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




The Symbol of the Sun

The Brahman Symbolical Form of Worship



The Story of Lot's Wife

Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

Jesus Walking on the Water

The Symbol of the Cross

The Symbol of the Dove

The Ten Virgins

Tongues of Flame

Shaqq-i Sadr: the Opening of the Breast of the Prophet

Miraj: the Dream of the Prophet

Vol. 9, The Unity of Religious Ideals

The Symbology of Religious Ideas

The Ten Virgins

There is a story in the Bible about ten virgins -- the five wise virgins and the five foolish. It was said that the bridegroom was to come, and they were to light their lamps; and five were in time, and brought the oil, and lighted their lamps; and the other five waited until the bridegroom came, and when the bridegroom came, then they went to the five who had lighted their lamps and asked of them oil, and were refused.

This story is a symbolic expression of receiving the Message of God. By virgin is meant the soul which is awaiting illumination, innocent and responsive to the light; and by five is meant the multitude. And there are two classes of people; one class is those who have prepared themselves and made ready to receive the Message of God, which is pictured as the bridegroom; and the five foolish are that class in mankind who wait and wait until the Message has come and gone. In all ages there have been these two kinds of souls--one kind who are called in the Scriptures believers, the others who are known as unbelievers.

In every age the prophecy has been made by the Messenger of the time as to the next advent. Sometimes it is said: I will come," and sometimes: "He will come."

  • "I will come" has been told to those who would recognize the same Spirit of Guidance in every coming of the Messenger;
  • "He will come" has been told to those to whom name and form make a difference, and who cannot recognize the same Spirit in another name and another form.

For example, the coming of Jesus Christ was the coming of that Spirit which was expressed in this parable as the bridegroom, and how few at that time recognized Him, and how few received illumination! Only those whose lamps were ready to be lighted.

Oil in this parable is love, and the light is wisdom. And when their lamps were lighted, then so many came afterwards; but that blessing and privilege which had come with the Personality of the Master had then gone. They had to take the benefit of the light that came from the lamps of those whose lamps were lighted, but the chance of lighting their own lamps was lost.

The same is with all things in life. Every moment in our lives is an opportunity which brings a benefit and blessing. And the one who knows how to be benefited by it, and how to be blessed by it, receives the benefit and the blessing. Everyone seems living and awake, but few souls really are living and awake. There are opportunities of benefit and blessing on every plane of one's life -- on the physical plane, on the mental plane, on the spiritual plane -- and every opportunity is invaluable. But often one realizes the truth when it is too late.

There is no greater and better opportunity than the moment that can give a spiritual illumination, a moment when one can receive the blessing of God. It is a priceless moment. Who knows it and understands it and tries to be benefited by it is blessed.