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. Man, the Purpose of Creation

2. Character-Building

3. Human Nature

4. Self-realization

5. The Art of Personality

6. Man is likened to the Light

7. Truth

8. Selflessness - Inkisar

9. Indifference - Vairagya

10. Independence and Indifference

11. Overlooking - Darquza

12. Graciousness - Khulq

13. Conciliation - Ittifaq

14. Consideration - Murawwat

15. Tact

16. Spirituality

17. Innocence

18. Holiness

19. Resist not Evil

20. Resignation

21. Struggle and Resignation

22. Renunciation

23. Sacrifice

24. Ambition

25. Satisfaction

26. Harmlessness

27. A Question about Vegetarianism

28. Unselfish Actions

29. Expectations

30. Be a Lion Within

31. Humility

31. Moral Culture

33. Hope

34. Patience

35. Confidence

36. Faith

37. Faith and Doubt

38. The Story of Orpheus

39. Happiness

40. The Privilege of Being Human



Vol. 8, The Privilege of Being Human

20. Resignation

Resignation is the outcome of the soul's evolution, for it is the result of either love or wisdom.

Man has a free will, but its power is too small in comparison with the all-powerful will of God which stands before him in the form of more powerful individuals, or of conditions which cannot be helped, or in that of many other things.

Resignation does not mean giving things up, resignation means being content to give up.

To be resigned means to find satisfaction in self-denial. That self-denial cannot be a virtue which comes as a result of helplessness and culminates in dissatisfaction. The nature of an unevolved ego is to resent everything that comes up in life as a hindrance on his path to the accomplishment of a certain object. When one accepts to become resigned in the face of a difficulty, and when at the same time this gives satisfaction, the resigned person, even without having accomplished his object, has risen.

In this way even a defeat of a truly resigned soul, in truth, is success.

Resignation is a quality of saintly souls. It is bitter in taste, but sweet in result.

Whatever be the power and position of a person, he always has to meet with a more powerful will, in whatever form it may manifest itself, which in truth is divine will. By standing against the divine will one may break oneself, but by being resigned to the divine will one makes a way. For resignation is the manner of water: if anything is standing in its way it takes another course and runs along. It yet makes its way so as to meet the ocean in the end. Such is the way of the saintly souls who tread the path of resignation and yet keep self-will alive. That will has the power to make its way. A person who is resigned by nature becomes in the end a consolation to the self and a happiness for others.

Resignation is not necessarily weakness, or laziness, or cowardice, or lack of enthusiasm. Resignation is only the expression of mastery over oneself. The tendency to resign to the will of another or to conditions does not always work to the disadvantage of the resigned one. It may sometimes prove to be profitless, but the benefit of such a virtue is realized in the end.

It is lack of power of endurance which is the cause that souls are not ready to resign; they cannot endure their pain, they cannot sustain their loss. The resigned ones practice resignation even in small things of everyday life; they avoid using the power of their will unnecessarily in every little thing they do.

Resignation is passivity, and it shows itself sometimes to be disadvantageous in the life of an active person who has an object before him to accomplish. But it may be understood that a continual activity, with power and energy given to it, very often results in disaster. Every activity is balanced by passivity.

One must be active when it is time to be active, and passive when the conditions ask one to be passive. It is in this manner that success in life is attained and that happiness, which is the seeking of every soul, is gained.

The truth of this can be seen in the life of the child and that of the grown-up person. As soon as the child becomes attracted to objects, it knows that it wants them, and if it is denied an object the child is dissatisfied. As the child grows, with its evolution in life, it learns resignation. That is the difference between an unripe soul and a soul advanced in the path of wisdom; for the riper the soul the more it shows in its nature the power of resignation.

Question: When should we be active and when passive?
Answer: Suppose a person goes on a bicycle in the streets of Paris and says, "I shall go straight on, because my object is just to keep the line I have taken. If a motor-car comes my way, I shall not mind it, I shall just go on." This person will come against something which is more powerful than he and he will destroy himself. The wise cyclist, therefore, will see that there is a vehicle before him, or that the road is blocked: he will take another way. At the time it is just a little hindrance, yet that resignation makes him safe from disaster and gives him a chance to strike another line by which he will come to the same destination.

Very often people who are strong-headed will not be resigned, and often they will find in their lives that, by not being resigned, they get what they want. That gives them proof of the beneficial nature of their strong-headedness which means their lack of resignation. But what happens in the end? Their own power sometimes strikes them so hard that it breaks them to pieces, because there is no passivity. Man after all is limited, and there is an unlimited power before him. If he always wishes to fight, he must of necessity break himself. There is the saying: Man proposes, God disposes. If man is conscious of this, he will know when to try and make his way, and when to strike a different way.

Question: In the Bible it is said: If a person wants you to go one mile with him, go two miles.

Answer: Resignation is self-denial. In our everyday life it may happen many times that we meet with people who say something which hurts our feeling, and we wish to answer back. It is a natural tendency which expresses itself spontaneously. However, if at that time our wisdom is awakened, we ask ourselves, "Is it necessary to answer? And if we did not answer?" That is becoming resigned to the will of God. Spontaneity is just giving the answer, but when kindness comes, or the feeling that perhaps the other person did not understand us, or that he had a little more experience than we, it restrains the tendency to speak back, and this is mastery. It is bitter for the time, it shakes one: that force which wanted to express itself is controlled. But by being able to sustain it, one has gained a certain mastery over oneself.

Question: In your example one just stops for a moment, but mostly in life this resignation means going quite another way.
Answer: Both are possible. By resignation is only meant to be resigned to one's own wisdom, to one's own feeling of kindness and dignity, or to be resigned to the person whose will perhaps is better or greater.

Question: There are natures who develop the contrary to resignation.
Answer: Very often we give unnecessary strain to our will and this exhausts us very much. It is consideration which is wanted. Every day there are many cases of this which we can avoid by not using so much will-power to resist them.