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



1. Mysticism

2. The Mystic

3. Realization

4. The Nature and Work of a Mystic

5. The Secret of the Spirit

6. The Mystical Heart

7. Repose

8. Action



Four Meanings of Spirit

1. Essence

2. The Soul After Death

3. Mind and Soul Together

4. The Source and Goal

Vol. 10, Sufi Mysticism

5. The Secret of the Spirit

4. The Source and Goal

The fourth meaning of spirit is the source and the goal of all things; something towards which all are bound, to which all will return. It is that spirit which in religion is called God. And the best way of explaining this meaning of spirit is that it is like the sun, the center of all life, the divine spark in us. But the sun is not as small as it appears to be. Then what is the sun? The sun is all. The part of the sun that we recognize as the sun is the center of it, but the sun is in reality as large as its light reaches. The real sun is light itself. But as there is a point which is the central focus of light, we call that point the sun.

The light has centralized itself there; but the sun has other aspects such as rays, which are not different from the sun but which are the sun itself. And what are we? Our souls are the rays of the sun. In our inner being we are both source and goal itself. It is only our ignorance of this which keeps us ignorant of our own being.

Every atom of the universe, having come from the sun, from the divine sun, makes every effort to return to it. The tendency of the waves is to reach upward, of the mountains to point upward, of the birds to fly upward. The tendency of animals is to stand on their hind-legs. The tendency of man is to stand upright, ready to soar upward. An angel is pictured as a man with two wings ready to fly upward. Science has discovered the law of gravitation, but the mystic knows the other law, which is also a law of gravitation but in the opposite direction. Thus not only is every soul attracted in that direction, but also every atom of this world, going through all the different processes known to biology in order to reach that state, to return to the spirit.

Therefore it is not necessary to be frightened by going towards God, or by trying to attain the spirit by losing one's identity, one's individuality. A fear like this is the same as the experience of someone on the top of a mountain. A kind of terror overwhelms a person when he is looking at the immensity of the view; and in the same way a soul is frightened of spiritual attainment because of the immensity, of the largeness and depth it has. It frightens the soul which fears to lose itself, because it has this false conception of its smaller self.

The mystic says, "Try to die before death," and to die before death is to play death; that means to get above this fright which only comes from the false conception of self.

The one who has died before death has no longer desire; he is above desire. This is shown by the picture of the God Vishnu sitting upon the lotus. The lotus represents desire: every petal is a desire. Sitting upon the lotus means that the desire is under him instead of being above his head. To some extent there is a relationship between life in the spiritual world and life on earth, for that which is collected here on earth indicates the task one has to perform here. The only condition is that the one who has stayed a shorter while here must work more for his spiritual accomplishment than the one who has stayed longer on earth. When someone has achieved spirituality here, it is not necessary for him to stay longer unless it is his desire. And the day the false conception of self is removed from his eyes he begins to see the immensity of God's majesty.