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

Many Gods

The conception of many gods has come from two sources. One was the idea of the wise to make every kind of power and attribute in a form of deity, and to call it a certain god. It was done in order to give the ordinary mind the most needed thought, that god is in everything and god is all power. Many afterwards misunderstood the idea, and the wisdom behind it became obscured, therefore some wise men had to fight against the ideas of the other wise men. Yet they did not fight with the idea; they fought with the misconception of it. But now, at the present time, when there exists no such idea in Europe of many gods, many have lost their faith after the recent war, saying: "If god is all goodness, all justice, all power, why has such a dreadful thing as war been allowed to take place?" If the same people were accustomed to see, among their many gods, as the Hindus have worshiped for generations, Kali, the goddess of war, it would not have been a new thing for them to know that, if all is from god, not only peace, but even war is from God.

The mystics of all ages have therefore given God many names. The Sufi schools of esotericism have possessed their different names of God, with their nature and secret, and have used them in different meditations along the path of spiritual attainment. Therefore the Sufis have not many gods, but many Names of god, each expressive of a certain attribute. Suppose these Names which the Sufis have used, were not the Names of God--if they had only held in thought words such as mercy, compassion, patience--it would have been a merit, not a person. Merit is not creative, and merit is only something which is possessed. Therefore the attribute is not important; the important one is the possessor of the attribute. Therefore, instead of thinking of success, the Sufi calls upon the God of success. For him the God of success is not a different God; there is only one God, but only by calling upon that Name of God which is expressive of success, he attaches his soul to that perfect Spirit of success.

The other source whence the idea of many gods has come, is the deep thinkers and philosophers, who have seen God in every soul, and every soul making a God of its own, according to its stage of evolution. Therefore there is a saying among the Hindus: "There are as many gods as there are strains of music." In other words, there are numerous imaginations and numberless gods. If ever this idea was taught to the people, it was to break that ignorance of some people who made God confined to heaven, and kept the earth free from His divine Presence: they waited for death to come, when they might be taken into the Presence of God, Who was sitting on the throne of justice in the hereafter. By it they tried to show to the people that God is in every soul, and so, as many souls, so many gods: some advanced, some not advanced, some further advanced, and yet all gods. If there is a struggle, it is a conflict between gods; if there is harmony, it is a friendship between gods. By these terms they wished to make man realize the most essential truth that God is all. No doubt those who misunderstand will always misunderstand.

This idea brought about corruption also, and made people, who regard many gods, interested in the legends of the past which narrated the wars and battles that took place among gods. Therefore the wise had again to come to their rescue, and teach them again of the one God, that by this teaching they might again come to the realization of the oneness of life, which is best realized in the God-Ideal.