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. Character-Building

The Law of Reciprocity

The Law of Beneficence

The Law of Renunciation




The Music of Life







Humanity in Character





Word of Honor





Vol. 3, Character and Personality

1. Character-Building


The art of personality is like the art of music: it needs ear training and voice culture. To a person who knows life's music the art of personality comes naturally; and it is not only inartistic but also unmusical when a soul shows lack of this art in the personality. When a man looks at every soul as a note of music and learns to recognize what note it is, flat or sharp, high or low, and to what pitch it belongs, then he becomes the knower of souls, and he knows how to deal with everybody. In his own actions, in his speech, he shows the art; he harmonizes with the rhythm of the atmosphere, with the tone of the person he meets, with the theme of the moment. To become refined is to become musical; it is the musical soul who is artistic in his personality. Spoken in different tones, the same word changes its meaning. A word spoken at the proper moment and withheld at the moment when it should not be expressed, completes the music of life.

It is the continual inclination to produce beauty which helps one to develop art in the personality. It is amusing liow readily man is inclined to learn outer refinement, and how slow many souls are to develop that art inwardly. It must be remembered that the outer manner is meaningless if it is not prompted by the inner impulse towards beauty. How God takes pleasure in man can be learned from the story of Indra, the king of Paradise, at whose court Gandharvas sing and Upsaras dance. When interpreted in plain words this means that God is the essence of beauty; it is His love of beauty which has caused Him to express His own beauty in manifestation, for it is His desire fulfilled in the objective world.

It is amusing sometimes to watch how good manners annoy someone who is proud of his bad manners. He will call it shallow, because his pride is hurt at the sight of something which he has not got. The one whose hand does not reach to the fruit says, when he fails, that the grapes are sour. And for some it is too free to become refined, just as many will not like good music but are quite satisfied with popular music. And many even become tired of a good manner, for it seems foreign to their nature. As it is not a merit to become unmusical, so it is not wise to turn against refinement. One must only try and develop beauty, trusting that the beauty in the depth of one's soul, and its expression, in whatever form, is the sign of the soul's unfoldment.