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



Mastery of the Mystery

Perception of the Mystery

Power of the Spoken Word

Practices with Sound

Vol. 2, The Power of the Word

5. The Word

Power of the Spoken Word

But there is another way to take, and that is by the power of the word that one utters, which by means of its vowels and consonants enables the mystic to master life. How is it that he can master life by this means? It is because this is the only source of creation. Everything that has been created, and then constructed or destroyed, has come into being through vibration and through sound. So the mystic considers that this is the chief means for accomplishing everything.

All the religions of the past have used this, but they have only given the outcome to the world without making its mystery known. It has been a cult in every religion. The great mystics who understood it did not impart this knowledge to the masses. It would not be wise to give a loaded revolver to a person who might lose his temper in a moment of time. One needs to be sure that he has such control that he will only use it in the best way. So it has been with the mystics. They do not give initiation until they know that they can trust a person that he will make the best use of it.

It is not that they are afraid of somebody stealing the mastery they possess. If it were only that, the mystic would be no different from any worldly man who is clinging to his possessions. The mystic must be more generous with his knowledge than anyone else. He is aware that everyone can attain to his knowledge, and he must always help others. Out of the goodness and kindness of his heart he will deny no one his help in every possible way.

As to the word,

  • Vowels and Consonants
  • We see that there are vowels and consonants. Each vowel represents one of the five elements: earth, water, air, fire and ether; and there are the companions of the vowels which together with them make words.

  • Letters
  • Every letter is related to the planets and the planetary influences.

  • Directed to Parts of the Body
  • Besides, words have a practical effect, a scientific power working on the body, especially on its different centers as recognized by the mystics: the head, the breast, the solar plexus, et cetera. The consciousness must be awakened to each center.

    For instance, a musician accustomed to the piano seems to have his consciousness in his hands; the violinist has his in his finger-tips, so that it seems as if the whole of life comes through them.

    This shows how our consciousness, energy, and life can be directed to a certain place, so as to make the best use of that part of our being. Every center of a person's being is a vehicle for perceiving the life within as well as the life without. Thus it is possible at will to send this consciousness and energy to that particular center. One can then gain more insight into life, and one can gain more hold, more control over life. Then, when the person repeats the word, its vowels and consonants have some connection with a particular part of the body.

  • The Meaning of the Word
  • When we consider the part played by the mind we come to see that every word spoken with the mind has a greater action and effect. Furthermore, there is the value attached to the meaning of the word. A person may continually call his son or daughter "Wise"; if they keep on hearing him call them "Wise", they really will become wise. If, however, he calls them "Stupid", the very fact of hearing this makes them stupid in the end. The repetition of the word suggests it to them. That is why it is a great mistake to give nicknames which either have no meaning or only a silly meaning. Even when given in fun, as a joke, they still exert their influence. We see then that the meaning of a word has a great deal to do with its action, and when both the word itself and its meaning are used for contemplation they become very powerful. 

  • The Language of the Word
  • You may ask: "Has the language any relation to the power of the word? Does it matter which language one uses? Must the word be Latin, or Hebrew, or Zend, Eastern or Western?" The answer to this is that in the East each keeps to his own language. Brahmins offer their prayers in Sanskrit, although this is no longer in everyday use; all the same they use Sanskrit for their mantras. A Parsi may live outside his original country, but he repeats his mantras according to the tradition of ancient Persia, though their religion almost passed away a thousand years ago.

    So you see it does not matter to a mystic what language he is using. He sees the source of all languages in the human heart. Whatever the language - Arabic, Sanskrit, Persian, Hindi - it is still human. The more you study this subject, the more you will see how the source of all languages is one. Even the English language contains words related to Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic. Many names would never be suspected of being Persian in origin, and yet they are. So many names are Semitic, so many are Sanskrit. People never suspect how many of their own words belong to other languages. No language in the world today can claim to be so pure as to have no admixture from others. Any language is really a mixture of many languages. It is unfortunate that every later language is just a corrupted form of a former one.

    Hardly anyone would understand me if I spoke of Dar-es-Salam, but if I say "Jerusalem" everyone can. We see how true this is when we study some words of the Bible. "Alleluia", for instance, is really "Allahu". The order of the letters is changed, and this makes it seem a different word; the spelling is altered because different countries spell their words differently. The vowels and the vibrations, therefore, change to a certain extent, and so the mystics prefer, when possible, to adhere to the original form of the word. It is not because it belonged to a certain language of the past, but because there is actually more benefit to be obtained by using the word in its original form.

  • The Word of Nature
  • There are also words which no language can claim for its own. This is true of the word Ismi Azam, which means: the word of power. No one can claim this word as belonging to his language. It is a word which belongs to no language. Why is this? It is because it is a word of nature. Art has reproduced it, but art has not produced it. All other words have been made from it, for Ismi Azam is the spirit of all words; it is the root of all other words.