The Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan      

Volume

Sayings

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

THE SUPPLEMENTARY PAPERS

Heading

Unity and Uniformity

Religion

The Sufi's Religion

The Aspects of Religion

How to Attain to Truth by Religion

Five Desires Answered by Religion

Law

Aspects of the Law of Religion

Prayer

The Effect of Prayer

The God Ideal

The Spiritual Hierarchy

The Master, the Saint, the Prophet

Prophets and Religions

The Symbology of Religious Ideas

The Message and the Messenger

Sufism

The Spirit of Sufism

The Sufi's Aim in Life

The Ideal of the Sufi

The Sufi Movement

The Universal Worship

Sub-Heading

-ALL-

God is Love

Two Points of View

The Kingship of God

Belief in God

The Existence God

Conceptions of God

Many Gods

The Personality of God

The Realization of God

Creator, Sustainer, Judge, Forgiver

The Only King

The Birth of God

Three Steps

God the Infinite

God's Dealings with Us

Dependence Upon God

Divine Grace

The Will, Human and Divine

Making God Intelligible

Man's Relation to God

Divine Manner

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

The God Ideal

Divine Grace

There is a saying that the one who troubles much about the cause is far removed from the cause. Many wonder: "If I am happy in life, what is the cause of it? If I am sorry in life, what is the cause of it? Is it my past life from where I have brought something which brings me happiness or unhappiness, or is it my action in this life which is the cause of my happiness or unhappiness?" And one can give a thousand answers and at the same time one cannot satisfy the questioner fully. When people think much about the law, they forget about love. When they think that the world is constructed according to a certain law, then they forget the Constructor Who is called in the Bible Love; God is Love.

In the first place, when we see from morning till evening man's selfish actions, whether good or bad actions, we see that he is not entitled to any happiness or anything good coming to him. And that shows that God does not always exact according to a certain law. He does not weigh your virtue on one side of the scale and His grace on the other, and exchange His grace for man's virtues. The Divine Being apart, man in his friendship, in his kindness, in his favor and disfavor, does he always exact what the other one is, or is doing? No. A friend admires his friend for his goodness and defends him for his wrongdoings. Does he not forget the law when there comes friendship? He forgets it. So man, instead of using justice and reason, overlooks all that is lacking and wrong.

Something right comes forward to cover it all, to forget it all, to forgive it all. A mother whose son is accused of having done something wrong, she knows he has done wrong and she knows he is against the law. At the same time there is something else in her which wishes to lift up, to clear away. She would spend anything, lose anything, sacrifice anything in order that her son might not be punished. When we see that in everyday life, according to his evolution, man has a tendency to forget, to forgive, to look at things favorably, to cover all that is ugly; if this tendency is in man, from where does it come? It comes from the source which is Perfection. There is God.

It is most amusing to see how people make God and His actions mechanical and how for themselves they claim free will. They say: "I choose to do this," or "I choose to do that," and "I have the free will to choose." This is man's claim. And at the same time he thinks that God and all His works and the universe are a mechanism. It is all running automatically. Man denies that God has a free will, and he himself claims it.

People look at it in three ways.

  1. They say: "All that man does is recorded, and in accordance to that it is adjusted. On the Judgment Day, either he has the reward of his good deeds or the punishment for his wrong deeds."
  2. Others who are more philosophical and intellectual say: "It is not God but it is the law, the automatic working which brings about a result in accordance to the cause, and therefore, what man has done in his past life, he experiences in this life."
  3. And there is a third point of view, that it need not be the hereafter and that it need not be the life ahead in which man can have the experience and the result of his deeds, but that every day is his Judgment Day and that every day brings the result of his deeds. That is true also.

There is no doubt that the world is constructed on a certain law, that the whole creation works according to a certain law. And yet it is not all. There is love beyond it, and it is the Prophets of all ages who have recognized that part of God's working and have given man that consolation and hope that in spite of our faults and shortcomings we will reach heaven. There is the Grace of God. Many know the Grace of God. and what does it mean? It means a wave of favor, a rising of love, a manifestation of compassion which sees no particular reason.

One may say: "Does God close His eyes? Why must it be like this?" But in human nature we see the same thing. The divine nature can be recognized by human nature. Ask a lover who loves someone: "What is the beauty of that person? What is in that person that makes you love her?" He may try to explain: "It is because this person is kind, or because this person is beautiful, or because this person is good, or because this person is compassionate, or intellectual, or learned." But that is not the real cause. If really he knows what makes him love, he will say: "Because my beloved is beloved; that is the reason. There is no other reason."

One can give a reason for everything. One can say: "I pay this person because he is good in his work; I pay for this stone because it is beautiful; but I cannot give a reason why I love; there is no reason for it." Love stands beyond law, beyond reason. The love of God works beyond reason, that Divine Love which is called the Grace of God; no piety, no spirituality, no devotion can attract it. No one can say: "I will draw the Divine Grace." God apart, can anyone say in this world: "I shall draw the friendship of someone." No one can say this. This is something which comes by itself. No one can command or attract it, or compel anyone to be his friend. It is natural. God's Grace is God's Friendship, God's Grace is God's Love, God's Compassion. No one has the power to draw it, to attract it; no meditation, no spirituality, no good action can attract it.

There is no commercial business between God and man; God stands free from rules which humanity recognizes. That aspect makes him the Lord of his own creation, as the wind blows, as the wind comes when it comes, so the Grace of God comes when it is its time to come.

I have heard people say, "I am ill," or "I am suffering," or "I am going through a difficulty," or "Things go wrong because of my Karma of the past." I say: "If it is so or if it is not so, your thinking about it makes it still worse; everything that one acknowledges to be, it becomes worse because one acknowledges it." That Karma which could be thrown away in one day's time, by acknowledging it, will keep with a person all his life.

Some people think that they suffer or that they go through pain according to the law of Karma. But when the thought of the Grace of God comes and when one realizes the real meaning of the Grace of God, one begins to rise above it, and one begins to know that, "My little actions, my good deeds, all my good deeds I must collect in order to make them equal to God's mercy and compassion, His grace and His love, which He gives at every moment." God's compassion cannot be returned by all life's good actions. The relation of God and man apart, can one return a real thought of love, all a friend has done for us? We can love that friend, his loving kindness and his compassion. But we can never repay it. In all our life we cannot repay it.

Then we see the kindness and the compassion of God, which is always hidden from our view because we are always seeing what is lacking, the pain, the suffering, the difficulties. Man is so absorbed in them that he loses the vision of all the good that is there. We can never be grateful enough if we see like this, that it is not the law, but that it is the Grace of God which governs our life. And it is the trust and confidence in this Grace which not only consoles a person, but which lifts him and brings him nearer and nearer to the Grace of God.

Divine Grace is a loving impulse of God which manifests in every form, in the form of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, beneficence, and revelation. No action, however good, can command it; no meditation, however great, can attract it. It comes naturally, as a wave rising from the Heart of God, unrestricted or unlimited by any law. It is a natural impulse of God. When it comes, it comes without reason. Neither its coming nor its absence has any particular reason. It comes because it comes; it does not come because it does not come.

It is in Grace that God's Highest Majesty is manifested. While pouring out His Grace He stands on such a high pedestal, that neither law nor reason can touch it. Every blessing has a certain aspect, but Grace is a blessing which is not limited to a certain aspect, but manifests through all aspects. Grace is all-sided: health, providence, love coming from all those around you, inspiration, joy, peace.