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 Story of Lot's Wife

The ancient method of giving the mystery of life was to give it in the form of a legend. The legend of Lot's wife is that it was to Abraham that Lot was related, and it was by the love and help of Abraham that the two angels were sent to Lot, to warn him of the coming destruction of two cities and to advise him to go to the mountains. And Lot was not willing to leave the cities, but in the end he agreed to. His sons-in-law failed him by not accompanying him, but his wife and his two daughters accompanied him on the journey to the mountains. And they were told that his wife must not look back; and when she did, she was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot and his two daughters remained, and they reached the cave of the mountain, which was Lot's destination.

The two towns that were to be destroyed represent the North Pole and the South Pole, the two poles of the world. For all the treasure of the earth, all possessions and power and fame that belong to the earth, are subject to destruction. And that was taught to Lot, the human soul, who was the relation of Abraham, the divine soul, which is from Brahma, the Creator. The relationship of Lot with Abraham represents the relation of the human soul to the Creator. The two angels were the angels of light and of reason. When the light comes to man, its first teaching is to warn the soul of the disaster that awaits all that is subject to death and destruction. It is this lesson that is called in Sanskrit the lesson of Vairagya -- when man's eyes open to see that all that he loves and likes and wishes to hold and possess is subject to destruction and death.

There are five bodies considered by the Mystics of old to be the vehicles of the soul, which are called:

  1. Anandarmayakosh, body of joy;
  2. Vignanamayakosh, body of wisdom;
  3. Manamayakosh, body of mind;
  4. Pranamayakosh, body of ether;
  5. Annamayakosh, body of earth.

This last is the receptacle of food. It lives on earthly food, and if it is starved of that, it dies. For it is made of earth; it lives on earth. The other is the receptacle of ether, which is called Pranamayakosh. That part of man's being lives by breath and by taking in the air, and if it is starved of air, it cannot live. These two bodies form the material part, the physical part, of man's being. And it is these two receptacles which are referred to in the legend as the two sons-in-law.

Then there is Manamayakosh, which is mind, and the mental body. And this body has its action and reaction on both sides; it acts and reacts on the earthly bodies, and it acts and reacts upon the soul. Therefore when Lot left the two cities, which represent the physical plane, to journey toward the goal of Immortality, his wife was still with him. For it is not necessary for the mental body to stay behind when the journey towards illumination is begun. It is capable of going with the soul towards Eternity. And yet its attachment to earth and the physical plane is great, because it is made, it is built, of physical impressions, of all impressions that come from the physical world; and of necessity it wants to turn to see if the physical being or the spiritual being is leading it aright. The principal nature of mind is doubt -- whether one is doing right or wrong. And doubt and faith are enemies. While faith leads to the destination, doubt pulls back. When the mind was so pulled back, attracted by all the impressions of earthly life, it could neither take hold of the earth nor journey with the spirit, and remained neither earth nor water, but salt.

The only two bodies which are close to the soul followed the soul. Naturally they would follow, for they are closely related to the soul, Vignanamayakosh, the body of wisdom, and Anandamayakosh, the body of joy. The soul bound towards the Eternal Goal -- as it is called, the top of the mountains -- then proceeded towards the mountains. And before they reached the top of the mountains, there was the cave, which is called Heaven -- in metaphysics, capacity; in Sanskrit, Akasha -- which has the power of holding the soul from going to the top and using the soul for some purpose. And the soul which was bound for the Eternal Goal remained, intoxicated by the ecstasy that it received from the plane of joy and the plane of wisdom. And as everything that happens has its purpose, so this joy resulted in a great purpose, in the birth of the Messenger, which in Sanskrit is called Bodhisattva. The Messenger was born of the souls' experience, the knowledge and the happiness, to bring good tidings to the world.

A question may arise, why Manarnayakosh must be the mother, and Anandamayakosh and Vignanamayakosh must be the daughters. And the answer is that they are born of mind, born of mind and soul. If there were only the soul, there would be neither joy nor wisdom. Mind and soul both produce joy and wisdom. Therefore the latter are the daughters, because mind is the mother. The two lower planes are represented by the sons-in-law, because they were not directly born of mind and soul; it was a separate substance mind and soul have taken into their life. By this story the process is taught how the soul can journey from mortality to immortality, and what experiences the soul possibly has to have on its way. But when the Messenger is so created, then the Father -- the Soul -- rests in peace. It is therefore that the Messenger was called the Son, and the Original Soul the Father.