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. Voices

2. Impressions

3. The Magnetism of Beings and Objects

4. The Influence of Works of Art

5. The Life of Thought

6. The Form of Thought

7. Memory

8. Will

9. Reason

10. The Ego

11. Mind and Heart

12. Intuition and Dream

13. Inspiration





Vol. 2, Cosmic Language

1. Voices


The whole of manifestation in all its aspects is a record upon which the voice is reproduced, and that voice is a person's thought. There is no place in the world, neither desert, forest, mountain nor house, town or city, where there is not a voice continually going on - a voice which was once engraved upon it and which since then has continued. No doubt every such voice has its limit: one voice may continue for thousands of years, another voice for several months, another for some days, another for some hours or moments. For everything that is created, intentionally or unintentionally, has a life, it has a birth and so it has a death. Plainly speaking, it has a beginning and an end.

One can experience this by feeling the atmosphere of different places. Sitting upon the rocks of the mountains one often feels the vibrations of the one who has been sitting there before. Sitting in a forest, in a wilderness, one can feel what has been the history of that place. It may be that there was a city, that there was a house, that people lived there, and now it has turned into a wilderness. One begins to feel the history of the whole place; it communicates with one.

Every town has its own particular voice. It is, so to speak, telling aloud who lived in the town and how they lived, what was their life. It tells of their grade of evolution, it tells of their doings, it tells of the results produced by their actions. People perceive the vibrations of haunted houses, because the atmosphere is stirred, and therefore it is often felt distinctly. But there is no house, there is no place which has not got its own voice: the voice that has been engraved upon it, so that it has become a record reproducing what has been given to it, consciously or unconsciously.

When Abraham returned from Egypt after his initiation into the mysteries of life, he arrived at Mecca. A stone was set there in memory of the initiation which he had just received from the ancient esoteric school of Egypt, and the voice that was put into the stone by the singing soul of Abraham continued and became audible to those who could hear. The prophets and seers have since that time made pilgrimages to this stone of Ka'ba. This continued and is still going on.

A place like Mecca, a desert with nothing of interest: the ground not fertile, the people not very evolved, no business or industry flourishing, no science nor art developed - has had an attraction for millions of people who have gone there for only one purpose, and that was pilgrimage. What was it, and what is it? It is the voice which has been put into the place, into a stone. A stone has been made to speak, and it speaks to those whose ears are open.

Every place where a person sits and thinks for a moment on any subject takes in the thought of man; it takes the record of what has been spoken, so that no man can hide his thought or feeling. It is recorded even in the seat he has been sitting on while thinking and many persons, by sitting in that place, begin to feel it. Sometimes, the moment he sits on a certain seat, a person may feel a thought quite foreign to him, a feeling which does not belong to him, because on that seat there was that thought vibrating. As a seat can hold the vibrations of the thought for a much longer time than the life of the person who has thought or has spoken, so an influence remains in every place where one sits, where one lives, where one thinks or feels, where one rejoices, or where one sorrows. This voice continues for a time incomparably longer than the life of the person who spoke or thought there.

Question: When many people have lived somewhere for a long time, would there not be a confusion of voices, or would one voice predominate. Answer: There is a dominating voice which is more distinct than the other voices. But at the same time, as one feels what a composer wishes to convey through the whole music he writes, through all the instruments, so even the different voices which are going on together make one result, and that result comes as a symphony to the person who can hear them together. A collective thought comes, when one can perceive it, especially in a town, in a new city. It is a kind of voice of the past and a voice of the present, the voice of all as one music. It has its peculiar and particular effect.

Question: Would the thought of people coming afterwards prolong the initial thought. Answer: No, it would add to it. For instance, if there is a flute, then a clarinet, a trumpet or a trombone, added to it, make up the volume of sound, but there is always one instrument which plays the first part. The main voice stands as a breath, and all the other voices, attracted to it, build around it a form. The breath remains as life. The form may be composed and decomposed, but the breath remains as life.

Question: Does the duration of the impression that Abraham made upon the Ka'ba stone depend upon its intensity, or upon the sacredness of the thought. Answer: When the thought comes from an evolved person, this has a greater power than the thought itself, than what the thought contains, because the person is the life of that thought; the thought is the cover over that life. Perhaps Abraham would not have been able to engrave any other stone with that same power he had when he came with his fresh impression after his initiation. At that time the impression was perhaps more intense than at any other time of his life, before or after.

Abraham said: "This stone I set here in memory of initiation, as a sign of God to be understood as One God. This stone will remain for ever as a temple." He was not a king, nor a rich man; he could not build a temple, he could only put up this one stone. But this stone has remained for a much longer time than many temples built with riches.

This is only one example, but there are numberless examples to be found. There is the atmosphere of Benares, and there are the vibrations of Ajmer where Khwaja Moinud-Din Chishti lived, meditated and died. There is the tomb of the saint where a continual voice is going on, a vibration so strong that a person who is meditative would sit there and would like to sit there for ever. It is in the midst of the city, and yet it has a feeling of wilderness, because in that place the saint sat and meditated on sawt-e-sarmad, the cosmic symphony. And hearing that cosmic music continually, cosmic music has been produced there.

There was a wonderful experience during the lifetime of the Khwaja of Ajmer. To visit this saint a great master, Khwaja Abdul Qadir Jilani, who was also an advanced soul, came from Baghdad. A remarkable meeting took place between them in Ajmer. Now the latter was very strict in his religious observances, and the religious people would not have music. So naturally in order to respect his belief the Khwaja of Ajmer had to sacrifice his everyday musical meditation. But when the time came the symphony began by itself. The great master felt that, without anyone playing, music was going on, and he said to the saint: "Even if religion prohibits it, it is for others, not for you."

Question: What is the character of remote places that have always been uninhabited, or very little inhabited? Is the attraction that such places possess due to the absence of distracting voices.
Answer: In remote places sometimes the voices have become buried, and there is a kind of overtone which is most gentle and soothing, for the voices have gone, and the vibration remains as an atmosphere. If the place has always been a desert it is still more elevating, because it has its own natural atmosphere which is most uplifting. And if some travellers have passed through it and if this brings their voice to us, even that is much better than what one perceives and feels in cities, in towns, because in nature man is quite a different person. The more he approaches nature, the more that is artificial falls away from him; he becomes more and more free from the superficial life and at one with nature. Therefore his predisposition which is nature and truth and which is goodness, all comes up and makes life a kind of dream for him, a romance, a lyric; so even his thought there, as a human thought, begins to sing through nature.

Question: Does a tomb keep the voice of the person who is buried there.
Answer: No, not the tomb, but the place where the person lived. In ancient times people made a mark where a person had lived; they made the tomb where the vibrations of that person had been recorded. Ancient tombs were mostly made in places where the person sat, thought and meditated. In this case the tomb is an excuse; it is only a mark which shows that here the person sat.

In India, where cremations take place, they often make a seat to mark the place where the one who died meditated and produced his vibrations. He may not be buried there, but a mark has been made just to keep that seat, that place.


The secret of the idea of a blessing to be found in holy places lies in the principle that the holy place is no longer a place: it has become a living being. The prophets having proclaimed for ages the name of God and the law of the divine Being in the Holy Land make it still living, and it has attraction for the whole world.

It is said that for ages roses have sprung up on Sa'adi's grave, and that his grave has never been without them. It is credible, for in The Rose Garden that he has written in the thought of beauty the beauty of his thought, once voiced, is still continuing, although the mortal body of Sa'adi has perished. If this maintained roses in the place of his burial for centuries it is not astonishing.

People often wonder why the Hindus with their great philosophical mind, with their deep insight into mysticism, should believe in such a thing as a sacred fiver. But besides being symbolical there is another meaning in it. The great Mahatmas live on the heights of the Himalayas where the Ganges and Jumna streams rise, which then take different directions till they unite again and become one. This is really a phenomenon deep in its symbolism as well as in its actual nature. It is symbolical that the rivers begin as one and then turn into duality; that after the two streams have been separated for miles they are attracted to each other. Then they meet in a place at Allahabad, called Sangam, which is a place of pilgrimage. This gives us in its interpretation the idea of the whole manifestation, which is one in the beginning, then manifests as dual, and unites in the end.

Besides this the thoughts of the great Mahatmas flow with the water and come into the world combined with this living stream of the Ganges. This brought the vibrations of the great ones and spoke as a voice of power, of wakening, of blessing, of purity and of unity to those who heard it. Nevertheless, those unconscious of the blessing have also been blessed by bathing in the sacred river, for it was not only water: there was a thought besides, a most vital thought, a thought of power with life in it. Those who have perceived that, have perceived its secret, for in many poems in the Sanskrit language one reads how, in the waves of the Ganges and the Jumna, the seers heard the voice of the evolved souls and felt the atmosphere of those advanced beings as a breath current coming through the water.

There is a tank in Mecca, called Zemzem, from which the prophets of all ages have drunk. They did not only drink water; they received from it what had been put into it, and then they charged it with what they had to give to it. Even now pilgrims go there and receive that water as a blessing.

I once had an amusing experience during my travels in India when I happened to arrive at the place of the tomb of a most powerful person. I learned that often when a person visited this tomb he got fever. This amused me, and I asked: "What is the reason of it?" I was told: "This great personality was hot tempered. Although most spiritual, he could not tolerate anyone; he would keep everyone at a bamboo's distance. So now anyone going near this tomb gets fever." I thought: "I must bow from a distance and leave!'

I also happened to see a place where a great healer, Miran Datar, used to sit. Throughout all his life he healed thousands of patients; many he healed instantly. In the same place his grave was made, and till this day people are attracted to his tomb; those who touch this place are healed instantly.

There is a story in the East of five brothers who were travelling and arrived at a place where they found that each one had lost his merit; for each was gifted in something. They were confused, disappointed and they were wondering about the reason for such an experience, until the wise one among them found in the end, through the power of concentration, that it was the effect of the place. The place had lost its life, it was a dead place, and everyone who came there felt as if he had no life in him. The inner life had gone. We see this in land which, after having been used for many thousands of years, has lost the strength, the vitality of the earth. If outwardly the land can lose it, then inwardly the vitality, the breath of the land can also be lost.

Often one feels most inspired in one place, in another most depressed; in one place confused, in another place dull, one finds nothing of interest, nothing to attract one. One might think it is the effect of the weather, but there are places outwardly most beautiful in nature, with a wonderful climate and yet one does not feel inspired.

If an artist is born in a dead country, his talent cannot be developed there. There is no nourishment; his artistic impulse will become paralysed. Even a plant cannot live on itself, it must have air, sun, water. Yet a prophet can inspire a dead land just by passing through it.

Jelal-ud-Din Rumi said centuries ago that before everyone fire, water, earth and air are objects; before God they are living beings that work at His command. The meaning of what Rumi said is that all objects, all places, are as gramophone records. What is put into them they speak; either one's soul hears it or one's mind, according to one's development.

It seems that people are now beginning to believe in what they call psychometry. What is it? It is learning the language that objects speak. Apart from the color or form an object has, there is something in it that speaks to one; either this belongs to that object, or it belongs to the one who has used it, but it is in that object. Sometimes one may bring an object into the house, and the moment one has brought it other objects begin to break. As long as that object is there, there is always a kind of loss. It can bring disharmony in the house; an object can bring illness, it can bring bad luck.

Those who knew the psychological effect that comes from objects therefore always avoided getting old objects, however beautiful and precious. They always bought a new object for their use. Of course one cannot do this with jewels. They have to be old, but most often one finds that jewels have more effect upon a person, on his character, on his life, on his affairs, on his environment, than anything else. One may obtain a pearl which could bring good luck of every kind from the moment the jewel was bought, or it may produce a contrary effect. Very often a person does not think of it, yet the effect is just the same; it is continual. Besides this, what one wears has an effect upon one's health, on one's condition of mind, on one's feeling. If it is a jewel it may have the voice of thousands of years. As old as a jewel is, so much traditions does it have behind it, and it explains it. Intuitive persons who are sensitive and feeling can easily perceive the vibrations of old stones; it seems as if they speak to them.

Also with all one gives to another in the form of food, sweet, drink, fruit, or flower one gives one's thought, one's feeling; it has an effect. Among the Sufis in the East there is a custom of giving to someone either a piece of cloth, a flower, a fruit, or some grains of corn. There is a meaning behind it: it is not what is given in that object, but what is given with it.

How little we know when we say: "I believe in what I see." If one can see how influence works, how thought and feeling speak, how objects partake of them and give them to one another, how thought and feeling, life and influence are conveyed by the medium of an object - it is most wonderful.

Question: Can any object be charged with good vibrations when in itself it is a bad omen. Answer: There are certain bitter things which can be made sweet, but at the same time the bitterness is there. There are eatables in which people put different things in order to take away a certain smell, but the smell is still there.

Question: Can the bad influences attached to places and beings be got rid of and turned to good. Answer: Certainly, since at the depth of all things and beings there is goodness.

Question: Is it in the power of a human being to change the influence of an object? Answer: The answer to this is given in the first four lines of the Gayan: "When a glimpse of Our image is caught in man, when heaven and earth are sought in man, then what is there in the world that is not in man? If one only explores him there is a lot in man."