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. The Silent Life

2. Vibrations

3. Harmony

4. Name

5. Form

6. Rhythm

7. Music

8. Abstract Sound



Nature's Music


Human Music

Indian Music

The Art of Music

The Music of Life

Union Through Music

Vol. 2, The Mysticism of Sound

7. Music

Indian Music

India has preserved the mysticism of tone and pitch discovered by the ancients, and its music itself signifies this. The Indian music is based upon the principle of the Raga, which shows it to be akin to nature. It has avoided limitations of technique by adopting a purely inspirational method.

The Ragas are derived from five different sources: the mathematical law of variety, the inspiration of the mystics, the imagination of the musicians, the natural lays peculiar to the people residing in different parts of the land, and the idealization of the poets. These made a world of Ragas, calling one Rag - the male, another Ragini - the female, and others Putras - sons, and Bharyas - daughters-in-law.

Raga is called the male theme because of its creative and positive nature; Ragini is called the female theme on account of its responsive and fine quality. Putras are such themes as are derived from the mingling of Ragas and Raginis; in them can be found a likeness to the Raga and the Ragini from which they are derived. Bharya is the corresponding theme to Putra.

There are six Ragas and thirty-six Raginis, six belonging to each Raga; there are forty-eight Putras and forty-eight Bharyas which constitute this family.

Each Raga has an administration of its own, including a chief- Mukhya, the key-note; a king - Wadi, a principal note; a minister - Samwadi, the subordinate note; a servant - Anuwadi, an assonant note; an enemy - Vivadi, a dissonant note. This gives to the student of the Raga a clear conception of its use. Each Raga has its image distinct from the other. This shows the highest reach of imagination.

Just as the picture of each aspect of life is clear in the imagination of the intelligent, so the poets have depicted the images of the Ragas. The ancient gods and goddesses were simply images of the different aspects of life, and in order to teach the worship of the immanence of God in nature these various images were placed in the temples, in order that God in His every aspect of manifestation might be worshipped. The same idea has been worked out in the images of Ragas, which create with delicate imagination the type, form, action, expression and effect of the idea.

Every hour of the day and night, every day, week, month and season has its influence upon man's physical and mental condition. In the same way each Raga has power upon the atmosphere as well as upon the health and mind of man, the same effect as that shown by the different times in life, subject to the cosmic law. By the knowledge of both time and Raga the wise have connected them to suit each other.

There are instances in ancient tradition when birds and animals were charmed by the flute of Krishna, rocks were melted by the song of Orpheus, and the Dipale Raga sung by Tansen lighted all the torches, while he himself was burned by reason of the inner fire his song produced. Even today snakes are charmed by the pungi of the snake-charmers in India. All this shows us how the ancients must have dived into the most mysterious ocean of music.

The secret of composition lies in sustaining the tone as solidly and as long as possible through all its different degrees. A break destroys its grace, power and magnetism, just as the breath holds life and has all grace, power and magnetism. There are some notes that need a longer life than others, according to their character and purpose.

In a true composition a miniature of nature's music is seen. The effects of thunder, rain and storm, and the picture of hills and rivers make music a real art. Although art is an improvisation on nature, yet it is only genuine when it keeps dose to nature.

The music which expresses the nature and character of individuals, nations or races is still higher. The highest and most ideal form of composition is that which expresses life, character, emotions and feelings, for this is the inner world which is only seen by the eye of the mind. A genius uses music as a language to express fully, without the help of words, whatever he may wish to be known; for music, a perfect and universal language, can express feeling more comprehensively than any tongue.

Music loses its freedom by being subject to the laws of technique, but mystics in their sacred music, regardless of the world's praise, free both their composition and improvisations from the limitations of technicality.