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


In everyday life it is most necessary to have control over speech and action, for one may automatically give way to a word, prompted by an inner impulse; afterwards one finds that one should not have said it, or perhaps one should have said it differently. It is the same with action. One feels, "I should not have done so", after having done something; or one thinks, "I should have done differently"; but once it is done it is too late to do it otherwise. In human nature there is an inner urge to express oneself; and that urge pushes a word out of one, so to speak, before one has really thought of it; and all this shows lack of control over oneself.

It is also a sign of nervousness. Very often a person tries to answer somebody who has not yet finished speaking; before a sentence is completed the answer is given. Such an answer given to an incomplete idea is often wrong. What generally happens in such cases is that one takes all that comes from outside in life too much to heart, and allows these outer things and influences to penetrate one more deeply than they should. In this way one becomes sensitive, and out of this arises nervousness.

In order to practice self-control in all one does in everyday life, the best thing is to develop in one's nature a certain amount of indifference. Every word that is said to one need not be taken to be so important that it upsets one's whole being, disturbs one's balance, and robs one of one's will-power. There are things that matter; but there are many things in one's everyday life which do not matter much, and one is often apt to put undue stress upon them.

Independence is achieved by indifference. It does not mean that one should take no heed of what anyone does or says; it only means one should discriminate between important and unimportant things of everyday life; that every necessary and unnecessary thing should not demand so much of one's attention, thought, and feeling. Political economy has become a subject of education, but spiritual economy is the main thing in religion. All one says and does and all that one thinks and feels puts a certain strain upon one's spirit. It is wise to avoid every risk of losing one's equilibrium. One must stand peacefully but firmly before all influences that disturb one's life. The natural inclination is to answer in defence to every offence that comes from outside, but in that way one loses one's equilibrium. Self-control, therefore, is the key to all success and happiness.

Besides, there are many who feel urged and obliged to say or do something because it is asked of them, and in this way they get weaker and weaker. There are others who roughly fight against it; and in this way both are in error. He who is able to keep his equilibrium without being annoyed, without being troubled about it, gains that mastery which is needed in the evolution of life. No principle must be blindly followed. Spiritual economy is not always a virtue, if it disturbs harmony, if it in any way keeps one from progress, or if it places one in a worse condition. However, it is most necessary to know the science of spiritual economy; how to guard against all influences in our everyday life which come to disturb our tranquillity and the peace of our soul.