The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

        (How to create a bookmark)



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

8. The Path of Initiation

In the true sense of the word "initiation," the word itself is its meaning. Initiation means taking an initiative in the direction which is not generally understood by others. Therefore, initiation needs courage and the tendency to advance spiritually, although it may not seem to be the way of everyone in life. Therefore the first duty of a mureed is not to be shaken in faith by any opposing influence or anything said against the path one has taken. One must not allow oneself to be discouraged by anyone. The mureed must be so firm in their path, that if the whole world says "It is a wrong path." the mureed says, "It is the right path." If anyone says that it will take a thousand years or perhaps more, the mureed must be able to say, "If it takes a thousand years, I will have patience to go through it."

In the Persian language, it is called the work of the Baz, the wayfarer of the heavens. In this mystical path, courage, steadiness, and patience are the most necessary things, but besides this, trust in the teacher in whose hand initiation is taken and understanding of the idea of discipline. In the East, where for thousands of years the path of discipleship has been understood, these things are regarded as most important and as acceptable from the hand of the teacher; to that extent they understand discipline and trust in the teacher.

How few in the world know trust! What is necessary is not trusting another, even the teacher, but oneself. One is not capable of fully trusting oneself who has not experienced in their life how to trust another. There is a question, "If we trusted and if our trust were in vain, should we not be disappointed ?" The answer is, "We must trust for the sake of the trust, and not for the sake of a return or to see what fruit it brings." It is utmost trust which is the greatest power in the world. Lack of trust is weakness. Even if you lose by trust, your power is greater than if you have perhaps gained without developing trust.

Patience is also necessary in the path. Perhaps it will surprise you if I say that after my initiation in the Order of the Sufis and six months continually in the presence of my Murshid, only then did he say a word on the subject of Sufism. It will amuse you still more that as soon as I took out my notebook, he went on to another subject; it was finished. One sentence after six months! A person would think, "What a long time. six months sitting before one's teacher, nothing taught!" But, friends, it is not words, it is something else. If words were sufficient, there are libraries full of occult and mystical books. It is life itself, it is the living. Those who live the life of initiation live and make others who come in contact with them alive. Remember, therefore, that in the Sufi Order you are initiated, not especially for study, but to understand and follow what real discipleship means.

As to the subject of discipline, everyone without a sense of discipline is without the power of self-control. It is discipline which teaches the ideal, and the ideal is self-discipline. It is the soldier who can become a good captain. In ancient times, the kings used to send the princes as soldiers to learn what discipline means. The path of initiation is the training of the ego; it is self-discipline which is learned in the way of discipleship.

Now there is a question, "What may be thought of the path of initiation? What must be our goal, what must we expect from it?" Is it that we must expect to be good or healthy, or magnetic, or powerful, or developed physically, or clairvoyant?

Nothing of this need you be, although you will cultivate all those things naturally. Do not strive for these things. Suppose you develop power and you do not know its use, the outcome will be disastrous. Suppose you develop magnetism, and by this power you attract all, good and bad; then it will be difficult to get rid of what you have attracted by your power. Or you are very good, so good that everyone is bad to you, too good to live in the world; you will become a burden to yourself. These things are not to be sought by initiation.

The aim is to find God within yourself: to dive deep within yourself, that you may be able to touch the unity of the Whole Being. By the power of initiation, towards this end you work, so that from within you may get all the inspiration and blessing in your life.

For that two things are necessary: one thing is to do the exercises that are given to you regularly and with heart and soul; the second is that the studies that are given should not be considered only a little reading, but every word should be pondered. The more you think on it, the more it will have the effect of opening the heart. Reading is one thing, contemplating is another. The Gathas must be contemplated. Do not take even the simplest word or sentence as simple. Think of the Hindus, Chinese, and Parsis, who for thousands of years, for generations, have always contemplated the readings which they considered sacred and have never tired of them.