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 Power of the Word

2. The Power of the Sacred Word

3. The Word that was Lost

4. Cosmic Language

5. The Word

6. The Value of Repetition and Reflection

Phrases To Be Repeated



World of Sound and Mystery

Original Language of Humanity

The Voice of Man

Initiation Protects the Sacred

Communication Across the Worlds

One Existence

Not to Spoil the Sacred Science

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

2. The Power of the Sacred Word

World of Sound and Mystery

A time is coming in the present age when both spiritual and material people are realizing the power of the word. For instance, Coueism [Émile Coué] is talked about among spiritual and material people and they are beginning to see what a word can do. But when one goes a step further one will find that a sacred word has a greater importance and a greater phenomenon. Everyone who discovers some new idea feels at the time that he is the discoverer of it, but when we look back we find in the history of the world that it had been known already. Thus we come to realize and believe in the saying of Solomon that there is nothing new under the sun.

A great Persian poet has said that the repetition of the sacred name will not add sacredness to the Sacred, but it will make your own soul sacred. Those who understand from a psychological point of view the value of autosuggestion and the value of repetition, and how this works upon their body and their mind, are beginning to understand the elementary aspect of it. But before them is a large world of sound and mystery which is still closed, because they do not know that by repeating one word or one thing this may bring about a particular result - but it may do harm to something else.

Original Language of Humanity

The secret of language is that in all different languages that we find today in the world there seems to be a central one that can be traced as the mother language of them all. No doubt it is difficult to distinguish that language as such or such, but the relation that exists between one language and another shows that the human race had only one to begin with. Many linguists have said that it was Sanskrit; there are others who say that before Sanskrit there was another language.

Historians will have different opinions, but metaphysics teaches us that there was a language that was the one language of the human race, then many others came from it. An historian cannot be an historian if he does not give a name to a certain language as being the first; for a metaphysician this does not matter. He only understands, he knows for certain that there was one language. He does not mind if he does not know its name.

When we come to that language we understand that it was much more natural than the languages we know today, which are most complicated. Take for instance the language of birds and animals. These languages are not made from grammar, they are not mechanical; they are natural expressions of their real sentiments, of their real needs. It is by that natural expression that other animals of the same kind understand the warning they give to move, the warning they give to protect themselves, to leave their places; the warning of death or danger, or of a change of climate, of storm or rain coming. They have a certain way of expressing affection, passion, wrath, anger, and yet it is not a mechanical language, it is a natural expression, a natural language.

The primitive language of mankind was a language of feeling, of natural expression, just like the primitive figures. If we trace back thousands of years we shall find that the name of every object was written in a sort of picture which suggested that object. Now that thousands of years have passed those figures and forms have changed, and the words of primitive language have changed. Yet the one who can see into life can trace back at least some forms and some sounds and words that come from the origin of the human race.

The outcome of the language which was the original language of humanity was that every word, every sound that was expressed not only conveyed a meaning to the mind of the person who said it, but created a sensation in the person who heard it, a sensation of a particular expression, of a particular feeling or sentiment.

The Voice of Man

As the ancient people cultivated this domain of science they began to understand that sound, which is called voice, is the main principle in man's life.

It is the voice of man which shows whether a person is hard or tender, wilful or weak-willed; every characteristic of man can be perceived through his voice. The grade of the person's evolution, his tendency and his condition at that moment can be realized by his voice. This shows that, before the face, the expression or the movement, the word can convey a feeling or a condition. It shows that the real being of man, the central point of his life is to be found in the breath, for voice is only an expression of breath. When this voice is expressed outwardly, it is in the form of words.

This expression has a kind of reaction inwardly which has an effect upon a person's body, upon his mind, upon his soul. There are certain parts in the human body which may be considered as the factors of intuitive senses, and when by voice, by word, by breath these parts are brought into action, brought to life, man begins to experience a fuller life. If that person is an artist, a musician, a writer, a creative genius, whatever he is, by cultivating all the natural faculties which are within him he can express his art or his science to the full.

It is by taking this secret into consideration that the ancient people developed the science which they called yoga. By the repetition of certain vowels, of certain words and of a particular way of breathing they touched within themselves those centers which are connected with intuitive faculties.

Initiation Protects the Sacred

This is not only a story of the past. The schools of the Sufis, whose origin is the ancient school of Egypt where Abraham was initiated, still exist and there are words you use, which have that power. But these schools have not made of this sacred idea an ordinary thought. They have not spread it among people who would take it and abuse it, because if you give a sharp sword into the hands of a child, the consequences will be fatal. A person who has not yet risen above his angers and passions, who has not yet risen above greed and above pride and conceit - if all the power there is is given to him, how will he use it?

It is therefore that the schools first arranged that people might be taught moral culture and the attitude they should have towards their fellow-men. For they believed and they still believe, that any power that is ever attained must be used for one purpose only and that purpose is nearing God. If it is not used for that purpose, if it is used for selfish ends, then it is just as well that man remains without powers.

Therefore, in the ancient schools, which have tradition behind them and which are meant to serve humanity, initiations must be taken. What does initiation mean? Initiation means confidence on the part of the teacher and trust on the part of the pupil.

Initiation is not given to the one who is curious, who comes to examine the teacher, or who comes to find out if in this particular culture, in this cult, there is truth or not. If by any chance such a person received an initiation, he would go through it all and come back by the same door that he had entered without having found anything. For this treasure house, which is so great a treasure, is a magic house; a house wherein is every treasure, and yet the thief cannot find it. He wilt go through the house, he will go all around it, he will not see anything and he will go back with his hands empty. For truth is the portion of the sincere one. It is the one who is hungry who must be given food; it is the one who is thirsty who must be given water. He who is not hungry, to him food will do no good, and he who is not thirsty, water will not satisfy his need.

If a person wants to know these things in order to develop magnetic power, to accomplish his way, to gain power, or a name, or more things than he can get in his daily life, it is useless. For the word, and especially the sacred word, is the key. As it is said in the Bible that first was the word, so the last key is also the word. It is the word which was the beginning of creation, and it is the word which opens the mystery of creation. The different centers of intuition, of inspiration, of evolution are touched by the sacred word.

Communication Across the Worlds

If nowadays science has discovered how the wireless can reach through space without any intermediary, one day the truth will be discovered which has been known to mystics for thousands of years: that man himself is the instrument, the receiver and the sender of that wireless which is above all other ways of wireless. The wireless can explain to us many of the possibilities which are otherwise difficult to comprehend, for it explains to us that every word once spoken is not lost. It is there and it can be caught.

This supports what I have brought today before you: that the sacred word has such power that nothing, whether distance, space, air, or sea can keep it back from entering and reaching the hearts that can catch it. Only the difference is that the wireless is known to those who communicate from one country to another country, but this mystery of the word is known to those for whom communication with the world is nothing; their aim is the communication between this world and the other world. For as the word was first and was at the beginning, therefore at the beginning there was not this word or that word: there was only one life, there was only one existence.

One Existence

In reality there is one life and there is one existence. What we call this world or that world is for our convenience. It is our speculation, it is our way of distinguishing between the different dimensions. What is a dimension in reality? A dimension is rather a conception. There is only existence. It is just the same with time. There is no such thing as time; it is we who have a certain conception of it. But there is only existence, there is an eternal continuity of life. In the same way "this world and that world" is only our conception of all that hides the other world from our material physical eyes with which we have always been accustomed to look at life.

There is one existence, there is one life, eternal, everlasting. In short, if by the wireless words can be transferred from one place to another, this gives us the proof that, if there is one existence and one life, then in this world or in that world, here or in the hereafter, communication is possible for us - possible only if man has tuned himself, has wound himself, as it were, to that condition where he lives fully.

Not to Spoil the Sacred Science

Since the world contains so much falsehood, every good thing is imitated and every writing is falsified. And as there is such a great desire in the mind of every person to do and to know something about reality, it seems that many different institutions, societies and groups wish to try and speak of things about which they themselves do not know. We could count today hundreds of institutions working in order to give belief in God by teaching what they call spirit communication. By doing this they spoil that sacred science and that great phenomenon which one realizes by attaining to the kingdom of God.