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



Unity and Uniformity


The Sufi's Religion

The Aspects of Religion

How to Attain to Truth by Religion

Five Desires Answered by Religion


Aspects of the Law of Religion


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


The Spirit of Sufism

The Sufi's Aim in Life

The Ideal of the Sufi

The Sufi Movement

The Universal Worship



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

Man's Relation to God

Man's relation to God may be likened to the relation of the bubble and the sea. Man is of God, man is from God, man is in God, as the bubble is from water, of water, and in water. So much the same and yet so different! The bubble is different and the sea is different and there is no comparison between them. So, though God and man are not different, yet there is such a difference that there is no comparison. Hafiz says, "What comparison between earth and heaven?" The same reason makes man small before God, as the bubble is small before an ocean, and yet it is not apart from the ocean, nor is it of any other element than the ocean. Therefore Divinity is in man as in God. The Divinity of Christ means the Divinity of man, although Divinity itself is the ideal.

The word divine has its origin in Sanskrit. It is from Deva, which means the same -- divine. And yet the root of this word means light. That means that the divine is that part of being which is illuminated by the light within. Therefore, though in man, the light is hidden, not disclosed. He is not divine. If the hidden light were divine, then the stone could be divine too, for the spark of fire is hidden in the rock. All life is one, no doubt, and all names and forms are of the same life. But that part of life out of which springs light, illuminating itself and its surroundings and bringing to its notice its own being, is divine; for in this is the fulfillment of the purpose of the whole creation, and every activity is directed to bringing about the same purpose.

How calmly the mountains and hills seem to be waiting for some day to come. If we went near them and listened to their voice, they would tell us this. And how eagerly the plants and the trees in the forest seem to be waiting for some day, for some hour to come, the hour of the fulfillment of their desire! If we could only hear the words they say! In animals, in birds, in the lower creation, the desire is still more intense and still more pronounced. The seer can see it when his glance meets their glance. But the fulfillment of this desire is in man: the desire that has worked through all aspects of life and brought forth different fruits, yet preparing a way to reach the same Light which is called divinity. But even man, whose right it is, cannot touch it unless he acquire the knowledge of the Self, which is the essence of all religions.

It is easy to claim that, "I am God!"; but what is it? Is it not insolence on the part of man, who is subject to illness, death, and disease? It is bringing the highest ideal of God on the lowest plane. It is like the illusion of the bubble saying, "I am the sea! I am the sea!" when his own conscience, as well as everybody else's, sees that he is a bubble. And again it is blind on the part of man, however righteous and pious he may be, to say, "I am separate, God is separate. I am on earth, God is in heaven." He will pray and worship a thousand years and not reach near God. Since, according to the idea of an astronomer, it would take so many hundreds of years to reach a certain planet, how could one reach so high as the Abode of God, which is supposed to be still higher and farther than anything else?

No man has a right to claim divinity as long as he is conscious of his limited self. He only, who is so absorbed in the contemplation of the Perfect Being that his limited self is lost from his sight, could say this, which in many cases is not said. It is at this time that man closes his lips, lest he might say a word that might offend the ears of the people in the world. "O bird, cry gently, for the ears of the beloved are tender!" And if anyone, such as Mansur, has claimed divinity, it is in that wine of divine Life that intoxicated him, and the secret came out of him as it comes from a drunken man, which, if he had been sober, he would not have given out.

The wise realize the Divine Being in the loss of the thought of self, and melt in Him, and become absorbed in Him, and enjoy the peace that they can derive from the Divine Life, but live in the world gently, meekly and thoughtfully, just like every man. It is the unwise who show themselves too wise. And with the increase of wisdom that beauty of innocence comes that makes the wise the friend of everyone, both stupid and wise. It is the stupid who cannot agree with the wise, but the wise can agree with the stupid as well as with the wise. He can become both, while the stupid man is what he is.