grossest person, make him do the zikr, in six weeks' time his vibrations will change.

Question: In the spoken words are there vibrations of air, as science teaches, or are there still more inner, finer vibrations?
Answer: There are finer vibrations. The vibrations of the air are nothing. Every word has a breath behind it, and breath has a spiritual vibration. So the action of the breath vibrates physically, yet at the same time breath itself is an electric current. Breath is not only the air, but an electric current also: therefore it is an inner vibration.