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

13. Self-Realization: Awakening the Inner Senses

Why do we join the study classes? Is it for the acquisition of spiritual powers, for inspirations, phenomena, or curiosity? All this is wrong. Is it for the accomplishment of something material or for worldly success? That is not desirable. Self-realization, to know what we are, should be our aim.

Some people who admire piety and goodness want everyone to be an angel, and discovering that this is impossible, they are full of criticism. Everyone has in them a devil and an angel; everyone is at once human and animal. It is the devil in one that drives one to do harm without a motive, by instinct. The first step should be to leave this attitude. No one believes that one's own particular demon can be a manifestation of the devil. But who can say, "I am free from such an evil spirit"? We can be under the power of a spell, and we must overcome such a power. We must liberate ourselves from evil. Everyone can fight.

We must discover at which times we have manifested our devil or our animal spirit. We want a human spirit. Self-realization is the search for this human spirit. Everything must become human in us. But what should we do for that? Read the Bible and other holy scriptures? All these books say what we should do. But you must also find the store of goodness that is there in your heart. As you cultivate your heart it rises up. By asceticism you can develop your soul and reach ecstasy. But of what use is samadhi if we are not first human? If we want to live in this world we must be human; the ascetic should live in a forest.

How should we cultivate the heart and the feeling? No doubt harmlessness, devotion, and kindness are necessary, but there is something besides these. The awakening of a certain center makes one sensitive not only externally, but also mentally.

There are two kinds of people: one will be struck by the beauty of music or other manifestations of beauty; the other person is dull as a stone to all this.

Why? Because something in his or her heart and mind is not awakened. We have five senses, but we also have inner senses, and these can enjoy life much more keenly.

Some people will say, "I need no inner senses, the outer ones satisfy me completely." They would speak differently if, for instance, they lost an eye or another of their five senses. In order to be complete, a human being must develop one's inner senses also. But first of all one should develop one's inner feeling.

Intellectual study may last the whole life, there is no end to it. This is why the teacher does not encourage speculation. A doctrine means a separation from other doctrines. The Sufi belongs to every religion. The Sufi has no special beliefs or speculations. There can, for instance, be one Sufi who believes in reincarnation and another who realizes Heaven and Hell. The work of the Sufi is personal development. It is what you practice that is important rather than what the teacher says. The teacher can give you protection. The teacher can say, "Yes, it is so, it is my experience also."

Initiation contains several degrees. It is the trust that the teacher gives you, but the real initiation is the work of God. No teacher can nor will judge. The pupil is one whom the teacher likes to trust; all are welcome to the teacher. The teacher is spiritually Father and Mother to the pupil. The life of the teacher is often a sacrifice; he or she is persecuted and has many sufferings. What little help the teacher can give, he or she will give.

There is no special qualification needed to become a pupil. The teacher gives, but the pupil can take it. The teaching is like a precious jewel hidden in a stone. It is for the pupil to break the stone and find the jewel.

In the East this inner teaching is part of religion. In the West it is often looked upon merely as an education. It ought to be a sacred education. In the East the Murshid gives the lesson and the pupil practices it for a month or a year. We cannot have a different practice every week. My grandfather practiced one meditation forty years: then a miracle happened to him. We must not be ambitious for other exercises before having had a result from the first one. And we must promise not to reveal these practices.

There is also the study of Sufism, one part of which is for initiates, the other for noninitiates. Only the Murshid can give initiation. But study classes can be given by someone else who knows how to conduct them, for a time. Notes cannot be taken, for that which is heard and seen is twice as profitable.

Sometimes the depth of a teaching, not seen at once, is understood later. I sang a mantram fifteen years without understanding it, and then suddenly it was revealed within me. There is a teacher in every one of us, who teaches when the time comes.

We have a tendency to discuss things but it should never become a hobby. No one attains peace by fighting. In the lessons we must not discuss; the spirit in us must ponder over it.

If there are mistakes, they come from the Murshid, not from the One who speaks through Murshid. The credit of all good and wisdom belongs to God, not to a human being.

Do not dispute, take it or leave it. Make use of that which you are at one with and forget what does not appeal to you.

My Message has been destined to humanity in general and not to particular people only. What I give to you, you must give to others.