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. The Path of Initiation

2. The Meaning of Initiation

3. What is Needed on the Path

4. The Different Steps on the Path

5. Inner Study

6. Three Aspects of Initiation

7. Five Lessons of Discipleship

8. Four Kinds of Discipleship

9. The Attitude of a Disciple



Faith, Trust


The Goal


Vol. 10, The Path of Initiation and Discipleship

3. What is Needed on the Path


Initiation is a sacred trust, a trust given by the murshid to his mureed and a trust given by the mureed to the murshid. There should no longer be a wall from the moment of this initiation; for if there is a wall, then the initiation is not an initiation any more. And when the wall between the mureed and the murshid has been removed, then the next step will be for the wall to be removed that stands between God and the worshipper. Besides the Sufi Order is an order of mysticism, and there are certain thoughts and considerations which should be observed. One of these is that when once a secret has been entrusted to one, it must be kept as one's most sacred trust. One must also accept all the teaching that may be given to one; whether it is bitter medicine or sweet, the patient takes it. There is a time for everything, and so illumination has its time. But progress, the real progress, depends upon the patience of the pupil, together with his eagerness to go forward.

The path of initiation is also a path of tests: tests from the initiator, tests from God, tests from the self, and tests from the world; and to go through these tests is the sign of real progress in the mureed, while the one who does not undertake these tests will be wasting his time.

The Order, and this is apparent from the word "order" itself, means that there is a certain formal hierarchy of the initiators and of the Pir-o-Murshid, and that they should be regarded and respected as those who have gone further in that chosen direction. This law is in no way different from the law of nature and of life: when a child who has been disrespectful to its parents itself becomes a parent, it will find the same attitude in its own children. A soldier who does not observe discipline under his captain or colonel will experience the same from his subordinates when later he holds that position. But the question is whether he will ever arrive at that rank, not having considered and observed that which should have been observed; for those who have advanced in any line, whether in music, in poetry, in thought, or in philosophy, have always done so in a humble way, at every step greeting those who have gone further.

Then there are three stages for the pupil, the mureed, who treads the spiritual path. The first stage is receptivity, taking that is given without saying, "This teaching I will accept and that I will not accept." The next stage is assimilating the teachings. And the third stage is fixing them in the mind and letting the mind see the reason of things; but this comes after assimilation. Thus the one who considers these three stages and goes through them carefully, securely -- the stage of receptivity, the stage of assimilation, and the stage of consideration -- will be the successful mureed on the path.

Although the outer-form might appear to be a hierarchy, yet the Sufi message leads to true democracy, for it holds the promise of that goal which is the yearning of every soul. This itself is the principal thing in democracy, because it is this which makes democracy; and the reason, according to the Sufi belief, is that the divine spark is in every soul. It is with trust and confidence in God, in the murshid, and in that divine spark which is in one's own heart that one is assured of success in life if one will only step forward.