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



The Language of Nature

Language Without Words

The Language of Everything



Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

4. Cosmic Language


Then there is another experience. It is not only an experience of spiritual or most advanced people, but it is known even to a scientist, to a material person, to an inventor. He may not believe it, but this experience comes all the same. It is a sense of how to work out his invention, or how to form his system, how to make a plan, or how to arrange something he wants to arrange. One may say that these great inventors have studied mechanics and technique, that it is the outcome of this study that gives them their ability, but there are thousands of students who have studied mechanics and not every one of them is an inventor.

The one who accomplishes something surely accomplishes it through the help of inspiration. You may ask all kinds of artists - a painter, a drawer, a singer, a dancer, a writer, a poet -: "Can you always do the work you wish to do so perfectly, so excellently as you are able to sometimes?" The answer will be: "No, I never know when it will be done. It comes, and sometimes I am able to do it; I do not know when nor whence it comes." A poet may try for six months to write a poem - the poem that his soul is longing for, his soul's desire - and yet never finish it. But it is finished in six minutes if that time comes, if the moment comes. The poet cannot imagine how such a thing could come in the space of six minutes, something which is wonderful, which is complete in itself, which gives him the greatest satisfaction, which is living. The great musicians have not written their most beautiful compositions, their masterpieces over a period of six months. What has taken them a long time to write is of little importance; it is what they have written at moments and finished in five minutes which is living and which will always live. It is the same thing with all aspects of art: creative art depends upon inspiration. Mechanical art may be developed, and a person may be most qualified in it, but it is a dead art. The only living art is the art which comes from a living source, and that living source is called inspiration.

What then is inspiration? Inspiration is that same word which has been spoken of all this time; it is the hearing of that word which comes from within. A person hears it and expresses it in the form of line, color, notes, words, or in whatever other form. The most interesting and the most wonderful thing in connection with this subject is that the same inspiration may come to four persons. It is the same word which comes to four persons: one draws it in the form of lines, another puts it in the form of notes, a third writes it as words, and a fourth paints it as colors. This shows that artistic inspiration, inventive genius - whatever form in which the meaning of life wishes to express itself within - has another aspect different from what we see in the life outside.

Where does this inspiration come from, the soul of which we know to be the word? It is beauty in itself, it is energy, wisdom, harmony in itself. It is energy because it gives the greatest joy when expressed by an artist, by an inventor; it is wisdom because it comes with the understanding of accomplishment; it is light because the thing that one wants to make becomes clear to one - there is no sign of obscurity; it is harmony because it is by harmony that beauty is achieved.

There is another form of inspiration, a form which a person attains by a greater enlightenment, by a greater awakening of the soul. This can be pictured as a person going through a large room where all things are exhibited, but where there is no light except, in his own hand, a lantern with a search-light. If he throws his light on music, music becomes clear to him, notes and rhythm become clear to him; if he throws his light on words, the words become clear to him; if he throws his light on color, all colors come near to him; if he throws his light on line, all lines in most harmonious and beautiful forms come near to him.

This searchlight may become greater still and may reach still further. It may be thrown on the past, and the past may become clear, as it was clear to the prophets of ancient times. It may be cast on the future, and it is not only a sense of precaution that a person may gain, but a glance into the future. This light may be thrown upon living beings, and the living beings may become as written letters before him. This light may be thrown on objects, and the objects may reveal to him their nature and secret. And when this light is thrown within oneself, then the self will be revealed to a person; he will become enlightened as to his own nature and his own character. It is this form of experience, it is this way of knowing which may be called revelation. It is by knowing revelation that one accomplishes the purpose of life, and that the word which was lost - as the mystics have said - is found.

Every child is born crying; his crying conveys that he has lost something. What has he lost? He has lost the word. This means that all he sees conveys nothing to him. He knows not what it is, he seems to be lost in a new country to which he has been sent. As he begins to know a little - his mother, those around him, the colors and the lines, and all things of the world - these begin to communicate a little with him. He begins to know things a little with the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and in this way he begins to know the word which is within. It is this communication which is the sustenance of life. It is not food or drink which keeps man alive, it is this communication through the different senses to the extent that he understands what they have to say. It is this that makes man live.

When we think of our life, and when we compare the pain that we have in our life with the pleasure, the portion of pleasure is so small. Besides, what little pleasure there is, it costs also, and therefore it resolves into pain. If that is the nature of life, how could we live in this life if there were not this communication, if there were not that word which to a smaller or greater extent we hear from all things, from nature herself? It is the fulfillment of this communication that no wall nor any barrier should stand between us, nor between the life within and without. It is this which is the longing of our soul, and it is herein that revelation comes. It is in this that lies the purpose of our life.