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. Background on Sufism

2. Sufism--The Spirit of All Religions

3. Sufism--Beyond Religion

4. Sufism: Wisdom Of All Faiths

5. Different Schools of Sufism

6. The Intoxication of Life

8. The Path of Initiation

9. Reincarnation

9. The Interdependence of Life Within and Without

11. The Truth and the Way

12. Sufi Mysticism, I: The Mystic's Path in Life

13. Self-Realization: Awakening the Inner Senses

14. The Doctrine of Karma

15. The Law of Life: Inner Journey and Outer Action

16. Sufi Mysticism, II: The Use of the Mind to Gain Understanding

17. Sufi Mysticism, III: Preparing the Heart for the Path of Love

18. Sufi Mysticism, IV: Use of Repose to Communicate with the Self

19. Sufi Mysticsim, V: Realizing the Truth of Religion

20. Sufi Mysticism, VI: The Way Reached by Harmonious Action

21. Sufi Mysticism, VII: Human Actions Become Divine

22. The Ideals and Aim of the Sufi Movement

23. Working for the Sufi Message

24. The Need of Humanity in Our Day

25. The Duties of a Mureed

26. The Path of Discipleship

27. Divine Manner, I

28. Divine Manner, II

29. Our Sacred Task: The Message

30. Sufi Initiation

31. What is Wanted in Life?



Social Gathekas

12. Sufi Mysticism, I: The Mystic's Path in Life

There is one God and one Truth, one religion and one mysticism, call it Sufism, Christianity, Hinduism, or Buddhism. As God cannot be divided, so mysticism cannot be divided. It is an error for a person to say, "My religion is different from yours." One does not know what religion means. There cannot be many mysticisms, just as there cannot be many Wisdoms. There is one Wisdom. It is an error of mankind to say, "This is Eastern and that is Western." This only shows lack of wisdom. Everyone has the divine truth, no matter what part of the world they belong to. It is also an error to distinguish between occultism and mysticism. It is an error to say, "This is my eye and that is yours." The two eyes belong to one soul. When a person pictures mysticism as a branch of a tree which is truth, he or she is wrong, for mysticism is the stem which unites all branches.

What is mysticism really? Mysticism is the way by which to realize the truth. Jesus Christ said, "I am the Truth, I am the Way." He did not say, "I am the Truths and I am the Ways," for there is only one way. There is another way-the wrong way. Many religions there are, but not many wisdoms. Many houses of the Lord for worship, but one God. Many scriptures, but one Truth. So there are many methods, but one way. Thus it is either the right way or the wrong way.

The methods of gaining that way of realization are many, but there are mainly four:

  1. by the heart,
  2. by the head,
  3. by action, and
  4. by repose.

A person must choose among these four different methods of developing him or herself and preparing to journey on the way, the only way, which is called mysticism. No religion can call it its own, but it is the way of all religions. No church can say that it belongs to it for it belongs to all churches. No person can say that the way which he or she has chosen is "the way." All others are getting there by the same way.

Often people have imagined that a mystic means an ascetic, and that a mystic is someone who dreams, dwells in the air, does not live here on earth, is not practical, and that a person who is an ascetic must be a hermit. Now this is not the case in reality. Very often people want to see the mystic as a peculiar sort of person, and if there is someone peculiar, then they say that is the mystic. Now this is a wrong conception and a one-sided exaggeration. A real mystic must show equilibrium and balance. Real mystics will have their head in the heavens and their feet on the earth.

The real mystic is as wide-awake in this world as in the other. A mystic is not someone who does not possess intellect; a mystic is not someone who dreams. A mystic is wide-awake, yet capable of dreaming when others are not and capable of keeping awake when the rest cannot keep awake. A mystic strikes the balance between two things, power and beauty. A mystic does not sacrifice power for beauty, nor beauty for power. A mystic possesses power and enjoys beauty.

As to the life of the mystic, there is no restriction: there is balance, reason, love, and harmony. The religion of the mystic is every religion and all religions, yet the mystic is above what people call their religion. In point of fact the mystic is religion, for it is not any religion, it is all religions. The moral of all religion is reciprocity: to reciprocate all the kindness we receive from others, to do an act of kindness to others without intending to have appreciation or a return for it, and to make every sacrifice, however great, for love, harmony and beauty.

The God of the mystic is to be found in one's own heart; the truth of the mystic is beyond words. People argue and debate about things of little importance, but mysticism is not to be discussed. People want to talk in order to know, and then they forget all. Very often it is not the one who knows who talks much, but the one who wants to know. The one who knows, but does not discuss, is the mystic. The mystic knows that happiness is in his or her own heart. Besides, to put it into words, is to put the ocean into a drop of water.

There is a wine the mystic drinks and that wine is ecstasy. This wine is so powerful that the presence of the mystic has become wine for everyone who comes into his or her presence. This wine is the wine of the real sacrament, the symbol of which is in the church. One might ask, "What is it, where does it come from, what is it made of?" You may call it a power, a life, or a strength, which comes through the mystic, through spheres everyone is attached to. The mystic by his or her attachment to these spheres drinks the wine which is the sustenance of the human soul; that wine is ecstasy, the mystic's intoxication. That intoxication is the love which manifests in the human heart. Once a mystic drinks that wine, what does it matter if he or she is sitting on the rocks in the wilderness or in a palace? It is all the same. Neither does the palace deprive him or her of the pleasures of the mystic, nor does the rock take it away. The mystic has found the kingdom of God on earth, about which Jesus Christ has said. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you."

People strive for many different things in this world and last of all seek the spiritual path. There are some indifferent ones who say, "There is a long life before us and when the time comes that I must awake I shall awake." But the mystic says, "That is the one thing I must attend to- all other things come after that." It is of the greatest importance in the mystic's life.

Should the mystic, by working for realization of God, neglect his or her duties in the world? It is not necessary. There is nothing that a mystic should renounce in order to have the realization of life. It is only necessary to give the greatest importance to what is of the greatest importance in life. Ordinary people give it the least importance. The mystic gives it the first importance.

One may ask, "Is the life of a mystic meditative ?" Yes, but meditation for a mystic is like the winding of a clock. It is wound for a moment, and all day long it goes by itself. It does not mean that one must think about it all day long. The mystic does not trouble about it. A Shah of Persia used to sit up at night for his night vigils and prayers. A visitor wondered at his meditating after all the day's work. "It is too much," he said. "You do not need meditation." "Do not say so," was the answer. "You do not know. For at night I pursue God, and during the day God follows me." Your moments of meditation set the whole mechanism in running order, like a stream running into the ocean. It does not in the least take the mystic away from his or her duty; it only blesses every word he or she speaks with the thought of God.

In all the mystic thinks or does is a perfume of God which becomes a healing and a blessing. How does a mystic who becomes kind and helpful get on amidst the crowd in everyday life? The rough edges of everyday life rubbing against the mystic must necessarily make him or her heart-sore. Certainly they do. The heart of the mystic is more sore than that of anyone else. Where there is only kindness and patience, then it takes all the thorns. Like the diamond being cut, so the heart being cut becomes brilliant. The heart, being sufficiently cut, becomes a flame which illuminates the life of the mystic and also that of others.